My experience with the Hornady 147 ELD-M on game. *A Lot of Shot Videos and photos*

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by codyadams, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    First off in this write up, I will start by saying that I know this bullet was not designed as a hunting bullet, that is pretty obvious as it states that in the name of the bullet. I decided to give this bullet a try for several reasons. First off, there are many, many people on here that have stated good experience with this bullet, with excellent on game performance. Also, I personally have used the A-MAX bullets with great success, which while different, are similar design to the ELD-M. I am in no way disappointed with Hornady manufacturing, as they did not design this bullet for hunting.

    Looking at bullet design when compared with cross sections of the 143 ELD-X, the hunting designated brother of the 147, the ELD-M has a slightly thicker jacked at the nose area of the bullet, and stays the same thickness throughout the entirety of the bullet, where the ELD-X starts out very slightly thinner at the nose portion, and tapers thicker the farther back it goes, and in the rear, approximately 2/3rds the way up from the base of the bullet, there is a small Interlock ring, designed to keep the core and jacket together. Another difference you notice is in the shape of the heat shield tip itself, the ELD-M has a larger diameter portion that protrudes into the bullet core, where it appears the ELD-X is somewhat tapered. External dimensions of these two bullets are otherwise very similar, with the BC advantage going to the 147.

    To some, the thicker nose portion of the ELD-M has been looked at as favorable when compared to the ELD-X, as this prevents over expansion that some people have reported at close range impacts with the ELD-X. To me, in comparing these two bullets, I believed the 147 would prove to be a very good bullet for hunting, and was excited when I realized how many tags my family had drawn for pronghorn this year (19 in the entire family) and knew it would be an excellent change to test this bullet out.

    There are two rifles that have utilized this bullet so far this year, one being a newly built .264 win mag, with a 1:7.5 twist Krieger 4 grove. This was sending the 147 at 3,240 fps. The other, my old stand by, a .260 Ackley Improved with a Krieger 1:8 twist 4 groove, sending the 147 at 3050 fps. Both bullets are HBN coated.

    So far this year, These two rifles have accounted for 10 pronghorn (only one of which was shot with the .264, the other 9 with my .260 AI), shot at ranges from 125 yards to 980 yards, and 4 Mule deer shot from ranges of 565 yards out to 680 yards, for a total of 14 animals. I will shot videos of all that were recorded, and describe the others that were not.

    Before we get into the on game terminal performance part of this post, keep in mind that a CNS hit (central nervous system) such as a neck, back, or brain impact, will essentially have the same initial result with a hunting bullet as it would a FMJ, the animal will drop in it's tracks, and even with a FMJ, if the spine is hit and the bullet has enough impact velocity, there will be secondary projectiles made in the form of bone fragments that may act as a fragmenting bullet, and severe arteries, puncture lungs, etc., and create a quick kill. So in this, I will not spend much time on description of bullet performance on CNS hits, as they can be deceiving when evaluation bullet terminal performance.

    The first animal taken was a fawn pronghorn by my 12 year old niece, taken at 425 yards. The bullet entered behind the shoulder, at the base of the spine. The animal dropped in it's tracks, as base spine hits typically do. Entrance was bullet hole sized, exit was approximately 1" diameter. Video of shot in link below, though there isn't much to see



    Second animal was a little more interesting, as you will see in the video. Range was 340 yards, Doe pronghorn taken by my wife. Shot placement was perfect, 1/2" above the brown/white line for elevation, and strait up the leg, on a very slightly forward quartering shot. Upon impact, I knew it was a good hit, and expected the animal to go down almost instantly. Instead, she did a death run for approximately 14 seconds, and then fell over, but her head stayed up for another 16 seconds, then she continued to breath for another 35 seconds. Upon inspection of the animal, impact was bullet sized, exit was 2" diameter and had bloody lung pouring out, so I did not understand why it took so long for the animal to expire. I chalked it up to simply some animals have more adrenaline than others, and sometimes things happen, though it was somewhat upsetting to my wife, as this was her first year hunting, and her first ever animal taken. She eventually overcame it, and was happy to have harvested an animal for the table. Link to the video below:



    The next animal taken was a doe pronghorn taken by my sister. On the first shot, there was some wind that we didn't account for around the bluff approximately 200 yards in front of us that blew the shot back from where we wanted it. This was my fault, and the shot impacted back in the flank. The doe ran about 200 yards and layed down, and we got lined back up on it and corrected for wind, and my sister made a great shot at the base of the neck/front of the shoulder. Both shots were right around 660 yards. While the first shot didn't put it down, I will not blame the bullet for poor shot placement. And the second shot severed the spine at the base of the neck, also not good for judging performance. On both shots, bullet sized entrance and 1" exit. Video, just because.



