New Hornady Rifle Loads: 7.62×39 and 6.5 Grendel

Hornady 357 Mag LeverEvolutionHornady Manufacturing announced two new rifle loads ahead of the 2010 SHOT Show.  One load is for the popular Soviet 7.62×39 cartridge found in AK-47, SKS and other rifles.  The second load is in 6.5 Grendel, a medium power load designed to give AR-15 shooters power similar to that of the 7.62×39.

Hornady 7.62×39 V-MAX


Hornady announced a new load for the 7.62×39 cartridge.  The new load in Hornady’s Custom line is a steel-cased, Berdan primed round topped with a 123 grain V-MAX bullet.  Muzzle velocity is rated at 2350 fps, which puts energy at 1508 ft-lbs.

Hornady’s V-MAX bullet has been popular with shooters, and with the number of AK and SKS variants on the market, I would venture to guess this will be a good seller for them.  While good for hunting applications, I imagine this will also perform well as a home defense or personal protection round.  Most people probably load some type for FMJ in their AK for home defense.  This design might be superior at stopping an attacker or home invader.

Hornady 6.5 Grendel A-MAX

Hornady has introduced several new hunting loads for 2010 including this one for the 6.5 Grendel.  Pushing a 123 grain Hornady A-MAX bullet at 2620 fps (1619 ft-lbs), this load gives the AR-platform guns a wider range of choices when hunting thin-skinned, medium sized game.

Additionally, Hornady stated they will also begin selling 6.5 Grendel brass and reloading dies to allow shooters to custom load their own cartridges.  I know this will be very popular with a number of handloading hobbyists I know.  They like to “roll their own” ammo, matching the loads to the gun.  This will give them superior accuracy, and in many cases, they will be able to squeeze a little more velocity out of the bullet.

Well, there you have it:  two new rifle loads from Hornady Manufacturing.  We will be posting more information about all of the new ammunition from the SHOT Show.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.