Hornady 6.5 120 ELD-M vs 140 ELD-M vs 147 ELD-M for newbie PRS guy?

man32ahan

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 2, 2018
250
25
28
28
Fairfield, Illinois
#1
Looking for some opinions here. I was originally thinking of either going with the 140 or 147 to manage the wind better, but after listening to Frank in his podcasts should I consider the 120 for the increased velocity?

I am not interested in reloading so I will only be shooting factory ammunition. Would rather stick to hornady than prime at this time.

I live in the midwest so wind is not as brutal as it can be out west.

Just a basic comparison on JBM ballistics given the standard MV's off the box of all three in a 10mph 90* wind gives the 120 eldm a 6+ moa advantage at 1000 yards and the windage is less than 1.5 moa difference between the three.

I do not have my rifle yet to compare the three, but I am interested in opinions in regards to the three.

Has anybody shot all three and have comparisons of each?
Will the 120 benefit me more so than 140/147 in PRS matches?

EDIT: I may consider the 130 gr Prime if someone can convince me why?
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#2
Get a box of the 120’s and 147s shoot only at 100 yards from a Barricade.

Compare the groups from a min support barricade & see if there is a difference staying on target through your glass spotting the moment of impact.. Your choice will be clear.

That $50 spent will be far more valuable to your own head than any of use telling you what you must get.
 

man32ahan

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 2, 2018
250
25
28
28
Fairfield, Illinois
#3
Get a box of the 120’s and 147s shot only at 100 yards. Compair the groups on a barricade see if there is a difference on staying on target.. your choice will be clear. Save a couple for steel and seetvif you can still see the moment of impact from a barricade that only provides min support.

That $50 spent will be far more valuable to your own head than any of use telling you what you must get.
Have a box of each waiting and ready to go. Just growing anxious waiting on the rifle so I was wondering people's experience of the three.
Ill obviously go with the one that provides the best results in my rifle. I was mainly concerned if the extra +/- 200fps the 120 provides would benefit a new guy that may not be as good at distance calls while still not giving up much in wind calls.

Thanks.
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#4
Have a box of each waiting and ready to go. Just growing anxious waiting on the rifle so I was wondering people's experience of the three.
Ill obviously go with the one that provides the best results in my rifle. I was mainly concerned if the extra +/- 200fps the 120 provides would benefit a new guy that may not be as good at distance calls while still not giving up much in wind calls.

Thanks.
Personally, if your system prints small groups with the 120’s I go with them from a recoil standpoint.

Also you should not compare how they perform against each other at 1000 yards for a positional match, but rather the average distance. That’s going to be somewhere around 400-600 for most, depending on the match. Once you look at that closer number the 147s are less attractive.
 
Likes: man32ahan

man32ahan

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 2, 2018
250
25
28
28
Fairfield, Illinois
#5
Personally, if your system prints small groups with the 120’s I go with them from a recoil standpoint.

Also you should not compare how they perform against each other at 1000 yards for a positional match, but rather the average distance. That’s going to be somewhere around 400-600 for most, depending on the match. Once you look at that closer number the 147s are less attractive.
Yeah I looked at mid range numbers as well. Was just using the 1000yrd as reference. But, yeah I guess I can just wait and hope that the 120 prints small for a win/win situation.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,486
415
83
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#6
I have shot 140 AMAX in the Creedmoor since 2008 and now 140 ELDs. Recoil is not an issue. If your rifle shoots the 120s better then use them but don't be afraid of the heavier bullets either.

In matches now you know the distance so having a flatter shooter isn't as much of an advantage as it once was with more UKD targets. Wind is always an issue. I have a bunch of 147 ELD factory ammo I plan to use in matches this year too to give a try. It shoots great in my rifle.
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#7
I have shot 140 AMAX in the Creedmoor since 2008 and now 140 ELDs. Recoil is not an issue. If your rifle shoots the 120s better then use them but don't be afraid of the heavier bullets either.

In matches now you know the distance so having a flatter shooter isn't as much of an advantage as it once was with more UKD targets. Wind is always an issue. I have a bunch of 147 ELD factory ammo I plan to use in matches this year too to give a try. It shoots great in my rifle.
Rob, you are correct.

While I support the idea of shooting the lighter weight for most people new additional shooting, I also understand that the differences can be small.

The biggest difference for someone of lesser talent than you, is as they work with a wonky support and need to build a position quickly, it is either not going to be supported as well as someone experienced like you or they drive to hard into the system and create a ton of wobble. A tiny bit of recoil reduction can help these shooters.

