The SHOT Show has come and gone, so there have been a lot of new product announcements to sort through. For all of you that are interested in the new ammunition that is being offered, here is a round up of the new loads introduced for 2016.
All of the new loads are organized by manufacturer. Click the company name in the table of contents to be taken directly to that company’s new ammo. You can also just scroll down and see everything that the companies are offering.
Warning: this article is quite long at more than 6,500 words. Of course, that does not include photos, tables and videos. I won’t claim that it is 100% complete, but it is fairly detailed.
– two new calibers: 30 Nosler and 6.5-300 Wby Mag
– 5mm RRM being loaded again by Aguila
– Browning launches HUGE ammo business
– Federal, Hornady and Winchester offer many new loads
Some companies offer limited information, while others offer conflicting information. I’ve tried to double-check all of the information gathered at the SHOT Show with the companies’ websites and printed catalogs. In a few cases, the published information was incorrect and I’ve included the correct information here. Most often, I saw errors in calculated bullet energy.
Please let me know in the comments section if I missed anything.
Mexican manufacturer Aguila has a few new products coming in 2016. These include new rimfire cartridges and handgun rounds.
|40 gr JHP||2,300 fps||470 ft-lbs|
|45 gr SJHP||2,400 fps||575 ft-lbs|
|FMJ||not given||not given|
Starting with the rimfire rounds, Aguila is introducing three new 5mm RRM loads. The three loads are listed in the table above. The published energy levels were shown for both loads to be 383 ft-lbs, which are incorrect for the stated bullet weights and velocities. So the numbers in the energy column are calculated, not stated numbers. Additionally, Aguila has not yet published specs on the FMJ round.
The 5mm RMM, or 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum, is a largely dead cartridge after the primary rifles chambered for the cartridge, the Remington 591 and 592 were discontinued in 1973. Between those and the Thompson Center Contender pistols, it is believed that fewer than 100,000 factory guns were ever made for the cartridge.
In 2008, Taurus announced plans to introduce a model 590 revolver chambered for the cartridge. However, I do not believe a single gun ever shipped, and the product was removed from the company catalog. At that time, Aguila began making a 35 grain HP load for the 5mm RMM, which was the first factory ammo for the caliber since the 1980s. Since then, the company pulled that specific load.
Why the company is introducing three new loads in this caliber is a mystery to me. It may foretell of a new rifle introduction later this year. Or not.
Another interesting addition to the rimfire line is the .17 Aguila. This is another mostly-dead cartridge of more recent design. It was introduced a little more than a decade ago, but it was overshadowed by other .17 offerings like the .17 HMR. No specs are listed yet for this round.
|9mm 117 gr JHP +P||not stated||not stated|
|.40 S&W 180 gr JHP||920 fps||338 ft-lbs|
|.40 S&W 180 gr FMJ +P*||1,100 fps||484 ft-lbs|
Aguila is also introducing three new handgun loads: one in 9mm and two in .40 S&W.
The 9mm comes in an unusual bullet weight of 117 grains. Typical bullet weights in 9mm are 115 grains, 124 grains and 147 grains. There are other bullet weights available, but these are the most common. Aguila already offers a standard pressure 117-grain JHP in 9mm, so adding a +P variety isn’t a big surprise.
With the .40 S&W loads, the FMJ load sticks out to me. It is listed as being +P, or high pressure.
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) publishes standardized specifications for ammunition. These standards include pressure limits. For a limited number of handgun cartridges, high-pressure standards are also set. These are indicated as “+P” cartridges.
The .40 S&W does not have a SAAMI-approved +P pressure specification. That means the pressure generated could literally be at any level, including dangerous levels. I do not believe that Aguila would knowingly load any ammunition to dangerous levels, but it is a situation you should enter into understanding the potential problem.
Perhaps best known for its lines of all copper bullets, Barnes Bullets also offers loaded ammunition for both rifles and handguns. Its newest offerings come from the VOR-TX line of rifle ammo.
The company will offer three new loads:
- 308 Win 130 grain TTSX BT
- 300 Win Mag 190 grain LRX BT
- 35 Whelen 200 grain TTSX BT
At the time of this writing, Barnes has not released specs on these loads.
Black Hills is one of those companies that build great products, but doesn’t seem to get the fanfare it probably should. I like their ammunition, and so do a lot of other shooters. Well, for 2016, the company has a number of new rifle and pistol loads that have been added to its catalog.
Starting with rifles, Black Hills introduced a new .308 Win round and a new 300 Whisper round. Both loads use a Sierra Tipped Match King (TMK) bullet instead of a traditional open tipped match bullet. The TMK provides an improved ballistic coefficient and rapid expansion in target.
The .308 Win round uses a 155 grain TMK that is loaded to 2,750 fps. The bullet has a coefficient of 0.519. For the 300 Whisper, Black Hills used a 125 grain TMK running 2,200 fps at the muzzle.
In the handgun calibers, Black Hills teamed up with Lehigh Defense to create the new Extreme Defense line of ammo. The new line has two initial calibers: .380 ACP and .38 Special. Both loads use a solid copper bullet that is supposed to create a large wound cavity without expanding. The bullet design is similar to what Lehigh Defense already makes, but Black Hills uses different loads with different bullet weights.
