Hornady’s New American Gunner Ammunition

When Joyce Hornady founded Hornady in 1949, it was with one goal in mind: getting ammunition with superior performance capabilities onto the market. His motto was “Ten rounds through one hole,” which pretty much summed up his view of how ammunition should perform: if the shooter can bring it, the ammunition should be able to deliver. At the time the problem was poor-quality surplus rounds hitting the market at the end of World War II, which is, of course, no longer an issue. Not only did he manage to solve the quality issues back then but today, more than 60 years later, Hornady continues to manufacture top-of-the-line ammunition that not only meets but exceeds the needs of both hunters and sport shooters. And in 2015 they’ve got some new offerings bound to get gun owners excited. We’ve covered one already – Full Boar – and now I’m going to tell you about American Gunner.


Hornady’s American Gunner line is designed to bring some of the most popular already-proven components together into one fantastic round. These rounds feature Hornady’s XTP – eXtreme Terminal Performance – bullet, which is exactly what it sounds like. The XTP has two key features: uniform core density for a balanced trajectory and reliable expansion, and a jacket that gradually thickens from its nose to its base; the jacket has strategically placed serrations designed to weaken it just right for superior control during expansion as well as to initiate expansion at lower velocities. And, of course, Hornady utilizes carefully selected propellants and high-quality primers for consistent, optimal performance. And, yes, it’s made in the USA. It all adds up to what seems to be a promising line of what is currently all handgun ammo; you never know, it just might become your favorite defense round.

Currently American Gunner is available in .380 Auto, 9mm, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto. MSRP is $22.17 for a 25-round box. I think American Gunner is worth checking out, although I am curious just how much this new line actually differs from the original XTP line. I’m a big fan of Critical Defense and Critical Duty, and when Hornady comes out with a new expanding round it’s always interesting to try it out.

What ammo do you guys carry for self defense?

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • USMC03Vet

    Saw a test of some expensive defensive horandy ammunition and the result were so atrocious I can’t take anything with the hornady name seriously anymore.

    • Nicks87

      Videos or links please, or it didnt happen. I hear people trashing different brands of ammo all the time and it usually just boils down to heresay. I carry speer gold dots off duty and remington golden sabers on duty, both are outstanding rounds so I could care less what people say about hornady but I havnt seen anything tangible that would make me think poorly of their ammo. As far as the price goes, around where I’m from I would say it’s about mid range, $21.99 for a box of critical defense or the white-tail rifle hunting ammo. I like their steel cased training ammo, the price is right and accuracy/reliability are adequate.

      • USMC03Vet

        It was one of their tipped ammo. Basically it was completel ineffective and didn’t expand at all unless shot from long barrel revolver. I’ll have to check out my YouTube history.

  • t_reese

    Hornady is no better than Federal or Winchester. You’re just paying for a name.