If you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line.
At its 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska, Hornady produces millions of rounds of ammunition annually. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing, which now boasts over 300 employees, was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949. The business is currently run by his son Steve Hornady who took over after his father’s death in a plane crash in 1981.
Share the post "Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made"
Looking to start a new enterprise? How about entering a field where consumer demand greatly exceeds supply right now — the ammunition business. If you have $38,000 or so you can get your own automated ammo-making machine from Ammo Load Worldwide, Inc., an American-run business located in Lewiston, Idaho. There’s also an 11-station, computer-controlled “Mark L” rifle ammo machine that’s a bit pricier — $77,000 with accessories. Sure that’s a tad more expensive than a Dillon XL650, but with a Mark L you can produce three thousand .223 Rem rounds per hour with the push of a button.
Watch Ammo-Loading Machines in Action:
Mark X Pistol Cartridge Loading Machine (about $38,000)
For over 30 years Ammo Load machines have served ammunition manufacturers, commercial loaders, private shooting ranges, and numerous law enforcement agencies. The Mark X Ammo Load machine (for pistol cartridges) has a maximum production rate of just over 5,000 cycles per hour. Many users produce between 3,000 and 5,000 rounds per hour. The primary factors governing the quality and quantity of ammunition produced are the components (particularly the cases), the caliber, and the capabilities of the operator.
The Mark X Ammo Load machine for pistol cartridges has nine (9) stations: Case Check, Size and Deprime, Primer and Primer Disk Check, Belling, Powder Feed, Powder Check, Bullet Seating, Bullet Crimp, Final Sizing. There are checks (with shut-offs) for case feed, primer feed, bullet feed, and powder load. The Mark X comes complete with shell case feeder, primer feed tube, powder flask, and bullet feed tube.
Mark L – Automatic Rifle Ammunition Loader (About $77,000)
In 2009 Ammo Load Worldwide introduced the Mark L automatic rifle ammunition loader in .223 and .308. Many proven features from the Mark X pistol machine have been incorporated into the Mark L to provide precise and consistent rifle cartridge loading at approximately 3,000 to 3,600 rounds per hour. All of the sensors and switches use fiber optic technology to increase precision and reduce maintenance. The Mark L utilizes a 3-station powder drop; the manufacturer claims this maintains charge weights to within 1/10th of a grain.
Mark L Rifle Cartridge Loading Machine has 11 stations:
2. Mouth Flare
4. Primer Check / 1st Powder Drop
5. 2nd Powder Drop
6. 3rd Powder Drop
Texas is a haven for hunters and shooting enthusiasts, so we’re not surprised that the Lone Star State leads the nation in online ammo sales. However, you might be surprised that California, with its liberal, anti-gun politicians, is a close second. Yes, California was the second-most active source of online ammo purchases in 2013, according to statistics from LuckyGunner.com, one of the nation’s leading online ammo vendors. In fact, California was number one in 2012. For 2013, Texas edged California for the top spot, followed by Florida, Michigan, and (surprise) New York.
More Online Ammo Buyers are Using Mobile Devices (Tablets and Smart Phones)
More and more people are connecting to the internet via mobile devices. And, apparently, they are using those devices to shop for ammo. Luckygunner.com saw a significant increase in orders from mobile devices in 2013. Fully 22.7% of Luckygunner’s visits were made via mobile devices in 2013, compared to 18.8% in the preceding year. AccurateShooter.com has seen a similar rise in the number of visitors connecting to our site via mobile devices (particularly smartphones).
Share the post "Texas and California Lead Online Ammo Sales"
Here’s good news for target shooters and hunters — there’s a new supplier of quality, match-grade ammo. Creedmoor Sports will be manufacturing .30-06, .308 Win, and .223 Rem ammunition beginning in May of 2014. It will be sold as “Creedmoor Ammo”, with hunting and match versions.
