This year's SHOT Show was the debut of several new loads that are ideal for varmint and predator hunting. The bulk of the attention this year focused on 5.56x45mm ammunition and the growing popularity of AR platform rifles , but there were also new offerings from ProGrade, Nosler, Winchester, and Hornady as well.
Here's a look at some of the best predator ammo available for hunters in 2014. So whether you're shooting ground squirrels or grounding coyotes and bobcats, there's a load on this list for you.
Federal American Eagle
is offering several new packaging options for their American Eagle
line of 5.56 ammunition. For 2014, Federal is selling their 5.56 62-grain FMJ ammo in boxes of 150, in cans of 120, and in their sealable Fresh Fire Packs which hold 30 cartridges per canister.
Black Hills 5.56 77-grain Tipped Matchking
For 2014, Black Hills Ammunition
is offering a 77-grain Tipped Sierra Matchking
load in their line of 5.56 ammunition. The Matchking bullet has a long, aerodynamic shape and bucks the wind well, making this a good choice for shooters who like to extend the range of their rifles.
Hornady Custom Lite
Last year, Hornady
introduced their successful Heavy Magnum Coyote shotshell loads, which have become popular with those who hunt song dogs at close range. For 2014, Hornady is offering an extensive line of Custom Lite
ammunition. Of particular interest to predator hunters is the new .243 cartridge that is loaded with 87-grain SST bullets. This combinations virtually eliminates felt recoil and makes the .243 more comfortable to shoot.
Nosler Trophy Grade Varmint
big announcement this year was the flat-shooting, hard-hitting 26 Nosler, but the brand also introduced a new varmint load to their Trophy Grade
lineup, a 64 grain Bonded Solid Base bullet loaded in their .22-250 ammunition. According to Zach Waterman, the bullet's copper jacket and lead core make it effective on deer-size game where .22s are legal, and yet it isn't frangible on predators and won't damage valuable pelts.
Prograde Ballistic Tip
For 2014, Prograde
is also offering a line of varmint/predator ammunition loaded with Nosler's Ballistic Tip
bullets in several calibers. The Ballistic Tip offers rapid expansion in small game, and loads from Prograde are available in various weights in several cartridges, including .22 Hornet, .22-250 Remington, .223 Remington, .220 Swift and others.
Prograde Varmint Grade
is offering a wide range of varmint and predator loads in their Varmint Grade
lineup. For 2014, the company is offering several predator-class cartridges loaded with Barnes Varmin-A-Tor bullets. Available cartridges include the .204 Ruger, .22 Hornet, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .220 Swift, and .243 Winchester.
is also offering predator ammunition loaded with Hornady V-Max
ammunition in several calibers this year as well. These include the .22 Hornet, .220 Swift, .25-06 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and 6.5x284 Norma.
New to the VarmintX
line of ammo this year is the .204 Ruger 32 grain Polymer Tip Rapid Expansion. This load is aerodynamic and produces plenty of energy for coyotes, making this a great all-around load for predator hunting with the capable .204 Ruger cartridge.
Winchester .17 Super Magnum
new .17 Winchester Super Magnum
rimfire ammunition is now available loaded with a 25 grain, polymer-tipped bullet that reaches a velocity of 2,600 feet per second, the perfect complement to the world's fastest rimfire cartridge. It's perfect for small predators and will work on coyotes as well.