February 12, 2019
By Jake Edmondson
Hornady resurrected its Frontier Cartridge line of ammunition this year. Currently, 11 loads in .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO are offered.
The Frontier name may sound familiar to some Shooting Times readers. If you’ve been interested in guns and ammunition for as long as I have, you’ll recall that a few decades ago Hornady ammunition had brass cases that were stamped “Frontier.” And even before that, Hornady had a line of ammunition called Frontier Cartridges. That’s with an “s.” I know because I have a few boxes of that old ammo. Anyway, the company hasn’t offered the Frontier line for quite a long time.
Hornady states the new Frontier ammo is for plinking, target shooting, hunting, law enforcement training, and self-defense. Predictably, it’s loaded with Hornady bullets. It also features brass cases and military-style Boxer primers. Like the original Hornady Frontier ammo, this new ammunition is made at the well-known U.S. military ammunition plant in Lake City, Utah.
You can get Frontier ammunition in boxes of 20 rounds and 150- and 200-round ammo cans and boxes. You can also order it in 500- and 1,000-round packages.
I obtained a sampling of the new ammunition for testing and fired it in a Lancer L15 Competition AR-15 with an 18-inch barrel that has a 1:8 twist and a .223 Wylde chamber. Wilson Combat has the most concise definition of the Wylde chamber that I’ve read and calls it “a hybrid .223/5.56 chamber designed to yield the accuracy advantages of the match .223 Rem. commercial chambering but without pressure or reliability failures when using high-velocity 5.56 NATO-spec ammunition. The .223 Wylde achieves better accuracy by having a chamber throat that is tighter than 5.56 but will still function reliably with military 5.56 ammunition because the case dimensions are the same.”
In .223 Rem., I fired the Frontier 55-grain FMJ, 55-grain HP Match, 55-grain Spirepoint, and 68-grain BTHP Match loadings. In 5.56 NATO, I fired 55-grain FMJ, 62-grain BTHP Match, 62-grain Spirepoint, and 75-grain BTHP Match. The details are listed in the accompanying chart.
Overall, the new Frontier Cartridge ammunition was as accurate and reliable as any other Hornady ammunition I have fired. It functioned perfectly throughout my shooting session, with not a single failure to feed, fire, extract, or eject.
MSRP: $11.67 to $16.67 (20 rounds)