Hunting season is upon us and everyone is busy trying to get their scopes mounted and guns sighted in for opening day. Even hunters that choose to hunt with open sights will be hitting the range (hopefully) to get warmed up for when the shot actually counts. Practice is the only way we can ensure a quick and efficient kill which is our duty as responsible sportsmen and women.
Ammunition manufacturers are producing new types of projectile and powder combinations each year in the hopes that they have come up with the perfect combination of power and performance, producing the next “must have” round. Unfortunately though, it tends to muddy the water a little for someone trying to find the right ammunition for their particular type of game animal. We all know that a whitetail isn’t the same as a coyote, and definitely isn’t the same as a hog even though all three might be pursued with the same caliber weapon.
Thankfully most of the manufacturers have gone the extra step with their websites and have included information that is infinitely more helpful for the average hunter beyond the standard ballistic information like velocity, trajectory, and energy. They have gone so far as to identify the type of game the ammunition should be used for, and where necessary, the type of barrel a certain type of shotgun ammunition is designed for. I went though some confusion when trying to find a round for hunting hogs with a smooth bore shotgun. Website searches of the major companies gave me the answers I needed.
Anyone who has spent some time in the field or at the shooting bench will be able to tell you that little changes in bullet weight will drastically change the velocity, energy, and trajectory down field, so do some research to determine which load is the best all around for the game you seek. Keep the shooter’s comfort in mind as well since increasing the bullet weight may increase the loads energy but it also increases felt recoil, potentially making it uncomfortable to shoot. Getting more speed from a load is great when it comes to flatter trajectories but once again, higher speeds means increased recoil.
Check out the major brands and find a load that meets all of your needs and you’ll be more satisfied with the overall results in the field.
Brian “Beastman” Eastman
White River Fly Shop