The Best .357 Magnum Ammo for Range Training

.357 magnum revolver

Using .357 Magnum ammo for range training gives the shooter options regarding the type of weapon. The ammunition switches easily from a handgun to a rifle for a well-rounded test of one’s skills. The .357 cartridge remains popular with trainers, hobbyists, and professionals because of its versatility. Additionally, a .357 Magnum handgun can fire a .38 Special ammo. The cases of the two rounds match each other except for the length. Manufacturers made that deliberate design choice to prevent shooters from firing the .357 from a .38 Special revolver. The .357’s pressure rates higher than a .38 Special and could cause harm to the shooter or damage to the handgun.

History

The .357 Magnum cartridge was designed and developed in the mid-1930s by a team of firearms enthusiasts. The project goal included creating ammunition that could compete with Colt’s .38 Super. Elmer Keith, Phil Sharpe and D.B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson and Winchester joined forces to top Colt’s breadwinner. Criminals began to outsmart police and the police needed to fight back. Colt’s .38 Super was the only ammo on the market that fired at over 1,000 FPS. High velocity gave the ammo the ability to penetrate auto glass and ballistics vests. The gangster era had begun, and the cops couldn’t take down targets when they hid behind their automobiles or wore bulletproof vests. The .357 Magnum ammo allowed law enforcement to retake the streets while providing a versatile round for military, law enforcement, and civilians.

Current specs

The design team modified the original .357 Magnum slightly to incorporate Sharpe’s bullet. Currently, it’s known as the .357 S&W Magnum or 9x33mmR. The rimmed centerfire cartridge houses a .357-inch (9.1mm) diameter bullet housed in a case measuring 1.29-inches in length. The total length of the cartridge is 1.59-inches. According to SAAMI, the ammo’s maximum pressure is 35,000 PSI with an average muzzle velocity of 1,090 FPS.

The 1924 design loaded the .357 load with a bullet weight of 158 grains. The muzzle velocity clocked at an impressive 1,510 FPS. Today’s loads offer less muzzle velocity but enough to make the round effective and deadly when needed.

Shooters chamber light carbines in .357 Mag ammo, often for use in guns similar to the American Old West lever-action rifles. Specs differ in a rifle. The ammo exits a rifle barrel at around 1,800 FPS. The high velocity makes the round more versatile popular guns like the .32-20 Winchester.

Popularity and Use

The .357 Magnum ammunition received notoriety for kicking off the “Magnum Era.” The .357 Magnum revolver sparked the attention of law enforcement and military personnel. Soldiers used the gun and ammo throughout WWII and the Vietnam War. General George S. Patton chose the gun as one of his favorite sidearms. He carried an ivory-handled S&W .357 Magnum revolver on one hip and a single action .45 Long Colt on the other.

Law enforcement, military personnel and members of the U.S. Special Forces still use .357 Magnum handguns, mostly as back up pieces to semi-auto pistols.

Shooters continue to choose the dual-purpose cartridge because it is powerful, inexpensive, and can be used in both .357 Magnum handguns and rifles. Most common uses include range training, plinking, home defense, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. It offers excellent stopping power with manageable recoil.

Range Training

Seasoned shooters recommend regular range training regardless of the person’s experience. Range training keeps a person sharp and improves skills. It also allows shooters to test drive different guns and ammo to see which works best for their needs.

Shooting ranges operate in rural and urban areas. Rural areas host more outdoor ranges since there isn’t a concern about shooting into a building or street. Urban areas have more indoor shooting galleries due to limited space. The containment dampens noise, prevents collateral damage, and other concerns. Indoor ranges operate despite weather conditions. They often restrict caliber and weapon use where outdoor ranges are more accommodating to unusual requests.

Hunters prefer outdoor ranges because the terrain and atmosphere are similar to what they might encounter in the field. Shooting competitions occur most often at outside ranges.

Using Your Ammo

Shooting .357 ammo deters some users from taking it to the range due to a few downsides. First, firing a .357 indoors causes damage to the shooter’s ears, perhaps even if the shooter is wearing hearing protection. The loud report throws off a person’s accuracy and causes one to hesitate when making a second shot. Some shooters chose a .38+P to make follow up shots to avoid the noise. Second, some find the recoil to be too strong. This is especially true when the ammo is used in a short barrel, or snubnose, revolver. Third, a bright muzzle flash causes temporary blindness in the dark. The latter proves to be a problem in a self-defense situation at night.

