Launching New Rounds: Know the Ammo Your Customers Will Ask About

When it comes to the latest ammunition for competition, self-defense, hunting and range work, do you know what your customers will be asking about? If not, find out what you should be talking about.

Launching New Rounds: Know the Ammo Your Customers Will Ask About

Sig Sauer's 300 BLK SBR Elite Copper Duty ammo is one that customers may be asking about, and you should know about to be able to discuss it with them. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Across the board, products in the shooting sports continue to be influenced and directed by the hi-tech boom. At the 2019 SHOT Show, for example, ammunition makers launched dozens of new and upgraded ammunition offerings, and much of what was introduced very much reflected this hi-tech trend.

Whether it’s ammunition for hunting or self-defense, rifle or shotgun, competition or even basic range ammo, the hi-tech approach is providing ammunition that is cleaner than ever, more accurate and provides superior expansion for hunting and self-defense applications.

Ammunition manufacturers outdid themselves this year, with literally dozens and dozens of new offerings; what we’ve gathered here is just a sampling of the new 2019 ammo options. But this should give the independent retailer a good sense of what’s out there and what ammunition customers will be asking about, this year and beyond.


Barnes Precision Match 6MM Creedmoor
The Barnes line of Precision Match rounds has a great reputation among competitive shooters, and for 2019 Barnes adds the increasingly popular 6mm Creedmoor and 300 BLK. The Barnes Precision Match 6mm Creedmoor is loaded with a 112-grain OTM boat-tailed bullet, with a very high ballistic coefficient. The Barnes Precision Match 300 AAC Blackout launches a 125-grain OTM bullet. For both rounds, expect consistent accuracy and a very low standard deviation.

Remington Premier Match 6mm Creedmoor
Remington jumps into the 6mm Creedmoor mix by adding the caliber to its Premier Match line. Loaded with Remington’s 112-grain open-tip match bullet, the Premier Match 6mm Creedmoor manufacturing process produces very low standard deviations in velocity and very rare occurrence of extreme variations, shot after shot.

Sig Sauer .30-‘06 Springfield Elite Match Ammunition
Sig Sauer adds to its Elite Match ammunition line with the .30-‘06 Spfd. featuring a 175-grian Sierra MatchKing bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second. Designed to excel in today’s modern firearms as well as older rifles, expect to see the .30-‘06 Elite Match appearing in the many M1 Garand and vintage rifle matches popping up across the country.

USA Ready from Winchester
Winchester’s new USA Ready products provide a new option for competitors and target shooters looking for premium performance with a full line of centerfire rifle and handgun calibers. Flat nose or open tip bullets are used for optimum accuracy and Match Grade primers provide great consistency. Winchester also includes a unique lot code on each package, so customers can go online to see the factory testing results for their specific lot of ammunition. Centerfire rifle available in .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 300BLK, .308 Win. Handguns calibers are 9MM, 40 S&W and .45 Auto.

Law Enforcement, Self-Defense

Federal Premium HST 10mm Auto
Federal’s new 10mm Auto HST features a full-power loading that makes the most of the 200-grain HST bullet, providing large, consistent expansion, optimum penetration and superior terminal performance. The specially-designed hollow point won’t plug while passing through a variety of barriers, and the bullet jacket and core hold together to provide nearly 100 percent weight retention through even the toughest materials.

Hornady Critical Defense
Hornady adds two new options to its popular Critical Defense line, the .25 Auto firing a 35-grain FTX bullet, and .32 Auto with the 60-grain FTX. Hornady’s FTX projectile maximizes the potential of the hollow point bullet, as the patented Flex Tip aids expansion and eliminates clogging when passing through clothing. Nickel-plated cases increase visibility in low light situations. Low-flash propellants won’t disrupt night vision.

Hydra-Shok Deep by Federal
Federal Premium launched the Hydra-Shok Deep line in 2017, and for 2019 adds new loads in 40 S&W and 45 Auto. Like the original 9mm Hydra-Shok Deep, the bullets in the 40 S&W and .45 Auto rounds feature a more robust center post and a core design that penetrates to critical depths through common self-defense barriers without over-penetrating. Per FBI testing, these rounds penetrate 15 inches in bare ballistics gel and through heavy clothing.

Nosler 10MM Auto Match Grade Handgun
Nosler enters the increasingly popular 10MM handgun mix with the addition of the 10MM Auto to its Match Grade Handgun line of ammunition. Loaded with Nosler’s accurate, and deep-penetrating 180-grian Sporting Handgun bullet, this 10MM round is suitable for targets, defense, and hunting. For the handgun hunter, the jacketed hollow-point bullet will take on up to deer-sized game.

