ammo types

Different Types of Ammo for Your Hunting Rifle

Hunting is a popular pastime in America. In fact, an estimated 15 million people across the nation participate in this activity. For some, it’s purely a matter of sport. Others consider it a way of life. It’s even a necessity for many people. Considering the direction the country and society in general seem to be taking at this point, having the skills to find, kill, and clean your own protein may become essential during the coming years. Those who can will survive, and those who can’t could ultimately end up starving. Either way, it’s important to understand the different types of ammo available for hunting rifles and how to choose the right one for your needs. 


9 Millimeter

In truth, 9mm ammo is popular in many circles. That means some people certainly use it in their hunting rifles. Quite a few recommend it for warding off wolves and coyotes, and numerous hunters have brought down their fair shares of deer with this type of round. Having said that, it’s not really an ideal choice for hunting larger game. It’ll bring down an animal without causing too much damage to the meat, but many hunters are quick to point out that there are more powerful options out there that give you much more range than a 9mm, which would be helpful for more sizable moving targets. 

.22 Long Rifle

For small animals and honing your shooting skills, .22 long rifle cartridges are popular. They’re small in stature but have plenty of velocity to get them from the rifle to the target. Though they don’t produce much recoil when used in rifles, they can still do plenty of damage no matter what they hit. Even so, they won’t throw out your shoulder or leave you terribly sore after shooting them. As is the case with 9 mm rounds, they’re not the optimal choice for larger animals.

.17 HMR

As a lightweight round that’s designed for precision, the .17 HMR, or Hornaday Magnum Rimfire, works well for small game and all those little critters that just won’t stay off your property and out of your trashcans. These cartridges give you more bang for your buck than .22s. Being a rimfire round means the bullet springs into action when the firing pin hits the rim of the cartridge. In contrast, center-fire rounds are set into motion when the firing pin hits their center. 

.223 REM

This brings us to the .223 REM, or Remington. It’s great for pests and predators and can be used at longer ranges, so you don’t have to be within striking distance of your prey to be able to strike first. This type of round is a little larger than the .22, but the differences are minimal unless you truly scrutinize the two side by side. While these cartridges can technically be used for deer, many states frown upon that practice. Still, hunting laws and regulations vary by state. Some hunters feel that a .223 is too light for game like deer, but many others are quick to argue that point. 

.224 Valkyrie

Next in line is the .224 Valkyrie. It’s fairly new to the rifle ammo lineup, but it’s already making a name for itself. This type of cartridge is good for a range of purposes, including pests and predators. Of course, its usefulness spans beyond that point as well. Many people use it for deer, antelope, and the like. Some even swear by the .224 Valkyrie for hunting wild hogs. On the other hand, certain hunters just don’t prefer this type of round for hogs. It’s largely a matter of preference. 

.30-30 WIN

Many of the rounds we’ve discussed so far are meant primarily for problematic wildlife and smaller game. That brings us up to the .30-30 Winchester. It’s not one of the largest and most fearsome rounds on the market, but you could say it takes matters to another level. Historically, the Winchester .30-30 was the first commercial sporting rifle and ammo combination in production to use smokeless powder. It quickly rose to fame and has held its position as a popular choice to this day. It’s perfect for a variety of game, including deer and black bears. 

Choosing Your Ammo

Those are a few of the most popular types of rifle ammo available to today’s hunters. Numerous other options are out there as well. Consider the types of game you’re after and your accuracy to help you choose the best one to meet your needs. Also keep in mind, it’s not only a matter of the ammo. Your rifle will help dictate the types of rounds you should choose as well. Don’t stray from the types of ammo your rifle was meant to use. Doing so could hamper your hunting efforts and even end in disaster for you and the gun. 

Last Updated on August 31, 2021

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