Escape from Tarkov ammo tier list & best ammo to use for patch 0.14

Escape from Tarkov ammo tier list & best ammo to use for patch 0.14
Images via Battlestate Games

Written by 

Harry Boulton

Last updated 

12th Jan 2024 11:39

Contents

Grabbing the best ammo for your favourite weapon is essential if you're gunning for success in Escape from Tarkov, and our tier list will show how big the difference is between the top options (and those you'll want to avoid).

Unlike most shooters, ammo in Tarkov determines your weapon's damage instead of the gun itself, playing a key part in penetrating any armour you come up against. It's all well and good having the best gun in the game equipped, but if you don't have the right ammo, you might as well be using a pea shooter.

Best ammo you can buy in Escape from Tarkov

  • 12/70 Flechette
  • .45 ACP AP
  • 9x39mm SP-6 gs
  • .366 TKM AP-M
  • 5.45x39mm 7N40
  • 5.56x45mm M856A1
  • 7.62x39mm PP
  • .300 Blackout CBJ
  • 6.8x51mm SIG FMJ
  • 6.8x51mm SIG HYBRID
  • 7.62x51mm M80
  • 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer
  • 7.62x54R PS gzh
  • 7.62x54R BT gzh
  • 12.7x55mm PS12B
  • .338 Lapua Magnum FMJ

While there are several rounds above that aren't the best in their category, the nature of how you obtain ammunition in Escape from Tarkov means that most of the best rounds aren't actually used.

Image of the 6.8x51mm SIG Hybrid ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

You'll either have to do lengthy crafts in the Workbench or be lucky enough to find them in your raids, as they are banned on the Flea Market and not sold by the Traders. Unfortunately, both outcomes often don't give you enough ammo to run constantly, leaving you to look for alternatives.

The rounds we've listed above though are always available either through one of the Traders or on the Flea Market, giving you a much more reliable way to load up your magazines with great ammo and dominate your next raid.

If you're simply wanting to see the best ammo in the game regardless of access though, make sure to check out our full tier list below.

S-Tier

  • 12/70 Flechette
  • 23x75mm "Barrikada" Slug
  • 4.6x30mm AP SX
  • 9x39mm SP-6 gs
  • 9x39mm BP gs
  • 5.45x39mm BP gs
  • 5.45x39mm BS gs
  • 5.45x39mm PPBS gs "Igolnik"
  • 5.56x45mm M855A1
  • 5.56x45mm M995
  • 5.56x45mm SSA AP
  • 7.62x39mm BP gzh
  • 7.62x39mm MAI AP
  • .300 Blackout CBJ
  • .300 Blackout Blackout AP
  • 6.8x51mm SIG HYBRID
  • 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer
  • 7.62x51mm M61
  • 7.62x51mm M993
  • 7.62x54mm R BT gzh
  • 7.62x54mm R SNB gzh
  • 7.62x54mm R BS gs
  • .338 Lapua Magnum FMJ
  • .338 Lapua Magnum AP

You've got a mix of obtainable rounds here with those that you can only find in raid, but if you spot any of these at any point you must make sure to pick them up.

Image of the 4.6x30mm AP SX ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

All of these have high penetration and are excellent against Class 5 and most deal with Class 6 competently too, making them excellent in pretty much every single situation.

A-Tier

  • 12/70 8.5mm Magnum Buckshot
  • 12/70 Piranha
  • 12/70 AP-20 Armor-Piercing Slug
  • 23x75mm "Zvezda" Flashbang Round
  • 23x75mm "Shrapnel-25" Buckshot
  • 23x75mm "Shrapnel-10" Buckshot
  • 9x19mm PBP gzh
  • .45 ACP AP
  • 4.6x30mm FMJ SX
  • 9x39mm PAB-9 gs
  • .366 TKM AP-M
  • 5.45x39mm 7N40
  • 5.56x45mm M856A1
  • 7.62x39mm PP
  • .300 Blackout M62 Tracer
  • 6.8x51mm SIG FMJ
  • 7.62x51mm M80
  • 7.62x54mm R PS gzh
  • 12.7x55mm PS12B
  • .338 Lapua Magnum UCW

The A-Tier is where you start to get the more realistic ammo choices that you'll use consistently, while still maintaining top performance across the board.

