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The Best Rifle Cartridges for the North American Big Game.

Posted Jun 5th, 2022

The Best Rifle Cartridges for the North American Big Game.

Big game hunting is a sport that involves hunting animals like buffaloes, antelopes, rhinos, and some big cats like tigers and leopards. While some are killed for meat, others are killed for horns, skins, and similar byproducts. Participating in the North American Big Game calls for choosing the right ammunition for the job. In this blog post, we will look at some of the best rifle cartridges for the North American Big Game. 

30-06 Springfield Ammo

The 30-06 Springfield is by far the most popular hunting ammo out there. This Accubond ammunition offers great power and penetrates well into your target. It provides excellent performance when hunting down the largest game at long distances. These cartridges are designed to ensure controlled expansion. They can penetrate excellently into thick hide and bone, and also possess immense knock-down ability. 

If we talk about specs, the bullet style is the Accubond Long Range aka ABLR. The bullet weight is 150 grains. The cartridge is 30-06 Springfield, while the muzzle energy is 3190. It also offers a muzzle velocity of 2750 fps, and each pack contains 20 rounds. 

The great thing about ABLR is that it contains an extremely aerodynamic polymer tip. It is packed in a tried and tested jacket and also contains a lead core that is alloy bonded. These cartridges are loaded in brass cases which are nickel-plated. These specs result in smooth feeding and resistance to corrosion. These cartridges offer a projectile that provides maximum ballistic coefficient. 

The shots are flat, and they resist the wind while providing maximum terminal effect. Irrespective of your shooting length, the 30-06 Springfield Ammo provides a devastating and deep performance. The only downside to these cartridges is that some shooters complain that it isn’t compatible with most rifles. 

Precision Hunter Ammo 6.5 PRC 143GR ELD

The Precision Hunter Ammo 6.5 PRC 143GR ELD by Winchester comes with a 143-gain load, which offers ultimate ballistic potential. Generally, the propellant used by Winchester in their precision hunting range are clean burning and they offer loading uniformity. 

Time after time, this design offers consistent placement of the shots. Irrespective of the temperature you shoot at, this design offers great uniformity in terms of accuracy and performance. As a result, the shooter feels more confident, regardless of the complexity of the hunting circumstances. 

Let’s talk about the specs. This low-expanding bullet offers a muzzle energy of 2782. Furthermore, the muzzle velocity is 2960 fps from a 24-inch barrel. The Precision Hunter Ammo 6.5 PRC 143GR ELD are built in such a manner that they can easily bring down bears, deers and elks with decent precision. One of the cons of this product is that unlike other makes, it’s not as good grouping-wise. 

6.5 Creedmoor 129 Grain Accubond Long Range Rifle Ammo

The Accubond 129 6.5 Creedmoor by Nosler is one of the best ammos for hunters seeking high performance. When compared to bullets of the same caliber, this hunting ammo offers the highest ballistic coefficient. Some of its prominent features include a long ogive, high performing boat tail, and a polymer tip. 

If you don’t know already, the term ogive is used to define the curve of a bullet’s front section. The two types of ogive are tangent ogive and secant ogive. The 6.5 Creedmoor 129 Grain falls within the tangent ogive category. 

This specific piece of ammunition was produced by Nosler to fulfill the needs of long-range hunters, needs that are becoming more demanding with time. The hunters of today are on the lookout for ammo that does justice to high-grade optics. They also need better performance when taking down big game animals. 

This bullet offers a minimum impact velocity which is no more than 1300 fps. When fired, this ammunition mushrooms and expands reliably over longer distances. It is worth noting that most bullets by Nosler have an impact of 1800 fps. The only con of using this ammo is the limited impact velocity, as we have already discussed. 

Hornady Precision Hunter 280 Ackley

If you are a devout hunting enthusiast or even someone who enjoys listening to hunter tails, you must have heard about the unapproved SAMMI version of this ammo. The approved SAMMI version on the other hand is what you need to make your hunting more enjoyable. The 280 Ackley offers a different dimension, as opposed to some of the popular wildcat versions out there. 

So what’s the difference between the 280 Ackley and the 280 Rem? The 280 Ackley is 40 degrees steeper. The steepness equates to a longer casing, which increases its powder capacity by 5%. Moreover, the sharper shoulder also enhances the case life. This feature makes this bullet a great option for handloaders. 

Moreover, these bullets are widely available, so you don’t run out. They also offer amazing velocities and a long brass life. Sadly, this ammunition is a little problematic for non-handloaders. They have to settle with a limited number of factory loaded options.  

Federal – Edge TLR Component 270 Caliber

This bullet is by far the first ever all range hunting projectile. What really sets this bullet apart is the trademark slipstream polymer tips which offers great expansion, especially over longer distances. However, when shooting at shorter lengths, the copper shank and the lead core retain weight, thus ensuring lethal and consistent penetration. 

Another great spec is the sleek and long profile, which offers a decent ballistic coefficient. Furthermore, its AccuChannel groove technology design results in better accuracy and minimal drag. Also, this cartridge is available in weights and diameters that make it suitable for most popular long-range hunting rifles. 

