January 24, 2024
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Check back for updates to this article from SHOT Show 2024.
Whether you're into hunting hogs, ducks or whitetails, the best new hunting ammunition for 2024 is taking the spotlight this week in Las Vegas at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show. SHOT Show introductions for rifles, handguns and shotguns are splashy. But those don't go bang without ammunition. Here's the scoop on some of the top ammo that will be available for hunting this year.
Federal Ammunition has added the .360 Buckhammer straight-wall cartridge, specifically designed for lever actions and deadly accurate past 200 yards. Power-Shok offerings include 180- and 200-grain jacketed soft-point bullets. The .360 Buckhammer has similar energy and trajectory to the .30-30 Win, but with less felt recoil and better accuracy.
Hornady V-Match, 22 ARC
Hornady’s new offerings for 2024 include the V-Match featuring the ELD-VT bullet, which boasts exceptional aerodynamics, flat trajectories and violent expansion. It’s available in 22 ARC, 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Grendel. The 22 ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) packs power and performance in an AR-15 round or bolt-action rifle. It features the new 62-grain ELD-VT bullet that helps the ARC 22 rival the .22-250 in the AR platform. The round is a part of meticulous design and is available in 22 ARC 62-grain ELD-VT Match, 22 ARC 75-grain ELD Match Hornady BLACK, and 22 ARC 88-grain ELD Match rounds. Also from Hornady this year is a new 240-grain .338 Lapua Magnum in the Custom line, featuring the CX bullet. The CX, which stands for Copper alloy eXpanding, is a monolithic bullet with expanded range, better accuracy and high weight retention with deeper penetration.
Also from SHOT: Best Deer Hunting Rifles for 2024
Winchester’s 400 Legend offerings now include Deer Season XP, Super Suppressed and Power-Point, for hunters who want more options with straight-walled cartridges. The powerful cartridge is optimal deer, hog, black bear, and other big game within 300 yards and offers significant advantages in ballistics performance, recoil, and penetration. Winchester 400 offers similar energy as the 450 Bushmaster with 20 percent less recoil, and more than 20 percent energy than the .30-30 Winchester and 25 percent than the 350 Legend. For hunters who prefer slugs, the 400 Legend has 100 percent more energy than a 12-gauge slug at 100 yards but with 55 percent less recoil.
For varmints to big game such as hogs, deer and elk, handgun hunters should take a look at the new Hornady Handgun Hunter line. It’s build around the MonoFlex copper alloy bullet that retains 95 percent weight but offers great expansion and penetration. An elastomer material in the bullet’s hollow cavity compresses upon impact, then pushes out and helps with faster expansion. Available in .45 Automatic +P and 9mm Luger, +P, 357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 10mm, 44mm Rem magnum, 454 Casull, 460 S&W Magnum and 500 S&W Magnum.
Federal Premium has a big intro this year of new ammo for all types of hunting:
- Freight Train Copper 2¾ or 3-inch tipped sabot slugs in 12- or 20-gauge are designed for deer, hogs and other light-skinned game. The streamlined copper projectile and exclusive sabot design group well at 200 yards through rifled barrels thanks to its polymer tip and aerodynamic nose profile.
- Hi-Bird Bismuth, 12-gauge, No. 5 shotshells feature the same cellulose over-powder wad technology as original Hi-Bird Fiber Wad, but with a payload of 9.6 g/cc bismuth to meet nontoxic requirements. The pellets are 22 percent denser than steel.
- Six new loads in Prairie Storm Bismuth Blend feature the Flitecontrol Flex wad and Premium steel shot, No. 3 or 4, with the added performance boost of Hevi-Bismuth pellets, No. 5 or 6.
- Federal Premium Ultra Steel features the rear-opening Flitecontrol Flex wad with a payload of zinc-plated steel, producing extremely tight patterns. The 3-inch loads are available in a variety of standard payloads, as well as loads that feature two sizes of shot.
- Heavyweight TSS Turkey sees the addition of a .410 bore No. 7 load. The tungsten-alloy shot material’s 18 g/cc density is 56 percent more than lead.
