15 Ammo Options to Load Up on Sales

Ammo is (mostly) back on shelves. Now that you can get almost anything again, what should you be stocking?

15 Ammo Options to Load Up on Sales

Here in the good ol’ USA, shooting is big business. While a February 2020 Statista report suggests nearly 26 million Americans enjoy target shooting annually, the NSSF’s most recent estimate sits conservatively at 20 million, about 6% of the nation’s population. Of course, we also know there are roughly 400 million firearms in the hands of American citizens today, and Americans spend upwards of $17 billion on target shooting, with an overall U.S. economic impact of nearly $28 billion annually. 

Obviously, this revenue stream is derived from purchases of firearms, accessories, range fees and more; however, considering firearms need to eat, a healthy percentage undoubtedly is dedicated to ammunition purchases. After all, what good are firearms without freedom seeds? Even better, it appears the years-long global shortage on most ammunition is mostly behind us. More than in the previous handful of years, ammo is available and affordable — depending on one’s uses and budget — for nearly all shooting enthusiasts.

This is good news, since the popularity of target shooting remains quite strong, whether for recreation, defensive training or competition. In fact, according to the NSSF, target shooting as a sport outnumbers soccer players (14 million), baseball players (12 million) and skiers (6 million) nationwide. Add in the effect of a recent pandemic and changing political climates and there has never been a better time to stock your retail shelves with ammo and load up on sales. Considering the historic growth and popularity of firearm ownership and shooting in general, consider this roundup of ammunition for space on your retail shelves.  

Hornady 22 ARC BLACK

Unveiled in late October 2023, Hornady’s 22 ARC is the latest, greatest offering in the Advanced Rifle Cartridge family. In a nutshell, fans of the .22-250 can finally shoot a cartridge offering similar ballistic attributes from a small-frame AR-15 platform. Hornady offers the new cartridge in three match-worthy options: V-Match, ELD-Match and BLACK. The latter, with a 75-grain bullet, is likely to be a popular option for retail customers looking for surgically precise accuracy at more affordable pricing without giving up much on key factors like ballistic coefficient. Based on a 6.5 Grendel case necked down to a .224 bullet diameter, Hornady’s BLACK 22 ARC delivers a muzzle velocity of 3,075 fps and an impressive G1 ballistic coefficient (BC) of .467. From a 24-inch test barrel, the 22 ARC maintains supersonic velocity out to 1,200 yards with impressive accuracy to 1,000 yards. www.hornady.com

Hornady 7mm PRC ELD Match

Precision long-range shooters have had quite a love affair with Hornady’s 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC in recent years. My firsthand experiences with both include impressive groupings at 1,800 yards (6.5 PRC) and 2,000 yards (300 PRC). Shooters are likely to see comparable flight performance between 300 PRC and 7mm PRC; however, the 7mm PRC delivers about 30% less recoil. For a cartridge capable of generating 2,000-yard impacts and big smiles, it’s incredibly comfortable to shoot — a tad heavier than the recoil impulse of the 6.5 PRC. Hornady’s 180-grain 7mm PRC ELD Match ammo blazes downrange at 2,975 fps, with a jaw-dropping G1 BC of .796. For long-range shooters, it’s a dream come true!

Federal Premium Gold SMK .308

My affinity for long-range shooting began behind a McRees Precision BR10 Rifle chambered in .308 Winchester and early mentoring with McRee himself, along with friend and Top Shot season two winner Chris Reed. My world-class mentors knew a thing or two about long-range shooting with a .308 Winchester and chose 168-grain Sierra Match King (SMK) bullets over any other in that caliber. Today, SMK bullets remain a top choice for discriminating shooters, making Federal Premium Gold SMK .308 ammo a safe precision-shooting bet. Federal Premium Gold SMK 168-grain ammo boasts a boat-tail hollowpoint bullet, muzzle velocity of 2,650 fps and G1 BC of .462. Customers can expect great accuracy out to 1,000 yards from a match-grade barrel. www.federalpremium.com

Federal Premium .30 Super Carry

On the hunt for a sweet-spot personal-defense pistol cartridge between the .380 Auto and 9mm Luger, Federal Premium introduced the 30 Super Carry in January 2022. The .30 Super Carry expands on the compact size of the .380 ACP with longer case like that of the 9mm Luger, and a .312-inch bullet diameter. The results are a slightly narrower cartridge allowing for an average magazine capacity increase of two rounds, more desirable ballistic performance on par with the 9mm Luger, and reduced recoil impulse for more comfortable shooting. Initially, the .30 Super Carry was available in Smith & Wesson striker-fired Shield EZ and Shield Plus pistols, as well as Nighthawk Customs’ GRP and President hammer-fired models. 

