6.5 120 and 140 ELD-M's for hunting

rjm158

Handloader
Oct 15, 2009
561
91
I know there are several posters who have successfully used the 6.5 147 ELD-M's on deer and elk with stellar results. However, I recently tried some Hornady factory loads using the 140 and 120 ELD-M's and both shot very accurately from my rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. I haven't seen any water tests done, either, and wondered if there was some facet of the 147's that overshadowed the other two weights apart from BC.

If anyone has tried the 140 or 120 grain bullets on live critters and/or water jugs, what results did you obtain?

Ron
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
Ron, just me and other May chime in but I’d probably be fine with the 140’s but may shy away from the 120’s. I think the reason the 140, 143 and 147’s are working so well for us using them is the relatively slow FPS. None of mine are over 2800 launch speed and get slower from there. So it’s just a bunch easier on the bullet at impact. I’d be less than thrilled to launch that 147 at 3100 from my 264 and expect much good from it unless I was disciplined enough to keep it on ribs and avoid bones. At 6.5 start speeds those thin skinned devils seem to do excellent.
 

rjm158

Handloader
Oct 15, 2009
561
91
That would make sense, Scotty. In my mind I was picturing the 120's strictly being for deer, antelope, etc. but maybe they would be to fragile for that, too. Actually, they would all be for deer since I don't have the opportunity to hunt for anything larger but the velocity would vary depending whether I shot them from a Creedmoor/260/6.5x55/6.5 PRC.

Ron
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
Ron, if you’re the type to take archery sorta shots, meaning quartering away or dead broadside I’d use any of them, and I’m not saying they won’t crush bone, but I think the magic of them lays in the long, relatively high BC at a normal speed. Let’s bullets really strut their stuff. Again, this is all me guessing as I haven’t taken a deer with the 120 ELD M. Now but that same 120 and put it in the Grendel and I’d probably be just fine.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,997
564
It may be just me, as I know that there are several guys out there hunting with the ELD-M's...
But it is a match bullet. And the ELD-X is the hunting bullet.

When the manufacturer even says that they do not recommend their match bullets for hunting, as they cannot guarantee its performance on game, I will heed their advice and stick to their hunting bullets!
But this is my personal choice! And recommendation.

I understand wanting to use the most accurate load in a rifle for hunting...but cannot understand people using a product (match bullet meant for targets) for something it was not designed for (hunting live game)...
Just seems unethical and disrespectful to the animals...jmho

I have had good results with 143 gr ELD-X ammo for accuracy, and have successfully harvested a moose with that ammo out of my 6.5 Creedmoor. I know, only one harvest to date, but it has been my only chance when hunting with that rifle to date.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
I agree with you for the most part Gil. I just couldn’t tell much difference between the 143 vs their 147.

I didn’t personally take any deer with the 143 but friends and family have with good results. I had good results from the 147. Small sample of maybe 20 deer between the 143 and 147 between Hornady factory and my handloads but for deer sized stuff they don’t bother me much. Haven’t caught one in a deer yet.



 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,864
595
Scotty, what I am excited about is I already ran through the old box ( 500 rnd ) of Berger Hybrid 140's for my 6.5 Creedmoor, and I am eyeing two boxes of 143 ELd-X and two boxes of 147's on my shelf, and going to do a load development with the ELD's for the first time for this rifle. :twisted: Of course, annealing is first thing I am going to do this weekend. I want to try them on a deer this season and see results.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,113
11
Those both look good Scotty. I believe the ELD-X has a thicker jacket and of course the interlock ring (albeit tiny) so it may handle higher speeds a bit better. I saw a picture somewhere where someone sectioned the two side by side. It looks like for deer at the slower speeds from the smaller 6.5's you wouldn't see any kind of difference in performance.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
gerry":25fflcl6 said:
Those both look good Scotty. I believe the ELD-X has a thicker jacket and of course the interlock ring (albeit tiny) so it may handle higher speeds a bit better. I saw a picture somewhere where someone sectioned the two side by side. It looks like for deer at the slower speeds from the smaller 6.5's you wouldn't see any kind of difference in performance.

Yeah, I am not sure how "interlocking" that ring is since it is so slight, but I am sure it does help some. I have seen a few videos where the 143 didn't expand real hot at distance but it was in gel blocks. It all falls back to what you want and how hard you push them. I personally wouldn't use either one in a cartridge much over about 2800, once they get above 2800 or so, I kinda like something that will withstand the closer impact speeds.

If I could make the ABLR's shoot consistently for me, I'd use them everywhere, but so far I am about 0-10 with them! :lol:
 
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