- New Fusion Tipped offers the same terminal performance as the original bonded soft points but with a polymer tip that increases ballistic coefficient, flattens trajectories and boosts energy for better accuracy and extended effective range. Available in nine offerings ranging from 300 Blackout to 300 Win. Mag.
- Terminal Ascent grows this year with the addition of 7mm PRC in 170-grain and .300 PRC in 200-grain.
Read more about Federal Premium’s new products
If you’re a .223 fan, check out Fiocchi’s addition to the Hyperformance Hunt series designed for varmints and predators. It’s built with the same exacting standards of its bigger caliber cousins i the Hyperformance line. But the difference is a lead-free hollow point Barnes Varmint Grenade bullet, which is based on a frangible copper-tin powdered metal core surrounded by a hollow point gilding metal jacket. It’s designed to fragment and remain in the body cavity, leaving pelts relatively undamaged.
Remington Premier CuT is the newest from Big Green, a lead-free tipped copper alloy bullet that has yielded solid results in testing. The precision tip helps Premier CuT boast a high ballistic coefficient and flat trajectories, with instant expansion and energy transfer upon impact. It retains 95 percent of its weight. Precision grooves enhance aerodynamic performance, ensuring consistent and reliable results. It will be available in popular calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, 7mm Rem Mag, .308, .30-06, 6.5 PRC, 7 PRC, .300 Win Mag and 300 PRC.
Remington is now offering Core-Lokt Handgun, a dedicated version of Core-Lokt engineered specifically for big game handgun hunting. Core-Lokt Handgun provides deer, hog and black bear hunters with trusted Core-Lokt terminal performance. This projectile’s hollow point gives excellent expansion at handgun velocities along with high weight retention on target. Designed for accuracy from pistol-length barrels, the cartridges provide ideal terminal results fired from semi-automatic handguns or revolvers. Core-Lokt Handgun ammunition also features nickel-plated cases for ultimate dependability. It is available in .357 Magnum, .41 Rem Mag, .44 Rem Mag and 10mm Auto.
Two new .410-bore options have been added to the HeviShot Hevi-XII Waterfowl lineup. Included are a half-ounce, 3-inch offering in No. 5 and No. 7 shot, with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps. Hevi-XII is the original 12g/cc density, tungsten alloy recipe from Hevi-Shot, with pellets that hit harder from a longer distance. It is 53.8 percent denser than steel — doubling the downrange energy.
Upland bird hunters have more pop in the field thanks to the expanded Hevi-Shot Hevi-Bismuth Upland lineup. New this year is a 12-gauge, No. 3, 1.25-ounce, 2.75-inch load with a muzzle velocity of 1,400 feet per second. The Upland now includes two 12-gauge loads and one 20-gauge load. Bismuth Upland is 22 percent denser than steel. The non-toxic bismuth pellets are safe to use in classic and modern shotguns.
Remington Nitro-Steel Duplex is loaded with two sizes of steel shot: smaller shot provides close, concentrated patterns while the larger shot crushes anything close but sustains energy at distance. Shooters will have four shot combinations that feature Remington’s Power Piston Wad for top performance different choke tubes.
Winchester dives into the sub-gauge hunting and sport shooting zone with a modern look at the 28-gauge shotshell. New shells in the 28-gauge will be offered in XPERT Steel, Bismuth and Super Pheasant lines. XPERT’s steel payload is tailored for waterfowl and upland hunting. For hunters wanting a non-toxic shell for modern or classic shotguns, Bismuth offers increased range with downrange energy and better patterns. Super Pheasant’s copper-plated lead shot is paired with a tight-patterning wad for long-range performance.
APEX introduces a 28-gauge Mossy Oak Greenleaf Turkey TSS Blend for gobbler-chasers wanting to power up with their sub-gun. The new handloaded blend is available in 2¾-inch 1½-ounce loads, these duplex stacked loads feature No. 9 and No. 10 Tungsten Super Shot. This delivers a payload of of 665 ultra-dense 18.1 g/cc pellets in a 28-gauge shell. Each shell features clean burning powder and APEX’s Tungsten Propulsion Wad System for the tightest patterns possible and maximum barrel protection.