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History of Hornady Ammunition
In 1949 Joyce Hornady manufactured his first bullet for the shooting market, a .30 caliber, 150gr Spire Point bullet working from a rented garage and using a surplus bullet assembly press. From there his company became a force in the ammunition and reloading markets. Joyce Hornady was first and foremost, a shooter. He built his company out of a desire to make a better product for his own use. Growth was rapid over the first few years, with a 300% increase in sales from the first year to the second and the need for a staff of four, things were looking up for Hornady Manufacturing.
Then came the Korean War. The shortages of important raw materials were not anticipated, but rather than let the company wither, Hornady earned contracts to produce a variety of products not associated with bullets – aluminum hearts for bracelets, and condenser cans for the government. After the war, the can material and the technology developed to produce them was utilized to make ultra thin copper jackets for varmint bullets.
In 1958, the company moved into an 800 square foot plant in Grand Island, Nebraska. The company soon added a 200 yard underground range so that Joyce no longer had to travel to the Grand Island Rifle Range to do quality testing on his products. It was about this time that the staff at the plant was increased to 40. In the 60’s and 70’s, Hornady Manufacturing continued its rapid growth and expansion. The first step was making remanufactured ammunition in its’ Frontier line. The bullet line was expanded to offer calibers from .22 to .45. All spire point bullets retained the traditional conical point shape of the tangent ogive. Originally developed by US Army ballisticians, the Hornady ballistics lab supported experimentation that led to the adaptation of the aerodynamically efficient, secant ogive that has now become a signature profile of Hornady bullets, and is used almost exclusively across the entire Hornady bullet line.
The company was dealt a severe blow in January of 1981 with the death of Joyce Hornady in an airplane crash on the way to the SHOT show. The Hornady family stepped up and took leadership of the company. Soon after, the company began producing its’ cartridge cases in house and are known for making some of the best brass on the market.
Hornady Manufacturing has continued its expansion and innovation, continually striving to maintain the lead in bullet technology. More recent introductions to the product line include Hornady TAP and critical defense premium law enforcement and military ammunition. For hunters, the LEVERevolution and Dangerous Game Series of ammunition represent some of the latest in bullet technology available. Hornady has even ventured into the competitive shooting arena, offering their Custom Match and Steel Match ammunition.
Hornady has and will remain committed to making quality products for shooters, reloaders and armed professionals. With their high quality and innovation, Hornady Manufacturing will remain at the front of the ammunition manufacturer pack.
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