Here are the top new bullet and ammunition breakthroughs helping redefine accuracy.
What's new in bullet and ammunition designs:
When you close the bolt what do you think about? Most likely it’s the impending shot and the proper mechanics to make it come to fruition. It’s understandable, but to a certain extent a shame. Aside from marksmanship fundamentals, what's in the chamber is responsible for those little clover-leaf groups you'll sprout or the steel you'll bang from the next zip code. And that's worth pondering a bit.
Enough to make a mind reel, advancements in bullets and ammunition in the past quarter-century have been truly astounding. High tech and engineered to the hilt (or meplat, if you will), the payloads move faster, shoot further and hit harder than ever before. And as time marches on, they continue to grow more specialized and arguably better and better.
What’s on tap presently concerning cutting-edge projectiles? Glad you asked, because ammo makers and ballistic wunderkinds keep on pushing the envelope. Just a taste of the fruits of their labors, we gathered up five of the newest bullet and ammunition breakthroughs to hit the scene recently. No matter your application, these high fliers will take care of business.
Hornady ELD-X Bullets
Hornady’s new ELD-X (Extremely Low Drag eXpanding) hunting bullets and the company’s factory ammo loaded with them are the greatest quantum leap in bullets and ammo for, oh say, the century! The new bullets have the patented “Heat Shield” polymer tip that prevents deformation by frictional heat at long ranges. They’re incredibly accurate and expand at short or long ranges. They’re the real deal. www.hornady.com
Trophy Bonded Tip Bullets
In the 1980s, Jack Carter invented a bullet he called the “Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.” It was a terrific game bullet, and Federal offered them on factory ammo in the 1990s. In 2008, Federal announced a new version called the “Trophy Bonded Tip (TBT) bullet, but it’s now available as a reloading component. It has a 95-5 shank, with a bonded lead alloy core, an orange polymer tip, and is nickel-plated. I have used it on game, and performance is terrific. www.federalpremium.com
The 22 Nosler is a high-velocity 22 with the dual missions of varmint shooting, and to feed the long-range craze. The round has been out for about a year, and is a potent and accurate cartridge for the AR platform. www.nosler.com
The 224 Valkyrie from Federal/Savage is based on the 6.8 PC case. The velocity and long-range capabilities are, at least on paper, superior to just about all other “long-range” cartridges, but has substantially less recoil. www.federalpremium.com
The 25-45 Sharps, developed by the Sharps Rifle Company. No they don’t make falling-block buffalo rifles, but rather high-end ARs. The round is the .223 case necked up to .25-caliber, with no other change. Its goal is to duplicate the ballistics of one of the best deer rounds ever conceived, the 250 Savage. The original 250 in 1920 launched an 87-grain bullet at the then astounding velocity of 3,000 fps. The 25-45 comes so close that no deer will ever notice the slight difference. Everybody should have one. www.srcarms.com
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the 2018 Shooter's Guide issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.