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Best Tarkov Ammo and EFT Ammo Chart 13.5 (2023)
Learn the best Tarkov ammo to use with our EFT ammo chart 13.5 guide which provides a beginner and advanced resource to assist in PvE and PvP raid encounters. Using the appropriate ammo (also referred to rounds or bullets) in your Escape From Tarkov raids is a vital piece of game knowledge but it can be difficult to determine which round to use given the large range of calibres and ammunitions which continues to grow with each game patch. With the Tarkov ammo chart below you’ll learn the best in slot, mid tier options and budget ammo types for a range of EFT situations.
While there are a number of Tarkov resources that create a bullet tier list based solely on stats the aim of this EFT ammo chart and guide is to offer you several options from budget to top tier while detailing when each is effective factoring in time of the wipe, playstyle, availability and importantly your budget. The Tarkov ammo guide 13.5 update below is designed to be both a quick reference and detailed analysis with further ammo tier list discussion at the end of this article for the common weapon calibres within Tarkov.
Table of Contents:
– EFT Ammo Chart 13.5 – Beginner
– EFT Ammo Chart 13.5 – Advanced
– Tarkov Ammo Tier List
– Best Shotgun Ammo
– Best 9×19 Ammo
– Best 45 ACP Ammo
– Best 4.6×30 Ammo
– Best 9×39 Ammo
– Best 5.45×39 Ammo
– Best 5.56×45 Ammo
– Best 7.62×39 Ammo
– Best 7.62×51 Ammo
– Best 7.62x54R Ammo
For those that prefer video based content Pestily offers a fantastic Tarkov ammo chart 12.9 update (below) and a Pestily ammo tier list which are still fairly accurate for the current Tarkov game patch in terms of power level although some notable ammos have seen reduced availability.
EFT Ammo Chart 13.5 (2023) – Beginner & Quick Reference
The below Tarkov ammo chart table is intended for beginners to Escape From Tarkov but also serves a resource for experienced players that simply want a quick reference guide for each gun calibre and don’t need additional bullet information.
The Tarkov best ammo guide table below includes all available ammunition types and is structured as follows:
- Budget Tier: The budget round offers the best bang for buck with a round that is readily available from low level traders. Effective against both Scavs and PMCs (generally up to level 4 armour) this option is an effective generalist use ammo that is perfect for loot runs and questing activities due to its lower investment than other tiers.
- Mid Tier: Once you feel confident in your Tarkov abilities and overall stash value you’ll want to consider moving into a mid tier ammunition. While not every calibre has a mid tier option the ones that do offer you a reliable PvP ammo if you expect to face other PMCs or fight one of the Tarkov bosses. It’s higher expense or lower availability means you might not always be able to use this ammo though.
- Top Tier: The best of the best although due to cost and availability it’s unlikely you’ll be able to run this consistently in your raids. If you do get your hands on this though you’ll be as best equipped as possible for that weapon type to battle highly geared PMCs. Note that there are some rare ammunitions beyond this tier that aren’t included below given their scarcity simply makes them impractical to use with any regularity.
|Calibre||Budget Tier||Mid Tier||Top Tier|
|9x18mm||PSO gzh||PST gzh||PBM gzh|
|7.62x25mm||AKBS||PT Gzh||PST gzh|
|9x19mm||PST gzh||AP 6.3||PBP gzh (7N31)|
|.357 Magnum||–||–||Magnum FMJ|
|.45 ACP||Match FMJ||–||ACP (AP)|
|9x21mm||P gzh||PS gzh||BT gzh|
|4.6x30mm||JSP SX||–||AP SX|
|5.45x39mm||PP||BT||PPBS gs (Igolnik)|
|.300 Blackout||BCP FMJ||M62||AP|
EFT Ammo Chart 13.5 (2023) – Advanced
For the advanced player there are many great Tarkov Ammo charts available on the web that serve as reference points for players to consider all of their available options. While each of these are great resources in their own right the purpose of the end of this guide is to go more in depth into the different stages of Tarkov that different ammunition are viable, how to acquire them and the trade offs that each has in real raid situations. With this added context you’ll be able to quickly determine the best Tarkov ammo for yourself across the most popular weapon types.
