Hornady 147gr ELD Match: Good for Targets and for Bugs on your Target!

By Rick Eads

January 8, 2020

Recently I acquired a Tikka T3x TAC A1 rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor. My first serious range sessions were with the Hornady 147 grain ELD Match bullet. This bullet shoots with superb accuracy at both 100 yards and on out to 1000 yards in this rifle and achieve a velocity of about 2570 fps at the muzzle.

While entertaining some fellow shooters over the Christmas break in 2019 here in Colorado, we were greeted with some unseasonably warm, sunny weather. Our goal for the day was to take the Tikka out to the 1000 yard line to shoot at the range's steel targets. Before we ventured to the long range field, we stopped at the 100 line and setup some paper targets just to double check our zero for the conditions we had that day. Being relatively warm for a late December afternoon, we noticed that soon we had a number of ordinary house flies buzzing around and occasionally landing on our targets. Perhaps they were also enjoying the warm sunshine.

Well, my son then said to me, "Hey dad, I bet you can't hit one of those flies with the Tikka."

"Hmm," I replied, "I suppose I can try if one of them sits still long enough." Sure enough, taking out a fly would prove to be a challenge as even when they landed, they tended to start crawling around immediately across the target page and eventually they would make their way to the edge of the target only to fly away. It seemed that every time I had my crosshairs lined up and got ready to squeeze the trigger, the fly I was aiming at would move or detach itself from the paper.

Finally, I was able to get the center dot of the SMMR3 reticle on my Kahles K624i 6-24X56 scope placed squarely on one of these pesky flies. This scope has a zero stop which makes it very easy to center up the scope's windage and elevation for 100 yard shooting. I had confirmed the zero conditions on one of my targets and then went looking to see if I could accommodate my son's wishes.

The question remained, would the fly stay still long enough? When I thought I had a stable sight picture, I squeezed and the rifle responded accordingly. Looking through the scope, the fly had disappeared. But, being so small, how would we know if the shot had connected on target? From 100 yards away, even with our Leupold 40x spotting scope, a hit was impossible to verify.

Only when we walked up to the 100 yard berm and were able to observe the paper target closely were we able to confirm with smiles on our faces that yes, the world was now down one, pesky (and perhaps a little-too-slow) fly.

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