Winchester Defender 12-Gauge 

They say one of the most recognizable sounds in the world is the cycling of a shotgun’s pump action. Second to handguns, shotguns are incredibly popular home-defense tools, and for good reason. First, the sound of a cycling shotgun speaks volumes through a door or from another room. Second, it’s a safer option as it relates to projectiles penetrating walls, depending on the load chosen. New for 2022, Winchester presented Defender 12-gauge shotshells with No. 2 copper-plated lead shot. Winchester touts Defender as the perfect 12-gauge close-range defense shotshell with benefits including “more manageable recoil for faster follow-up shots.” Customers choosing shotguns as home-defense firearms of choice will be happy to learn Winchester reports an average of 100 pellets on target at 1,145 fps muzzle velocity. www.winchester.com

Winchester Silvertip 9mm

With 45 years of proven reliability under Winchester’s Silvertip reputation, Silvertip 9mm Luger 115-grain ammunition is a perfect cartridge solution for reliable threat-stopping performance. Silvertip 9mm ammo boasts hollowpoint construction for optimum defensive power and an engineered jacket profile for controlled expansion, as well as enhanced accuracy. Winchester’s Silvertip 9mm ammunition features a muzzle velocity of 1,225 fps and 383 ft./lbs. of energy. 

Winchester 5.56 M855 Green Tip

Perhaps Winchester’s most recognizable ammunition family, “white box” offers the brand’s best value in terms of the intersection of performance and affordability. For semi-auto AR enthusiasts, the most popular just might be Winchester’s full metal jacket, 62-grain 5.56mm M855 Green Tip ammo. This is truly a nod to my own days in the Marine Corps; I have a wealth of experience shooting M855 green-tip cartridges and appreciate the round’s accuracy out to 500 yards, as well as respectable energy at close- to mid-range distances. Winchester’s M855 Green Tip cartridge boasts a muzzle velocity of 3,050 fps and energy of 1,289 ft./lbs. With respect to retail customers interested in a multi-purpose cartridge, from personal and home defense to carbine training and mid-range accuracy, it’s quite possibly a perfect choice. 

Remington UMC .223 Remington 

When it comes to AR-15 ammunition, Remington ranks among the most popular cartridges in the platform’s history. If there are 20 million AR-15s among American citizens, at least that many gun owners are aware of Remington’s rightful place in their ammo supplies. Without question, aside from 5.56, the AR-15’s staple cartridge is the .223 Remington. Perfect for target shooting and training, Remington’s UMC .223 55-grain ammunition offers exceptional bang for your customers’ hard-earned bucks. While this ammunition is not designed to break your customers’ bank, it is designed for flawless high-volume shooting performance. Remington reports muzzle velocity at 3,240 fps and 1,282 ft./lbs. of energy. www.remington.com

Remington .300 Blackout Subsonic

AR owners looking for more terminal energy in their defense ammo are likely to consider Remington’s subsonic .300 Blackout. While muzzle velocity is reduced to just 940 fps, the 300 Blackout is no slouch! At that speed, your customer sends an open-tip, flat-base, .220-grain .308 bullet downrange, and if suppressed, it’s ridiculously quiet. Although the cartridge gained a cult-like following among hunters, it also is an exceptional home-defense caliber with solid threat-stopping power. Equally impressive is the .300 Blackout’s precise accuracy, as evidenced by Remington’s G1 BC specification of .686.

