Best Shotgun Ammo for Waterfowl Hunting 

When picking the best shotgun ammo for waterfowl hunting you’re looking for something that will perform well in a variety of weather conditions but also has the power to take down a large duck. The steel loads of yesteryear were weak, brittle, and would shatter when they hit the bone. Not to mention they’d rust easily and damage the barrels. This eventually led to a lot of people quitting waterfowl hunting because the steel rounds just didn’t do the trick. 

Today, steel loads are much better. They’re made with improved powder, better primer, and they’re properly sealed to prevent water from getting in. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the best shotgun ammo for waterfowl hunting. 

Choosing the Right Load Based on Duck Size 

One of the first things you’ll want to think about is your species and size when determining the right shotgun shells. Breaking it down into a few different categories should make things easier for you.  

Small Ducks 

These ducks move quickly and have erratic flight patterns so you need small pellets that can cover a wider space. They’ll have a shorter range so you’ll need to get closer but doing so will allow you to fill a more obscure pattern. 

Medium Ducks 

Wood ducks and gadwalls meet the description of a medium-sized duck. A 12 gauge, 1,450 fps will do the trick here with a 3-inch load. You’ll need decent pattern density across a normal range with moderate density and power. 

Large Ducks 

Hitting large ducks will require you to be pretty close range to get the impact you need to take them down. Mallards and canvasbacks require a high-velocity shot within a certain range if you expect to be able to kill them. Don’t try and stretch your barrel beyond its limit otherwise you’ll take a dramatic dip in accuracy. 

Geese

To take down a big Canada or Sea Duck you’ll need tungsten-steel pellets because these pack a heavy punch. These cost more than your run-of-the-mill shells but they’re what you need to guarantee a clean kill.

waterfowl hunting

Best Shotgun Ammo 

Now that you understand some of the methodologies behind making these decisions, let’s take a look at some specific ammunition for duck hunting. 

1. B&P Magnum Steel 

The Italians make some great ammunition and these were created specifically for waterfowl hunting. The shells are used by the greatest hunters in the world and they’re engineered to handle a wide variety of weather conditions. You can hunt with these shells through damp marshlands and into blistering cold icy conditions. They’re fast, hard-hitting, and provide a wide variety of lengths and sizes to meet the needs of different hunters. The 3 ½ / 1 ½ ounce is great for large birds like geese and they also have non-toxic Tungsten rounds too. 

2. HeviX

These compressed-tungsten rounds are popular because of their density and power. One thing that gives these loads the advantage over many others is that they’re a mid-range tungsten-based load so they are affordable but still pack the punch necessary to take down waterfowl. The HeviX rounds are great at killing at long range and while they might look like rejects off the assembly line, they’re still blended with a density slightly less than lead at an affordable price that won’t make your eyes bug out of your head. 

3. Kent Bismuth 

These non-toxic rounds are 24 percent denser than steel and offer incredible wind resistance which is exactly what you need when firing into a tough crosswind. They burn clean and are safe in any choke so they won’t harm your barrel. Not to mention the fact that they have great knock-down power to take down any size fowl from medium-sized ducks to large geese. These are uniform pellets that are soft as lead but provide great patterns even at long distances. With a custom blend of powders that delivers optimal performance, you’ll get exactly what you want from this ammunition. 

4. Black Cloud TSS 

One of the greatest from Federal Premium would have to be the Black Cloud TSS. These are high-profile, expensive ammo so most people won’t go for them but if you’re looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to taking down geese, these are it. They come with a 60/40 steel tungsten blend with a flight control wad to help keep your shot pattern on point. They also feature a catalyst lead-free primer and a clean-burning propellant that won’t mess with your barrel. The most common offerings are the small 7 and 9s but they can increase to a 3-inch shell. When it all comes down, these are a great choice for stopping geese at long range. 

5. Federal Speed Shok 

When it comes to dropping ducks you need the right ammo for the job and everything from the Speed-Shok line is known to do just that. These waterfowl shotgun shells expand into new gauge sizes containing the best components to help you take down even the largest ducks. They provide your typical 12 and 20 gauge but they also have a 10, 16, and even a 28. This expansive number of offerings ensures that everyone has something they like. 

6. Rio Blue Steel 

The Rio 12 gauge ammo is one of the best options for duck and geese hunting because it packs a lethal punch while still being non-toxic so it’s a great choice for hunting in the wind and wetland conditions. The ammo has a high-velocity spherical shot with tight patterns up to 1,500 fps. It comes in multiple shot sizes from BBB to 7 which provides duck hunters a wide variety of choices to ensure you find the right ammo for your needs. 

7. Remington Nitro Steel 

We chose these as the best shotgun ammo for waterfowl hunting because they’re great in a diverse set of weather conditions be it intense wind or snow. They’re wet-pruf sealed to prevent corrosion and they come with high-velocity loadings and larger pellets to offer great downrange performance on geese. The Nitro Steel ammunition has more dense patterns than some of the other ammo in this review which results in a more lethal shot and higher payload. 

8. Apex Handcrafted Waterfowl Ammunition 

Apex specialized in the high-density tungsten super shot (TSS). They use an 18.1 g/cc density tungsten alloy which results in more shots for the same weight. You’ll get an improved down-range shot, consistent patterns, and high-density which is beautiful for waterfowl hunting. Best of all, this is an American Veteran owned and operated company with a huge selection of US-made, non-toxic, shotgun shells. 

