Down the Ammo Aisle

Look for better downrange performance this year.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Don't be surprised if most of what you hear about in 2006 is "better downrange performance and improved bullet expansion" in rifles. Here is just a small sample of the products that await you down the ammo aisles.

Alliant Powder
Clay Dot made its debut at the 2005 Grand American Trap Shoot, where it caught the attention of many competition shooters. This new product is designed to be functionally and technically identical to competitive shotshell powders but offers shooters the advantage of an American-made product at a lower price. Clay Dot meters exactly

the same as its counterparts through reloading press powder bushings. It functions with the same powder-charge weights to achieve the same velocities and pressures. This means shooters won't need to alter their reloading setup when switching over. It's available in eight-pound canisters only (two per case). SRP: $89. Booth #3651. (800-276-9337; alliant powder.com)

Barnes Bullets
The boattail MRX bullet is a copper Triple-Shock X-Bullet with a new Delrin tip and a tungsten core. The denser-than-lead tungsten core moves the MRX bullet's center of gravity rearward, producing optimum ballistic performance, maximum penetration and the same exceptional accuracy for which Triple-Shock Bullets are known. The tough tungsten core, surrounded by a controlled-expansion all-copper body, is superior to soft lead, which fragments or squeezes out under pressure. The MRX core retains its shape on impact, maintaining bullet integrity.

The streamlined Delrin tip gives this premium bullet a higher ballistic coefficient, so it can deliver a flatter trajectory and retain more energy at long range. Unlike other plastic-tipped bullets, the MRX won't fragment on impact or blow up on game. The nose of the bullet peels back into four tough, razor-sharp copper petals that resist shearing.

Like the all-copper Barnes-X and Triple-Shock X-Bullets, the new Maximum-Range X-Bullet contains no lead to contaminate venison. The MRX is available in 20-bullet packs in a number of calibers: .270 (130 and 150 grains), 7mm (140 and 160 grains), .308 (150, 165 and 180 grains) and .338 (185 and 225 grains). Booth #4979. (800-574-9200; barnesbullets.com)

Bismuth Cartridge
This year Bismuth will introduce BEFT shotgun shells, developed specifically with double-gun shooters in mind. Each shell carries a payload of No. 8 nontoxic bismuth shot and features an ecologically friendly Kleena biodegradable-fiber wad that literally disappears when shot.

Velocities include 1,310 fps, 1,360 fps and 1,450 fps. Now that many target ranges require nontoxic shot, these shells offer the target shooter an alternative that allows the use of older fine double-barrel shotguns. Booth #5777. (800-759-3333; bismuth-notox.com)

CCI
The Select 22LR is the cream of the crop from CCI's skilled ballistics staff. The company has improved the lot-to-lot accuracy of this load, making it perfect for target shooters who demand accuracy and consistency. The 40-grain round leaves the muzzle at 1,200 fps. SRP: $11.95 for a box of 50 rounds. Booth #3651. (866-286-7436; cci-ammunition.com)

Cor-Bon
The experts that bring you Cor-Bon ammunition have created what they think is one of the highest-performing big-game rifle hunting loads available. Using the Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullets (100 percent copper, no lead), the DBX Hunter will expand into four sturdy copper petals with razor-sharp cutting edges. A DBX in .300 WSM with a 180-grain bullet has a velocity of 3,000 fps. SRP: $48. Booth #5687. (800-626-7266; corbon.com)

Hornady Manufacturing
Specially designed for lever actions, the new Lever Evolution bullet from Hornady achieves a ballistically efficient pointed profile via an elastomer tip that is too soft to ignite a primer but delive the type of performance characteristic of polymer-tipped bullets.

