What you need in long-range or match-grade ammo will vary depending on what your purposes are.
If you’re simply punching paper or ringing steel, terminal ballistics don’t really matter that much. Pinpoint accuracy does.
If you’re hunting, accuracy is critical, but so are the ballistic capabilities of the cartridge.
Ultimately, these two factors drive the suitability of a cartridge for long-range shooting, whether for hunting or competition.
The following four are good all-around choices.
For all intents and purposes, the .223 and 5.56 are interchangeable here, and most have proven their worth in the 60+ years they’ve been around.
Both of them are pretty light-hitting for a long-range cartridge, which doesn’t make them optimal for hunting at extended ranges, but they do produce relatively flat trajectories.
Moreover, both of them are extremely cheap (as centerfire ammo goes), easy to find, and widely available. Many different options are available, too.
This makes them great for shooters on a budget. Here’s a suggestion for you. If you intend to shoot .223 long-range, shoot a heavier bullet and get a barrel with a higher rate of twist.
Not only is .224 Valkyrie a great long-range cartridge, it was actually developed for the purposes of long-range shooting. It was designed to rival the performance of the .22 Nosler but to be compatible with sporting rifle magazines.
It may be tiny, but it’s capable of accuracy at 1000 yards and greater. Thanks partially to its high ballistic coefficient and partly to its muzzle velocity, it produces less wind drift and bullet drop than .223/5.56, making it even better for long-distance shooting.
Especially in the last few years, 6.5 Creedmoor has gained a lot of popularity, not just among long-distance shooters but among hunters of North American big game.
This cartridge uses bullets that offer excellent ballistic coefficients and cartridges loaded with 100-grain bullets can produce muzzle velocities in excess of 3000 FPS. Common load data indicates that 6.5 Creedmoor will drop around 320” at 1000 yards – though this depends on bullet weight and muzzle velocity.
Based on the .308 Winchester, the 6.5 Creedmoor outperforms it in basically every way, especially at extended ranges.
Most 6.5 Grendel ammo is loaded with bullets in the 90 to 130-grain class, making it much heavier than .223, but these rounds offer very high ballistic coefficients and terminal ballistics. Most shooters agree that shooting at ranges in the area of 1000 yards is highly doable.
The one thing about 6.5 Grendel is that it can be fairly expensive.
What About Ammo? (Federal Gold Medal Match, Remington Premier & More)
There are many different brands that make excellent long-range, match-grade ammo that offers excellent accuracy and consistency. Some of these are:
● Federal Gold Medal Match Ammo
● Remington Premier Match Ammo
● Barnes VOR-TX LR
● Hornady Match & Precision Hunter
● Nosler Match Grade
In general, two attributes you might want to look for in long-range, match-quality ammo are boat-tailed bullets with an open-tip match design.
Boat-tailed bullets are more stable in flight, making them more accurate at greater ranges, and open-tip match (OTM) bullets have a jacket that is drawn up from the base (rather than down from the nose) giving them superior radial symmetry for greater stability at long ranges.
Where to Get High-Quality Long-Distance Ammo Online
Looking for ammo like Federal’s Gold Medal Match or Remington’s Premier Match? Visit Bucking Horse Outpost.
They carry a wide range of high-quality ammo from popular brands, in many different calibers, as well as ammo for hunting, defensive, and competitive applications. Visit their website for more information and don’t miss their hot deals and police trade-in specials.