Hornady Custom Lite Ammo: Reduced Recoil Ammunition

Hornady Custom Lite Ammo

The just announced Hornady Custom Lite ammo is designed to provide reduced recoil in a number of popular centerfire rifle and shotgun cartridges.  According to Hornady, the ammunition line is designed “to put the fun back into shooting” for children and anyone who is recoil sensitive.  Recoil reduction ranges from 25 – 43% depending on the caliber.

Hornady achieved significant recoil reduction in felt recoil through the use of lighter bullets, lower velocities and modified propellants.  While a shooter could easily choose a lower-power caliber, say .243 Win instead of .30-06 Sprg for example, by having reduced recoil choices in a caliber you already own can save you the money of buying a new rifle.


Hornady .38 Special Critical Defense Lite Ammo

Critical Defense Recoil

For 2013, Hornady is introducing a reduced recoil .38 Special load in the Critical Defense line of ammunition.  The Critical Defense Lite is a light weight .38 load loaded to standard pressures specifically designed to minimize abuse to the shooters of small, light revolvers.

Seemingly everyone carries a snub nose revolver in their pocket.  I’ve got a J-frame Smith & Wesson in mine as I write this.  They are easy to carry and have numerous advantages when compared to other guns and style of carry.  But, small revolvers carry at least one significant disadvantage:  recoil.  That’s where the Critical Defense Lite comes into play.


Critical Defense .32 NAA Ammo

Hornady .32 NAA ammunition

Ammo for the .32 NAA has been very limited, with very few companies loading for the niche cartridge.  However, Hornady is expanding their Critical Defense line of ammunition to include a .32 NAA load.

The new .32 NAA ammo will feature the Hornady FTX bullet, which is a hollowpoint tipped with a polymer insert.  The polymer helps to prevent hard materials from clogging up the hollowpoint cavity, and also helps the bullet expand when encountering flesh.  The FTX design has proved to be both effective and popular.

The load uses an 80 grain bullet that makes a respectable 1000 fps at the muzzle for 178 ft-lbs of energy.  MSRP is $25.85 for a box of 25 cartridges.

The .32 NAA cartridge is a design developed by North American Arms (NAA) with gun writer Ed Sanow and ammunition manufacturer Corbon.  NAA is known for their mini-revolvers, but the company also makes semi-auto pistols that fall into the pocket gun category.

Hornady .32 NAA ammo

The .32 NAA is a necked down .380 ACP case loaded with a .32-caliber bullet (closer to 0.31″ actually).  The idea is to obtain velocities higher than either the .32 ACP or .380 ACP can manage, plus gain the additional reliability that bottlenecked cartridges seem to have.

Original tests of Corbon loaded ammo used a 60 grain Hornady JHP which made more than 1450 fps from a 4″ test barrel.  From an NAA Guardian pistol with a 2.49″ barrel, the same load made 1222 fps.

Before the addition of the .32 NAA to the Critical Defense line, I believe Corbon has been the only significant company loading ammo in this caliber.  Currently, Corbon offers the original 60 grain JHP rated for 1200 fps.  They also make a 71 grain FMJ in their match line (1000 fps) and a 55 grain frangible load in the Glaser line (1250 fps).


New Hornady Shotgun Slugs

Hornady expanded slug

Several new Hornady shotgun slug loads have been announced at the 2013 NASGW Expo:  two Superformance shotgun slugs and an SST Lite Shotgun Slug.

The new Superformance slugs will be available in both 12 gauge and 20 gauge.  Both loads use a MonoFlex slug.  Originally developed for lever guns, the MonoFlex design uses a monolithic hollowpoint bullet with the famous Hornady Flex Tip.  The slugs are made from a gilding metal, instead of pure copper, to increase their strength and retain 95% of original weight.  This helps the slugs to penetrate deeply.


Hornady American Whitetail Ammo

Hornady American Whitetail

American Whitetail is a new hunting cartridge from Hornady designed specifically for deer.

The American Whitetail uses the older InterLock bullet, which is a more traditional design when compared to the different Flex Tip-style bullets Hornady has become known for.  The InterLock uses an exposed lead point, a tapered jacket and the InterLock band to bind the lead core to the jacket.  These features combine to provide controlled expansion and deep penetration.