According to the company, the new .380 ACP uses a 60-grain bullet that is moving at about 1,150 fps at the muzzle. Company testing shows the solid bullet penetrates to about 9-11″ in ballistic gelatin.
The new .38 Special load is a standard pressure round that uses a 100-grain bullet. The rated 1,250 fps is from a 6″ barrel, while a snub nose revolver produces closer to 1,000 fps. Penetration is estimated at 11″.
For 2016, Browning made a very aggressive move into the ammunition market. Previously, the company did not make ammunition. Instead of hesitantly dipping a toe into the water, the company introduced a complete line: rimfire, shotshell, centerfire pistol and centerfire rifle. Everything from hunting to plinking to self-defense is covered.
|.380 ACP 95 gr BXP||1,000 fps||211 ft-lbs|
|9mm 147 gr BXP||1,000 fps||326 ft-lbs|
|.40 S&W 180 gr BXP||1,020 fps||416 ft-lbs|
|.45 ACP 230 gr BXP||920 fps||432 ft-lbs|
Browning’s personal defense line of handgun ammo is called BXP. The BXP personal defense ammunition uses an X-Point insert to help prevent the hollow point from clogging when passing through clothing or an intermediate barrier.
Since the company opted for all handgun loads to use heavy-for-caliber bullets and operate at subsonic velocities, having some sort of mechanical assist would appear to be absolutely needed to ensure bullet expansion.
While these loads may wind up being exceptional performers, I would caution against using them for self-defense. Until the loads have some sort of track record, they are simply an unknown. I suggest sticking to proven loads like the Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST lines. In a few years, the BXP may be worth consideration.
To go with the self-defense ammo line, Browning also introduced the BPT target ammunition. These loads match the self-defense loads in both bullet weight and velocity. Instead of having an X-Point hollow point, these rounds use a full metal jacketed bullet.
For rifle hunting loads, Browning introduced two new centerfire lines. The first is called the BXR Rapid Expansion Matrix Tip. The BXR was designed specifically for taking deer and antelope. The bullet design combines a copper bullet with a copper/polymer tip.
|243 Win||97 gr||3,100 fps||2,069 ft-lbs|
|270 Win||134 gr||3,060 fps||2,786 ft-lbs|
|30-30 Win||155 gr||2,390 fps||1,966 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||155 gr||2,820 fps||2,737 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||155 gr||2,920 fps||2,934 ft-lbs|
|300 Win Mag||155 gr||3,260 fps||3,657 ft-lbs|
|300 WSM||155 gr||3,260 fps||3,657 ft-lbs|
As with other polymer tip designs, the tip improves the ballistic coefficient of the bullet and helps ensure rapid expansion. However, since the tip is a blend of copper (85%) and polymer (15%), the tip actually fragments when hitting the animal, increasing the wounding capability of the round.
The BXR ammunition will be available in seven popular hunting calibers. Please take a look at the table above.
For larger game, Browning introduced the BXC Control Expansion line. These loads are better suited for animals like elk, moose, mule deer and bear as the bullet is designed for deeper penetration.
The bullet is bonded to help prevent jacket separation. Like the BXR, these bullets use a tip to improve expansion and flight characteristics. However, instead of a polymer or polymer blend tip, the BXC uses a brass tip.
|270 Win||145 gr||2,960 fps||2,820 ft-lbs|
|7mm Rem Mag||155 gr||2,950 fps||2,995 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||168 gr||2,820 fps||2,966 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||185 gr||2,700 fps||2,994 ft-lbs|
|300 Win Mag||185 gr||2,885 fps||3,418 ft-lbs|
|300 WSM||185 gr||2,885 fps||3,418 ft-lbs|
The above table shows the calibers and specifications for each load in the BXC line.
Rimfire cartridges were not forgotten in the new Browning ammunition catalog. In fact, there are three different .22 LR loads in the BPR Performance Rimfire line.
The first load is a 40-grain target load that comes in bulk packs of 400 rounds. The bullet has a black oxide coating and is tailored to provide reliable functioning in semi-automatic rifles. From a rifle, these rounds are moving at about 1,255 fps at the muzzle. From a handgun with a 6″ barrel, Browning states a velocity of 1,060 fps is typical.
Another load is a high-velocity round with a 40-grain hollow point. With this round, think hunting and varmint control. Browning puts rifle velocities at 1,435 fps and handgun at 1,305 fps.
The final round in the rimfire realm is the fragmenting bullet. This 36-grain bullet will break into three fragments formed by the sides of the hollowpoint, while the base continues deeper in a fourth wound channel. I imagine the effects are quite devastating on groundhogs and the like. Velocity from a rifle is pegged at 1,400 fps. Out of a handgun, expect around 1,215 fps.
The final part of the new Browning line is the shotshells. The company is offering both hunting and target loads.
For you duck hunters, the BXD Waterfowl load offers plated steel shot combined with a specially designed wad to keep the pattern dense for longer range shooting. There are five 12 gauge loads and a single 20 gauge load. The 12s are offered in both 3″ and 3.5″ lengths with BB, #2 and #4 shot. Loads run from 1.25-1.5 ounces. The longer shells are rated at 1,500 fps, while the 3″ versions come in at 1,450 fps.
