RWS EVOLUTION GREEN and RWS HIT, as well as RWS DRIVEN HUNT: a comparison of lead-free bullets and rifle cartridges for hunting all European game species

RWS EVOLUTION GREEN: why is this lead-free bullet with its two dual cores and H-Mantel particularly suitable for long-range hunting?

The design of the lead-free RWS EVOLUTION GREEN is based on the classic H-Mantel bullet.

The experienced German ammunition manufacturer RWS modelled the development of the RWS EVOLUTION GREEN on the classic H-Mantel bullet, which is highly regarded by many hunters. Just like this, the EVOLUTION GREEN has a typical structure consisting of two bullet cores surrounded by a jacket of mild steel of different thicknesses. The cores of this lead-free RWS bullet are made of food-safe tin. The frontal, "softer" tin core features a special pre-fragmentation, which ensures that this part of the bullet safely splits into several fragments in the body of the game animals even when shooting at long ranges, thus ensuring an immediate release of energy with a high shock effect. This process is initiated by the Speed Tip inserted into the hollow nose of the bullet, which also ensures better ballistic properties and therefore a more stable trajectory. The rear core is surrounded by a thicker jacket and therefore remains largely mass-stable, thus contributing to a reliable shot. At the transition between the two cores is the characteristic H-groove that gives this type of bullet its name. The lower, thicker part of the jacket reaches deeper into the interior of the bullet and enables a secure mechanical connection between the rear core and the bullet jacket. Moreover, the jacket also forms a rim at this point, which, in addition to a clean exit wound, is also intended to provide cut hair as a tracking mark. To minimise bullet deposits in the bore, the mild steel jacket has a corresponding nickel plating. The RWS EVOLUTION GREEN can be used to shoot all European game species, but it shows its strengths best on light to medium game. These strengths lie above all in the high shock effect, even at longer ranges which, according to RWS, results in significantly fewer searches in everyday hunting grounds.

VIDEO: explaining the effect of the RWS EVOLUTION GREEN bullet with a gelatine block

RWS rifle cartridges with the lead-free RWS EVOLUTION GREEN (partially fragmenting) bullet are available in the following calibers: 6.5x55 SE, 6.5x57, 6.5x57 R, 6.5x68, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .270 Winchester Short Magnum, 7x57 R, 7mm Remington Magnum, 7x64, 7x65 R, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .30 R Blaser, .300 Winchester Magnum, 8x57 JS, 8x57 JRS, 8x68 S, 9.3x62, 9.3x64, 9.3x74 R and 10.3x68 Magnum.

RWS HIT: structure, mode of action and preferred areas of application of the lead-free expanding bullet for medium to heavy game

When designing the lead-free copper-solid bullet RWS HIT, the focus was on low game meat damage.

For fans of mass-stable expanding bullets that leave virtually no splinters in the game, the RWS HIT is a proven lead-free alternative. The lead-free dimensionally stable projectile is made of electrolytic copper and scores with a residual weight of 99%, while the unique HIT Matrix with the RWS TC-Tip (Twin-Compression-Tip) and the RWS ACC (Active-Crater-Cavity) hollow point underneath ensures that the bullet mushrooms safely and quickly. The compact expanding bullet guarantees deep penetration and a certain exit wound even with bone hits! As a true all-rounder, the RWS HIT can be used just as successfully on driven hunts as it can at the usual distances when hunting from hides or stalking. Although this lead-free RWS bullet is suitable for all Central European game species, its strengths are best used for medium-heavy and heavy game. The RWS HIT is characterised by minimal damage to the game’s meat.

VIDEO: the effect of the RWS HIT bullet in the gelatine block

RWS rifle cartridges with the lead-free RWS HIT (expanding) bullet are available in the following calibers: .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, 8x57 JS, 8x57 JRS and 9.3x62.

RWS DRIVEN HUNT: how does the lead-free bullet designed for short-range driven hunts work?

With the lead-free RWS DRIVEN HUNT, the designers have created an innovative bullet with an extremely high shock effect, even at short ranges.

