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.30cal Hornady168gr ELD-Match = Range/Field Report

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 24,912 Senior Member
Last week, my friend and I decided to test the new 168gr Hornady ELD-Match bullets out of a .308 Winchester. So, he ordered a box and received it last Friday. Over that weekend, he tried several powder charges with CFE223 (his powder of choice for his .308 Win) and was never able to find a satisfactory load. He was using Hodgdon data and experienced several blown primers and piss poor accuracy when seated to mag length. Disgusted, he gave me the rest of the box and told me to have at it.

I returned on Tuesday with my .308 "Short"" rifle, and all my components to work up a load in his barn and shoot on his range.

Hornady Brass
CCI-LR Primers
H4895
168gr Hornady ELD-Match Bullets

I measured my chamber and seated the bullets where their ogive was .010" off the lands. Looked at the Hodgdon data for this weight bullet (43.5gr Max) and made 3 rounds with a powder charge of 43.0gr (.5 under max). Laid down on the floor of his barn..........aimed in at the 100 yard target............and the 3 rounds.

IMG_1428_zpsiliopkgd.jpg

Damn. I hate it when it's that easy.

Just for laughs, we loaded 3 rounds with the book max load of 43.5gr H4895 and let fly. The result was a .6" group. So, we stuck with the 43.0gr load and made 2 additional rounds. Armed with these two rounds..........we went hunting!

Set up in the blind and waited for the deer. After awhile, some showed up at the feeder. But, nothing we were going to shoot.

Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%205_zps8l4kajvx.jpg

Eventually, a spike showed up down one of the sendaros and I began to work on getting a shot at him. Trying to mimic the same angle from my previous testing with the 168gr BT / A-Max / TMK bullets was proving a little frustrating as he continued to present every angle but broadside. In the process, I noticed several larger does making their way towards the sendaro, so I held off and decided to try for one of them instead. They finally moved into view with a smaller buck and the problem of getting a clear broadside shot became even MORWE taxing! When one was broadside......she wasnt clear. When she was clear.......she wasn't broadside. Ahhhhhh, the trials of science!

After an eternity, one doe had worked her way to 95 yards but continued to face my direction. With one hand on the gun and the other on the camera record button, I waited. When I saw the small buck begin to approach her back side, I knew she would turn towards him. I hit "record" and aimed in on her.

As she turned to her right, I watched the legs with the intent of placing the round through the lungs without hitting either shoulder and skewing the data. With a split second of perfect angle, I sent the round on it's way.

Here is my view with the arrow pointing where she was standing at the shot.

Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%204_zpsywsu4g7o.jpg

And here is the video of the shot.

http://vid26.photobucket.com/albums/c106/lovinmycaitlynn/Hunting/Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%201_zpsr1kgcny9.mp4

As you can see, she jumped and entered a small 10 yard wide strip of brush. Then, I saw her exit the other side and cross another sendaro and enter some more brush on the other side. Deer scattered everywhere! Looking to my right, I saw two Axis deer cross a sendaro and told my friend. We decided to hold tight and hope that the Axis would present a shot.

After about 10 minutes, my friend who was glassing the brush exclaimed that he saw a bobcat on one of the sendaros. "Shoot that sucker!"

Aiming in the direction he was pointing, I saw the cat just before it entered the brush. From the direction he was traveling, he would take the same trail the does had taken and end up at the exact location my doe had been on the sendaro. So, I positioned the rifle and waited. A few minutes later, I see a head peak out of the brush. Then, in one bound, the cat clears 1/3 of the sendaro. I aim.......another bound. Another third cleared. The instant he landed, I knew one more bound would put him in the brush. A flash picture put his ribs in the reticle and I pulled the trigger. The "pop" resonating through the evening signaled a hit. The cat rolled and crawled the last few feet into the brush. Trailing it's intrails behind him as he went.

Well, there went the two rounds I had one me. Well, the two rounds with ELD bullets. Don't worry. I had a 10 round mag with A-Max bullets...........just in case.

We packed our gear and went to the point of impact. Both the deer and the cat were standing within feet of the exact same location at both shots. The doe left a significant blood trail along the 36 yards to her final resting place.

Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%208_zpspwxwnhjy.jpg

The cat left intestines and bits of meat from the POI a few feet into the brush, including a section of intestines about 3 feet up on top of a sage bush where he evidently made a final leap before expiring. Distance traveled........about 7 yards.

Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%209%20-%20Copy_zpsnjrd1vi9.jpg

Two rounds. Two animals. And the first bobcat I've killed since about 1996. That one with a shotgun.

He wasn't a rotund specimen. But, he was long and wiry. Unfortunately, the bullet left a fist size exit wound on the off side. So, the hide was pretty much ruined. I skinned his skull to bleach and kept the hide off his head to make a tanned "mask".

Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2017%20-%20Copy_zpspplqozdb.jpg

All in all, a good day of load development and ballistic testing!! I love "science"!!!!