The lone 20 gauge load uses a 3″ shell with a one-ounce load of #2 shot. The muzzle velocity is 1,300 fps.
If you are into upland bird hunting, Browning offers the BXD Upland. The BXD Upland uses nickel-plated lead shot and relatively high velocities to keep a tight pattern with good penetration. Browning offers a total of seven loads covering the 12, 16 and 20 gauges.
The final shotshells are the BPT Performance Target loads for busting clays. These loads use lead shot with high antimony. As with the Upland loads, there are options for the 12, 16 and 20 gauges.
CCI, a part of the Vista Outdoor group of companies, introduced a number of new rimfire loads for 2016.
The Copper-22 are small game loads that use special copper blend bullets to conform to California’s restrictive laws. The 21-grain hollow point bullets are a special mix of copper and polymer. From a rifle, the Copper-22 bullets make 1,850 fps at the barrel.
One of the unique things that CCI makes is shotshells for handguns. These loads are typically good for snake and pest control. For the new year, CCI expanded its catalog with the Big 4 shotshells. These new loads use #4 shot to increase the useful range of the cartridges. Versions are being made for the:
- .38 Special/.357 Magnum,
- .44 Special/.44 Magnum and
- .45 Colt.
Big 4 shotshells come in packages of 10.
CCI wrings out every bit of power with the new A22 Magnum rounds. These .22 WMR cartridges use a 35-grain GamePoint bullet traveling at 2,100 fps for maximum terminal effect. The company designed the round to specifically work in semi-automatic rifles like the A22 Magnum rifle made by Savage Arms. Savage Arms is a sister company in the Vista Outdoor group.
Further proof that sound suppressors are becoming mainstream is found in the addition of another suppressor-specific round. The Suppressor 22 Long Rifle is a specialized load that is subsonic to reduce the noise signature. Since the bullet is moving at a slower speed, CCI designed it to more readily expand. The bullet is 45 grains and the velocity is 970 fps.
The final new entry from CCI is the A17 Varmint Tip. This is another example of CCI working with Savage Arms. Developed specifically for the A17 rifle, these 17 HMR rounds use a 17-grain bullet moving at sizzling 2,650 fps. CCI states the rounds can also be used in bolt action rifles chambered for the 17 HMR.
In 2015, Corbon announced the Urban Response 9mm round. The new round is similar to the existing, and quite good, Pow’rBall line in that it uses a round polymer ball to enhance feeding and increase the reliability of expansion.
However, there are several differences in the Urban Response line from the Pow’rBall line. According to Corbon, the lead core is softer and the copper jacket is thinner. Additionally, the jacket has deeper scoring and the polymer ball is made of a softer material. The result? More rapid expansion with a reduced over-penetration risk for crowded environments.
For 2016, the company stated the line will be expanded to include:
- .40 S&W
- 10 mm
- .45 ACP
Dynamic Research Technologies
Dynamic Research Technologies (DRT) stated the company will introduce several new rounds in 2016. However, the company has not released any specifications on the ammo at the time of this article. The information I’ve found so far indicates the following calibers/loads:
- .38 Special Terminal Shock round
- 9mm 124 grain Elite Series round
- 270 Win Elite Series round
- 300 BLK Elite Series round
- 308 Win 175 grain Elite Series round
As I get additional information, I will update this page.
Known for making Olympic quality rimfire ammunition, ELEY introduced a new .22 LR hunting round called the High Velocity Hollow. The new cartridge uses a 40-grain hollow point bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps.
ELEY uses a patented oxidation process on the case that turns it black. The oxidation has shown to better control the force needed to eject the case, which in turn improves the shot-to-shot consistency when dealing with supersonic rimfire rounds.
Federal Premium manufactures a lot of ammunition. Seriously. So, it comes as no surprise that the company would introduce a number of new products for 2016.
The big news from Federal in handgun ammo is the new Syntech line sold under the American Eagle brand. This handgun ammo uses a polymer coat instead of a copper jacket on the bullet to reduce fouling in the gun and minimize airborne lead – especially at indoor ranges.
Shooters might think that sounds a lot like Nyclad ammo, and you would be correct. Before being purchased by Federal, Smith & Wesson manufactured Nyclad ammo in the 1970’s specifically for indoor ranges. Federal states that Syntech and Nyclad are two different things, but that the experience with Nyclad definitely influenced the development of the newer product.
More information on the American Eagle Syntech ammo can be found here.
Another important handgun round introduced by Federal was the 9mm Micro HST. An extension of the incredibly effective HST line, the new load was developed for subcompact pistols with short barrels.
Shorter barrel length generally equates to lower bullet velocity. Velocity drops can negatively affect bullet expansion and performance. So, having a load tailored to short barrels can improve the performance of the bullet.
The new 9mm Micro HST uses a slightly heavy-for-caliber 150-grain bullet. Federal uses low flash propellants and nickel-plated cases for these rounds.
Federal is now making Practice & Defend Combo Packs. These packages contain 100 rounds of FMJ practice ammunition plus an additional 20 rounds of HST defensive ammo. These packs are made for .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
In theory, you could pick up one of these every month and head to the range for a little practice. Since it includes HST rounds, you can shoot the older defensive rounds giving you the benefit of getting a feel for how they perform plus keeping what you carry fresh.