9. Remington Wingmaster HD 

These Remington shells are ten percent more dense than lead and they provide great density for pellet count and pattern. They’re designed to stretch the kill zone so you don’t have to worry about being quite as accurate as you would with some of the other tungsten rounds in this review. They’ve combined density, energy, and shape to create a load that is great in varying conditions but has enough stopping power to take down a goose or large duck. 

10. Boss Bismuth 

These are a steel alternative which we haven’t seen too much of so far. They were developed in the 90s to help people who may have been using older shotguns. The problem is, the steel loads were way too weak to take down larger waterfowl in comparison to small game. That said, the Boss Bismuth is a great option because they now have copper-plated rounds for 12, 16, and 20 gauge that they sell directly. These rounds are much more capable of taking down a duck. 

Final Thoughts 

Duck hunting requires a unique mindset and skill set. This is where survival instincts come into play and who knows, someday we may be hunting and fishing for survival so the sooner we start to get our head screwed on right, the better off we’ll be. Either way, having the right ammo will help your game and make your life a lot easier. 

What Kind of Ammo Should You Buy for an AR-15?

The AR-15 is as American as it’s possible for a rifle to be. Originally designed for the U.S. Armed Forces by the late, great Eugene Stoner in the 1950s, the AR-15 would go wherever our troops went – first as the M16, and then as the M4 carbine. Thanks in no small part to veterans’ preference for a firearm they’re already accustomed to firing, the AR-15 has become the most popular rifle in the American civilian firearm market – the world’s largest civilian firearm market, needless to say.

But it’s not just the AR-15’s history that makes it American. The rifle’s intuitive, ergonomic design and ease of operation make it truly accessible to anyone, whatever their experience with firearms might be. The AR-15’s customizability also makes it an everyman’s rifle. You have total control over your own AR-15’s parts and accessories and can swap them out in a matter of minutes whenever the mood or need strikes you.

Don’t let Big Tech or the Woke Left convince you that the AR-15 is some dangerous “weapon of war that has no place on our streets.” It owes its popularity to good, law-abiding citizens who want a rifle they can easily build, maintain, and master, and is a true symbol of the average American’s right to defend themself and their own. It’s also a real hoot when you’re just looking to have some fun at the range.

Another reason for the AR-15’s popularity is the great variety of ammunition it can fire. Without question, 5.56×45/223 Rem are the most popular cartridges for AR-15 builds, but a few new parts will adapt an AR-15 for several other cartridges including 300 AAC Blackout, 7.62×39, 450 Bushmaster, 9mm, 40 S&W, and even 22 LR.

Lots of folks who just bought their first AR-15s often ask: What kind of ammo should I buy for my rifle? Well, that largely depends on what kind of shooting you plan on doing. Target shooting? Home defense? Hunting? There are ideal cartridges for all of these applications.

Before we start talking about ammo, let’s briefly touch on the differences between 5.56×45 and .223 Rem. The vast majority of AR-15s can fire both, but that comes with a caveat.

5.56×45 vs. 223 Rem: What’s the Difference?

Let’s not get too bogged down in cartridge specifications and technicalities here. In short, 5.56 and .223 cartridges share virtually identical physical dimensions. If you placed the two next to one another, you’d be hard-pressed to tell which is which without looking at their headstamps.

The major difference between the two rounds is one you can’t see: The 5.56 is loaded to generate a slightly higher chamber pressure. This basically means the 5.56 round produces a more powerful explosion than the .223 during ignition.

What does this mean? Only that a firearm chambered for 5.56 can also safely fire .223, as it is more than capable of absorbing the slightly weaker round’s chamber pressure. But the opposite is not true. A firearm chambered for .223 can become badly damaged by firing 5.56 ammo.

This isn’t a big problem for AR-15 owners, as their rifles nearly certainly have more versatile 5.56 chambers. On a final note, look into the .223 Wylde chamber if you are able. It is similarly designed to fire both 5.56 and .223 ammo safely, but its internal geometry is better optimized to give both cartridges their best accuracy.

Best AR-15 Ammo for Target Shooting

Targets aren’t going to fight back. While you would ideally avoid failures to feed and extract while you’re doing your thing at the rifle range, a dud isn’t going to compromise your safety. A squib load can hurt you, however, as it will deposit a bullet in your barrel to cause the next shot to blow up your rifle, but the point we’re getting at is this: You’re allowed to buy cheap ammo for the rifle range.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

The FMJ is the simplest bullet design for a semi-automatic firearm. This bullet has a solid lead core and gilding metal jacket, and will feed smoothly, prevent excessive barrel fouling, and maintain a flat, accurate trajectory throughout its effective range.

Not all FMJ bullets are created equal. Many cartridges (mostly steel-cased ones from Russia) are loaded with bullets that have bimetal jackets. Bimetal jacketed bullets are functionally identical to regular FMJs. Their jackets are made of cost-effective steel with a thin copper wash coating on the exterior. The main shortcoming with bimetal jacketed bullets is that they have a higher chance of creating sparks or a ricochet, as well as damaging range equipment. This is why several commercial ranges ban “magnetic” ammunition.

