The US Military rates the Max Effective Range of the M4 as 500 meters for a point target.
If the max effective range of the M4 with M855 at 2900 fps is 500 meters, that has 100 inches of drop, 41 inches drift, and 291 ft/lbs of energy:
16 inch 300 AAC BLACKOUT 125 grain at 2220 fps has:
100 inches drop at 440 meters
41 inches drift at 484 meters
291 ft/lbs of energy at 700 meters.
The military tends to go by hit probability rather than energy. If we use the drift and drop range as being correlated with hit probability, and discount the energy advantage of 300 BLK, we get 462 meters.
Using M4 military hit-probability standards, the max effective range of 300 AAC Blackout from a 16 inch barrel is 460 meters.
From a 9 inch barrel (2049 fps):
100 inches drop at 410 meters
41 inches drift at 470 meters
291 ft/lbs of energy at 625 meters.
440 meters for a 9 inch.
300 BLK from a 9 inch barrel has the same energy at the muzzle as a 14.5 inch barrel M4, and about 5% more energy at 440 meters.
Agree with your analysis; your comparison agrees with the characteristics of the M4 as shown in the Army M4 Study Guide [http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/m4/m4-study-guide.shtml
The Army definition of Maximum Effective Range is "The distance from a weapon system at which a 50 percent probability of target hit is expected, or the tracer burnout range.
" [copied from FM 101-5-1 Operational Terms and Graphics http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/docs/fm101-5-1/f545-m.htm
]. So, we can surmise from your study that the 300 BLK could probably meet currently Army ballistic requirements depending on the load and bullet choice since energy at the target is not part of the definition.
May I respectfully add that for hunting whitetail deer with the 300 BLK we should limit shot distances to those that will provide adequate energy to ensure a humane kill - which are going to be much
closer in. I don't want to resurrect the arguments over who to believe in this argument, the "1000 ft-lb into the boiler room", the Taylor Knock Out value, etc, and I know that many deer have been killed with .22 rimfire shorts. Heck somewhere there is probably a guy who stabbed one in the eye with an ice pick and killed it.
Here is the Hornady 110 VMax at 2350 fps muzzle velocity:
My personal range limit with this load on a large whitetail is going to be around 100-150 yards - around the 1000 ft-lb point. Longer range hunting for me means bringing out the heavier iron 308/.30-06/etc. I really like this 300 BLK round, and think it will really take off, but my opinion is we should recognize it for what it is and adjust our expectations according to the mission. Thoughts?