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Slugs, shot, and spitzers: the latest in long-gun ammo.

Trying to predict the market for rifle ammo is a little like trying to predict the weather -- chancy at the best of times. Most manufacturers won't release any advance information regarding next year's new products, and from the few that do, the information comes in vague hints and speculation.

Fortunately, this year, one of the major manufacturers has offered some advance information. For 1993, Remington is offering a wealth of new products to talk about, including a 12-gauge slug that brings some fresh thinking to the sabot game and some great additions to the rifle ammo market.

Instead of joining all the others by coming out with a wasp-waisted, BRI-type slug fully encased in a two-piece sabot, Remington borrowed from their own .30 caliber Accelerator technology. The result is Copper Solid, as Remington is calling this new slug, a more-or-less conventional (meaning cylindrical) shape, but it's machine-turned from solid copper. The BRI-type slug, by comparison, is completely encased but for its nose in a two-piece sabot, but the Remington Copper Solid sits in a one-piece skirt that has eight forward-projecting petals, as it were, that open like a flower upon encountering air resistance.

At the seminar where I had a chance to see and shoot this new slug, I was shown high-speed photos of the sabot falling away just a couple of yards from the muzzle. Apparently, the increased surface area of the petals causes it to open much faster than the .22/.30 caliber sabots Remington uses for its .308, .3006, and .30-30 Accelerators.

Since solid copper isn't about to mushroom like a conventional jacketed bullet with a lead core, the nose carries a rather severe hollow point with two cross-wise slits. Upon impact, the four petals formed by the nose cuts break off forming four secondary projectiles of some 20 grains each. This in addition to the main body of the slug which retains its original weight (sans petals), and momentum. In theory it should be very lethal indeed.

These new Copper Solids are designed for use in rifled shotgun barrels only. Remington claims consistent groups of 2.5 inches from a benchrest at 100 yards. I have personally shot many 2.5-inch or better groups with the original BRI stuff, and with the current Federal and Winchester versions ... but then I've fired lots of 4- to 5-inch groups with the same gun and ammo five minutes later.

Given the uniformity and concentricity inherent in the way these slugs are produced, I look for the main improvement over the BRI-type to be that of consistency. They should also shoot a little flatter too thanks to the higher ballistic coefficient Remington is claiming. It's still, however, a 125-yard deer/bear combination, no more.

While on the subject of slugs, Remington has at long last chosen to address a problem that has existed with its Foster-type "Sluggers" since day one; namely, that of swaging them some .035" undersize for the sake of those who might shoot them and possibly bell the muzzles of their full-choked guns. As a result, Remington's slugs have always had a reputation for being the least accurate among the Big Three.

For '93 Remington's Sluggers will be sized to match the nominal cylinder bore of the 12-gauge gun just like the competition's, plus they've added a new plastic base wad to provide a better gas seal and minimize leading.

Yet another major move for Remington is the revamping and broadening of its entire steel shot line. The new loads will consist of 56 different specifications in both the Nitro Steel and Express Steel lines in 10, 12, 16, and 20 gauge. Eight pellet sizes will be represented, from TTs to #6s. In addition, all Remington steel shot will be rustproof with a galvanized coating. There'll also be a new Wet Proof crimp seal that will be lacquer coated, as well as primers for enhanced weatherability. Obviously, Remington is anticipating that steel shot will be required in more and more upland areas, not just waterfowl zones.

Wrapping up the new ammo goodies from Big Green for '93 are the addition of two new loadings in the Extended Range line: a 135-grain in .270 Winchester and a 165-grain .30-30. Remington will also offer the addition of a 200-grain Spitzer loading in .300 Win. Mag. to its Safari line of premium ammo.

Winchester/Olin

Although the folks at Winchester/Olin had very little to say about their new products in advance of their unveiling in Houston this month, they did drop a few hints.

According to sources within the company, Winchester will be offering a new line of high-grade hunting ammo in several of the major rifle calibers. This ammo will compliment Winchester's Black Talon pistol ammunition, featuring the same type of dynamic expansion and accuracy that customers have come to expect from their newest pistol ammo.

Meanwhile, Winchester continues to offer its Super-X centerfire rifle ammo, with the CXP3, CXP3D, and CXP4 bullets for any type of hunting scenario, from small game and varmint to extra large, African safari game.

For hunters who want the ultimate in stopping performance and accuracy, Winchester offers the Supreme line of ammunition with CXP3 and CXP3D bullets featuring Silvertip Boattail bullets.

In the shot shell line, Winchester offers several lines to fit all hunting and target needs. For clay bird shooters, the Double A target loads continue to be a popular item, and for hunters, Winchester offers the Super-X game loads, the Double-X Magnum Turkey Loads, the Super Steel non-toxic game loads for waterfowl hunting, and the Super-X BRI sabot slug loads.

Federal Cartridge

Federal makes ammo buying easy for your customers with its excellent packaging and marketing program for both rifle and shotgun ammunition.

For the rifle customer who enjoys target shooting or varmint hunting, or who is shooting on a budget, Federal offers its silver-boxed Classic ammo. Federal Classic features Hi-Shok bullets in calibers from .222 Remington to the .45-70 Government. If your customer wants the highest quality and accuracy available, steer them toward the Federal Premium line with its distinctive gold box. These rounds are available with either the Sierra Boattail bullet or, for maximum stopping power, the Noser Partition bullet.

Shotgunners have the same quality options, and for the avid shooter, Federal offers the distinctive American Eagle line. This "economy" line of ammunition has features which customers expect to find in higher priced premium ammo, such as copper plated shot, and high-quality powder, primers, and wads. The American Eagle Heavy Loads for target shooting come in 12, 16, 20, and 410 gauges; the Field Loads, for upland hunting, come in 12, 16, and 20 gauge; and the Heavy Game Loads with unplated shot, are available in 12 and 20 gauge. These valuable marketing tools give the dealer plenty of room for profit.

From practice and training through "trust your life carry," the wise gun dealer can easily put together an inventory that will serve the needs of his customers, and in doing so, he can make his store known as the "one-stop shop" for those whose handgun needs rannge from weekend recreation to survival at the edge of the abyss.

For more information about the companies mentioned in these articles and their products, please circle the following numbers on the Reader Service card or write to Shooting Industry magazine on a sheet of your business letterhead.
3D/Impact 401
Black Hill 402
CCI 403
Corbon 404
Federal 405
M&D 406
PMC 407
Remington 408
Winchester/Olin 409
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Title Annotation:Shooting Industry Ammo Blowout: A Look at the Most Explosive Items You'll Ever Have in Your Stock; rifle ammunition
Author:Sundra, Jon
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:1250
Previous Article:What do you put in your handgun?
Next Article:Are you serious? A dealers' guide to reloading - where the serious customers spend their money.
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