What are the most popular ammo brands out there?
One of the great things about the Internet is how quickly you can gain a sense of a product's quality. That's especially helpful when shopping ammo brands because let's face it, there are ton of different options out there.
Are you looking for something for target shooting? Shotgun ammo for that upcoming waterfowl trip? Or are you looking for handgun home-defense rounds?
We hit the internet to figure out the most popular brands of ammo currently on the market. We looked at professional and general user reviews to determine these are the ones people are using.
Most people who purchased these brands had a positive experience and we're sure you will, too.
Federal Premium's .375 H&H Magnum safari rifle rounds are the top-rated rifle round for sale on Cabela's website. This 300-grain, non-lead round gets high praise from users for it's stopping power on everything from whitetail deer to bison and bear. They are also probably the top manufacturer for shotgun shells. Their Power-Shok sabot slugs get high marks from users for their knockdown power on whitetail deer.
Don't overlook Federal Premium's Vital-Shok rounds for both shotguns and rifles. These are easy to find on outdoor shelves nation-wide. Speaking of which, their Vital-Shok buckshot rounds are some of the most popular on the market. Cabela's customer reviews tally 67 five-star reviews to just two one-star reviews. That's pretty impressive.
Oh, and it's worth noting that they have some of the top-rated turkey and target shooting load shells on both Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops. Federal Premium's 3rd Degree Turkey load shotgun shells are especially popular for those pursuing big gobblers every spring.
Hornady has always been traditionally known for quality hunting rounds. Their American Whitetail rounds are available in a variety of calibers and give an untold number of deer permanent dirt naps every season. If you need any more proof of that, these rounds have 154 five-star reviews on Bass Pro Shops.
This company isn't really known for shotgun shells with one exception. Their Hornady SST shotgun slugs, which have made it possible for deer hunters in shotgun-only states to reach out to ranges they had previously never dreamed of.
But Hornady is also very well known for their handgun ammunition. Especially their self-defense rounds named Critical Defense and Critical Duty. Both are slightly different, but both are hollow-points designed to hit hard and expand within your target, putting the threat down for good. Just remember that Critical Duty was designed with law enforcement in mind.
It's made for going through obstructions a bad guy might be hiding behind like a wall or car door. You generally won't need that for most situations the average person might find themselves in. Both types can be found in many of the most popular handgun ammo calibers like 9mm luger, .380, .45 ACP, .357 magnum and more.
They also make Critical Defense for rifles. You can find it in calibers like .223 or even .308 for use in an AR platform. You'll find many firearms instructors across the United States recommending Hornady defense ammo for most personal-defense scenarios the average person may find themselves in.
We can't really talk about popular ammo brands without mentioning Remington. They're a household name here in the United States after all.
One could easily make an argument for this company producing some of the best bird hunting shotgun rounds on the market today. Their standard game load shells carry high reviews on both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's as effective and affordable rounds that continually put food on the dinner table.
Personally, I've used their foster-style slugs for years to put many a deer on the ground.
Remington isn't known as much for their centerfire rifle cartridges, but their Core-Lokt series of rifle rounds enjoy great popularity thanks to their accuracy and affordability.
We also can't talk about Remington without talking about their rimfire rounds. The company has three popular brands of .22 LR ammo. Remington Golden Bullet, Remington Thunderbolt and Remington Yellow Jacket. Personally, I've found the Golden Bullets to be the best of that bunch.
Remington isn't as well known on the handgun ammo market. They do sell some self-defense rounds. I've used their HTP defense ammo before out of my Glock 19 and it works well. Most often you'll find people buying Remington because it's a good practice round.
Make sure to check out the bulk ammo packages where you can get 250-300 rounds of 9mm full metal jacket for $60 or under.
I've shot their 115-grain FMJ UMC and I agree with the online reviews I saw. It shoots very clearly and efficiently for a bulk round. Perfect for a long day of practice or just for fun shooting at the range.
This is a company that really offers it all. Their standard "white box" or USA ammo is sold practically everywhere and is affordable and accurate across virtually all calibers and types.
USA ammo has 115 five-star reviews for rifle ammo on Cabela's to only 12 negative one-star reviews. It's also nice that Winchester often sells bulk range packs of 100-150 rounds at decent prices. Sometimes they even throw in a reusable plastic ammo can, which is a nice touch.
