No intent to argue and I have no idea how they would perform on elk but an unrecovered animal is no statement to bullet performance.
Don't see how you can make that blanket assessment. It may be a factor-it may not. Depends on the situation. Since everyone seems to read me wrong so often, I'll spell out what I am saying:
1)The shot placement should have been better-that's on my brother; and
2)IMO the bullet selection could have been better too. In fact, I strongly advised him to use a Barnes X or other similarly constructed bullet (I named several to him). He had confidence in the fusions and chose to use them. That's on him too.
So I am not trying to blame an unrecovered elk solely on the bullet-but I am convinced it was a factor even though the responsibility for any unrecovered animal is always on the shooter. Again, the shooter both places the shot (good or bad) and chooses the bullet to use (good or bad). So the responsibility is always on the shooter.
(As an aside, even though he could have certainly continued to hunt and likely killed an elk, he refused to hunt anymore knowing the elk he shot more than likely was mortally wounded from the shot even though it was not recovered.)