Hornady Manufacturing Company is an American manufacturer of ammunition and handloading components, based in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Hornady Manufacturing Company
Founded1949 (1949)
FounderJoyce Hornady
Area served
ProductsAmmunition, handloading equipment and supplies.
OwnerSteve Hornady
Number of employees
200+ (April 2009)
Footnotes / references
Largest independent producer of bullets in the world


The company was founded by Joyce Hornady (1907–1981) who started in the munitions business in the early 1940s when he teamed up with Vernon Speer to make bullet jackets from spent brass rimfire cases. After World War II, Hornady began buying up surplus manufacturing equipment from the US governmentsuch as Waterbury-Farrell transfer presses, which are still in use by the company today. In 1964, Hornady began manufacturing rifle and pistol ammunition. The company is currently run by Joyce Hornady's son, Steve Hornady, who took over after his father's death in a plane crash on January 15, 1981.[1] The Piper Aztec, with Hornady at the controls flying in heavy fog, crashed into Lake Pontchartrain while on final approach to New Orleans Lakefront Airport.[2]

Pacific Tool Company

Steve Hornady worked for Pacific Tool Company from 1960 to 1971, from the time the company moved from California to Nebraska until Pacific Tool was bought by Hornady. Pacific's DL-366 was their final progressive press and Hornady's first, and it is still manufactured by Hornady as the 366 Auto.[3]


Hornady makes target shooting and hunting rounds as well as self-defense loads. In 1990, the Hornady XTP (which stands for Extreme Terminal Performance) won the industry's Product Award of Merit 1990 from the National Association of Federal Licensed Dealers. The company was the primary developer of the .17 HMR and .17 HM2 rimfire cartridges, increasingly popular for small game and vermin hunting. Hornady has worked closely with firearms maker Sturm, Ruger on the development of the new line of Ruger cartridges including the .480 Ruger, .204 Ruger, and .375 Ruger.[4][5][6]

The company developed the LEVERevolution ammunition, which uses a spitzer bullet with a soft elastomer tip to give better aerodynamic performance than flatter bullets, while eliminating the risk of a shock driving the pointed polymer tip of a bullet in a lever action rifle's tube magazine into the primer of the cartridge in front, causing an explosion.[7]

Hornady manufactures a range of handloading components including cartridge cases, bullets, and shotgun shell components, as well as handloading equipment and data.

At the beginning of 2012, Hornady brought out a "Zombie Max" bullet, apparently due to the growing interest in "Zombie Shooting" in America.[8]

Hornady released the Vintage Match ammunition to replicate the original military performance specifications unique to wartime rifles such as the Mauser, Lee–Enfield, Mosin–Nagant, Swedish Mauser or others chambered in 6.5×55mm, .303 British, 7.62×54mmR, 7.92×57mm Mauser and .30-06.[9]


  1. Zwoll, Wayne van (2011). Shooter's Bible Guide to Rifle Ballistics. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-1-62087-285-7.
  2. "A twin-engine plane carrying three people on a flight from Nebraska crashed into Lake Pontchartrain in heavy fog Thursday while on approach to New Orleans Lakefront Airport". www.upi.com/archives. January 15, 1981. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  3. Tamage, Ken (2011). Handloader's Digest: The World's Greatest Handloading Book. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 166. ISBN 1-4402-2451-X.
  4. Barnes, Frank C. (22 September 2009). Cartridges of the World: A Complete and Illustrated Reference for Over 1500 Cartridges. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 13. ISBN 1-4402-1330-5.
  5. Ramage, Ken (19 November 2008). Guns Illustrated 2009. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. p. 77. ISBN 0-89689-673-0.
  6. Massaro, Philip P. (11 September 2014). Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Reloading. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-4402-3998-4.
  7. Taffin, John (February 2007), "Seven revolution: it's not your grandpa's .30-.30", Guns Magazine
  8. fieldsportschannel, fieldsportschannel. "How to shoot zombies with real bullets". fieldsportschannel.tv. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-04-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Preceded by
.50 BMG
Longest confirmed combat sniper-shot kill
Hornady .50 A-MAX

3,540 m (3,871 yd)
using Canadian long-range sniper weapon (LRSW)
Succeeded by
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