Lastly, most people get way to wound up with the wind drift numbers. As an example the last match the wind came up to about 25. At 900 difference between my faster hand loaded 140 and my lower pressure factory 130; is 2.0 Vera the 1.9 with the 130. So is the difference .1 or .o5 on either side. Or does that slight difference get hidden in my overly aggressive wind call and this favors the bullet with more drift.

I guess what I am saying is simply is many new shooters make choices on paper (jbm etc) that really have lower real word impact.
 
Last edited:
Likes: man32ahan
Jan 17, 2018
30
10
8
Houston
#8
I started with 140gr eldm and switched to 147eldm. I developed some consistency issues out past 600 with the factory loaded 147 that I never experienced with the 140s, so i now run the 140gr eldm again.

honestly, if I trued my ballistics for the 147gr they probably would have been fine. The software generated data is just "closer" with the factory 140s than the 147s for me and my rifle. Truing your ballistics with any bullet you choose is what you should plan on doing. bet they would perform exactly as good as the other if I would true my ballistics.
 
Likes: man32ahan
Feb 13, 2017
86
13
8
39
Ohio
#15
For another 130gr factory load, checkout Federal Gold Medal Match Berger 130 Hybrid. Performed pretty well in my bolt gun and semi auto. SD was in the 12/18 range respectively.
Agreed, I load the 130 Hybrid. Very accurate and it gives up nothing to a 140 especially with in the practical range of the cartridge.
 
Likes: man32ahan
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#16
Again nothing wrong with 140s. A theoretical good compromise is just that. If you can't shoot a 140 then a 130 will not make you shoot better.
We know- your Honrday badge hasn’t gone unnoticed :) Actually, my Prime 130 recommendation has more wrapped into it than just the grain weight.

I personally like Prime much better because it leaves me with very good brass that stands up to my hot hand loads when repurposed. This is super apparent in the 338 Hornady brass were we load with the Hornady 285’s, but must use Lapua brass to get the speeds that end up flowing the Hornday case heads.

I also had sever crazy swings between lots with Hornday. That part might now be fixed and I was trying to stay way from mentioning these things.

So yes, Hornady is good but other offerings do provide additional values to some users.

Lastly, sure splitting hairs between a 140 and 130- or hell maybe even my 6mm at 105. Yes, the Indian can win with anything. I used a 168 at 3150 because a club level director gave me the green flag (A long story but he should not have) .. the wind was ripping and I never held to far off the edge of a plate. Regardless of the magnum recoil, I had a insanely huge advantage. So while it may sound like I disagree, I get what you are saying and very much agree.
 
Likes: man32ahan

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,486
415
83
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#17
Nothing to do with "Hornady badge" but with 10 years of actual use of the 140 in the Creedmoor in matches that the OP asked about. Just want the actual experience using these in matches to show and not just theoretical internet discussions on which is "best".

As for brass, another internet forum discussion as you buy 500 rounds of loaded ammo and if you get 5 loadings out of the brass after the initial then your barrel is toast anyways. You don't need to get 75 firings on brass. That said I have Hornady brass loading 140s over 2800fps that has 8-10 firings on it. Honestly if you are shooting matches you are losing brass and it's harder to lose expensive brass than less expensive brass. I used Lapua brass in my .308 years ago when it was $33/100 but when I started shooting matches I didn't use it. I used inexpensive Winchester and then Hornady. Never slowed me down at all.
 
Likes: man32ahan
Jun 17, 2009
833
311
63
31
Houston, TX
#18
Nothing to do with "Hornady badge" but with 10 years of actual use of the 140 in the Creedmoor in matches that the OP asked about. Just want the actual experience using these in matches to show and not just theoretical internet discussions on which is "best".

As for brass, another internet forum discussion as you buy 500 rounds of loaded ammo and if you get 5 loadings out of the brass after the initial then your barrel is toast anyways. You don't need to get 75 firings on brass. That said I have Hornady brass loading 140s over 2800fps that has 8-10 firings on it. Honestly if you are shooting matches you are losing brass and it's harder to lose expensive brass than less expensive brass. I used Lapua brass in my .308 years ago when it was $33/100 but when I started shooting matches I didn't use it. I used inexpensive Winchester and then Hornady. Never slowed me down at all.
The prime brass is a lot more consistent though. Using the same equipment and reloading techniques, I get half the ES and SD with Prime brass as I do with the Hornady brass, and the only difference is the brass.

Lets be honest, Hornady brass is trash. It's fine if you want "throw away" brass for matches where high ES's and SD's won't hurt you. But if you are looking for quality and consistency in brass, Hornady is not the brass for you.
 
