2021 was all about keeping pace with demand. This year, there is a whole new crop of innovative ammunition products ready to hit store shelves.
For the past two years, retailers around the country have heard the same refrain week after week, month after month: Where’s all the ammo? There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the root cause of the ammo shortage, but here’s a succinct summation of exactly what occurred: millions of people (including over 10 million new gun owners) wanted to buy ammunition, and demand greatly outpaced supply.
Ammo factories are running around the clock and churning out rounds as fast as they can. A lack of raw materials has slowed the process, and ammunition manufacturers are faced with backlogs of orders that they are finding very difficult to satisfy, generally through no fault of their own.
Now for some good news: Ammo supplies are slowly but steadily starting to meet consumer demand, and manufacturers are once again able to get their products out the door. The even better news is that some manufacturers are rolling out new ammo products. Many of the trends in the firearm and shooting sports markets over the last several years have been driven by advancements in ammunition; high-BC bullets helped ignite the long-range rifle and centerfire-cartridge craze, improved handgun ammunition has made concealed-carry pistols more potent for personal defense, and ultra-heavy shot like TSS has made .410s the turkey guns of the future.
What will this new breed of ammunition do for the market? It’s hard to say, but it’s good to see so many cutting-edge ammo products in the works—and, hopefully, on stores shelves very soon.
Apex’s line of non-toxic premium loads is expanding with the introduction of new TSS/S3 blended loads. These duplex shotshells contain premium No. 7.5 TSS high-density shot with Apex’s zinc-plated steel shot. The TSS shot offers a density of 18.1 g/cc, which is considerably higher than lead, and when it is combined with Apex’s premium uniform zinc-coated steel shot (No. 2, 4, or BB in 12 gauge, No. 4 in 20 gauge) this blended load provides superb lethality and reduces cripples. These loads feature premium powders and tungsten-grade one-piece wads that protect the interior of the gun’s barrel and produce uniform, consistent patterns, making them a great option for serious waterfowl hunters.
The big news from Blazer (a CCI sub-brand) is the release of a brand-new 30 Super Carry cartridge load, a round developed by Federal (CCI’s sister company) for personal protection. This innovative cartridge utilizes a .312-inch bullet (same as the .327 Federal Magnum) and offers terminal performance similar to a 9mm Luger, but with more capacity. For 2022, Blazer will offer 115-grain FMJ 30 Super Carry ammunition in 50-round boxes. The ammo comes with high-quality reloadable brass cases and reaches a muzzle velocity of 1,150 feet per second, making it a reliable and affordable training load for the new 30 Super Carry cartridge. Also new is Blazer Brass Lead-Free Clean-Fire 9mm pistol ammunition. These 100-grain flat-nose rounds feature lead-free bullets and primers.
Federal is offering a lengthy list of new products for 2022, but none is big-ger news than the company’s 30 Super Carry. As the name implies, this round was designed specifically for the concealed-carry market and offers several benefits over existing cartridge designs. The .312-inch bullet is narrower than either a .380 Auto or 9mm, and the 30 Super Carry offers energy levels on par with a 9mm (and handily exceeding those of the .380 ACP) in a narrower design. Because it is smaller in diameter than these rounds, guns chambered for 30 Super Carry can hold an additional one, two, or even more rounds in the magazine without sacrificing terminal performance. In gel tests the 30 Super Carry outperforms 9mm ammunition. The new round is also accurate and produces mild recoil that most shooters will find manageable. Federal American Eagle is offering 100-grain FMJ target loads at 1,250 fps in 50-round containers for target shooting; Federal Premium is offering 100-grain HST ammo with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps in 20-round cartons.
Federal Premium’s new High Over All shotshell is designed for competition. These shells offer more reloads than competing ammunition and come loaded with high-antimony lead and one-piece Podium wads. There are currently 16 different 12-gauge 2¾-inch shell options with sub-gauge offerings coming in 2022.
