Modern rifles keep reaching new popular heights among hunters and shooters in the United States, so big ammunition companies have recognized the need for a unique line of ammo optimized for performance in those types of guns. With this in mind, Hornady Manufacturing rolled out its line of Hornady Black ammunition in 2016. Hornady designs their Black ammo to function reliably and shoot accurately in a wide range of rifles for various applications, including hunting, plinking, and competitive shooting.
Hornady's goal was to build a line of ammo that would reliably, regardless of whether they're direct impingement, inertia, bolt-action, pump, or gas piston operated. The same goes for suppressed and unsuppressed firearms across a range of barrel lengths. Hornady focused on a few features when designing the Hornady Black ammo. These include high-quality cases and primers propellent, versatile Hornady bullet options, and optimized performance from various platforms.
Hornady was trying to build a line of ammo that offered superior performance in any gun. Like the Hornady American Whitetail or Outfitter lines, it 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. There are no rimfire options in this line. However, Hornady Black ammo is available in a few more different offerings: .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 Automatic, and 00 Buckshot 12-gauge shotgun ammunition.
Hornady Black ammo utilizes some 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 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 208-grain A-Max load for the .300 Blackout as part of this line.
What is Hornady Black Ammo Good For?
Hornady Black's effectiveness 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 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). You could also choose something from another company like the Nosler E-Tip or Barnes VOR-TX.
During early testing, Hornady Black ammo achieved impressive performance and certainly lives up to two of the most critical expectations-accuracy and reliability. So if you're looking for dependable ammo for your rifle for general plinking, serious competition shooting, or hunting, check out the Hornady Black line.
This article was originally published on February 1, 2019.