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Hornady engineers claim it outperforms hand loaded ammo 9 times out of 10. Anyone have any experience with it? Is Hornady telling the truth?
 

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Have used it in several calibers and, no, I'm not buying that one, at least in terms of velocity versus accuracy. With every gun I've owned, there is a certain velocity level with a given bullet weight that gets me the best accuracy and it's very rarely the max velocity loads. Factory hunting ammo like the Hornady tends to run on the high side in terms of velocity as a selling point.

If it's a matter of achieving velocity with a given pressure and so on, then their claims probably have some merit. In terms of accuracy, though, I do better with handholds, as above.
 

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chica, Hornady makes several different product lines. The "Custom" product line is available in most handgun and rifle cartridges. When compared to other brands, it rates in the "premium grade".

Most reloading manuals loads are on the conservative side .... meaning they are not loaded to max pressure and because the manuals list several different powders, some powders just don't have the best burn rate for a particular cartridge and bullet weight. As such, if you pick a load out of a manual, chances are it will NOT perform to optimum velocity or accuracy. As NCG eluded, with some experience and knowledge, you can produce reloads that are literally tuned for a specific gun. By matching the bullet to the barrel's twist rate and selecting the optimum burn rate powder for the cartridge and bullet weight, you can usually out perform most factory ammo ... including Hornady Custom.

If you don't reload, Hornady Custom is a good choice for premium grade ammo that will work well in most rifles .... maybe not as accurate as a tuned handload but certainly acceptable.

The new millennium has brought on many new developments in rifle and handgun cartridges .... lots of new powders and bullet designs. Seems each brand claims to be better than any other brand. One thing for sure, the newer cartridges do perform better than the older conventional cartridges and in fact many manufacturers (including Hornady) make several different product lines for a specific cartridge ... each being designed for a unique purpose. The trick is to do some research and find the optimum cartridge for the game you intend to hunt with your specific rifle or handgun. Unless you are independently wealthy, it's pretty silly to use premium grade ammo for plinking. Likewise it's not a good idea to go on an expensive big game hunt and use the cheapest ammo you can find .... or using a whitetail load for moose.
 

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Define "out-performs" and you'll have your answer.

I could pretty easily believe that it would have better consistency for dimension and powder charge - and lower ES, but what does consistency mean in terms of accuracy? ES is important at range, but what does it really mean for accuracy?

I could also VERY easily believe that a professional ammunition manufacturer IS capable of producing higher quality and better performing - meaning more accurate - ammunition than 90% of reloaders. But I'd also say that 90% of reloaders aren't setting the bar very high. The average private reloader isn't modeling burn efficiency before choosing a load, isn't developing proprietary powder blends to maximize consistency, isn't neck turning, isn't weight sorting bullets, brass, or primers, isn't using match grade primers, isn't tuning the load to suit bullet weight and primer heat, isn't ladder testing the charges to ensure high forgiveness, isn't using a match grade bullet (uniform jacket, radially symmetric mass = center of mass on axis), isn't running a headspace comparator on each sized cartridge nor an ogive comparator on every seated bullet, isn't weighing charges closer than +/- 1/10th of a grain, isn't culling out damage tips, isn't validating concentricity, isn't annealing, isn't culling out any ammo that fails to meet specification, and isn't doing any of a dozen or a hundred other steps they COULD be doing to improve the consistency of their ammo...

We see it on threads here all the time - whether it's neck turning, sorting brass by headstamp, trimming brass, etc etc... A LOT of guys don't do any of the steps mentioned above, even though they have access to do so. A guy setting in front of a Rockchucker with poorly set up dies and an un-tuned powder charge isn't very hard to beat.

I could easily believe that Hornady's match grade custom stuff will outshoot 90% of reloaders. But that's not saying much.
 

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If you frequent reloading forums and "listen" to how many reloaders "develop a load", you can understand why Hornady can make that claim lol.

I takes a fair amount of work to (eg) beat FGMM 168/175 out of most 308s . . . but it can be done . . . at 33% to 50% of the cost.

I admit I don't know anything about Hornady Custom . . . but it's not the first factory ammo I would look to for precision. Maybe they are trying to change that.
 

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Have used it in several calibers and, no, I'm not buying that one, at least in terms of velocity versus accuracy. With every gun I've owned, there is a certain velocity level with a given bullet weight that gets me the best accuracy and it's very rarely the max velocity loads. Factory hunting ammo like the Hornady tends to run on the high side in terms of velocity as a selling point.

