SHOT Show 2018: Best New Ammo

A 6mm bullet of this weight is very long, has a very high B.C., and stays supersonic out past 1,000 yards. Federal Heavyweight TSS Federal’s new Tungsten Super Shot turkey loads deliver dense long-range patterns the likes of which you’ve never seen. From $6 to $10 per shell, depending on gauge; Federal Premium —Phil Bourjaily Sig HT Ammo Sig Sauer has added new hunting loads to their ever-growing line of ammunition. Starts around $38 per 20, depending on loading; Hornady —R.M. Aguila ammunition has expanded its Minishell lineup for 2018 by adding 8 and 9 shot to the existing buckshot, slug, and 7½ shot offerings. At 1,200 fps and with only 5/8 of ounce of shot, Minishells are practically recoiless and are noticeably quieter than standard target loads. Nosler claims that, out to 1,300 yards, its new 22 will outrange both the Valkyrie and the standard .223. Prices range widely depending on load, starting at around about $35 per 50; Nosler —D.E.P. Starts around $22 per 20; Hornady —R.M. The result is tight patterns in a shell suitable for old guns, that should—if the performance of Long Beard is any indication—do a number on ducks, turkeys, and late-season pheasants.

There’s no shortage of tactical stuff at the 2018 SHOT show, but if there’s a general trend in new ammo this year, it’s a growing number of munitions purpose built for precision shooting at distance and better engineered for hunting. We have new cartridges and loadings designed to help you hit way out there via ever higher ballistic coefficients, loads to help your tactical platform succeed in the hunting fields, and the revival of rounds thought to be extinct. In shot shells, both more is more and less is more, with hard-hitting heavy metals and low-recoils loads.

Federal 224 Valkyrie

The Valkyries, you may recall, were Teutonic warrior ladies who rode hither and yon hacking people to pieces and screeching horrible music by Wagner. The 224 Valkyrie is a dedicated AR cartridge that comes in in loadings for competition, practice, medium game, and varmint hunting. It’s a very small round with hardly any recoil or report, but in its target loading, it’s good out to 1,000 yards (and more, if you’re enough of a shot), which badly outranges the .223. When you look at how small the Valkyrie is, you’ll be tempted to say, “Oh ho, what can you do with that?” Which is what I said a couple of years ago when I saw an F-Class shooter with a wildcat that was very similar to the Valkyrie. What he did was put 25 rounds into a teacup-sized bull’s-eye at 600 yards. I know because I pulled the target. Price depends on loading. Federal PremiumDavid E. Petzal

Hornady 6mm Creedmoor

Hornady 6mm Creedmoor
Hornady 6mm Creedmoor

This is another case where the wildcatters got there first. It begins with the stupendously popular 6.5mm Creedmoor, which is then necked down to 6mm, dropping the bullet weight to a little over 100 grains, and thereby reducing the recoil, which is the object of the drill. A 6mm bullet of this weight is very long, has a very high B.C., and stays supersonic out past 1,000 yards. Staying supersonic is the key; when bullets drop below the speed of sound they destabilize and lose their accuracy. As loaded by Hornady, this 6mm will dramatically outrange both the 6mm Remington and the .243 Winchester. Available in 108-grain Match and 103-grain Precision Hunter loadings, starting at around $30 per 20; HornadyD.E.P.

Federal Heavyweight TSS

 Federal Heavyweight TSS
Federal Heavyweight TSS

Federal’s new Tungsten Super Shot turkey loads deliver dense long-range patterns the likes of which you’ve never seen. TSS is so dense that No. 9 shot has the same penetration as No. 5 lead, meaning you can sling payloads of up to 900 lethal pellets at distant turkeys, or downsize to a 20 gauge or even a .410 and still have plenty of pattern density for normal-range shots. Loads in 12 and 20 gauge feature Federal’s FliteControl Flex wad to give tight patterns through any choke. From $6 to $10 per shell, depending on gauge; Federal PremiumPhil Bourjaily

Sig HT Ammo

Sig Sauer HT Ammo

Sig Sauer has…

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