My two recommendations for EFT ammo chart guidance are below which are both regularly updated:
EFT Monster Ammo Chart
EFT Monster is producing a high quality visual Tarkov bullet chart which is also interactive that lets you understand where each ammunition sits in terms of damage and penetration power. It’s also regular updated and thus a highly recommended Tarkov ammo chart for 2023 although you’ll need some intermediate game knowledge to use it effectively. They also link out to the Tarkov wiki summary that features the same basic information and generally useful information about ballistics in Tarkov for each ammo type for when you want to dive deeper beyond their EFT bullet graph.
NoFoodAfterMidnight’s EFT Ammo Chart
NoFoodAfterMidnight takes a different approach by presenting ammunitions based on how effective they will be against each class of armour which gives players a familiar reference point to match up against their intended raid activities. Having been a long time contributor to the Tarkov reddit community with a range of Google Sheets NoFoodAfterMidnight ammo chart has now moved to his own website that features the same familiar content that is well referenced by the community. It also provides an easy table reference of all ammunition details including if it can be sold on the flea market, recoil modifier and recent sale price on the market.
Ammo Mechanics – Tarkov Ammo Tier List
Understanding the underlying mechanics of how ammo works in Escape From Tarkov can provide additional insight into what makes an ammo type good or bad for those wanting to move beyond reliance on an EFT ammo chart resource. While the ammo itself is important you alawys need to also consider your goals for a raid and other game circumstances such as the time since a Tarkov wipe as this impacts the armours you’ll encounter on players. With this knowledge you’ll be better positioned to complete Tarkov quests, gain levels and increase your stash wealth.
While ammo ballistics could be an article in itself and there are a number of advanced guides for those interested the two fundamentals to grasp are penetration and damage which generally in most ammo types have an inverse relationship to each other. The result is ammo rounds and bullets that specialise in dealing damage and ideal for the leg meta where your kills will come from damaging limbs. While others have no problem piercing high armour but take several hits to deal sufficient damage to result in a kill (compounded by damage drop-off from range and armour preventing some damage). To simplify your decision you can follow the below flowchart steps:
- Do I plan to deal damage to limbs (leg meta) or focus on head and thorax (standard meta) damage? If going for leg meta maximise ammo damage at all costs. If going for standard meta optimise for enough penetration (see 2 below) and maximise damage beyond that.
- What armour do I expect to face given my raid objectives? Scavs will primarily be armour class 3, budget PMCs primarily armour class 4 and high tier PvP will be class 5 and 6. Aim for a penetration value approximately 10 times the armour class and then seek to maximise damage beyond that. While in theory players could just run the highest penetration ammunition possible this may not always be available due to budget or availability constraints. The higher you go in penetration also generally reduces damage slightly that against lower armours may actually result in more hits to kill your target.
Your choice of ammo in Tarkov can also impact on accuracy, recoil, bleed chance and weapon durability burn with some being tracer rounds that allow you (and your enemies) see where shots are going. Considering all of the above the best ammo in each Tarkov situation can vary dramatically which the below detailed ammo tier list considers for the most commonly used Tarkov ammos for the standard meta.
Best Shotgun Ammo Tarkov (12/70)
While an uncommon ammo type shotguns are split between slug and shot variants that can be fun to use and outright required in some quests that demand Scav and PMC kills on specific maps. Quests like the Silent Calibre, Punisher Part 4 and Spa Tour Part 1 might leave you wondering which is the best shotgun ammo Tarkov has to offer for these quests.
The best slug round available which also makes it viable at range the AP-20 is your best all around choice when trying to complete your shotgun quests or simply having some shotgun fun. While it does struggle beyond class 4 armours the high damage and potential for long range shots due to the slug mechanism makes it devastating regardless. Access to this ammo is available as a late game option though so expect it to run more expensive than the below other best shotgun ammo options. A viable budget alternative to this slug is the .50 BMG bullet that is available slightly earlier although doesn’t quite pack the same punch.
Requiring a close range approach to shotguns the Flechette is a deadly round capable of shooting through tougher armour and can even make short work of class 6 with brute force. This is not a slug round though so you’ll find your shots only effective at the closer combat ranges. By modifying your playstyle though this is absolutely still a viable option to load up your shotgun with when available.
With this round players will be opting to get around player or Scav armour by landing a pellet into their face or limbs with the highest combination of pellet number and damage on offer in the shotgun shot category. The trade off of this is the large debuff to recoil and accuracy so don’t expect this to be effective beyond short range but it is readily available throughout the mid game that still make it worth noting as one of the Tarkov best shotgun shells.
