Hornady’s New Aluminum-Tipped Bullet Could Change the Long-Range Game Forever – NRA 2019

“Bullet technology,” once the territory of none but the most neurotic gun nerds, has gone mainstream. Companies like Sierra, Nosler, and Hornady now mold hunks of lead and copper using the most cutting-edge technology—literally, rocket science.

Hornady’s new ATip Match bullet might be the next step in that technological evolution.

“This isn’t just an ELD with a different tip. This is a whole new bullet,” Hornady Engineering Technician Nick Earixon told GunsAmerica at this year’s NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.

The ATip uses a longer, heavier aluminum tip rather than the standard polymer tip. The length and weight, Hornady says, move the center of gravity and enhances in-flight stability. Aluminum is also more resilient and less brittle than polymer, so it won’t deform in the magazine or during shipping.

Hornady had their new bullets front-and-center at this year’s NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

Hornady redesigned the bullet as well. Engineers lengthened the boattail and ogive to reduce drag and, according to the company, achieved a “perfect blend of ogive, tip length, bearing surface, and optimized boattail by caliber.”

Hornady didn’t stop with bullet design: they also developed a new manufacturing process they use only for producing the ATip.

The company packages ATip bullets sequentially to maximize consistency from bullet to bullet. Slight variations become inevitable over the course of manufacturing 10,000 bullets, Earixon said. Bullet #1 will probably be slightly different from bullet #10,000, and customers might get both bullets in a standard package of match-grade rounds.

But virtually no variance exists between bullet #1 and bullet #100 or between #300 and #400. Packaging 100 (or 500 or 1000) sequentially-manufactured bullets ensures that long-distance shooters get the most consistent set of rounds possible.

Will real-world performance live up to PR promises? The proof will be in the pudding, as they say, but the Doppler radar-verified ballistic coefficient numbers are impressive.

For context, Hornady’s 225g .30-caliber ELD Match bullet has a G1 BC of .777, Sierra’s 140g 6.5mm MatchKing bullet has a G1 BC of .535, and Nosler’s 107g 6mm Custom Competition bullet has a G1 BC of .525.

Performance comes at a price. A box of 100 230g .30-caliber ATip pills runs just shy of $90 and the 6mm is only about $10 less. That might be too steep for the average plinker, but competitors will no doubt be willing to put down a little extra cash for a chance to gain an edge.

Hornady reps told GunsAmerica that customers can expect ATip bullets to start shipping in late May or early June.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Ken May 1, 2019, 10:46 am

    No you weren’t. These haven’t even been released yet

  • Dave April 30, 2019, 9:17 am

    The average hunter, heck, the average target shooter will never even think about buying these bullets but kudos to Hornady for stepping up their game.

    For the average hunter, the real benefit comes a couple years down the road from Hornady learning to make better and better bullets. The average hunter will never even consider using these bullets but along the way, Hornady may well pick up a few tricks that can be used to improve the hunting line of bullets.

    It’s like car companies being into racing. The average driver can’t afford the components in the racecar and honestly has no need for them but he benefits in the long run as things learned in racing trickle down into daily driver cars.

    Just my opinion.

  • Jon April 29, 2019, 10:04 pm

    Why too expensive for the small gain.

  • Fred Gasparino April 29, 2019, 12:34 pm

    Maybe not as good, but the original Winchester silver tips I believe were aluminum. I still have some old Remington bronze tips. How long before Remington brings those back?

    • DM April 29, 2019, 2:46 pm

      They’re not the same. Match rounds have thin jackets for greater concentricity, and thus more consistently shot to shot. Consistency is key to ELR shooting. Once you minimise the variables, you can walk shots right on to your target all the time. Stuff like wind is ever changing, but changing to a superior bullet design is done well before taking the shot. And who wants to use bullets that have a greater chance of instability?

      The bronze and silver tips were thick jacketed hunting bullets. The A-Tips are thin jacketed match rounds.

  • kyle April 29, 2019, 8:35 am

    There really isn’t enough of a BC advantage with the 6.5mm versions if you compare them to the ELD-M to make them worth spending twice the money on them. They should take notes from ALCO and sharpen their tips, increase the Al tip size, and re-design their boat tail. The 30 cals are where it’s at.

  • Slim April 29, 2019, 4:36 am

    Not everyone wants to make there own bullets and spend what amounts to well over a grand for just the starter setup and then you have to pay for cases, primers, powders, and these way over priced bullets which just 100% isn’t worth the money or time for 98% of the real shooting population since my guess of around 2% out of all the people who own guns and shoot is very fair when you think the 2%ers are that only ones who need that accurate of ammo and on top of that can afford these ridiculous prices for just the end result of one single bullet. If your a hunter that literally depends on the meat you eat each year and if you’ll make it or not food wise through the year there’s already great rounds out there that come made and are plenty accurate enough to drop the game your aiming at so you can eat through that year. These are really for either people with plenty of money and doesn’t matter what the round costs, or realistically only competition shooters are going to be the buyers if these and sure if your any good and your name means something in the competition world you’d get these super expensive rounds given to you anyways even if their not sponsored by Hornady. Sad they force so many people from not buying their goods since most all shooters are just that, and don’t reload or load their own ammo.

    • Ken May 1, 2019, 10:44 am

      You sound like a crazy person

    • Alan Robinson May 2, 2019, 12:35 pm

      If you’re a hunter who “depends” on that meat, you aren’t in the 98% population to begin with.
      What, are there that many people living in Alaska?!?!? I think not.
      And setting up to load your own is NOT that expensive.
      True, most people would gain little, but even a half ass prairie dog shooter isn’t going to score as often with factory compared to loading their own. it’s NOT just about saving money, it’s about accuracy.
      I have a factory barreled Remington 700 HB Varmiter in 6mm that puts Hornady 55’s in a .34 hole (5shots) because I load my own. That’s at over 4000 FPS. The odds of finding a factory round like that are very rare.
      You apparently don’t know much about the shooting sports outside of your own interests, do you?
      And if no one were buying their “goods”, they wouldn’t be around long. Basic Law of Economics.
      And yet, here they are.

  • Brent April 27, 2019, 8:44 pm

    LeHigh has already been producing aluminum tipped projos fora while. Hornady wasn’t the first.

  • Mike April 27, 2019, 8:33 pm

    I was shooting these in the mid 90’s!
    They were same price as other match grade bullets!

  • George Joy April 27, 2019, 7:35 am

    Sigh. The correct phrase is “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” The phrase as written makes no sense. Great bullets but expensive.

    • Ken May 1, 2019, 10:47 am

      I could care less…

      • Jason May 2, 2019, 9:51 pm

        *couldn’t care less.

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