The past couple of years haven’t entirely been a game of catch-up. Ammo makers have quietly been creating intriguing new loads that will be arriving as we hopefully return to something that resembles normal.
I’m a bit reluctant to present the new ammo products slated for production in 2022 because some of the new loads advertised for 2021 have yet to make it to dealer’s shelves. The reason for this was the unprecedented demand for ammunition we experienced over the last two years. It’s hard for manufacturers to dedicate resources to new offerings when they cannot make enough of their old ones to keep shooters happy. Though I’d not say the ammo world is back to normal, there does seem to be some stabilization. So, with some hesitancy, here are some exciting new ammo introductions to look forward to in 2022—or later.
I’m going to give top billing to the new self-defense pistol cartridge introduced by Federal: the 30 Super Carry. This cartridge might be best described as a semi-automatic version of the .327 Fed. Mag. It will deliver terminal performance similar to the 9 mm, but with less recoil. Because of its smaller diameter, it will also allow for a 20-percent increase in magazine capacity. Federal, Speer, Blazer, American Eagle and Remington will be offering practice and carry loads for this cartridge, and you can read more about it on page 40.
From a news standpoint, it’s hard for new loads offered in existing cartridges to compete with a completely new cartridge and a full complement of ammunition to go with it, but the new ASP loads from Nosler are definitely newsworthy. This new line of ammunition will initially be offered in common bullet weights for 9 mm, .40 S&W, 10 mm and .45 ACP. Additionally, subsonic ASP loads will be offered in 9 mm and .45 ACP. The ASP ammunition features a new bullet design. It is a jacketed hollowpoint with a skived jacket designed to deliver controlled bullet upset over a wide range of impact velocities. The bullet profile has also been optimized to help with reliable feeding. Also, Nosler will be offering these new ASP bullets as components for reloaders. Prices start at $17.45 per box of 20 loaded rounds.
Though not technically a new cartridge, shorty 12-gauge shotshells are relatively new to the market. When used in shotguns that are shorty-shell capable, like the Mossberg 590S, with an overall length of just 13/4 inches, they offer a substantial increase in capacity. For 2022, Federal will be offering a Force X2 shorty shell load. Force X2 is a 00 buckshot load utilizing pellets that are split and designed to come apart during penetration. The result is a doubling of the wound-cavity-creating potential. These new Force X2 shorty shells hold six 00 buckshot pellets. When they split, you will have 12 wound tracks, which is three more than you would get from a standard nine-pellet 00 buck 23/4-inch load. MSRP: $28.99 for a box of 10.
For many years, shooters have enjoyed the low cost of CCI’s Blazer ammunition. Blazer ammunition is less expensive because the cartridge cases are aluminum instead of brass. Of course, the downside to Blazer ammunition has always been the inability to reload the empty cases, which is why CCI also offers reloadable, brass-cased Blazer ammunition. For 2022, CCI is expanding the Blazer Brass line to include a 9 mm load featuring a 100-grain flat-nose bullet, and the bullet and the primer are lead free. The suggested retail price of $27.99 for a box of 50 puts the cost-per-round at 56 cents.
The Federal HST line of self-defense ammunition is highly regarded by those who carry a pistol for personal protection. The HST bullet has a core that is mechanically bonded to the jacket to help it hold together during penetration, and the unique hollowpoint is designed not to fill up and retard bullet deformation when it passes through intermediate barriers. For 2022, Federal will be loading two revolver cartridges with HST bullets. There will be a 104-grain HST bullet in a new load for the .327 Fed. Mag., and a 154-grain HST bullet in a new load for the .357 Mag. Suggested retail prices are $37.99 and $42.99 respectively.
The .44 Spl. cartridge has a cult-like following among those who are devotees of the idea of a big-bore revolver for personal protection. It is also popular with .44 Mag. shooters who do not like getting their wrist twisted every time they pull the trigger. For 2022, Federal is adding a 180-grain .44 Spl. load to its Punch line of self-defense ammunition. The suggested retail price for a box of 20 rounds will be $35.99.
The rise in popularity of the 350 Legend cartridge was somewhat unexpected. Designed to meet straight-wall cartridge requirements
in the few states that mandate them for deer hunting, surprisingly, the AR-15-compatible 350 Legend has seen acceptance outside those environments. Hornady has taken notice, and for 2022 will be offering a subsonic load for the Legend. This new load features a 250-grain expanding SUB-X bullet with a G1 ballistic coefficient (BC) of .265. Not only does this new load have reduced-noise hunting application, but it could also be used for personal protection. Suggested retail price: $39.99 per 20-round box.
Remington ammunition, now owned by Vista Outdoor, introduced a tipped version of its famous Core-Lokt bullet, and I was actually able to test it. A standard 150-grain, .30-caliber Core-Lokt bullet has a BC of .314. The new tipped version has a BC of .480. With a muzzle velocity of 2,800 fps, that means there will be 3 inches (more than that, actually) less drop at 300 yards. Thus, the new loads seem to offer a bit more precision yet with the same terminal performance. Prices will vary by cartridge, but 20 rounds of .308 Win. have a suggested retail price of $49.99.