Best 9×19 Ammo Tarkov
An ammo that was rarely used outside of pistol runs in the early days of Tarkov although with a wealth of SMGs added to game is becoming more popular. With the likes of the popular KRISS Vector, MP5 and MPX along with the introduction of top penetration ammunition that has improved their viability in the game meta as they can pierce both armour and face shields. Players looking for a leg meta option can also utilise the RIP ammo in 9×19 that provides a deadly combo of high fire rate and damage in the right situation.
PBP gzh (7N31)
The best 9×19 ammo Tarkov has to offer which is only available in the late game to players. This is far from a cheap or quick method though so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to accumulate a sufficient stockpile of ammunition especially given the speed the firing speed of the guns you’ll be using. Despite that when you do have a stockpile this should your default option as it offers the highest penetration value of all 9×19 that make it capable of dealing with well armoured opponents. To preserve your ammo you’ll want to utilise your secure container and minimise the total number of mags you bring into raid when using this round.
A close second to PBP above that has less penetration but available slightly earlier to players through the workbench it’s a good mid tier option until you start producing PBP. While AP 6.3 does start to struggle with class 4 armour and above the high fire rate of weapons that use the 9×19 still keep it viable in most situations although you may need to rely on headshots against higher armour classes.
The best of the remaining 9×19 ammo options in Tarkov is Pst Gzh and while it lacks the penetrating power of those above is still an effective Scav killer or PMC slayer in the early to mid game where thorax armour and face shields are less common. It does start to struggle with the meta face shield and helmet variants used by the player base though so don’t set your expectations too high.
Best .45 ACP Ammo Tarkov
Like 9×19 this ammo has seen increasing popularity over time as higher penetrating ammunitions have been introduced that allow for it to be viable in the KRISS Vector and HK UMP. While there several ammunitions available only two are worth considering unless you intend to go for a leg meta approach which provides slightly more options.
The clear winner in the .45 ACP category in Tarkov the ammunition offers fantastic penetration and damage with good availability through traders and crafting once you reach the mid game. The result is an ammunition you should generally be able to always run once it becomes available to you and gives it an edge over the comparable 9×19 round.
The best UMP ammo for those on a Tarkov budget and you’re only effective option prior to unlocking AP above. With early availability the penetration is sufficient up to armour class 3 and beyond that you’ll need to focus on landing headshots against players. With a high fire rate this is generally not an issue and ensures it can shred through most Scav encounters that aren’t bosses.
Best 4.6×30 Ammo Tarkov
A speciality ammo that is only used in the two MP7 variants (A1 and A2) these guns have proven to be a regular staple of the meta with their high fire rates and fairly powerful penetrating ammunition. Of the four available options most of these are viable for players to use with three options (AP, FMJ and Subsonic) for players based on budget and game progression.
Offering the best penetration power in the 4.6x30mm class of ammo players will be able to quickly shred through even class 6 armour which makes this a popular late game pick in the submachine gun class of weapons. Obtaining this ammunition can be difficult though which means you’ll unlikely have it be a regular feature of your kit and may even only have a few rounds in each magazine of this.
FMJ SX is likely to be your main ammunition when running this archetype of weapon in Tarkov and is still a capable ammunition for Scavs and players alike. Available mid game FMJ is a reliable ammo and while it won’t rip through class 6 armour it can reliably be used against class 4 and is decent at class 5 which covers the majority of your encounters. If you run out of this ammunition the Subsonic SX version is still an effective option up to class 4 armour combat and also has some notable boosts to the statistics of accuracy and recoil over FMJ SX that may help offset the loss in penetration in some situations.
Best 9×39 Ammo Tarkov
With the VSS and AS VAL coming in and out of the meta at various times in Escape From Tarkov the 9×39 ammo has plenty of interest to PMCs especially given the high fire rates and natural silencers of these weapons that allow them to simply eat through ammo and kill quietly. This high fire rate and similar statistics of all available ammunition also means that all rounds are viable and cost becomes an even more important factor here as you can literally fire tens of thousands of Roubles in a few seconds. The difficulty in running this weapon type is generally the lack of high capacity magazines until quite late though.
