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Here's What You Need to Know About Hornady Black Ammo

Hornady Black Ammo

Hornady Black ammo is designed to function reliably and shoot accurately in a wide range of modern sporting rifles for a broad spectrum of applications including hunting, plinking, and self-defense.

As modern sporting rifles have become more and more popular among hunters and shooters in the United States, many of the big ammunition companies have recognized the need for a special line of ammo optimized for performance in those "black" guns.

With this in mind, Hornady Manufacturing rolled out their line of Hornady Black ammunition in 2016.

Unfortunately, modern sporting rifles can be very finicky with the ammo they will reliably function with. A particular type of rifle ammunition may shoot beautifully in a rifle with a certain barrel length or gas system, but may not work at all in a different rifle.

Just like the name states, Hornady Black ammo is intended for use in so-called "black guns" like the AR-15/AR-10 family of rifles and carbines. Hornady's goal was to build a line of ammo that will reliably function in a wide variety of platforms regardless of whether they're direct impingement, inertia, bolt-action, pump, or gas piston operated. The same goes for suppressed and unsuppressed firearms across the whole range of barrel lengths.

Basically, Hornady was trying to build a line of ammo that offer superior performance in just about any gun, and like the Hornady American Whitetail or Outfitter lines, was also easily identifiable by hunters and shooters in the USA as fitting their needs.

With all that in mind, Hornady Black ammo is currently available in the following centerfire rifle calibers: 5.45x39mm, .223 Remington, 5.56x45mm NATO, .224 Valkyrie, 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm, .308 Winchester, and .450 Bushmaster.

Additionally, while there are no rimfire options in this line, Hornady Black ammo is also available in a few different handgun and shotgun offerings: .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 Automatic, and 00 Buckshot 12 gauge shotgun ammunition.

Hornady Black Ammo

Hornady Black ammo utilizes a number of versatile loads with different bullet options depending on the cartridge.

All of the handgun ammunition features the Hornady XTP bullet.

The .223 and 5.56 NATO loads are both available with a full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. One .223 Remington load also features a 75 grain boat tail hollow point (BTHP) match bullet while there's also a 5.56 NATO 75 grain grain InterLock load. The 5.45x39mm, 6.8 SPC, and .300 Blackout loads all feature the V-Max bullet, which is great for varmint and predator hunting. 

The .224 Valkyrie, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6mm ARC all use standard BTHP bullets while the 6.5 Grendel uses an ELD Match bullet. The .300 Blackout and .308 Winchester are also both available with A-Max bullets. The 7.62x39mm load uses a 123 grain SST bullet and the .450 Bushmaster load fires a 250 grain FTX bullet.

Most of those offerings are supersonic, but Hornady does offer a subsonic 208gr A-Max load for the .300 Blackout as part of this line.

What is this ammo best used for?

It really depends on the cartridge and bullet type. Those different Hornady loads offer excellent performance for a variety of applications ranging from plinking and competition shooting (A-Max, BTHP match, ELD Match, and FMJ), to predator and varmint hunting (V-Max), to self-defense and big game hunting (XTP, FTX, Interlock, and SST) with America's favorite guns.

Note: there are currently no non-toxic options for Hornady Black ammo. If you need something lead free, consider some Hornady ammo using their GMX bullet (like offerings in their Full Boar or Outfitter lines) or something from another company like the Nosler E-Tip or Barnes VOR-TX.

All that said, regardless of whether you're looking for some dependable ammo to use in your modern sporting rifle for general plinking, serious competition shooting, self-defense, or hunting, check out the Hornady Black line of ammo and add your favorite loads to your wish list.

Like what you see? You can read more great articles by John McAdams on the Big Game Hunting Blog. Subscribe to his show: the Big Game Hunting Podcast or check out one of his Canada hunting trips.



Here's What You Need to Know About Hornady Black Ammo