Podcast: Do We Really Need All These New Rifle Cartridges? 

by Vern Evans

In this episode of the Outdoor Life Podcast, shooting editor John B. Snows into Hornady’s hot new cartridge and explores the future of cartridge design

Four 22 ARC cartridges on a target background with 5-shot groups for accuracy.

A sampling of the groups generated by Hornady’s 62-grain ELD-VT bullet in the 22 ARC. John B. Snow

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Any time we cover a new rifle cartridge, we get a good amount of flak from a specific segment of our audience. The critique goes something like this: “Instead of ammo companies shoving new cartridges down our throat, they should just make more ammo for the rifles we already have.” Consider this criticism to be the background music in our latest Outdoor Life Podcast, in which I interview shooting editor John B. Snow about Hornady’s new 22 ARC — a hot-rod cartridge designed largely for nighttime coyote hunters. 

In some ways, these reader complaints are understandable. Ammo availability and pricing for many cartridges has been erratic since the COVID-19 pandemic. No one likes to find out they can’t easily buy ammo for a rifle they’ve had for years.

“I am sympathetic to the general shooter out there who just wants to shoot their gun and not feel like they have to take a math class to understand the latest and greatest,” says shooting editor John B. Snow.

But on the flip side, the question of “need” kind of misses the point. In recent years, ammo makers have adopted principles of Modern Cartridge Design to create cartridges that are more efficient. Some of those new loads that are relevant to hunters include the 22 ARC, 6.5 PRC, 7mm PRC, .300 PRC, and 6.8 Western.  So even if you never buy a rifle chambered in these cartridges, it’s useful to understand their qualities if only to get an idea of where the trend in cartridge design is headed. This podcast is a good place to start.  

Read the full article here

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