Hornady Superformance Ammunition

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

I have been remiss in not discussing Hornady’s new Superformance Ammunition before now. The Superformance loads attain a 100-200 fps increase in muzzle velocity at standard SAAMI pressures (ie. they are not hot loads). Hornady’s chief ballistics scientist told American Hunter …

“Until now, center-fire ammunition performance has been based on the IMR-series propellants developed in the 1930s and ’40s,” he said.

They achieve this by developing a set of new powders and blending these powders specifically for each cartridge so that all the powders burns completely inside the barrel. This allows maximum power transferred to the cartridge but also lower muzzle blast, thereby reducing recoil.

Graphs from the Superformance White Paper …

So why have handloaders not attempted this before? I am sure some have, but blending powders is dangerous because the pressure curve cannot be predicted. You cannot create a load made up of 50% of Powder A and 50% of Powder B and assume max pressure will equal (Amax+Bmax)/2 or when the maximum pressure will occur.

Currently Hornady is offering Superformance loads in .243 Win, .257 Roberts, .25-06 Rem., 6.5mm Creedmoor, , 7mm Rem Mag, .270 Win., 7mm-08 Rem., .300 Win. Mag, .300 RCM, .308 Win.
.308 Win., 30-06 Springfield, .338 Win Mag, .338 RCM, .375 H&H , .375 Ruger and .458 Win.

It is interesting to note that Hornady is not offering any intermediate/varmint cartridges. A Superformance 5.56mm round tuned for the M4 (but fully compatible with other 5.56mm systems) would be very useful.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Greg Greg on Feb 11, 2012

    What is the .243 load with an 85 grain barnes bullet with the superperformance powder. I need to know the velocity and the barrel length?

  • Grant Grant on Dec 05, 2012

    The 308 SST 150gr is likely everything it's talked up to be on the range and in test labs, but in the field (where it counts) it left me wondering what all the hype is about. The bullet entered the deer's chest, travelled between the animal's rib cage and its shoulder exiting in two places 10 and 12.5 inches behind its shoulder. A third part of the bullet travelled down through the rib cage and distroyed the liver. Nowhere did the bullet or parts of it hit any bone! Not good!