New powders allow these bullets to achieve a modest velocity increase over traditional lever-gun loads. The Lever Evolution will be available in .30/30 Win., .35 Rem., .444 Marlin, .45/70 Govt. and .450 Marlin. It is safe to use in all tubular-magazine guns. SRP: $21.25 for a box of 20 in .30/30. Booth #1915. (800-338-3220; hornady.com)

[NEXT "More Ammo"] **Federal **
The new .338 Federal cartridge, the first cartridge to carry the Federal name, was designed in conjunction with Sako to give big-game hunters a wider-diameter bullet for more weight and overall energy, but without the punishing recoil of a magnum. Built on the .308 cartridge case and necked up to hold a .338 bullet, this cartridge offers hunters faster muzzle velocity than the .308 Win., with heavier bullet weights. This nonmagnum cartridge also boasts a short-action configuration for short-bolt throw and provides magnum energy for devastating performance on game.

Federal's new cartridge will be available in three premium offerings: Nosler AccuBond, Partition and the Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet. Booth #3651. (800-322-2342; federalcartridge.com)

| Hodgdon Powder
Packed with 5,000-plus loads, the 2006 reloading manual is a complete reference guide for rifles, handguns and shotguns. The manual includes loads for five new rifle cartridges (including the .25 WSSM, .204 Ruger and .325 WSM). There are updated handloads for 17 rifle and handgun cartridges.

The shotshell section shows load data for Winchester's HS shells in 28 gauge and .410. It's a resource for more target, hunting, and specialty loads including Bismuth nontoxic product, Hevi-Shot, steel target, 2- and 2¿¿-inch 12-gauge shotshells, plus 12-gauge slug and buckshot loads. As a special bonus, you'll find articles on the art and science of reloading and hunting. SRP: $7.99. Booth #5467. (913-362-9455; hodgdon.com)

Remington
With the 3-inch load moving at 1,210 fps and the 3.5-inch load moving at 1,300, the new Nitro Turkey extra-hard lead shot rounds pattern like copper, but it's priced like lead. The shot is buffered for tight loads and patterns at over 80 percent with a Super Full choke. It comes with 12 rounds per box and 100 rounds per case. SRP: $8.05 for 3-inch, $12.35 for 3.5-inch. Booth #443. (800-243-9700; remington.com)

With Remington and HeviShot ending their association last year, Remington needed a non-toxic pellet of its own. This year it is introducing a tungsten-bronze-iron pellet called Wingmaster HD. The new shot is very round and uniform, and an attractive gold color. It's denser than lead and about the same density as HeviShot.

Phil Bourjaily used the shot recently on a Remington-sponsored hunt. He says:

"At Deer Creek's duck lake, the Wingmaster HD left us shaking our heads in awe. Deer Creek's flighted ducks come in waves of twenty or more, and you can pick your shots. I held out for 45- to 50-yard crossers, and as duck after duck hit the water stone dead, I was sold. We used 3-inch 12-gauge loads containing 13/8 ounces of No. 6 shot.

Initial loadings will include BB, 4 and 6 shot for 20- and 12-gauges. SRP: $30 per box of 10.

[NEXT "More Ammo"] Swift Bullet
The new Scirocco II retains the same sleek profile and load data of the standard Scirocco. However, overall performance-including accuracy, terminal expansion, shock and penetration-has been dramatically improved. The Scirocco II boasts outstanding velocity and energy and produces a very flat trajectory, due to its high ballistic coefficient. A perfect match for long-range cartridges, the Scirocco II produces positive expansion at minimal velocity. The bonded core retains upward of 80 percent of its weight. SRP: $39 for 100 in .308. Booth #2027. (785-754-3959; swiftbullet.com)

| Winchester
Winchester introduces the new Supreme Elite XP3 bullet, which combines all of its best-known bullet technologies into one bullet for precision accuracy, knockdown power and deep penetration. The XP3 starts with a design that separates the front of the bullet from the rear lead core. A web of copper- jacket material mechanically locks the bullet together, then a bonded (soldered) rear lead core locks the lead to the jacket. The bonding allows the lead to stay with the jacket during impact, resulting in nearly 100 percent weight retention. In addition, the patent-pending design yields a unique two-stage expansion at the front and in the body of the bullet, resulting in massive knockdown power. It can penetrate tough bone but still yields significant expansion in lighter, thin-skinned game, like deer.