You may encounter M193 ammunition during your search for FMJ ammo. This is a military designation and simply means the cartridge has a 55-grain FMJ loaded to a muzzle velocity around 3,240 feet per second (fps). Like all FMJs, the M193 round’s bullet is not designed to expand as it penetrates soft tissue. That said, it will likely fragment into three or more pieces of shrapnel following impact at 2,500 fps or faster, which does make its terminal ballistics more effective for personal protection.

You may also encounter M855 ammunition. This is also an FMJ cartridge, but its 62-grain bullet is not magnetic because it has a bimetal jacket. The M855 bullet’s jacket conceals a seven-grain steel “penetrator” tip, which enables it to pass through sheet metal and other obstinate barriers. The M855 round’s combat applications are self-evident, but you may also use it for target shooting. Just take care that it will damage a steel target!

Frangible

Frangible bullets are essentially made of compressed non-lead metal powders including tin and copper. When a frangible bullet strikes a surface harder than itself, it will instantly disintegrate. This makes target shooting safer as the frangible bullet virtually eliminates the chance of a dangerous ricochet or splash-back. Lead-free frangible bullets also keep an indoor range’s air much healthier to breathe.

Some people use frangible bullets for home defense. They do so because frangible bullets are less likely to pass through several walls to jeopardize an innocent bystander. Adopt this home defense strategy with a grain of salt, though – a frangible bullet can still punch through a human-sized target and several layers of wallboard.

Boat Tail Hollow Point (BTHP)/Open Tip

BTHP and open tip bullets may superficially resemble the kinds of hollow point projectiles you would use for self-defense with a handgun, but they are in fact not designed to deliver terminal expansion within soft tissue (with a few exceptions, such as the Berger Hybrid Hunter). These bullets’ nose cavities exist because their lead cores were poured into place while they were still molten. As the result of their form-fitted cores, these bullets boast superior rotational stability.

BTHP and open tip bullets are favored for long-range target shooting. Their balanced cores promote greater accuracy, as do their ballistically efficient boat tails (which help the bullet retain more velocity throughout its trajectory so it can fly flatter and resist wind deflection). These bullets are generally manufactured according to a higher standard than regular FMJ bullets.

Best AR-15 Ammo for Home Defense

To be very certain, any target shooting cartridge is capable of quickly neutralizing a human-sized threat. An FMJ bullet may not expand, but at the end of the day, a sharp piece of copper-coated lead traveling at nearly three times the speed of sound cannot do any favors to its target.

That said, there are better solutions for self-defense than FMJ, BTHP, or frangible bullets. You would ideally have terminal expansion – in which the bullet widens inside of its target – for three reasons:

  1. An expanding bullet gouges a wider wound channel into its target to inflict greater damage.
  2. An expanding bullet exerts more of its energy in lateral directions instead of only forward, which similarly inflicts greater damage.
  3. An expanding bullet is less likely to pass through its target, thus reducing the chance of collateral damage (i.e. hitting an innocent bystander).

Soft Point (SP)

SPs are the most popular self-defense projectiles for AR-15 rifles. The SP’s jacket stops just short of covering its lead core at the tip. This enables the pliant lead core to flatten down throughout penetration, taking on a mushroom shape in the process.

Higher quality SP bullets will have bonded jackets. Bonding helps to prevent the SP’s jacket and core from separating from one another. As the result, the SP retains more of its mass as it tunnels into its target, which in turn preserves the momentum the bullet needs to penetrate deeply.

SP bullets may be marketed for deer hunting instead of self-defense. These projectiles are absolutely suitable for defending your homestead, however, as the terminal performance which fells a deer is by all means powerful enough to neutralize a tenacious threat.

Note that an SP bullet may also be called a jacketed soft point (JSP). For all intents and purposes, it is the same type of projectile.

Polymer Tip

Although some polymer tip bullets are strictly designed for long-range target shooting, polymer tip 5.56/223 rounds are virtually exclusively intended for hunting or self-defense. When a polymer tip bullet that is designed for self-defense plunges into soft tissue, its tip smashes into its lead core’s concealed nose cavity to force the bullet to spread outward in a rapid display of terminal expansion.

A caveat about polymer tip bullets: Even if they are designed for hunting, they may not necessarily be ideal for personal protection. A polymer tip varmint hunting bullet is designed to expand and/or explode in a flurry of shrapnel the instant following impact. This makes its terminal ballistics extremely deadly to rodents and other small game, but also makes it unable to reliably penetrate to the depth where a human-sized threat’s vital organs are stored.

Best AR-15 Ammo for Hunting

The important question here is what kind of hunting you want to do: varmint (and possibly predator), or whitetail. Small game is best hunted with bullets that expand very quickly, whereas medium-sized game demands significantly deeper penetration to ensure a fast, humane kill.

Varmint: Polymer Tip or JHP

You can go varmint hunting with any kind of bullet. A ground squirrel, which weighs about a pound, is absolutely going to die when an FMJ hits it. But you can do better by selecting hunting ammo that is specifically marketed for varmints.

