Hunting -vs- Match Bullets Part 2: Down-Range Velocity

Wondering how match bullets and hunting bullets compare for hunting applications? In this “part 2” story, we’ll expand on the muzzle velocity 6.5 Creedmoor testing we did in the first story. This time we’ll look at How Hornady’s 140 grain ELD-M Match bullet and their 143 grain ELD-X hunting bullets perform in ballistic gel at 400 yard and 800 yard velocities!

Disclaimer

Ultimate Reloader LLC / Making with Metal Disclaimer: (by reading this article and/or watching video content you accept these terms)

  • The content on this website (including videos, articles, ammunition reloading data, technical articles, gunsmithing and other information) is for demonstration purposes only.
  • Do not attempt any of the processes or procedures shown or described on this website.
  • All gunsmithing procedures should be carried out by a qualified and licensed gunsmith at their own risk.
  • Do not attempt to repair or modify any firearms based on information on this website
  • Ultimate Reloader, LLC and Making With Metal can not be held liable for property or personal damage due to viewers/readers of this website performing activities, procedures, techniques, or practices described in whole or part on this website.
  • By accepting these terms, you agree that you alone are solely responsible for your own safety and property as it pertains to activities, procedures, techniques, or practices described in whole or part on this website.

Quick Review: Part 1

Here’s the video from part 1 which compared muzzle velocity (2800 fps) performance for the ELD-M match bullets and 143 grain ELD-X bullets:

Test 1: 143 grain ELD-X

High-level results for this test:

  • Measured jacket wall thickness .037″
  • Velocity average of 2645fps and approximately 2200ft ft-lb of energy at the muzzle
  • Bullet penetrated gel 24.5in
  • Retained mass 104.24 gr

Test 2: 140 grain ELD-M

High-level results for this test:

  • Measured jacket wall thickness .023″
  • Velocity average of 2638fps and approximately 2200ft ft-lb of energy at the muzzle
  • Bullet penetrated gel 19.5″
  • Retained mass 97.92 gr

With this review of “Series 1” testing complete, let’s look at the down-loaded velocity testing from “Series 2”!

Series 2 testing: 2,200 FPS

When we lowered velocity from 2,800 fps down to 2,200 fps, things behaved differently as you may expect!

Hornady 140 grain ELD-M Match Bullet at 2,200 FPS

The 143 grain ELD-M bullet performed surprisingly well at 2,200 fps- very good expansion, very good internal “wound channel” as shown in the high speed camera frame above. The bullet penetrated 23.0″ total.

Retained weight was 130.42 grains for 93.0% weight retention.

Hornady 140 grain ELD-M Match Bullet at 1,800 FPS

Performance dropped when velocity was lowered to 1,800 fps as you would expect. The “wound channel” above is significantly smaller compared to the 2,200 fps test. Bullet expansion was minimal, and the bullet actually exited the bottom of the gel, and penetrated the plywood underneath.

Weight retention was 135.22 grains for 96.5% weight retention.

Hornady 143 grain ELD-X Match Bullet at 2,200 FPS

The 143 grain ELD-X bullet had the more impressive 2,200 fps “wound channel” compared to the 140 ELD-M for sure:

You would expect this based on the fact that this is a hunting bullet!

Retained weight was 113.73 grains for 79.5% weight retention. This was a surprise- more than 10% less weight retained compared to the 140 ELD-M match bullet!

Hornady 143 grain ELD-X Match Bullet at 1,800 FPS

How would the 143 ELD-X hunting bullet perform at lower (1,800 fps) velocity? Let’s take a look:

This is where the difference between the ELD-X and ELD-M was most evident. The “wound channel” for this low velocity test was *MUCH* more impressive compared to the ELD-M match bullet!

Weight retention was 127.05 grains for 88.8% weight retention.

These bullets performed more similarly compared to what we thought. However, when you compare the 1,800 fps performance, the 143 grain ELD-X hunting bullet is the clear winner.

Get the Gear

Here are some of the items used during the production of this story:

Hornady 6.5mm 143 grain ELD-X bullets

Hornady 6.5mm 140 grain ELD-M bullets

Hodgdon H-4350 Powder

Ruger RPR 6.5 Creedmoor

Clear Ballistics Gel 

Don’t miss out on Ultimate Reloader updates, make sure you’re subscribed!

Thanks,
Gavin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Reloading Safety

Polls