I was lucky enough to tour the Hornady plant last week in Grand Island, Nebraska. I was able to see some of their new products for 2016.
They have come up with some very interesting products. With the current trend/craze of long range shooting they have come out with a new long range hunting bullet. Although that doesn’t sound like anything new as most of their competitors have long range hunting projectiles on the market, however they did it different and appeared to have done it right. First of all they just didn’t re-package a target bullet and call it a long range hunter, in fact Hornady plainly states that target bullets should not be used to hunt game as there are not engineered to expand.
In talking with a few of their engineers and getting the story on developing the ELD-X(Extreme Low Drag- Expanding) they discovered that their and competitors tipped bullets had the possibility for the tip to melt under certain conditions at extended ranges, over 400 yards. From what I could make of this is that is caused by friction and centrifugal force as the bullets spins through the air at extended ranges. They learned that the deformation of the tip would change the bullets BC and cause a deviation in flight path enough to cause misses at extended ranges.
They then started from the ground up and designed a new tip that was heat resistant and built a very high BC (ballistic coefficient) hunting bullet. They designed the jacket through their AMP (advanced manufacturing process) a highly consistent drawing process with their Interlock ring to retain jacket core integrity upon impact and expansion. The problem that can exist with target bullets in a hunting situation is that expansion can be hindered by the jacket as they are usually engineered for accuracy not expansion. The hollow point on a target bullet is not there for expansion but is just a “by product” of forming the bullet. It is not there to initiate expansion. This was a true from the ground up design, although with their previous experience they knew how to build the features they wanted.
In the field testing process they have shot numerous head game from 65 yards out to 930 yards using the same hunting rifle. All kills have been one shot kills and performance has been spectacular.
Although I do have to say, that is a lot farther than I can shoot and just because the bullet is engineered for long range it doesn’t make the shooter a long range hunter!
I am eager to give these a try, of course at ranges that I feel comfortable in shooting. Will keep you posted on success with these bullets.