Last edited:
Likes: man32ahan
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#19
Nothing to do with "Hornady badge" but with 10 years of actual use of the 140 in the Creedmoor in matches that the OP asked about. Just want the actual experience using these in matches to show and not just theoretical internet discussions on which is "best".

As for brass, another internet forum discussion as you buy 500 rounds of loaded ammo and if you get 5 loadings out of the brass after the initial then your barrel is toast anyways. You don't need to get 75 firings on brass. That said I have Hornady brass loading 140s over 2800fps that has 8-10 firings on it. Honestly if you are shooting matches you are losing brass and it's harder to lose expensive brass than less expensive brass. I used Lapua brass in my .308 years ago when it was $33/100 but when I started shooting matches I didn't use it. I used inexpensive Winchester and then Hornady. Never slowed me down at all.
Rob,

For some of us, reloading, the quality of the brass has less to do with how many reloads you can get, but how consistent things like neck tension can be controlled.

The Prime and Hornady cost me the same. I have two shooters to feed, and just as you pointed out, loosing brass is part of the deal. So 500 factory rounds is much less than than in useable brass. So your math and cost basis does not work for everyone.

I’ve said over and over, that the shooter maters. Now you or I might be able to build positions with my magnum and still see impacts.. but no way in hell will a new shooter. Again, every little bit helps especially when starting out, nervously rushed and in a funky position.. so why not try a slightly lighter round?

I have nothing against Hornday, hell, I still have old Amax laying around. So again, not bashing Horndy, but other options are available.

Jim
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#21
Hornady brass is not trash. I have beat plenty of people shooting "better" brass with that "trash". I have no problems getting single digit Sds and ES under 20fps with Hornady brass and minimal prep.
Rob, that is I shoot better than you chest pounding. Not what I’d expect from you..
 
Jun 17, 2009
833
311
63
31
Houston, TX
#22
Hornady brass is not trash. I have beat plenty of people shooting "better" brass with that "trash". I have no problems getting single digit Sds and ES under 20fps with Hornady brass and minimal prep.
I really wish that was the case for me, as I have thousands of 6.5 creedmoor brass laying around at home. If I was getting the same consistency as you are, I would be a very happy man. Others in my shooting circle also have issues with Hornady brass, so I know I'm not unique.

Call me jealous.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,486
415
83
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#23
Rob,

For some of us, reloading, the quality of the brass has less to do with how many reloads you can get, but how consistent things like neck tension can be controlled.

The Prime and Hornady cost me the same. I have two shooters to feed, and just as you pointed out, loosing brass is part of the deal. So 500 factory rounds is much less than than in useable brass. So your math and cost basis does not work for everyone.

I’ve said over and over, that the shooter maters. Now you or I might be able to build positions with my magnum and still see impacts.. but no way in hell will a new shooter. Again, every little bit helps especially when starting out, nervously rushed and in a funky position.. so why not try a slightly lighter round?

I have nothing against Hornday, hell, I still have old Amax laying around. So again, not bashing Horndy, but other options are available.

Jim
Jim like I said above the Hornady has given me no issues in loading as far as consistency.

That was for a single shooter in my example. Not multiples.

Not chest pounding either but giving examples. When everyone tells new shooters they need this and that to shoot accurately i just want to give them examples of what has worked for me. And not speaking of magnums. With a properly set up rifle you won't feel the difference between a 140 and a 130 when shooting a match. I have shot 120s in matches and they felt no difference.

OP take my posts for what they are and do as you please as it is your money. The 130 will work as will the 140 and even the 147s. Try them and see what works for you.
 
Likes: man32ahan

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,486
415
83
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#25
Actually the posts were sending him towards lighter bullets. Implying you can't shoot heaviers well from improvised positions. In those positions it comes down more to the shooter and not the load as like you I have shot magnums down to 6mms and it's the practice that counts more than the round used. Find the bullet that shoots accurately in the rifle and then go shot it. Not use a light bullet to try and compensate for a position.
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
594
113
The West
#27
Isn't Prime Brass Norma ?
RUAG Swedish I believe. The products for the civil market are branded under the names such as Norma and Gyttorp.

It has similar harness and consistency to my other branded Norma cartridges. Responds similar to annealing — it is very very good brass.

Edited to add:
I was not my intent to complain or even compair Hornady to anything else. If we take my original post (#2 in the thread), I only suggested grabbing a box on 120ELD and 147ELDs. We have no idea how light the OPs gun is or how it might shoot them. If with 147s, he can self-spot the moment of impact at close range on a small target from a challenging barricade and it groups as well as the 120s, it is an easy choice for the 147s. But if the 120s group smaller or help him in any way seeing the moment of impact, then 120s.

