Hunting is an activity that requires patience, knowledge, and skill. Before you can even think about taking your first hunting trip, you’ll need to do some research on what type of ammo you should use.
Different types of ammo come with different properties and capabilities, so it is important to understand the differences and make the best decision for your individual needs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics of hunting ammunition and some of the factors to consider when choosing the right rounds for your next hunt.
So let’s dive in!
Best Ammo for Small-Game Hunting
Small game hunting involves hunting animals that weigh under 40 pounds. These include critters (rabbits, pheasants, squirrels), different kinds of birds (turkeys, geese, and ducks), smaller mammals (coyotes and raccoons), and varmints.
For small-game hunting, you might want to start with a .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR). It has a small, accurate cartridge, around 1000 fps, and an 80-yard mark. On top of that, it is very affordable. With this type of rifle, you want to use the following ammo:
- Winchester 22 LR 35 gr CPHP ammo has a muzzle energy of 131 ft-lbs and a muzzle velocity of up to 1280 fps. The bullet weighs 36 grains and usually comes in a box with 555 rounds.
- Federal Game Shok 22 LR 40 Grain copper Plated Nose (Solid) is a copper-plated round-nose ammo. This bullet design gives high velocity to the ammo and muzzle velocity, which can be up to 1240 fps. The muzzle energy can go up to 137 ft-lbs.
- Aguila Super Extra HPs 38-grain copper-plated hollow point is a type of high-velocity .22 LR ammunition. The hollow point design of the bullet allows for expansion upon impact, increasing the effectiveness of the shot.
Apart from .22 LR, you can also check out shotguns and handguns that use .410-bore ammo. These bullets are the smallest gauges of shotgun ammo and have minimal recoil, meaning they are perfect for novice shooters.
Some of the most popular .410 ammunition is:
- Winchester DoubleX Diamond Grade .410 ammo is most commonly used for hunting turkeys. Their muzzle velocity can go up to 1100 fps, and they weigh up to 3/4 ounce, which gives extra precision when hunting turkeys. If you want to check the price range or buy Winchester ammo, visit the Natchez Ammo website.
- 410 Bore – 3”3/8 oz. #7 Shot – Federal Steel Game – Target has a smaller pellet count, making removing the bullet from the meat easier. They come in 25-round boxes and carry 3/8 ounces of steel.
- 410 Bore – 3”Super-X #8.5 Shot – Winchester has a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps, which is also beneficial for taking small animals down without ruining the meat that comes in a box of 25 shells.
The Best Ammo for Big-Game Hunting
Big-game hunting involves hunting animals such as moose, deer, bears, mountain lions, etc. For this type of hunting, you want to choose ammunition with a high stopping power. If you are not well-prepared to take a large animal down, there’s a chance that the animals could seriously injure you or worse.
In the USA, elk hunting is pretty common. Because of their size and weight, picking the right ammo is essential. If you fail to kill elk or moose instantly, they could easily come for you. On the other hand, you want to be as humane as possible, and a larger cartridge will help you kill the animal instantly.
For elk hunting, you want to use the following ammo:
- Federal Power Shok308 180 Grain SP ammo whose muzzle velocity reaches 2910 ft. per second and muzzle energy 2820 ft. per second. The bullet has a Power-Shok soft point (SP)
- 223 REM Winchester USA 55 GRAIN FMJ ammo with a full metal jacket. The bullets’ muzzle velocity is 3240 ft per second, and the muzzle energy goes up to 1282 ft per hour.
- Remington .243 Winchester 95 Grains Core-Lokt Tipped Brass ammo has a spritzer flat base. Its muzzle velocity reaches 3140 ft per second.
For hunting bears, your ammo has to be reliable enough for you to make an instant kill. Once you are ready to challenge yourself with hunting bears, you might want to use the following ammo:
- 45-70 Govt. 405 Grain SP- Remington Core-Lokt ammo with a soft poin Its muzzle velocity is 1330 ft. per second, while the muzzle energy reaches 1590 ft. per second.
- 7mm Remington Magnum 174 GR ammo has a pointed soft point. Its muzzle velocity goes to 2770 ft per second, while the muzzle energy goes to 2964 ft per second.
When choosing your hunting ammo, it really depends on what you plan to hunt. Start with smaller animals until you become skillful enough to move to larger prey.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of good research to keep yourself safe and make a successful hunting session. You always want to make a clean kill and be as humane with the animal as possible, and finding proper ammo is half of the job.