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Everything You Wanted to Know About Hornady Match Ammo


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Hornady Match ammunition is designed with long-range and competition shooters in mind. They crafted this ammo for precision and consistency, and it stands alone. Producing large batches of ammunition capable of pinpoint accuracy isn't an easy task. To make the best possible factory-produced match ammunition, the engineers at Hornady took everything they knew about bullet manufacturing and combined it with some of the most advanced technology currently available to produce the Hornady Match line of ammo.

Strict quality control is essential for manufacturing ammunition that exhibits the extremely high levels of consistency necessary for match-grade accuracy at long range. Among other factors, this requires consistent charges of precisely the suitable powder for the cartridge, uniformly manufactured brass cases made to the correct specifications, high ballistic coefficient bullets made to an identical standard with a perfect meplat, and proper bullet seating for a consistent overall length.

Hornady Match Product Line

Hornady Match

Hornady Match ammo is exclusively manufactured as rifle ammunition. It's currently available in the following calibers: .223 Remington, .224 Valkyrie, 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 PRC, .300 Norma Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .50 BMG.

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The .50 BMG load uses a 750-grain A-Max bullet, and the .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and .338 Lapua are all manufactured using both ELD Match and boat tail hollow point (BTHP) Match bullet types. The rest of the Hornady Match line exclusively uses their ELD Match bullet.

hornady match

While Hornady Match ammo is designed with competition shooters in mind, it will also perform admirably as hunting ammunition in some cases. This is particularly true for a thin-skinned deer or pronghorn. However, it's not as well suited for the task as Hornady Precision Hunter ammo. So you should probably not use the ELD Match ammunition for hunting big animals like elk, moose, and red stag. Hornady Match ammo is also not lead-free, so it's not legal to use for hunting in California. If you live elsewhere in the United States, check your local laws to ensure it's legal to use for big game hunting before taking it afield.

Speaking of lead-free ammunition, just this year, Hornady released a set of new products, which includes a line of copper alloy bullets. The new CX™ (Copper alloy eXpanding) bullet from Hornady represents the market's most advanced monolithic hunting bullet. Its optimized design offers extended range performance, greater accuracy, high weight retention (95 percent), and deep penetration. The CX bullet features Hornady's renowned Heat Shield Tip, which provides that consistently high BC for the bullet's entire flight path. The grooves on the CX™ bullet maximize aerodynamic performance while effectively reducing bearing surface and fouling.

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These newly released bullets are fully compatible with California's laws and appropriate for use in other areas that require nontraditional bullets. CX™ provides an excellent option for everything from medium-size to large game. In contrast to Hornady Superformance ammunition, the Match line of ammo is not loaded to obtain the highest possible muzzle velocity. Instead, it's packed for the optimal pressure and speed to get the best possible accuracy.

This ammunition excels in its intended role as highly accurate and consistent ammo for punching paper and banging steel at the range. So, if you're looking for the best stuff to feed your match rifle for competition shooting, check out the Hornady Match line of ammo.

A Brief History of Hornady's Rise

hornady matchInterestingly, the engineers at Hornady discovered a significant area for improvement in their bullet manufacturing process by accident. While researching Doppler radar, they made a shocking discovery with the radar tests: the bullet's ballistic coefficient was changing during flight. Since BC is a measure of how aerodynamic a bullet is, having one that changes mid-flight is very bad for accuracy and for determining the bullet trajectory at long range.

The engineers realized the bullet's polymer tip was melting and deforming due to the heat generated by the friction between the bullet and the air. This problem wasn't limited to their bullets either: the polymer tips they tested on every other bullet from other manufacturers melted as well. They eventually developed what Hornady now calls a Heat Shield tip. This tip is much more resistant to aerodynamic heating and will retain its shape in flight.

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Hornady used what they learned from those tests to develop two highly accurate bullets. Both incorporate Heat Shield tips: the Extremely Low Drag Match (ELD Match) and the Extremely Low Drag Expanding (ELD-X). The ELD-X bullet is the cornerstone of the Hornady Precision Hunter line of ammunition. The ELD Match features prominently in the Hornady Match line of ammo. The bullets are very similar in many ways. Both feature Hornady's Advanced Manufacturing Process (AMP) bullet jackets, a secant ogive shape, and have a high-performance boattail design. Both are loaded to optimal velocity for consistent performance, repeatable accuracy, and a high ballistic coefficient. The ELD-X has a thicker shank and an interlocking ring designed to minimize the chances of core/jacket separation and enhance weight retention. Since it's not designed with hunting in mind, the Hornady ELD Match lacks both features.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by John McAdams on The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Instagram.

READ MORE: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BARNES VOR-TX AMMO

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