The real problem lies in the fact that many shooters practice with one ammunition and intend to use another. That makes no sense. Shooters must experience a certain comfort level with the gun and the ammo. If the combination causes problems, then the user should switch to another gun, ammunition, or both. Inexperience or discomfort leads to poor aim and inability to pull the trigger. The shooter freezes at the crucial moment, whether it’s in the field, or during a competition when faced with a large animal or intruder.

Performance

People train for many purposes, including hunting. The .357 ammo performs well against medium-size game like whitetail deer, hogs, and coyotes. Heavier loads face-off with large game like elk, caribou, and bear. Some hunters prefer big bore cartridges like .41 Mag, .44 Mag, .454 Casull, 460 S&W Mag or .50 Action Express. While the .357 gives off less energy, its small diameter and high velocity serve up deep penetration. The round is similar to a .45 Colt but with a flatter trajectory. Those specs make it highly versatile ammunition desirable to many hobbyists and professionals.

Bullet Types

Manufacturers develop new ammunition every day for popular calibers like the .357 Magnum. The most common styles include Full Metal Jacket, Jacketed Soft Point, Jacketed Hollow Point. The list below shows three common types of bullets and their uses.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

FMJ bullets cost less than other rounds which makes them ideal for high volume shooting at the range. The bullet houses a soft center metal (often lead), surrounded by a harder metal, usually copper. The ammo cuts small channels upon impact and as they travel into, or through, the target. FMJs work best in short-range shooting, target practice, range training, plinking, and competition shooting.

Hollow Points (HP)

Most people associate hollow points to self-defense and home protection. HPs cost more than FMJ, but the round performs better in face-to-face confrontations. The ballistics of HPs are comparable to the FMJ.

HPs work best as concealed carry for home protection use. The design allows the bullet to expand, creating a larger wound channel than the FMJ. The expansion offers excellent stopping power, halts attackers quickly and therefore, the shooter is protected.

Soft Points (SP)

Hunters choose soft points more than any other ammunition. The SP expands over and above an FMJ, which makes it ideal for stopping the target in its tracks. The round is comparable to an HP, except for the expansion. An SP allows the shooter to have more control. SP ballistics outshine other bullets, especially when they are made with a boat-tail design. Jacketed Soft Points (JSP) are another option.

Best .357 Mag Training Ammo

Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain FMJ-FN

  • 889 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 278 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Tula Ammo 158 Grain FMJ

  • 1,280 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Fiocchi 142 Grain FMJ-TC

  • 1,420 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 142 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 636 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady Critical Defense 125 Grain FTX

  • 1,500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • FlexTip Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 824 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Magtech Ammunition 158 Grain .357 Magnum SJSP

  • 1,235 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 535 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Tula Ammunition 158 Grain FMJ

  • 1,280 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Polymer coated steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer

CCI Ammunition Blazer 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,150 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • CCI Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Sig Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 125 Grain FMJ

  • 1,450 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 584 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Magtech Sport Ammunition 125 Grain FMJ

  • 1,405 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 548 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammunition 135 Grain JHP

  • 990 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 135 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 294 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady LEVERevolution 140 gr FTX

  • 1,440 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 140 Grain
  • Hornady FTX Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 644 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Ruger ARX 86 Grain

  • 1,650 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 86 Grain
  • Injection Molded Copper Polymer ARX Projectile
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 552 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Barnes VOR-TX, XPB HP, 140 Grain

  • 1,170 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 140 Grain
  • Solid Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 429 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal American Eagle Cartridge 158 Grain JSP

  • 1,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 530 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Conclusion

.357 Magnum ammunition continues to be a popular round with many uses. Experts recommend extensive range training with any new ammunition or weapon. Situations happen quickly, often leaving the shooter without time to think. Preparing yourself can mean the difference between life or death. Consider trying several types of ammunition in different bullet weights before deciding which works best for your skillset, experience, and end use.

