ETS magazines are pretty cool. If you’ve never heard of them you’ve probably seen them. They make clear polymer magazines for Glock pistols and AR 15s. Today we are looking at the ETS AR 15 magazines. These polymer magazines have a unique design that allows them to latch together. I’m sure you’ve seen magazine couplers, ETS AR 15 magazines do the same thing, minus the coupler. ETS AR 15 Magazines Both sides of the ETS AR 15 magazines are outfitted with a series of half circles. These half circles allow you to snap the magazines together. ETS didn’t create this design, HK G-36 magazines were the first I’ve seen to do this. (I.E. Chuck Norris in Expendables 3) However, bringing it to the AR platform in an affordable and easy to use package. These magazines are made entirely in the United States and are translucent. The bottom is outfitted with a pretty robust magazine take down button that looks pretty awesome to boot. The magazine is textured with ribbing, and the interlocking circles add some texture as well. Locking The lock in place pretty easily and do it projectile upwards. The whole jungle taped thing with projectiles facing downwards looks cool in pics with Malcolm X but isn’t the wise way to go. Conventional wisdom says the less dirt in your magazine the better it works. With the jungle taped magazines whenever you get in the prone position one of your mags will be face down in the dirt. Theoretically, you can just keep attaching ETS AR 15 magazines to each other into absurdity. However, two mags in the common sense limit, anything more and the weapons gets heavier and heavier. Range Hot On the range, the ETS AR 15 magazines proved two things. First off, they are reliable. (So far, subject to change.) The second thing they proved is they are truly only designed for the AR 15. Due to the design of firearms like the Scar and Tavor the magazines will not lock into place when paired together. For example, on the Scar there is a nub on the left side of the receiver that blocks the mag from locking when paired. On the right side, the magazine release is covered and pressed by paired magazines. Without being paired the magazines work fine in any weapon that accepts AR 15 magazines. I’d imagine AR 15s with flared mag wells would also be an issue with these magazines. No go for the Scar The ETS AR 15 magazines were tested alongside the Hexmag Advanced Tactical grip. Both have seen a hundred rounds each and have worked so far. A hundred rounds isn’t much, but typically it’s enough to know if its crap or not. I plan to do a large scale torture and durability test with a variety of mags in the coming future so stay tuned. They also do not drop free by any stretch of the imagination. Hit the release button and they hardly budge. At first, I was like this is bull. I’ve been using Lancer mags and they drop free without issue so maybe I’m spoiled? However, upon consideration, it makes sense they don’t drop free. If they dropped free you may hit that button when you’ve tethered two magazines and send your full extra mag to the ground with your empty mag. That roughly 1.5 pounds of loaded magazine would be gone before you even realized your mistake. Instead, when you hit the button the magazine basically stays put and allows you to grip, rip, and reload with your tethered ETS AR 15 magazine. Concepts Count The entire idea of tethering two magazines together can be divisive if you look at it in one way or another. In general, it makes the weapon heavier, and weight can be an issue. It’s also impossible to find a magazine pouch short of a SAW drum pouch to store them. Also, some clamps are complete garbage and the magazine can be fly loose when jumping, climbing, or even running. The ETS AR 15 magazines solve one and a half of these problems. There is no clamp to fail. If the magazines fail they have been twisted to an extreme and it will be noticeable. That or the ETS AR 15 magazines have broken. The lack of a clamp means these magazines can be divided easily enough to store in pouches and combined, or separated when convenient. This half solves that problem. Where they Shine These magazines shine is being used for home defense. If you choose to use a rifle for home defense a reload may not ever be needed, but it’s comforting to have. Especially when you consider that magazines do fail and having an extra on hand is handy Most of us don’t have load bearing gear ready to go, so an extra mag attached to our weapon gives a ready and convenient reload. Alternatively, from a Marine’s perspective, they could be pretty useful for the IAR gunner in a squad. One their duties is to help the squad gain fire superiority. As a machine gunner by trade, I preferred the belt fed weapon’s system to do so. Since Marine rifle squads are now replacing belt fed LMGs with automatic rifles they need a little boost for fire superiority. The ETS AR 15 magazines give the IAR gunner 30 extra rounds on tap that can be used after their first thirty is fired. Overall Overall the design is unique and seems well thought out when you consider how the magazines work. Are they for everything? No. But in a few roles they shine well, ad they work well, so what else can be said? If you are interested ETS AR 15 magazines retail for around 15 bucks and their website is here. Special thank you to HD Targets and HDTargets.com for providing the targets for this article’s range day
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Women are the fastest-growing demographic in gun ownership. As of 2017, roughly one in five women own at least one gun, accounting for almost 40% of gun owners. Gun ownership rates among American women (via The Trace ) But despite this, women gun owners are less likely than men to go hunting or shooting and are less likely than men to engage with gun-related media like firearms websites, podcasts, and shows (though participation in both is up from a decade ago). I can’t say for sure why that is, but I have a couple of guesses based on my experiences and what I’ve heard from other women (though if someone knows of some actual hard data, please share it in the comments!). First, for women who don’t get into shooting or gun ownership until later in life (a situation that’s more common for women than men), the range can be intimidating. Women have been shooting as long as there have been firearms, but only a few, like Annie Oakley, make history. Second, the range can be annoying even for women who are experienced gun owners. It’s not uncommon for male shooters to assume you don’t know what you’re doing and try to “help” when you’re just trying to train and relax. Ladies, we’ve all been there. And by help I mean get in the way, tell you things that you already know, or–cringiest of all–give you advice that’s just plain wrong. Finally, a lot of gun resources just aren’t for women. Sure, it’s not like they’re advertised as being for men specifically, but you can only read so many dick jokes and glowing product reviews that clearly don’t at all account for the average female body before you realize that you’re not the target audience. But doesn’t every woman want a pink gun?! And, to be totally honest, a lot of resources for women, including both written resources and firearms trainers, are bananas condescending or even plain insulting. But the good news is that all of that is changing—and fast. Never too early to start learning gun safety! There are more good gun resources for women than ever, as long as you know where to look. To help you with that, I’ve put together this list of all types of firearms resources for women then finish up with some advice for finding local resources near you. Table of Contents Loading... Pew Pew Tactical Resources I’m going to kick things off with some shameless self-promotion. But you already knew we were fun. We have a growing library of resources written by women for