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Target Shooter Magazine THE WIND


visit Hornady in Nebraska


gas operated semi-autos, where pressures and pressure cycles/dwell times are critical to correct function’ are well catered for with hundreds at hand, from pistols to sub machine guns and assault rifles. Strain-gauge equipped actions are ready to ascertain precise chamber pressures, something that has to be monitored closely in both reloading manuals and manufactured ammunition to maintain safety standards and SAAMI operating specifications.


Quality Control


From the moment a bullet press is set going, a handful of rounds are loaded up to the desired recipe and fired on a test card to establish a benchmark of performance. As the machine runs, sometimes for months non-stop, test batches are shot repeatedly to check product consistency, the frequency of these checks depends on the exact bullet being made and its required tolerances. A basic FMJ can be tested every tens of thousands of rounds but the latest match bullets are checked every few thousand repetitions.


Trained operators closely watch an undeniably automated process, each one’s machine almost treated and loved like a family pet. From the purified lead, formed into wires then shaped into cores are introduced to a newly punched jacket, each stage is meticulously recorded and signed off. The New AMP bullets are similar to the older style BTHP designs but are now made to even tighter tolerances. The extra rolling of the copper film from which the jacket discs are punched ensures consistency to thousands of an inch. Down the line, this gives a more consistent spin on the bullet and lessens imbalance and consequent fluttering in flight. Don’t forget, 46 grains of powder is spinning these boys at hundreds of thousands of RPM for their useful lives - seconds at best - but very important ones!


Not quite the 39 steps, but close After the jacket is punched in and out of 3 or 4 varying sized dies, the swaged core is pushed into it and more punches continue to finalise the overall shape. Of course something like an FMJ is the reverse of a BTHP, finished at the base instead of the pointed meplat


Each stage of the bules being formed.


Can you guess the calibres these will turn into!


EVERY batch of bullets is repeatedly tested and recorded during manufacturing cycles, often lasting for 100’s of thousands of rounds.


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