Worrying first about what JBM/AB etc. spits out for wind, isn’t what the choice should be based on. Hell, SD and WD from these solvers always seem to be a bit aggressive anyway. With most of the targets averaging somewhere around 2MOA/.6mil or better and average 600; a .1 or more realistically 1/2 that in either direction, should not be driving our choices as line 1.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Badfinger
Feb 20, 2004
264
27
28
63
Atlanta,GA
#28
not trying to stir things up (too much), but would it be fair to say that assuming equal precision and talking just about Hornady, 140 is a good compromise between the 120 and 147? it certainly seems to be the most popular choice...
 
Nov 5, 2013
791
413
63
#30
interesting thread lol

i agree with Rob in that shooting 120s, 130s, 140s, or 147s wont really matter if the shooter does their job

i also agree with Diver in that i can 100% tell a difference in recoil between 120/130/140s...just the same as i can tell from 110/130/155/168/178 (308), and 180s/195s(7mm), 58/80/95 (6x45)....etc, i could go on lol...it doesnt matter much in my total score at the end, but given the same stage running a 6mm, 108 vs a .308,178...ill be faster by a few seconds with the 6mm...my pick would be shoot both and see which one shoots better in the rifle and go with that
 

southerngolfer

HACHIE CHACHIE DUNKIRINI
Feb 17, 2017
701
54
28
SW, Missouri
#31
Looking for some opinions here. I was originally thinking of either going with the 140 or 147 to manage the wind better, but after listening to Frank in his podcasts should I consider the 120 for the increased velocity?

I am not interested in reloading so I will only be shooting factory ammunition. Would rather stick to hornady than prime at this time.

I live in the midwest so wind is not as brutal as it can be out west.

Just a basic comparison on JBM ballistics given the standard MV's off the box of all three in a 10mph 90* wind gives the 120 eldm a 6+ moa advantage at 1000 yards and the windage is less than 1.5 moa difference between the three.

I do not have my rifle yet to compare the three, but I am interested in opinions in regards to the three.

Has anybody shot all three and have comparisons of each?
Will the 120 benefit me more so than 140/147 in PRS matches?

EDIT: I may consider the 130 gr Prime if someone can convince me why?
I'm in the same boat. my issues is spotting shots/misses. I'm curious about the factory 120's. did you ever find an end result?
 
Likes: ra2bach

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,497
269
83
Black Hills
#32
I've always shot 140s.. amax and now ELDM. Recently I got a bulk box of 147s to run in my new creedmoor barrel. So far so good. Having great results with RL26. I like poking out further than most PRS stages for my recreational shooting so the heavies appeal to me. BC wins in the long run. I also bought a case of 147 match for the brass/break-in and that shot really good in my barrel. I'm not too concerned with recoil, the last barrel was a 6.5 SAUM so this is a pussycat.

I agree that Hornady brass is softer than it needs to be but it was no problem getting single digits SDs with no prep, and so long as you don't hammer it, it lasts long enough. Used their 260, 6.5 SAUM, and creedmoor brass to good effect.

I'd run what shoots the best.
 

Gooldylocks

the pistol shooter guy
Jan 22, 2018
156
62
28
OREGON
#33
OP- I was going through this same mental gymnastics last week. Running the 120s vs 130 vs 140 vs 147.... I needed to buy bullets while they were on sale at Cabela's but didn't have any idea what I was doing. The lighter bullets were less drop but more wind, blah blah... same thing as you only from the reloading standpoint.

So I thought about it a little more from the lens of what I tell new USPSA shooters nearly every match: none of it matters, just pick one and shoot a whole bunch of them. So I did, and ordered a bunch of 147s.

That's my advice. Take it for what you paid for it.
 
Likes: ra2bach
Jun 7, 2012
748
237
63
#34
I load Hornady brass now. Hornady factory ammo had really good ES/SD numbers in my rifles as well. Nothing really wrong with it, but I'm not shooting proof loads.

For what it's worth I have had terrible luck with the Norma 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. 20-25fps SD's in two different rifles. Stubbornly shot it in a few matches and it really hurt my score. Any targets past 700 were a crap shoot.
 
Likes: ra2bach
Feb 20, 2004
264
27
28
63
Atlanta,GA
#35
I'm in the same boat. my issues is spotting shots/misses. I'm curious about the factory 120's. did you ever find an end result?
I didn't get a chance to do any serious testing before my training class in June so I just bought more Hornady140 's. this is what I had the most of and what seems to be the most popular weight.

they shot well but were pretty slow. my gun was new at the time so I want to get a couple hundred more rds through it before I start trying to decide what it likes. I can't get past 700yds locally so if I can't get the velocity, I may try the 120's...
 
Top Bottom