women, and I think even our non-women specific posts tend to do a good job of not being for men but disguised as unisex. A few of my favorites as of writing this post are: Best Rifles & Shotguns for Women Best Handguns for Women Best Ways to Conceal Carry for Women For more, check out our women category for our complete list of resources for women . One of our fabulous writers and gun gals, Kat. Not to mention, we’re always happy to answer your questions, so always feel free to leave then in the comments, drop us an email , or get in touch with us on Facebook . The Well-Armed Woman The Well-Armed Woman (TWAW) is one of the OG resources for women shooters and is the single largest firearms resource for women. TWAW logo TWAW was founded by Carrie Lightfoot, one of the women who I featured on my list of Badass Lady Shooters , because, after turning to firearms for self-defense, she found very few firearms resources for women and even fewer that were actually helpful and respectful of women. Carrie Lightfoot The Well-Armed Woman website covers a variety of topics including introductory gun information, concealed carry, firearm training, gun and gear reviews, and other firearms-related topics, as well as other personal protection related topics like cybersecurity, situational awareness, and non-lethal self-defense. At the TWAW store, you’ll find a huge selection of, well, pretty much all things gun-related except the guns and ammo themselves. That includes training gear and materials, cleaning supplies, holsters, apparel, range gear, self-defense items, gun storage, jewelry, and more. You can even shop TWAW exclusive products, like their line of women’s holsters. TWAW isn’t just a website though. They also have The Well-Armed Woman Shooting Chapters program. These chapters, found in 47 states as of the time of writing, connect local groups of women shooters of all experience levels to allow them to learn from, teach, and socialize with one another. Shoot Like a Girl Shoot Like a Girl is a unique educational program primarily focused on allowing women to try shooting through their Test Shots and Test Flights programs taught by NRA certified instructors. Shoot Like A Girl logo Test Shots is Shoot Like a Girl’s original program, introduced in 2008 and focusing on archery, but in 2013 they introduced Test Flights, which allows shooters to try their hand at 9mm pistols and .223 rifles using a law enforcement grade simulator (but very real guns). Sessions also teach about the benefits of firearms and shooting sports as well as safe and responsible gun ownership. They also emphasize shooting as an accessible form of recreation for people with disabilities and any fitness level. Shoot Like A Girl Event At the same time, you can visit the Shoot Like a Girl Gun Counter, where you can compare and learn more about different types of firearms from Shoot Like A Girl’s firearms partners, which include companies like Beretta, Ruger, Springfield Armory, Colt, and Savage Arms. Though these programs are primarily focused on education, both new and experienced shooters are welcome and will have a great time. So how does one participate in a Shoot Like a Girl program? Test Flights sessions take place in Shoot Like a Girl’s mobile range, which is housed inside of a semi tractor-trailer. The Shoot Like a Girl team takes the range around the country to attend various events and host their own. Just check their schedule when they’ll be near you. "The Shoot Like" A Girl Mobile Range While you wait, you can read through the articles on their website, which provides hunting, shooting, and archery tips, share women’s stories, and give updates on the program. A Girl & A Gun A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League is a women-only gun club and shooting league. A Girl and A Gun Logo The group is focused on helping women grow as shooters, whether they’re totally new to shooting or are more experienced and want to take their skills to the next level and whether they want to be able to shoot for self-defense or competition. A Girl and A Gun also helps women learn how to select the firearms and gear that they need for whatever type of shooting they want to be able to do. AG & AG National Conference They conduct clinics on the national level at their National Conference in the spring and their Fall Festival in, you guessed it, the fall, as well as through their three-month virtual courses. They also offer regional 3 Gun University classes and various clinics at the chapter level. They also are major advocates of action shooting and other shooting sports, especially at the competitive level. These activities aren’t just fun, they teach valuable skills like drawing, shooting on the move, quick reloading while under pressure, and other mental strengths necessary for gun owners. AG & AG Fall Festival But A Girl and A Gun isn’t all serious training and education. Recreational shooting is also an important part of their mission so women feel comfortable shooting and have the opportunity to meet other women shooters. In fact, the organization has a lot of events, both at the chapter level and above, like their Girl’s Getaways, that are just based on socializing and relaxing while firing off a few shots with friends. AG & AG Vegas Quarterly Outing And even if you don’t go to a single organized event, the A Girl and A Gun website is full of helpful information and resources, such as their list of women shooting instructors and their downloadable shooting journal, which is free for A Girl and A Gun members. Women’s Outdoor News The "Women’s Outdoor News" (WON) covers topics related to not just hunting, shooting, and self-defense, but also fishing, archery, camping, climbing, boating, survival, and just about any other adventure sport and outdoor activity that you can think of. WON Logo They offer not news (as the name would suggest), as well as gear recommendations, recipes for hunters and fishers (or those that reap the benefits of loved ones who hunt or fish), tips for all of the above activities, and stories about women involved in all of these sports. The WON is a great resource for any woman involved in shooting, but it’s especially good for women that engage in other adventure and outdoor activities. A one-stop-shop for all of those interests, if you will. Michelle Cerino, the managing editor of WON, demonstrates everything an outdoorsy girl needs to know–including how to pee in the woods! It’s no wonder that the WON is so wonderful when you look at who’s responsible for it. The WON is put together by an impressive and accomplished team of women writers and editors including hunters, competition shooters, disability advocates, business owners, and more. Subscribe to their weekly newsletter to keep up with their latest posts (and why not subscribe to our newsletter too while you’re at it?). Then check out their list of featured bloggers to discover even more great women’s resources. The Sisterhood of the Outdoors The Sisterhood of the Outdoors , which formerly operated under the name Babes, Bullets, and Broadheads, is an organization dedicated to growing the community of women hunters and increasing retention of new hunters. Sisterhood logo The group was founded in 2010 by three friends, including Amy Ray who also contributes over at the Women’s Outdoor News, who just wanted to help women get the opportunity to hunt with other women by organizing guided hunting trips for women. They work with a large network of field staff and outfitters to provide more than a hundred hunting and shooting opportunities for women each year, with more and more events happening and more and more women getting involved each year. On top of those trips, they also organize fishing trips and couple’s events. But the Sisterhood of the Outdoors doesn’t just want women to get involved with hunting and shooting. They also