2023 Ammunition: Top 10 Cartridges to Hit Higher Sales
Stock your shelves with these 10 ammo options your tactical customers will be clamoring for.
As an outdoor writer focused heavily on our shooting heritage, I get to spend quality time with countless firearms, ammunitions and accessories. As a personal defense advocate and precision long-range shooter, often sending freedom seeds out to 2,000 yards, I also am quite demanding when it comes to consistently high performance standards. Additionally, my role as an industry communicator is to identify trends in products and activities — recreational shooting, competition, hunting, personal and home defense, types of firearms and accessories experiencing sales growth, etc. While the information we share as industry communicators is often geared towards consumers, the benefits to retailers cannot be overstated. You need to know what’s new, what’s trending and what is slowing down. This time, we’re looking at newly released ammo. Fortunately, the gap between manufacturing and empty shelves seems to be closing — it’s time for consumers to stock up! These 10 new ammunition offerings can help you hit higher sales.
Hornady 7mm PRC
Like PRC cartridges that have caused fall buzz in previous years, Hornady’s latest next-best-thing is the 7mm PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). Hornady’s 6.5 PRC wowed shooters in late October 2017, followed by the 300 PRC a year later — it turns out October is a great month to check the ammo manufacturer’s updates. If you were tuned in through October 2022, you likely heard about the 7mm PRC before anybody else. Is this the last PRC offering from Hornady? Time will tell. The offerings have impressed scores of long-range shooters and hunters, and the 7mm PRC only adds depth, performance and enhanced shootability to Hornady’s premium cartridge lineup. While my own ballistic calculating suggests the 7mm PRC, touted as the 21st Century 7mm Magnum, can certainly hold its own against the long-range likes of its big brother, the 300 PRC, out to a mile and even a tad beyond, the 7mm PRC also delivers roughly 30% reduced recoil energy. The result is what has become my latest favorite combination long-distance target and big-game hunting cartridge. That said, most of my 7mm PRC work focuses on 1,800- to 2,000-yard target shooting via a Remington 700 long-action magnum platform. www.hornady.com
Remington Premier Long Range
Like a Phoenix, various facets of Remington have risen from the ashes. Thanks to Vista Outdoor, this includes Remington Ammunition, and among the latest offerings is a new line of precision match-grade ammo branded as Premier Long Range. Among my favorite things in life, as a precision shooter and avid hunter, is premium dual-purpose ammo. As an example, Hornady’s ELD-X line is a great example, and Remington’s Premier Long Range family of cartridges follow suit — match-grade flight, controlled expansion and a robust array of caliber choices. Premier Long Range ammo features premium Remington primers and propellant, boattail bullet design, impact bonded body and Slipstream polymer tips for enhanced ballistic coefficients. Remington Premier Long Range cartridges are available in the following calibers: 140-grain 6.5 Creedmoor, 150-grain .270 Winchester, 175-grain 7mm Remington Magnum, 172-grain .30-06 Springfield, 172-grain .308 Winchester, 190-grain .300 Winchester Magnum, 190-grain .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, 140-grain 6.5 PRC, 175-grain 7mm PRC, and 215-grain .300 PRC. www.remington.com
CCI Clean-22 Hyper Velocity
With rising ammo costs coupled with the sometimes-challenging hunt for expansive ground to accommodate longer-range shooting, recreational plinking and precision match shooting with .22-caliber firearms is on certainly on the rise. Case in point, I spent quality range time with Volquartsen Firearms not long ago and also experienced Vudoo Gun Works’ .22 match rifles at the 2022 Precision Rifle Expo. PRS shooters have flocked to .22-caliber rifle offerings, too; in fact, performance chassis manufacturer McRees Precision has made .22-caliber trainers for years. Most recently, I took the plunge, too. I received a Luth-AR MCA-22 (Modular Chassis Assembly) and look forward to completing a match-grade .22-cal rifle project. That said, CCI, now owned by Vista Outdoor, has been a respected .22LR ammunition producer for nearly 50 years and a household name in my family for as long as I can remember, and in 2020, it launched Clean-22 ammunition — polymer-coated, lead, rimfire cartridge.