    The next pronghorn was one of mine, a doe at approximately 250 yards, after ranging the group I knew I didn't need a very specific range. No video on this one sadly, but photos of the animal. I placed my shot right at the brown/white line strait up from the leg, entrance was bullet sized and exit was 1" diameter, the doe ran about 50 yards behind the bluff, I did not see how long it took to expire.
    44223959_175371220055725_926273357387661312_n.jpg 44345742_274526493189043_3051030009847218176_n.jpg 44198838_491134574726167_5363581581883604992_n.jpg

    The next animal was my deer, a big bodied mulie taken at 565 yards. I will try to get the video up, but it was taken on my cousins phone so I do not have the ability to upload it now. I took the shot right as the deer took a step, so my bullet entered in the rear most rib, taking out the liver, and guts. The buck ran approximately 100 yards and piled up. What was most concerning about this shot, was that the bullet did not exit the body cavity, I actually found it inside the body of the deer. it entered through a rib and only encountered the liver and stomach of the deer, and stopped upon impacting the far rib cage. the bullet was beautifully mushroomed down to nearly the top of the boat tail, but I messed up and left it on the mountain on accident. While the deer died relatively quickly, this is where I began to question these bullets, considering a couple of the other kills so far. But, again, I decided it may be a one time thing, and wanted to conduct further testing prior to giving up on this bullet.

    The next animal was again, a doe pronghorn my niece took around 353 yards. This doe was bedded with it's back facing us. The shot entered at the base of the spine and went through the lungs, a solid CNS hit and the doe never even got up. entrance bullet sized, exit 2" on this one, a little bigger. Pictures below, and Video in link:
    20180923_143514.jpg 20180923_144738.jpg


    The next was a pronghorn doe my father took at approximately 300 yards. I did not witness the shot, but saw the animal. It hit a little forward, top front of the shoulder, severing the spine. This one was messy....bullet sized entrance and about a 4" exit, after going through shoulder blade and spine bone. The doe of course dropped in her tracks. However, the bullet caused massive damage, I presume in part to all the bone hit, as well as an impact velocity of around 2870 fps.

    The next was a buck pronghorn taken by my sister at 850 yards. The shot went about half a minute forward of where I wanted it, but in doing so took out the front of the shoulder and the base of the neck, severing the spine, causing the buck to drop in place. Entrance was bullet sized, exit was 1", about par for what I had been seeing. Video in link:
    44168586_711238985911986_3936003790645231616_n.jpg


    The next was a deer my wife took, a decent 3x3 at 680 yards. This was not on video, but I will include a couple pictures in a following post. The bullet entered about 2" back from just behind the shoulder on a solid broadside shot, still a good double lung shot, and took out the arteries at the base of the spine, not directly hitting it, but very close. The buck dropped in place. Entrance was bullet sized, exit was about 1" diameter.
    44304562_175568643362875_7932607405173506048_n.png
    44254013_2112991228965823_7552252295509966848_n.jpg
    The next was a collared pronghorn doe I took at 125 yards. This one was shocking to me. I have it on video, but my cousin has it so I will try to upload it in a later post. My shot was perfect, I was prone on bipod. Strait up the leg right where the white and brown meet. She ran over 200 yards before stopping, and a few moments later fell over, legs kicking. Entrance was bullet sized, exit was 2-2.5" with lung coming out of the hole, massive blood trail, I could see it hosing out while she was running, but still was able to run an incredible distance. When I upload the video, you will even hear the surprise from me in her reaction.