want women to stay involved with hunting and shooting and they see providing fun opportunities that require very little planning or effort ahead of time on the part of the participants, as an easy way to do that. Sisterhood of the Outdoors wants women to enjoy hunting. It’s all of the fun of a hunt with friends without all of the stress of setting it up — especially for women who, like most of the Sisterhood of the Outdoors’ participants, have never been on a guided hunt before. Plus, they’re great opportunities to find already vetted outfitters and guides working in the area where you want to hunt. Take one trip and you’ll find out why 88% of those ladies use one of the Sisterhood of the Outdoors’ outfitters again. Sisters hunting Wyoming antelope For the best experience, consider a Sisterhood of the Outdoors membership. Members get access to the organization’s private Facebook group that provides exclusive content and the opportunity to socialize with staff and other members. They also get discounts from the Sisterhood of the Outdoors’ partner organizations and the opportunity to book their slot on trips early, all for just $45. And even if you’re not sure about going on a trip with the Sisterhood of the Outdoors, it’s still worth checking out their blog, which is full of helpful guides and interesting personal accounts. Not Your Average Gun Girls (Plus Alexo Athletica & Style Me Tactical) This entry is great because it lets me sneak in three recommendations in one. "Not Your Average" Gun Girls is an entertaining, insightful, and informative weekly lifestyle podcast for ladies who love firearms. NYAGG Logo The podcast’s hosts, Amy Robbins and Emily Valentine, want women to feel empowered, confident, self-reliant, and prepared, but they don’t want them to feel like they have to give up their femininity or personal style to do it. NYAAG Hosts Amy Robbins and Emily Valentine Along with their guests, the hosts discuss not just concealed carry and self-defense, but also style, beauty trends, and lifestyle issues. They also go into social issues, both firearms-related and not. You can listen to episodes on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Podcast Republic, or you can watch them on the Not Your Average Gun Girls YouTube channel . On top of the podcast, each of the hosts is also doing great things for women in firearms outside of the podcast. Amy Robbins is the founder of Alexo Athletica , a company that makes gorgeous, stylish, and comfortable athleisure wear that you can actually concealed carry in . You ever want to carry both a gun and a smartphone in the same pair of leggings at the same time? Well, you can. Alexo Athletica makes stylish and comfortable clothing, designed for women who carry. As for Emily Valentine, she’s the mind behind Style Me Tactical , which is basically the blog version of the Not Your Average Gun Girls podcast. She has plenty of posts about preparedness, firearms, and concealed carry outfits that are stylish and functional, but also a ton about beauty, wellness, and outfits that are just plain stylish. You can even shop for the items she features on her Instagram through LIKEtoKnow.it . Other National Firearms Organizations Organizations for women aren’t the only ones who provide resources for women. With more and more women getting involved in shooting, more mainstream firearms organizations have chosen to provide those women with the resources they need. USCCA Logo Though they’re not the only ones, both the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) offer training courses for women as well as comprehensive resources on their websites. NRA Logo The NRA even has a special endowment for conducting women’s programs, which allows them to offer programs like the NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape, which offers several trips a year, ranging from a few days long to over a week, to various places around the country where women shooters can relax, learn new skills, sharpen the skills they already have, and meet other women shooters. Local & State Level Resources Local chapters of some of these national organizations can be a great resource for finding local resources, but if you don’t have a local chapter, don’t worry. Many local ranges and gun groups offer women’s events and classes, but you can also check local and state-level forums or sites like MeetUp to look for local groups. And if you can’t find one, don’t be afraid to use those very same resources to start your own. Conclusion This list covers a bunch of different resources, but it’s definitely not an exhaustive guide. We’re pretty lucky these days: there are more gun resources for women than ever and as more appear, they embolden and inspire other organizations and individual women to create and share their own resources. Pheasant Hunting Women And the best part is that most of them are primarily or exclusively run by women, so you can support other women while helping yourself. If you know of other great resources, or just have other comments or questions that you would like to share, please share them in the comments section so that others can benefit. If you’re interested in keeping up with us, don’t forget to like Pew Pew Tactical on Facebook !
The essential concepts of shooting are quite simple, sight alignment and trigger control, but shooting is not instinctive and it is not easy. As student of shooting, I have always sought to understand things at a fundamental level. For me, shooting is a journey. Here is a description of where I am along the path. Be aware. See first. Think fast and then act without hesitation. There are only two essential things you must do to hit a target. 1. You must align the barrel with the target. 2. You must pull the trigger without disturbing that alignment. All else – stance, grip, sight picture and all the fundamentals – is helpful, but not essential. The amount of time and effort you must put into barrel alignment and trigger pull depends on the distance to and size of the target. Speed is achieved by spending only the time necessary to make the hit and no more. Inside ten yards, you can shoot both eyes open and be very sloppy with the trigger because the target subtends so much angle. At contact distances, you don’t need to use the sights at all. Beyond 10 yards, sight alignment and smooth trigger pull become more important. Past 50 yards, you can still hit, but your sight alignment and trigger must be very clean. Can you think of any sport where the players close one eye? You need binocular vision for depth perception and peripheral vision. It does help precision shooting to close one eye and it may even be essential to hit a particular target. Don’t spend any more time than is necessary closing one eye or looking at the sights. See what you need to see. Search for it and focus on it. Your eyes can only focus at a single distance at any given time. For full situational awareness , you should be constantly transitioning near and far. When you need a precise shot, you must focus on the sights, but in follow through, you must fight to shift to a more distant point. You must scan not only right and left but near and far. When not shooting, keep your gun down so it doesn’t block your field of view nor cover anything you are not willing to destroy. See what you need to see. Get the sight picture you must have for the accuracy that the situation requires. Provide the trigger pull needed to attain the required accuracy. Follow through, assess the target, repeat as necessary. Follow the target to the ground. Check your buddy, check your gun, reload, stage your magazines. Look for the next threat. These ideas are simple, but shooting is not instinctive and it is not easy.
