Hornady Ammo and Bullets Review

Obsolete Arms and Ammo
By Bob Shell

Ruger Commander 45 Pistol and Hornady Ammo
Ruger Commander 45 Pistol and Hornady Ammo makes a great combination.
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Apache Junction, AZ --(Ammoland.com)- Like some of the other bullet companies Hornady started out making jackets out of 22 rim fire case, then made 22 caliber bullets.

His original partner was Vernon Speer who later went his separate way and started his own line of bullets. This happened shortly after WWll.

During WW ll materials were hard to get because of wartime demands so that was the reason for using 22 rim fire cases as jackets.

Later on, Hornady started making some 30 caliber bullets and as time went by they started making re-manufactured ammo and eventually made some more of their components. They also worked with other companies such as Ruger to partner with them to produce guns and ammo. Hornady produces some of their brass and I have found it to have good quality. I found that the Commander is one great 45 and for someone looking for one I would suggest checking this one out. For info you can go to www.ruger.com index.html to find info of their fine products.

Hornady also makes an extensive line of reloading equipment and dies. They always have specials going on and there is a lot of good info available. Also their reloading manual is top notch and there should be a copy in everyone’s loading room. There is a place on the site where you can contact your congressmen to express your desire to have them protect your 2’nd amendment rights.

For more info on all of their products and info you can go to www.hornady.com

Hornady 7mm Remington Mag
Hornady 7mm Remington Mag: The 7 mm Remington mag and the 175 grain Hornady round nose makes one great hunting combo.

Hornady 7mm Remington Mag 
http://www.hornady.com/store/7mm-Rem-Mag/

I have used Hornady bullets for quite a few years and have found them to perform well. One of my favorites is the 7 mm 175 grain either spitzer or round nose depending on circumstances.

I have shot various large game animals with the 7 mm mag and the 175 grain with good results. They generally drop in their tracks. Some of my other favorites are the round nose in 6 mm, 25 and 6.5 calibers. They generally produce great accuracy in the obsolete guns that they are used in. I imagine that the long bearing surface helps out in that matter.

The long bullet carries pretty well so don’t sell them short. Unfortunately Hornady dropped the 6 mm 100 gr round nose and I will sorely miss that bullet. That is a great bullet in the 6 mm Lee Navy round. The 30 caliber 220 grain round nose is a great addition to the 30-40 Krag. The round nose bullets closely match the profiles of the original military slugs which tends to help out in accuracy. As far as I know they are the only company that makes the proper diameter for the 6.5 Carcano. Most 6.5 bullets are .264 but the Carcano uses a .268 diameter.

Hornady 160 Grain Flex Tip In 32 Winchester
Hornady 160 Grain Flex Tip: The 160 grain flex tip in the 32 Winchester makes a real nice deer load.

They make a nice .454 for the old 45 Colt revolvers which I found to be a great shooting slug with black powder. It is a swaged bullet with a nice profile.

I work with a lot of obsolete guns and anywhere I can get the correct bullets is a good place to deal with. I have used the 500 gr Hornady in 458 with good accuracy though it wasn’t much fun to shoot. If I did my part I could clover leaf them at 100 yards which is pretty impressive considering the recoil. Hornady makes a nice 170 grain round nose in 8 mm. It is useful for some of the older 8 mm’s and drillings. When necessary I swage it down to .318 for the Commission rifle as well as various drillings and it always shoots well. Another bullet that really works nice is the Flex-Tip bullets. They are designed for tubular magazine rifles such as the 30-30. They make them in 30,32,33 and 45 calibers and are planning on extending their lineup. I have shot many of them and combined with LEVERevolution powder I have an honest 250 yard 30-30 rifle. The 325 grain in the 45-70 is one impressive load. Hornady also makes some muzzle loading projectiles both lead and jacketed for inlines. Generally speaking Hornady has something for everyone.

These loads used 32 H & R mag cases. A Ruger 327 single action 6 & ½” barrel was used in the test. Groups were shot at 25 yards.