Whether it’s a polymer tip bullet that’s designed for virtually instantaneous expansion following impact (such as the Hornady V-MAX or Barnes Varmint Grenade) or a JHP (such as the Speer TNT Green) that is similarly optimized for fast terminal expansion, it’s an excellent choice for varmint hunting. You may also look for ammo that’s optimized to deliver superior accuracy because hitting so small a target at long range can be quite difficult.

Deer: Soft Point (SP) or Polymer Tip

For deer hunting, you would be well advised to pick an expanding bullet. A 5.56 or 223 cartridge is relatively weak as far as deer hunting is concerned, so terminal expansion will help to drop so rugged an animal that much faster. Furthermore, many jurisdictions require expanding bullets during deer season for ethical reasons.

SP bullets are excellent for deer hunting. Winchester’s Power Point and Remington’s Core-Lokt are the two most popular brand name deer hunting bullets in America, and both are available loaded in 5.56 cartridges. Federal Premium’s Fusion SP bullet, which has the bonded jacket and core which together promote deeper penetration, is also exceptional.

SP bullets that are marketed for self-defense, such as Speer’s Gold Dot, also deliver deadly enough terminal ballistics within their target to make them suitable for deer hunting. A generic SP is also perfectly acceptable for deer hunting. The bullet’s design may be simple, but it hasn’t stuck around for so many decades because it is ineffective.

Several polymer tip bullets for deer hunting are also available, such as the Barnes TTSX. When selecting a polymer tip bullet for deer hunting, just make sure it’s not designed for varmint hunting for the aforementioned reason: It will not penetrate to the ideal depth to kill medium-sized game quickly.

A Final Note

Most people aren’t going to use their AR-15 rifles for hunting. They’re considered less than ideal for deer anyway. If you purchased your AR-15 for home defense only, then here’s my advice: Buy enough good self-defense ammo to fill at least one magazine. That will prepare you for a home intruder or some other unfortunate circumstance which a rifle is equipped to handle. You would ideally get enough specialized self-defense ammo to do a little target shooting as well, just so you can familiarize yourself with its unique performance.

Once you’ve got self-defense ammo covered, keep at least one 1,000-round case of FMJ ammo somewhere dark, dry and temperature-stable. Certainly buy more if you intend to fire it during target practice, but a single case of FMJ ammo won’t take up much space, is much more affordable than specialized self-defense ammo, and is still plenty capable of neutralizing threats during a prolonged or catastrophic emergency.

But more ammo is indeed always better as far as prepping is concerned. Lots of folks would tell you 1,000 rounds won’t get you far if the you-know-what really hits the fan – or during a global pandemic that causes an ammo shortage.

The Best .45 ACP Ammo for Range Training

The .45 ACP is perhaps the most iconic of all pistols on the market today. It was designed by firearms legend John M. Browning for Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1905. The round was tested over a period of six years alongside the Colt M1911 pistol. Both excelled during strict military testing and were quickly adopted by the U.S. military as a standard issue equipment, replacing the .38 Long Colt. The M1911 is the longest-standing military and  law enforcement handgun in the world.

The .45 ACP was immediately lauded as the best ammo on the market and was also chosen by the U.S. Cavalry and the U.S. Army. The military used .45 ACP handguns as official sidearms throughout WWI and WWII. They were issued until they were replaced by 9mm semi-autos in 1985.

The .45 ACP has had a regular presence in the history books. It was used in many military conflicts including Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, and the Tet Offensive. It was used extensively at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and was a favorite of outlaws Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillinger.

The .45 ACP on the Shooting Range

The .45 ACP is a favorite for range training with amateurs as well as competition shooters. Known for its high accuracy and deep penetration, the .45 ACP is known as a high performance round. It is also preferred by those that like to reload their ammunition or create wildcat rounds, loading their own ammo instead of relying on factory rounds.

Choosing Ammunition

Range training generally has its own set of rules, just like competitions. While governing bodies of most shooting competitions will not recommend specific types or brands of ammunition, they do have guidelines. When choosing ammo for the range, it is best to seek the advice of someone who is accustomed to shooting your specific ammo. Have fun  target shooting with different guns as well as a variety of ammo.

Reliability

Shooters require reliable rounds, so choosing the right ammo for your gun is crucial. Try shooting various bullet weights and brands.

Consistency

Consistency is another important aspect of choosing the correct ammo. Range training is the perfect place to test different types of .45 ACP ammo to gauge what will work best for you and your gun.

Cost

Shooters who spend a significant amount of time on the range can go through hundreds of rounds in a short period of time. Buying ammo online is an easy way to save money. Also consider trying different brands or sampling bulk or surplus ammo. Serious shooters may want to consider reloading rounds.

Testing .45 ACP Ammo

The only way to test ammo is to shoot a couple hundred rounds. There are specific protocols used to test ammunition, even if you don’t feel the need to learn about each type’s ballistics. The data collected during this type of test will help you down the road with making the right choice for ammo, whether you’re a competition shooter, law enforcement, or target shooting on the weekend.

The following is common criteria for collecting ballistics data:

  • Shoot from 10 feet away, which is the average distance in defense situations.
  • Using 4 layers of heavy fabric in front of ballistics gel to simulate real life situations.
  • Ideal penetration is 12-18 inches, enough to do damage without the risk of over-penetration.
  • Make 5 shots with each brand of ammunition to establish an average.