Image of 7.62x51mm M80 ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

You've got a mix from the best shotgun rounds to fully automatic monsters like M80 and M62 Tracer, so definitely try and keep these rounds in your rotation when using any of the eligible weapons.

B-Tier

  • 12/70 5.25mm Buckshot
  • 12/70 6.5mm Express Buckshot
  • 12/70 7mm Buckshot
  • 9x19mm AP 6.3
  • .45 ACP RIP
  • 9x21mm BT gzh
  • 9x21mm 7N42
  • 5.7x28mm SS190
  • 4.6x30mm JSP SX
  • 9x39mm SPP gs
  • 5.45x39mm PP gs
  • 5.45x39mm BT gs
  • 5.56x45mm Mk 318 Mod 0 (SOST)
  • 7.62x39mm PS gzh
  • .300 Blackout BCP FMJ
  • 7.62x51mm BCP FMJ
  • 7.62x54mm R SP BT (Tracer)
  • 7.62x54mm R FMJ
  • 7.62x54mm R T-46M gzh
  • 7.62x54mm R LPS gzh

Any of the B-Tier ammo listed above is perfect for the mid-wipe stage, as they either deal with Class 4 armour well or deal enough damage to cause serious trouble for any non-armoured areas.

Image of 7.62x54mm R LPS ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

You'll be able to pick most of these up at the Flea Market or around LL3 Traders, so they're still definitely worth investing in for general use or if you want to save a bit of money later on in the wipe.

C-Tier

  • 12/70 Superformance HP Slug
  • 12/70 Copper Sabot HP Slug
  • 12/70 Lead Slug
  • 12/70 FTX Custom Lite Slug
  • 12/70 Makeshift .50 SMG Slug
  • 9x19mm RIP
  • 9x21mm 7U4
  • .357 Magnum FMJ
  • 5.7x28mm RR197SR
  • 5.7x28mm L191 (Tracer)
  • 9x39mm SP-5 gs
  • .366 TKM Geksa
  • .366 TKM FMJ
  • .366 TKM EKO
  • 5.45x39mm FMJ
  • 5.45x39mm PS gs
  • 5.56x45mm M855
  • 7.62x39mm FMJ
  • 7.62x39mm US gzh
  • 7.62x39mm T-45M1 gzh
  • .300 Blackout Whisper
  • .300 Blackout V-MAX
  • 7.62x51mm TCW SP
  • 7.62x54mm R HP BT (Tracer)
  • 12.7x55mm PS12
  • .338 Lapua Magnum TAC-X

Ammo in our C-Tier has become a lot more effective since the armour rework in patch 0.14, as it's much easier to use lower penetration ammo against armour that has a smaller hitbox or soft armour areas.

Image of 5.56x45mm M855 ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

I wouldn't recommend using these beyond the first couple of months of a wipe as players will start to use Class 4 armour and beyond, but they are very effective in the opening stages and are what I usually gravitate towards.

D-Tier

  • 12/70 RIP
  • 12/70 Grizzly 40 Slug
  • 12/70 Dual Sabot Slug
  • 12/70 "Poleva-3" Slug
  • 12/70 "Poleva-6U" Slug
  • 9x18mm PM PMM PSTM gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PDB gzh
  • 7.62x25mm TT PST gzh
  • 9x19mm Quakemaker
  • 9x19mm M882
  • 9x19mm PST gzh
  • .45 ACP Hydra-Shock
  • .45 ACP Lasermatch FMJ
  • .45 ACP Match FMJ
  • 9x21mm PE gzh
  • 9x21mm P gzh
  • 9x21mm PS gzh
  • .357 Magnum Soft Point
  • .357 Magnum HP
  • .357 Magnum JHP
  • 5.7x28mm R37.F
  • 5.7x28mm SS198LF
  • 5.7x28mm R37.X
  • 5.7x28mm SB193
  • 4.6x30mm Action SX
  • 4.6x30mm Subsonic SX
  • 9x39mm FMJ
  • 5.45x39mm US gs
  • 5.45x39mm T
  • 5.56x45mm M856
  • 5.56x45mm FMJ
  • 7.62x39mm HP
  • 7.62x39mm SP
  • 7.62x51mm Ultra Nosler
  • 12.7x55mm PS12A