Ranger One from Winchester
Winchester continues its push into technology-driven ammunition for law enforcement with the Ranger One for handguns, which employs a bonded bullet holding a rigid, fluid directing, polymer insert seated within the hollow-point cavity. This proprietary technology prevents the projectile from being affected by drywall, cloth or other material. Upon impact, the rigid polymer insert contributes to the expansion and segmentation of the petals, while the bonding process maintains bullet integrity and optimal penetration depth. Available in 9mm only.


Barnes VOR-TX LR
The Barnes all-copper LRX (Long Range X-Bullet) opens instantly on impact into four razor-sharp petals that plow a wide wound channel and deposit massive amounts of energy. For 2019, Barnes adds to the LRX mix with: the 6mm Creedmoor with the 95-grain LRX BT bullet; the 270 Win and the 129-grain LRX BT; and the 30-06 Spfd. firing a 175-grain LRX BT bullet. High weight retention helps create long wound channels to effectively and humanely take down game at close and extended distances.

Berger 6mm Creedmoor Hunting Ammunition
New for 2019, the Berger 6mm Creedmoor Hunting round is loaded with a 95-grain Hybrid Classic Hunter bullet in a Lapua cartridge case to provide match-grade accuracy and lethal precision. Classic Hunter bullets feature Berger’s cutting-edge hybrid ogive design, the same design as Berger Hybrid Target Bullets. It’s also offered in a competition/target option — the 105-grain Hybrid Target round.

Hog Hammer is Back
After a hiatus of a few years, Remington has brought back its Hog Hammer lines in centerfire rifle and handgun rounds. Made to take on big, tough boars, the Hog Hammer loads feature the Barnes XPB pistol bullets and Barnes TSX rifle bullets. Remington is also adding three new rifle loads in 6.5 Creedmoor, 270 Win, and 45-70 Gov’t — plus Hog Hammer in .357 Mag.

Hornady Outfitter
Hornady’s new Outfitter ammunition line features corrosion resistant nickel-plated cases that are sealed watertight for use in harsh environments and are topped with Hornady’s first-rate monolithic GMX bullet. The GMX bullet is compliant for areas of the country where non-lead projectiles are mandated. Outfitter is offered in most standard calibers to take on medium to large game.

Nosler Varmageddon
Nosler adds three new calibers to its Varmageddon ammunition line: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 Grendel. The Varmageddon bullet has a sleek ogive and thin jacket, providing great ballistics and impressive terminal performance on thin-skinned predators. Only Nosler brass and Nosler bullets are used, and each round is visually inspected.

Remington Premier Expander Sabot Slug
For its new premier Expander Sabot Slug, Remington features the Barnes TSX slug for hard-hitting performance. Made of 100 percent copper, the TSX opens with four razor-sharp cutting petals, allowing the slug to penetrate farther through tough bone and tissue than traditional Foster-type slugs. The AccuTip insert assists with expansion and aids accuracy. Available in 12- and 20-gauge, with 2 ¾- and 3-inch variations for each gauge.

Remington Premier Scirocco Bonded
Remington re-introduces the Premier Scirocco Bonded centerfire rifle line for 2019, offering it in most standard hunting calibers. The Swift Scirocco Bonded bullets feature a precision shaped polymer tip that defies frontal air resistance for less drag. The tapered, pure copper jacket is bonded to the lead core for controlled expansion and maximum weight retention at all velocities. A secant ogive bullet profile and boattail base offer a high ballistic

RIO ECO BlueSteel
RIO’s new ECO Bluesteel is a family of products within the company’s BlueSteel Range that leaves no trace of plastic or lead in nature. That’s right: zero plastic and zero lead. The no-lead shot is loaded with RIO’s new PRO ECO WAD, the industry’s first-ever water-soluble wad.  It is 100-percent biodegradable and completely non-toxic. In fact, once in the environment, the ECO WAD turns into compost, becoming an organic fertilizer.

SIG SAUER Elite Hunting
SIG SAUER, Inc. adds .243 Win and 30-06 Spfd. loads to its premium-grade, Elite Hunting ammunition line. These exceptionally accurate rounds feature all-copper bullets that deliver deep penetration and consistent 1.8x diameter expansion. The 80-grain .243 Win Copper Game round has a muzzle velocity of 3,425 fps, while the 150-grain 30-06 Spfd. generates 2,920 fps.