Military culture has always had a conservative attitude towards the development of new technological concepts. In this regard, the transition to the sub-caliber AR-platform had a much greater role in shaping military change than anything until that time. This change is not surprising, considering the apparent features and performance out to 500 yards that using .223 ammunition offers. If you are wondering whether you should use .223 or 5.56 ammo and what each is best for, keep reading. We will detail this information and also provide you with some of the best brands of ammo you can get on the market today. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for AR-15 Ammo OUR TOP PICK: Federal Fusion Ammo 223 Remington 62gr Bonded BT American Eagle Ammo .223 Remington 55GR FMJ-BT Black Hills Ammunition 5.56x45mm Nato 77gr Tipped Matchking Ammo Federal Lake City Ammo 5.56x45mm NATO 77gr Open Tip Match BEST BUDGET OPTION: Hornady - Superformance Match Ammo .223 Remington 75GR HPBT Comparison of the Best AR-15 .223 and 5.56 Ammo IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick "Federal Fusion Ammo" "223 Remington 62gr" Bonded BT 62-Grain Bonded Type Bullets for Optimum Performance Good For Small to Mid-Sized Game Hunting High Muzzle Energy. Good for Matches View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews "American Eagle Ammo" .223 Remington 55GR FMJ-BT Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail Bullets Versatile Bullets Good for Overall Use With the AR Safe For Use in Rifles Marked for 5.56 NATO "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" "Black Hills Ammunition" 5. "56x45mm Nato 77gr" "Tipped Matchking Ammo" Available in 50-round or 500-round options Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Style 77GR View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews "Federal Lake City" Ammo 5.56x45mm NATO 77gr Open Tip Match Weighs 77 grain Best 5.56 Ammo for the money Features reloadable brass cases View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Best Budget Option Hornady - "Superformance Match Ammo" .223 Remington 75GR HPBT Boat Tail Hollow Point Bullets Good for Hunting Big Game Good BC Provides Increased Range and Reduced Wind Drift Premium Quality Bullets Ideal for Long Range Shooting View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Federal Lake City Ammo 5.56x45mm NATO 62gr XM855 SS109 Penetrator Lead Core With Partial Jacket Affordable Price/Round (Buy in Bulk) Re-loadable Brass Casing View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews .223 vs. 5.56 Featuring chambers larger than SAAMI .223 Rem, AR-15s chambered for the NATO 5.56 mm round can safely shoot .223 Remington ammo, as well as 5.56. Actually, the case dimensions of .223 and 5.56 are the same. However, the 5.56 mm mil-spec ammo is loaded hotter, operating at higher chamber pressure and acting as “+P+” ammunition. This means the most common AR-15 chamber, the .223 Remington, is not fully appropriate for the 5.56×45 NATO round. It is smaller and slightly tighter. Aside from the different chambering, AR-15s designed for .223 Remington may have problems with shooting heavier ammo. This is true for 77 grains (5 g) and above, which are commonly used in the Sport Rifle Competitions. Another drawback to the .223 caliber refers to the rifling itself - the spiral grooves inside the barrel. AR-15 civilian rifles in .223 Remington are designed to stabilize frangible varmint bullets weighing 40-60 grains. But with the standard 1:12 or 1:9 twist rate of most barrels, they could not properly stabilize heavy military bullets. The barrel twist with .223, then, is often best at 1:7 twist, often stamped 5.56 mm. While the non-adequate twist rate is often blamed for reduced accuracy, you probably will not even notice a difference up to 300 yards. By the way, there are few hybrid chambers such as .223 Wylde and .223 Match chambers. These are preferred by serious competitive shooters. Providing more versatility with longer and heavier bullets, these hybrid chambers are designed to exploit the accuracy advantages of the .223 Remington chambering since it is better overall than what you can expect from a regular 5.56×45 chamber. Source Anyway, the rule of thumb would be to use rifles with .223 Rem chamber to fire only .223 and use a 5.56 chamber to fire either 5.56 and .223. If you want competition-level accuracy, a .223 Wylde chamber will shoot both 5.56 and .223 as well. For example, a friend of mine had to change the barrel of his M85 Mini Mauser rifle in .223 Remington because he was using 5.56 mm military surplus ammo. However, it was after he’d fired about 3,000 of those rounds. Yes, there’s a slight risk. Yes, it will also cause more wear and tear on your rifle. We don’t recommend it but it’s not extremely high-risk either. What to Look For When Buying Ammo If you’re looking for the best ammo for your AR-15, it’s important to know which characteristics stand out as your favorite. You should be able to distinguish great ammo from those that are considered ineffective by any standards. Here’s what you need to look for in your ammo: Which Caliber Do You Use? Keep in mind that the caliber is important. A .223 round will obviously be smaller than 5.56 NATO rounds. So you need to double-check which caliber your rifle is chambered to fire. Once you get clear verification, that’s when you are free to choose which ammo you want for your rifle. What is Your Intended Purpose? The type of ammo you choose will also depend on the application. If you plan on hunting with your AR-15, it would be ideal to find ammo that is considered “full metal jacket” rounds. FMJ rounds are designed to have a much greater impact and will easily shred through animal skin much easier compared to different types of ammo. Price Tag is Affordable Regardless of whether you’re on a budget or you have money to throw around, you want ammo that will be affordable to you. As a rule, if you’re on a budget, you should consider investing in ammo that is the best quality and performance that is affordable to you. Don’t confuse this with sacrificing quality by saving a few bucks. “Good” is always a relative term. It depends so much on your use. Obviously clean ammo is always best. But according to your preference, there are many bullet types and designs in the market. For general target shooting/range training purposes with an AR-15, shooters prefer the full metal jackets (FMJ) or ball ammo. For ethically hunting varmint and other small game, the hollowpoint/softpoints (HP/SP) are a good choice. We have prepared a selection of the best .223 ammo for the AR-15 in the next chapter. Quick Take - The .223 and 5.56 Ammo for the AR-15 These are our recommendations for the best .223 and 5.56 ammo for the AR-15: Federal Fusion Ammo .223 Remington 62-Gr Bonded BT American Eagle Ammo .223 Remington 55GR FMJ-BT Black Hills Ammunition 5.56x45mm Nato 77gr Tipped Matchking Ammo Reviews of the Best Ammo for the AR-15 in .223 and 5.56 Below is a list of the five best AR-15 ammo. As you go through each one, be sure to note some of the unique features and characteristics. This way, you’ll be able to decide which type of ammo works best for you in terms of your personal needs. Now, let’s begin by taking a look at the best .223 ammo for AR-15s: Best .223 Ammo Overall: Federal Fusion Ammo .223 Remington 62-Gr Bonded BT CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Insanely lightweight Excellent for hunting purposes It can easily rip through deer skin like butter Shooting groups are consistently tight at 100 yards Travels super-fast and can reach your target fairly quickly Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users were impressed with the results these rounds produced. One user, in particular, fired off a lot of rounds at targets situated from 100 to 200 yards out. He said the shooting groups were consistently tighter at both distances. Overall, these delivered kill shots much faster (if not instantly) than some other ammo rounds. Why