How to Choose Ammo For Your Hunting Rifle 

When you’re deciding on the right ammunition for your hunting rifle, you want to choose a cartridge that will be effective in the way you intend it to be used. This will depend on several factors, including your own personal preferences and your budget. 

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Caliber, Weight, and Expansion Performance 

The bullet itself is the heart of a metallic cartridge, and it will perform the most important function for a hunter: killing the game animal you’re after. It needs to expand enough to create a wide wound channel and penetrate deeply into the animal’s body to cause serious damage. 

For this reason, the design of a bullet is of paramount importance in choosing the right ammunition for your rifle. It needs to be consistent enough that the shot will always land within your intended target zone, and it should have the proper expansion characteristics to penetrate a game animal’s muscles and bones with minimum damage. 

Varmint Bullets 

Designed for pelt and smaller edible game, varmint bullets are usually made with thin copper jackets and soft cores to minimize damage to a target animal’s pelt. However, they will not expand or penetrate as effectively as a premium, controlled-expansion bullet like the Nosier AccuBond(r). 

Centerfire Cartridges 

The cartridge that your hunting rifle fires are the key to how well a bullet will perform on your target animal. It needs to be a suitable size for your barrel so that it will fire accurately and not give you excessive recoil. It also needs to have the correct power and weight to penetrate your target animal’s bone, muscle, and organs with minimal damage. 

Most rifles can shoot a variety of calibers, but some of the most popular ones for varmint and small game are.17 Mach 2,.17 HMR,.22 LR, and.22 WMR. These cartridges are lightweight, easy to shoot, and low in cost. They can also be loaded with a variety of bullets, including non-expanding solid lead or full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets. 

For larger animals, a heavier, more powerful cartridge is needed to kill a game animal quickly and with minimum damage to the flesh and pelt. This is because the muscle and bones of large game are generally thicker and harder than those of smaller animals. 

If you’re a novice hunter, you might want to start out with inexpensive practice ammo to improve your accuracy. These loads should cost around $20 per box, so it’s not too hard to find one at the local gun store that will fit your budget and provide you with enough practice shots. 

Test Fire Ammunition 

After purchasing the appropriate ammunition for your rifle, go to the range and start testing it out. Try firing every type of inexpensive ammo available in your chosen caliber, and note which brands work best with your rifle, and which ones fail to feed, fire, or extract. Then, you’ll know which brands are worth your money and which ones to discard.