The company also released the new Top Gun Paper Wad load in 12 gauge with a paper gas-sealing wad and a choice of either lead or steel shot. Force X2 Shorty shotshells are also available this year and are loaded with six Force X2 segmenting buckshot pellets in a 1¾-inch plastic hull. The company’s HST line of ammunition now includes two ammunition options for revolvers (.327 Federal and .357 Magnum), and .44 Special has been added to the PUNCH family of personal-defense ammo. The company’s popular Terminal Ascent bullets are now available as components, and there are additions to many other Federal product lines this year, including the Meat Eater, Gold Medal Berger, Trophy Copper, Hammer Down, and Fusion lines, among others.
Fiocchi’s Golden Turkey TSS loads provide dense patterns, deep penetration, and long-range performance using 18 g/cc tungsten shot. The 3-inch 12-gauge loads are available in No. 7 or No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,200 fps. The 3-inch 20-gauge loads use No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,225 fps. The three-inch .410 bore loads also use No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,100 fps. All are available in boxes of five.
Late last year HEVI-Shot introduced their HEVI-XXII tungsten waterfowl load. As the name implies, these non-toxic shotshells utilize premium tungsten shot with a density of 12 g/cc, which is 53.8 percent denser than steel shot. As a result, HEVI-XXII generates more energy with smaller shot sizes than steel, and smaller shot means more pellets and improved penetration and terminal ballistics. Both 12- and 20-gauge HEVI-XXII ammunition will be available with shot sizes of No. 2, 4, or 6 in loads ranging from 7⁄8 ounce to 1¼ ounces. Velocities range from 1,350 to 1,500 fps, making this a lethal load for waterfowl.
Also new from HEVI-Shot are HEVI-Hammer Dove and HEVI-Hammer Upland loads. These shotshells use pellets made from 15 percent bismuth (with a density of 9.64 g/cc) and 85 percent steel to generate 50 percent more energy at 40 yards than traditional steel shot. This results in more consistent kills, even at extended ranges. HEVI-Hammer Upland is available in 12- or 20-gauge 3-inch shells with either No. 3 or 5 shot; HEVI-Hammer Dove is available in both 12- and 20-gauge 3-inch shells with No. 7 shot.
Hornady’s newest hunting bullet is the CX (copper-alloy expanding). The CX is a monolithic copper-alloy bullet that’s suitable for hunting a wide variety of game at varying distances, and it’s fully California compatible. Regardless of where you’re hunting, though, the new CX bullet is a superb option because the bullets offer excellent accuracy and retain 95 percent of their original weight. The bullets come with grooves on the shank that improve performance and reduce fouling and bullet-bearing surface. They also feature Hornady’s Heat Shield polymer tip that improves aerodynamics, reduces heating, and provides the bullet-to-bullet and lot-to-lot consistency that serious long-range shooters demand. Ammunition loaded with CX bullets is available in Hornady’s Outfitter, Superformance, and Custom lines in a wide range of cartridges from .223 Remington to .375 H&H Magnum. Component bullets are also available in high-BC, heavy-for-caliber bullets, such as the 6mm (90 grain), 6.5mm (130 grain), and .30 caliber (190 grain).
Norma’s new Whitetail load is specifically engineered for hunting America’s most popular big-game animal. The bullet features a lead core with a soft-point nose for rapid expansion on deer-sized game, and it has a flat base and a thin jacket that isn’t bonded to the core. The result is a bullet that expands efficiently and reliably at a wide range of velocities and distances, transferring kinetic energy and creating large wound channels.
Nosler has developed some of the industry’s most iconic hunting bullets, including the Accubond, Partition, and Ballistic Tip. Now the company is hoping that their new ASP (Assured Stopping Power) projectile will be the new standard bearer in the defense-bullet sector. The ASP bullet is designed with one purpose in mind: neutralizing a threat. To accomplish this, the jacketed hollow point comes with skives that initiate expansion at a range of impact velocities. The jacket helps retains weight, creating a great deal of hydrostatic shock that is transferred to the target. Nosler is offering ASP ammunition in four calibers: 9mm Luger (115, 124, and 147 grain), .40 S&W (150 and 180 grain), 10mm (180 grain), and .45 ACP (230 grain). Subsonic loads will be available for the 9mm and .45 ACP, and ASP component bullets will be available as well.