Remington Arms

Remington's long history

Remington & Sons was founded in Ilion, New York 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II (1793–1861). Eliphalet Remington knew he had the skill to build a better gun than ones he could find on the market. Remington was 23 when he entered a shooting competition and took second place. Although he didn’t win, his flintlock rifle got a lot of attention. Remington was approached by many of the other shooters by the end of the day, asking to buy one of his guns. His company had become official with the help of his father, a blacksmith.

On March 7, 1888, the company was sold to Marcellus Hartley and Partners. The group included sporting goods chain Hartley and Graham of New York, New York. The company also owned Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company. The company changed its name to the Remington Arms Company and moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Remington Arms Company

Remington is the oldest firearms manufacturer in the U.S. Remington is also the largest producer of rifles and shotguns in the U.S. They are the only company that makes firearms and ammunition. The original Ilion, New York plant is still standing and making high quality goods. The site also has a retail store and museum.

During WWI, Remington landed several military contract, including Enfield rifles for Britain M1907-15 Berthier rifles for France, and 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles for Russia. Remington almost went bankrupt during the war when the Russian Imperial government ordered a large number of guns but had no way to pay for them. They insisted that the guns were faulty and refused to pay. Eventually, the U.S. stepped up and bought the guns, saving the company.

Remington Expands its Catalog

The 1920s saw a new period for Remington. They began making household utensils, cash registers and cutlery like hunting knives and pocketknives. They also began to sell clothing with the Remington logo, something that they discontinued in 1955.

DuPont bought Remington Arms in 1936, during the height of the Great Depression. It was also the year Remington went international, buying an ammunition manufacturer in Brazil.

In 1940, Remington built an ordinance plant in Independence, Missouri. They company opened five plants during WWII, one of which manufactured their legendary M1903 .30-06 Springfield bolt action rifle.

In the 1990s, Remington returned to making handguns.

Remington Ammo Today

Remington continued to build on its product line in the 21st Century. It began to make security and surveillance systems along with firearms and ammo. Remington created Spartan Gunworks, a subsidiary tasked with making an affordable high-quality shotgun.

In 2007, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity company, bought Remington. The company’s name changed, ending with its current name – the Remington Outdoor Company.

The company had several good years until it saw a drop in sales and profitability. They filed for in March 2018.

 

Best .223 Remington For Hunting

Varmint control

Imagine finding that some varmint has chewed a hole in your fence and eaten half of your backyard garden. You grab your .233 and decide you’ll show him who the boss is.

Why go for a .223 Remington when facing down rodents? Because it packs just enough fire power to take care of these little critters.

Important Differences in AR Ammo

One of the most important things to know right out of the gate is that there are two types of AR-15 ammo –  the 5.56 NATO cartridge and .223 Remington ammo. Selecting the right ammo is dependent upon the type of chamber in your rifle. For example, if your rifle is manufactured to chamber the .223 Remington, that is the ammo you must use. If the rifle is chambered for the 5.56 NATO, then your rifle will accept both types of ammo. While the size is the same, the 5.56 NATO has higher pressure, something that a rifle chambered for the .223 Remington can’t safely handle.

Both rounds are excellent for varmint hunting and target shooting. Both are highly accurate at long ranges.

In 1964, the .223 Remington cartridge was introduced to the general public for hunting varmints and predators. One month later, the United States Air Force chose the ammunition in the form of the 5.56x45mm cartridge to be used in their new M-16 rifles.

Due to its mild recoil, the .223 Remington cartridge experienced popularity across many different shooting platforms with most of the buyers being varmint hunters and those seeking to rid their territory of predators. It was used effectively against small vermin such as rodents, skunks, feral cats, and groundhogs as well as medium-sized predators like coyotes, opossums, and racoons and foxes. It should be noted that the .223 Remington is illegal in some jurisdictions.

Current Specifications

The standard .223 cartridge uses a .224-inch diameter boat-tailed bullet in a rimless, bottle-necked case. The bullet measures 1.76 inches in length with the overall length of the round is 2.26 inches.

Standard factory loads range in weight from 35 to 85 grains. However, the most common is the 55-grain bullet. It uses a small rifle primer and has a max pressure of 55,000 PSI.

