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#1 Phil

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 05:59 AM

Some would argue that my expectations were high but I was dissapointed in the Hornady Interlock 165 grain loads that I selected to use on my western adventure this fall.
I've used Federal Premium Vital Shock 165 Sierra Gameking BTSP for several years on many succesful Whitetail hunts but decided on switching to the Hornady loads for a number of reasons. I knew that the possibility of needing to make longer than usual shots was a real concern so I researched a little about each load.
The Federal load was rated as "medium penetration/high expansion/65% bullet weight retention". The Hornady load was rated as " deep penatration/high expansion/100% bullet weight rention".
(This was the listing posted at my local Gander Mountain store ammo shelf labels)
The ballistic chart on each box had these specs. (both had same muzzle velocity of 2800fps)
Federal premium bullet drop when sighted in 1.5" high @ 100yds is:
-3.6" @ 200yds, -13.2 @ 300, no listing for 400yds
Hornady Interlock when sighted in 1.8" high @ 100yds is:
0"@200yds, -7.9@300yds, -23"@400, 46"@500yds

Knowing that my main focus would be for Elk with Antelope as an extra bonus I opted for the Hornady load ....liking the downrange specs listed. In all fairness I will conceed that the Hornady loads were extremely accurate but it was bullet proformance that bothered me in both harvests.
Our WY antelope hunt was in extremely windy conditions(45 mph steady throughout the day). I spotted a small group of Antelope feeding in an open area 1/2 mile away and was able to use the terrain to stalk within 400 yds before running out of cover. The route had placed me slightly above the speedgoats with the shot being directly into the headwind with very little crosswind concern. One buck was offerring a perfect quartering away shot so I took it. I flipped down the bi-pods and settled the crosshairs at the top of the buck's back. Sand & dust blew back over me from the muzzle blast so I lost sight of the shot reaction from the animal. 6 lopes left dust trails leaving the area but one was lagging behind and stopped broadside after only 30 yards. I could see it was swaying but decided to try another shot to make sure. At the 2nd shot the buck staggered downslope and came 20 yards closer. A 3rd shot dropped the Antelope in its tracks. After examining the buck I found that the 1st shot was a lungshot that had entered low on the rightside and exited through the leftside near the front ribs. 2nd shot was broadside through the ribcage with the exit being about 2" from the 1st shot. 3rd shot was through the base of the neck. What bothered me the most was the exit holes were very small and my finger would barely push into the openings created by the exiting bullets. I knew these loads were designed for larger game animals so felt that the load was still the right choice for the elk hunt.
The first morning of the CO 2nd rifle season found me watching a huge open sage medow below a large rock out cropping. I had asked the evening before about the type of shot distances to expect and Will had calmed my concerns with a casual 200-250 yd reply. (One of the LA boys leaned over and whispered..."yeah, out to 800yds") :ermm:
The opening morning Huck & Bill were coming up over the backside on the ridge and busted a 5x6 bull with 2 cows out of thick cover and the elk hit the far side of the sage in high gear. I missed the bull with my 1st shot but heard the bullet "whump" on the next shot. The bull immediately humped up and staggered into the treeline about 30 yds before laying down. I tried a neck shot but missed twice so I decided to wait for Will as the bull wasn't moving. Knowing that alot of other hunters were closeby and at the urging of others in our group I went against my better judgement by making a rookie mistake and started across the sage. The bull spotted me and regained his feet to enter into some new growth pines 40 yds into the woods. While waiting for help to arrive I pulled my rangefinder out and determined that the shot had been about 325 yds. (87yds from my seat to a scrubpine, 254yds from the scrubpine to the treeline where the bull had humped up. Only through Huck's & Bill's woodsmanship were we able to track the bull at all...not a drop of blood anywhere but the animal would only travel a short distance before laying down(3 times). We
lost the trail in some aspen patches and searched extensively to no avail. At dusk I finally found 1 small drop of blood on a rock so I marked a waypoint on my gps with plans to start the search again on the following morning. The next day Will/ Chris/Mark spotted a hunter carrying a 5x6 rack into his tent @5am....just up the mountain from our hunting area. Will had gotten a cow at dark the evening before and Chris & Mark scored on a bull & cow at 13,500ft level so we had an entire day of packing out meat before we could try and find anymore signs of my bull. Bill had been within 30yds of the bull and seemed positive that the rack (now on display in front of the tent) was the same bull so at his urging ,Woodhick & I stopped at the camp that evening where the others had seen the rack being carried into the tent and asked a few questions. I only wanted to know if it was the bull I'd wounded so I could gain some peace of mind that the bull had been found and wasn't laying dead somehere...or worse, wounded. The hunter shared that it was his son's first elk and they'd gotten the bull on the backside of the mountain that very day....hmmm? I was surprized that the son never said a word or showed much excitement when we congratulated him but I chose to drop the matter.( Believe me I really had a struggle with the little man inside me). The hunter did allow us to take a picture of the rack before leaving. Spent some serious time praying for Grace that night....and God is GOOD !
On the last day of the hunt we had snow so I set out early to search for fresh elk sign. I hit paydirt about 9am and by 10:30am was able to trail a small elk group long enough to spot a 5x5 bull bedded down in a stand of lodgepole pines facing his back trail. The 100yd uphill shot would be a quartering towards me oppurtunity. I knew I'd break the opposite shoulder and aimed at the base of the neck. At the shot the bull lunged out of his bed and gained his feet. My immediate follow up shot broke both shoulders and the bull was down for good. I placed a 3rd shot through the neck as an insurance shot. Upon skinning out the elk I examined the exit wounds and was amazed at the results. The 1st shot had entered the rightside of the throat but missed the spine and exited through the left shoulderblade, breaking the bone but once again exit was again very small. The 2nd shot had broken both shoulders but again exit was barley large enough to wiggle my index finger into. the neckshot had passed through the thick neck muscles at spine but the exit wound was no larger than the the others. Yes, it was a very successful hunt and a lifetime of memories with cherished friends are mine but I now feel that I made a poor choice in choosing the Hornady Interlock over the Federal Premium load. I believe that the bullets are extremely accurate but are to "hard" as a game stopper. I honestly believe the Antelope would have dropped in its tracks with the 1st shot and the opening day bull would have never left the sage or at least have left a heavy bloodtrail if I had stuck with Federal Premiums. I certainly don't claim to be any type of a ballistic expert but I'm fairly compentent as a marksman with numerous big game harvested over a couple decades.
* these are only my personal expericences that you think about or choose to "round file"

