Hornady ELD-X or Barnes LRX for long range Elk?

Lennyjoe

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Doing some research for an Elk load using a Savage 116 in .300 WSM and am tossing around the 2 bullets above in the 175/178 gr weight and looks for any real world experience with those 2 bullets. I’ve had great success with a 30-06 and 180 gr Nosler Partitions over the years on Elk in Arizona but I’ve always had shots under 100 yards. The next couple of years I’m planning on going out to Colorado for Elk and want to use the .300 WSM in case I have shots out a little farther. Understand that the .300 WSM and 30-06 aren’t that much apart in performance it maybe just a little less drop out to 300-400 yards is a small confidence booster.

We wont get into bullet drop/range finding and it’s importance here, as that’s another conversation. I’m just looking for feedback on how those bullets perform as I see an article here and there questioning the ELD-X performance in the field. I initially started building loads with the ELD-X but am questioning that bullet choice now.

Thanks in advance.
 
Two outstanding bullets, IMO. I don’t have any on-game experience with either one, but you can’t really go wrong with either one. I’d pick the one that my rifle shoots better.

Either will do a number on elk, I’m sure.

Only other bullet I’d look at is Hammer.
 
I’ve shot large animals with both the ttsx and the tsx out of a .300wsm. They killed stuff. I feel like the ttsx is closer to the lrx. If it helps it killed stuff faster. I was using 180grs.
 
Those 2 are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The ELDX is a softer bullet that will expand well at lower impact speeds. They don't penetrate as deep but do a lot of damage when they hit. The solid copper bullets don't expand as much but penetrate deeper. They also need to impact at around 2000 fps or they don't expand at all.

You might want to plug in some numbers to a ballistics program and see what the impact speeds of various bullets would be at 400 yards. The copper bullets might not be moving fast enough at that range to expand at all. I think you'll be OK to at least 400, but I'd run some numbers. You will reach a point where the ELDX is a better choice at longer ranges. The copper bullet should do better as long as it is moving fast enough to expand.

You should be able to get 2950 fps with the ELD's from a 300 WSM. That's about 150 fps faster than 30-06 and only about 50 fps slower than 300 WM. That means a little less drop, but the most important thing is that it increases the range where bullets impact fast enough to expand. You can always compensate for bullet drop.

Because copper is lighter than lead; bullets of the same weight made of copper are longer. This leaves less room in the case for powder. Partly because of that and just because of the nature of copper means you won't be able to shoot them as fast as conventional bullets. If you do choose copper I'd drop down to 165 gr bullets and pick up more speed. The 165's in a solid copper bullet will penetrate more than 180 gr lead bullet.

But at the same time the Partitions you've been using will probably be fine. 400 yards isn't really that far and if you run the numbers the Partitions are still a good bullet at that range. I understand that Accubonds are hard to find right now but they are another option. Nosler Ballisitc Tips got a reputation years ago for overexpansion. Nosler got a lot of complaints and several years ago started making the jackets thicker to reduce expansion and increase penetration. By all accounts those bullets are just as effective as Partitions and Accubonds now.
 
I don’t have any direct experience on elk with either bullet, so take this for what it’s worth. If it were me, between those two, I’m going with the LRX every time. Especially out of a magnum. I’m not fond of cup-and-core bullets on elk. I’ve witnessed a bad experience at close range and high velocity. Elk are tough animals. Yes, I know folks have killed a bunch of elk with eldx bullets, and shot placement is king of everything. I don’t care. Give me the tougher bullet. Especially if there is a chance—and I think there is—that you have a shot within 100 yards. The ELDX is going to struggle to stay together at wsm velocities at that range.

Barnes lists loads up to 3100 fps for the 175 LRX and 300 wsm. Assuming 3050, you’ll stay above 2000 fps past 600 yards at any altitude. You’ll have enough velocity to make that bullet work at sane hunting distances. If it shoots acceptably out of your rifle, go with it. If not, I like your partition or an accubond better than the eldx for elk. Or Federal’s terminal ascent.
 
I personally been wanting to give the Hornady ELD-X bullets a try.
As far as your 300wsm compared to 30-06 it should give you about 200 fps more velocity with a 178 grain bullet. Or more energy at 500 yards than the 30-06 gives you at 400 yards.
 
I personally been wanting to give the Hornady ELD-X bullets a try.
As far as your 300wsm compared to 30-06 it should give you about 200 fps more velocity with a 178 grain bullet. Or more energy at 500 yards than the 30-06 gives you at 400 yards.
I wouldn't be afraid of either bullet from 0 to 300yds. Past 300 I'm going with the Eldx. I haven't taken any game yet with the LRX but I have the Eldx in several calibers including 300wm, 30-06, and .308 win. My Sil has taken several with 6.5cm that I loaded for him.
The early SST did have problems staying together at high velocity, but the ELD-X was designed with a thicker jacket to prevent this. I haven't taken Elk yet, but I have been using the Eldx for about 5yrs now and shot dozens of deer from 10yds to 400yds and they have not failed me yet. I usually take heart or double lung shots and at 300yds or less, I have yet to have an ELDx not exit and leave at least a golf ball sized hole.
This doe is the typical result, she was hit about 120yds with 300wm and 200eldx. 20181223_075052.jpg
 
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But at the same time the Partitions you've been using will probably be fine. 400 yards isn't really that far and if you run the numbers the Partitions are still a good bullet at that range.
^^^^^^^^^^ This. You used them before, why quit now?

