Mark's 300 Fireball Project
Quarterbore's Note! What to see a video of this in
CLICK HERE for a VIDEO!!!
I too was fascinated by the concept of the .300 Whisper, but put off by
the $1100.00 price tag for the upper alone. In comparison, Olympic Armsí upper
is $529. For the price of the SSK, I could have my Fireball upper, plus another
complete upper chambered in .17 Remington for varminting.
I did, though, find that the Oly upper, while very sturdy, had a
few issues that needed to be addressed for reliable operation. I found
two main modes of failure which initially made it rare for a whole
magazine to fire without at least three jams. Some rounds, as the bolt
stripped them from the magazine, would catch on the forward edge of
the magazine. The resultant stoppage could usually be corrected with a
good Ďwhackí to the left side of the receiver. I corrected this by
applying a tiny radius to the inside edge of each magazine to be used
with the Whisper. Only a minute amount of metal need be removed.
Typical jam with unmodified magazines:
Tiny radius applied to leading edge of mags:
I would strongly suggest setting aside some magazines just for the
Whisper. Regular .223 rounds will not chamber in your Whisper upper.
Conversely, a .308 bullet loaded in a Whisper/Fireball round could
possibly chamber in your expensive upper, and cause extensive damage.
You donít have to paint them bright orange, but donít get the ammo
A second issue concerned the feeding of the larger bullets through
the barrel extension. The AR-15 was designed for .223 rounds; the feed
ramps do not well accommodate a bullet over twice the original size. I
tried various bullets over 200 grains, but I never found anything that
worked with the stock barrel extension. Clearly, some delicate,
precision machine work would be in order. Like all real men do, I got
the Dremel out, and installed the smaller grinding stone.
This is a photograph of the barrel extension on the original .223
rifle. Notice the triangle shaped locking lug:
For comparison, here is the barrel extension on the .300 Fireball
after modification. I ground down the triangular part of the feed
ramp, and blended the edges of the locking lug into the channels
adjacent to the lug:
To sum it up, the Fireball upper will not run with the barrel
extension supplied by Olympic Arms. Minor additional machining is
necessary. Presumably, in addition to the adjustable gas port, this
would be done already on the SSK Industries upper. I wonder if JD
Jones would sell just the barrel extension? Somehow I doubt itÖ
I did investigate having a real machinist do this simple operation
for me, but being a Real Man, I was not intimidated by the prospect of
ruining hundreds of dollars worth of delicate equipment with my crude
hand tools. I traded emails with a guy in Tennessee who was very
professional, and offered to do the task for a nominal fee. He has a
jig set up just for this task. If he agrees, Iíll addend his email
address to this document, he will definitely do a better job than what
I was able to pull off.
As for what lower to use, well, I only own one, here is a photo.
This is originally made by Olympic Arms, how fitting that I would end
up putting it together with Olympic parts! Notice that third position
on the selector switch, and the top of the auto sear sticking out
above the receiver.
Here is the whole thing, assembled and ready to go, complete with
Gen 2+ night vision scope and American Manufacturing XXX suppressor.
Apparently Mike Klos, the silencer manufacturer, didn't want any
baffle strikes, and built in plenty of clearance in this excellent
can! For more information about the suppressor, try
www.american-manufacture.com . My can was originally designed with
very generous tolerances for the .223 round, but I have been using it
on my .308 upper for hundreds of rounds without any problems. If you
intend to use a .223 can on a .308 upper, be sure to check with the
manufacturer first, not every suppressor has enough clearance for the
big bullets. If you are interested in buying into the Class 3 world,
have a look at www.subguns.com
or www.titleii.com for more
information. Contrary to common belief, you do NOT have to have any
kind of license to own a machine gun or silencer, at least not in
Texas. You will receive a tax stamp from the BATFE authorizing you to
possess the machine gun or silencer. Do NOT try to make or improvise a
silencer without prior permission from BATFE, even a Coke bottle taped
on the end of an old .22 rifle is a felony, and will be prosecuted as
such. You are guaranteed jail time for the first offense. Donít do it!
Silent is isn't, but it is definitely very quiet for such a
high muzzle energy. I would compare it to my Crossman air
rifle in .177 with about four pumps of air in it. I get
excellent accuracy, even with that cheap BSA scope I bought
on sale at CDNN. I shoot the Sierra 220gr HPBTs for
plinking, and when I finally have a chance to hunt I'll use
the 220gr LRNs. I have a night vision scope, but have yet to
sight it in, there aren't too many rifle ranges open after
dark in my neighborhood.
Overall, here are my impressions:
Itís BIG. Itís LONG. Itís BLACK. Itís HEAVY (probably total over 14
pounds as shown).
And best of all, itís MINE!
Special thanks to Mark for sharing his description, photos, and exceptional
Please Note: I am looking for additional images and
of 300 Whisper or 300/221 Fireball rifles. Please
Contact Us if you
would like to see your rifle or pistol on this website!