Moving to rifle rounds, Federal Premium announced the addition of three new loads to the affordable American Eagle line. The first is a 300 BLK round that uses a 150-grain FMJ bullet. The second is a 6.5 Grendel with a 120 grain OTM bullet. The final addition is a 6.5 Creedmoor loaded with a 140 grain OTM bullet. These three rounds will be welcome additions to shooters of these calibers looking for reasonably priced practice ammo.
Federal also created a new line of rifle ammo called Varmint & Predator under the American Eagle brand. These rounds claim to be a balance of price and performance for high-volume shooters, and they come in either 40- or 50-round boxes (depending on caliber.) The following loads are offered in this new line:
- 17 Hornet – 20 grain Tipped Varmint bullet, 50-round box
- 22 Hornet – 20 grain Tipped Varmint bullet, 50-round box
- 223 Rem – 50 grain JHP, 50-round box
- 22-250 Rem – 50 grain JHP, 50-round box
- 243 Win – 75 grain JHP, 40-round box
- 308 Win – 130-grain JHP, 40-round box
Shooters wanting, or legally required, to use a lead-free hunting round might want to take a look at the new Power-Shok Copper loads. Federal added these copper alloy bullet rounds to its reasonably priced Power-Shok line to give California shooters (and others) a good option for putting meat in the freezer.
The Power-Shok Copper line will start with the following calibers:
- 243 Win, 90 grain HP
- 270 Win, 130 grain HP
- 308 Win, 150 grain HP
- 30-06 Sprg, 150 grain HP
Perfect for law enforcement and military applications, the new Tactical TRU loads with Tactical Ballistic Tip bullets are likely to gain the interest of professional shooters. These new rounds are made to military standards and are designed to function reliably in semi-automatic rifles. Two calibers are available: .223 Rem and .308 Win.
The ballistic tip increases the coefficient of the bullet while also encouraging more reliable, yet controlled, expansion of the hollow point. The traditional police sniper round – the Federal Gold Medal .308 loaded with a 168 grain Sierra Match King – is exceptionally accurate, but has poor terminal effect with significant over-penetration concerns.
The new Tactical TRU .308 with the Tactical Ballistic Tip offers much better terminal performance. If it can also deliver match-grade accuracy and good performance through intermediate barriers, Federal might have a new standard round for snipers.
If you are looking for a 5.56 NATO round for target shooting on the cheap, consider the new FC262 5.56x45mm NATO round. This load comes with a 77 grain OTM bullet and is built to military specifications. The MSRP is $21.95/20, so I would expect the street price to be between $15-17. Not bad if it turns in great long-range accuracy.
Also designed for the AR-style rifle is a new load in the Fusion MSR line: the 6.8 SPC. This new round uses a 90-grain Fusion bullet that is good for hunting and is optimized for the 16″ barrel. Federal already makes a 115-grain version of this round in 6.8 SPC, and this is an additional option – not a replacement.
I’ve used the .308 load in this line in a Rock River X1 rifle. It was a reliable performer, though the accuracy was not what I had hoped for: 3-4″ at 100 yards. That was consistent across several shooters. Unfortunately, I did not have another .308 MSR to check the load in.
Federal also announced several new shotshell products for the new year. One of the new shotshell offerings is the addition of 28 gauge loads to the Game-Shok line. These 2 3/4″ shells will contain one ounce of either #5, #6 or #7.5 lead shot. They are loaded to 1,220 fps.
The final addition to the Federal Premium ammunition catalog is the new 3rd Degree 20 gauge load. This new turkey hunting shotshell combines #5 lead, #6 Flitestopper and #7.5 Heavyweight shot with a Flitecontrol was to provide good patterns across a broad range. The idea is this single load can provide excellent patterns at close, medium and long (40+ yard) ranges.
Previously, the 3rd Degreee was a 12 gauge only load. Now in 20 gauge, the round is available to more shooters. The shells are 3″, and the total payload is 1 7/16 ounces.
At the SHOT Show, Fiocchi had a number of new products they announced. I’ve detailed them here. One thing of interest is the company also hinted some new products that would be released in the Fall of 2016. Fiocchi said these new products have “exciting new bullet configurations” but that it is “too early to let the cat out of the bag.” Curious.
Fans of the 30 Carbine will be glad to hear that the company introduced a new load for the caliber. Called the 30M1, the new load is part of the company’s Shooting Dynamics line. With a 110 gr FMJ bullet, the load is making 2,000 fps at the muzzle for 977 ft-lbs of energy. The brass cases are Boxer-primed and reloadable.
Keeping in the .30 caliber range, Fiocchi also announced a new 300 BLK load. This is a supersonic round with a 125 grain Hornady SST polymer tippedÂ bullet. Part of the Extrema rifle line, the round is loaded to 2,200 fps.
In the shotgun side of the Shooting Dynamics line, Fiocchi is also offering a pair of 12 gauge target loads. One uses a 1-ounce payload, while the second is a 1 1/8 ounce load. Both are rated at 1,250 fps.
