Hornady Turns 75 in 2024

by Tommy Grant

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In 1949 when Joyce Hornady set out to design and manufacture a better product for handloaders, not everyone expected him to succeed. With World War II over and the economy returning to peacetime status, it seemed a good time to kick off a fledgling venture, but one catering to handloaders seemed far-fetched to many skeptics.

Incredibly, the company celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024, proving the naysayers dead wrong. And over those 75 years the company has grown into an industry behemoth that still addresses the needs of handloaders, but also those wanting to purchase quality, already manufactured ammunition.

Located in Grand Island, Nebraska, Hornady is now a legendary company. But it didn’t start out that way.

From humble beginnings, by 1958 the company’s need for space required it to move to its present location, an 8,000-square-foot plant with a 200-yard underground test facility. J.W. Hornady no longer had to drive to a range to test bullets, since he could just walk downstairs to the range and ballistic lab.

By the early 1960s, the company had tripled its manufacturing space to 25,000 square feet, employed 40 people, hired its first marketing director, acquired the most modern machine tools available at the time, had an inventory of Waterbury Farrell presses for further expansion, and was growing at a rate of 30% per year. Joyce Hornady’s youngest son, Steve, joined the company in 1970.

After Joyce Hornady was killed in a plane crash on the way to SHOT Show in 1981, Steve Hornady took the reins of the company. And in the subsequent 43 years Steve has led Hornady to steady growth and its current status as a leader in the ammunition industry.

While the company still manufactures excellent handloading components, ammunition and handloading equipment, it has branched out substantially over the past several years. Everything from apparel and accessories to books, videos, gifts, novelties and top-quality gun storage products can be found on the company’s website.

To celebrate the momentous occasion of its 75th anniversary, Hornady is introducing a bevy of new products for 2024. One such is the company’s new V-Match ammo, which combines exceptional aerodynamics with high-quality components for match-grade accuracy and violent expansion. It’s available in 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel and the brand new 22 ARC (Advanced Rifle Chambering).

Speaking of the 22 ARC, it’s another of Hornady’s exciting new offerings this year. By using a new 62-grain ELD-VT bullet, the 22 ARC brings performance rivaling the .22-250 to the AR-15 platform.

Equally exciting is the new Hornady ELD-VT bullet. Available four calibers for handloaders, this new offering is said to provide unmatched accuracy and rapid fragmentation for varmint-shooting and other long-range pursuit.

The 5.7x28mm cartridge is also new to the lineup. Using components designed to ensure reliable cycling and optimize powder burn, the new 5.7×28 features a 40-grain FTX bullet in the Critical Defense line and a 40-grain V-MAX in Hornady Black.

The company is also introducing new products in its safe, target and reloading accessories line this year. Take a look at all the 75th anniversary goodness right here.

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