Help Design the Box — Get a Free CASE of Ammunition
Creedmoor Sports is looking for help designing the packaging for its new ammo line. If you successfully come up with the best graphics to be printed on the box, you’ll receive a cases of ammunition. Dennis DeMille, Creedmoor’s General Manager explains: “The person whose artwork we use, or slight variation thereof, will receive their choice of the very first case of one of those three calibers of ammunition.” Dennis adds: “Look at these boxes as your blank canvas. The ammunition, all calibers, will be in boxes of 50, and in cases of 100 (two boxes of 50)”.
Creedmoor’s Box Design Goals (Things to Keep in Mind):
The packaging design needs to appeal to competitive shooters, recreational shooters, and hunters alike. While any one package might not appeal to all groups, we don’t want one group to look at the box and think “That’s not for me”.
The ammunition WILL be match quality (we don’t want to give away any more details just yet), but changing the projectile would make it a match quality hunting round. Ideally what we want is one box design that will be suited for all applications.
The name of the Ammo will be “CREEDMOOR AMMO”, however, we don’t want to use the Creedmoor bursting bomb logo. If you have ideas for a new logo, please share those concepts with us at Creedmoor.
Send your ideas directly to Dennis DeMille, at demille [at] creedmoorsports.com. Please put “NEW AMMO BOX DESIGN” in subject line so that it doesn’t get lost among the many emails.
Share the post "New Ammo from Creedmoor Sports — Box Design Contest"
What do you get for the shooter “who has everything”? How about a custom-crafted, laser-engraved ammo display case. Technoframes produces a series of ultra-sleek Ammo display units, and high-tech pistol racks. The CNC-machined display boxes, fitted to your choice of cartridge, look great. There are many varieties to choose from, including wood, metal, and plexiglass. We like the fact that many of the boxes are lockable.
Technoframes’ impressive billet-aluminum pistol racks, with magazine-style gun holders (fitted with Neodymium magnets in their bases) put ordinary plastic or wire-framed racks to shame.
Last but not least, Technoframes also makes a plexiglass-sided gun transport box and a double-tiered, two-pistol/six-magazine gun display box with removable inner tray. These units look like they were produced by “M” for James Bond.
Technoframes is the world’s leading producer of high-end CNC-machined ammo and handgun storage solutions. For more info, visit Technoframes.com, or download the latest Product Catalog (PDF).
Share the post "Ultimate Gifts: Technoframes Ammo and Handgun Display Units"
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
Share the post "How Hornady Ammunition Is Made — Step-by-Step Process"
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.)
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
Share the post "Creedmoor Sports has SK .22 LR Rimfire Ammo in Stock"
In a world where too many companies have down-graded product quality and durability, we’re lucky there are some fanatical Finns who build great stuff for shooters. For serious handloaders, the cartridge brass of choice is made by Lapua in Finland. Lapua brass lasts longer than most other brands of cartridge brass, with industry-leading case-to-case uniformity. How do the Finns manage to make such good brass and loaded ammo? This informative video provides insights into Lapua’s “passion for precision”. This “must watch”, 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products, with segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out.
The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.
Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. Lapua’s video also does a great job making our sport seem important and exciting — NRA take note! We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)
Safari Press has just released a new book by M.L. (“Mic”) McPherson, Metallic Cartridge Handloading: Pursuit of the Perfect Cartridge. This 425-page book goes into greater depth than McPherson’s popular intro reloading guide, Metallic Cartridge Reloading. This brand new title covers all aspects of the reloading process: the cartridge case; maintaining, improving and loading the case; the seating and reading of primers; the loading of propellant; bullets and the loading of bullets; accurate load development; internal and external ballistics; bullet making and casting; and reloading presses.
With hundreds of photos and illustrations, this book is a good reference for shooters getting starting in precision reloading for accuracy. Compared to some other books on reloading procedures, McPherson’s new resource is more up-to-date, so it references more modern reloading tools and techniques. NOTE: This is NOT a reloading manual containing specific load data. Rather, it is a how-to book that covers the process of cartridge reloading from start to finish.
