Hornady Upgrades 7.62×39 Load in Black Line

hornady black

Hornady Manufacturing Company announced it was upgrading its 7.62×39 load in the Black line of ammunition. The upgrade is a change from steel cases to brass cases. This change is effective immediately. This allows the cases to be reloaded more easily than those made of steel.

Compared to other cartridges, the 7.62×39 has relatively few brass and Boxer primed cases. So, I find this a welcome addition.

This particular cartridge is part of the company’s Black line of ammo. The Black line consists of cartridges that were specially worked up for reliable functioning and accuracy in modern sporting rifles.

This load uses a 123 grain SST bullet that has a muzzle velocity of 2,350 fps. The SST, or Super Shock Tip, is a polymer tipped bullet that is designed to expand quickly and produce a large wound channel. It has an Interlock ring to help keep the jacket and core together after impact.

I’ve shot the company’s steel cased version of this load for several years from a variety of rifles. I have found that it feeds very reliably from both AK and AR style magazines. Additionally, the accuracy seems very good.

In my own measurements, I have found that the velocity tends to run a little slower than stated. With my chronograph set up at about 15′ from the muzzle, velocities tend to run from about 2,200 – 2,250 fps depending on the rifle. For example, the CMMG Mk47 showed a five shot average of 2,242 fps and the SIG 556xi showed a 2,227 fps average.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • CS

    How good is the accuracy of hornady’s black?

  • Nicks87

    Will this stuff work for that SKS DMR project I’ve been building? I got all the Tapco and UTG accessories now I just need some match ammo. I’m hoping to squeeze out some 5MOA groups with it this weekend.

    • Big Daddy


      • clampdown

        The only time my SKS ever jammed was a FTE with some VERY expensive Cor-Bon 108gr hunting ammo.

    • Gary Kirk

      Did you get the new Ncstar light/ laser/ scope/ red dot/ cup holder/ coffee grinder combo unit for it?

    • mazkact

      Buddy, Federal Amercan Eagle should get you 5 MOA, this stuff surely will get you 4.5 all day long.

    • Wow!

      Hey, UTG makes some pretty good stuff despite being airsoft oriented, and Tapco is as good as anything else when it comes to quality and durability. If I remember correctly, both are US mfg too which is nice.

  • Malthrak

    I mean…I guess it’s neat…if you’re into spending 6x as much round over basic steel case stuff for a cartrdige that nobody uses for particularly precision work…

    • 22winmag

      Actually, the Black/SST steel case version is 52 cents a round over at Target Sports and their latest load sold out pretty quick. Seems not too bad for American-made 7.62×39 with a premium tipped bullet.. at roughly 2-2.5x what foreign crap goes for.

      • Cymond

        I wonder how much this brass cased load will cost. They may have just priced themselves out of their own niche.

        • Jared Vynn

          $30 for a box of 20.

          Much more expensive, but now you can reuse the casing in handloading.

          • Wow!

            If you just want brass, it is much cheaper to buy a case of Fiocchi for $10 per 20 rnd of brass cased boxer.

  • parker

    another worthless review……

    • Cymond

      Were did he call this a review?

      To me, it looks like a product announcement with a few personal observations thrown in.

  • 22winmag

    I might try some to see how it groups, but M67 FMJ is hard to beat.

  • Walt

    Just a question for clarification. Are they removing their SST steel cased ammo from production or is this a new line of brass 7.62 (in addition to the Z-max brass case)?

  • SPQR9

    In the past, Hornady has sourced the Euro metric calibers from PPU. Does anyone know if that’s the manufacturer for this ammo?

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Since it’s using an SST bullet, it’s likely factory Hornady.

    • 22winmag

      Apparently Hornady “Black” #80784 has morphed from 52 cent steel cased SST packaged in boxes of 50 into brass cased SST packaged in boxes of 20 with an MSRP of $30… meaning probably around $1.20/round at retail. Both versions claim Made in USA.

      More than double for brass most people won’t reload???

  • FOC Ewe

    I need a GMX screamer for my CZ 527. The PPU 123gr SP’s are getting hard to find.

  • USMC03Vet

    Boutique 7.62×39!

  • Immortan Joe

    that is way to slow, when steel case like golden tiger is getting 2400, let me guess their 5.45 will be about 2790 for 60gr. will be good for the brass cases i guess

  • YZAS

    My 527 kinda likes the steel better. Hope they didnt kill them off for these

  • noob

    so now all the soviet spam cans have been sold, and ammo and AKs are being mfg’d entirely in the united states, will the AK platform be insulated from any foreign relations based shortages?

  • GR Arnold

    Best ammo news yet !!!

    Wild hogs in Texas sure are going to hate this.

  • Allan

    sounds like a price upgrade , I was very happy with this load when the cases were steel and the primers were hard Russian military grade safe for use in the AK SKS platform. I don’t think this is a positive change at all.