Consider using a compact pistol with a smaller barrel, if you plan to carry concealed. However, a longer barrel will provide greater numbers for muzzle velocity. This information will help you to understand things like penetration and muzzle velocity, as well as how to compare different bullet weights and calibers.

The Best .45 ACP for Range Training

Federal Ammunition: American Eagle 230 Grain FMJ

Federal Ammunition is always at the top of the list for range training. It produces a 230-grain .45 ACP cartridge with a full metal jacket, non-magnetic lead core, and non-corrosive Boxer primer. The brass can be reloaded up to five times, which makes it an affordable choice. The American Eagle .45 ACP is Federal’s newest production ammo, featuring clean-burning powder and ballistics like Federal’s Premium Personal Defense rounds. It is an ideal for practice shooting purposes.

Federal American Eagle Non-Toxic Primer 45 ACP 230 Grain TMJ

Federal’s American Eagle line has a solid reputation for manufacturing quality ammo at a reasonable price. This 230-grain TMJ was made specifically for range training. TMJ bullets fully encase the lead core to include the base of the bullet. They primers are free from toxic metals. It has a muzzle velocity of 890 fps, which is similar to their 230-grain JHP loads. It’s a great product to carry in your range bag.

Federal Classic Hydra–Shok Persona Defense

This 230-grain round has been on the market for a long time. The bullet is made with a central lead post to aid in jacket expansion while keeping the bullet intact. This allows the bullet to give consistent performance and is preferred by agencies like the FBI.

Federal Ammunition Personal Defense

Federal Ammunition Company produces a 230 grain jacketed hollow point (JHP). It is often called the best large caliber for self-defense regarding to accuracy, precision, and penetration while maintaining close to 100% weight retention.

Hornady Ammunition Duty Defense JHP

Hornady manufactures this 220-grain, .45 ACP +P ammo is an FTX that offers ultimate stopping power. It has similar characteristics of Hornady’s cartridges, offering accuracy, precision, and penetration with maximum expansion.

Magtech Ammunition FMC

Magtech Ammunition has been manufacturing ammo since 1926. They produce all components used in their ammo including the powder, primer, and projectiles. The company’s strict quality standards ensure this 230-grain round will be reliable. Magtech’s reputation and high quality ammo have put them at the forefront of the industry.

Speer Ammunition Gold Dot JHP

Speer’s Gold Dot has an outstanding reputation for delivering clean products. This 230-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) is an accurate round that gives controlled penetration that’s powerful enough to stop any threat.

Winchester Service Grade .45 ACP 230 Grain FMJ

Winchester is one of the oldest manufacturers in the country for good reason – they consistently deliver quality ammunition. Winchester Service Grade 230-grain FMJ is intended for those who spend a lot of time at the range and demand a reliable, clean-burning target ammo. They use new brass and Boxer primer to offer a highly accurate round to last you through your time at the range or throughout the competition.

Conclusion

Target shooting and range training are activities that can help you improve your skills while having fun with friends and family. Knowing which ammunition to use only enhances the experience as you hit the bullseye each time. To learn more about the .45 ACP check out this guide on “The Best .45 ACP Ammo For Self-Defense, Target Shooting, and More.”

Tried and True .30-30 Ammunition

Improved .30-30 ammunition

In 1895 Winchester launched the first version of the .30 Smokeless cartridge. It was made to be used in Winchester’s Model 1894 carbine and rifle. The rifle was a lever action repeating rifle. The ammo was also called the .30 Winchester Center Fire or .30 WCF. Winchester designed the .30 WCF as the first small-bore sporting cartridge created for smokeless powder in the U.S. It became the most popular hunting rifle in the history of firearms.

Birth of the .30-30

Shooters used the round in Marlin’s Model 1893 rifle. The company named it the .30-30 Smokeless or just .30-30 ammunition. The company added the second “.30” in reference to the standard load of 30 grains (1.9 g) of smokeless powder. Marlin wanted to launch the cartridge as part of its own line. They renamed the cartridge to avoid giving credit to Winchester, the company’s rival. The Union Metallic Cartridge Co. changed the name of its .30-30, as well.

Specs

A .30-30 cartridge is usually loaded with bullets weighing 150-170 grains (9.7–11.0 g), however, lighter loads are available. The cartridges can use up to 180 gr (11.7 g), but length restrictions of lever-action rifles commonly chambered for the ammo round limit their abilities.

Perfect for Hunting

Shooters call the .30-30 an entry-level gun for hunters. It has a light recoil which is easier to handle for novice shooters. It has an average range of 200 yards. The round is good for hunting medium-sized game like deer as well as black bear. Hunters report using the round on larger game such as caribou, moose and pronghorns. Seasoned hunters argue the effectiveness of the round on moose, especially at longer distances. Hunters use .30-30 ammunition for hunting moose in Newfoundland, Canada, but it is not recommended. It is not legal for moose hunting in Sweden, Norway or Finland because it does not meet the minimum energy requirements for the large game.

Tried and True

Firearms manufacturers sell guns that are far superior to the .30-30 when it comes to technological advances. However, many hunters return to their .30-30 rifles on a regular basis. Some hunters use the guns for a sense of nostalgia. Perhaps the gun was handed down through generation to generation, carrying with it decades of history, as well as memories. The gun might have been used to shoot for the first time or take down a prize target.

