Have you ever wondered why some of your powerhouse-caliber rifles just don’t shoot as well as you researched? Do you routinely predator hunt with a crossover caliber, such as the 6.5 and above? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions and want to improve your long-range accuracy, beyond 600 yards, then consider reloading with Hornady’s new ELD-X tipped hunting bullet or utilizing their Precision Hunter Ammunition. It’s brand new.
What makes the ELD-X so great? It’s in the development of their Heat Shield Tip and a new bullet design around this space-age innovation. Hornady started work on a new class of bullet in 2012, but their engineering mission also included a new way, at least to bullet manufacturing, on how to track bullet trajectory. The space-age component is the use of Doppler radar, which the military has used in weapon’s testing since the 1960s. Cost prohibited this use until recently and Hornady dove in with data that revealed bullets were acting differently than current chronograph tests were showing.
Chronograph measurements of velocity and ballistic coefficient (BC) were derived by using two or three chronograph readings separated by 100 yards. Of course these minimal readouts leave a lot of air space and bullet performance unaccounted for. Plus, assumptions have to be made on what the bullet is doing before, between and after it passes through a chronograph.
The Doppler system tracks frequency changes reflected from a moving object every one to two feet and by measuring the drag coefficient (Cd), which is the calculation of the total object’s drag in relationship to the object’s shape. It provides exact trajectory data and determined inconsistencies linked to tip heating. The new Heat Shield tip tackles the heating issue and the result is a bullet that flies like advertised, backed up with science-based data.
What else does the new tip provide when paired with bullet design? Due to design it exhibits continuous expansion along with continuous energy transfer to create a flowing, large wound channel with deep penetration. This design allows for the same expansion at either high or low velocities.
Hornady is the first to admit that the majority of tipped bullets are still reliable for the average hunter. Another fact that Hornady shares freely is that for calibers and bullets in the varmint class, below 6.5, the use of the Heat Shield tip doesn’t show a negligible difference.
Nevertheless, Doppler testing clearly reveals the ELD-X bullet outperforms other bullets in the 6.5 arena and up, from 600 yards and beyond. Although Hornady believes Cd is a better way to measure than the current BC, when comparing apples to apples under the Doppler microscope, the results show the ELD-X beat the competition with room to spare. In fact, using Doppler many of the advertised BCs of current bullets were shown to be off and some by an incredible degree. I saw the math in progress during test shooting.
Do your own testing. I have, both under the eyes of Doppler at the Hornady test center and in my pasture. While shooting with a spotter at the Hornady range I was able to hit targets consistently from 600 to 1,200 yards while shooting a custom rifle in .300 Win. Mag. and buffeting a 15-mph crosswind. Hornady test shooters recorded 4-inch groups with the 200-grain ELD-X shot from a .300 Win. Mag. at 930 yards.
If you’re not a believer, check it out at your shooting range and I’m sure you’ll see that this product is the real deal for long range.