This ammo is perfect for any hunter that seeks constant ballistic results. Moreover, the polymer tip is designed in a fashion that offers maximum heat resistance. Other features include lesser wind drop and drift, flat trajectories, and low-velocity expansion. What’s truly amazing about this product is that each pack contains 50 pieces as opposed to 20-piece boxes offered by other manufacturers. 

Swift Bullet Co. – Scirocco II Bonded Bullets

If you are into bear hunting, this bullet will enable you to bring down a big grizzly from a longer distance. These hunting cartridges are known for their excellent accuracy and long-range efficiency. Furthermore, it also provides excellent energy and velocity. 

It also has a sleek design which results in a high ballistic coefficient. These features combine to provide you with an extremely flat trajectory every time you fire downrange. Also, it provides positive expansion results at lower velocities. Furthermore, with this bullet, you will also benefit from higher weight retention and controlled expansion every time you need close-range shots. 

This bullet has a high-quality polymer tip which results in decent expansion, while the shape minimizes frontal air resistance. It also has a secant ogive nose profile which also increases the ballistic coefficient of this bullet. Another great feature of this ammo is the copper jacket, which tends to control expansion management over a wide range of velocities. The core and the jacket are attached to one another using Swift’s excellent bonding technology. The longer driving band also results in better rotational ability. According to Swift, there is not a bullet out there that ensures the same terminal range as the Swift– Scirocco II Bonded Bullets. 

Hornady 308 Win 178GR

The Hornady 308 Win 178 GR is a force to reckon with. When it comes to long-range hunting situations, most hunters like to stick to this ammo. It is particularly known for taking down bigger game with utmost accuracy. The components contained in this 178-grain bullet are carefully selected. 

Each cartridge in this category is loaded with high-quality boat tail bullets that ensure excellent performance. Every piece goes through a strict quality control process that ensures the right bullet seating, consistent charge and pressure, optimal velocity, overall length consistency and repeatable accuracy. 

Why is this a highly respected piece of ammunition? There are three reasons why that is. First of all, when manufacturing jackets for these bullets, Winchester uses the Advanced Manufacturing Process aka AMP. Furthermore, these bullets benefit from technological advancements in areas like tooling, design and manufacturing process. Another interesting fact about AMP bullets is that they are designed with a near-zero variation of wall thickness. As a result, the jacket offers unprecedented uniformity and concentricity. 

Next comes the powder. The powder is used very carefully to match each load, thus ensuring accuracy, velocity and optimal pressure. Lastly, we have the primers. Winchester used the best primers out there, which are used carefully to match every load. 

HSM Ammunition .300 Weatherby Mag Ammo

The .300 Weatherby Mag Ammo ruled the market for a long time until Remington came up with their .300 RUM. However, despite having serious competition, these bullets are still very effective when it comes to long-distance hunting. Whether you are hunting on the field or practicing on the range, these bullets do wonders. 

So, why is this ammo popular with hunters? The answer is, this is a 185-grain bullet that ensures power and accuracy. Let’s look at the specs. The muzzle energy offered by this ammunition is 3969 lb/ft, while the muzzle velocity is 3108 fps, which comes from a high-quality brass casing. These specs combine to provide you a versatile piece of ammunition which is perfect for the range, matching and hunting purposes. 

Hunters that seek factory-made loads often claim that these bullets are far better than some of the finest best hand loads. However, there are some downsides such as hiking prices and the availability of alternatives.

Things to Consider When Buying Long Range Hunting Ammo

If you are in the market, shopping for long range hunting ammo, here are a few things you need to consider. 


Caliber is the diameter of the projectile which is being fired. Bullets come in a variety of sizes but the two most crucial measurements are millimeters and inches. For example, a 0.24 caliber bullet is 0.24 inches in diameter. Similarly, a 7mm caliber bullet has a diameter of 7mm. It is worth noting that the .300 Weatherby Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, 30-06, and the .30-30 have the same diameter. The real difference lies in the bullet’s weight, as well as the amount of powder which propels your bullet downrange. 


As the name implies, penetration is the ability of your ammo to go deep into an animal’s vitals, and in some cases exiting through the other side. Penetration is an outcome of momentum, which results in kinetic energy. It is important to note that speed isn’t the defining factor in this case. A bowling ball that travels at 10 miles per hour tends to have a fastball traveling at 100 miles per hour. A heavier bullet moving at an average speed tends to have better momentum than a lighter bullet at a higher speed. 


If you have deep pockets, you can afford the best ammunition out there. However, if you cannot splurge more than $20, your list of options shrinks. Some of the most affordable cartridges are   .243, .270, .30-06, and .308. If you want magnums, you might have to spend some more, as they are pricier than their non-magnum counterparts. 

If you are shopping for the best ammo for the North American Big Game Hunting, your search ends here. At Detroit Arms and Co. we offer the best ammunition and gear for firearms enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. Whether you are a hobbyist, a hunter, a military man or a law enforcement professional, we have got you covered. We also publish a blog that educates our followers about the latest news in the world of guns and warfare. If you want to buy our products, read our blog or simply need guidance in matters of the gun, feel free to visit our website today.