Hunting Plains Game in Africa with the ELD-X

By James Heimer

September 22, 2017

I finished my first African hunting safari a week ago. In making my ammunition selection, I looked at both a Remington Core-Lokt 180 gr PSP or SP round, which I have had good results with before hunting elk, and Hornady's 178 gr ELD-X. After reading all of the information on the ELD-X, I selected this round and took two boxes with me to use in my Blaser R8 Pro Success in .30-06. I was hunting with Zander Osmer Safaris in the Limpopo Region of South Africa northeast of Johannesburg and west of Kruger National Park. The weather was hot and dry, with rains expected in a couple of weeks as summer approached. I was hunting in terrain that ranged from lightly wooded, brushy, and open fields of tufted grass.

I could have saved some money by taking less ammo. I used two rounds to check the zero on my rifle, one round to practice shooting from sticks, and five rounds to take five plains game animals: impala, blesbok, springbok, black wildebeest, and warthog.

My unscientific observations on the performance of the bullet were as follows.

There was very little expansion noted between the entrance and exit wounds on the impala and wart hog taken at 40 yards. Both bullets passed through the animal from side to side in soft tissue.

The bullets remained in the two animals taken at 100 - 120 yards: the blesbok and wildebeest. The blesbok was standing broadside, and the bullet may have struck bone in the shoulder. The wildebeest was shot at a sharp quartering toward angle. The bullet made a perfect circle , when it passed through the ear, and showed a little expansion, when it entered the neck just ahead of the shoulder about a foot later.

The springbok was taken at 200 yards nearly broadside. The bullet entered just ahead of the near shoulder. The exit wound was at the opposite shoulder, and left a hole the size of the palm of my hand.

I am very satisfied with the ELD-X, which seems to perform well with both penetration and expansion.

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