Serving as the pinnacle choice of this class the SP- 6 availability through crafts and traders is in a sweet spot that ensures you can be generally overflowing in ammo to fill your 20 and 30 round magazines of this weapon type. While it’s not the highest penetrating ammunition in this class it has enough to be effective against all combat challenges when combined with weapon fire speed and vastly greater availability than the higher penetrating options.
Your entry level 9×39 round SP-5 is a capable option for the mid game as once again the high fire rate keeps it strong for most encounters. Prapor will happily sell you this round as well which makes it the first accessible 9×39 ammo and thus the perfect budget selection provided you can acquire the magazines.
Best 5.45×39 Ammo Tarkov
An AK round which makes it a common feature in the meta and on Scavs with a large list of potential ammos that can make it difficult to identify the best AK ammo for each situation as many perform similarly in combat. While three good options at each level from budget to top tier are noted below there are several other viable variants in between these options being BP, 7N40 and BS that are equally viable if you get your hands on them.
PPBS gs (Igolnik)
The powerful PPBS gs Igolnik round is the best AK ammo Tarkov has for the late game for the 5.45 variants. With massive penetration this can quickly pierce class 6 armour and is kept in check by limited availability in the workbench and boss kills and its lower raw damage. Note that outside of fights against class 6 armour the comparable BS and 7N40 rounds are just as effective if you have them available.
One of the many tracer rounds for the 5.45×39 bullet calibre which makes this easy to identify when being shot at by Scavs or players due to its red colour. The BT round is the workhouse of the AK family and likely to be your go to option for much of your gameplay as it’s availability is quite high and is at that perfect penetration breakpoint for class 4 armour effectiveness. BP is similar in terms of stats to BT and can be swapped in depending on what you have available although is closer to PP level of effectiveness. The higher damage of both BT and BP also makes it possible to have two tap thorax potential (depending on other factors) which PPBS and BS from above lack due to lower damage.
The minimum you’ll want to be using this is the best budget AK ammo Tarkov has available for the 5.45 class of weapons. With PP you’ll be able to fight class 3 armour without issue and have a decent chance against class 4 armour which combined with its availability from Prapor make it a reliable option. It’s also available before a large number of the other 5.45 ammos noted above that boost it’s attractiveness as a reliable early game option if you want to run a budget AK build or find it from a Scav or your own Scav Run.
Best 5.56×45 Ammo Tarkov
A staple ammo in the later stages of Tarkov wipes thanks to usage in the popular HK 416A5 and M4A1 that are constantly at the top of the gun meta. The lack of an early strong ammo contributes to keeping this ammo relegated to the late game as most armour tiers can quickly hurt the effectiveness of 5.56 NATO in PMC fights. With its late game skew to these weapons knowing what is the best 556 ammo Tarkov has to offer will keep you safe, like the 5.45×39 category above there are several ammos in between the below that are still effective choices (SSA AP and M856A1).
Powerful all the way up to tier 6 armours M995 is a staple end game round that makes it the best 5.56 ammo in Tarkov although it has a difficulty of acquisition to match. Available from a slow and expensive craft it’s unlikely you’ll be able to acquire large volumes of this round so don’t expect to run it regularly. The similarly powered SSA AP round trades some damage for increased penetration although is equally rare.
An option in the 5.56×45 NATO class that is more readily available although still a late game round given it is locked behind high level traders. M855A1 is capable of most challenges though as a reliable option up to class 5 armour and even level 6 if you fire enough rounds through your rifle which is possible with weapon fire rates of this class. If you do run short or can’t purchase M855A1 yet the M856A1 is a viable alternative from traders although it is a tracer variant and starts to struggle beyond class 4 armours.
The first viable ammo available in this calibre that is suitable for early game against low armoured players or fighting basic Scavs. The mass availability of this round from Peacekeeper means you can comfortable spray at your enemies though to help counteract the lower penetration value it has.
Best 7.62×39 Ammo Tarkov
A common round in the majority of early to mid game rifles due to it’s deadly power and links to some quest lines (such as AKM Scav kills on Shoreline). The more powerful variants of this calibre include MAI AP and BP which keep it viable into the later stages of the Tarkov wipe although MAI AP is particularly hard to acquire so will be unlikely something you use more than a handful of times (if at all).
