Based on what I saw at this year’s Shot Show, shooters and hunters will have quite a variety of new choices when it comes to ammunition selection.
According to the Shot Business Daily magazine published and distributed each day at the show, a tidal wave of innovations will be unleashed this year, when the ammunition manufacturers flood the market with new products. I got to see quite of few of these, and even shot a few. Unfortunately, to detail every one here would be impossible, but I can give you my “Best Shots.” Here are a few of those I suggest you lock and load with this year.
Let’s begin with the 2010 NRA Golden Bullseye Award-winning Superformance ammunition that contains custom blended propellants to deliver maximum velocity and optimum performance and increases velocities up to 200 feet per second. Designed with exceptional temperature sensitivity from minus-15 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it can handle any hunting environment. And it does all this without significantly increasing recoil or purchase price. What you get is increased performance without extra chamber pressure. Superformance is offered in calibers from .243 to .458. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a box of 20 cartridges ranges from $33 for the 150-grain 30TC SST to $79 for the 300-grain H&H DGS.
In its shotgun series, Hornady has introduced a 12-gauge Varmint Express No. 4 buckshot load. This load features a specially designed and versatile wad technology to deliver a tight pattern every time without having to modify a shotgun. This consistent performance includes proper functioning when used in semi-auto and pump shotguns. Suggested retail price for a box of 10 is $14.73.
Muzzleloader owners might want to take a look at Hornady’s new50-caliber, 300-grain, FPB flex tip bullet designed with the Elastomer tip that’s popular on the company’s “LEVERevolution” bullet line. This design aids in the expansion at impact velocities from 800-2,000 feet per second. These ballistics are based on a maximum load of 150-grain charges. It delivers a flat trajectory with long range accuracy, and its copper jacket profile eliminates bullet/sabot fouling and the need for a plastic skirt. And it only requires 25 pounds of loading pressure. Suggested retail price for 18 bullets is $18.71 www.Hornady.com.
As the owner of a Taurus Judge revolver that can handle both .45 Colt, .380 auto rounds and .410-gauge shotshells, I was quite interested in Winchester’s new Supreme Elite PDX1 and PDX12 (12-gauge) entries of both these calibers, as well. They were introduced as personal defense rounds, but after I shot the .410 from a Judge two-inch revolver at the range, I was convinced they would also make an excellent hunting round, especially for predators. The .410 is a 21⁄2-inch shell that combines three plated-disk projectiles and 12 pellets of plated BB shot. The 12-gauge is a 23⁄4-inch shell that combines three 00 plated buckshot on top of a one-ounce rifled power point slug. Velocity of the 12-gauge is 1,150 feet per second.
Winchester’s new Bonded PDX1, .45 Colt is a 225-grain, jacketed hollow point (JHP) bonded bullet with a velocity of 850 feet per second. It’s also offered in a 95-grain, .380-caliber JHP with a velocity of 1,000 feet per second. These are both very impressive rounds. Winchester hasn’t announced a price for this ammunition yet. www.winchester.com
This company has long been a quality gun maker, offering standard big-game calibers with a bit more horsepower. Two of its most popular rounds have been the .257 and .300 Weatherby magnums, which now have been modified with upgraded performance and decreased price, just $39 for a box of 20 cartridges. That’s equivalent to Weatherby’s 1982 prices. Both these calibers feature brass, primers, powder and spitzer bullets made by Norma of Sweden. It’s a new design that results in controlled expansion and a 60 percent weight retention. The 257 is offered in a 100-grain spitzer bullet, the 300 in 180. www.Weatherby.com.
Are you looking for maximum speed from a rifled slug? Check out Fusion’s new 7⁄8-ounce slug in a plastic sabot. How fast? The new 12-gauge, three-inch slugs are designed for rifled slug barrels and leave the barrel at 1,700 feet per second while the 23⁄4-inch exits at 1,650. The 20-gauge is also quick — with a three-inch at 1,500 fps and a 2 3⁄4-inch at 1,450. As for energy, the 12- and 20-gauge, three-inch Fusion Slugs produce 2,456 and 2,041 foot pounds, respectively. That’s a pretty good punch on whatever the game. Suggested retail price is $8.95 for a box of five.
In the Fusion centerfire line, they have added five new caliber choices — 22-250, 55-grain, 3,650 fps; 7mm-08 Rem, 120-grain, 3,000; 7.62x39mm, 123-grain, 2,350; 35 Whelen, 180-grain, 2,700; and the new S&W .500 Magnum handgun, 325-grain, 1,450 fps. Suggested retail prices for these new centerfires will range from $22 to $36 for boxes of 20. www.Fusionammo.com.
Doing its part to help preserve our environment, CCI Ammunition recently introduced the TNT Green, an advanced non-lead bullet for the .17 HMR and the .22 LR short-range-caliber firearms. Designed with the rimfire specialist in mind, these ammunition options are optimized for those hunters/shooters needing non-lead bullets. They feature clean-burning propellants that keep the actions cleaner, are more accurate, harder hitting and are the ideal choice for varmints or just punching holes in paper. The .17 HMR is a 16-grain, TNT hollow point with a velocity of 2,500 fps that will take care of most predators, woodchucks, etc. The .22 is a jacketless bullet made of copper particles/polymer mix with reliable accuracy in semi-auto firearms at 50 yards, which is ideal for “green” plinking. Suggested retail price is $14 for a box of 50. www.cci-ammunition.com.
As a reminder, these are just a few of the new ammunition choices introduced this year. I suggest you visit all their Web sites to check out the others.