Is Hornady SST good for elk? Absolutely, it is. The Super Shock Tip (SST) imparts serious impact that will drop a big game animal, such as elk, in one shot.
The Super Shock Tip expands rapidly on impact creating a large wound channel that kills quickly and humanely.
Hornady SST Construction
You can think of the Hornady SST as an expansion bullet. When you look at it, the bright red polymer tip is seemingly fancy, but it plays an integral role in how the round performs.
Made from hard polymer, the tip causes the lead bullet to split and expand on impact. The result is a very fast action that widens the impact zone and creates a deep and penetrating wound that is deadly. For big game hunting, you want a bullet that takes the animal down quickly and in one shot.
Designed to Fly Straight and True
Hornady SST is well-designed. The Secant Ogive boat tail shape is an aerodynamic feat that delivers a flat trajectory with improved accuracy even at long distances.
It is a design that follows the one-shot rule of big game hunting. It is also a design that puts the odds of a kill in your favor when you have only one shot.
In short – The Hornady SST offers a straight-line flight pattern with long-distance accuracy and a patented design that creates a killing impact with a deep wound channel.
That is exactly what you need when you hunt elk and Hornady SST has mastered it.
The Benefits of Using the Hornady SST for Elk
- It has wide applications for riles from calibers in the .243 to .308 range.
- The high velocity with long-distance accuracy – 130 grain has a muzzle velocity of 3,400 fps. 95 grain .243 rounds have a muzzle velocity of 3,185 fps.
- High Energy Impact – 130 grain energy is 2,955 ft-lbs.
- Aerodynamic for improved trajectory without massive loss of energy or velocity.
- A patented Polymer Tip is critical for the accuracy and width of the wound channel. The polymer tip helps keep the bullet on course and causes the lead bullet to expand on impact creating a deep and deadly wound channel.
- Long-range accuracy – thanks to improved aerodynamics that keep gravity from pushing the round down.
Is There a Downside to the Hornady SST for Elk?
Any round that creates a large wound tunnel is going to waste meat. That is the downside of using the Hornady SST for game.
It will kill the animal quickly and humanely, you will lose more meat with the SST over traditional rounds for elk.
Are There Grain Options for the Hornady SST Rounds?
Yes, they come in many grains but if you are hunting elk or other large game animals such as moose or bear, you want to stick to a higher grain round like the 180 grain Hornady SST or the 165-grain unit.
You will find that there is an argument over what grain is best for elk hunting. Stick with what works well and that would be either the 165 or 180-grain option.
The 130 grain is good for smaller game, such as deer, coyotes, and smaller pests.
Elk Hunting with Hornady SST
Elk are big animals with thick hides and big bones. They are wary and aware of their surroundings and will employ tactics to remain unseen.
When you spot a big bull elk you may have only one shot to take it down. Elk are fast and when wounded can be very dangerous.
The Hornady SST rounds give the advantage to the hunter. With a long-distance accuracy and fast velocity, you are more likely to kill a bull elk with one shot and avoid having to track the wounded animal.
Beyond Elk, the Hornady SST is a versatile round that has applications for many game and pest targets.
With a range of calibers available and ample grain options for rounds, you can use the SST to take big animals or target smaller, hard-to-reach game such as Dall sheep, and mountain goats.
The SST platform is even a good option for whitetail or mule deer. In terms of pest hunting, the Hornady SST is good for feral hogs, coyotes, and other predatory pests.
Top Game You Can Use the Hornady SST rounds for?
- Elk – as discussed
- Dal Sheep
- Mountain Goats
- Feral hogs
While you can use the Hornady SST on big game and the bullet offers many advantages, the success of your hunt often comes down to user skill.
Be sure to spend time target practicing and honing other hunting skills so that your shot is the best it can be.
The Bottom Line
The Hornady SST round is suitable for elk hunting. It is suitable anytime you need massive impact with a deep penetrating would channel and enough power to kill a big animal quickly and humanly.
The only drawback that the Hornady SST round has for hunting is the deep and large wound channel it creates.
It can waste a lot of meat especially if the bullet passes through the animal. Exit wounds are much larger than entry wounds.
The best benefits of hunting with the Hornady SST include the power and velocity that the round offers, but more importantly, it is the special design of the round and its impressive aerodynamics that allows the bullet to fly on a flat plane for longer distances.
Those features add up to improved accuracy at greater distances and couple well with the massive impact of the round.
Experience and practice are two elements of hunting that add to the performance of your gun and your ammo choices. If you want to ensure that your shot is accurate, even with the Hornady SST you will need to practice shooting to improve your technique.
In the hands of a quality hunter with adequate skills and top-notch technique in firing their gun, the Hornady SST is almost a perfect storm for bringing down big game.