The BP round is the primary late game power house round that offers high penetration that will consistently penetrate class 5 armour and 6 with enough hits. It also comes with an equally deadly damage number that will deliver a devastating head shot or two hit thorax kill with ease. What makes BP particularly attractive as a top tier ammo though is decent hideout crafting availability compared to similar options. With lower general fire rates on the rifles that utilise the BP round you generally also won’t be using as many rounds compared to other weapons.
The absolute best SKS ammo Tarkov has in the early game and ideal for similar calibre weapons like the AKM series. While it doesn’t pack the same punch as BP you’ll still be able to overcome level 4 armour with enough persistence that makes it ideal early to mid game where this is the highest armour tier. The ease of early trader availability and price also improves its usage alongside the fact that SKS Scavs spawn with high quantities regularly to build your stockpile. Scavs can also spawn with T45M in this calibre and if you’re wondering is T45M ammo good in Tarkov you’ll find it fairly comparable to PS as a budget option. While I wouldn’t recommend purchasing it specifically this round can be used if obtained from a Scav or Scav run and you are on a budget.
Best 7.62×51 Ammo Tarkov
Another common calibre of bullet that is used on popular rifles like the Vepr Hunter, RFB and M1A this calibre is an effective armour piercing option and quite cheap for what it offers. Even the budget round in this class is a capable PMC and Scav boss killer that makes it a regular of the mid game that leads many on the search for the best 7.62×51 ammo Tarkov has available. While the absolute strongest available in terms of penetration is M993 its availability is limited and unlikely to be obtainable in any useful quantity.
One of the deadliest rounds in Tarkov M61 is the best 7.62×51 ammo Tarkov offers with its high penetration and damage despite low availability. This ammo will slice through even the toughest armour with ease while backing it up with strong damage for 2 hit kills to the thorax even at distance. Locked behind late game progress it will be a while before you can acquire this regularly and even then it has a scarce quantity. Alternatively you can acquire M61 from small amounts through an expensive and slow craft which means M61 is primarily a sniper round where you’ll use it in lower quantity.
While not quite as deadly as the M61 above in terms of penetration power the M62 can still deal with class 6 armour with a few hits and has better availability. The green tracer also makes this useful for sniping depending on your preferences as it can give away your position but is useful for long range sniping raids to adjust your shots. M62 is available from high Peacekeeper so you won’t be using this too early but it is available likely long before M61 is even a thought.
The ultimate budget round for this gun calibre that is a capable Raider killer, Scav boss killer and can reliability cut through tier 4 armour of players. Once players can reach Peacekeeper’s required level M80 becomes the best Hunter and RFB budget ammo in Tarkov with its high damage also being equally effective against unarmoured Scav targets that make it a perfect all rounder. Availability is also generally high as the slower firing rifles that use this gun generally encourage slower paced shots and less ammo used in combat overall.
Before players can access this round you’ll have to rely on BCP FMJ for your needs of this weapon type which is effective in most combat encounters against level 3 or 4 armour but quickly declines in effectiveness past this that makes it a gamble to use beyond the early gameplay of Tarkov. While on paper BCP FMJ has comparable damage and penetration stats to similar ammo choices in different calibres it can be be outmatched by other options as 7.62×51 is generally exclusive single fire or suffers from high recoil when full auto modes are available so may not be something all players use.
Best 7.62x54R Ammo Tarkov
A devastating sniper rifle round that will be used primarily for SVDS and Mosin ammo that are common sights in Escape From Tarkov due to a wealth of quests that require kills with them (both Scav and PMC). It is hard to go wrong when choosing the right round in this calibre as many have similar statistics that are all in the viable ammunition range.
The top tier option and best Mosin ammo Tarkov has to offer if available to you that will go through any armour in the game and hit hard when it does. Available late in progression and an affordable workbench craft compared to alternatives it is quite similar to BS although has faster projectile speed and lower ricochet chance that makes it the best sniper ammo when using bolt action rifles. If you’re using something like a SVD though BS can be a reasonable pick as it doesn’t have the minor recoil debuff that SNB has.
Previously known as 7N1 this round is an effective mid game option at Prapor until you unlock SNB or BS noted above. It offers slightly better properties than the budget LPS option below that make it worth the upgrade with an accuracy modifier that may prove helpful.
A strong staple round available early from Prapor although expensive on a per round basis that is mitigated by the mostly bolt action weapons you will use this with. LPS generally has no problem with class 4 armour encounters and can be easily swapped out for the T-46M version if you are on a budget although this is a tracer variant that may give your position away.