it Stands Out to Us These rounds are pretty light in weight and in turn, they travel quite fast. This allows you to shoot at targets and hit them quickly. These rounds are best if you are a sucker for fast velocity. And the velocity of these rounds obviously doesn’t disappoint. If you want ammo that will make almost any kill shot quick and easy, you’d be hard-pressed to find better ammo than this. Federal’s family of Fusion ammunition belongs to an increasingly popular trend of bonded bullets. Fusion ammunition was built explicitly for deer hunting and use in modern sporting rifles with short barrels. This specialized 62-grain, boat-tail rifle bullet has a lead core electrochemically bonded to the copper jacket to exclude the possibility of jacket separation. This is to keep the highest possible weight to maximize lethality and blood trail. The Fusion ammunition has non-corrosive boxer primers, allowing brass cases to be reloadable. Although we know every barrel prefers a particular load, there is some criticism about the .223 Fusion's accuracy. Also, some users found the bullet disintegrated without leaving a blood trail, making it unsuitable for hunting. Who Will Use This Most These rounds will definitely stand out as the type that will give you a good clean kill shot. So if you’re hunting deer or varmint and want a good kind of ammo that will make every shot count without making a mess, these will probably be worth checking out. Bottom Line The Federal .223 62-Grain Fusion Ammunition is the best you can find if you’re a .223 hunter in search of something to deliver superior performance like nothing else. Don’t be surprised if these wind up being your go-to rounds when you’re hunting for deer or big game in the years to come. Best 5.56 Ammo Overall:: Black Hills Ammunition 5.56x45 mm Nato 77-Gr Tipped MatchKing Ammo CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to load in most magazines Shooting groups are quite tight at 100 yards Excellent for casual and competitive target shooting Ballistics are hard to match compared to 5.56 ammo Cons None What "Recent Buyers Report" As expected, these rounds were perfect for users who were casual target shooters. But a good number of them were also competitive shooters, as well. The shooting groups were pretty tight across various distances and consistently stayed that way through well over 100 to 200 rounds. Why it Stands Out to Us These rounds were literally made for target shooting at the range. In fact, these might be one of a handful of ammo rounds for the 5.56 NATO caliber that most shooters prefer for target shooting or plinking. They will leave nice tight shooting groups and rip through paper targets like nothing else. So if hitting bullseyes is your number one goal, you’ll need a certain kind of ammo to get the job done almost each and every time. One of the most popular makers of ammunition, Black Hills is known in the gun community for their high-quality ammo. In fact, it’s generally considered comparable to the best handloads. They produce a 5.56x45 mm, 77-gr tipped MatchKing (TMK) bullet reaching 2,700 to 2,750 fps at the muzzle. This unconventional hollowpoint cartridge uses the hollow cavity to put the majority of its weight towards the bullet's rear. That makes it more stable in flight and increases accuracy. The accuracy of MatchKing bullets has been acclaimed worldwide in many competitions. The military also adopted a Black Hills round with an open-tipped match (OTM) under the designation the MK 262 Mod 1. Utilizing a ballistic tip, this ammo has incredible terminal performance and operates equally well with long-range targets and CQB scenarios with short-barreled rifles. The Black Hills ammunition is exceptionally accurate but it is also expensive. The best application would be in law enforcement and home defense. Who Will "Use This Most" While we won’t write these off as useless for hunters, these rounds are definitely a go-to for those who compete in shooting contests with AR-15s. If you want ammo that caters to the larger caliber and will provide excellent accuracy and hit power, these just might be the rounds you’ll want to invest your hard-earned money in. Bottom Line The Black Hills Ammunition is a 5.56 NATO shooter's best friend when it comes to accuracy. But it will definitely give you an edge over your competition. So if you want to stay consistently accurate over the course of a competition or a range session, these rounds should be what you need. .223 Ammo Runner-up: American Eagle Ammo .223 Remington 55-GR FMJ-BT CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super-light in weight Available in various counts Great for most applications Consistently tight shooting groups Fits most magazines perfectly with no jamming issues Cons None What Recent Buyers Report These rounds were a hit with new users. One of the things users have pointed out was how accurate these bad boys were at various distances. One user was even quite impressed when he made a trip to the range to test these out. He expected the shooting groups to be tight, but he didn’t expect them to be a lot closer to each other. Velocity-wise, they travel quite fast at various distances. Why it Stands Out to Us The American Eagle brand rounds are known for producing consistent results, especially for those who hold a high standard to accuracy. So, if tight shooting groups are a high priority on your list, this ammo might be what you’ll want to have for consistently accurate and precise shooting. It’s a must-have if you’re hunting or using your AR-15 in competitive shooting applications. This low-priced .223 ammunition comes from Federal’s daughter brand, American Eagle. It is produced at the Lake City Army ammunition plant to NATO specifications for 5.56x45 mm. This American Eagle round is loaded with 55-grain FMJ bullets. It reaches a muzzle velocity of 3,240 fps. That’s great for practice with the same-power loads you will actually hunt with or use in competition. This affordable load from Federal American Eagle is designed specifically for target shooting, training and practice, and features boxer-primed, non-corrosive reloadable brass cases. On the other side, while it is economical ammo, you can expect groups ranging from three to five inches at 100 yards from an average AR. There are also problems with dirty combustion and sporadically failing to fire. Who Will Use This Most This will certainly be the best .223 round for almost any purpose ranging from hunting to competition shooting. If you’re a sucker for accurate shooting, you’ll feel like quite the sharpshooter if you choose to invest in ammo like this. For consistently precise accuracy, these rounds should do the trick. Bottom Line "The American Eagle" Tactical .223 Ammo Rounds are built to do some serious damage. Even better, they can hit pretty accurately and go exactly where you want them to go. If you want super-precise kill shots or bullseye shots, you’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to give these rounds a closer look. 5.56 Ammo Runner-up: Federal Lake City Ammo 5.56x45 mm NATO 77-Gr Open Tip Match CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Affordable for most budgets Excellent for most applications Easy to load in most magazines Really tight shooting groups right out of the gate Perfect for those who tend to reload their rounds Cons Some primers won’t seat without major manipulation It may be difficult to reload at first, but with practice, it gets easier Pockets may not be deep enough for reloading if you’re reusing some rounds What Recent Buyers Report A majority of new users were AR-15 owners who tend to reload their rounds manually. They managed to use these rounds to their advantage both during and after use. The rounds were quite accurate and travel at quite a fast rate. Once discarded, most of them were in good enough condition