Long-range screamers. Smart lead-free choices. Exciting new cartridges and nicely affordable options. The year’s best new rifle ammo is hitting many targets.
Nosler Trophy Grade Varmint 22 Nosler. There is some cartridge-design competition in dedicated AR rounds, a battle that includes the 22 Nosler and 224 Valkyrie. The Trophy Grade Varmint 22 Nosler ($35 to $50) is based on a noticeably bigger case, with more powder
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capacity and pushing around 300 fps more velocity. Nosler offers this exciting, high-performance round in a Ballistic Tip Varmint bullet or the frangible Ballistic Tip Lead Free along with legendary Nosler brass. Nosler specs show long-range benefits out to 1,300 yards. Browning BXS Solid Expansion Lead Free Centerfire. Lead-free ammunition is required in some states, and hunters are seeing benefits from a solid expansion bullet. BXS Solid Expansion lead-free centerfire rifle cartridges ($32 to $35, add $5 for magnum) feature a
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copper bullet with a polymer tip for consistent performance and penetration. Initial offerings include .30-06 Springfield, .270 Win., .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag., 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 WSM, and 7mm Rem. Mag. Hornady 6.5 PRC. The 6.5 PRC is bigger than the popular 6.5 Creedmoor and Hornady is producing it to fit in short or medium actions. This ammo features moderate powder charges
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for consistent accuracy with low recoil. The 6.5 is made to perform at the range and for hunting, featuring a flat trajectory and high velocities that will reach beyond 1,000 yards. It’s available in either Hornady Precision Hunter 143-gr. ELD-X or Hornady Match 147-gr. ELD Match (both shown above).Federal 224 Valkyrie 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing. Federal’s 224 Valkyrie not only maintains supersonic performance all the way out to 1,300 yards but it also delivers its 90-grain payload with pinpoint accuracy. Primarily designed to cycle smoothly through
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gas-driven MSR actions, the Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing round ($32) performs equally well through bolt guns, leaving the muzzle at 2,700 feet per second. Once in flight, the 224-caliber projectile streaks across the 500-yard line at 1,950 feet per second, then clocks past the 1,000-yard flag still going 1,268 fps.Frontier Cartridge. If you notice the new Frontier ammunition on the store shelves and aren’t sure where it came from, here is the scoop. Hornady has teamed up with Frontier to produce .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO ammunition that can be used for target shooting or hunting. Frontier brought its cartridge cases, primers and powder to the table, while Hornady delivered the perfect bullet. The bottom line? This is economical and practical ammunition available in 32 different cartridge rounds. Winchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact. The first thing you’ll notice on the Deer Season XP Copper Impact ($28 to $30) is the large polymer tip. Bigger tip, bigger impact is the clear message with this new lead-free bullet from Winchester. The huge energy transfer means even deeper penetration than standard, proven Deer Season.Federal Premium Edge TLR. Long-range hunting and shooting is in vogue, and manufacturers are trying to keep up with demand for specialty bullets and cartridges. Federal introduced the Edge TLR last year but has expanded the match-grade long-range accuracy in a bonded hunting bullet to include 7 mm Rem Mag, .270, and .270 WSM ($52 to $57). The bullet has a high ballistic coefficient, streamlined tip, copper shank and bonded lead core to help it retain weight for deep penetration at any range. Aguila .300 AAC Blackout. If you’re looking for a .300 AAC Blackout cartridge that will work in tactical or bolt-action hunting rifles, this new offering from Aguila ($32) is a smart multi-use design. This round delivers broad capabilities in a shorter, lightweight, durable, and low-recoiling package. With a 150-grain bullet, it produces a muzzle velocity of 1,900 fps.Hornady DGX Bonded. Anyone who has hunted the Dark Continent has likely investigated Hornady’s DGX (Dangerous Game Expanding) and DGS (Dangerous Game Solid) bullets and cartridges. To offer greater controlled expansion, Hornady designed the DGX Bonded. The bullet has a .098-inch thicker jacket than its dangerous game cousins and a lead core bonded to that jacket to further ensure expansion is controlled and structural integrity is maintained when hunting large, heavy-boned animals.Sig Sauer HT Ammo. Sig Sauer has long been known for quality firearms, ammunition, and optics, and its next natural progression was premium hunting cartridges. HT Ammo is loaded with copper bullets, engineered with a frontal expansion diameter 1.8 times the original calibre size. Premium components include a nickel-plated case and flash-retarding propellant. Initial offerings include .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Blackout, .308 Win., and .300 Win Mag ($26 to $56).