Bullet Types

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

The Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) is the most common type of ammo because it’s easier to manufacture and less expensive than other rounds. Standard bullet weights of FMJ ammo in .223/5.56 are 55 and 62 grain.

Ammo with lighter grain bullets work best with higher barrel twist rate like 1:8 and 1:9. The lowest common twist rate is 1:7, which is commonly used with a 62 grain bullet.

Note that the top choices of ammo on this page are FMJ bullets. It is recommended to use FMJ rounds because the power and expansion are enough. Soft points and hollow points can over penetrate and cause excessive wound channels and tissue damage.

Hollow Points (HP)

Hollow Point (HP) ammunition is most often related to personal and home defense. The cost of a hollow point is higher than an FMJ but is more effective for defense.  The ballistics of an HP are similar to an FMJ, only lighter.

Soft Points (SP)

Soft Points (SP) are a popular hunting cartridge, but still popular for

AR-15 owners. The expansion of an SP is superior to an FMJ but has more control than the HP. The ballistics of SP ammo are excellent, particularly when paired with a boat-tail design.

Choosing the Target

Shooters consider bullet weight as the first indicator of the best choice of target. It’s true that .223 uses lighter bullets and is best used for plinking, varmints, and small game. However, modern technology has increased the penetration of the ammo, making it viable for taking down medium size game.

Varmints

Varmints most often include rodents, rabbits, gophers, groundhogs, and prairie dogs. Using a round with 35-55 grains will do the job nicely without breaking the bank.

Small Game

Small game includes larger critters like fox and coyotes, both of which can cause major destruction. The .223 cartridge will work in taking down small game, but it is recommended to use a heavier round from 50-69 grains.

Medium-Sized Game

There was a time with .223 wouldn’t take down a hog or a whitetail deer. While this ammo isn’t ideal for medium game, ammo containing 69 – 77 grain bullets will work just fine. Keep in mind that with big game, shot placement becomes more crucial.

Best .223 Varmint Hunting Ammo

“Varmints” or critters are simply small animals that make pests of themselves, often destroying property. These may include rabbits, gophers, rats and other rodents, weasels, groundhogs, etc. Because the animals are small, a great deal of power is not necessary. Medium-sized varmints and predators require more stopping power. These include coyotes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, feral dogs and cats.

Winchester Ammunition: Ballistic Silvertip 55 Grain Polymer-Tipped

The Ballistic Silvertip .223 ammo from Winchester has a polymer-tipped projectile. This is designed to prevent the bullet from deforming and allowing it to fragment for a quick expansion upon impact. This is especially important when taking down medium sized varmints and predators from a long distance.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,282 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 55 Grain
  • Polymer Tipped Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Remington Ammunition: JHP Cartridge 45 Grain JHP

Remington .223 ammo is a versatile round that serves well as part of your varmint hunting arsenal. The brass casing has non-corrosive characteristics which allows you to spend time stalking your pesky prey without fear of damaging the ammo or your weapon. The Jacketed Hollow Point offers reliable expansion, accuracy, and a flat trajectory.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,550 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 45 Grain
  • JHP Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 1259 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy

Federal Ammunition: Premium 165 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip

Federal Premium tops our list for the best .223 Remington ammo for varmint hunting. This new production ammo is designed for maximum reliability and performance. Hunters have been using Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting bullets for nearly 25 years. These bullets are precision-made to provide the utmost quality and accuracy with every shot. The heavy jacket and polycarbonate tip prevent bullets from deformation during firing and remain intact at extreme velocities. Simply put, this is one hard hitting round that will get the job done.

Ballistic Info:

  • 3,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 55 Grain
  • Nosler Ballistic Tip Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 1282 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy

Hornady Ammunition: Varmint Express Ammo 55 Grain V-MAX

You can’t get more specific than Hornady’s Varmint Express when it comes to getting rid of the critters around your property. HornadyV-Max ammo works well at short or long range. Hornady eqips this cartridge with a solid polymer tip designed to deliver rapid expansion as well as a thick jacket that fragments upon impact.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,282 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 55 Grain
  • V-MAX Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Federal Ammunition: Fusion Bonded BT

Shooters rate Federal Fusion as one of the best for varmint/game hunting ammunition. The reloadable rounds have a bonded core and offer high terminal performance down range. The heavier bullet weight and boat-tail design give excellent aerodynamics and allows for radiated shock upon impact.

