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March 4th, 2010

Shooters Reveal Brand Preferences in National Surveys

Southwick Associates compiles statistics for the hunting/shooting industry and public wildlife agencies. Based on 2009 survey results, Southwick has ranked the most popular shooting/hunting brands and products. These rankings were based on and online polls completed by nearly 45,000 hunters and shooters. The polls asked the hunters and shooters to list the outdoor products they purchased most often.

Hunter SurveyThere were some interesting results among rifle shooters. Remington is still the #1 rifle-maker, and Remington also leads the way in rifle ammunition. Hodgdon is the top reloading powder vendor with 36.5% of reported purchases. Top bullet-maker is Hornady with 30%, but remember this is for hunting AND target shooting. CCI makes the most popular rifle primers. We were somewhat surprised to see that the top scope brand for all firearms was Bushnell, which held a 17.3% share.

Southwick Associates’ also measured buying activities over time. As you might expect, hunters spent the most money on gear in November. However the peak month for target shooters was June. We would have figured most of the spending would have taken place earlier in the spring — at least for rifle shooters who reload.

Hunter Survey

Rifle Shooting & Hunting
• Top rifle brand: Remington (16.5% of all purchases)
• Top muzzleloader brand: Thompson Center (29.5% of all purchases)
• Top scope for firearms: Bushnell (17.3% of all purchases)
• Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (28.8% of all purchases)
• Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (30.2% of all purchases)
• Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (36.5% of all purchases)
• Top reloading primer brand: CCI (36.0% of all purchases)
• Top shooting target brand: Shoot-N-C (38.9% of all purchases)

• Top shotgun brand: Remington (22% of all purchases)
• Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (32.0% of all purchases)
• Top clay brand: White Flyer (34.3% of all purchases)
• Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady (26.2% of all purchases)

• Top handgun brand: Sturm Ruger (16.6% of all purchases)
• Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (22.0% of all purchases)
• Top holster brand: Uncle Mike’s (21.4% of all purchases)
• Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex (51.5% of all purchases)

Hunting Gear
• Top binocular brand: Bushnell (19.5% of all purchases)
• Top knife brand: Buck (16.7% of all purchases)
• Top scent or scent covering brand: Scent-A-Way (24.5% of all purchases)
• Top game call brand: Primos (34.8% of all purchases)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 3 Comments »
March 4th, 2010

Hornady Releases New .308 Superformance Match Ammo

Hornady has started shipping its new .308 Winchester Superformance™ match ammo. Loaded with a high-BC 178gr BTHP, the new ammo, which employs a proprietary blend of propellants (some of which are NOT commercially available), has shown outstanding velocities. One shooter reported 2820 fps from a 26″ barrel, while Hornady claims 2775 fps from a SAAMI-spec 24” test barrel. Hornady says this .308 match load is approximately 175 fps faster than any comparable factory .308 load.

CLICK HERE for Technical Info on Superformance ammo.

New Projectile Developed for this Match Ammo
With a 0.530 BC bullet moving around 2800 fps, the new Superformance™ ammo offers impressive ballistic performance — better than many reloaders may be able to achieve with their handloads. Accuracy has been very good also, according to Hornady Engineer, Joe Thielen, due in no small part to bullet design: “The new 178 grain BTHP Match bullet was purpose-built, and optimized specifically for the .308 Winchester chamber. It features an aggressive ogive as well as an extremely efficient boat tail that makes this projectile highly effective aerodynamically, [with] less wind drift and … flatter trajectories. Accuracy results were excellent. We shot a .680″ group at 200 yards with our test equipment, and field tests out to 1250 yards yielded 8″ groups (8 inches at 1250 yards is 0.611 MOA).”

The 178gr Superformance .308 ammunition should stay supersonic to approximately 1,275 yards. That’s a lot farther than any other factory .308 load for 175-180gr bullets. The ability to stay supersonic well past 1000 yards is a boone to long-range .308 shooters.

Here is how Hornady has achieved high velocities with its new Superformance ammunition:

1) Superformance ammo uses advanced new Ball Powders (not yet for sale).

2) The powders are BLENDED, with different “recipes” for different cartridges.

3) The new powders maintain high-energy longer in barrel (like Reloder 17).

4) The new powders burn almost completely, reducing ejecta, for less exit pressure, and less felt recoil.

5) Superformance ball propellants pack very densely, so more grains of powder can fit inside a case, compared to typical extruded stick powders.

Can Reloaders Replicate the Superformance .308 Match Ammo?
Forum members have asked: “How can we duplicate the Superformance ammo with our handloads?” Unfortunately, this will not be an easy task. The Superformance line of loaded ammo uses special blends of propellants customized for each cartridge/bullet combination. Hornady spent a lot of time and effort “tweaking” the blends to achieve maximum velocities. In addition, Hornady “commissioned” some new propellants expressly for the Superformance ammo. Therefore there’s no easy way to replicate Superformance loads with a single, off-the-shelf powder, and we caution strongly against “blending your own”. REPEAT: do NOT attempt to blend commercial powders to try to replicate Superformance velocities with your handloads.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 4 Comments »