Terminal Performance to follow..............
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Damn that's a big bobcat ... front feet almost touching the ground and stretched out back feet almost at your shoulder!
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    Damn that's a big bobcat ... front feet almost touching the ground and stretched out back feet almost at your shoulder!

    It was funny how excited my friend was that I took the bobcat. He was going on and on about how happy he was, how much he hated them on his place and how glad he was I got the shot. You'd think I'd shot a trophy buck or something!

    Apparently, they ravage his quail population and occasionally mess with young fawns.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    It was funny how excited my friend was that I took the bobcat. He was going on and on about how happy he was, how much he hated them on his place and how glad he was I got the shot. You'd think I'd shot a trophy buck or something!

    Apparently, they ravage his quail population and occasionally mess with young fawns.

    Yes they do! We don't have that many here, the land we hunt down on the coast has the feral pig problem ... quail are really hurting up here.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    Nice work! Looks like a great day.
    I'm a bit discouraged about the CFE results. I'm hoping I do better.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,081 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    Damn that's a big bobcat ... front feet almost touching the ground and stretched out back feet almost at your shoulder!

    ...piñata dangling.........


    Nice shooting there hey.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,287 Senior Member
    Beautiful cat...nice shooting. thanks for this...I'm feeling better about the whole A-Max/ELD thing...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Great results overall - sucks that you couldn't save that hide on the bobcat, but opportunities aren't always perfect.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Awesome hunt and good news about the new bullet.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,583 Senior Member
    Good shooting and a lot of fun.
    Now, time for more testing with those bullets...Great start though!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    Cartridge: .308 Winchester
    Bullet: 168gr Hornady ELD-Match
    Muzzle Velocity: 2,600 fps
    Distance: 95 yards
    Angle: Slight Quartering Away
    Impact Velocity: 2,434 fps (est)
    Distance Traveled: 36 yards

    Entrance

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2018_zpslga87l2p.jpg

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2022_zpshpfdpldp.jpg

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2023_zps1q2sbqoy.jpg

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2027_zpsallrecvw.jpg

    The bullet struck no bones on entrance and left a very small hole through the rib cage.

    All evidence to this point lead me to believe the bullet would pencil through like a Sierra Match King. But, about 4" into the patch, the bullet appears to have fully expanded and created a MASSIVE Temporary Cavity! Only the lungs were struck by the bullet, but, due to the entrance being at the back of the lungs traveling slightly forward, the diaphragm was ruptured. Turning the chest cavity into a scene of carnage akin to a bomb exploding inside.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2026_zps4zhwzncv.jpg

    Entrance to left lung. The arrow indicating a low and rear entrance point.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2030_zpsgoe7vsbz.jpg

    Path through the lungs. (From right side of picture to the left.)

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2034_zpseu8iyety.jpg

    Exit through the middle of the right lung. I've not experienced this amount of bruising to the soft tissue of the lungs before. I've seen entire sections of a lung be destroyed. But, I've not witnessed this much bruising over the entirety of a lung while retaining such mass. The whole right lung appears to be pulverized. Really an interesting sight.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2032_zpsae0rpnvf.jpg

    As mentioned, the diaphragm was not punctured. But, it ruptured in such a way that the hydrostatic shock ripped through the adjoining liver and shredded the tissue in quite a catastrophic way.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2033_zpssrypkjst.jpg

    Exit through ribs. Two ribs being broken in the bullets path.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2029_zps1nhmltvl.jpg

    The damage done inside and the compromise of the divider between thoracic and abdominal cavity caused the entire chest cavity to be "discombobulated"! Resulting in half the liver protruding from the exit wound in the chest.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2024_zpsrwozpmgn.jpg

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2021_zpswp9pahi4.jpg

    That was an interesting sight, believe me.

    Doe%20%20Cat%20with%20168gr%20ELD-M%2001-24-17%2019_zps2m6o9f3p.jpg

    It appears to me that the ELD-Match bullet is "softer" than the A-Max in it's integrity. I've not seen temporary cavity and bruising results as this from comparable A-Max hits. This leads me to believe that the ELD-Match is akin to the TMK in it's integrity. It might be slightly stronger, as it passed through the whitetail doe while the TMK stopped in the Axis doe . But, the Axis was slightly thicker and might have stopped the ELD-Match. I speculate though, that it would have passed through. An unfounded speculated, true.

    My personal opinion from this one example, yes..............is that the ELD-Match is too soft for my liking. It wouldn't be a bad choice for deer sized game and can be a very accurate bullet it seems. But, if you gave me a choice between this bullet and the preexisting A-Max version for hunting.........I think I would stick with the A-Max. I have more bullets left I could and probably will load. I will also try and kill some more critters with it from this rifle. I've got them........might as well test them. So, this spring and summer I will subject them to several marauding pigs and draw a more thorough conclusion. All in the name of science!!!!