Some use the weapon because it is easier to shoot than those with all the extra bells and whistles. People like what they know. Additionally, a .30-30 rifle carries less weight which makes it easier to trek through woods and dense brush while tracking a target. Hunters get worn out by climbing hills (especially in the snow) with the excess weight of other equipment. In the end, it is the bullet and the aim that matters the most.

 

.380 for Self-Defense

.380 is a popular off duty weapon for police.

People who carry concealed for self-defense often choose larger calibers for their stopping power. The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) remains one of the most popular rounds on the market. Shooters prefer the round because it is lightweight and easy to carry with minimal recoil and muzzle blast. Police officers often carry a .380 as a backup weapon. Hobbyists and competition shooters choose the ammo for backyard shooting, competition and plinking.

 Development of .380 Ammo

John Moses Browning created .380 ammunition for the Colt Model 1908 Pocket Pistol in 1908. Browning designed the ammo after the .38 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge, which was made for blowback pistols. The military used .380 ACP ammo until it was replaced with the 9mm.

In 1912, .380 ACP ammo was introduced in Belgium, where it was named the “9mm Browning Short.” Military forces used the round throughout World War II until many replaced it with the more popular 9mm cartridge.

Other names for .380 ACP cartridges  include 9mm Browning, 9mm Browning Court, .380 Auto, 9mm Short, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, and 9×17mm. The .380 Auto should not be confused with .38 ACP.

The .380 Auto for Self-Defense

People looking for a self-defense weapon may choose the .380 ACP for its accuracy. The round has a moderate recoil and muzzle blast which works well for novice shooters. The round feeds easily and the guns chambered for this round are dependable. The ammunition is better than the .32 Auto, especially when it comes to stopping power. As a result, the .380 ACP has become the standard minimum chambering for law enforcement, military and self-defense use.

The popularization of the 9mm caused a decrease in sales for the .380 ACP until the mid-2000s, when the demand increased for lightweight pistols suitable for carrying concealed. Manufacturers have responded to the demand for weapons chambered in .380 ACP and have also begun to mass produce the ammo to be sold in bulk. The mass production allows consumers to buy .380 rounds for less money at retail sites as well as through online markets.

Stopping Power

The stopping power of .380  ammo is sufficient to stop a threat.  Some experts dismiss the round because it is smaller and less effective than larger handgun calibers. For example, the 9mm has more firepower, but the performance isn’t much different. The .380 round performs like a .45 cartridge rather than the .32 ACP, which is closer to its size.

While the cartridge may be weaker than larger calibers, the lower recoil is a benefit to novice users since the gun is easier to fire. The shooter also has less recovery time and can fire faster, which means a great deal when the shooter is acquiring a target. Manufacturers continue to chamber handguns for the .380 ACP, including subcompact models that are ideal for concealed carry.

 

Pros and Cons of the .40 Cal S&W

Pistols chambered in .40 cal S&W

The .40 Cal S&W is a rimless pistol ammunition created for the Federal Bureau of Investigation by firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester. The .40 S&W (10x22mm) was developed from scratch after the failed FBI shootout in Miami in 1986. The confrontation left two FBI agents dead, with five wounded. The agents fatally wounded the two criminals.

The FBI commissioned Smith & Wesson and Winchester to create an ammo that could be retrofitted into their existing 9mm semi-automatic handguns. S&W and Winchester based the new ammunition on 9mm and .45 ACP cartridges. The new cartridge would function as a medium velocity round mimicking the accuracy of a 9mm, but using the parameters of a 10mm load.

The team satisfied FBI requirements. The new medium ground ammo could be used by agents in a standard issue semi-automatic pistol. The FBI believed that the new standard issue would prevent another disaster like the one they faced in Miami.

Development of the .40 S&W

The FBI determined that the standard issue .38 Special revolvers had lost their effectiveness. They switched to 10mm cartridge and the S&W 1076 Auto shortly before the Miami shootout. The FBI determined the agents’ deaths were caused by lack of ammunition, heavy recoil, and the difficulty of reloading quickly in the field. It was imperative to find a new, more effective ammo to prevent future debacles.

S&W and Winchester completed the development of .40 Cal bullets in 1990, along with the Smith & Wesson Model 4006 pistol, six months after receiving the request from the FBI. The result of the collaboration was an ammunition with the stopping power of a .45 ACP round, with the ease of use of a 9mm.

The FBI adopted the .40 Cal S&W. Law enforcement agencies around the country quickly followed suit. The United States Coast Guard and police forces in Canada and Australia also adopted the .40 S&W and still use it today.

The FBI currently endorses the Sig Sauer P226 and P228, chambered in 9mm and .40 cal.

Specs

The .40 Cal S&W uses a 0.40-inch diameter lead bullet ranging in weight from 105 to 200 grains.

The middle ground ammunition has adequate stopping power for self-defense and concealed carry. The recoil is manageable for novice and shooters with a smaller frame.

The .40 S&W casing measures .85-inch-long, .424-inch at the base. It has an average pressure of 35,000 psi. The energy of the ammo exceeds the standard-pressure of the .45 ACP.

