Top 5 Shooting Illustrated Articles of the Decade

posted on January 1, 2020
As we look into the rearview, 2019 closes out a remarkable decade in the firearm world. In the 2010s, Shooting Illustrated became an official journal of the National Rifle Association, joining American Rifleman, American Hunter and America's 1st Freedom as the magazines of choice for NRA's more than 5 million members. Over the last 10 years, a number of articles floated to the top, as we answered burning questions in your heads and found new ways to view ammo, accessories and firearms. Without further ado, here are the five most popular Shooting Illustrated articles of the decade:

Top 5 'Budget Priced' .50 BMG Rifles

Iconic .50 BMG sniper rifles include those built by Barrett, Accuracy International and more, but these guns can run into the tens of thousands of dollars and are all but unattainable by the average shooter. Are there any options that provide the fun and long-range capability of the .50 BMG cartridge without costing as much? In fact, there are. Manage your expectations, though, because "budget" in the .50 BMG world doesn't quite mean what you think it means. However, here are the entry-level options in this big-bore world.

6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridges

Over the past decade, several 6.5 mm rounds have taken off like wildfire, and the 6.5 Creedmoor led the pack as a round that many long-range shooters used to ring steel past 1,000 yards. Both 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 Grendel have become popular rounds for use in semi-automatic, AR-style firearms. Our Rifles editor took a look at the long-range capabilities of both cartridges in a gas gun, and he was surprised by their capabilities. Check out his experience in this column.

.22 LR for Self-Defense?

By far one of the most popular cartridges in existence, the .22 LR has been used for everything from training first-time shooters to small-game hunting to competition use. However, one area where the .22 LR certainly doesn't excel is in self-defense. However, what kind of capabilities does this diminutive rimfire round have in the self-defense arena. Can it be counted on at all in a pinch? We examine some of the ballistics and realities behind this .22-caliber cartridge.

7.62x39 vs. .300 Blackout

On the surface, the venerable 7.62x39 mm round, a mainstay of the Soviet Bloc and used throughout the world as a go-to military cartridge, has much in common with the new hotness in the form of the .300 Blackout. Both are .30-caliber cartridges designed for use at intermediate ranges, and both are chambered in some of the most popular semi-automatic firearms on the planet. However, there's much more than meets the eye with these two rounds, and we examine the differences in each here.

5.56 NATO vs. .223 Rem.: What's the Difference?

On most of today's AR-15 barrels, they're rated for both 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem., although there are a few guns that are .223 Rem. only. But what's the real difference between these two cartridges? Externally, they look exactly alike. Can you put a 5.56 NATO round inside a .223 Rem. barrel and shoot without issue? What about shooting .223 Rem. inside a 5.56 NATO barrel? We answer all your questions in this head-to-head comparison.


Sheriff Jim Wilson
Sheriff Jim Wilson

The Holster Evolution

Being quick on the draw is a relative thing. 

First Look: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 Metal M2.0 Pistol

The new Spec Series kit also includes a custom blade, optics mounting plates and a challenge coin.

First Look: True Knives DAV Gift Set

A portion of the proceeds will go to Disabled American Veterans.

Review: Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Optic

Thermal imaging is much more affordable with Sightmark’s new Wraith Mini.

Browning Hi Power Custom Build Part 3

Time to go under the hood.

I Carry: Colt Competition 1911 Pistol in an ANR Design Holster

In this week's episode of "I Carry," we have a Colt Competition 1911 in 9 mm carried in an ANR Design Non-Lightbearing IWB holster and a Buck Decatur pocketknife.


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