TESTED: Ammo Inc Hunt LR Delivers Serious Performance

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The term “long-range shooting” is as ambiguous today as it was when it was first coined. Depending on the rifle, optic, and shooter’s ability, it can be measured in either miles or feet. Decades ago, it was considered unethical to take a hunting shot in excess of 300 yards, and rightfully so. When your typical hunter was carrying a 2 MOA rifle with a questionable 3-9x duplex mounted to it, that vital area became quite small, even within walking distance.

Ammo Inc Hunt LR

Today that is simply not the case. Sub-MOA accuracy is no longer a premium feature; it is now the benchmark. Scopes with sophisticated reticles and tactical turrets are commonplace, and even lever actions are now capable of firing modern high-velocity ammunition. With equipment now better than ever, hunting ammo needed to catch up. Filling many a niche, Arizona-based Ammo Inc. now includes a Long Range Hunting line to round out its family of intriguing products. Dubbed Hunt LR, the entire line employs polymer-tipped bullets, signature brass, and temperature-stable powder. The design ensures a virtuous harvest at distances that make a Fudd squirm. At the time of its announcement, I asked the company to send me the first three loads available for testing, as I couldn’t wait to put these downrange and perhaps into a bit of ballistics gel, too.

The loads that I wound up with were .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor. With that, I had to select appropriate firearms for each. Starting with the .223, I pulled a 24-inch heavy-barreled AR-15 from the safe and topped it with a Bushnell 4.5-27x optic that housed a mil-dot Christmas tree reticle. For the Creedmoor, I went with Henry’s Long Ranger, which feeds from a detachable-box magazine, making it safe for use with pointed bullets. Built with a 22-inch barrel, it’s compact enough for woods work but accurate enough for longer pokes. To that end, I topped it with a 4-16x Burris Fullfield IV that contains a reticle made specifically for this cartridge.

Test Rounds Downrange

Lastly, I used the .308 Winchester to put some rounds through Taurus’s new bolt-action, the Expedition. This rifle is also compact in nature, with an abbreviated barrel measuring just 18 inches. Topping it with a 4-16x Sightmark Core TX 2.0 gave me a precise, uncluttered mil-dot reticle without breaking the bank.

I began my testing with the .223. Made with a 60-grain V-Max, the 1 in 8” twist on my rifle would have no problem stabilizing it. I have a long-standing history with this bullet, as it’s one of my favorite all-around .22-diameter projectiles. Although intended for Varmint hunting, I have found them to be outlandishly accurate inside of 700 yards and, therefore, loaded them for my reduced course Service Rifle matches. Additionally, I’ve used them in a number of factory configurations on prairie dog hunts and have witnessed their explosiveness claim in person. A thin-walled jacket initiates fragmentation at the first signs of target resistance.

As predicted, the groups were excellent out of this rifle, earning them a recommendation out to and including 600 yards on Coyote-sized nuisances. At the muzzle, they chrono’ed an average of 3,184 feet per second, yielding 1,350 ft.-lbs. of energy. This is certainly enough for Coyote at any given range, and I only hesitate to recommend them for deer or antelope because of the meat that would be lost through their fragmentation. 

Ammo Inc Hunt LR in 6.5 CM.

6.5 Creedmoor Lasers

Moving up a touch in recoil, I prepped a mag full of the 6.5 Creedmoor for the Henry Long Ranger. Ammo Inc. uses a 140-grain SST projectile in these, which stands for Super Shock Tip. In its 6.5mm incarnation, the bullet’s long ogive helps maximize its ballistic coefficient to buck the wind better and retain more speed over distance. This results in more downrange energy than many bullets larger in size and heavier in weight.

Generating a whopping 2,727 fps from just 22 inches of barrel, this works out to 2,311 ft.-lbs. of punch to start with, covering you even through extended hunting distances. The recoil out of the Henry wasn’t half bad and makes a great replacement for anybody used to shooting, say .243 Winchester. The classic 1:8” twist was enough to stabilize the bullet, and judging by the result, I wouldn’t hesitate to run these out to 700 yards on deer-sized game.

Serious Accuracy

Saving the thumper for last, I turned to the .308 Winchester load. Like the 6.5, this load comes topped with an SST. This 150-grain 30-caliber bullet features the same specs but is built with a shorter, tangent ogive. This helps it earn stability in slower 1:12 twist barrels that still occupy the .308 market. The Expedition utilizes a more modern 1:10 twist, so that wasn’t going to be an issue. Groups were astonishing, with nearly every one measuring under a minute.

A modest velocity of 2,687 fps also meant that the recoil was manageable, which was surprising for such a small firearm. Muzzle energy worked out to 2,404 ft.-lbs., making this deadly on medium game out to most hunting distances, and given how tight it grouped, I’d be willing to take this out to 700 yards on a whitetail. The only reason I won’t say further is that .308 Win. starts to destabilize shortly after that. Additionally, one must have impeccable wind-calling skills to land one with this cartridge in a field setting.

.223 performance in a gel block.

Gelatin Peformance

With a block of Clear Ballistics 10% FBI gel in my hand, I decided that I wanted to see the V-Max in action, so I placed it at 100 yards. I’ve recovered enough SST bullets from the real deal to see the final result; however, despite firing thousands into paper and hundreds into prairie dogs, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a 60-grain V-Max post upset. Firing a single shot proved outstanding results. The projectile exploded after traveling just 1.25 inches into the gel, with the largest chunk going 9 inches. Lead permeated the entire wound cavity, and picking out individual bits was a tough task. Clear Ballistics gel can normally be melted and reused. However, I don’t think that is going to be the case with this particular test. 

Wrapping it up, I think Ammo Inc. did an amazing job of loading known-performing bullets to expand the line of hunting options out there. As with most of their products, you will find these to be quite reasonable when compared to other premium hunting fodder. The .223 fetches about $25 a box, while the 6.5 and .308 go for around $38. These numbers come from a more expensive retailer, so you can expect to find them for considerably less, particularly during “normal” market times. If you’ve bought a rifle in the last few years and topped it with even mid-quality glass, you owe it to yourself to utilize this product line and train out to extended distances, as sometimes you simply can’t stalk your way in. Ammo Inc’s new line might be called LR, but in reality, using it makes that shot feel much closer. 

For more info, visit ammoinc.com.

Shooting Results

Cartridge Velocity (fps) Smallest Group Average Group
.223 Remington 60-grain V-Max (27 Sd) 3,184 1.01 1.31
6.5 Creedmoor 140-grain SST (39 Sd) 2,727 1.12 1.56
.308 Winchester 150-grain SST (15 Sd) 2,687 0.68 1.06

More Good Gear: Kryptek Lykos II Jacket

Kryptek Lykos II Jacket

Camo only gets more effective with distance. Therefore, if you make the right choice, you’ll be damn near invisible and more likely to leave the field with some meat. Kryptek’s Lykos II jacket is made with a synthetic down that remains warm when wet and is thinner than conventional hunting coats. This helps to keep a slimmer profile while keeping you comfortable enough to remain still. Each pattern is not only functional but stylish, too, helping you to stand out when you’re not busy trying to blend in. (kryptec.com)

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