Cartridge selection is critical when deciding on a new rifle. For example, should you select the flashy new 6.5 Creedmoor or venerable .308? The answer depends of factors such as whether you will be hunting, if you plan on shooting 500 or 1,000 yards, recoil tolerance, availability, and several other factors tackled by the author in this head-to-head review.
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If you have ever used the 6.5x55mm Swede, you know it is a game killer—out of proportion to its size. The 6.5 Creedmoor is even better in the modern rifles it is chambered in. As a varmint caliber, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers excellent utility. It offers longer range than the .223s and greater bullet mass. With Hornady TAP loads, it is also a fine tactical load, splitting the difference between the .223 and .308.
CCI is a branch of the Vista Outdoor Company that also owns Federal Cartridge Company and Speer. These are heavy hitters with an excellent reputation in the firearms world. CCI is best known for its success with first-class .22 rimfire ammunition, while the 9mm is simply awesome for range work.
Some time ago, the inexpensive ammunition market was flooded with foreign-produced steel-cased ammunition. This ammunition was not always consistent, but it was always cheap. Winchester set out to develop an American made loading, offering American powder and bullets with inexpensive steel-cased cartridge cases. Winchester’s USA Forged ammunition was the result.
At 25 yards, even the new protégés were shooting “minute of bunny” …after they got the hang of it. Best of all, .22 LR ammunition is affordable. We shot for a couple of hours and still had well over 200 rounds left over.
A few months ago, Federal Ammunition announced American Eagle Syntech—a new concept for range use. While there are many highly-developed loads for personal defense, seldom has much effort been expended in developing range ammunition. American Eagle Syntech is the first range-specific ammunition designed to reduce fouling and extend barrel life with a high-tech polymer bullet coating.
The Shooter’s Log is often asked about the ‘best’ handgun load. Unfortunately, many correspondents fail to share the intended mission of the load. The mission has a strong influence as to the desired bullet weight, velocity, and penetration. As an example, you may be perfectly happy to run the .44 Special or .45 Colt with a 255-grain SWC at 700 fps for cowboy action or target practice. If hiking in country in which the big cats or bears may be more than a nuisance, the same bullet up to 1,000 fps would be a better choice.
The .41 Magnum is a useful, powerful, accurate, and well-balanced cartridge. Perhaps, it is one of the best revolver cartridges ever designed. Yet, it seems to be almost on its last leg, and far down the list in popularity compared to the .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. This is understandable in some ways, but the cartridge is just too good to die.
There are few subjects as prone to create an argument as personal defense handguns and calibers. Some have a “devil may care” attitude and deploy anything, stating most are the same, while others go into great, even minute detail, in their testing and choices. Critical Defense and Critical Duty loads are not really variants of the XTP but fresh designs for a specific purpose. They have Hornady quality in common, however. These loads make the most of a handgun caliber.