In conjunction with Benelli USA, Fiocchi developed two new loads for the Ethos line of shotguns. While the shells will work in any other shotgun, they were specifically tailored to the Benelli scattergun. Both loads a 28 gauge loads that use 1-ounce loads. The first is part of the Golden Pheasant line. This shell can be had with #5, #6 or #7.5 nickel-plated lead shot. Shells are loaded to 1,300 fps.
The second 28 gauge load is in the High Velocity line for upland game birds. These shells can be had with #5, #6, #7.5 or #8 lead shot and are also loaded to 1,300 fps.
Perhaps one of the more interesting things announced by the company was a partnership with sport shooter Jerry Miculek. With Miculek, the company developed a line of 12 gauge shotgun loads for competition. Birdshot, buckshot and slugs are all options in the line.
Fiocchi is now offering a new match grade .22 LR load called the 22LRTTSP. This new rimfire load will only be made in small batches with the primer compound pressed into the rim – not spun. Accuracy should be on par with the other loads in the company’s Match and Super Match lines. From a rifle, the company advises shooters should expect 1,100 fps and “flawless functionality.”
For new handgun loads, Fiocchi had three additions to its catalog. The first is a .44 Special with a 200-grain SJHP loaded to 750 fps. The second is a .45 Colt with a 225 gr FMJ also running at 750 fps. The third one is the 7.62 Tokarev with an 85 gr FMJ. The Tokarev is running at 1,525 fps. For some reason, I thought Fiocchi already made this round, but it shows as new in their catalog.
Rounding out the new products, Fiocchi announced the company would begin selling range packs of ammunition. These are 200-round packages of ammo in the most popular calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and .223 Rem. Many people will shoot more than just 50 rounds on a range trip, so this is a move by Fiocchi to better serve its customers by offering a reasonably priced, single package solution.
For 2016, Gorilla Ammunition will make a new line of self-defense ammo called Silverback. The Silverback line will initially be offered in the following calibers:
|380 ACP||95 gr||850 fps||152 ft-lbs|
|9mm||115 gr||1,200 fps||368 ft-lbs|
|9mm||135 gr||990 fps||294 ft-lbs|
|45 ACP||230 gr||850 fps||369 ft-lbs|
|45 ACP (FBI)||230 gr||840 fps||360 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||85 gr||2,550 fps||1,227 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||205 gr||1,040 fps||492 ft-lbs|
According to the company, these all copper rounds are designed to open quickly and not over-penetrate. As such, they may not meet the arbitrary numbers of the FBI testing protocol. Keep in mind that the FBI protocol is merely a measuring stick for comparing one ammo against another. It is not an accurate predictor of real world performance.
If meeting the minimum 12″ penetration standard in the FBI protocol is important, Gorilla Ammunition will offer a .45 load that is designated as an FBI Penetration load. This load is engineered to perform well in the lab testing.
It seems that every year Hornady introduces a whole slew of new products. 2016 is no different with a new ammo line and a number of new loads in existing lines. Let’s jump in with the all-new line and then move on to the additions.
The Precision Hunter line is an all new addition to the company catalog that features the company’s new ELD-X bullets. The ELD-X bullet is a tipped hollow point bullet that has a special heat shield on the tip to prevent deformation during flight. Without getting too technical, it essentially ensures the aerodynamic properties of the bullet do not change during flight.
The ELD-X bullets were developed to provide excellent expansion at all ranges from point-blank to 400+ yards. The end result is a load that Hornady claims is match accurate, yet will have ample expansion to help anchor game where hit. Here is a quick look at what the initial loads will be:
|6.5 Creedmoor||143 gr||2,700 fps||2,315 ft lbs|
|7mm Rem Mag||162 gr||2,930 fps||3,088 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||178 gr||2,600 fps||2,672 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||178 gr||2,750 fps||2,989 ft-lbs|
|300 RCM||178 gr||2,900 fps||3,324 ft-lbs|
|300 Win Mag||200 gr||2,850 fps||3,607 ft-lbs|
|300 RUM||200 gr||2,910 fps||4,136 ft-lbs|
|30-378 Weatherby Mag||220 gr||3,025 fps||4,469 ft-lbs|
Hornady claims the ELD bullets are match-worthy, and they are backing that up with two new Match loads using these new projectiles. One is a 6.5 Creedmoor with a 140-grain bullet, while the second is a 338 Lapua Mag with a 285-grain bullet.
Hornady expanded on the success of the American Gunner line by adding rifle calibers. The four new loads all use match-style HP bullets that are geared toward target shooting, not hunting. All of the ammo is sold in 50 round boxes. The initial rifle calibers are:
- 223 Rem
- 6.8 SPC
- 300 BLK
- 308 Win
The Superformance line manages to wring out an extra 100-200 fps without a pressure increase in any given caliber due to the company’s proprietary powders and engineering. The loads have been popular for several years, and for this year, the company added two new loads.
The first is a 30-06 Sprg round that is loaded with the 180-grain GMX bullet. It makes 2,820 fps at the muzzle. That works out to be 3,178 ft-lbs of energy.
The second new Superformance load is a 300 Win Mag loaded with the same 180-grain GMX bullet. In this load, the bullet leaves the barrel at 3,070 fps for nearly 3,800 ft-lbs of energy.