to be reloaded manually with a reloading press. One user said that most of the rounds he has used have been easy to reload time and time again. Why it Stands Out to Us This might be one of the few ammo rounds that come in a box all loaded and ready to go. Even better, these are actually designed to be reloaded manually. So, not only are they affordable from the start, but they are designed to save you a whole lot of money after the fact. In other words, you don’t have to buy another box of ammo after going through the box itself. If you know how to reload your ammo manually, this will definitely be a saving grace for you financially. The Lake City ammunition plant manufactures this 5.56x45 mm 77-grain Open Tip Match ammo. The intention is for it resemble the renowned military MK262 SPR cartridge. Using the heavy 77-grain open-tip bullet with a boat tail for a more aerodynamic profile, this cartridge has a muzzle velocity of 2,762 feet per second and provides muzzle energy of 1,293 ft. lbs. These projectiles have thicker jackets and feature a flatter trajectory and less wind drift than lighter bullets. However, this ammo is not Federal Premium series, and by shooter experience, this heavier 77-grain Open Tip Match ammunition suffers from some inconsistency. Its best use would be for long-range target practice and casual plinking. Who Will Use This Most These will be useful to shooters who have the skill in knowing how to manually hand load AR-15 rounds. Regardless of whether you’re using these for target shooting or hunting, if you have a nice brass catcher on-hand to bag these rounds, you can easily reload these in a matter of seconds. Either way you slice it, these bullets will be affordable for you both initially and in the long run. Bottom Line The Federal Lake City Ammo 5.56 Open Tip Match rounds are a godsend for the budget shopper, especially when they would rather save money reloading their rounds rather than spend more on additional boxes. If you want rounds that are easy to reload and perfect for multiple amounts of reuse, these might be what the doctor ordered. Best .223 Ammo for the Money: Hornady - Superformance Match Ammo .223 Remington 75-GR HPBT CHECK LATEST PRICE The Hornady Superformance ammunition is renowned for the manufacturer's innovative powder blend. They claim it provides every Superformance caliber with up to an additional 200 fps. This .223 Remington round reaches a muzzle velocity of 2,930 feet per second. It has the added benefits of increased range, flatter trajectory, and reduced wind drift. The Superformance Match .223 cartridge is topped off with 75-Gr Boattail Hollow Point Match bullets enveloped with a new AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Process) bullet jackets, enabling a best-in-class ballistic coefficient. While shooters have not recorded any misfires or increased soiling, the accuracy is quite humble. It’s at the level of surplus and much cheaper ammo brands. Best 5.56 Ammo for the Money: Federal Lake City Ammo 5.56x45 mm NATO 62-Gr XM855 SS109 Penetrator CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Really lightweight Ridiculously fast velocity Fits in magazines nice and smooth Great for hunting and target shooting It allows for clean kill shots in hunting applications Cons Shooting groups may be inconsistent at times Accuracy might be a little suspect compared to a lighter weight version of itself Some rounds may be improperly sealed What Recent Buyers Report New buyers were pretty happy with these rounds. The managed to load these in their favorite 5.56 NATO magazines without any issues with feeding or reliability. Velocity-wise, they travel quite fast to their intended location. For the most part, their shooting groups were pretty tight after firirin 100 rounds. Why it Stands Out to Us These rounds are larger than .223 rounds. Granted, they are lightweight and travel insane distances quite fast. In fact, they just might be one of the best of the best when it comes to 5.56 NATO rounds. These rounds are able to handle just about any application. So whether you use them for hunting, target practice, or tactical situations, these rounds are reliable and deliver stopping power like nothing else on the market. This 5.56x45 mm NATO military surplus ammunition is manufactured at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant and sold under the "Federal American Eagle" brand. It bears a brass case headstamped with the Federal symbol. The bullet reaches a muzzle velocity of about 3,100 fps from a 24-inch barrel and is among the best ammo for self-defense and all-around AR15/M16/M4 ammo. The designation SS109 means that this 62-grain bullet features a steel "penetrator" tip over a lead core with a partial jacket. These green-painted bullets have better penetration than the 55 grains. Just remember that some ranges prohibit steel core ammunition, so you have to check the rules before shooting this ammo. This Federal Lake City Ammunition follows the “Green Tip” ammo or M855 specification using a non-corrosive coating in boxer-primed, reloadable brass cases. However, the designation XM855 means this ammunition did not pass inspection to meet tight military specifications. In other words, you may get ammo rejected for dented cases - sometimes on the shoulder, some on the case mouth, or for some other aesthetic reasons. They’re still functional but not perfect. Who Will Use This Most These rounds are designed for various applications. So it doesn’t matter how you use your AR-15 rifle, if it’s chambered to shoot 5.56 NATO rounds, you can bet that these puppies will be the rounds you go with for fast velocity and heavy hits. There may be no other 5.56 rounds that can duplicate this kind of performance. Bottom Line The Federal Lake City Ammo is definitely the best choice for you if you’re looking for what might be the best general-purpose ammo for 5.56 NATO chambered rifles. These are guaranteed to give you smooth, quick shooting without any jamming or reliability issues. 7. PMC Ammunition Bronze Ammo .223 Remington 55-Gr FMJ Ammo Can CHECK LATEST PRICE PMC is a South Korean ammunition company and Korean Army ammo supplier. The .223 PMC Bronze ammunition is 55-grain full metal jacket bullets conforming to mil-spec. It features muzzle energy of 1,250 ft-lbs and a blistering 2,900 fps of muzzle velocity. These all-copper-jacketed boat-tail bullets deliver flat trajectories and mid-range accuracy perfect for target applications. The PMC ammunition is loaded in new brass, reloadable cases with boxer primers. The non-corrosive cartridges have crimped military primers that should be removed before a new primer can be inserted during reloading. However, the low price comes with issues such as reliability and accuracy which can vary from batch to batch. 8. PMC Ammunition, Inc. X-tac Ammo 5.56x45 mm NATO 55-Gr FMJ Ammo Can CHECK LATEST PRICE The South Korean ammo manufacturer, Poongsan Corporation offers their 5.56 NATO X-TAC line ammunition on the commercial market. It is produced to the highest industry and military specifications. The cartridge is topped with 55-grain full metal jacket bullets, resulting in a high muzzle velocity of about 3,270 fps. This economical ammo is loaded in reloadable brass cases with boxer-type primers. Since the PMC ammo has crimped military primers like most of the others, reloaders may need a special tool to accomplish this operation. The PMC 5.56x45 mm NATO 55-gr FMJ ammunition is made up to mil-spec M193 round. The manufacturer does make a point to remind shooters - as we have already done - that this is not intended for use in commercial or bolt-action rifles chambered for .223 Remington caliber. While X-TAC ammo is perfect for everyday plinking, some users have made complaints on too-visible signatures while firing in twilight or low-light conditions. Why Shoot 5.56 in Your AR-15 ArmaLite started its rifle experiments using the commercial .222 Remington cartridge. At one point they considered a more powerful .222 Remington Magnum. Meanwhile, Remington designed the .222 Special. But to prevent confusion - there were so many .222 rounds designations, they renamed .222 Special Cartridge to .223 Remington in 1959. The .223 Remington (actually a 0.224-inch diameter bullet), the newest and improved version, was an incredible achievement in the firearms world. Nevertheless, modifications continue to be made with the derivative form, which was adopted as the 5.56×45 mm NATO in 1963. