You’ve heard it said, “A poor workman blames his tools.” Perhaps when it comes to firearms we might say, “A poor marksman blames his ammo,” but the fact is, your choice of ammo can affect the accuracy of your shot, either positively or negatively.
To optimize your hunting, action shooting, or home defense training experiences, we have some tips to help you choose the correct rifle ammo. It may seem enough to simply load the correct caliber for our specific weapon, but there are more considerations.
The first consideration when firing a weapon is knowing what you are firing at. A close secondary consideration is knowing what you want to happen to that target when you hit it. The shape, weight and composition of a round does indeed affect the distance it travels, as well as it’s trajectory. These things all affect how the round will react upon hitting the target.
How do you choose which rifle ammo you need?
For trophy hunting, you want a clean shot that won’t leave a big mess for the taxidermist to clean up, while still bringing the animal down quickly with the minimal suffering. For eradicating varmint, you want something that will do maximum damage to make sure you won’t be telling stories about “the one that got away.”
What is the best ammo to use for accuracy? Some may say the Winchester .308, which is the most popular hunting ammo, which has also been used most often by target-shooting champions. But in reality, if you are hunting big game, the accuracy differences are too minute to matter with a variance of an inch or two depending on distance.
The rifle ammo you choose should be based on what you want that ammo to do for you. If rifle ammo is chosen based on what it is used for, then it will be designed for accuracy. For longer-range shooting and accuracy, a spitzer nose is your best bet due to its aerodynamic qualities, velocity, and sharpness.
Take It Out
When you’re aiming at something closer to you, such as something or someone intent on doing you bodily harm, accuracy is less of a consideration. In this case, your target is usually impossible to miss, so stopping power becomes your first priority. Here’s where the hollow point is your best option.
On impact, these bullets expand into what look like metal pedals, causing maximum damage with each shot. This extra stopping power is also why some gun owners like to use them on the varmint. One round does the job, the kill is quick, and the aesthetic considerations with trophy game are irrelevant when shooting to defend.
Be careful though as there are certain legal restrictions against the use of hollow point ammunition depending on where you are located.
Packing A Punch
The bullet itself is not the only consideration; the casing has just as much impact on your choice of cartridge as the round. While the type of bullet has the greatest influence on accuracy and point of impact, the cartridge affects things like power and recoil, which can then indirectly affect your aim. Trying out different combinations will help you ascertain the perfect balance of ball and casing for you.
Your weapon may react inconsistently to different cartridges of the same caliber, but of different types. Guidelines are good to follow but don’t be averse to experimenting. Shooting out one full magazine is usually sufficient to tell you whether a specific type of round works well for your rifle and need. Once you have found your perfect match, it’s easy to find rifle ammo for sale online, and purchasing online is all about convenience.
Some controversy exists around this topic, but remanufactured cartridges may actually be a good choice, especially for practice. Remanufactured cartridges give you more bang for your buck, as the saying goes, and they have to go through the same quality testing that factory-new cartridges do, so they are reliable. In fact, all that is reused is the casing, which is why it is virtually impossible to tell the difference, other than the lower price. Do make sure, however, that you are purchasing factory remanufactured cartridges and not reloads thrown together in someone’s basement, as you want to ensure safety as well as quality.