Ballistic Info:

  • 3,000 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,239 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 62 Grain
  • FMJ Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Conclusion

Varmints don’t stand a chance against .223 Remington ammo. The cartridges are powerful enough to take down small pests and small to medium-sized game without breaking the bank. This ammo is versatile, accurate, inexpensive, and easy to find. Shooters choose .223 ammo as a good all-around choice that can be used with superior results.

 

 

 

 

Top Picks for .308 Semi-Automatic Rifles

Hunters embrace semi-auto rifles

Winchester introduced its Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle in 1952. The rifle was accompanied by .308 ammunition. The cartridge was upgraded from the 7.62x51mm NATO, commonly used by the military.

The Ultimate Hunting Rifle

The Winchester .308 may be the most well-known rifle for hunting medium to large game. In fact, .308 ammo was made for hunting. The effectiveness of the gun and its ammo is the ability to deliver hydrostatic shock to its target, rendering the animal useless.

Hunters and competition shooters are loyal to their guns. Fans of the .308 swear by its ability to hit long-distance targets. Although the accuracy of a round deteriorates when shot father than 500 yards, the .308 is capable of making the trip.

Modern Uses

Hunting isn’t as popular as it used to be, but the .308 has found a modern audience. Law enforcement agencies and military units prize the .308 for accuracy and precision. It is useful in urban situations, able to hit a target at 1,000 yards. Unlike larger calibers, the Winchester .308 rifle is easy to shoot with less recoil than larger models.

There are several .308 semi-auto rifles on the market that offer advantages over the traditional rifle. In addition to being able to take down a prize elk or bear, the .308 semi-auto works well as a tactical training weapon. It will also do a good job of protecting the outside of your home from critters and intruders. It is not the best choice for in-home protection however, as the round is powerful and could easily cause personal injury or damage to the home. In that case, stick with your trusty shotgun or a pistol.

Top Picks

There are a lot of .308 semi-autos on the market but my pick for the top three is based on price and performance.

Century Arms C308

Serious enthusiasts love semi-automatics, even though they’re expensive. The exception is the Century Arms C308. For about $800 you can buy a rifle that is basically a copy of the HK G3. The gun uses a 5-round or 20-round detachable box magazine that won’t break the bank. Some say the C308 is slightly awkward to handle but that can be overcome with practice.

Ruger SR-762

The AR market has skyrocketed in recent years. The upside to the AR’s popularity is that parts and ammo are plentiful. The downside is that the guns aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay up to $2,000 for a Ruger SR-762.

Springfield M1A

The Springfield M1A is a civilian version of the rifle used by the military since the 1950s. Today’s M1A is more versatile as it comes in different sizes with a variety of options. The gun is known for being reliable and hearty, but it’s also heavy and long. The current price is just under $2,000.

Conclusion

Experienced gun owners know that it takes practice to adapt to any new weapon. My advice is to test out several models before choosing the one that suits you best. The only sure thing is that a .308 can last a lifetime.

 

 

The Iconic .22 LR

.22LR can be purchased in bulk

In 1857, Smith & Wesson introduced the .22 LR, which became the most popular rimfire cartridge in history. Enthusiasts use  it for target practice, training, plinking, sporting events, and varmint control. Shooters love the economical price and the fact that it is easy to buy in bulk. Shooters use the round in a variety of guns including handguns, shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns. Users appreciate the low recoil and small muzzle flash, which also makes it desirable for young and novice shooters.

.22LR ammo has four velocity ranges: subsonic, standard velocity, high velocity, and hyper velocity.

A Brief History

The .22 was designed for Smith & Wesson’s First Model. Designers modeled it after the 1845 Flobert BB cap. Weapons manufacturer J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. had combined a .22 Long casing with a 40-grain bullet used for the .22 Extra Long. Manufacturers have modified the bullet to accommodate additional grains of powder; currently, there are three types: .22 Short, .22 Long, and.22 Extra Long. The .22 Short is not often seen on the market although it can be purchased through online sources.

