Before you read the title and go off the rails, we already know the greatest trick of 2021 is not “what ammo is best” but rather “what ammo can I find.” We’re here not only to share news of our favorite deer hunting introductions for 2021 but also rounds that we have seen in stock recently. There are reasons you’re more likely to find these rounds both online and in stores. 
 

Remington Core-Lokt Tipped

 

Remington Core-Lokt ammo
With the reboot of Remington ammunition manufacturing, Core-Lokt ammo is back on the table with some improvements. (Photo: Remington)

There aren’t many deer hunters, especially frugal ones, who haven’t used Remington’s Core-Lokt ammunition. For decades, it has been the most available and affordable rounds on store shelves. When Remington brands went belly-up, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but hope has returned. Remington ammunition is back in production, now under Vista Outdoors and Federal guidance. Not only are they recommitting to traditional Core-Lokt, but they’re doubling down on deer hunting performance with the new Core-Lokt Tipped. Whitetails are thin-skinned animals, requiring fairly rapid energy transfer and projectile expansion. Not only does Core-Lokt Tipped offer superior long-range ballistics and accuracy, but that polymer tip initiates more rapid expansion and larger wound channels. The same lead core and “locking” copper jacket remain. 

You’re more likely to find Core-Lokt tipped primarily because it is new – new company, new packaging, new projectiles. The “new” Remington ammunition brand wants to show off its own fresh hunting option, and this is it. Look for Tipped online and in stores before whitetail season in all the hottest hunting calibers, from .243 Win and .300 WSM to .308 Win and .30-06 Spfld. 
 

Winchester Super-X 100th Anniversary

 

Winchester Super-X Ammo
Celebrating 100 years, Winchester Super-X ammo is having a special anniversary run. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


We’ve long shot and loved all shapes and sizes of Winchester Super-X ammunition – rimfire, shotgun, and rifle. For how long? Well, Super-X is celebrating 100 years. It was good then, and it’s just as good now. While standard Super-X loads are just fine, the yellow anniversary edition boxes full of Super-X Power-Point are this year’s gem. It comes in the company’s hottest cartridges: .243 Win, .30-30 Win, .270 Win, and .308 Win. 

Why will you find Super-X when you’re struggling to find ammunition, period? Anytime a company commits to a new product, especially an anniversary product run for that year only, they will make it available. You may have to be in the right place or looking at the correct time, but Super-X Anniversary is already out there. We’ve seen it in local stores in multiple calibers, and it has been online, too. While we don’t advise wild hoarding, this is a limited run. So if you want it, buy it when you see it. 

Federal Terminal Ascent

 

Federal Terminal Ascent ammo
Though a bit pricier, the quality, cost, and reputation of Federal Terminal Ascent also make it more likely to still be on the shelf. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


When Federal, the world’s largest producer of sporting ammunition, claimed Terminal Ascent as “the best hunting bullet ever built within the 98-year history of the company,” hunters were listening. Terminal Ascent is a premium product loaded for match-grade, long-range accuracy with a bonded, boat-tail hunting bullet. While it is a popular longer-range choice, its lower-velocity expansion makes it a legit all-range performer. Whether hunting deer or larger game, Terminal Ascent has proven its capability. Calibers include the most popular distance shooters and longtime favorites, including 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, .270 WSM, .280 Ackley Improved, 28 Nosler, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spfld, .300 Win Mag, and .300 Win Short Mag. 

Why might you find Terminal Ascent when everything marked Federal Premium – though being produced around the clock – is flying off shelves? Though the company is cranking out as many types of rounds as possible, they’re likely to devote extra runs to one of their most touted hunting lines. Further, the casual hunters we see in the local shop tend to grab the cheapest boxes on the shelf, leaving the pricier, albeit more impressive, Terminal Ascent. 
 

Hornady Bore Driver FTX

 

Hornady Bore Driver FTX ammo
As a newly launched muzzleloading projectile, Bore Driver FTX might stay more available. (Photo: Hornady)


The biggest news in Hornady ammunition for 2021 is not technically “ammo” at all. Rather, it’s a new muzzleloading projectile. The Bore Driver FTX is a flex-tipped FT bullet with an InterLock ring mated to a polymer base – not a sabot – that seals the bore. The 50-caliber, 290-grain bullet measures 0.499 in diameter and comes in 20-count packages. There are four five-round speed loaders in each pack, which makes the product especially friendly for taking afield. The rounds load easily, are accurate, and will expand nicely on deer even at lower velocities with the FlexTip. 

Why might you see this on dealer shelves while other muzzleloading gear is MIA? Many hunters, especially black powder folks, like to stick with the tried and true in brand, weight, and style. Why mess with something that works? While that’s often true, Hornady’s latest technology is too good to pass up, even if that means a little extra time working up a load at the range. Due to that, as well as its slightly higher price point, FTX was either in stock or coming soon to many of the retailers we checked. 
 

Norma Whitetail

 

Norma Whitetail Ammo
The lesser-known Norma brand might be hanging around for the ammo-seeking hunter this year. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


Norma’s new Whitetail line of ammunition utilizes the company’s own soft-point, flat-based bullet loaded into Norma’s own premium brass casings. That soft, exposed lead nose is geared toward rapid expansion on deer-sized game, while the projectile’s thin jacket ensures that expansion occurs at high and lower velocities. Norma’s Whitetail ammunition is available in some of the most common chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spfld, and .300 Win Mag. 

Why might you find Norma Whitetail when other brands are out of stock? The answer is a bit of a strange one, though we’ve seen it time and again. Norma ammunition, of parent company RUAG Ammotec, hails from Sweden, where Whitetail is loaded. Though the brand has been putting out serious quality ammunition for decades, the blue-collar American deer hunting market is not overly familiar with them. Boxes of high-quality Norma regularly last much longer on our shelf while the big American names fly out the door.

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