January 31, 2023
By Alfredo Rico
The chain of events of the last four years has had ammunition factories with their pedal to the metal. High demand created supply chain shortages which forced companies to focus on their existing lines and placed new cartridge development on the back burner. Fortunately, we are seeing ammo shelves fill up and new products making headline news again.
Remington 360 Buckhammer
It was great to see the new Remington Ammunition at SHOT Show. Vista’s acquisition has brought a deep breath of fresh air to the brand, and it showed in their display and updated packaging. They also had some new products, one of them is the straight-walled, lever-action-friendly 360 Buckhammer (BHMR). The new cartridge is loaded with a 200-grain soft point Core-Lokt bullet and has an estimated velocity of 2,200 fps. A 180-grain-bullet load is on the way and other bullet weights will be added to the line. Henry Rifles will have the first lever action rifles chambered for the 360 BHMR.
Any hunter who has had one eye open in the last two months knows about Hornady’s 7mm PRC cartridge. It is the talk of the town. A good sign that it is not a flash in the pan is that most rifle manufacturers have a 7mm PRC in their line up for this very young cartridge. The cartridge may be considered a modern day 7mm Remington Magnum that can take advantage of the high BC, heavy bullets, and barrels with faster twist rates. Hornady has three flavors of the 7mm PRC: Precision Hunter loaded with the 175-grain ELD-X bullet; Match Ammunition with the 180-grain ELD-M bullet; and Outfitter with their monolithic, copper expanding 160-grain CX bullet.
30 Super Carry
The 30 Super Carry was launched a year ago and was designed to fill the gap between a .380 ACP and 9mm cartridges. It is a handgun cartridge that uses speed to deliver a high-energy payload despite its relatively lightweight projectile. Its performance breathes down a 9mm’s neck. News for the 30 Super Carry has quieted greatly so I spoke with several firearms manufacturers whether they had any pistols in 30 Super Carry. The answer was no but smiled when they told me they couldn’t talk about future projects. I also asked Federal Ammunition about the cartridge, and they said that the demand has not been hot but suspect that it is simply bad timing with handgun manufacturers fulfilling backorders from the previous year’s high demand. In the meantime, Federal did introduce a new load under the Punch series of self-defense ammo that is intended to offer slightly lighter recoil without sacrificing reliable expansion. The company stands ready to ramp up production when there is demand and had confidence that we’ll begin seeing more pistols chambered in 30 Super Carry soon.
Remington Premier Long Range featuring Speer Impact
Remington has added another great bullet to their Premier line of rifle ammunition, the Speer Impact bullet. The hollow point, bonded bullet is topped with a Slipstream polymer tip which reduces drag and is designed to initiate expansion 200 fps lower than similar designs. The bullet is designed for deep penetration at mid-range, yet also provides consistent low-velocity expansion at long range. The cartridges will be available in many popular hunting cartridges and use Remington primers and propellants.
Federal Premium featuring Hornady ELD-X
It was striking seeing a red-tipped Hornady ELD-X bullet on the Federal Premium box, but there it was. The match-grade, hunting bullet uses an interlock ring to keep the copper jack from separating, while the red polymer tip reduces drag for better long-range performance and impact. The Hornady bullet design produces a high BC projectile and exhibits dynamic expansion across the spectrum, from short- to long-range distances. Federal has a legacy of using the best components in its loaded cartridges, in sourcing ELD-X bullets from Hornady, the company has added another great cartridge option to their impressive hunting line.
Browning Max Point
I have found that Browning ammo shoots very well across its many cartridges, so I was excited to see that they have come out with a heavy-for-caliber whitetail line of cartridges. One of its distinctive features is the large, yellow polymer tip. The tip sits in a hollow point tip and, like many other tips, reduces drag and aids expansion. The purpose of the large hollow point cavity is to quickly mushroom thereby maximizing the initial energy dump and dropping game quickly. The nickel-plated brass cases resist corrosion and provide smoother feeding and extraction.
Cutting Edge Bullets
Although technically not ammunition, Cutting Edge Bullets deserves a mention since bullet design and materials play an ever-increasing role in the ammo we choose to shoot. Cutting Edge bullets makes lathe turned, all-copper bullets. Their line ranges from .22 up to .620 covering hunting, target shooting, and personal defense. Their large caliber bullets are favored by extreme long range shooters and have a prominent presence in the King of the 2 Mile competitions. The bullet design includes a Sealtite Band which is slightly larger than the bullet diameter and creates a complete seal around the bullet preventing the gases from escaping around the bullet and creating flyers.
Federal Train + Protect 10mm Auto
While talking to Federal about 30 Super Carry, they pointed out that the recent popularity of 10mm semiauto pistols has increased the demand for ammo. Since much of the 10mm is expensive, they wanted to give shooters an affordable training option and introduced their Train + Protect line of ammunition. A box of 50 rounds is $57.99 which is a value when you compare that to the $36 to $70 for 20 rounds of premium hollow point ammo. The brass case is topped with Federal’s Versatile Hollow Point (VHP) Bullet which is designed for practical accuracy and reliable expansion.
What new ammunition are you most excited about? What would you like to see? Let us know by emailing us at GAEDITOR@OUTDOORSG.COM, and use "Sound Off" in the subject line.
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