Get an inside look at the how ammunition is made with this step-by-step production guide from Hornady. The video begins by showing the stages in production of a lead-core jacketed bullet with exposed tip, such as the Hornady Interlock. Next, at the 1:38″ time-mark, the video shows how cartridge cases are made, starting with small brass cups (photo right). The brass is lengthened in a series of stages involving annealing, drawing, polishing, and the formation of the case head with primer pocket. Finally, at the 2:40″ time mark, the video shows how bullets and powder are seated into cartridge cases on the Hornady assembly line. In the final production stages, the completed ammunition is tested and packaged.
Watch Ammo Production Video
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Here’s a resource of interest to shooters, hunters, and bullet-makers. Now you can dazzle your friends with your command of arcane ammo acronyms. ArizonaGunlist.com has compiled an excellent Glossary of Ammunition Terminology which explains the myriad “alphabet” shorthand terms used to described bullet and ammo types. If you’ve ever puzzled over the meaning of acronyms such as BEB, FNSP, LSWC, NTF, SST, TAP, and TBS, this glossary will give you straight answers. The glossary explains the actual meaning of over 200 “alphabet soup” ammo terms, both common and not-so-common. This glossary will also help you understand the bullet references commonly used in reloading manuals. A few selections from the Glossary are listed below. (NOTE: these are mere snippets — there are actually 14 entries just for the letter “B” for example.)
Reloaders Rejoice! There’s a new source for bullets, brass, powder, and primers, as well as loaded ammunition. The all-new Bullets.com website offers all these products, plus reloading tools and dies, barrels, gun stocks, scopes, rings, shooting rests, range bags and much more. Primers, you need primers you say? Yes, Bullets.com currently has some types of CCI, Federal, and Remington primers in stock, including the hard-to-find CCI 450 small rifle magnum primers.
You definitely want to include Bullets.com among the vendors you visit when you need components and gun hardware. The new Bullets.com webstore will carry 8,000+ shooting-related products from over 50 top brands such as Lapua, Norma, Federal, CCI, Berger, Sierra, Berry’s, Bald Eagle, Bushnell, Hodgdon, Alliant, Nightforce, Kowa, Vortex, Winchester, MTM, Magpul and many more! Check out the website at www.bullets.com or call 1-800-235-0272 to get a free 60-page color catalog.
POWDERS IN STOCK — Among the popular powders in stock at Bullets.com today are:
Bullets.com carries projectiles from the leading bullet-makers including Berger, Lapua, Sierra, Speer, and Berrys. Yes Bullets.com has premium bullets in stock right now, including the hard-to-find Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid, and 7mm 180gr Hybrid. Grab ‘em while you can boys!
Along with reloading components, factory ammo, and reloading dies, you’ll find the hardware you need to build a complete rifle. Bullets.com caries Bartlein barrels (in a wide range of calibers and contours), laminated gun stocks, and a full line of optics, including Nightforce, Kowa, and Vortex rifle-scopes and spotting scopes.
Who Are Those Guys? About Bullets.Com
Bullets.com was launched as a result of the intense passion for shooting by its President, Shiraz Balolia. Shiraz has been shooting pistols, rifles and shotguns for almost 40 years and has been involved in long range rifle shooting at the National and International level for almost 10 years. He served as the Captain of the U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team for the 2013 World Championship and was a member of the 4-man team that won the 2013 Nat’l 1,000-yard Championship. He has won numerous gold medals in long range shooting and has set several National records.
Bullets.com is a division of Grizzly Industrial that was started by Mr. Balolia in 1983. During those 30 years, Grizzly became a powerhouse in the metalworking and woodworking machinery industry serving over a million regular customers and growing its warehouses with 1.2 million square feet of space in three states (WA, PA, MO).
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Need .22 LR rimfire ammo? As of noon on November 4, 2013, Creedmoor Sports has 1100 boxes of SK 40-grain High Velocity HP ammunition (item #SK-HVHP) in stock. This is available in 50-count boxes or 500-count bricks, at a sale price of $8.95 per 50-round box or $83.95 per 500-round case. This is good ammo, suitable for club-level match shooting or general plinking use. If you have been searching high and low for rimfire ammo, you may want to jump on this before it’s all gone.
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle | Bullet Weight: 40 Grains | Bullet: Lead Hollow Point | MV: 1265 FPS
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A common lament among our Forum members is that they can’t find affordable .22LR rimfire ammo for fun shooting and plinking. This stuff flies off the shelf whenever it appears. However, Natchez Shooters Supplies has received substantial shipments of Remington bulk-box rimfire ammo. Note, due to high demand, there is a one-box limit for the 500-count and 525-count boxes per customer per day. Here’s what we found in-stock today at Natchez:
Remington .22 LR 36gr Golden Bullet Plated HP, 525 rounds per box — $39.99 On SALE
(1 box limit per day)
Remington .22 LR 40gr Thunderbolt Hi-Vel, 500 rounds per box — $39.99 on SALE
(1 box limit per day)
Remington .22 LR 33gr Yellow Jacket HP, 100 rounds per box — $15.99
(3 box limit per day)
If you want the good stuff, Natchez also has Lapua .22 LR 40gr Midas+ ammo in stock at $17.99 for 50 rounds. Not cheap, but this is top-flight stuff that has won matches at the Olympics. There is no purchasing limit on this Midas+.