The 300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge)
Hornady worked long and hard to create the 300 PRC, a 21st Century magnum cartridge specifically designed to take advantage of long, heavy-for-caliber bullets capable of delivering the highest levels of accuracy and aerodynamic performance. Based on the 375 Ruger cartridge case, the 300 PRC is non-belted magnum. The 300 PRC Hornady rounds are available in both Hunting and Match loads, and several gun makers will have rifles in time for 2019 big game seasons.

Winchester Xpert Snow Goose
Winchester borrowed technologies from its existing Xpert and Blind Side waterfowl shot shell lines to create Xpert Snow Goose for hunters. The shells combine proprietary XPERT Steel Shot and the Diamond Cut Wad system to control the shot release and improve downrange patterns. Xpert Snow Goose even features a low-visibility tube, so no matter how many empty shells are around the blind, the next flock of geese won’t suspect a thing! It’s available in 3- and 3.5-inch loads.

Winchester 350 Legend
Winchester Ammunition’s biggest splash for 2019: the 350 Legend, which it bills as “the fastest straight-walled centerfire rifle cartridge in the world.” With six ammunition offerings available in 2019, the 350 Legend boasts more energy than the 30-30 Win, and approximately 20 percent less recoil than the .243 Win. With an effective range of up to 250 yards, it should be fine choice for deer hunting, especially in states that allow straight-walled rifle cartridges. It is available with bullet weights from 145 to 265 grains. (Several gunmakers, including Winchester Arms, will have rifles available in 350 Legend by late summer.

Range and Training

Syntech Training Match
Federal’s new Syntech Training Match offers the same velocity, trajectory and point of impact as equivalent Federal Premium Personal Defense HST and Tactical HST duty ammunition. Train with the less expensive Syntech Training but replicate the more-expensive self-defense rounds. Syntech Training Match features the one-of-a-kind TSJ projectile, which uses a polymer jacket to eliminate metal fouling and drastically reduce damaging barrel heat and friction. Available in 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 Auto.

Remington SubSonic
The result of a collaboration between suppressor maker AAC and Remington, Remington SubSonic is designed to maximize the effectiveness of the silencer by providing a “quieter” and cleaner ammo. SubSonic is offered in 9mm Luger, .45 Auto, 300 AAC Blackout and 22 LR.

RIO Target Load Low Recoil and Transparent Wad
RIO’s newest Target Load features lower recoil than comparable offerings, while the highly visible blue wad allows shooters to easily follow the trajectory of their shot and adjust accordingly. It is an ideal shotshell for new and youth shooters and is currently only available in various 12-guage, 2 ¾-inch options.

SIG SAUER 300BLK SBR Elite Copper 
As the “SBR” indicates, SIG SAUER designed the new 120-grain supersonic 300BLK SBR Elite Copper Duty load to specifically work well in short-barrel rifles. Available to the commercial market for the first time, this supersonic duty round is engineered for reliable, controlled, 1.8x expansion and superior feeding out of rifles with sub-9-inch barrels. Velocity is 1,897 fps with muzzle energy of 959 ft-lbs. out of a 6 ¾-inch barrel.

Solid Profits Selling Ammunition

You’re an FFL retailer so of course you offer ammunition. But are you profiting like you should?

If your ammo is located under the rifle rack behind your main counter, take a look at the ammo from the customer side of the counter. Can you even read the specific calibers on the boxes?

“Ease of viewing is critical for moving ammunition,” says Miles Hall, senior advisor at Hall-N-Hall Advisors ( “If you have bulk loads, like cases of shotshells, set them on the main floor with sales signage.”

If you have a whole counter dedicated to ammunition, make sure you have signage atop the counter so customers can easily find your offerings.

Hall has sold truckloads of ammunition, literally, as he and his wife, Jayne, operated H&H Shooting Sports for over 25 years in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. H&H grew from a small indoor shooting range to a $25 million a year retailer.

Based on his experiences, Hall says retailers can expect profit margins on most lines of ammunition in the 20 to 28 percent range. Self-defense ammunition can move the profit needle up to 40 percent, he noted, while customized loads can even rack up a 50 percent profit.

“Make sure you educate sales staff about the different types of ammunition you carry and their preferred uses,” Hall adds. “For most of our dealers, ammunition is their second-largest revenue generator.”


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.