If it's a matter of achieving velocity with a given pressure and so on, then their claims probably have some merit. In terms of accuracy, though, I do better with handholds, as above.
A Big +1 NCG! I have found the same in my experience.
 

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To be sure - you're asking about the Hornady CUSTOM line, not the SUPERPERFORMANCE line, right?

The Super Performance stuff is super fast, sometimes seemingly at the cost of accuracy, but the Custom ammo I have used hasn't been spec'd for any higher velocity than typical for its respective cartridge. Maybe I'm using the wrong Custom ammunition though - I've only used 204R, 6.8SPC, 7mmRM, 308win, 30-06, and 300wm in the Custom line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To be sure - you're asking about the Hornady CUSTOM line, not the SUPERPERFORMANCE line, right?

The Super Performance stuff is super fast, sometimes seemingly at the cost of accuracy, but the Custom ammo I have used hasn't been spec'd for any higher velocity than typical for its respective cartridge. Maybe I'm using the wrong Custom ammunition though - I've only used 204R, 6.8SPC, 7mmRM, 308win, 30-06, and 300wm in the Custom line.
Yes custom. I know the difference between custom and super performance. I'm not a newb when it comes to ammo.
 

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I have always had good luck with Hornady's Custom line. My experience is limited to handgun rounds such as .357mag, .44mag, and .45acp. Oh, I have shot .223 Rem Custom loads now that I think about it. It has all been good, reliable, accurate ammo. It is not as accurate or consistent as my carefully crafted hand-loads however. I tailor my loads to a specific rifle or handgun, letting the targets and my chronograph tell me when I've found the "sweet spot". From some of the horror stories I've read not all reloaders are as careful and diligent as I try to be, so I'm sure Hornady's loads beat some home-made ammo. I think 90% might be a little exaggeration from their marketing dept.
 

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Yes custom. I know the difference between custom and super performance. I'm not a newb when it comes to ammo.
Again - to be clear - I never implied that you're a "newb".

My comment - which should have been a question, since it was made out of curiousity - was that I haven't seen the Custom ammo to be as some posters have commented - sacrificing accuracy in the pursuit of velocity.

That paradigm hasn't been such for the "Custom" line, whereas I've seen such for the Super Performance line.

I guess I've had a unique experience, I haven't had trouble matching or exceeding velocity on the Custom line loads with handloads, and even exceed it with many factory loads. I don't recall exactly the spread, would have to pull out my range notes, but I know I was ~65fps or so faster with Winchester Accubond 180grn than the Hornady Custom Interlock 180grn in .30-06 in two of my rifles. Remington 115grn Matchkings are ~380fps faster than the Hornady Custom 110 sst's in my rifle, just tested that a couple months ago. Comparing that to handloads, I'm commonly able to meet or beat the velocity of most factory loads, Hornady custom included. Accuracy is always variable between rigs, but It really doesn't track for me that "hornady is going after speed and sacrificing accuracy in the Custom line".
 

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Hornady engineers claim it outperforms hand loaded ammo 9 times out of 10. Is Hornady telling the truth?
On a velocity basis alone, probably. Accuracy in firearm "X", always, never, maybe, maybe not. ??

I have clocked some of the Hornady ammo for myself, and friends. Not sure what they use for powder(s), but for speed it's very hard to match with anything on my bench.

On average, over decades of using Hornady products, there is very littkle hot air in their advertising, or the actual products. The weak point in the statement is "outperforms" without saying what the parameters are.
Kind of like "good politician". That would be the one that steals the least, lies the least, and doesn't chase your wife or daughters, (sons?).
 

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My experience has been that many of my rifles do not like the hot loads that are factory but rather do better with less powder. To me out perform is about accuracy not velocity. I also have seen rifles that do better at the top end of the load spectrum. The key with handloading is to figure out what's best for you. That's the fun of it and at times the challenge.
 

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Compared to some of the slap-dash reloads I have seen, it could be true.
For HANDLOADERS, almost certainly NOT true since it isn't fine-tuned for specific guns.
 

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My experience has been that many of my rifles do not like the hot loads that are factory but rather do better with less powder. To me out perform is about accuracy not velocity. I also have seen rifles that do better at the top end of the load spectrum. The key with handloading is to figure out what's best for you. That's the fun of it and at times the challenge.
Couldn't agree more.
Only some of my heavier rifle bullets tend to prefer a close to hot load.
 
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