About the Author, M.L. (“Mic”) McPherson:
Mic McPherson, Technical Editor of Hand Loader’s Digest, is the author of numerous firearms resource books including Metallic Cartridge Reloading and Accurizing the Factory Rifle. He has written scores of articles for leading gun periodicals including Precision Shooting, The Accurate Rifle, Rifle Shooter, and Varmint Hunter Magazine. Mic also served as an Editor of the 8th and 9th Editions of Cartridges of the World.
Share the post "New Metallic Cartridge Handloading Book by Mic McPherson"
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.
Share the post "RUAG Ammotec Invests Millions to Expand Production"
This article by Corey Swantz originally appeared in The Reloading Press, the Sinclair Int’l Blog.
Much less precision is required to get good scores in 3-gun competition than in strictly accuracy-oriented disciplines like F-Class or Benchrest. In 3-gun, [the game is] about hitting targets in the shortest amount of time, not how close to the center of the target you can get or how small the group can be. Ammunition that’s accurate to 1-2 MOA is more than sufficient for 3-gun competition, as the targets tend to be 4-6 MOA in size.
For my personal 3-gun load testing, I used three powders: Varget, IMR 8208 XBR, and Accurate 2230. All three powders gave me good results, but the 8208 XBR was the leader of the pack. I settled on a moderate charge that pushes a 73gr Berger BTHP at about 2,500 fps through my 16″-barreled AR15. While I’m sure I could obtain a higher velocity with these bullets, this speed yielded the best accuracy results in my initial testing with fully prepped brass.
With the high volume of ammunition that I need for 3-gun matches and practice, I wanted to eliminate as many case prep steps as possible and still end up with ammunition that was accurate enough for 3-gun. I fully prepped some once-fired brass from primer pocket to case mouth and everything in between. I also took some once-fired cases that had simply been trimmed to length, and loaded them without doing any other prep work. With these loads in hand, I headed out to the range to shoot some groups. Below are the results from my 200 yard group tests:
Prepped Brass Delivered Higher Score on Bullseye Target
As you can see from the photos, the groups yielded results along the lines of what I expected. The fully-prepped brass produced five 10s , whereas the un-prepped brass produced only two 10s, and both of those just touched the outer edge of the 10-ring.
However, the un-prepped brass kept all the shots inside the 8-ring, which is plenty precise for shooting the large targets used in 3-gun matches.
National Defense Match at Camp Perry
I decided to further test my un-prepped brass loads by shooting them in the National Defense Match (NDM) at Camp Perry and the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship. At the NDM, the target used in the longer-range stages was a standard-size NRA Tombstone target, similar to the targets used in most 3-gun matches. Using the un-prepped brass loads, I was able to keep all my shots on the tombstone targets from 100-300 yards, and had only one miss from the 400-yard line. That one miss was my fault, as I jerked the trigger on the last shot, pulling it off to the left. Un-prepped brass held up quite well under Camp Perry NDM conditions.
Un-Prepped Good Enough for Class Win at Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship
Two weeks after the NDM, I traveled to Kentucky for the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship. There were seven stages in this match, two of which required long-range rifle shots with my AR15. The longest stage of the match had eight steel targets sized from 4″ to 10″ in diameter, placed from 75 to 265 yards. My ammunition proved accurate enough at these distances to neutralize all the steel targets with single shots, something few other shooters were able to do. I finished over two seconds ahead of the nearest competitor on this stage and ended up winning the event. Clearly un-prepped brass was plenty good for the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro Am, too!
Because of the results I’ve gotten on the practice range, and two very solid performances in competition last year, I feel confident that my loading process for the upcoming 3-Gun Nation Semi-Pro Series will consist of simply sizing and trimming brass, then loading it with my preferred recipe. While the fully prepped brass was indeed more accurate, the un-prepped brass loads were accurate enough to allow me to hit 3-gun targets . Now, I can take the time I save in the reloading room and spend it out on the practice range.
Corey Schwanz, Sinclair Reloading Technician
Share the post "Reloading for 3-Gun Competition — Practical Advice"