Nosler Custom Competition Match 6.5 Creedmoor

While the 6.5 Creedmoor’s parent case is the 30 TC, it was far better supported from the beginning. Introduced by Hornady in 2007, the 6.5 Creedmoor vastly outperformed the 30 TC in long-range flight performance as well as reduced recoil. The 30 TC never really grew solid legs anyway — compare availability of the two. That said, and for a non-magnum, the 6.5 Creedmoor provides exceptional long-range accuracy clear out to 1,400 yards, especially from a top producer like Nosler. Nosler’s premium ammo reputation is undebatable. They produce some of the industry’s best, consistently accurate ammo, so it makes sense to consider their Custom Competition Match ammo for your most discriminating precision shooters. Nosler Custom Competition Match 6.5 Creedmoor ammo boasts a muzzle velocity of 2,650 fps, G1 BC of .529 and energy of 2,183 ft./lbs. www.nosler.com

.300 Norma Magnum Hybrid Target

In the world of precision, long-range shooting, .300 Norma Magnum has long been recognized as a top-performing caliber. So then, whose ammo would be better to stock than the original developer’s? The 300 Norma Magnum replaced the aged .308 NM by employing a .338 NM parent case with a .588 case diameter, necked down to a .308 bullet. For this roundup, the 300 Norma Magnum Hybrid Target cartridge is an exceptional result of this design, offering supersonic flight beyond 1,600 yards, nearly a full mile, with a .743 G1 BC from a 230 bullet. For your extreme long-range shooting customers, it’s tough to beat Norma’s Hybrid Target offering. www.norma-ammunition.com

Berger Bullets .260 Remington OTM Tactical

With a nod to the know-how of decades past, the .260 Remington, introduced in 1997, remains a solid choice for precision long-range shooters; in fact, I still own a bolt-action rifle chambered in .260 Remington and recently built a large-platform AR in the same caliber. Making perhaps the best .260 Remington cartridge on the shelf, Berger Bullets continues pack each cartridge with 65-plus years worth of world-renowned quality, precision manufacturing and ballistic developments. A notable example of Berger’s laser-focused efforts can be found in the brand’s .260 Remington 130-grain Hybrid OTM (open tip match) Tactical Rifle Ammunition. Muzzle velocity is reported at 2,847 fps, energy is listed as 2,340 ft./lbs., and the cartridge touts a G1 BC of .560. www.bergerbullets.com

Black Hills Ammunition .300 Winchester Magnum

A few-minute conversation with Black Hills Ammunition founder Jeff Hoffman and you’ll begin to understand just how focused and principled the company is in providing discriminating shooters with top-shelf, match-grade ammunition with the type of numbers diehard handloaders aspire to achieve. With personal 1,800-yard shoots as my guide, I have become quite a fan of Black Hills Ammunition’s .300 Winchester Magnum 190-grain Match cartridges. Labeled “Factory New,” the cartridge actually demonstrates Black Hills’ 30-plus years of commitment to precision accuracy. Perfect for your demanding long-range shooting customers, Black Hills .300 Winchester Magnum match ammunition features boat-tail hollowpoint construction, muzzle velocity of 2,950 fps and hard-hitting energy of 3,672 ft./lbs. from a 24-inch barrel. www.black-hills.com

Barnes Precision Match .223 Remington 

Serious recreational target shooters, mid-range competitors and even long-range precision shooters all place quite a demand on .223 ammunition with precision-accuracy expectations. Not necessarily designed as the plinking ammo sort, Barnes’ Precision Match .223 Remington ammunition is a great solution for AR-platform competitions, long-range bolt-action training and any other shooting activity requiring match-level grouping. The cartridge incorporates Barnes’ Match Burner open-tip match (OTM) boat-tail (BT) bullets and boasts a G1 BC of .349. www.barnesbullets.com

CCI 22LR Standard Velocity 

Who doesn’t love to plink? Truth be told, like most young shooters, my lifetime of shooting began with compact .22LR. Of course, some of the most competitive shooting events around are .22LR matches — imagine scoring hits at 400 yards! Whether for recreation or competition, one of the best reasons to shoot .22LR is affordability, and the best bang for your customer’s bucks here, in terms of cost and performance, is CCI’s .22LR Standard Velocity ammo. CCI has been an industry-leading producer of .22LR ammo for many years and remains my first choice. Perfect for high-volume target shooting, CCI Standard Velocity ammo features 40-grain lead, round-nose bullets with BC of .120 and muzzle velocity of 1,050 fps, only dropping to 910 fps at 100 yards. Of course, if match shooting is your customer’s game, consider carrying CCI’s Green Tag Competition 40-grain .22LR ammo. www.cci-ammunition.com


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