Hornady Manufacturing, Inc. introduced the extremely popular LeverEvolution line of ammunition in 2006. Now they have expanded the line to include the .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum cartridges. These two handgun cartridges are very popular with hunters, both from handguns and from lever-action rifles.
The LeverEvolution cartridges use what Hornady calls “Flex Tip Technology.” This is very similar to the polymer-filled hollow points in the Hornady Critical Duty ammo I reviewed.
In essence, Hornady developed a special bullet that is tipped with a flexible polymer that does two things. First, when loaded in a tubular magazine common to lever-action rifles and carbines, the Flex Tip prevents unintentional primer detonation. Secondly, when striking the target, the Flex Tip is compressed into the hollow point bullet, causing it to expand in a broad range of velocities.
Hornady also uses a special formulation of smokeless powder in the LeverEvolution line to increase the velocities of the bullets without increasing the chamber pressure.
The result? “Dramatically improved terminal performance in both expansion and depth of penetration over a very broad range of velocities in both pistol and lever action rifles,” said Dave Emary, the Senior Ballistician for Hornady Manufacturing, Inc.
The .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum have been popular in both handgun and lever-action rifle hunting. The LeverEvolution ammunition gives these two cartridges more capability when shooting from either type of firearm.
Hornady claims the .357 and .44 LeverEvolution loadings produce a “devastating wound cavity even at low velocities.” Based on what we have seen from Hornady with other FlexTip bullets, I have no reason to doubt them on this point.
The .44 Magnum LeverEvolution rounds are already shipping. The .357 Magnum rounds should be shipping mid-March. Expect to pay about $18/20 rounds for the .44 and $20/25 rounds for the .357. These prices are certainly in line with other companies’ premium ammunition pricing. In fact, it is actually cheaper than a few of the competitors’ offerings. Of course, only you can decide if the Hornady LeverEvolution line will work for your needs.
The below document is an original advertisement for the new LeverEvolution rounds.
Last update: June 3, 2021