Based on ideal terminal ballistic performance testing in the 1980s and 1990s, the .40 S&W was touted as “the ideal cartridge for personal defense and law enforcement”. The .40 Cal S&W is almost identical to the ballistics of the .38-40 Winchester introduced in 1874, with the same bullet diameter and weight, as well as having similar muzzle velocities.

Alternate Names

  • .40 Caliber
  • .40 Cal
  • .40 Auto
  • 10×22mm
  • 10mm Kurz

The .40 Cal S&W for Self-Defense

The .40 S&W is attractive to civilians due to its ease of use and light recoil. People seeking ammo for self-defense situations demand accuracy and stopping power. The .40 cal meets those requirements. Consumers have a variety of options for bullet weight and design.

Civilians appreciate the same features coveted by law enforcement, including magazine capacity, muzzle energy, and light recoil. The round is accurate and easy to manage, making it ideal for concealed carry and self-defense. While it isn’t the most popular round on the market, most new firearms offer compact and subcompact models chambered for the .40 Cal.

9mm: America’s Most Popular Ammo

9mm handgun

Designed by DWM weapons designer, Georg Luger, the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge was introduced in 1902. Luger designed the round as a service cartridge for the DWM Luger semi-automatic pistol known as the Pistole Parabellum, more commonly known as the Luger.

The cartridge was compact and accurate, an improvement over previous ammo which was heavy. Pistols chambered for 9mm ammo held more cartridges than previous models, and they were highly accurate, surprising for its small size. Luger intended for the round to be lethal at 50 meters.

Alternate Names

  • 9mm Luger
  • 9mm Parabellum
  • 9x19mm Parabellum
  • 9mm NATO
  • 9-millimeter
  • 9mm
  • 9mm Para
  • 9mm P

Law Enforcement and Military

When World War I occurred, the military introduced submachine guns. Chambered for 9mm ammo, the guns were able to penetrate field gear, an essential part of eliminating the enemy. The submachine guns were fully automatic, and magazine-fed, firing up to 900 rounds per minute.

In 1935, the Browning Hi-Power was introduced. The gun played a large part in World War II, and therefore, 9mm ammo became widespread. Not long after the war, law enforcement agencies adopted the cartridge, replacing the .38, a standard issue sidearm. Civilians followed suit, using the 9mm for self-defense due to its size, weight, and low recoil.

Other milestones include:

  • In 1955,  NATO adopted the 9mm Parabellum as their official sidearm round.
  • The U.S. Military replaced the .45 ACP with the 9mm as their standard cartridge.
  • Law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD and LAPD, adopted the 9mm cartridge.
  • In the 1990s, many civilians replaced .38 Special and .357 Magnum handguns in favor of 9mm semi-automatic pistols. Being able to buy cheap 9mm ammo has encouraged users to keep up the trend.
  • In 2014, The Federal Bureau of Investigation returned to 9mm ammo after graduating to 10mm cartridges.

Police cite the following reasons for their preference:

  • Shootability: High accuracy, easier to shoot, low recoil.
  • Selection: The selection of pistols is vast. Many law enforcement agencies allow their officers to select their choice of guns chambered in the cartridge.
  • Longevity: Less wear and tear on the firearm. 9mm pistols will fire as many as 100,000 rounds.
  • Increased Capacity: Most 9mm duty pistols have a capacity of 17 rounds; extended magazines can hold 20 rounds or more.
  • Reliability: They are the most reliable handguns.
  • Ammo variety: Ammo has many variations and is easy to obtain.
  • Cost: Low-cost ammo, especially when buying in bulk.

Over 60% of police forces in the U.S. use 9×19mm Parabellum pistols.

9mm Ammo Design

The 9mm cartridge is a well-known handgun cartridge. However, it has reinvented itself over the last century. Pocket pistols, full-size handguns, revolvers, and submachine guns, among others all use this cartridge.

The 9x19mm Parabellum measures 9mm in diameter; its tapered case measures 19mm in length. Derived from Latin, the name “Parabellum” comes from DWM’s motto, “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” which means “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Self-Defense Ammo

The ammo is often chosen for self-defense purposes due to its lightweight and mild recoil. Women and novice shooters tend to prefer it over a .45 caliber weapon. The FBI has run field tests to dispel the myth that the load doesn’t have the same stopping power as a .40 or .45 caliber firearm. In combat, proper shot placement proves that the 9mm is equally lethal.

Civilians prefer the caliber for its excellent control and accuracy. Gun owners tout the ease of  carrying concealed with a subcompact gun.

With the wide variety of uses and easy access to bulk 9mm ammo, the round is sure to remain popular for many years to come.

Role Played by Fiocchi Ammunition in Sports Shooting

It is not a secret that the popularity of shooting as a sport has been growing at a rather impressive rate. Sometime back, the sport was more popular with law enforcement, military, and adept shooting enthusiast. However, this trend is changing. More and more ordinary citizens are taking up the sport. They will engage in target practice, Olympic-style shooting, military-style games, game-hunting and more. The Fiocchi brand has been playing a central role in popularizing the sport. This is observed in the following:

Team Sponsorship

In order to develop a sport, it is always essential to support the sportsmen and women. For many years, Fiocchi has been sponsoring many sportsmen especially in the realm of shooting. It also partners with other firms in the region as a way of improving the sport. The company sponsors individuals and teams in both local as well as international tournaments. For instance, during the Beijing Olympics, Team Fiocchi managed to win three medals.

