This video by Grand Power Romania is a glimpse of how ammo is made.
Step 1: The Bullet
The first step to bullet-making is stretching a small copper cup so that it can accept a lead pool. This is done through mechanical force rather than heating and molding. A lead core is then inserted inside the copper jacket and a wedge is added to the bullet and the nose should begin to take shape.
Lead that’s squeezed out of the bullet’s core during the reshaping process is trimmed from the nose. The lead nose and wedge are finalized and results in a finished soft point exposed core type bullet otherwise known as the Hornady InterLock. Intermittent testing is then done for quality control. Afterwards, the good bullets, which are ready to be seeded or distributed to reloaders, are collected.
Step 2: Cartridge Case
Cartridge cases also start as small brass cups. The brass is heated through the annealing process. This softens it and allows it to be stretched. Machines hammer the brass, lengthening it. The brass picks up oxidizers during the annealing process, which causes the discoloration shown in the video. The cases go have to go through a tumbler to remove the oxidizers before being lengthened further.
The major aspect of this step is the addition of an extractor head, which is trimmed from each case. A headstamp is added and the flash hole begins to take shape. The flash hole will be punched in a later step so that it can see the primer. A final annealing is performed on the case to soften it for the seeding of the bullet.
Finally, the bullets and the cartridge cases are combined through seeding.
Step 3: Testing
Hornady tests all new loads in a specialized 100-yard indoor range. New test loads are carefully doctored. Next, a barrel of the appropriate caliber is selected, then the barrel is tightened to an extremely stable machine. The cartridge is loaded and the Hornady technician exits the range to fire the gun remotely. This system eliminates shooter error entirely from the equation.
Step 4: Packaging
The Hornady packaging process begins simply enough with empty boxes. Meanwhile, the packages’ contents are ready. In this case, bullets for reloaders are placed in plastic bags and then inside a box. Hornady also packages ammo cartridges, which undergo a quick quality inspection before making their way to store shelves. The cartridges are packed and boxed with great speed and efficiency.
From raw lead and brass to packaged Hornady ammo, the whole process takes place in the U.S.A. with American labor.