Is Federal American Eagle 5.56 a Good Hunting Cartridge?

The big question of the day – or at least the one we’ll be talking about in this article is the suitability of Federal American Eagle 5.56 ammo for hunting. Often used for target-practice purposes, it’s ammo that’s also seen being used out in the wild, trying to take down prey. 

However, there is a bit of debate within the gun community about whether these kinds of full metal jack rounds are a good option for hunting. The primary difference that separates them from other hunting rounds is the round isn’t created to expand when it hits the target. 

As such, it may not be quite as effective as other options when it comes to hunting. That said, it can certainly be used if required. Let’s take a more detailed look at the ammo. 

Federal American Eagle 5.56 Rounds Perform Well in Hunting

Take some of these rounds down to the range or out in the field, and it quickly becomes apparent that these cost-effective rounds perform amazingly well. The 55-grain cartridge is a great option for anyone interested in high-performance bullets that don’t cost the earth. 

One reason why it’s fine to use Federal American Eagle 5.56 rounds for hunting purposes is that when using them – even at high volume – you hardly get any issues with regard to feeding. We tried some out a couple of years ago, and I believe we had 1 misfire out of more than 500 shots, so it’s super reliable too. 

They Might Not Be Great For Deer Hunting 

All that said, if you’re out hunting deer on a regular basis, then an FMJ round isn’t going to be a good choice, as the lack of impact expansion means you’re more likely to wound the animal than kill it. Offering a soft impact, they preserve their shape and penetrate. However, the average deer may not be taken down, particularly if the bullets go straight through. 

FMJ rounds are a good option for beginnings, as it’s typically stronger and more efficient than any hollow point products you’ll find on the market. It’s a safer choice, for sure, as there’s very little risk of any unintended results further down the line.

Understanding Titles 35 & 58

Cast an eye over titles 58 and 34, and you won’t find anything there that relates to the use of FMJ rounds for hunting. However, if you have a conscience and you want the animals you hunt to suffer the least possible amount of pain and stress, we’d recommend using a different round.

FAE 5.56 rounds just don’t expand when they strike, meaning that larger animals will often be wounded in a way that results in a slow death – which is obviously not what you want. 

Federal American Eagle 5.56 Just Aren’t For Big Game 

So, there you have it. We hope that by writing this article, we may have settled the argument once and for all about whether 5.56 FMJ rounds should be used for hunting.

They’re ok for smaller game and for all your practising and plinking needs, however, the moment you start going after larger animals, you need to think more broadly about what the end result will be. 

Fire FMJ rounds at a big animal, and it will either simply go right through the animal and perhaps allow it to run away or leave it suffering. Neither are great outcomes, so do yourself a favor and switch to round that expands upon impact. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button