I killed 2 elk in Wyoming in the '70s using a 7mm 140 gr. Partition. Both were 400+ yards. The newest fad to come along isn't always the best.
 
Not to high jack the thread. Just an FYI!

I helped a friend get some loaded ammo for his 300wsm before a Elk/Muledeer hunt last fall. Finding ammo for the 300wsm was like a needle in a haystack.

I found a few boxes of Norma loaded with 180gr BondStrike. The ammo worked well on both species. The deer at 350 yards and the elk at just over 400 yards.
He was happy with the results and bought 4 more boxes.
 
Got some 175 gr Barnes LRX and man I can hear the crunch with IMR 4350 and a compressed load. Following their listed load and Im starting with that powder.
 
Good luck, Barnes “LRX” never made sense to me given both the lack luster BC and documented lack of expansion with all copper at reduced impact velocity.

And yes I’ve tried Barnes a couple of times on game and they need a higher impact velocity to kill cleanly.
 
.https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/tested-hornady-eld-x-bullet/

This may help
 
.https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/tested-hornady-eld-x-bullet/

This may help
The link provides great information on the bullet design and fligh dynamics, but I’m more interested in its actual performance in regards to penetration and expansion/retention.
 
Lots of cow elk taken by family and friends here with ELD-X. 6.5 Creedmoor 143 gr. ELD-Xs
 
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Doing some research for an Elk load using a Savage 116 in .300 WSM and am tossing around the 2 bullets above in the 175/178 gr weight and looks for any real world experience with those 2 bullets. I’ve had great success with a 30-06 and 180 gr Nosler Partitions over the years on Elk in Arizona but I’ve always had shots under 100 yards.

Partitions have always worked well for me too. With the 300 wsm, at 400 yards will be moving as fast as your -06 will push them at ~275'ish. I wouldn't rule them out, if they have always been winner.

I get trying new stuff out but I rarely do if a hunt is important to me.
 
Partitions have always worked well for me too. With the 300 wsm, at 400 yards will be moving as fast as your -06 will push them at ~275'ish. I wouldn't rule them out, if they have always been winner.

I get trying new stuff out but I rarely do if a hunt is important to me.

I don't go elk or moose hunting very often, but when I have and been lucky enough to get a shot I've always been using Partitions. And they have always killed what I shot. I don't know, there probably are better bullets, but I don't get enough opportunities to experiment to prove it to myself.

I understand that western hunting can afford longer shots than what you get here back east. But not every shot. In my experience, most elk will be taken under 400 at which the difference in trajectory between a Partition and an ELD-x will be a couple of inches at most. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
I won’t say that the ELD-X isn’t a suitable elk bullet because I’m sure that it is. However it bothers me that Hornandy uses the “X” moniker in that bullet, it’s false advertising.

As far as I can tell the ELD X is nothing more than an aerodynamic and slightly improved Interlock. Hit an elk in the vitals with the ELD-X and it’s going to die. But it’s not a true premium controlled expansion bullet If that matters to you.

I’d give them a try in a heavy for caliber bullet for sure. I’d be real careful using them in a light for caliber, high velocity set up on elk.
 
I won’t say that the ELD-X isn’t a suitable elk bullet because I’m sure that it is. However it bothers me that Hornandy uses the “X” moniker in that bullet, it’s false advertising.

As far as I can tell the ELD X is nothing more than an aerodynamic and slightly improved Interlock. Hit an elk in the vitals with the ELD-X and it’s going to die. But it’s not a true premium controlled expansion bullet If that matters to you.

I’d give them a try in a heavy for caliber bullet for sure. I’d be real careful using them in a light for caliber, high velocity set up on elk.
I'm not sure what about the "x" is false advertising, it was my understanding the x is for eXpansion, and the M is for match, I may have missed something though.... we treat the M like an amax(thinner more brittle jacket) and the x like a basic sst with a thicker jacket as far as terminal expectations. Like a poly tipped corelokt?
 
I'm not sure what about the "x" is false advertising, it was my understanding the x is for eXpansion, and the M is for match, I may have missed something though.... we treat the M like an amax(thinner more brittle jacket) and the x like a basic sst with a thicker jacket as far as terminal expectations. Like a poly tipped corelokt?
You’re correct, it just seems to me that they threw the X moniker in there to suggest that it’s an “X” bullet as in Barnes X and that it has the same penetration qualities and toughness. I have people ask me if the ELD X is a Barnes style bullet all the time. Whether Hornady did that on purpose or not, that’s the impression that people get when they see the X in the name.
 
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