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When you need ammo fast — lots of ammo, it’s hard to beat a progressive reloading press for output. We use progressive presses to load handgun ammo and .223 Rem cartridges for varmint safaris. With good dies, and proper press set-up, today’s progressive presses can produce surprisingly uniform and accurate ammo. No, you won’t see Benchrest Hall-of-Famers loading PPC cartridges on progressives. However, if you need 1000 rounds for your next prairie dog adventure, you should consider getting a progressive. Below you can see a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP configured to load .308 Winchester in bulk.
Proper Brass Prep
Just like a good paint job requires good prep work, great rifle ammo requires good brass prep. In order to make sure your rifle loading goes smoothly, make sure to perform the following brass prep steps:
Clean the brass (tumble, ultrasonic, etc.)
Inspect brass for cracks, deep dents, etc.
For military brass: de-prime, ream/swage primer pockets, size with small-base sizer die (small base usually optional).
Measure brass length — if too long, size and then trim.
Final inspection before loading.
Cleaning primer pockets may be something you’ll consider (I don’t clean primer pockets except for rare cases or match ammo).
Smooth and Steady Pace
Since you’re loading rifle ammunition on a progressive, you’re already saving a load of time, so there’s no need to rush things! Attention to detail is super-important for safety and for good results. Always keep an eye on powder level (goes down FAST) and what’s happening at each station.
The Right Press and Press Setup
Look for a heavy-duty, well-built press that will stand up to rifle loading. You’ll also want to make sure your powder measure will have the proper capacity (~25 grains for .223, ~50 grains for 308). If you are bulk reloading, ensure you have enough stations for sizing, charging, powder check, bullet feed, bullet seating, and (optional) bullet crimp.
More Ultimate Reloader Resources for Users of Progressive Presses:
Here’s a handy invention by Forum member RayJay from Georgia. It’s a simple wire clip that will hold the lid of your plastic ammo box fully open during use. RayJay explains: “Everybody probably uses the cheap plastic cartridge cases. The only problem I have with them is the lid is always in the way and sometimes when trying to open the lid farther the cartridge box tips and you can dump out the cases. I did some cogitating and came up with these .061″ music wire clips. They work great and the unexpected benefit is that the cases are more stable while sitting at the bench.”
RayJay adds: “The round wire is ideal because it still allows a cartridge to fit in the hole where the clip is placed. Now all I need to do is make another 15 or 20 so I can have one in every case I own.”
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We all know that precision factory ammo, and all types of reloading components, are in short supply, with demand often out-stripping supply. Now RUAG Ammotec (RUAG), Europe’s leading producer of ammunition, will be stepping up production with the goal of expanding sales in the USA and worldwide. RUAG produces the elite RWS ammo/components and also markets RWS Sport, Geco, Swiss P, MFS, and Rottweil brand products. See the full product line at Ruag-usa.com.
RUAG is significantly extending its production capacities and investing in new systems. Ruag states “This step has become necessary because of the [high demand] in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary and the USA.”
To bring more ammo to market, RUAG Ammotec is hiring new workers and investing over 15 million Euros to enhance production facilities. Increased capacity will be achieved via a “major investment program in the upper double-digit million range” over the coming three years. The production expansion “is the biggest project of its kind in the history of RUAG”, according to Cyril Kubelka, CEO of RUAG Ammotec. “Expanding our production network across all our locations will ideally increase our current capacities. This is the only way for us to be able to meet the high international demand even better in future and reinforce our market position.”
RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production sites in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary and Austria and USA, and sales companies in UK, France, Belgium, Brasil and Malaysia.
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We reported yesterday that Hornady, in an effort to increase overall production, will suspend production of 150 bullet types and 150 ammunition types for the balance of 2013. Upon reading this story, many readers grew concerned, perhaps because they did not realize that Hornady is actually stepping up production of its most popular bullets and ammo types. By temporarily suspending production of less-popular products, Hornady can reduce assembly line change-overs and thereby increase production. Hornady explains that this strategy allows it to: “focus our efforts on the most popular and highest-demand products and ship more total product.” In the months ahead, Hornady will continue to produce over 270 different projectiles and over 140 types of loaded ammo. As Steve Hornady says: “There is something in there for everyone….”
Upon seeing ten-page-long list of suspended products, readers may have become overly concerned because they did not realize that Hornady will continue to churn out hundreds of bullet types and ammo types — and, in fact, the most popular products will now be manufactured in greater-than-ever quantities. Readers asked “So what products will Hornady continue to produce?” On its website, Hornady now lists all the high-demand bullets and ammo types that remain in production for the balance of 2013.
Steve Hornady Talks to Customers
In this video, Hornady President Steve Hornady explains the decision to suspend production of some items in order to increase production of Hornady’s high-demand bullet types and ammunition types.
