SHOT Show 2016: Hornady ELD-X

When Hornady first announced their brand new ammunition line this past fall of 2015 it was with much fanfare, and for good reason. The technology being put into their new ELD-X is not only impressive but revolutionary. It involves something that has somehow been overlooked for years but that the guys at Hornady noticed and decided to expand on: a bullet that can perform unaffected and unhindered by the effects of heat during travel. As bullets travel they generate incredible heat which in turn causes the bullet to quite literally melt down. That means bullets experience greater drift and drop and are also less accurate. It took some time, but Hornady seems to have come up with a solution for it, a solution that is now entering production.

Early on, hints of the tech alluded to the use of Doppler, and although some guesses being made as to the nature of Doppler’s use in the brand-new tech were close, none actually hit the proverbial nail on the head. The logic behind ELD-X is that heat does play a significant role in the quality and performance of bullets, and if you’re a long-range hunter, that heat can be a detriment to your overall success. According to rigorous testing undertaken by Hornady’s engineers, the ballistic coefficient (BC) changes at a specific point along the trajectory of bullets that are designed specifically for a higher BC. They noticed that during those first 100 to 150 yards the BC is typically as expected but beyond that initial distance the BC drops notably which has a noticeable and negative effect on the bullet’s performance. Why? Because the nose of the bullet is quite literally melting down, softening and deforming from the overwhelming speed and heat generated in flight.

It was great seeing the new ELD-X rounds at Hornady’s booth during SHOT Show because it was confirmation that we would, indeed, soon see the new technology hitting the shelves of gun stores across the country. Hornady has a stellar reputation for producing high-quality, reliable ammunition and their newest addition promises to deliver as expected – and more.

DSCF3604Hornady made the ELD-X announcement with a description as follows:

The ELD-X™ bullet is a technologically advanced, match accurate, ALL-RANGE hunting bullet featuring highest-in-class ballistic coefficients and consistent, controlled expansion at ALL practical hunting distances.

All manufacturers conventional polymer tips in high BC bullets melt in flight. Hornady® engineers discovered that conventional bullet tip materials in streamlined, high BC bullets melt and deform. Although not a significant issue affecting moderate BC conventional tipped varmint and hunting bullets, aerodynamic heating causes BC reduction and degradation of accuracy, particularly at extended ranges (400 yds +). To counter this effect, Hornady® identified a heat resistant polymer and developed the patent pending Heat Shield™ tip. This revolutionary new tip creates the perfect meplat (tip) with exceptionally consistent results from bullet-to-bullet and lot-to-lot.

At conventional range (0-400 yards), the ELD-X bullet is designed to continually expand throughout its penetration path. Upon impact the thin nose section of the bullet peels back and sheds material until it reaches the thick shank of the bullet jacket where the InterLock ring works to keep the core and jacket together. The remaining heavy shank of the bullet continues to drive forward and expand for extremely lethal results.

Available as component bullets or in factory loaded ELD-X Precision Hunter ammunition, ELD-X bullets are “heavy caliber” and designed for maximum ballistic coefficients, the highest levels of accuracy, consistency and extreme lethality at ALL practical hunting distances.

ELD-X™     Extremely Low Drag – eXpanding 

  • Best-in-class BCs
    Verified by Doppler radar, the Heat Shield™ tip defies the effects of aerodynamic heating and retains its shape to maintain the highest in-class BC over its entire trajectory.
  • Match accurate hunting bullet
    Streamlined secant ogive with optimum boattail design + highly concentric AMP® bullet jackets + patent pending Heat Shield™ tip combine for radically superior aerodynamic efficiency.
  • Devastating conventional range performance
    With high velocity, 0-400 yard impact, the bullet continually expands throughout its penetration path. The thick shank of the jacket and high Interlock® ring keep the core and jacket together providing 50-60% weight retention.
  • Best extended range terminal available
    Upon low velocity, 400+ yard impacts, Heat Shield™ tip drives backward into bullet to initiate expansion. Exhibiting expansion with a large and 85-90% retained weight the provides deep penetration and large cavities. Available as component bullets or in factory loaded Precision Hunter™ ammunition.

Katherine Ainsworth

Katherine is a military and political journalist with a reputation for hard-hitting, no-holds-barred articles. Her career as a writer has immersed her in the military lifestyle and given her unique insights into the various branches of service. She is a firearms aficionado and has years of experience as a K9 SAR handler, and has volunteered with multiple support-our-troops charities for more than a decade. Katherine is passionate about military issues and feels supporting service members should be the top priority for all Americans. Her areas of expertise include the military, politics, history, firearms and canine issues.
Katherine Ainsworth

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