LOAD – BULLET – VELOCITY – COMMENT

  • 2.5 X 231 – 86 grain Hornady HBWC – 860 – 2.6”
  • 4 X 231 – Hornady 86 grain – SWC – 1232 – 3.1
  • 5 X – Blue Dot 100 grain – Hornady HP – 1201 – 2.7

Loads using 327 cases

  • 7 X – Blue Dot 85 grain – Hornady HP – 1472 – 2.8
  • 11 X 2400 – 100 grain Hornady HP – 1433 – 3.4

300 RCM While not as potent as a 300 Win considering the size of the case and length of the barrel I find this an impressive cartridge. It is a little more powerful then a 30-06, in fact it closely duplicates the 300 H & H magnum but in a shorter, more compact package.

Hornady 338 RCM L. and 300 RCM
Hornady 338 RCM L. and 300 RCM

I used 2 300 RCM rifles both with 20 “barrels a stainless and a blued model. I thought that it would be interesting to compare the rifles. As you can see there was a difference but not a lot. Again, it shows that there is indeed differences in individual guns.

LOAD BULLET VELOCITY COMMENT

  • 62 X 748 130 grain Hornady stainless 3296 good load
  • 62 X 748 130 grain Hornady blue 3259 consistent
  • 60 X H-380 150 grain Horn stainless 2843 mild
  • 60 X H-380 150 grain Horn blue 2839 consistent
  • 62 X 760 180 grain Horn stainless 2815 nice
  • 62 X 760 180 grain Horn blue 2817 very consistent

LOAD BULLET VELOCITY COMMENT

I had two Iver Johnson 45’s and the Hornady worked just fine. This also shows that barrel length has an effect on velocities. Depending on loads velocities can vary a lot.

LOAD FACTORY BARREL LENGTH VELOCITY COMMENT

  • 185 gr Hornady XTP 3” 832.4 consistent
  • 185 gr Hornady XTP 5” 967.2 nice
  • 185 gr Hornady Zombie 3” 881.6 consistent
  • 185 gr Hornady Zombie 5” 1031 very consistent

I obtained a Ruger Commander 45 with a 4 & ¼” barrel for T & E. Hornady donated some ammo to evaluate in this gun. Both the factory ammo and reloads functioned flawlessly in this Commander.

LOAD BULLET VELOCITY COMMENT

  • 6.5 X 231 185 gr XTP 973 ok
  • 5 X 231 185 gr WC 722 super accurate
  • Hornady Z Max Zombie 185 gr HP 1005 consistent
  • Hornady Critical defense 185 gr HP 1018 consistent
  • Hornady Tap FPD 200 gr 983 nice
Hornady 200 grain SWC handload offhand at 7 yards
Hornady 200 grain SWC handload offhand at 7 yards

Factory ammo has improved dramatically in the last 20 years or so. When I started chronographing ammo more then 30 years ago factory was generally pretty poor. Velocities were usually lower then advertised and extreme spreads and standard deviations were usually high indicating poor loads. The only factory ammo that performed as billed was Norma.

A handloader who knew his stuff could easily make better ammo then what was on the shelf.

Today that is no longer true. You really have to strive to equal or beat the typical factory stuff. For instance, I did a lot of testing on the 300 and 338 RCM’s and they are both very impressive cartridges. With Hornady factory ammo, I obtained excellent accuracy and velocities were as advertised. The 338 RCM will not duplicate the velocities of the older 338 Win but it comes pretty close and does it in a more compact package. I would feel comfortable using the Ruger in 338 RCM with Hornady ammo on just about anything in North America with the proper bullet. It is a small compact and hard hitting rifle. It is a challenge making handloads perform as well as the factory fodder, especially the premium stuff.

Hornady 25 117 grain top and 6.5 160 grain below
Hornady 25 117 grain top and 6.5 160 grain below

Hornady is a company that is on the move. They are always coming out with new products to make life easier for us shooters. I would suggest frequent visits to their website to see what is new.

About Bob Shell
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com

  • One thought on “Hornady Ammo and Bullets Review

    1. I have a problem with one of your rounds,
      I have a S&W 460 and on one of the 200gr FTX rounds the primer Came out of the casing and jammed the cylinder scared the blank out of me.
      Please check in to your QC

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