If you are not already familiar, the GMX style bullet is a polymer tipped projectile that is made of copper. It is designed to deliver deep penetration and controlled expansion with a greater than 95% weight retention.
Developed specifically for deer hunting, the American Whitetail line of ammunition uses the time tested InterLock bullets in many of the popular calibers and bullet weights. Newly added, are the following loads to this line:
|270 Win||140 gr||2,940 fps||2,687 ft-lbs|
|7mm Rem Mag||154 gr||3,035 fps||3,149 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||165 gr||2,700 fps||2,670 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||180 gr||2,700 fps||2,913 ft-lbs|
|300 Win Mag||180 gr||2,960 fps||3,501 ft-lbs|
Another hunting line is the Full Boar ammo. As the name suggests, these loads are developed for hog hunting. To ensure penetrating the tough hide and bones in hogs, Hornady uses its GMX and Monoflex bullets in these loads. New for 2016, are several caliber additions:
|25-06 Rem||90 gr GMX||3,350 fps||2,242 ft-lbs|
|6.5 Creedmoor||120 gr GMX||2,925 fps||2,279 ft-lbs|
|7mm-08 Rem||139 gr GMX||2,850 fps||2,507 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||110 gr GMX||2,350 fps||1,349 ft-lbs|
|30-30 Win||140 gr Monoflex||2,465 fps||1,943 ft-lbs|
For big game safari hunters, Hornady’s Dangerous Game series of rifle ammunition is worth a look. The company loads for a number of calibers in this line already and added four more for this year.
|500-416 Nitro Express||400 gr DGX||2,300 fps||4,698 ft-lbs|
|500-416 Nitro Express||400 gr DGS||2,300 fps||4,698 ft-lbs|
|450 Rigby||480 gr DGX||2,400 fps||6,138 ft-lbs|
|450 Rigby||480 gr DGS||2,400 fps||6,138 ft-lbs|
The Dangerous Game line uses two different bullet styles: DGS and DGX. The DGS is a full metal jacket round designed for the deepest penetration possible. The DGX round is an expanding bullet, but the hard lead and thick jacket limits the amount of expansion so deep penetration is still achieved.
The traditional Hornady line, the Custom ammunition, gets several new additions also. They are:
|17 Hornet||25 gr HP||3,375 fps||632 ft-lbs|
|22 Hornet||45 gr SP||2,665 fps||710 ft-lbs|
|30 Carbine||110 gr FMJ||2,000 fps||977 ft-lbs|
|30 Carbine||110 gr RN||2,000 fps||977 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||135 gr FTX||2,085 fps||1,303 ft-lbs|
|300 Wby Mag||180 gr GMX||3,050 fps||3,718 ft-lbs|
|300 RUM||180 gr GMX||3,180 fps||4,041 ft-lbs|
|30-378 Wby Mag||180 gr GMX||3,190 fps||4,067 ft-lbs|
I don’t know about you, but the thought of shooting a whole box of those 4,000+ ft-lbs loads (and the Dangerous Game loads above) makes my shoulder ache just a little.
For handguns, Hornady introduced but a single new load: a Critical Duty round in 10mm. As 10mm goes, it is pretty mild: 175 grain FlexLock bullet @ 1,160 fps. Keep in mind that the Critical Duty rounds are built to a specific purpose: consistent performance in the FBI testing protocol. Maximum energy or velocity are not the goals.
Announced in late 2015, Liberty Ammunition will begin shipping the fastest .308 ammo on the market this year. The new load uses a 100-grain nickel-plated copper hollow point. This bullet is pushed to 3,500 fps and makes for 2,720 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.
Magtech announced two new 300 BLK loads for 2016. The first uses a 115-grain hollow point with a flat base bullet. It has a BC of 0.325 and is loaded to 2,280 fps at the muzzle.
The second new Magtech load is the 300 BLK with a 123-grain FMJ bullet. It is rated at 2,230 fps and makes for the third FMJ 300 BLK load in the company’s catalog.
I urge caution when considering the purchase of Magtech ammunition. I have tried various loads – both rifle and pistol – from this company and have had poor results.
When I encountered a problem with excessive recoil in one of their handgun loads, I contacted the company about the possibility of the rounds being improperly loaded. They did not want to see the remaining ammunition and merely said they would check into it and get back to me. They never did.
For me, I will not purchase or shoot any Magtech ammunition until such time that I believe the company’s products are safe and reliable.
Nosler has a number of new options for the new year. I’ll start with the biggest announcement: a new cartridge called the 30 Nosler. According to the company, the 30 Nosler combines the best features of several different .30-caliber cartridges to produce a single round that:
- headspaces on the shoulder,
- fits the same standard length action as a 300 Win Mag,
- has a more efficient powder column, and
- is 200 fps faster than the 300 Win Mag.
|Trophy Grade||180 gr AccuBond||3,200 fps||7,092 ft-lbs|
|Trophy Grade, Long Range||210 gr AccuBond Long Range||3,000 fps||4,196 ft-lbs|
The 30 Nosler uses the same parent case as the 26 Nosler and 28 Nosler cartridges that have been introduced in recent years.
