We all got used to being picky about which brands we buy firearms from. It might seem like a firearm is the most crucial component of the shooting equation, the one that requires your undivided focus. While this is not entirely false, and you indeed need to choose firearms carefully, ammunition is another important aspect of shooting that should not be neglected.
Of course, ammo is more forgiving in terms of choice. If something doesn’t seem to work out, you can buy a box with a different logo and try again – nothing big is at stake. And yet, we should be just as meticulous at choosing what we feed our firearms as we are at picking our diet. Even if you are not a picky eater, your firearm might be, and the quality of the ammo you use is one of the factors determining how accurate your shots will be.
Barrel fouling and cycling issues are but a few problems that low-quality ammo may bring down your head. It takes nothing to break your firearm, and it takes much to restore it. We have a small suggestion. Before typing “gun store near me” into the search box and rushing to your closest firearm dealer to stock up on ammo, give this small article a read. We’ve covered some of the best ammo brands in the USA that produce ammunition your firearm will thank you for. The order of brands is not indicative of their reliability – all of them have proved themselves worthy.
If you drop by even the smallest of gun shops, the chances are you’ll find boxes of Federal Premium Ammunition standing proudly in the most visible place. Unless the gun owner is biased towards some other brand, but even then, who are we to discourage people from playing favorites? Federal Premium is one of the largest and most prominent ammo manufacturers on the planet.
Having been around for more than a century, the brand boasts unparalleled expertise in the field of ammunition production and now makes ammo and reloading supplies for all sorts of shooting activities. Whether you need affordable rimfire ammo for plinking or are ready to pay for top-notch centerfire rounds, the brand can meet your every need. Shotgun owners can choose from a variety of shotgun shell lines, such as Vital Shock, Power Shock, Prairie Storm, and several others.
Federal Premium Turkey loads are extremely popular with gobbler hunters and have brought many a feathered carcass to dining tables. If you are looking for ammo for self-defense handguns, the brand is renowned for its hollow-point ammo, Federal Premium HST and Hydrashock. And, of course, numerous lines of centerfire ammo for both handguns and rifles. The distinguished American Eagle, award-winning Gold Medal, and crowd-pleasing Premium Safari are only a few examples of the brand’s famous ammo series with fans in every shooting community. Hunters, law enforcers, civilian shooting enthusiasts – Federal Premium Ammo caters to the needs of everyone seeking quality ammo.
Another industry giant, Hornady has been providing shooters with quality ammunition since 1949. The company began by repurposing surplus ammunition and spent casings left from WWII for hunting and target practicing. It comes as no surprise that hunting rounds are the brand’s forte that contributed greatly to building up the company’s reputation.
The American Whitetail series has rightfully taken the crown of the most popular ammo for deer hunting thanks to the team’s years-worth experience in ballistics, cutting-edge production technologies, and clever marketing strategies. The brand’s rifle ammo series is not limited to hunting rifles, though – Hornady Critical Defense includes 308 and 223 ammo for AR platforms. If handguns are your area of interest, Hornady ammo is widely recommended for self-defense scenarios.
The already mentioned Critical Defense and Critical Duty lines of hollow-point handgun ammo are designed to end personal defense situations as soon as possible. Even though shotgun shells are not among the brand’s signature products, Hornady SST slugs rescued many a hunter living in shotgun-only states, allowing them to shoot and hit their targets from a longer distance.
Calling Winchester a “Jack of all trades, master of all” won’t be an overstatement. The company stood at the origins of the industry and was one of the pioneers who brought together ammo and firearms manufacturing. The brand that won the West was also the first partner of Mr. John Browning, the father of guns himself.
Ammo is not the main factor that contributed to the brand’s reputation, but it’s known for nothing else but consistency and exemplary performance. The renowned Winchester white box became a household name among shooting enthusiasts. It performs equally well across all calibers and types while staying widely accessible and highly affordable.
A guest from overseas, Fiocchi had established its dominance in Italy before it came to compete in the American market. The company was founded in 1876 and remained a family-owned business ever since. Whatever shooting hobby you pursue and regardless of the type of firearm you use, this brand has something to offer.
Turkey and upland hunters should consider taking a look at the Fiocchi Golden Pheasant series of shotgun shells. As a matter of fact, shotguns are the brand’s main focus, so if a scattergun is your weapon of choice, check out their numerous lines of shells and slugs. The brand also manufactures ammo for rifles and handguns, with Extrema XTP and Shooting dynamics series being a few examples.
When it comes to rimfire ammo, CCI has no equals. Cascade Cartridges Inc. has been operating since the beginning of the 50s and always specialized in .22LR and .17HMR cartridges. The CCI Standard Velocity and Stinger ammo series enjoy the leading positions in rimfire ammo ranks. It’s hard to think of better proof of the brand’s mastery.
Even though rimfire ammo is the brand’s forte, it does produce centerfire cartridges as well. The Blazer Brass series of handgun ammo is highly popular with novice shooters due to its balanced price-to-quality ratio. The brand is not known for rifle ammo or shotgun shells, but we’ve mentioned plenty of other companies that can meet that particular need. But if you need rimfire ammo, you won’t find anyone more competent than CCI.