Impressive Hornady Ammunition: the GMX

By Randy Wakeman


Hornady GMX ammo
Illustration courtesy of Hornady Manufacturing.

Hornady has been gaining ground in the factory loaded ammunition department to the point where, in many cases, Hornady factory ammunition has exceeded the accuracy and performance of many other ammo manufacturers products. Some of the recently tested product has been so good that it deserves its own discussion; that’s what it is getting right here.

A recent battery of testing with .270 Winchester ammunition revealed the Hornady ammunition to be outstandingly consistent. One such rendition of testing was with the Hornady .270 Winchester 140 grain BTSP load out of my Browning X-Bolt Medallion. It averaged 2799 fps though my CED M2 chronograph, with a standard deviation of 16.9 fps. Shooting with regularity around three quarters of an inch at 100 yards, the average group size was .819 inches. I feel that is excellent consistency for any ammunition, especially non-premium priced ammo.

Even more recently, I tested .30-06 bolt-action rifles, this time with Hornady’s new 150 grain GMX ammo, the “Gilding Metal eXpanding” bullet that Hornady call’s “monolithic.” It is lead-free style and California approved (although I feel California should look at aviation fuel and dumped Coast Guard batteries before attacking the trivial, fallacious lead bullet issue).

Out of a new Savage Accu-Stock 111FCNS .30-06 rifle, its velocity was 2669 fps through the CED M2 Chronograph screens with a standard deviation of LESS than one fps; 0.816 fps. This is an astonishing, unheard-of level of consistency. It’s average group size was also more than you can use on big game in the field, at 1.134 inches. What makes this bullet impressive, aside from Hornady’s extremely high quality production methods, is the velocity range at which it functions. With an operating velocity range from 2000 fps all the way up to 3400 fps, as tested by Hornady into 10% ballistic gelatin, it is as close to a “one bullet does it all” type of loading as you can find for high velocity big game cartridges. For example, this cartridge retains the 2000 fps required for initial bullet expansion out of the tested Savage rifle out to 400 yards.

Perhaps best of all, Hornady took a very close look at bullet design when developing the GMX and made sure it was compatible with conventional cup and core loading data. I’m amazed at the loaded ammunition’s consistency and, personally, I like tough bullets. There’s no substitute for shot placement and while expansion is a good thing, it should not be at the expense of adequate penetration. At typical hunting ranges, this ammo appears to have more than adequate toughness and penetration to get the job done for most North American Game. It is impressive consistency, accuracy and quality from Hornady.




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Copyright 2009 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.



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