Hornady ELD-X Bullets Announced

ELD-X™ (Extremely Low Drag - eXpanding) Conventional polymer tips (ALL bullet manufacturers) in high BC bullets melt in flight. Hornady® engineers discovered that conventional bullet tip materials in streamlined, high BC bullets melt and deform.

Hornady is offering the new ELD-X bullets in a line of ammo called Precision Hunter that will be loaded in the following cartridges:

6.5 Creedmoor, 143-gr. @ 2,700 fps* 
7mm Rem. Mag., 162-gr. @ 2,975 fps
.308 Win., 178-gr. @ 2,600 fps* 
.30/06, 178-gr. @ 2,750 fps*
.300 RCM, 178-gr. 2,900 fps* 
.300 Win Mag., 200-gr. @ 2,860 fps
.300 RUM, 220-gr. @ 2,910 fps
.30-378 Wby. Mag., 220-gr. @ 3,025 fps*

*Muzzle velocities listed with an asterisk are estimates as Hornady is still developing these loads.

Hornady is also releasing these bullets as individual components, along with a number of other bullets in the ELD-X line. Here are the calibers, grain weights and B.C.s.

6.5mm, 143-gr. (G1 .620 / G7 .310)
7mm, 162-gr. (G1 .613 / G7 .308)
7mm, 175-gr. (G1 .660 / G7 .330)
.308, 178-gr. (G1 .535 / G7 .271)*
.308, 200-gr. (G1 .626 / G7 .315)
.308, 212-gr. (G1 .673 / G7 .336)
.308, 220-gr. (G1 .650 / G7 .325)
*The B.C. on this bullet is an estimate as Hornady is still developing this projectile.

Here’s a little more background on how this new line of bullets came to be. As you might guess, having the tip of your bullet melt off during flight is less than ideal, as this will alter the bullet’s B.C. leading to issues both with accuracy and with the ability of the shooter to correctly predict bullet drop with a ballistic calculator. This variance in B.C. is how Hornady learned about this problem in the first place. While profiling bullets using a Doppler radar system, Hornady noticed that the drag on tipped bullets was increasing as their speed dropped in a way that didn’t make sense. (When charting drag vs. mach speed, the curve is supposed to have a concave profile, but the curve with the high B.C. tipped bullets was convex.)

After experimenting with new tip materials, Hornady achieved results that not only conformed to the correct concave drag curve but that offered more consistent drag coefficients from bullet to bullet.Better yet, Hornady says these bullets are exhibiting excellent terminal ballistics in gel, both at high-speeds (3,000 fps and up) all the way down to 1,600 fps, which would represent the impact velocity on a very long shot. The way the bullet is designed, hunters can expect to see 50 to 60 percent weight retention at close ranges with high impact velocity and more weight retention at long ranges with lower impact velocity. (Spotty terminal ballistics is one of the issues with shooting game with match bullets, which might have great accuracy but are not designed to expand or penetrate animals in a consistent manner.)

Additionally, Hornady is coming out with a line of ELD Match bullets in 2016 as well. These are the four bullets in the Match line.

6.5mm, 140-gr (G1 .610 / G7 .305)
7mm, 162-gr. (G1 .627 / G7 .313)
.308, 208-gr. (G1 670 / G7 .335)
.338, 285-gr. (G1 .789)

Hornady will load two of these bullets in factory ammo:
6.5 Creedmoor, 140-gr. ELD Match
.338 Lapua Mag., 285-gr. ELD Match

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