Hornady Ammunition and Reloading
This is a discussion on Hornady Ammunition and Reloading within the .375 & Up forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; In an earlier post I sampled the groups' thoughts on the various bullet choices for big bore expansion bullets and ...
12-21-2009, 05:34 AM #1
Hornady Ammunition and Reloading
In an earlier post I sampled the groups' thoughts on the various bullet choices for big bore expansion bullets and solids. I am already firmly committed to Nosler Partitions for PG and the cats.
The best brass I could find (as everyone knows, ammunition is in very short supply and reloading components are even more difficult to get) was Hornady brass and I have been very happy with the 2 lots of brass I got. I bought 100 rounds of Hornady brass for my 458 Lott and since it comes in boxes of 50, I had to check the cartridge weight of each. Very good consistency - I was actually impressed.
So I bought some of the Hornady Dangerous Game Expansion and Dangerous Game Solids for reloading. They are killing the paper flawlessly. I have heard rumors (unconfirmed) that there were some issues with the bond separation in the first generation of bullets but I also heard that Hornady resolved that issue.
Obviously it is a major brand world-wide and I was wondering if anybody here has used it them yet and to what success, or failure.
The only problem I have had, which has to do with my CZ 550 and not the bullets, is that the rifle feeds very hard from the left side with the flat nose bullets. Seems like that is a systemic problem and a quick trip to my gunsmith will fix that.
I would appreciate any feedback on the Hornady ammo anyone can give. The reason I like it is: 1) I am not a Barnes fan (no criticism meant to those who are - it is just that I am not a fan), 2) even in this tough ammo market Hornady seems to be able to keep its bullet lines consistently available (probably because of the size of the company itself) and 3) the price is considerably less than what seems like substantially similar ammo.
Obviously some bullets are better than others. I do not doubt that a Woodleigh might be better than a Hornady (I do not know that - I only state it as a reasonable possibility) but there is always a point in the law of diminishing returns where the extra cost does not equate to improved quality.
It seems to me that bullets are now failing into that category. Modern manufacturing and matching technologies have all improved over the years and the real question is, is the 2 or 3x price of the more premium, of the premium, bullets justified?
Again, I would appreciate hearing the results, if anyone has them, of DGX and DGS on, well, dangerous game. I have them in the 500 grain size.
04-24-2010, 01:24 AM #2
Hi Cleathorn, this is an old post you may have forgotten about, but as I have only just found it, and have some interest in your topic, I decided to reply.
I operate a buffalo camp in Northern Australia, therefore my remarks are referrenced directly about the performance on animals of this size, and not Elephant, hippo etc.
*I have a 458 Lott (CZ 550) also, and have also had the issues with the rifle not feeding the Hornaday (and others) soft points from the left side of the magazine.
Seems to be common among Cz's chambered in tapered cartridges with no necks (the 416's feed with all softs).
This annoying problem is easily fixed by any competant gunsmith, I just wished they did it at the factory, before releasing weapons like that.
The Hornady Solid is an excellent bullet that imparts energy better, (visibly), than conventional round nosed solids (my opinion), and penetrates beyond belief. I find the 500gn solid, flat-point, in the Lott, to be stunning.
I began using them in 2009 and will be using them again, this year.
I see a lot of different cartridges, firing a lot of different projectiles at buffalo, over the seasons, and in answer to your question regarding wether premium bullets, retailing at 2 - 3 x's the cost of conventional bullets, is justifiable, my answer would be a firm, absolutely.
Premium grade bullets from Barnes, North Fork, GSC, Swift etc provide a much higher percentage of reliability of performance, in most cases well above 95%.
There are some, from time to time, more cost effective bullets that also work, and the latest Hornady Big game bullets are one example, but that is not the common rule and certainly not when applied to large, thick-skinned game.
I have also used the Woodlieghs and they are a fine bullet when loaded, and used, within the velocity recomendations of the manufacturer. I found at the muzzle velocity capable in the Lott, the 458 Woodliegh bullets are a little soft when impacting at close range, at almost muzzle velocity.
In the 458 win they function as you would want, and expect, them to.
Same goes for the 416 Woodliegh bullets I've seen. They work great when loaded, or impact, velocity is under 2300, rather than how they perform when overloaded by enthusiastic handloaders.
Contrary to your experience, my opinion of the Barnes T.S.X's is that they are probably the most reliable and effective factory component bullet available. They make our camp, loan -.375 rifles kill buffalo like 40+ cal rifles and appear to peform as well at most sensible velocities. I absolutely love them, and load nothing else in my .375's. My neighboor of my hunting concession has been loading the T.S.X's in his 416 Rigby and is reporting outstanding performance, at just over 2300 fps.
Many of our client hunters load their respective guns, from .375 and up, with T.S.X bullets and I cannot recall one ever, regardless of caliber, not performing as expected.
Same for the Swift A-frame. When loaded at apropriate velocity, the results can be predictable.
I think that maybe one of the problems of the generic brand projectile companies is that they dont effectively field test desings long enough and over a volume of game enough to make finite decisions about a particular product's effectiveness. They let the general public do it that, at our expense.
Which is why, for that expensive overseas hunt, or for that dangerous game hunt, you want those premium bullets that you know you can rely on. You will find in your Lott that your Hornady flat-point solids are very effective.
For a solid, they hit very hard, impart energy very well and penetrate as well, if not better than most solids currently on the market.
If you can get your smith to have your rifle feeding the softs reliably, and you reload them to sensible velocities, less than 2200, you will find even some of the generic bullets to be very effective in the Lott for use on heavy game.
But if you happen to be planning some distant, or costly, hunt - throw your coin into premium projectiles, after all, it's THAT projectile that your relying on to anchore your game, what-ever it is.
You dont say in your post if you've had your Lott for very long, or not, but if you have, or you do, your going to love it.
Lots of punch, easy to use and common and available components.
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