The .22 LR is interchangeable between guns which is a benefit for those using a variety of weapons. The round is not recommended for self-defense or large game hunting due to its lack of power.

Currently, the .22 LR is the only .22 rimfire cartridge seen on the market. The .22 Short is rare and in most circles has become scarce.

Self-Defense

Despite the fact that the .22 LR doesn’t have a great deal of stopping power, it is still a common choice for self-defense and concealed carry. The round can be chambered in small and lightweight pocket guns, easily carried in a purse or jacket.  Experts say that the cartridge will work well in most up-close situations, as long as the shooter has good aim. Shooters can fire the bullet fast and accurately so multiple shots are a possibility if they are needed. Since many people shoot to scare away their target, the .22 will work just fine.

Experts say that the brand of ammo is important when choosing a .22 LR. While many brands work well, you will find, on occasion, some that jam or misfire. Shooters should test different brands to find the one that works the best with their weapon of choice.

Popularity

Novice shooters use a .22 for target practice and training. The lack of power makes it safer for new users. The low recoil keeps the round from startling the shooter, thereby disrupting his posture and aim at the target. Countries restricting larger caliber bullets tend to permit the use of a .22 caliber.

It remains the bullet of choice for various organizations including the Boy Scouts of America and 4H Clubs. Military cadets use .22 LR cadet rifles for basic weapons and marksmanship training. The .22 LR is widely used in competition shooting, including the Olympic games, pistol and precision rifle competitions.

 

 

 

Powerhouse .50 AE

.50 AE Desert Eagle

The .50 Action Express was introduced in 1988. The cartridge was designed by Evan Whildin, former vice-president of Action Arms. Whildin designed the cartridge as part of a program to boost the performance of the semi-auto pistol by creating a new cartridge design. Whildin developed the Action Express line to travel faster and fire hotter than standard forms of ammo. When testing was complete, Whildin released the line to the public. It included the .50 AE, a 9 mm and .41 caliber rounds. Although the smaller calibers never gained popularity, the .50 Action Express caught the attention of the firearms community. The ammunition is still available from several major manufacturers including CCI, Speer, Hornady, and IMI (imported by Magnum Research).

The .50 AE was destined to be used in the IMI Desert Eagle, a semi-automatic pistol imported by Magnum Research, Inc. The gun was already chambered for the .44 Magnum, and would only need a barrel change to use the .50 cal. The .50 AE features the same rim diameter and overall length as the .44 Magnum.

Ballistics

The .50 Action Express ammo is one of the most powerful pistol cartridges on the market. It has a .500-inch bullet diameter enclosed in a 1.285-inch straight-walled case with a rebated rim. SAAMI says the maximum pressure of .50 AE should not exceed 36,000 PSI.

Users report a significant recoil and muzzle blast. Many compare the recoil to the .44 Magnum.

The .50 AE uses a 325- grain bullet and offers a muzzle velocity of 1400 FPS. The 300-grain bullet has a muzzle velocity of 1400 FPS and offers 1414 ft-lbs of energy.

Types of .50 AE Ammo

The .50 AE cartridge is available in several bullet types, including jacketed hollow point (JHP), Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point (BJHP), soft point (SP) and Jacketed Soft Point (JSP).

JHP ammunition uses a lead bullet encased in a hard metal, typically copper. The bullet contains a hollow point, which allows the bullet to expand upon impact. Users choose JHP ammunition for personal protection, home defense, and game hunting.

Soft Points do the job although they offer less stopping power. It gives shooters a slower expansion and deeper penetration. Manufacturers use a soft lead projectile. As a result, hunters will use soft point bullets  in areas where JHP cartridges are restricted.

Popularity

Whildin had a contract with the Israeli military. The Israeli Military Industries (IMI) Magnum Research Desert Eagle uses the ammunition, however, it was not the first gun to use the round. The first firearm chambered in the .50 AE caliber was the Arcadia Machine and Tool Automag V, a semi-auto, single action pistol. The weapons is described as the most “ergonomic and lightweight” of big caliber handguns.

Usage

Shooters choose the .50 AE when they want maximum power. Users prefer the round for silhouette shooting and medium to large game hunting, suitable against large predators such as bears. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) categorizes the non-sporting round as a destructive device under its current regulations.