I ran a box of bulk 115-grain full metal jacketed white box rounds through my Glock after I first purchased it and came away impressed by how accurate and clean they were for a round you can grab at any Walmart.
For hunting, look at their Super X ammo for both centerfire rifle and shotgun slugs. Reviews online rave how it is both accurate and packs a punch on a variety of different big-game animals.
For even more range and accuracy, their Gold Sabot slugs have gained a great reputation, too. And don't forget their Drylok Super Steel waterfowl loads and Rooster XR pheasant loads. Both will put a lot of birds on your dinner table.
You're always going to get mixed reviews on rimfire ammo because some guns can be so picky about it. Again, mentioning my Marlin Model 60 here because I always thought this rifle hated lead bullets.
That was until I shot some Winchester Wildcat lead target ammo through it. Go figure, it love it. I used this ammo to take out a couple of problem woodchucks in the backyard recently and it made for a quick, clean kill each time. You'll find their white box brass rimfire ammo gets decent reviews too.
Winchester ammo isn't as well known for handguns. But check out Winchester Super Clean ammo which scores good reviews for longer days at the range and less time cleaning.
Also be sure to check out their SXZ training handgun ammo. Perfect for perfecting your self-defense techniques before you begin concealed carry.
This is a company that is synonymous with rimfire ammo. Their Stinger and Standard Velocity .22 LR rounds are two of the highest-rated rimfire rounds in Bass Pro Shops online store with 444 and 442 five-star reviews, respectively, to only around 10-15 negative one-star reviews.
It's the same story for their .17 HMR V-Max ammo, which maintains 120 five-star reviews to just three one-star ones. In both cases, that's darned impressive.
Maybe it's because they specialize exclusively in rimfire that CCI has been able to become known as the brand to go to for either .22 or .17 HMR. They do make centerfire handgun ammo.
CCI Blazer Brass can be found on literally every gun store shelf in America. It's a popular practice round because of how cheap it is.
Part of us wants CCI to keep specializing and bringing that high level of quality to rimfire while the other part of us wishes they'd expand production and bring us some centerfire rifle or shotgun ammo. In any case, you can't go wrong with them as a rimfire choice.
This company's rifle and handgun ammo is a little more expensive than some others on the market. But their ammo maintains extremely high reviews for their performance. It has 127 perfect five-star reviews on Bass Pro Shops with users praising it for dropping big game like elk or moose with ease, even at long distance.
Also be sure to check out their Partition Bullets and Accubond Bonded Core Bullets. Their "Varmageddon" (What an awesome name!) bullets get high marks from users on both Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops.
Nosler does make pistol and rimfire cartridges, too, although they aren't as well known for them. Their Custom Competition rounds and Ballistic Tip Varmint Boat Tails in .22 are worth checking out.
This brand is quickly gaining more traction among shooters here in the United States. As you might have guessed from the name, this company was initially based in Italy. The history goes all the way back to 1876. Fiocchi makes rounds for everyone from the clay shooting enthusiast to law enforcement agencies.
For self-defense, check out their Extrema XTP line. Fiocchi's Shooting Dynamics centerfire rifle and pistol rounds also get high reviews from users on Bass Pro Shops.
A big part of what's making this company popular with users now is affordability with bulk ammo. The top-rated product in Bass Pro Shop's centerfire rifle section is a bulk ammo can of 200 rounds of .223 V-Max rifle ammo. The cost? Just $109.
But it's not just rifle ammo. You can get an ammo can of rifled, 12-gauge, 2.75-inch shotgun slugs from Fiocchi. The cost is $94 for 80 rounds. Reviews praise these slugs for grouping well for a smoothbore round. If you're on a budget, it's not a bad way to get enough rounds for a couple seasons of deer hunting.
This is another specialty company. If you're not up on your firearm history, the founder was the brother of the founder of CCI. I guess specialization runs in the family because Speer only does handgun and rifle ammo. But more specifically, they are known for their self-defense handgun ammo. I've run into a few concealed carriers who will shoot nothing else.
You'll see a few different brands from Speer, but two to look at are their Lawman and Gold Dot lines of self-defense ammo. Appropriately, these rounds use CCI primers.
Speer isn't exactly a household name when it comes to ammo. But we put them on here because good things spread well through word of mouth and that's the way it is with this brand. We expect they'll do nothing but grow larger as more and more shooters catch on to the quality of their ammo.