Edited by Phil, 08 November 2008 - 04:27 AM.

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#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 07:27 AM

Sorry that the Hornady bullets did not work well. I have used them on whitetails with great success for many years out of a 243, 270, and 7mm. I have a friend that had a similar experience to yours with Winchester failsafe bullets. He hit a big 6X6 bull elk seven times till it finally dropped for good. Thanks for your input. It seems that this is another chapter of expansion vs penetration. In the bullet makers defense there is a delima that is nearly impossible to overcome. They must attempt to make a bullet that works as advertised over a huge number of calibers and at many different bullet speeds. Even out of the same rifle they have to try to make the bullet work at different speeds. In my own mind I will take penetration over expansion on the larger animals.
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#3 Leo

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 08:52 AM

I'll humbly ask if maybe you mean Hornady InterBOND bullets. The reason I suspect this is that sounds a whole lot more like what I would expect from Hornady InterBONDS vs Hornady InterLOCKS. I've used the Interlocks quite successfully and I've also used the Sierra Gamekings with good results. Interlock performance I'm used to is very similar to Gamekings. The Interlocks are just a little harder than the Gamekings and not supposed to be 100% weight retention bullets. The Interbonds are supposed to be high weight retention (100%) super penetrating bullets.

If anyone is getting the drift I don't particularly like these super high weight retention bullets on the market today. They are right. I much prefer, the bigger wound channel, more shock, better and shorter blood trails you get with a bullet that looses a little weight (10-20%).
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#4 Phil

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 03:16 PM

They are Interlocks Leo. As I said, this is my first experience with these loads and I feel like I was using steel jackets instead of what I'm used to seeing as far as an exit wound.
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#5 sschneid73

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 04:21 PM

I am with you Leo on that. I have been using these ballistic tips by federal and the exit wound is giagantic. Last year I was talked into a hornady round from a ballistic expert from our local Sheels allsports store. Well at 120 yrds I put the cross hairs right on a nice 140 to 150 class buck last year and he ran off. Went to check where I hit him and blood sign was all over. Easy to follow but he went another 100yrds and dropped into the river lost forever. Now the ballistic tips in the 150gr. would have dropped that animal in its tracks with the 300 win mag I shoot. No second guessing anymore. I will go with what I have been very sucessful with over the years.

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#6 Leo

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 04:26 PM

They are Interlocks Leo. As I said, this is my first experience with these loads and I feel like I was using steel jackets instead of what I'm used to seeing as far as an exit wound.


I believe what you're describing. It just doesn't match what I've experienced with Interlocks. So I'm wondering if perhaps these bullets have changed.

Were these the Soft Point Interlocks or the Polymer Tipped ones?

I use the soft point Interlocks now, so if suddenly they perform a lot different than I'm used to, I really want to know.
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#7 Larry $

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 09:24 AM

First of all Phil, thanks for sharing the story. You're example of grace in the situation with your first bull elk is a great one. People get stupid when it comes to hunting and "trophies". I think the Lord blessed you for your witness that day.

As for the ammo, I used the Hornady ammo to take my first elk last year. For my 7mm mag, I chose the Hornady 162gr BTSP InterLock - like you, for the accuracy. I took one shot at 246 yards and the cow went about 30 yards and dropped. On field dressing, the bullet entered the right side, broke a rib, blew up both lungs, nicked the heart and then exited high on her back back by the left hip leaving a hole a little smaller than a baseball. The inside of her left shoulder was splintered, so I can only suppose the bullet ricocheted up and back to exit. There was blood sprayed everywhere on the grass, and I mean it looked like someone had taken a paint sprayer and went to town. So I guess I'm not sure what was going on with your ammo, but for me the InterLock performed as expected and advertised. Could there be a remote chance that maybe the wrong ammo was placed in the correct box or something like that?
Elk: it's what's for dinner!