 

What Is A .22 Long Rifle?

The .22 Long Rifle is a rimfire cartridge that takes the top spot as the most common and popular cartridge in the world. While it’s not quite as readily available or inexpensive as it used to be, target shooters, small game hunters and competitive shooters have propelled it to become the standard cartridge for rifles. It is also the cartridge of choice for international sporting events such as the Olympic Games and other competitions including: Olympic precision Rifle and Pistol shooting, bullseye, biathlon, metallic silhouette, benchrest shooting, and pin shooting, as well as many youth events with the Boy Scouts of America, 4H, and Project Appleseed.

History of Rimfire Cartridges

Rimfire cartridges hold the distinct honor of being the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence. Originally made with copper casing, the bullet was the ideal for use in pistols and repeating rifles. Manufacturers chose copper casing due to the low cost and its malleability. This was less taxing on the weapon’s mechanisms, which often broke with larger caliber ammo.

The .22 LR first came on the scene in 1857 when Smith & Wesson developed it for their First Model, a spur-triggered revolver with a bottom-hinged barrel. The cartridge, loaded with 29-30 grain lead bullet with 4 grains of black powder, quickly caught the attention of shooters worldwide due to ease of use, portability, and economy. S&W had intended the .22 to be used for recreational use and competitive shooting but it soon became the choice of those wanting to carry small pistols for protection.

In 1871, the casing was extended to include an extra grain of black powder, renaming S&W’s offering .22 Short. In 1880, the cartridge morphed again when the Extra Long added yet another grain of powder, totaling 6 grains. The reduced accuracy caused shooters to shun the new cartridge which was eventually retooled in 1887 by the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company. The .22 LR was born.

Since that time manufacturers have continued to make improvements on the cartridge, seeking to improve its accuracy and velocity. It remains relatively inexpensive to produce and you can use it in an infinite number of handguns and rifles.

The .22 LR Today

Today’s .22 LR loads are divided into four categories, based on velocity:

  • Subsonic, including “target” or “match” loads: below 1100 fps (feet per second)
  • Standard-velocity: 1120–1135 fps
  • High-velocity: 1200–1310 fps
  • Hyper-velocity/Ultra-velocity: over 1400 feet fps

Some argue that the .22 LR doesn’t wield as much power as the larger bore cartridges. While this is true, its diversity, accuracy, and low recoil continue to increase its popularity. Experts claim that the cartridge shouldn’t game hunters or those looking to protect themselves shouldn’t use it. However, it has proven that it can and will do the job if the placement is accurate. In some cases,  law enforcement and the military used it due to its low noise and ease of portability. The .22 LR is great for sporting events, target practice, training, and pest control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get the Most from Your Suppressor with the Right Ammunition

When it comes to using a suppressor, more than just the suppressor impacts the volume of your gun fire. The ammunition you choose to fire also alters the sound and the decibels.

See, when you fire a bullet, three distinct sounds occur:

  1. Muzzle blast: When a bullet leaves your gun’s muzzle, high temperature and high pressure gases closely follow it, escaping. These gases cause both a bright flash and a loud blast.
  2. Sonic boom: Many bullets travel faster than the speed of sound (1,126 feet per second), causing a loud crack as the bullet forces its way through the air.
  3. Mechanical noise: All firearms make mechanical noises when your fire them. This includes the movement of the slide or blot action.

The Right Ammunition for Your Suppressor

When you use a suppressor, you quiet the muzzle blast.  A suppressor essentially captures gases that escape your gun’s muzzle, forcing them into baffles where they cool and dissipate before their release. This works great to lower the volume of the muzzle blast, and in many cases, can allow shooters to forego hearing protection.

But a suppressor does nothing for the shockwave sound created from a sonic boom. That means if you shoot a bullet with a velocity greater than 1,126 f/s, the loud crack that accompanies firing a gun still occurs. Sometimes called the sonic signature, this sound lasts as long as the bullet travels faster than sound.