Remington is under new ownership and is rolling out several new products for 2022, including a new version of the famed Core-Lokt bullet, the Core-Lokt Tipped. The new Core-Lokt Tipped bullet offers the same Core-Lokt jacket that made the original bullet famous with hunters because of its dependable expansion and reliable energy transfer on a wide range of game at varying ranges, but the new bullet features a new Big Green polymer tip that improves aerodynamics and accuracy and makes this bullet more effective at extended distances. The bullet’s center of gravity is also adjusted rearward to further enhance accuracy potential. Loaded Remington Core-Lokt Tipped ammo will initially be offered in .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win., .280 Rem., 7mm Rem. Mag., .30-06, .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag., and .300 WSM. Core-Lokt Tipped ammunition will offer premium performance at an affordable price.
Also new from Remington are two new 30 Super Carry loads. Remington UMC will offer a 100-grain FMJ 30 Super Carry load with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps that is affordable and ideal for target shooting. The company is also offering a 100-grain HTP (High Terminal Performance) 30 Super Carry load that pushes a 100-grain JHP personal defense bullet at 1,230 fps from the muzzle. The FMJ load will be available in 50-round cartons while the HTP personal defense ammunition will be offered in 20-round cartons.
Made in Turkey, SAR 9mm NATO FMJ ammunition features brass casings and military-grade weather-sealed primers. The ammo is designed to deliver accuracy as well as downrange performance. Available in 50-round boxes in either 115-grain FMJ or 124-grain FMJ.
Speer, another sister company of Federal, is offering a new 30 Super Carry load in their Gold Dot line of ammunition for 2022. Gold Dot is the No. 1 bullet chosen by law-enforcement agencies because of its consistent accuracy and reliable performance. The Uni-Cor chemical bonding process ensures maximum weight retention, and skiving on the bullet’s nose initiates expansion while still offering the barrier penetration desired by the nation’s top law enforcement agencies. The 30 Super Carry load will come with a 115-grain Gold Dot bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,150 fps that generates muzzle energies close to the 9mm Luger; however, the 30 Super Carry offers deeper penetration.
Winchester and Browning launched the new 6.8 Western cartridge last year, and the cartridge has already become a major success because it fits in short-action rifles, fires high-BC heavy-for-caliber bullets, and its .277-inch bullet retains more energy at 500 yards than a .300 Win. Mag. while generating significantly less recoil. The 6.8 Western is now available in the new Copper Impact line of ammunition, and that load pushes a 162-grain bullet at 2,875 fps, which makes it a great choice for almost any big game. It’s also offered with Winchester’s proven Power-Point bullet (170 grains).
In addition to the new 6.8 Western loads, Winchester is also launching bismuth non-toxic shotshell ammunition. Bismuth has a higher density than steel and carries more energy, and Winchester uses premium bismuth pellets that are tin plated and buffered. The resulting pellets are very smooth and round, which results in better performance and more consistent patterns. In addition, these shells feature a lacquered primer and double-seal wad that makes them water resistant.
Also new from Winchester, this year is the 30 Round Clip Pack that comes with 30 rounds of 5.56 M855 ammunition pre-loaded on stripper clips and a loading spoon. These boxes (which are about the same size as a 50-round 9mm box) fit conveniently on store shelves, and they make loading 5.56 mag-azines fast and simple. Winchester also added a new 10mm Auto personal-protection load to the USA Ready line, and this ammunition is loaded with a 170-grain Hex-Vent bullet. The Hex-Vent bullet design shields the bullet’s hollow point from obstruction and channels material flow, resulting in a consistent performance and positive bullet expansion. Other notable releases from Winchester this year include their Super Pheasant Diamond Grade, Xpert Pheasant, and Fast Dove High Brass shotshell loads and their USA Valor ammo series, which supports Folds of Honor with every purchase.
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