    The next one....shows the importance of communication between spotter and shooter in long range hunting. It was a pronghorn doe my wife took at 500 yards on the nose. We had about 1.25 MOA of wind, left to right. I told my wife to turn the turret forward (adjusting to the left) 1.25 MOA, well she took that as go up in numerical value on the turret, as adjusting to the left is -1, -2, -3 and so on, and adjusting right was 1, 2, 3 and so on. So, she adjusted in the wrong direction 1.25 MOA, and hit....exactly 2.5 MOA or 10-11" back, in the guts. The doe ran about 75 yards and stopped, and fell over shortly after. When we got up to it, it was still slightly alive and my wife put a shot in it's brain. Very unfortunate, but a good lesson. We will work more on communication this off season. Entrance was bullet sized, exit was also bullet diameter, possibly evidence of lack of expansion, however I will not say anything about bullet performance on this, as I stated, I will not blame a bullet for poor shot placement. Video in link.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecV_I6F5oRc&feature=youtu.be

    The next is my Father's deer, a nice 3x3 that was taken at 580 yards with his .264 wm. No video on this one. The shot actually impacted above the spine right on the shoulder, dropping the deer in his tracks. It did not severe the spine, but the shock must have been enough to keep it down. impact was bullet sized, exit was under 1". This deer was still alive when we got there, and my father slit it's throat to bleed it out. Again, not the best shot placement, and cannot really judge terminal performance on this.

    The next was a doe mule deer shot by my niece, also at 580 yards, immediately after my father shot his deer. Her shot was broadside, strait up the leg, right on top of the heart. The deer ran about 50 yards and piled up, tail quivering. Bullet sized entrance, and .75" exit, rather small considering it went through both shoulder joints. Either way, a very dead deer. Still, it had me questioning bullet expansion, shock on animal, and consistency.


    The last, and most recent one, was pretty far, and gave me solid evidence to go off of. It was a pronghorn buck that my 12 year old niece took at 980 yards. In the video, it looks like it impacted high on the first shot, but it impacted about 2" below the spine. He was slightly quartered away, and it went near one of the rear ribs and exited right behind the shoulder, going through both lungs. As you see in the video, he ran a little and stopped. He stood there for 1 minute and 35 seconds in the untrimmed video before the second shot, which was misplaced due to me not going over shot placement good enough with my niece. Though he was quartering forward hard as you see, she aimed behind the shoulder. Well, the bullet impacted behind the shoulder, and exited in the flank. She didn't understand what I meant by "point of the shoulder". The animal then walked over and eventually layed down, but was still moving after another 5 minutes of observation, when we decided we needed to get over there to finish him. By the time we got there, he was already dead, and I was extremely surprised to find that both shots impacted, and neither one expanded, at all. Bullet sized entrance AND exits, with hardly any noticeable blood on the outside of the animal. Impact velocity, even at this range, was still 1,940 fps, with 1,228 ft lbs retained energy. You will see more detail in the video and images. Video link below images.

    44183252_489940591522881_5261400160973357056_n.jpg 44288486_1021142628071074_5324186973613588480_n.jpg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2DVJftuRwo&t=1s

    Overall....I am not satisfied with the performance of these bullets on game. They are not as consistent as I like and have heard from many people. Perhaps if shots are kept mostly below 500-600 yards, they would do alright, but even then....I came from using Berger 140 VLD's in this, and even when they weren't CNS hits, out of over 25 animals taken with them only 4 moved out of their tracks, two of which were heart shot pronghorn doe's, and ran less than 50 yards and died very quickly, total less than 15 seconds. The third and fourth were elk, one bull at 715 that spun a circle, stood there, and fell over kicking 10 seconds after bullet impact, with no movement 20 seconds after impact. Another was a cow elk at 610 with a heart shot, who stood in the place she was hit for approximately 15 seconds, then stumbled about 4 steps forward and piled up. Out of all of those, only 1, the bull elk, had a bullet to recover, but there was still an exit hole, the bullet was just hanging in the flesh in the exit wound.

    It is strange, because the observed performance is mostly desirable, 1"-2" exits on all but one animal, but the shock on the animal does not seem to be sufficient. The lungs are bloody and deflated, but they do not seem to be as mushy or jello like as I see with Berger impacts. Does it kill animals? Yes, absolutely. Even with less than perfect impacts. But, it is not doing it as good as other long range bullets I have used.

    Perhaps I have just had a run of bad luck, and this is not common on game performance for the 147, but either way, after this season I will be moving back to either the 140 VLD's, or once they come out, the 156 Elite hunter in these rifles. I just wanted to take the time to share my very hands on experience with this bullet. While it performs stellar in the accuracy department, I cannot give it the nod for a hunting projectile.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  2. Ckgworks

    Ckgworks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the Great write up on your experiences! Congratulations on the success, that's a whole LOTA meat put up!
     
