Hornady ELD-X Match-grade Hunting Ammo
- By Pete Moore
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 19/05/2017
Hornady’s Precision Hunter is now available in the UK and I have just got my hands on some 308 Win and 30-06. Using an ELD-X hunting bullet, which takes its inspiration from the original ELD Match type they are an intriguing concept. The design is based around a heat-proof ballistic tip, as Hornady engineers using Doppler radar found that the standard plastic tips as used in A-MAX for example were melting/ deforming due to the heat produced in flight. Logically more tip distortion means less stability and a reduction in ballistic coefficient (BC) and therefore accuracy.
The ELD-X bullet is a seemingly conventional jacketed, lead-cored, ballistic tip with an internal interlock ring to retain core mass on impact. However, the build shows a streamlined secant ogive (nose) a boat tail base and a new heatresistant polymer (Heat Shield) for the ballistic tip. Packaging is neat too with a Panzer grey box with silver stamped writing. Calibre s offer 6.5 Creedmoor, 270/308 Win, 7mm-08, 280 and 7mm Rem Mag, 30-06, 300 WSM, RCM, Win Mag Weatherby Mag, 300 Rem Ultra Mag and 30-378 Weatherby Mag. Bullets for reloading offer a 143-grain 6.5mm, three 7mms – 150, 162 and 175-grains and four 308s – 178, 200, 212 and 220-grains.
308 Win and 30-06 both use the 178-grain bullet, which struck me as a bit heavy as in both cases as there’s no 150-grainer, which would seem logical! Being heavier you are very much at the mercy of your rifling twist too. The G1 BC is .552; the same weight A-MAX is lower at .495; interesting!
The 308 Win load quotes a muzzle velocity of 2600 fps and was giving 2547 fps/2575 ft/lbs with a 49 fps ES and .57” group in a Sabatti STR, with its heavy 24” barrel and 1-12” twist rate using a polygonal-type rifling form. I suspect that the speed would drop a bit in the more standard 22” hunting length barrel. The 30-06 quotes a muzzle velocity of 2750 fps, through a Mauser M12 with 22” tube this translated into an average speed of 2603 fps/2689 ft/lbs with an of ES 27 fps, group size went to a pleasing .75”. I have no doubt the 30-06 would benefit from a longer barrel to realise its full potential as the factory-quoted energy figure is 2988 ft/lbs, equally so the 308 at 2671 ft/lbs.
However, weight retention and expansion is good at higher speeds of around 2600 fps you can expect 50-60% mass retention and if slower at 1800 fps 85-90%. I’ve yet to shoot anything with it as last time out after Roe does I did not see anything, but past experience with Hornady ammunition and bullets has never disappointed and with the technological advance s in the XLD-X design I do not think I will be disappointed! Next month. I have the new Sauer 404 in 308 and still have 50-rounds of Precision Hunter left. so I could get lucky!