January 28, 2015
Every year at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, ammo manufacturers jockey to introduce the next best line of ammunition infused with the newest technology that promises to perform better and more consistently. This year didn't just feature a healthy load of new ammunition offerings; there were also plenty of refinements to old favorites as well.
The obvious trend this year was the development of more game specific ammunition with propellent reconfigurations, new bullet designs and new caliber offerings. So whether you're hunting a 170-inch whitetail buck in Wisconsin or those pesky oinkers in the heart of Texas, there was something for you at SHOT.
Check out the best new hunting ammo for 2015:
Winchester | Deer Season XP
Designed specifically for dropping deer in their tracks, Winchester's new Deer Season XP
is the company's first dedicated deer rifle bullet. Featuring Winchester's new Extreme Point polymer tip bullet, the Deer Season XP combines massive impact diameter and violent expansion with elevated ballistic coefficients to produce flatter trajectories, better long-range accuracy and higher energy retention.
With an alloyed lead core optimized for maximum energy transfer and impact power and a tapered jacket for deeper penetration, the Deer Season XP delivers where it matters most: greater accuracy in the widest range of rifles on the market. Available in April 2015.
Winchester | Rooster XR
For the upland hunter looking to reach out well-past their normal ranges, consider Winchester's new Rooster XR
. Utilizing Winchester's new innovative Shot-Lok Technology, the Rooster XR delivers devastating terminal performance on upland game with almost perfectly round-plated lead shot for tighter, deeper penetrating long-range patterns.
With a hardened resin that completely envelopes the lead pellets and protects the shot during in-bore acceleration, the Shot-Lok Technology is capable of sending loads at long ranges with incredible accuracy. Available in July 2015.
Barnes | VOR-TX
Though Barnes' VOR-TX
line of hunting ammunition isn't new, one area the line was lacking was a viable option for 5.56mm. This year, Barnes released the 62-grain TSX and 70-grain TSX versions of the VOR-TX. Offering all the same great features of the VOR-TX line like double-diameter expansion, maximum weight retention and pinpoint accuracy, the new options round out an already impressive array of ammunition.
Features include multiple pressure-reducing, accuracy-improving grooves in the bullet's shank and instant bullet expansion upon contact, peeling into four sharp-edged copper petals optimized for quicker, more humane kills. The VOR-TX is available now.
Black Hills Ammunition | .308 Winchester Match
Well-known for specialty and precision ammunition, Black Hills
continued to add to its popular Tipped Match King (TMK) lineup for 2015 with the introduction of two new bullet sizes in .308 Winchester
. With a sleek polymer tip which offers improved ballistic coefficients and better on-target performance uniformity, the .308 TMK is perfectly suited for whatever North American big game you'll be hunting this season. Available now in 168- and 175-grain options.
Federal | 3rd Degree
Turkey hunters seeking a more consistent pattern, whether hunting at long or short ranges, should check out Federal's new 3rd Degree
turkey load. Taking a page from the playbook of Federal's successful Black Cloud Close Range waterfowl load, part of 3rd Degree's payload is designed to quickly open into a deadly close-range pattern, even when using aftermarket turkey chokes.
The load also uses a dose of copper-plated lead for the more common 20- to 40-yard shots. And for far-out birds, it contains dense, heavyweight shot to deliver a consistent, long-distance punch. The entire payload is maximized by Federal's exclusive Flitecontrol wad, which stays with the shot column longer for even, reliable patterns. Available now in 3-inch, 1 3/4-ounce, and 3 ½-inch, 2-ounce loads.
24.95 for a 5-count box
Federal | Fusion
Whether you're hunting whitetail, elk, bear or coyotes, Federal's versatile Fusion
round is up to the task. Although Fusion ammo is not new, Federal continues to refine the popular hunting load for 2015. Using an electro-chemically fused production process to fuse the bullet jacket to the core allows the round to better retain weight and deliver a higher energy transfer for dropping game in its tracks.
Featuring a Federal-made brass case for stronger primer retention, a clean and fast-burning propellant that boosts velocity through 16- and 20-inch barrels, a boat-tail, internally skived bullet design works to improve accuracy and produce better long-range expansion. Available in calibers from .223 Rem. all the way up to .45-70, there is a Fusion option for any hunter and any game.
Federal Premium | .30-30 Win. Vital-Shok Trophy Copper
Just when you thought the venerable .30-30 Win. cartridge couldn't get any better, Federal has pushed it to its limits once again. For 2015 Federal is releasing a Vital-Shok Trophy Copper
version of this popular hunting round. With a tipped bullet cavity for consistent expansion regardless of velocity, an accuracy improving grooved bullet shank and copper-alloy construction that achieves up to 99 percent weight retention, the polymer-tipped Trophy Copper .30-30 Win. provides devastating downrange velocity and energy with less bullet drop. Additionally, like other offerings in the Vital-Shok line, the corrosion-resistant nickel-plated case aids in easier and faster extraction from the chamber, making this a round engineered to perform. Available now.
Hornady | Full Boar
Hogs can be damned tough to kill without a bullet that has sufficient penetration power. It then stands to reason that you need to get the most performance out of your round when you need it the most. That's what you're getting from the new Hornady Full Boar
Featuring Hornady's monolithic copper alloy GMX bullets for deeper penetration and 95-percent energy retention, Full Boar ammunition is California compatible and appropriate for states requiring non-traditional bullets. Available in a wide variety of calibers such as .223 Rem., .243 Win., 6.8 SPC, .270 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag., .308 Win., .30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag.
Remington | Nitro Steel
New package, same great load — with a few refinements. For 2015 Remington redesigned not only the packaging on its popular Nitro Steel
, but also re-engineered the propellant to deliver more consistent, tighter patterns at longer ranges. The folks at Remington understand just what the waterfowler demands from their load and put that understanding into the Nitro Steel.
Utilizing a reconfiguration of propellant in the shell and a tighter wad, the Nitro Steel is capable of hitting far-out birds at 60 yards as effectively as if you'd called them in to 10 yards. Featuring a greater hull capacity for heavier charges and larger zinc-plated pellets, WetPruf technology prevents corrosion with primer and mouth seals, and new high-velocity loadings, the Nitro Steel is available in a complete line of payloads for whatever fowling situation a reliable, heavy-hitting load calls for. Available now.
Nosler | 28
The introduction of the 26 Nosler last year was a resounding success; it only makes sense to build on that success in 2015. This year, the new 28 Nosler
is vying for the title of the most powerful 7mm cartridge on the market. The folks at Nosler may be on to something, too. Taking into account advances in optic and reticle technology, Nosler engineered the 28 for optimized ballistic coefficients and long-range accuracy, all while minimizing the effects of wind drift.
Built on a non-belted 7mm centerfire rifle cartridge, the 28 is capable of sending a 160-grain AccuBond bullet at 3,300 fps. With a useable case capacity of 93 grains of water, the 28 Nosler aims to be the fastest 7mm cartridge commercially available. The 28 Nosler will be available later this year in Nosler's Trophy Grade Ammunition and Trophy Grade Ammunition Long Range offerings.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.