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Hornady black ammo

28 May 2024
@ 08:36 pm (GMT)

Dustin Kerr

I think this might be a long shot but I'm wondering if anyone would know the type of powder used in Hornady black ammunition. Its for a 308 and running 168grn A-max.

I have been doing some load development and found the factory ammo shoots .4". I would be very happy if I could get my rifle to shoot like that with my handloads.


04 Jun 2024
@ 09:53 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Hornady black ammo
Seems like Hornady would tell you. If you’re trying to duplicate their product, they’ll make money off the components. If it’s a proprietary blend made for them by a supplier, you won’t be able to purchase it. But their reloading manual should show the load that yields exactly 2700 fps for the 168 Amax. That’s as close as you can get to reverse engineering their product. You can’t do it by hand loading to 2700 fps, even if your gun has a 24” barrel, because your chamber will not be cut exactly the same as theirs.
04 Jun 2024
@ 05:06 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Hornady black ammo
Hi Dustin.

If you have a velocity reading of the factory ammo from your rifle, and the over all length, you can use a typical "308-powder" and the same over all length to try to achieve the same velocities, and you should be close. But like Scott says, you may not reach the same velocity with the powder you can get. Regardless, getting a true velocity reading and measured coal of the factory ammo is essential. If not, it's just a shot in the dark. Whatever the box says is usually just ball park, and could easilly be 100 fps away from your rifles actual sweet spot.

Hope that helps.

04 Jun 2024
@ 05:31 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Hornady black ammo
But to answer your actual question - No, I doubt that anyone can tell you which powder was used in your ammo, as this can change from lot to lot, depending on availability, r&d and more. If you don't have more ammo to measure velocity, you should atleast be able to find the factory coal from hornady or the web. Then you have one of the two main variables. Use the box velocity, adjusted for barrel length to get a rough idea for velocity.

05 Jun 2024
@ 06:41 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hornady black ammo
Hi Dustin, as Magnus suggested, Hornady change powders depending on what is available and costs etc, more so in the past few years due to supply chain issues versus a major increase in demand. If you want to, you can try puling a load (kinetic puller etc) and check the powder. It might be a ball powder (H335) or it might be stick (ADI 2206h / Varget). The powder may have come from any corner of the world with the U.S being the least likely source. If you can pull a load and carefully recover all of the grains, then check the load manuals, you may be able to discern which powder was used (generally a mid point load). Note that you may be using a different primer which is also a factor as well as differences in neck tension.

Otherwise and as Magnus suggested, if you can replicate the velocity and OAL, you will hopefully be able to replicate accuracy. The .308 is a fairly easy to cartridge to work with and not as finicky as others.

If I had to guess, I would say that 42.5 to 43.5gr of 2206h / H4895 would be close to your factory speeds.


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