For 2023, CCI sped things up with the Clean-22 Hyper Velocity 31-grain .22LR. True to CCI’s Clean line of rimfire ammunition, the new Hyper Velocity variant keeps barrels and suppressors cleaner; in fact, CCI reports the Clean-22’s polymer coating results in dramatically cleaner barrels and up to 80% less lead fouling in suppressors. The Clean-22 Hyper Velocity 31-grain round touts muzzle velocity at a blistering rate of 1,550 fps and is a solid choice for competitive shooting. As it applies to that dual-purpose role I appreciate, it also handles varmints nicely. www.cci-ammunition.com
Berger Elite Hunter 300 PRC
“You can’t please everybody” rings true in various facets of life, and it also was the catalyst for the founding of Berger Bullets. By 1954, Walt Berger had determined no bullet was good enough, so he began producing his own ammunition in his garage. Soon after, he began loading for friends, and requests for ammo flooded in, especially among benchrest shooters. As a side note, Walt and Eunice were highly competitive benchrest shooters; in fact, Walt was inducted into the Benchrest Shooting Hall of Fame in 1993. The great takeaway here is Walt’s standard. He believed, and the company still believes, that even hunting ammo should perform as well as match variants — bottom line, he believed every round leaving Berger Bullets should be match-ready. As a result, and intentionally designed that way by Berger Bullets, Elite Hunter ammunition does indeed deliver match-grade results. As one last interesting attestation to Elite Hunter ammunition’s capabilities, the .300 PRC does have a reportedly better G1 ballistic coefficient (0.808) as compared to Hornady’s 300 PRC ELD-Match ammo (G1 BC at .695). If a BC like that doesn’t appeal your precision shooting customers, they probably are not precision long-range shooters. www.bergerbullets.com
Federal Premium Gold Medal CenterStrike OTM (Open Tip Match)
For more than a century, Federal Ammunition has been dedicated to enhancing the experiences of shooters nationwide, and for many decades, worldwide. For Federal, originally founded by brothers Harry and Louis Sherman, precision shooting ammunition wasn’t a core focus until the early ’70s. Still, they caught on quickly, and for nearly 50 years, under the Premium line of ammunition, Federal has maintained its rightful place within an elite group of manufacturers producing tried-and-true precision match-grade ammo comparable to the handload expectations of high-stakes shooters. For me, Federal Premium’s Gold Medal Berger ammo has ranked among my factory-ammo favorites; however, there is a new kid on Federal Premium’s block, the Gold Medal CenterStrike OTM (Open Tip Match), and Federal assures shooters, their latest offerings also include their tightest specs and best overall performances to date.
New for 2023, Federal Premium Gold Medal CenterStrike OTM Ammunition boasts a precision-built OTM design, Gold Medal’s premium cases and primers, a proprietary propellant and impressive ballistic coefficients. Currently, Federal Premium Gold Medal CenterStrike OTM Ammunition is available in several of today’s most popular precision shooting calibers: 70-grain .223 Remington, 140-grain 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester in 168-grain and 175-grain variants. www.federalpremium.com
Federal 30 Super Carry
.380 or 9mm for personal defense? How about neither! Federal recently unveiled the 30 Super Carry. Part of Federal’s Premium family of ammunition, the 30 Super Carry is a smaller diameter cartridge than ultra-popular .380 and 9mm Luger calibers. The latter two cartridges employ .355 bullets, while the 30 Super Carry’s bullet diameter is just .312-inch. While the 30 Super Carry’s bullet diameter is noticeably smaller, it packs quite a punch, outperforming penetration from the likes of .380 Auto (9.95 inches) and 9mm Luger (14.5 inches) with 15.5-inch energy, and muzzle velocity also is quite respectable. A 100-grain 30 Super Carry boasts muzzle velocity at 1,250 fps, roughly 100 fps more than a 124-grain 9mm Luger and 220 fps faster than .380 Auto 99-grain HST. Also worth noting, muzzle energy for a 100-grain 30 Super Carry is 347 ft./lbs. In comparison, a 99-grain .380 Auto HST delivers just 223 ft./lbs. and 9mm Luger eeks out the top spot at 364 ft./lbs. Of course, while performances between the three rounds are pretty comparable, the 30 Super Carry’s smaller cartridge allows three more rounds to be loaded in a standard 10mm, double-stack 9mm magazine. With such numbers and the opportunity to increase magazine capacity by three rounds, the 30 Super Carry is here to stay. Currently, Nighthawk Customs and Smith & Wesson offer handguns chambered for the 30 Super carry. www.federalpremium.com