A polymer tip increases the ballistic coefficient and improves downrange performance. The tip helps produce consistent expansion of the hollowpoint at a wide range of velocities and prevents damage during loading and unloading. The boattail design also helps improves accuracy and downrange performance. The tip is coated with Winchester's proprietary Lubalox coating to help reduce barrel fouling.

The XP3 is available in the following calibers: .30/06 (150 and 180 grains), .300 WSM (150 and 180 grains), .300 Win. Mag. (150 and 180 grains), .308 Win. (150 grains), 7mm Rem. Mag. (160 grains), 7mm WSM (160 grains), .270 Win. (150 grains) and .270 WSM (150 grains). SRP: Starts at $39.86. Booth #3551. (618-258-2000; winchester.com)

Hevi-Shot
Hevi-shot expands production
Last fall Environ-metal, manufacturer of Hevi-Shot pellets and ultra-performance shotshells, announced the end of its licensing agreement with Remington. Environ-metal intends to become a stand-alone performance-ammunition manufacturer. Since the announcement, the company has expanded its production capacity, refined its quality-assurance system and introduced Hevi-13 shotshells.

Hevi-13 shotshells were used by the top shooters in all five classes of the Outdoor Connection Still Target competition. Although shooters were free to choose any ammunition, all of the winners went with Hevi-13.

The unique Still Target competition pits scattergunners against a three-inch-diameter red circle on a turkey target at 40 yards. The winner puts the most size 6 pellets into the circle. "We were pleased by the way people switched to Hevi-13 during the course of the competition," says Pancho Fulansion at minimal velocity. The bonded core retains upward of 80 percent of its weight. SRP: $39 for 100 in .308. Booth #2027. (785-754-3959; swiftbullet.com)

| Winchester
Winchester introduces the new Supreme Elite XP3 bullet, which combines all of its best-known bullet technologies into one bullet for precision accuracy, knockdown power and deep penetration. The XP3 starts with a design that separates the front of the bullet from the rear lead core. A web of copper- jacket material mechanically locks the bullet together, then a bonded (soldered) rear lead core locks the lead to the jacket. The bonding allows the lead to stay with the jacket during impact, resulting in nearly 100 percent weight retention. In addition, the patent-pending design yields a unique two-stage expansion at the front and in the body of the bullet, resulting in massive knockdown power. It can penetrate tough bone but still yields significant expansion in lighter, thin-skinned game, like deer.

A polymer tip increases the ballistic coefficient and improves downrange performance. The tip helps produce consistent expansion of the hollowpoint at a wide range of velocities and prevents damage during loading and unloading. The boattail design also helps improves accuracy and downrange performance. The tip is coated with Winchester's proprietary Lubalox coating to help reduce barrel fouling.

The XP3 is available in the following calibers: .30/06 (150 and 180 grains), .300 WSM (150 and 180 grains), .300 Win. Mag. (150 and 180 grains), .308 Win. (150 grains), 7mm Rem. Mag. (160 grains), 7mm WSM (160 grains), .270 Win. (150 grains) and .270 WSM (150 grains). SRP: Starts at $39.86. Booth #3551. (618-258-2000; winchester.com)

Hevi-Shot
Hevi-shot expands production
Last fall Environ-metal, manufacturer of Hevi-Shot pellets and ultra-performance shotshells, announced the end of its licensing agreement with Remington. Environ-metal intends to become a stand-alone performance-ammunition manufacturer. Since the announcement, the company has expanded its production capacity, refined its quality-assurance system and introduced Hevi-13 shotshells.

Hevi-13 shotshells were used by the top shooters in all five classes of the Outdoor Connection Still Target competition. Although shooters were free to choose any ammunition, all of the winners went with Hevi-13.

The unique Still Target competition pits scattergunners against a three-inch-diameter red circle on a turkey target at 40 yards. The winner puts the most size 6 pellets into the circle. "We were pleased by the way people switched to Hevi-13 during the course of the competition," says Pancho Ful