All good things come in threes – with the RWS DRIVEN HUNT, the well-known German ammunition manufacturer has added a third and extremely innovative lead-free bullet to its catalog. As the name suggests, this is a deformation copper bullet engineered specifically for the requirements of driven hunts, which is nickel plated to prevent barrel fouling. Anyone who has ever seen a DRIVEN HUNT bullet will certainly remember the eye-catching, yellow-orange coloured, large and flat bullet tip. Hidden underneath is a deep hollow point that causes the bullet to mushroom as soon as it enters the body of game animals. This increases the cross-section of the bullet by up to two and a half times and, thanks to the correspondingly high energy release, also ensures a very high shock effect. In addition, the special manufacturing process of the DRIVEN HUNT promises a reliable exit wound. And that also at short and even extremely short shooting ranges, as is often the case on driven hunts. The RWS DRIVEN HUNT is particularly suitable for medium to large game, but can also be used for all other European game animals. Its strengths include its extremely fast deformation process in combination with an extreme shock effect and a high residual weight, which makes this bullet an ideal companion for all driven hunts.

VIDEO: the effect of the RWS DRIVEN HUNT in the gelatine block

RWS rifle cartridges with the lead-free RWS DRIVEN HUNT bullet (especially designed for short ranges) are available in the following calibers: .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, 9.3x62, 8x57 IS and 8x57 IRS.

Lead-free RWS SHORT RIFLE cartridges: predestined for short barreled rifles with in combination with silencers

The use of silencers has led to a trend towards rifles with shorter barrels. RWS has responded to this trend with the SHORT RIFLE ammunition series specially designed for such firearms.

In the past, bolt-action rifles with short barrels in particular were usually only seen on the hunting grounds carried by trackers. They often used old rifles with barrels shortened by the gunsmith in order to have a handy rifle at hand when tracking through thickets and undergrowth. However, since the legislator has given local hunters access to silencers, more and more "ordinary" hunters are also turning to short-barreled guns so that their rifle does not become too long, especially in combination with the so-called on-barrel silencers. Many gun manufacturers now offer corresponding guns with barrel lengths of 45 or 47 cm, for example. However, many hunters are not necessarily aware that conventional rifle cartridges are also optimised for rifles with the previously common, longer average barrel lengths of 60 cm and usually experience massive performance losses when used with short barrels. This is due to the fact that the powder no longer burns inside the barrel. This means that some of the powder only burns after the bullet has left the muzzle. In addition to a larger muzzle flash and louder bang, this also results in a significantly lower bullet velocity and therefore less energy reaching the target. If a silencer is used and the unburned powder combusts inside of it, the inner workings of the silencer are logically exposed to greater wear. To counteract these undesirable physical effects, RWS has developed a range of cartridges specially optimised for such short barrels: the RWS SHORT RIFLE. The use of special propellant powders ensures that burning is completed before the bullet has exited the muzzle, even with short barrels. Another difference between the lead-free rifle cartridges from RWS and those from the SHORT RIFLE series is also clearly visible from the outside. The SHORT Rifle loads have a nickel-plated case. This is not only more corrosion-resistant, but also has better sliding properties, so that the SHORT RIFLE cartridges provide smoother cycling, especially with semi-automatic rifles, and are therefore less susceptible to jams.

The SHORT RIFLE cartridges (for short-barreled rifles) are of course also available in combination with the lead-free bullets already described here. RWS SHORT RIFLE rifle cartridges are currently available in the following calibers and loads:

RWS EVOLUTION GREEN SHORT RIFLE: .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield.

RWS HIT SHORT RIFLE: .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, 8x57 JS, 8x57 JRS and 9.3x62.

RWS DRIVEN HUNT SHORT RIFLE: .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and 9.3x62


The bullets presented here are also available as components for reloaders – the range of calibers offered corresponds to the RWS rifle cartridges on offer. The RWS EVOLUTION GREEN therefore also offers the largest selection here. Finally, here is an overview of all the bullets and their mode of action (in three bullet stages):

Here is the mode of action of all three lead-free RWS bullets at a glance: in the top row the RWS EVOLUTION GREEN, which works as a partial fragmentation bullet according to the H-Mantel principle; below the RWS HIT as an expanding bullet with 99 % residual weight; and at the bottom the RWS DRIVEN HUNT, which is also a mass-stable deformation bullet, but thanks to its large hollow point with extremely high shock effect can primarily be used at short range.

You can find out more about the lead-free RWS bullets presented here on the manufacturer's infotainment page.

Further information on lead-free RWS bullets and cartridges and other products can also be found here in the current RWS online flip-page catalogue 2024/2025.

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