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) standardized the Remington .223 cartridge in 1962. However, 5.56 mm NATO has never passed through that process. You could almost consider it the world's most popular wildcat round. Despite the initial use of the .223 ammunition and the lack of SAAMI standardization, 5.56 rounds made to mil-spec is more popular because of its universality. Conclusion To choose the best ammo for your black rifle, you'll need to decide what the upgrading would be used for recreational shooting, hunting , competition, or home defense. If you are a hunter or dedicated marksmen, the answer is pretty clear - only the best ammunition you can afford is what you need. However, if you are a high-volume shooter, then you should take advantage of the great military surplus ammo bargains. On the other hand, many AR-15 owners are concerned about shooting 5.56 in a .223 chamber since it is highly inadvisable. The difference in pressure can be anywhere from 1% to 10%. In most cases, it may not make a difference.
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Pregnancy is tough . Not only do you have to carry around a growing human (usually pressed against your bladder), but you have to deal with total strangers constantly touching your expanding waistline. However, there are things far worse than the loss of personal space. Like being routinely pummeled with a list of things you shouldn’t be doing. Being pregnant be like… If you are pregnant, you’ve probably been told you can’t drink coffee or alcohol. Someone probably also told you not to eat sushi, seafood, queso dip, or raw cookie dough. It’s like pregnant women are expected to take a nine-month hiatus from anything fun! It’s enough to drive you crazy! It may have been a lack of caffeine, but when someone told me I should stop shooting during my pregnancy, I almost considered going on an actual shooting spree. Even if that spree only involved targets (although targets resembling the people who kept touching my tummy wasn’t completely off the table). Mario Target Chilling in the Desert Shooting while you’re pregnant definitely presents a unique set of worries. However, taking a break from shooting for a full nine months may not be the best way to address those worries. Taking time off from the shooting range may sound like absolute torture, but it can also have dangerous consequences, especially if you have a concealed carry permit or are a law enforcement officer. Sometimes, you just need to blow off steam, and not being able to go to the range leaves you with only primal screaming to vent your frustrations! Marksmanship is a degradable skill and an extra-long vacation could have a serious effect on the skills you’ve worked hard to develop. The good news is you don’t have to completely give up shooting until after you’ve given birth. (As a side note: There are plenty of safe ways to shoot BEFORE you give birth. However, I strongly advise against shooting WHILE giving birth. Labor tends to make women feel a tad bit aggressive, especially toward doctors and their significant other. It’s best to leave firearms out of the mix.) I’d start running if I were you. Keep reading to find out how to maintain your shooting skills during pregnancy while preventing harm to you and your unborn baby. Table of Contents Loading... Is it Safe to Shoot During Pregnancy? There is no shortage of friendly advice floating around the internet about shooting during pregnancy. Unfortunately, most of it is anecdotal or relies on a “better safe than sorry” line of thinking. The truth is there is only meager research-based information on the subject. Although women are the fastest-growing shooting demographic, we are still a comparably small portion of the population. Because female shooters are such a small minority, research facilities aren’t exactly lining up to invest time or precious research dollars into studying us. Research grants for studying pregnant shooters ain’t much. Pregnant shooters make up an even smaller section of the population. All pregnant shooters are women, but not all women shooters are pregnant. And if they are, they only fall into that category for 9 months tops. We’re a rare breed, but we exist! Honestly, pregnant shooters are basically a statistical anomaly. Also, there aren’t a ton of doctors willing to perform double-blind studies on pregnant women and their developing fetuses. No one wants to willingly expose unborn babies to substances or circumstances that could cause potential harm. So, experimenting on pregnant women is a no go. (Do you want zombie babies? Because that’s how you get zombie babies.) Zombie. Freakin’. Babies. Despite the scarcity of research-based double-blind studies, there are resources available to help families make informed choices about combining range time and pregnancy. Although research isn’t shooting specific, there have been studies that address how lead and noise (the two biggest concerns for pregnant shooters) could affect you and your baby. The Hidden Dangers of Lead Lead exposure is a serious issue for shooters whether they’re baking metaphorical buns or not. The average cartridge primer is approximately 35 percent lead. The vast majority of bullets also contain lead, even if that lead is covered in some sort of jacket material. When you pull the trigger and the firing pin strikes the primer cap, microscopic lead particles are discharged into the air. More lead vapor is created through friction as lead projectiles travel at extreme speeds through metal gun barrels. Even more lead particles are vaporized when the lead bullet impacts the target or the backstop. How lead contaminates the air (via Seattle Times ) Whether lead particles come from the primer or the projectile, once they become airborne, anyone in the area can easily inhale them. And if lead dust settles on skin, clothing, or range surfaces, it can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally ingested. There’s nothing like a sprinkle of good old-fashioned lead to add some extra flavor to your favorite meal. Lead exposure dangers (via Seattle Times ) All joking aside, lead poisoning is a serious issue. This toxic heavy metal can impact every organ in the human body. High levels of lead in the bloodstream can cause serious issues like high blood pressure, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and even infertility. The real danger, especially for regular shooters, is that lead exposure is cumulative. That means, once inside the body, that lead isn’t going anywhere. It is there to stay. What About Mom and Unborn Junior? While lead exposure is a serious concern for everyone, there are some risks specific to pregnant women and their unborn babies. