Advances in AR-15 Ammo

As of now, the .30 Remington AR cartridge offers the best balance of power and external ballistics of any AR-15 cartridge. With bullets between 110 and 150 grains, it is suitable for big game to around 300 yards.

As of now, the .30 Remington AR cartridge offers the best balance of power and external ballistics of any AR-15 cartridge. With bullets between 110 and 150 grains, it is suitable for big game to around 300 yards.

The Future

This chapter honestly just scratches the surface of AR cartridges and has covered some of the more common factory chamberings specifically designed around the AR-15. Nearly anything that could squeeze its way through the magazine well has been tried, including the Winchester Super Short Magnums. The 13th Edition of Cartridges of the World has several new AR-15 cartridges like the .358 Gremlin, which are designed specifically to meet the state of Indiana’s centerfire rifle deer hunting restrictions.

And you can bet the 14th Edition will have even more. Heck, bolt-action uppers chambered for .50 BMG are available for the truly adventurous AR-15 owner. Who knows what else is to come?

As propellant and bullet technologies advance, expect to see has-been cartridges revisited and revamped. Somewhere, someoner will need a round tailored to a very specific purpose, and it is very likely an AR-15, M-16, or M-4 will be able to chamber that round and get the job done better than any other rifle around. All that is needed is for some enterprising wildcatter to step up and design the next best thing.

This article appeared in the Gun Digest the Magazine 2013 Shooter’s Guide. Click here to load up on a subscription.


More Recommended AR-15 Resources:

Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. 4New! - The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. IV

The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. III

The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. II

The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. I

Gunsmithing the AR-15, How to Maintain, Repair & Accessorize

New! The Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Tactical Rifles

Find more gun books, DVDs and downloads at gundigeststore.com.

4 thoughts on “Advances in AR-15 Ammo

  1. capta45capta45

    “Slower 1:7 twist rates” – quite certain you meant either ‘slower velocity bullet’ or ‘faster 1:7 twist rates’. Obviously a 1:7 twist rate is faster than a 1:9 twist rate and will produce more rotation. Longer bullets generally need a faster twist rate to properly stabilize.

  2. retired75th

    There is a concerted ongoing effort to “sell” the 5.56. An effort to get the 5.56 to do what it is not cable of doing. If the platform, such as the AR and its variants was not so versatile, the AR in 5.56 would be a dying breed. It is the flexibility of the AR and not the 5.56 that sells the firearm. This is the bottom line. If you are engaging targets at 500 to 600 yes, are you seriously going to rely on 5.56? Of course not, so why push an inadequate round, except to make money. . There is a big difference between hitting the bulls eye on a paper target at 500 yds, and killing the enemy at 500 yds. If you are hooked on the AR, which is a good weapon, and want to engage real targets at extended range at least rebarrel the weapon. No firearm is the ideal for all missions and conditions, so base weapon selection on the mission, and not hype from folks with a financial angle. And one last thing, in what states is it legal to take big game with 5.56 as the author states?

    1. 454lvr

      Texas and Oklahoma are two that I know of that allow 223 to be used for deer. Oklahoma requires a 7 round or less magazine in the 223. If the ar is of the 308 variety you can used the 20 round magazine.

  3. Harold

    If you’re sticking to .223/5.56 mm, consider rounds that use Barnes TSX copper bullets. Black Hills makes loadings in both .223 and 5.56 mm, the latter to NATO and military specs, sealed, low flash powder and all that. They also sell to us their MK262 Mod 1 that you mention.

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