Hornady Ammo

Accurate, deadly, dependable. Recognize the demand, supply the market. This isn’t a revolutionary business practice, but it’s one which Joyce W. Hornady employed to great effect while founding what would become one of America’s greatest ammunition manufacturers.

The Father of Hornady

Mr. Hornady opened up his own sporting goods store in the great state of Nebraska in 1946, one year after the war ended and the raw materials needed to make rifles and tanks could instead be used for bicycles and roller skates. But while the market back then was absolutely awash with military surplus ammunition, ball ammo loaded with non-expanding bullets is unsuitable for hunting.

Mr. Hornady laid out a sound plan: Buy up some of the government’s surplus ammo manufacturing equipment, install it in an auto body shop, and start producing component bullets so hunters could make their own whitetail loads at home. Mr. Hornady sold only $10,000 worth of .30 caliber spire point bullets in 1949, but he was satisfied to see that the demand for his bullets was indeed present.

Early Military Focus

Hornady focused his efforts on producing military equipment during the Korean War, but when peace resumed he was able to redouble his efforts producing component bullets. By 1953 he had grown his little operation to fill an 8,000 square foot factory, and by the 1960s he was producing bullets ranging in caliber from .22 to .45.

As Mr. Hornady’s business grew over the following decades, so too would it improve its designs and begin loading complete cartridges instead of just component bullets. Hornady bullets would soon feature secant ogive profiles, which boast the ballistically efficient geometry that retains more velocity farther downrange. Next came the InterLock, a revolutionary soft point bullet which features a jacket that is mechanically anchored to its core to promote the deepest possible terminal penetration.

Modern Projectiles & Ammo

Hornady would eventually introduce many of America’s most iconic bullets, including the ELD Match, which utilizes a heat-resistant polymer tip to guarantee the perfect meplat regardless of aerodynamic friction, the V-MAX, a polymer-tipped varmint hunting bullet which offers the perfect blend of accuracy and deadly terminal ballistics, and the GMX, a monolithic copper bullet that hunters can count on wherever lead projectiles are banned for hunting.

Hornady's product line is synonymous for quality with ammo lines like Critical Defense common among law enforcement and LEVERevolution a popular choice among lever-action hunters.

Mr. Hornady would unfortunately pass away in a plane crash while en route to the 1981 SHOT Show in New Orleans, but his family still runs the business that the great entrepreneur and innovator founded. They honor Mr. Hornady’s commitment to peerless quality, as well as doing good for the community of Grand Island, Nebraska where they’re honored to call home.

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