To rid yourself of the sonic boom, you must increase the bullet’s weight to lower the velocity of your ammunition. Because of the added weight, these bullets slow down and the velocity falls below the sound barrier threshold. Called subsonic ammunition, these cartridges only make a slight change when shooting an unmodified firearm, but from a gun with a suppressor, subsonic ammo can make all the difference.

With a quality suppressor and the right ammunition, you only hear a few decibels of mechanical noise, which you can’t eliminate.

And while a suppressor can’t really silence a firearm the way the movies do suppressed sniper rifles, with subsonic ammunition, it may not make it silent, but it sure makes it quiet.

The Best Way to Store Ammunition

When boxes of ammo start to stack up in your closet, you want to make sure you’re storing it right. When exposed to certain elements, ammo can become damaged, and when you need it the most, it can fail. Yet when you store ammunition correctly, ammo can last a lifetime, if not longer.

Store your ammo properly with these simple tips.

Ammo Storage tip 1: Keep It Dry

To guarantee your ammo stays dry, consider keeping it in a new or used ammo can. Made from metal or plastic, a good ammo can has a rubber gasket that creates an airtight seal, keeping moist, humid air out and dry, cool air in. If you live somewhere with high levels of humidity (or even if you don’t), you should include a few moisture-absorbing packs in your ammo cans.

Ammo Storage Tip 2: Keep It Cool

When ammo gets too hot, it can impact the gunpowder’s chemical properties, so be sure to keep it away from extreme temperatures. Furnaces, wood burners, and even space heaters can cause temperature jumps, which are also important to avoid. While a 10-20 degree change over the course of year isn’t a big deal, 0-100 degrees can be, which means outdoor storage isn’t advisable in many areas of the country.

Ammo Storage Tip 3: Keep It Dark

Beyond cool and dry, keep your ammo in the dark, or at least away from the sun’s UV rays. Over time, the sun damages bullets in the same way it damages the metal on your vehicle. But if you store ammunition indoors in standard ammo cans (not clear plastic totes), it’s safe.

Ammo Storage Tip 4: Keep It Labeled

If you’re using multiple ammo cans, label the outside of each can with its contents. That way when you’re looking for ammo for a 9mm, you don’t keep opening ammo cans filled with .22 bulletsYou should also write the date on ammo boxes when you get them and rotate your stock. This guarantees you know what ammo is the oldest and use it first.

Safe Disposal of Bad and Unwanted Ammo

Regardless of the weapon or ammo manufacturer it is possible to have bad ammo at some point. For example, even trusted brands such as Wolf ammunition inevitably have bad ammo regardless of the reason. This may be because of bad primer used or corroded surplus rifle ammo. You might damage your ammo when loading or reloading your gun. The shipping process can also damage ammo. Now the question arise what to do with ammunition not fit for shooting?

Ways of Disposing Ammo

Shooting ranges often have a disposal bucket for dumping of stray dud rounds. However, the average person does not have a disposal receptacle at home. Though there is no specific and correct procedure, incorrect disposing of ammo poses dangers?

Depending on where you live it might even be illegal to dispose of ammo in your regular garbage. You should also keep in mind that most ammo contains lead. Even if the primer did not ignite when you pulled the guns trigger there is always the possibility that it can still go off during certain circumstances.

Safe Ammo Disposal

Safe ammo disposal therefore depends on several factors. Quantity is obviously the main deciding factor as one or two cartridges would be easy to ditch than dozens of cartridges which might have been left by someone in a garage of your new residence. The geographical location also plays a role in options open to you and living in major metropolitan areas would offer facilities equipped in handling ammo disposal. Ways of ammo disposal include the following:

Disassembling and re using as components might be salvageable with the use of a kinetic bullet pulling tool owned by many gun enthusiasts and very inexpensive. They often re-use both the bullet and the case even of the primer is worthless.

A common solution when you have more than just a few ammunition cartridges to dispose of is burying it. Burying it is a good solution and unlikely to hurt anyone as oppose to chucking it into the trash, although it might also be illegal depending on your location. Ammo has a higher lead concentration than what is already in the ground. It does have negative environmental impacts as you might realize when taking the purity of the lead into consideration.

You should always handle ammo properly. If you do not have a hazardous waste facility in your town, you can contact your local police force and they will take your unwanted ammo for you.