Steve Hornady Explains New Production Strategies (July 8, 2013):
On its website, Hornady has posted a Product Availability Update, which explains why Hornady is suspending production of some products:
One area that we have identified that will enable us to increase production, is the minimization of machinery downtime. The largest period of downtime our machines experience is during change over and retooling to convert a machine from manufacturing one bullet or cartridge to another. Under normal market conditions, we can keep the supply chain full by making popular items on a regular basis and keeping specialty or less-used products on a seasonal basis. However, with demand at record levels, it has become difficult to justify shutting down a machine to change it over to produce a product of less demand. Therefore, we are temporarily suspending some items in order to focus our efforts on the most popular and highest demand products and ship more total product.
We realize that many of the suspended items are going to disappoint some of our customers. We have painstakingly reviewed our order status and order history and unfortunately had to make some tough decisions. It wasn’t easy, but we know that we will do a better job of servicing the industry as a whole by focusing on the items of highest demand.
We are not alone; this is effectively already happening throughout our industry, but is accomplished through selective manufacture with no notification to the industry. We are simply making every effort to be up-front about our plans to maximize production.
Again, this is only temporary. This is not a permanent suspension. We will continue to push as hard as we can to meet the demand of our industry and will produce our full catalog of items as soon as we can. Please know that nobody wants to produce more and get our product to into your hands more than we do.
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In order to increase deliveries of its most popular types of ammunition and bullets, Hornady announced that it will temporarily suspend production of 150 bullet types and 150 ammo types. IMPORTANT: These bullet and ammo products are NOT being discontinued. Rather, these less-popular, suspended items will simply not be produced for the remainder of 2013. By doing this, Hornady can reduce tool/machinery changes and thereby increase production of products in highest demand. On July 2nd, Hornady issued this statement:
Dear Hornady Customer:
As you are aware, 2013 has been one of the most challenging years ever in the sporting arms industry. We are proud of the increases in production we have achieved this year, but we are still faced witha demand that exceeds our ability to produce.
In efforts to increase production, we have reviewed everything, refining procedures, adding people, and equipment when possible. One area that will help us produce more: cutting the number of changeovers in our production machinery.
In order to reduce changeovers, we are announceing the temporary suspension of over 150 ammunition items and 150 bullet items, for the balance of 2013.
Attached you will find the list of items that will be suspended. Our plan is to remove the orders for these items from our system, beginning July 10th, and notify you of the cancellations. We will continue to monitor and update this list as the market conditions change.
Our goal is to try to deliver more to every customer, and while this may impact certain categories, our overall delivery should improve.
Hornady has listed the suspended bullet/ammo items in ten pages of attachments sent out to Hornady wholesalers and retailers. One representative page (covering 6mm, 6.5mm, and 7mm bullets) is shown below. This is NOT the complete list — there are TEN (10) pages! Click on each link below to see suspended items listed by caliber, small to large.
Notable Bullets on the Suspended List:
22832 – 22 Cal .224 80gr A-Max
22420 – 6mm .243 75gr V-Max
24562 – 6mm .243 105gr A-Max
26101 – 6.5mm .243 100gr A-Max
29402 – 7mm .284 162gr A-Max
29405 – 7mm .285 162gr BTHP Match
30314 – 30 Cal .308 155gr A-Max Moly
30715 – 30 Cal .308 178gr BTHP Match
30733 – 30 Cal .308 208gr BTHP Match
33102 – 338 Cal .338 200gr SST
Note, the above selection of “notable bullets” is just a “short list” of items that caught our attention. Remember 150 bullet types are being suspended for the balance of the year. With some items on the list, partial orders will be filled, or current orders will be filled, but no new orders taken.
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The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is showing quantities of M118LR 7.62×51 for sale, stock number 4C762M118LR-240. This is quality ammo, manufactured by Federal. We believe that it is loaded with 175gr Sierra Match bullets, but you should call to confirm that. Packaged in 240-rd cans, the CMP’s M118LR ammo costs $275.00 for 240 rounds (that works out to roughly $1.15 per round). If you need 7.62×51 ammo for your M1A, or tactical bolt gun, this should fit the bill.
AmmoBammo.com, an all-new auction website for guns, ammo, and gear, has just opened for business. This new site boasts “no listing fees ever”. Unlike Gunbroker.com, AmmoBammo has a very simple payment structure. There is no “up-front” listing fee, and no membership fee. If an item sells, AmmoBammo takes 2.5% of the proceeds — no matter what the price. That makes it easy to figure out what it will cost to sell your gun or gear. If nobody bids, or the bids don’t reach your thresh-hold reserve price, you pay nothing. If your product sells, you pay a flat 2.5% final value fee. That seems reasonable to us. Read detailed terms of sale here.
To celebrate its launch, AmmoBammo.com is offering a special promotion. Now through July 15, 2013, AmmoBammo is Waiving ALL Fees on auction listings, including the normal 2.5% final value fee. So, for the next couple of weeks you can sell your stuff, and not pay a penny.
Since this site is brand new, listings are sparse to say the least. As of June 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm, not a single gun was listed for sale (though there were many ammo listings). Hopefully the AmmoBammo site will gain traction as more sellers list their merchandise in the weeks and months ahead.
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