Hottest New Rifle Ammunition for 2017
Our expert picks the most exciting new rifle ammunition from the SHOT Show
This year is a good one for the ammo connoisseur – new bullets, new cartridges, and new combinations of fine projectiles paired with great cartridges. Here’s a look at what’s new and exciting, in no particular order.
This entirely new offering from Nosler is the diminutive sibling of the popular Nosler cartridge family. Featuring an entirely new case design, it’s engineered to be the most powerful .22 caliber cartridge suitable for AR platform rifles. Compared to the .223/5.56 cartridges, the .22 Nosler has 25% more case capacity, generating about 300 fps higher velocity. Best of all, it’s easy to convert your AR – just swap out the barrel and switch to a 6.8 Rem. SPC magazine. Initial offerings will be Nosler’s 55gr Trophy Grade (MV 3500 fps 24” / MV 3350 fps 18”) and their 77gr Match Grade (MV 3100 fps 24” / MV 2950 fps 18”).
FEDERAL PREMIUM EDGE TLR
This new long-range offering is Federal’s answer to the current fascination with long-range shooting and hunting. Featuring a solid copper shank, bonded lead core, AccuChannel groove (for improved accuracy and reduced in-barrel drag) and a Slipstream polymer tip (that comes apart on impact, leaving a large hollow point to reliably initiate expansion), all packed into a high-BC package. This projectile should hold together as well or better than any long-range bullet on the market. Early offerings feature a 175gr TLR in .308 and .30-06, and a 200gr TLR in 300 Win. Mag and 300 WSM. MSRP $47 – $59 per box of 20. The bullets will also be available in component form for reloaders.
NORMA 6.5 CREEDMOOR
Last fall Norma (known for superior ammo and some of the best brass in the industry) introduced a 6.5 CM hunting load, featuring a 130gr Swift Scirocco II traveling at 2,789 fps with a G1 BC of .571. Now they’ve added a brand-new match-grade 6.5 CM loaded with their 130gr Norma Hybrid Target bullet, G1 BC of .583, traveling at 2851 fps. MSRP is $30 (Match) and $44 (Scirocco) per box of 20.
BLACK HILLS GOLD ELD-X/ELD-M
I’m a fan of Hornady’s ELD-X and ELD-M long-range bullets, and I love Black Hills ammo – so this was a match made in heaven to my way of thinking. Black Hills now offers cartridges from .260 Rem., up to .338 Lapua in assorted ELD-X and ELD-M loads. Check them out. Estimated retail per box of 20 from $45 to $124.
FEDERAL GOLD MEDAL BERGER
The first-ever marriage of Berger bullets (favored by long-range shooters, hunters, and accuracy maniacs) and a large production house, this ammo is a mile-marker in the ammo industry. Initial offerings include .223 with 73gr BT Target, 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor with 130gr Hybrid OTM, and .308 with 185gr Juggernaut OTM. MSRP will be right around $34 per box of 20.
WINCHESTER BIG GAME LONG RANGE
Offered in six different cartridges and loaded with Nosler’s tough and aerodynamic AccuBond LR, this new ammo will be greeted with enthusiasm by hunters who like to reach out there. Available configurations include the 6.5 Creedmoor (142gr), .270 Win. (150gr), 7mm Rem. Mag. (168gr), .30-06 (190gr), 300 WSM (190gr), and 300 Win. Mag. (190gr). Something for everyone. MSRP $28 per box of 20.
For those who by choice or necessity use non-lead bullets, this new hunting ammunition is tailor-made for you. It features a hollow-point, polymer tipped, boat tail, lead-free, plated projectile engineered to prevent barrel fouling. Initial offerings include 7mm, .30 cal., 8mm, and 9.3mm, with more to come. MSRP from $56 to $82.
FEDERAL PREMIUM HUNTER MATCH .22 LR
No ammo roundup would be complete without inclusion of a good .22 Long Rifle offering. This new load by Federal features a 40-grain hollow point bullet tuned for optimal expansion to 100 yards, loaded to high-velocity match-grade accuracy specifications in a nickel case. Sign me up. MSRP $7.95 per 50.
WINCHESTER SUPER X SUBSONIC
Designed with a radical profile for reliable expansion at low velocities, this ammo is intended for shooters who hunt with suppressors at close range and wish to be as silent as possible. Available loads are: .308 Win., loaded with a 185gr bullet traveling at 1060 fps, .300 Blackout loaded with a 200gr projectile going 1060, and, check this out, a rimfire .22 Win. Mag. loaded with a 45gr bullet going 1060 fps. MSRP $15 to $27.
FUSION 6.5 CREEDMOOR
Two of my favorite things – the 6.5 CM cartridge, and the Fusion bullet – paired into an ideal deer-hunting round. This 140gr Fusion projectile features a skived tip and boat tail design for long-range work, and a molecularly fused jacket for weight retention during expansion. I’ve seen a lot of Fusion bullets of various calibers go downrange at paper and game alike, and I’m always impressed by their accuracy and terminal performance. MSRP $32 for a box of 20.