Hornady Manufacturing Celebrates 75 Years Of Bullet Making

Joyce Hornady started his namesake company in Nebraska in 1949, and after 75 years, Hornady Manufacturing is the largest independently owned maker of bullets, ammo and reloading tools worldwide.

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posted on June 6, 2024
Hornady 75 5
Since its 1949 founding, Hornady Manufacturing has risen from humble beginnings in a small Grand Island, Neb., former auto body shop to the largest independently owned maker of bullets, ammo and tools in the world. Company founder J.W. Hornady (pictured above) emphasized the consistent performance and continuous improvement in Hornady’s products with the mantra: “Ten bullets in the same hole.”
Photo courtesy of Hornady

In 1949, Joyce Hornady started a new bullet company—Hornady Manufacturing—that would bring innovative new bullet designs and, later on, new cartridges and other shooting products to market. Now, 75 years after the founding of Hornady, the company remains committed to its legacy with a bright future ahead.

“Ten bullets through one hole” was the vision of Joyce Hornady as he searched for quality bullets for his sporting rifles, a major reason why he started his namesake company.

Hornady 75th anniversary logo
Hornady Manufacturing is a leader in bullet, ammunition, reloading tool, accessory and security product design and manufacturing.

 

More from Hornady Manufacturing about its 75th anniversary this year: “From humble beginnings on the plains of Nebraska, Hornady grew into the ballistics leader that it is today by staying focused on the customers, shooters and hunters from across the nation who have the same performance expectations that J.W. Hornady did all those years ago.”

Under the leadership of Steve Hornady, Joyce’s youngest son, who took over the reins in 1981 after the tragic death of his father in a plane crash, Hornady continues to innovate with more than seven decades of experience and lessons learned. Advancements like InterLock bullets, LEVERevolution, Precision Hunter and Critical Defense ammunition, along with cartridge development of rounds such as .17 HMR, 6.5 mm Creedmoor, 6 mm ARC and 300 PRC highlight the fact that Hornady’s focus has always been on innovation, dependability and accuracy.

Hornady bullets
Hornady Manufacturing has come a long way from its start-up days in a rented garage on Fourth Street in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1949. Today, the company is the largest independently owned maker of bullets, ammunition and reloading tools in the world.

 

Company leadership remains in the family. Jason Hornady, Steve’s son, is currently the vice president.

Today, Hornady Manufacturing has more than 500 employees at its manufacturing facility in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Earlier this year, Hornady Manufacturing joined forces with Ruger—a company also celebrating its 75th anniversary this year—to hold a joint anniversary celebration extravaganza at SHOT Show 2024 in Las Vegas, Nev., in January. NRA Publications Editorial Director Mark Keefe IV was the Master of Ceremonies for the well-attended event.

Hornady worker at bullet press
By 1958, Hornady’s space requirements necessitated a move to the location where it remains today, an 8,000-square-foot plant with a 200-yard underground test facility.

 

A visit to Grand Island, Nebraska, will reveal the Hornady family’s active involvement in community affairs, their generous philanthropy and genuine concern for helping others—including the shooting community at large.

Something else to note: Hornady makes much more than high-quality bullets, ammo and reloading equipment. Earlier this year, Hornady Security Mobilis Safes received a 2024 NRA Golden Bullseye Gear of the Year Award from American Hunter magazine.

Learn more about Hornady Manufacturing and its 75th anniversary celebration at hornady.com.

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