    I also need to get some of the ELD-X bullets that are designed for hunting and compare their results as well.

    I love learning!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    Now, time for more testing with those bullets...

    I may need help.............:hint, hint:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,583 Senior Member
    I AM IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    After my Dr. appointment on Monday I will have a better idea of what my restrictions or lack of will be.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    That damage may have been caused by bullet yaw after impact???

    I think shot placement and precise marksmanship is the biggest part of your success with these match bullets for hunting.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    That damage may have been caused by bullet yaw after impact???

    I think shot placement and precise marksmanship is the biggest part of your success with these match bullets for hunting.

    I seriously doubt a .30cal bullet tumbled after entrance, due to the fact it struck no bones and met little resistance other than soft tissue. Tumbling tends to be an occurrence with lighter bullets that don't expand or with non-expanding heavier ones after striking hard objects like windshields, doors, or other rigid media......like bone.

    Shot placement is always critical, but the integrity of a bullet has more to do with the actual internal damage done. The exact same shot and bullet path with a Sierra Match King would NOT have resulted in the same amount of internal damage.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I dont doubt what you're saying.
    I can't watch videos, but Ive always suspected bullet path and potential for yaw after impact can be influenced by movement ot the target during impact.

    I put more weight in your analyse than my suspicion here because you're doing the autopsy.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I don't see pics of the bobcats wounds.

    Failure to take pics of them was an oversight on my part.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Remind me again why we pay you so much?

    Good looks?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Like I said...

    The things I do for you...........

    I went and found the carcass. It has decomposed, dried up, and shrunk a little in the past 4 days since his demise.........but here ya go............

    IMG_1450_zpslqqrosni.jpg

    IMG_1452_zpslnkwe40g.jpg

    Quit'cher bitch'n.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Much better. Nice save.
    But don't act like doing your job is doing me a favor. Don't let it happen again


    Yes Sir.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    The things I do for you...........

    I went and found the carcass. It has decomposed, dried up, and shrunk a little in the past 4 days since his demise.........but here ya go............

    IMG_1450_zpslqqrosni.jpg

    IMG_1452_zpslnkwe40g.jpg

    Quit'cher bitch'n.

    This has got to be at least half as bad as the yellow brick **** trail :vomit:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Tis true. Likely covers a few bases.
    Used to work with a guy that was half Indian (casino) half Mexican. And at the time pushing 60. He said he was our "diversity trifecta. "


    Hey! I'm part Cherokee!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Hey! I'm part Cherokee!!

    Yeah? Which part?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,555 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Cool. We will add it to the list.
    1. Midget.
    2. Mentally deficient.
    3. ****.
    But no longer with a small creature living on his face.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    But no longer with a small creature living on his face.


    Sad to say.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Hondo341Hondo341 Member Posts: 448 Member
    Your bullet placement is perfect as usual Zee. You could shoot them with pencils and still kill. You have had one heck of a season!
    "People are responsible to play a role in their own safety." Sheriff David Clarke 2016
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,559 Senior Member
    Is your concern over internal damage done borne out of a desire to preserve edible meat, or some other reason?
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    Is your concern over internal damage done borne out of a desire to preserve edible meat, or some other reason?

    Nothin to do with meat damage. I'm pretty conscious about placing the bullet in a spot that minimizes loss.

    What I see lends me to believe that the bullet opened more rapidly than a comparable A-Max. Which is not a problem on a broadside deer or similar sized hog. But, could pose a problem with raking or angled shots where penetration is needed. The results are only one example. So, I plan to load the remaining 66 bullets and thoroughly test them this spring and summer on pigs. To derive a more conclusive data base.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    Hondo341 wrote: »
    Your bullet placement is perfect as usual Zee. You could shoot them with pencils and still kill. You have had one heck of a season!

    Thanks. It has been rather productive!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,559 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Nothin to do with meat damage. I'm pretty conscious about placing the bullet in a spot that minimizes loss.

    What I see lends me to believe that the bullet opened more rapidly than a comparable A-Max. Which is not a problem on a broadside deer or similar sized hog. But, could pose a problem with raking or angled shots where penetration is needed. The results are only one example. So, I plan to load the remaining 66 bullets and thoroughly test them this spring and summer on pigs. To derive a more conclusive data base.

    So then, is your goal to determine the viability of this bullet for the specific purposes of hunting, or a more comprehensive evaluation of its capabilities/limitations in general applications? Either way, getting there sure looks fun.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,912 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    So then, is your goal to determine the viability of this bullet for the specific purposes of hunting, or a more comprehensive evaluation of its capabilities/limitations in general applications? Either way, getting there sure looks fun.

    I forsee the A-Max line being completely dropped in the future. I want to know if the bullet that will likely replace the A-Max in the TAP line of ammunition will do for me what the A-Max has done in the past or if I should start looking elsewhere for the desired results.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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