Holding Regional Tournaments

The ammunition company has been behind many regional tournaments, exhibitions and fairs. The events allow the company showcase its products both existing as well as new ones. The company uses shows and fairs as the launching pad for most of their products. Besides getting a glimpse of the products, gun enthusiasts and other customers also get a chance to interact with the company as well as other individuals. This has greatly contributed to the growth of shooting as a sport.

Providing Fiocchi Ammunition

Fiocchi is a leading supplier of ammunition. The firm has for many years been providing different kinds of ammo. The ammunition is used for short guns, rimfire guns, long-barreled rifles and more. Individuals as well as institutions are able to source the right product from the company’s range of products. According to the company, they always invest in new technology as a way of improving the sports-shooting experience.

One of the key goals of sports-shooting is to have maximum fun. In fact, many individuals participate in the sport purely for the fun-side of it. Nonetheless, the only way you will be assured of ultimate thrill and excitement is by using quality ammunition. Good products such as Fiocchi ammunition come in a wide-range. This makes choosing the right product easy. The ammo is also manufactured from high quality material. In addition, the products offer high accuracy improving the overall experience while range training, target practicing or sports-shooting.

Stocking Up on Rifle Ammo

If you have a large selection of rifles then you will want to make sure that you always have plenty of rifle ammo on hand at all times. No matter what caliber of rifle that you have you will have no problem finding and stocking up on ammo. Whether you are a hunter or you just shoot for sport you will find that stocking up on ammo can come in handy as it will allow you to always be prepared to hunt or to head to the gun range.

Perhaps shooting is a hobby of yours and your choice of weapon is the rifle, being able to take your rifles to the range and show your skill is much easier when you have the shells that you need for your performance. Having plenty allows you to shoot as often and as much as you’d like. There’s nothing worse than having to stop your great day at the range because you have run out of ammo. Once the ammo you brought with you is gone, it’s time for you to go home as well and call an end to your day and to your fun.

Stocking Up on Ammo

Many people are into prepping these days and making sure that they have plenty of ammo is one of the items that is at the top of their list. People are filling ammo cans, cabinets and closets with ammo just in case of a national emergency such as being off of the grid. Although they are stockpiling many other items as well ammo is going to be a necessity for getting food as well as for self defense. You can never have enough ammo if things don’t go well.

Those that are in the work line of self defense will also make sure that they have plenty of ammo on hand at all times as well. You will find that a person that practices shooting for self defense can use a large amount of ammo. Anyone that is into guns and shooting is going to have a strong urge to keep plenty of ammo on hand so that they are able to have all that they need when they need it. Stocking up doesn’t have to be as costly as many people might think if they choose to purchase their ammo from the best places. Those that choose to reload their ammo are able to save even more money.

.44 Magnum – Clint Eastwood’s Choice

Shooting is one of the most popular sports around the world, which is included in many international events such as the Olympic games as well as the common wealth games. This sport has evolved over the years and now incorporates some of the most sophisticated technology to make this sport more accurate, like the .44 Magnum. Judges evaluate a candidates shooting skills on the basis of their proficiency, which includes accuracy and speed. A person accumulating maximum points at the end of a round wins the round. Therefore to provide a fair result accurate measurement is needed.

Sport Shooting

Enthusiasts divide sport shooting into two categories. The first consists of pistol and rifle shooting. The second consists of shot gun shooting. The pistol and rifle shooting is more popular amongst the two events. International events regularly include it . It is further categorized by whether a rifle or a pistol is used  and the distance of the shot. Most sport shooters prefer 10 meter and 20 meter shooting while in competition up to 80 meters shooting also take place. The shooters aim at marked targets. Judges score competitors on the two main parameters of time and accuracy .

Pistol Shooting

Many consider pistol shooting a more challenging event, as it requires greater precision and patience while shooting the target. The sport originated in the west, quickly became a famous sport and many arms manufacturer made special ammunition for the same like the .44 Magnum ammunition.

.44 Magnum

The Remington .44 Magnum was originally designed for revolvers. Manufacturers then quickly adapted it to rifles and carbines due to high fire power and effectiveness. Due to its high pressure and muzzle velocity, this cartridge had a deep penetrating effect. This made it suitable for shooting targets and hunting purposes. But this high energy round had a serious drawback of producing a very pronounced recoil and muzzle flash, this made it difficult to control, and required concentration and practice to accurately aim consecutive targets.

The .44 Magnum made a nice pair with arms like the colt, Smith and Wesson etc., with which it could hit long range targets with exceptional precision. This round was fairly popular amongst shooters. When Clint Eastwood used the .44 Magnum in his movies it became an instant hit in 1971.

Shotgun Shooting

Shotgun shooting, unlike the rifle and pistol shooting, requires the shooter to hit a moving target. In this event, a clay target called the pigeon, is thrown in the air by a trap machine and the shooter has to aim, locate and hit the target before it flies away. Consecutive target hitting make it more difficult and engaging than the steady target shooting.

Shooting, irrespective of whether it is rifle, pistol or shotgun is a game of discipline. Only those who have exceptional concentration and patience levels master it.