ELD-M Terminal Performance?


Full Member
Feb 16, 2017
We all know the AMAX was a great bullet for thinner-skinned game. Hornady confirmed anything the AMAX did, the ELD-M should do to. There are a ton of threads all over the net that detail the ELD-M taking game and performing very well, with many people preferring them to the ELD-X.

What I cannot seem to find however (and what Hornady will not tell me) is the minimum terminal velocity needed for the ELD-M to properly deform/frag/tumble (aka not pencil through the target). The minimum for the ELD-X Hornady says is 1600fps, but many people say that is conservative and it will actually perform a bit lower than that. Given that the ELD-M is a very similar design, I'd think it would be safe to assume the same ~1600fps lower limit for the ELD-M, but I am unsure.

TL;DR- Does anyone know the minimum velocity the 147gr ELD-M will terminally perform at?
Jun 30, 2010
Houston, tx
The short answer for people like me is “further than I’m able to or willing to shoot at an animal”, at least in east Texas. I think it depends a bit on caliber as well but I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot a deer at 5-600 with a 140 or 147

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
Arizona, good place for me...
For my purposes, the difference between the ELD-M and ELD-X are moot; essentially because the ELD-X gives good enough ballistic performance that for me, the ELD-M is redundant.

I don't need cutting edge, best of the best ballistic performance. The 143 ELD-X and 178 ELD-X are my 6.5mm and .308 accuracy bullets of choice, and any enhanced terminal performance is simply a real plus.

Likes: Stpilot12


Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 22, 2014
Tampa, FL
A 178eldm at about 2500fps impact velocity had great tissue damage but left hundreds of PCs of jacket and bullet inside the chest cavity of a small deer. I killed the deer very well, but I think it is a bit too fragile for bigger critters, I would not want to take a shot beyond broadside or a critter over 200lbs, I’m sure it would kill it, but I’m not sure how it would punch through thick bone
Likes: LRI
Feb 16, 2017
There is a guy in NZ that does a lot of long range hunting and said the minimum for the eld-m is around 1400 fps. Take a look at Nathan Foster from Ballistic Studies, he has a website and has written several books on the subject.
Likes: Emouse


Full Member
Feb 16, 2017
Great, thanks CMP. I've used Nathan's work before, he is excellent. I should have check there first!

And z7, I agree on larger game up close. I think on rokslide they found it shouldn't be used over 2600fps on anything over 200lbs or so in most cases.


Online Training Member
Jan 28, 2014
Nixon TX
I hunted with the ELDX last season and see no reason to punch anything other than steel with the ELDMs. The bullet manufacture makes a hunting bullet and a target bullet. Why not just use the hunting bullet. I made a head shot on a doe at 337 yards. Accuracy with the 143 ELDX is stellar in my 20 inch 260.
Sep 6, 2006
Southern California
I’ve recovered a bunch of my eld m’s in the sand near my targets. From up close to 1550 or so. They’re pretty lightly constructed and almost always core separate. I think I could kill a deer with all sorts of bullets and cartridges, but I prefer to use hunting bullets that are designed to mushroom but retain some weight.

Below is a 338/285 ELD M. Very little damage to the bullet, but the entire core slipped out. This is a near transonic hit into damp sand. A Sierra smk does the opposite at this distance, and you could practically load them again. Not saying the Sierra is a good hunting bullet, because it isn’t. The 140/147 eld’s act exactly the same as the 285.



Feb 15, 2017
Two years ago I had a 140 ELDM pencil through a 200 lb+ Kansas whitetail's neck at 75-85 yards. It was a finishing shot that was 2715 fps at the muzzle and it put him down. I didn't look for fragments, I just found the small hole in, small hole out when I caped him out.

I used the 143 ELDX out of my Creedmoor at 2800+ last year and had good results on 3 deer, 1 coyote, and a crow at 50-245 yards.

Niles Coyote

Gunny Sergeant
Aug 13, 2007
South West, MI
Call me old school, but 1800fps impact velocity is where I've always drawn the line for table fair. Both with the Amax and now with the ELD. I've only used the ELD on two deer thus far in my creedmoor, first was 553y and second around 360ish. Both died within one body length of where they stood and fell from a 140 eld-m.


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Gunny Sergeant
Apr 28, 2006
178 ELDM crushed a big axis buck through the neck at about 150 yards. Dang near decapitated a smaller white tail. Also crunched a small hog. 147 ELDM and 143 ELDX massive trauma on 2 neck shot WT's. Loaded up the 180 ELDM's for my buddy's 7mag, and he took a nice bull elk at around 325. Said it didn't go far and the blood trail was extensive, and vitals completely destroyed. I'll continue to test all of the above, as I have the 180's loaded up in my 7 SAUM also.