While not the bottom of the barrel, these rounds are generally ones that you'll want to avoid unless absolutely necessary.

Image of 12/70 RIP in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

They're either used in bad guns or have much better alternatives, so don't be too surprised if you don't win many gunfights when using these options.

F-Tier

  • 20/70 5.6mm Buckshot
  • 20/70 6.2mm Buckshot
  • 20/70 7.5mm Buckshot
  • 20/70 7.3mm Buckshot
  • 20/70 Devastator Slug
  • 20/70 "Poleva-3" Slug
  • 20/70 Star Slug
  • 20/70 "Poleva-6U" Slug
  • 9x18mm PM SP8 gzh
  • 9x18mm PM SP7 gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PSV
  • 9x18mm PM P gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PSO gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PS gz PPO
  • 9x18mm PM PRS gs
  • 9x18mm PM PPE gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PPT gzh
  • 9x18mm PM PST gzh
  • 9x18mm PM RG028 gzh
  • 9x18mm PM BZHT gzh
  • 7.62x25mm TT LRNPC
  • 7.62x25mm TT LRN
  • 7.62x25mm TT FMJ43
  • 7.62x25mm TT AKBS
  • 7.62x25mm TT P gl
  • 7.62x25mm TT PT gzh
  • 9x19mm PSO gzh
  • 9x19mm Luger CCI
  • 9x19mm T gzh
  • 5.45x39mm HP
  • 5.45x39mm PRS gs
  • 5.45x39mm SP
  • 5.56x45mm Warmageddon
  • 5.56x45mm HP
  • 5.56x45mm Mk 255 Mod 0 (RRLP)

Avoid these rounds at all costs. They all have functionally no penetration which won't even work with scavs, and are typically used in guns that you'll want to avoid beyond the first day or so. Save your time and money by opting for something else.

Image of 9x19mm PM SP8 ammo in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

What is the best overall ammo in Escape from Tarkov?

The best ammo in Escape from Tarkov is by far the .338 Lapua Magnum AP round, which does an unmatched 115 damage with 79 penetration power. This round will one-shot Class 6 armour at up to 800m if you hit the thorax, making it overwhelmingly powerful if you can land your shots.

The main trouble with the round though is that it is found in raid only, and can only be used with two rare and expensive weapons. If you've got the roubles to burn though, this is the choice for you.

Alternatively, 6.8x51mm SIG HYBRID is the best ammo that you can use in your average raids as it's purchasable from Peacekeeper LL4, letting you dominate the meta in 0.14.

Ammo cartridge tier list

Outside of the best individual ammunition in the game, you can also evaluate the overall strength of each ammo cartridge available to players. When comparing them, you have to consider the overall availability and strength of each round within each cartridge and also the guns available for the round type.

Here is our tier list of each ammo cartridge type in Escape from Tarkov right now:

Tier Ammo Cartridges
S .338 Lapua Magnum, 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm NATO, 6.8x51mm
A .300 Blackout, .45 ACP, 4.6x30mm HK, 7.62x54mmR, 9x39mm
B 12x70mm, 12.7x55mm STs-130, 23x75mm, 5.45x39mm, 5.7x28mm FN, 9x21mm Gyurza, 
C .357 Magnum, .366 TKM, 9x19mm Parabellum, 7.62x25mm Tokarev, 
D 20x70mm, 9x18 Makarov

We have lots that you can learn on our Escape from Tarkov homepage if you need any more help, including all of the best sights in the game and the best settings to improve your fps.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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