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “lead exposure has known adverse effects on maternal health and infant outcomes.” Lead readily crosses the placenta, so when the mother is exposed to lead, so is Junior. In fact, traces of lead have been found in developing brains as early as the first trimester. Some of the side effects of lead exposure Lead exposure during pregnancy increases the possibility of miscarriage, premature rupture of the membranes, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy hypertension, and premature delivery. These conditions endanger both Mom and Junior. For Junior, lead exposure during his time in the womb can result in low birth weight, a host of birth defects, and delayed mental development. (You don’t have to take my word for it. You can find the relevant studies here , here , and here ). Shooting is a Noisy Affair It’s no secret that shooting is loud. Although contained, the explosion produced when propellant combusts is violent and booming. The extreme noise produced by a single gunshot can cause serious and lasting damage to your inner ear. This is why most gun ranges require some form of ear protection. Circle of Shooting Ear Protection Centerfire weapons produce sound levels that range from 140 to 170 decibels. For perspective, a small .22-caliber rimfire rifle produces a 140-decibel report. A rocket launch measures in at about 180 decibels. Comparing the decibel measures of a number of popular calibers. Exposure to any sound above 140 decibels can potentially cause physical pain, ringing in the ears, and immediate and permanent hearing damage. However, prolonged exposure to any sound much more than 85 decibels can potentially cause hearing loss. Remember that next time you think about leaving your ear pro in your range bag. Keep It Down, I’m Growing A Baby Thankfully, shooters have access to highly effective ear protection. (Check out our article on the Best Shooting Ear Protection if you don’t believe me.) Our Tested Shooting Ear Protection Muffs However, high-decibel noise levels can have serious effects on the mom-to-be in ways that even the fanciest ear pro can’t prevent. Extreme noise levels during pregnancy have been linked to miscarriage, delayed fetal growth, and preterm delivery. Mom’s muscle structure provides some noise protection for Junior during his nine-month uterine free float. By the time sounds from the outside world reach him, those noises have been considerably muted and muffled. However, Junior isn’t completely safe from the loud noises of the world, and it’s going to be really hard to slip him some foam earplugs. Not to say we haven’t tried that. Fluid, such as the amniotic fluid that Baby is floating around in, conducts sound really well. In fact, sound waves traveling through amniotic fluid stimulate Baby’s cochlea the same way sound waves traveling through the air do for us not-in-the-womb people. That’s why Baby will recognize Mom’s voice right after birth. Extended exposure to loud sounds, like you would experience at a gun range, can lead to an altered immune response in the fetus and potential hearing loss in babies. Serious Solutions for Pregnant Shooters Like I mentioned before, shooting is a perishable skill. It takes regular practice to maintain that skill. Besides, shooting is fun, and nine months is a long time to abstain from something you enjoy (just ask your husband or boyfriend). Thankfully, there are some safe ways to continue your shooting practice while you’re pregnant. Shoot Without Shooting If you decide sending lead downrange is too dangerous for you and the baby, there are other ways to maintain your skills until Junior arrives. Dry fire practice is a fantastic way to go through the motions of shooting without the noise or lead contamination. There are a number of dry fire drills you can run that will help you preserve and improve skills like grip, stance, trigger control, and sight alignment. Indoor Dry Fire Practice Drill If you want to protect your weapon’s firing pin, grab some spring-loaded snap caps for your dry fire practice. Snap caps are shaped like a standard firearm cartridge, only they don’t have the standard primers, propellant, or projectiles. These dummy rounds provide a cushion that helps prevent deformation and wear on your weapon, especially on older firearms. Snap Caps for Dry Fire These are fundamental skills all of us should be working to improve, and dry fire practice may actually be more effective at building them than wasting ammo at the range. Just do it, whether you’re pregnant or not. This is the safest option you have, so if you’re really concerned about Baby’s needs more than your itchy trigger finger, you’ll want to stick to dry-fire only. Minimize Lead Exposure The only surefire way to prevent shooting-related lead exposure during pregnancy is to give up shooting altogether. However, if you choose to shoot, here are some tips to help you minimize lead exposure while you do it. Don’t eat or drink when you’re shooting. Since lead residue on your hands is easily ingested, skip the gun range snack. Show up hydrated and stop for a double scoop of pickle ice cream on the way home. Choose a well-ventilated gun range. The great outdoors provides plenty of natural ventilation. If you must shoot indoors, pick a well-maintained range with ventilation that keeps air moving downrange away from shooters. Use shooting gloves. By wearing gloves when you shoot, not only will you be stylish, you’ll also prevent lead absorption through the skin on your hands. I’m a huge fan of the PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Delta Utility Gloves . (For other options, check out our Best Shooting Gloves .) Choose lead-free ammunition. Ammo manufacturers have made some serious strides in lead-free ammunition, helping protect high-volume shooters from excessive lead exposure. Products like Winchester WinClean and Hornady Team Never Quit use lead-free primers and projectiles with a brass enclosed base. Both of these features eliminate airborne lead, allowing you to maintain your shooting skills without guilt or fear. Wash your hands with D-lead Soap. Use cool water to work up a good lather on your hands and face immediately after you finish shooting. Let someone else clean your firearm. While it’s hard to trust your baby to someone else’s care, cleaning your weapon can expose you to more lead than shooting. Let someone else clean your gun. You can still yell directions from the other room. It’s good practice for parenthood. Indoor shooting ranges are generally a no-go for pregnant people. Listen to Junior If you’ve been pregnant for a while now, you probably know that there are things your baby likes and that your baby hates. After all, they make it really clear as they pummel you from the inside. Think that Junior is up for a short range sesh? Then pay attention to what they’re up to in there. If they start kicking and punching as soon as you pull into the range parking lot, Little One might not be into loud noises. If Junior is doing this in your belly, maybe it’s time to call it a day at the range. Limit your session length and give Baby (and yourself) some breaks away from all the action. You can even try out shooting a small cartridge, like .22LR, to help keep the noise down. Final Thoughts I never even considered not shooting during my pregnancies. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have done things differently. Thankfully, my kids are fine. Although I sometimes wonder how they keep forgetting to do their homework, take out the trash, and put away their laundry… “Forget.” Sure, guys. Other parents assure me this is normal and not necessarily due to excessive lead exposure in the womb, so I guess I did okay. The decision to shoot or not to shoot during pregnancy can be a difficult one. Be sure to include your doctor or other health care provider in the decision-making process. If you decide to put off shooting until after Junior’s arrival, you can keep your fundamentals sharp with some off-the-range dry fire practice. Want to become a dry fire pro? Start with our article on Safe and Effective Dry Fire Training at Home . Did you choose to shoot during pregnancy? If so, what precautions did you take for your safety and the safety of your baby? Guys, how many guns did you clean for Momma-to-be? Want to shoot better…check out our Definitive Guide to Accurate Shooting .