Of course, the 30 Nosler is not the only new thing from the company. Nosler also introduced its E-Tip ammunition line. E-Tip ammo is a lead-free line of hunting rounds that are designed to offer good performance at a reasonable price. It offers 95%+ weight retention and deep penetration.
|243 Win||90 gr||3,200 fps||2,046 ft-lbs|
|270 Win||130 gr||2,950 fps||2,511 ft-lbs|
|7mm-08||140 gr||2,850 fps||2,525 ft-lbs|
|7mm Rem Mag||150 gr||3,000 fps||2,997 ft-lbs|
|300 Win Mag||180 gr||2,950 fps||3,478 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||150 gr||2,750 fps||2,519 ft-lbs|
|308 Win||168 gr||2,750 fps||2,820 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||168 gr||2,800 fps||2,924 ft-lbs|
|30-06 Sprg||168 gr||2,750 fps||3,022 ft-lbs|
The company also added three new loads to its Ballistic Tip ammunition line. Introduced in 2015, the Ballistic Tip ammo uses the company’s bullets of the same name and are optimized for deer, antelope and hogs. The three loads added for 2016 are:
|6.5 Creedmoor||140 gr||2,650 fps||2,183 ft-lbs|
|260 Rem||120 gr||2,850 fps||2,164 ft-lbs|
|7mm-08||140 gr||2,825 fps||2,480 ft-lbs|
In addition to the 30 Nosler mentioned above, the company added a 150 grain 270 Weatherby and a 129 grain 6.5 Creedmoor to its Trophy Grade Long Range ammunition line.
OATH announced a pair of new 12 gauge slugs for 2016. One new load is an expanding copper slug while the second is a fragmenting brass slug.
The copper slug weighs 1.25 ounces and is loaded to 1,600 fps. OATH states the slug can expand to 2.5″. This is part of the company’s Tango line of ammunition.
The brass slug is designed to fragment on impact. OATH states the muzzle velocity of this round is 1,200 fps. It weighs 2.25 ounces and the fragments it breaks into are roughly 158 grains each.
For the sake of comparison, the famous “FBI Load” for the .38 Special was a 158-grain bullet. The OATH round breaks into six pieces. Getting shot six times with a .38 is not the same as this round breaking into six pieces – but it is certainly an interesting thought. I look forward to seeing some testing done with this round.
In the last year, PolyCase Ammunition made big news by partnering with Ruger to introduce that company’s first line of ammo products. For 2016, PolyCase added a .38 Special load to its own Interceptor ARX line. The 77 grain bullet is loaded to 1,116 fps, though it is unclear what length barrel was used to test it.
Details on new ammunition from Remington is a little sketchy as the company’s own information conflicts. I’ll try to give you the best information I can, and we’ll just have to see what the company actually ships before the end of the year.
The Golden Saber Black Belt line of ammunition is a bit of an enigma. This ammunition was first announced by Remington at the 2013 SHOT Show. It has also been announced as a “new” product at the 2014 and 2015 SHOT Shows. I’ve not yet seen any “in the wild,” so I don’t know if the company has shipped a single box. Unfortunately, the media representative at Remington has not responded to multiple requests for information on this product.
The Black Belt ammunition appears in the .pdf version of the company’s 2016 catalog but is missing from the online version of the same catalog. For more historical information on the Golden Saber Black Belt, click here.
Remington announced a pair of new 12 gauge Ultimate Defense Buckshot loads that are on its site and in its catalog. One of the new loads has nine 00-buck pellets while the second is a reduced recoil load with eight 00-buck pellets. Both are 2 3/4″ shells.
Remington may also be expanding its Hog Hammer line to include shotgun slugs and buckshot. I say may simply because it is something referencedÂ in its catalog, but no specifications (such as gauge) or other details are provided. There is no mention of it on the company’s website either.
Sellier & Bellot
Sellier & Bellot (S&B) will offer loads in three new calibers during 2016. For the 300 BLK, the company will offer three loads:
- 124 grain FMJ @ 2,165 fps
- 147 grain FMJ @ 2,077 fps
- 200 grain FMJ @ 1,060 fps
S&B introduces a new 10mm load. This handgun load uses a 180-grain FMJ bullet loaded to 1,165 fps.
The final caliber that the company will offer new loads for is the 5.7x28mm. Currently, the company does not seem to offer any ammo for this caliber. S&B intends to release two loads for it this year. The first is a 40-grain FMJ round while the second is a 55-grain FMJ round.
Specifications for the new 5.7x28mm loads have not yet been released. However, the company is stating the 55-grain version will be subsonic. I expect that will be a very light recoiling load.
A quick note about S&B: S&B is owned by CBC of Brazil that owns both Taurus and Magtech. I’ve had numerous bad experiences with both Taurus and Magtech, and I choose not to purchase either company’s products for a variety of safety reasons. I recognize that other people have different experiences than my own, and you are encouraged to make your own decisions as to what you what to rely on.
However, I have traditionally had good experiences with S&B ammunition. The acquisition of S&B is a relatively recent thing, and I have hopes that S&B will influence CBC – not the other way around. For now, I will purchase S&B ammunition even though I will not touch Magtech.