#8 Phil

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:17 PM

Thanks Larry and I also wondered if someone hadn't switched loads on the shelf as the hornady boxes aren't sealed and can be easily opened. The bullets are soft lead tips. In all fairness to Hornady these loads are the most accurate loads I've shot through my 06 at ranges over 200 yds. I still have 12 rounds out of the same box so I just may back pedal and give them a try for PA whitetails in a few weeks. Aim small/miss small EH? :hunter:
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#9 Leo

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:57 PM

Thanks Larry and I also wondered if someone hadn't switched loads on the shelf as the hornady boxes aren't sealed and can be easily opened. The bullets are soft lead tips. In all fairness to Hornady these loads are the most accurate loads I've shot through my 06 at ranges over 200 yds. I still have 12 rounds out of the same box so I just may back pedal and give them a try for PA whitetails in a few weeks. Aim small/miss small EH? :hunter:


From the performance you described I sure wouldn't trust them again.

The Hornady Custom Stuff will be Headstamped "Hornady". The Hornady Light Mag stuff is Headstamped "Frontier"

As far as using those bullets out of 30cal weapon. My only experience with them is with the 180gr Interlocks. And for me they very repeatably perform exactly as Larry described with boring regularity. Since you're shooting the 165gr flavor that might make the difference. I've absolutely noticed a difference in performance between other 165 grain and 180 grain bullets. So that might be the whole issue.

I know Larry had great results with the 162 gns out of his 7mm. But I'll caution not to compare weights out of different bores. More important is that those 162s are very heavy for that bore.

If you move up to the 180grn Hornady's I would suggest you go with the soft point interlocks 180gr Light Magnum loading. The muzzle velocity is the same for that loading as the 165grn Custom loading (2800fps) but because the 180s have a better ballistic coefficient they actually shoot slightly flatter!

Edited by Leo, 28 October 2008 - 05:58 PM.

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#10 Phil

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:29 AM

You're probably right Leo ! Not sure which direction I'll go except back to the Federal's this season.
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#11 Joe

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 08:27 AM

I have used Hornady Interlocks in my Rem7400 semiauto that is a 270. Istarted using this bullet because of the cannalure for crimping as it was right about where I wanted it. I crimped for the semiauto and use small base dies as I don't want to take a chance in the field. I have never taken any game with this rifle but a friend has this is my loaner rifle. He shot a decent buck that just fell. Problem was the buck was standing right at the rim of a nice hollow, that don't look right for I always say holler, and of coarse the buck tumbled to the bottom but that was not the bullets fault more like shooters should have waited for buck to take a step or two. This was 10 years ago or so but the bullet did its job very well went in behind the shoulder tore up lungs and a portion of the heart and a nice sized exit wound. I used the 180gr Hornady SST to take a buck using the 300RUM. My shot was a quarting away at 175 to 180 yds. The buck went 20 to 30 yds all downhill and was at the bottom and at the spot of impact it looked as if someone had poured blood onto the ground. Broke three or four ribs on the left side tore the lungs and heart to mush and exited with a real good exit wound right in front of the right leg. This bullet had a muzzle velocity of 3320fps so it was still moving when it hit the deer. I have always been pleased with Hornady's. All of my other deer have been taken with the 300Win mag and 180gr Sierra ProHunters and I have always had the same type of terminal performence. Been lucky I guess.
Joe "MR300WM"

Edited by Joe, 30 October 2008 - 08:28 AM.

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#12 Larry $

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:25 PM

I don't know Phil, maybe it would be worth a call to Hornady and just run it by them.
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#13 Whistle Pig

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:27 PM

Oh great, just past up Federal Premiums in 243 100gr for the wife this year liking the energy of the Hornady Light Magnums better... |(*,)
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#14 REDGREEN

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:58 PM

Don't think that you will have a problem with the Hornady light magnums, WP. I took three deer and one coyote today with the 117 grain Hornady boattails. All expanded excellent. The deer that I shot on Wednesday was hit just under the head, where the neck "joined" the skull. It removed it.One Doe was a 500 yard kill, and she dropped right where she stood. The exit was about the size of a silver dollar. The second one taken was the same. The mule buck was taken in the neck, and the only thing holding the head on is the skin.

#15 sandman

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:03 PM

Just wodering where your data for the sierra gameking came from. According to their website this is the drop. Which is the same as when I ran it through a ballistics program.

Long Range

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Long Range

Load No

Caliber

50 Y+.8

100 Y+1.9

200 Yzero

300 Y-8.2

400 Y-23.7

500 Y-48.3

P3006D

30-06 Spring. (7.62x63mm)


Which would be very similar to the hornadys

hornady
100+1.8
200 zero
300-7.9
400-22.8
500-46.2
If it was me I would shoot what I was comfortable using. I wouldnt worry a bit about shooting the gamekings out to 400yards just practice with them.
Hope this helps

Edited by sandman, 11 November 2008 - 07:08 PM.





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