Big-Bore Ammo

Why Not Feed Your Beast The Best?

When it comes to your big-bore handgun, you need the best
ammo possible to wring out all the performance you can.
Read on to find out about the best loads today.

Every conceivable shooting or hunting application can be handled with today’s top-shelf, big-bore handgun ammo. If the Big Tent guys don’t provide a particular bullet or load, the smaller boutique shops probably will. Here are some great sources of quality ammunition for demanding handgunners.

Black Hills ammo produces high quality, consistent shooting ammo.


Black Hills ammo can always be found in my storage bin. My .44 Mag. handguns are often loaded with their 240-gr. XTP loads. After running a lot of them over a chronograph, I can attest to their consistency and accuracy. And the company’s new 160-gr. HoneyBadger in .44 Mag. is awesome. But if you want something bigger, go to the 300-gr. JHP. From Cowboy Action to serious hunting, Black Hills makes great ammo and they’re tops when it comes to customer service. Plus, the pricing is very reasonable.


As I was preparing for deer season with a Freedom Arms Model 83 in .41 Mag., I had a chance to test some Barnes 180-gr. Vor-Tx XPB ammo and found it shot unbelievably well in this revolver. As a matter of fact, 3-shot groups from 100 yards fell well inside 2″! I’ve experienced the same success with the same 225-gr. .44 Mag. offering. The XPB bullet is accurate and devastating on game such as deer or boar. If you haven’t shot it, give it a whirl.

Buffalo Bore is well-known among serious big-game hunters.
The company offers high-octane loads for big critters.


Well-known in handgun circles for manufacturing high-octane ammo, Buffalo Bore specializes in serious ammo for serious hunting. Owner Tim Sundles is a hardcore hunter and designs his ammo for hunting big game of all sorts. I have a ton of confidence in his loads, which have always been accurate and consistent. I’ve used them in Africa on handgun hunts. Buffalo Bore’s heavy-duty handgun ammo features hardcast or premium jacketed bullets. Either way, regardless what you’re hunting, they’ll deliver.

Cor-Bon has been making high-performance ammo for years.
They have an excellent track record.


For more than 30 years I’ve been shooting Cor-Bon ammo in a variety of handguns. Normally I use loads from the company’s DPX lineup — I’ve found this bullet to perform perfectly on a variety of game. In Cor-Bon’s Hunter lineup, the 180-gr. BCSP 10mm Auto round would be a great choice for hog hunting. In my .44 Mag. revolvers, the 240-gr. JHP hits with authority. Cor-Bon offers ammo for defense, tactical, hunting or competition applications.

DoubleTap provides a variety of big-bore options.


DoubleTap catalogs a huge selection of the most popular handgun cartridges. They started their business producing 10mm ammo in powerful loadings not commonly found from the Big Boys. At last count the company offered 16 different 10mm loads — covering just about everything from home defense and personal protection to hunting big game (owner Mike McNett is a hunter). They utilize quality Starline brass in many offerings with premium jacketed bullets and hardcast ones. DoubleTap continues to expand their lineup while offering most big-bore revolver and semi-auto calibers.

Federal’s Premium line is a byword in serious revolver loads.


Federal Premium includes so many quality rounds I can’t begin to list them all. I know they provide premium bullets for almost any situation. In some revolver offerings they load hardcast, jacketed hollowpoints, Barnes bullets, Swift bullets and others. Federal is always building a better mousetrap with new, innovative loads. While testing some Federal .41 Mag. ammo the other day, I used three different bullet options — a 210-gr. JHP, a 180-gr. Barnes Expander and a 210-gr. Swift A-Frame. Federal’s Premium line has top-end ammo for
any circumstance.


If you’re looking for penetration on big game, check out Garrett Cartridges of Texas. They don’t offer ammo for every caliber, but they do specialize in certain big-game revolver rounds. Their .44 Mag. 310-gr. Super-Hard-Cast Hammerhead load will definitely handle most heavy-boned, thick-hided predators. Those who prefer the .45 Colt also have a solid choice with a 265-gr. Hammerhead load. Moving up the ladder, the .454 Casull is also available in a 265-gr. load as well. All of this is heavy medicine for really big chores.

Hornady’s XTP bullets have a strong following among handgunners.


Hornady Manufacturing provides handgunners with many choices. Their XTP bullets have a proven track record of success, especially on whitetail deer and such. I’ve been shooting their .44 Mag. and 10mm Auto loads recently and found consistent accuracy in both. The XTP will deliver reliable expansion at revolver ranges and has been responsible for many deer tags getting punched. Hornady is always adding to — and improving — their line.

HSM specializes in Cowboy Action loads as well as high-performance hunting ammo.


Since 1968, HSM has been manufacturing quality ammo. They utilize the finest components available and gear their products for specific applications. Their Cowboy Action load is great for plinking and practice. On the other end of the spectrum, HSM offers a Bear Load — which has found favor with big-game hunters. I’ve burned up a lot of HSM ammo recently and have never encountered a problem.

SIG’s recent entry into the ammo business has been great for big-bore handgunners.


SIG SAUER has jumped on the ammo train and now produces several popular handgun rounds in their Elite Performance line, including the 180-gr. V-Crown JHP in 10mm Auto. After shooting a bunch of it during a recent testing of several 10mm handguns, I’ve become very fond of the way it performs. This is not bargain-basement stuff! The company features the best components along with premium bullets to provide very accurate, consistent ammunition.


HPR manufactures some mighty fine ammo. In past range sessions I’ve found their .44 Mag. 240-gr. JHP to shoot very well. I wouldn’t be a bit afraid to tackle any whitetail or wild boar with it. HPR also provides 180-gr. 10mm Auto in both JHP and FMJ configuration for various applications. The company delivers quality without compromise in several popular handgun rounds.

Swift makes top-shelf ammo and their A-Frame bullets are the big-game gold standard.


If you’re serious about big game hunting and shoot a .357 Mag., .41 Mag., .45 Colt, .44 Mag., .454 Casull, .460 S&W Mag. or .500 S&W Mag., then check out Swift. Their A-Frame bullet is one of the finest for big game. Handgun hunters have been enjoying tremendous success with Swift ammunition, thanks to the A-Frame bullet. A handgun loaded with Swift ammo is ready for almost anything.

For longer than anyone can remember, Winchester has provided quality handgun ammo for handguns.


One of the last big hogs I took with a Freedom Arms .44 Mag. fell to Winchester’s 225-gr. Razorback Lead-Free HP. This round shot great in the FA Model 83. And boy, did it ever perform on the big boar! Winchester is always looking for ways to improve their ammo line — either with new loads or new bullets. I’ve shot Winchester ammo since I was a kid and have always been well-satisfied. I would be afraid to say how many deer I have taken with Winchester ammo!

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