The 10 Best Selling Centerfire Rifle Cartridges in the USA
Compiled by Chuck Hawks
The following list was compiled from various online and print sources, including the major ammo manufacturers' sales lists and the sales of RCBS reloading dies. The various sources tend to parallel each other, with certain exceptions. Bear in mind that a lot (probably the majority) of .223 and 7.62x39 ammo sold is for plinking or "tactical" use, not hunting. The same probably applies to a lower, but still significent, percentage of the .308 ammo sold.
The .223, .308, .30-06, .30-30, .270, .243, 7mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag. appear on almost all lists. The .22-250, 7.62x39mm, .300 WSM, .338 Win. Mag. and 7mm-08 Rem. have appeared on at least one list, but not others, while the .222 Remington, .30 Carbine and .303 British (once Top 10 stalwarts on most lists) have dropped back in popularity. The .300 Win. Mag. and 7mm Rem. Mag. swap places on some lists. Anyway, here are the averaged results based on the data that I could find. Consider it approximate.
USA (Averaged 2015 sales rank)
An interesting survey of the most popular hunting cartridges in use in south/central Alaska was published by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game back in 2000. Very large animals, such as moose and the great bears are hunted here, as well as deer, goats, black bear and caribou, and the Alaskan list reflects this.
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of hunters using each caliber. Note the abrupt fall off in popularity after the .30-06, .300 Win. Mag. and .338 Win. Mag.
ALASKA TOP TEN CARTRIDGES (Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game survey, 2000)
Copyright 2005, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.