SIG SAUER jumped into the ammunition market two years ago with a limited selection of self-defense handgun loads. Since then, the company has expanded to include a broader range of calibers, practice ammunition and even a rifle caliber. For 2016, the company announced the following loads:
|.38 Special||125 gr JHP||900 fps||225 ft-lbs|
|.357 Magnum||125 gr JHP||1,450 fps||583 ft-lbs|
|.44 Special||240 gr JHP||800 fps||341 ft-lbs|
|.44 Magnum||240 gr JHP||1,300 fps||900 ft-lbs|
|.45 Colt||230 gr JHP||850 fps||369 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||120 gr Copper HP||2,250 fps||1,349 ft-lbs|
I spent some time with several of the 9mm loads in the Elite Performance line and found they were reliable. Check out my full review by clicking here.
TulAmmo announced the company was now making brass-cased .50 BMG ammunition. This load uses a 680-grain FMJ bullet and is loaded to 2,707 fps.
Weatherby announced an entirely new cartridge for the new year: the 6.5-300 Wby Mag. This new cartridge is said to be the fastest 6.5mm on the planet.
The company will make three loads initially: a 127-grain LRX @ 3,531 fps, a 130-grain Scirocco II @ 3,476 fps and a 140-grain A-Frame @ 3,395 fps. The company will also offer rifles in this new caliber, but that’s a story for another day.
2016 marks the 150th anniversary of Winchester Repeating Arms and Winchester Ammunition. Understandably, the companies are proud of their long-standing place in firearms development and are introducing a variety of commemorative guns and ammo loads. If you are interested in any of the commemorative ammunition, keep your eyes open for special silver and red boxes with “150” emblazoned on them.
Beyond the company’s anniversary celebration, Winchester is introducing a number of new products this year. First up is the expansion of the Deer Season XP line. Launched in 2015, this hunting cartridge has become quite popular. For this year, the company adds three more calibers to the lineup:
|7mm-08||140 gr||2,800 fps||2,437 ft-lbs|
|30-30 Win||150 gr||2,390 fps||1,902 ft-lbs|
|300 BLK||150 gr||1,900 fps||1,202 ft-lbs|
Winchester is also launching a brand new line called Expedition Big Game. These rounds are designed “for the toughest hunts in the world.” Specifications have not yet been released, but what we know is that the rounds will use the company’s Accubond CT bullets that are good against tough skin and thick bone.
The bullets use a polymer tip to improve the ballistic coefficient while the bullet structure provides limited expansion with deep penetration. This line will include the following calibers:
- 270 Win
- 270 WSM
- 7mm Rem Mag
- 7mm WSM
- 30-06 Sprg
- 300 Win Mag
- 300 WSM
- 325 WSM
- 338 Win Mag
- 338 Lapua Mag
If varmints or predators are what you are hunting, Winchester expanded its Varmint X line to include the 17 Hornet and 20 Hornet. These are very zippy cartridges. With a 35 grain bullet, the 22 Hornet is moving at 3,100 fps. The 17 Hornet is even faster at 3,650 fps with a 20 grain bullet. The Varmint X line has been around for several years and includes other calibers such as the .204 Ruger, .22-250 Rem and the .223 Rem.
Looking to knock out varmints with a rimfire cartridge? Take a look at the new 17 WSM Power-Core. The 17 WSM (Winchester Super Magnum) is a blazingly-fast rimfire cartridge that operates at centerfire rifle velocities. The Power-Core load uses a 20 grain, copper hollow point bullet that makes for 2,875 fps at the muzzle.
Another rimfire introduction is the M-22 Subsonic. This is a subsonic .22 LR cartridge that was designed to reliably operate in semi-automatic rifles and pistols, both with and without a sound suppressor. According to the company, when shot from a rifle fitted with a suppressor, the noise is only 116 dB.
The bullet is a 45 grain plated projectile that is moving at 1,090 fps from a rifle barrel. These will be sold in packs of 100 and 800.
Moving on to handguns, Winchester announced a new line of steel-cased practice ammunition called USA Forged. Initially, the line will only contain a 9mm offering. However, I expect this to expand if consumers show an interest in the line. The ammo will be sold in boxes of 150 rounds, and yes, the ammunition is manufactured in the United States. Check out my review of USA Forged ammunition here.
Another product for pistol shooters is the Super Clean line. This line offers 9mm and .40 S&W ammo that uses zinc core bullets with a total brass jacket. This eliminates any airborne lead concerns from extensive shooting at an indoor range.
With a zinc core, the bullets are lighter than normally seen in the calibers. The 9mm uses a 90-grain bullet that is traveling at 1,325 fps. The .40 S&W bullet weighs 120 grains and clocks at 1,250 fps.
Winchester hasn’t neglected shotgun shooters for 2016. For the 28 gauge crowd, the company is offering two new reduced recoil Super-X shotshells for upland hunters. Both are 2 3/4″ shells with 3/4 ounce payloads. One uses #5 shot, while the other uses #6 shot. The velocities on both are a relatively mild 1,295 fps.
Winchester’s final new offering is a 12 gauge Varmint-X shotshell. This new load packs 1.5 ounces of BBs into the 3″ shell. Winchester then fills the shell with a liquid gel that hardens. Called Shot-Lok, this system is said to produce very tight patterns at long ranges. Winchester states the BBs will penetrate more than 12″ at 40 yards.