Liberty Ammunition Overwatch
Unveiled early this year, Liberty Ammunition’s Overwatch line of cartridges are designed for an optimum combination of weight and velocity for hard-hitting terminal energy, deep penetration, controlled expansion and crushing hydrostatic shock. The primary way Liberty Ammunition reaches maximum round effectiveness is velocity and an open cavity bullet. Liberty Overwatch ammo comes in a black-nickel-plated case with nickel-plated bullets for smoother cycling. Liberty’s Overwatch Ammo is available in 9mm Luger, .45 ACP, .357 Magnum, 10mm Auto, .223 Remington and .300 AAC. www.libertyammo.com
Underwood Ammo Xtreme Penetrator 10mm
New being the common theme here, Underwood Ammo’s Xtreme Penetrator 10mm came to light earlier this year and has been embraced as an industry-leading personal defense cartridge. Overall, interest in 10mm handguns for recreational shooting, home defense and even personal defense has skyrocketed. Most notable among 10mm pistol ammo options is Underwood Ammo’s Xtreme Penetrator. One element carrying Underwood Xtreme Penetrator to the top of the critical defense cartridge heap is the bullet, a copper Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator. The nose of Lehigh’s Xtreme Penetrator bullet is uniquely designed for maximum penetration, as deep as 18 inches, and devastating, controlled expansion. Lehigh Defense has built a reputation spanning more than two decades for producing world-class bullets, making it the perfect choice to top Kevin Underwood’s Xtreme Penetrator offerings. After all, beginning in 2013, Kevin Underwood, frustrated with ammo options like Walt Berger was in 1954, simply sought to build better bullets. Underwood Ammo Xtreme Penetrator 10mm are certainly worthy of Underwood’s efforts and his name. Discriminating customers looking for the best-in-class 10mm defense ammunition are hard-pressed to find a comparable solution. www.underwoodammo.com
Black Hills Ammo 6mm ARC
Have a quick talk with Black Hills Ammunition owner Jeff Hoffman and you’ll quickly realize he has forgotten more about ballistics than most people learn over their lifetimes. Of course, Jeff backs up his ammo knowledge with range time, product development, premium components and ultimately, ridiculously consistent precision ammo. It would not be a stretch to suggest every Black Hills cartridge I have sent into steel (and animals) over the years has ranked among my favorites; yes, when it comes to consistency and accuracy, Black Hills Ammo is a top-shelf player. As such, 2023 news about Black Hills expanding offerings to include the 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) had me giddy. The combination of Hornady’s product development and Black Hills’ master craftsmanship are sure to please your most demanding shooting enthusiasts. Black Hills’ 6mm ARC features a Hornady 103-grain ELD-X bullet and is great for hunting, but more importantly, it is superb for precision shooting from bolt-action rifles and AR-15 platform MSRs from mid-range, clear out to 1,200 yards. www.black-hills.com
Norma Self Defense NXD 9mm Luger
Swedish ammunition manufacturer Norma is a worldwide household name among shooting enthusiasts. With more than 120 years of ballistic expertise, Norma remains a global leader in precision rifle and pistol ammunitions, and their latest pistol round, Norma Self Defense NXD 65-grain 9mm Luger, is yet another attestation to the company’s perfectionist approach to cartridge manufacturing. The Norma Self Defense NXD (Non eXpanding Defense) cartridge is designed specifically for home and personal defense, and features proprietary bullet fluting to maximize devastating energy while also eliminating expansion and, according to Norma, mitigating over-penetration. Moreover, the bullet design increases velocity (up to 1,730 fps) while penetrating soft tissues resulting in more extensive damage. www.norma-ammunition.com
Article by: tacretrailer.com