Imagine more than 61,000 people looking over the wares of more than 1,600 companies from all 50 states and more than 100 countries! All this housed within 630,000 square feet of space. That's almost 120 miles of guns and gear. That's SHOT Show.
Obviously, I didn't see it all. But being the ammunition kind of guy, I found some interesting new loads. The good news is there's something here for everyone. The bad news: With ammo being as hard to come by as it's been, I'm not sure when you'll see this stuff on dealer shelves.
Federal, via their American Eagle brand, will be offering four loads specifically designed for use with suppressors. These are subsonic—slower than the speed of sound—loads that, when fired through a suppressor, make less noise than a fat beer drinker after eating a double order of hot wings. These "Suppressor" loads as they're called will be available for the .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP and the .300 Blackout.
American Eagle Suppressor ammunition.
Federal will also be adding their excellent HST bullet to their Personal Defense line of ammunition. The HST bullet is an excellent bullet, particularly if you need to shoot through some sort of barrier such as heavy clothing or a 2x4 club to hit the bad guy bearing down on you. This is the same bullet many law enforcement agencies trust.
For those who like to hunt with so-called "evil" black rifles dominating the media in recent months, Federal is offering the superb Fusion bullet in their Fusion MSR line for cartridges including the .223 Rem., 6.8 SPC, .308 Win. and .338 Federal. Trust me, this is a great hunting load for an AR so chambered. I've seen the 62-grain .223 Rem. version turn a white-tailed deer into ready-to-grill steaks.
Fusion MSR ammunition.
Remington will also be offering a new .223 Rem. load in a new line of ammunition called HyperSonic. HyperSonic ammo is nothing more than an engineering masterpiece that allows for more velocity by use of special gun powders. You can expect between a 50- and 200-fps muzzle velocity increase over non-Hypersonic loads. The .223 Rem. version uses the devastating 62-grain CoreLokt Ultra-Bonded bullet, which is favored by law enforcement. For personal protection or hunting, this is a great choice.
Winchester has added a few interesting loads as well. Most noteworthy for tactards and even real tacticians is the PDX1 7.62x39mm load. If you're a fan of this cartridge or have been looking for a personal protection load for your AK, this should do nicely. Every load I've tested in the PDX1 Defender line of ammunition has been a winner. This cartridge has also been added to the Winchester Razorback XT line, which is specifically built for shooting feral hogs. It'll take down a big buck or a bad guy, too.
And finally, my pick for the most notable new ammunition announcement of 2013 is from Nosler. Nosler has an enviable reputation when it comes to the manufacture of bullets and ammunition. This reputation has been earned over a long period of time will bullets such as the Partition, Ballistic Tip and the Accubond. Now Nosler has directed their engineering expertise into producing handgun ammunition. Not just bullets, but loaded ammo.
There will be two lines: Match Grade loads for the 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, and Defense ammo for those same cartridges. The Match Grade loads will utilize Nosler's excellent JHP Sporting Handgun bullets. I've some experience with these, often handloading the 185-grain .45 cal. bullet for my 1911s. They'll knock the cents off a nickel at 25 yards!
Nosler Defense handgun ammunition.
The Nosler Defense line of handgun ammo will be loaded with specially designed hollow points and a new poly-tipped bullet with a round profile to ensure absolute reliable feeding. Both the hollow point and the tipped bullets are bonded and built with a tapered jacket to guarantee reliable expansion and high weight retention.
How will these new Nosler Defense loads in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP perform? Well, this is new stuff and I've not tested it, but after a lifetime of using Nosler products, I doubt there'll be any disappointment.