  3. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Here are the rest of the photos from this year's hunts so far. 44254013_2112991228965823_7552252295509966848_n.jpg 44277343_321882731923211_1496252209472471040_n.jpg 44264701_342861966278550_8813686964894040064_n.jpg 44198796_296197284538720_843819580261400576_n.jpg This last photo has my niece in it, with a photo of my best friend. He is currently deployed in Kuwait, and having a hard time missing season this year. So, I keep his photo in my stock pack of my rifle, so he can be along for the hunts.
     
  4. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    All great shots, shooters, and video. Thanks for all the info.
     
    7stw likes this.
  5. Tidus56

    Tidus56 Well-Known Member

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    I wish everyone’s posts were as informative as this. I rarely rifle hunt as I prefer to flip sticks but this has me wanting to hunt rifle again. Nice write up and your wife and niece are great shots. Congrats on a great season.
     
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  6. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    Awesome write up and photo/videos. Thanks so much for sharing.
     
  7. Idaho Trecker

    Idaho Trecker Well-Known Member

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    That was a good write up. I haven't shot as many animals with the smaller caliber eld-m but enough to know I am going to stick with X for anything smaller than 30 cal. That being said 30 cal and up I have killed a good number of game with the 208, 225, and 285 eld-m/a-max. I'll have a writeup once I get back from this hunt but I just finished some long range testing with the 225 eldm out of my 300ss in the form of a downed mule deer at 1103 yards and a nice 6x6 bull elk at 1115 yards.
     
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  8. jmcmath

    jmcmath Well-Known Member

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    Good write up, very interesting. I will be trying these as well as the 143 and likely a few other bullets when my prc arrives. I had heard tremendous things about the 147 on game.

    I like you do not like that pencil hole. As far as the death run sometimes they just aren’t interested in going down. I have a photo of a whitetail with a baseball hole through offside ribs from a 30-06 that ran 75 yards.
     
  9. tbrice23

    tbrice23 Well-Known Member

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    If you had great success with the A-Max what is different now?
     
  10. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    The A-MAX ﹰI had success with was the 168 grain 30 cal, not the 6.5 140. I know, not the same thing, but still got me wanting to try these.
     
  11. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    I agree, sometimes they just dont want to go down, that is why I didn't give up on it at first. My main reason is taking the totality of the kills, in comparison with my Berger kills, which rarely ran, and even when they did they died quicker. Being that it is elk season right now and I do not have time to redevelope loads and only have one long range rifle, I will still use these on elk, but I am certainly going to aim to break down the shoulder and hit large muscle mass, to try to ensure the bullet expands properly. If I am sucessful, I will add that too.
     
  12. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Here is the video of my large deer that was hit far back, as well as my collared doe pronghorn.



     
  13. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for doing such a thorough testing of the bullet.
    After having a 115vld poke a hole through a deer at 250yds I’ve moves away from that bullet, but perhaps we should be basing performance on individual bullets and not the entire line.
    The 168amax/eldm is dynamite on deer, but the 178eldx does not produce results like the old 168.
    I will be shooting a pronghorn, mule and whitetail this year with the 143eldx, hopefully the results are better, so far on coyotes it looks promising
     
  14. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all statements, I believe one bullet should be judged at a time. I believe that the 143 will not have these issues, as it does have a thinner jacked at the nose portion, I believe it will open up easier.

    One thing I will say with the Bergers is you must make sure that the hollow points are open. Any Berger bullet will fail to perform if the hollow point is closed off or filled. I now go through all of my Berger bullets intended for hunting and use a wire drill bit to clear the tips out. It takes no longer than chamfering brass, and ensures that the bullet will open properly. I have never had an issue with either the Berger 140 VLD in 6.5, the Berger 168 vld in 7mm, or the Berger 180 VLD in 7mm, though the vast majority of animals have been taken with the 140 VLD at this point. I have found tips that were filled with what may have been a polishing media or some other substance from the manufacturer, and if HBN coating them, it is a necessity as I have found tips that were essentially completely closed off after tumbling. I personally believe that most of the negative terminal performance that people have seen with the Bergers is due to closed off or filled tips, or possibly not having a proper twist rate for the bullet, resulting in tumbling and possible lack of penetration. Doesn't make it ok, just the reason why, IMO. Hence why, after seeing some reports of that, I clear out the hollow points of all my Bergers that I intend to prescribe to something living. A little extra piece of mind.