I have fired over 700 of these through a 338 LM and many were long range on game. This includes antelope and coyotes to 1200 yards. The smaller, narrower and softer game would be the first so show an expansion problem. I have not had one issue. Since this discrepancy has come up for discussion there are a few of us looking into it. I plan to do some testing on this myself. At this time, my best advice would be not to panic and lets see what some of us come up with. There has been way more DRt's than problems with the 300 OTM's. Probably over 100 to 1. I believe that if they indeed have a open tip they will expand. I also know the actual tips at the very end will vary in length quite a bit. So this is going to be something to consider as well.
My advice would be, if you have some plugged and completely solid use them for target shooting, but if they are open at all they should expand in my mind. It is possible that even the closed ones would expand as there should be a open void behind the point. many bullets have no hole at all and expand with solid plastic tips. Again this is my opinion from experience. Not backed by tests yet. So, use what the ones you are most comfortable with for game and I bet you will be fine.
thanks for the responses, i will also be doing something similar as I know which bullets are which now...
this relates to SMK's, not Bergers, but worth sharing,
I traded some first gen Berger 338's for some SMK's the person I traded with packaged the SMK's worse than a 5 year old would have, threw them loose into a flat rate small USPS box with a peice of newspaper crumpled up.... no additional tape, or anything even holding the bullets. I lost a bunch of bullets on the way to me, 67 i beleive, person said they would send me more, never did, i figured as much, anyway thats another story,
but because of this, the tips were pretty messed up, meplats were damaged, but all still had the cavity
i tested some at only 50 yards to compare to SMK's I had previously that were not damaged at all.
at 50 yards with wet newspaper stacked together pretty tight:
the normal non-damaged SMK's entered at 338 diameter for 1-2" then for the next 2" or so started to open up, and from 5-16" through the newspaper, there was a 6-7" hole, that tapered back down, and I found the copper stripped back with barely any lead at around 24" deep in the newspaper, I did not test many, but they all did the same thing.
the ones with damaged tip, went in 338 diameter for an inch, then for 2-3" more there was around an inch hole, then it went up to 2" or so for another 8-10" and exited 25" of wet newspaper, not a very big exit hole though.
so again, I will test the Bergers at 50 yards, and it should show a bit, I know longer range would be better, but this will serve 2 purposes for me, show whether the ones with the deep cavity open better than without, also, if I have to shoot something close, it will show me what happens.
I know that it really should not matter if close and on softer tissue, but I have done the same test with a 300 wsm and 168 A-max's, and it was pretty bad...
bullets entered the cardboard box housing the wet newspaper, then fragmented and pretty much went upward, almost no damage past an inch or so in, multiple shots did the same thing, so that worried me for hunting where I may need to shoot something closer.
I will let you know how this goes and post pictures and such.
also, anything I should try to do special with these tests or any advice?
I would like to see some reduced loads shot with the bullets with open and closed tips, in a 338 Lapua around 33 grain of trail boss will give you around 1500 fps. Start at like 29 grains to be safe though.
Take lots of pictures of the wound channels and bullet fragments, i am very interested.
I'm 16 "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." ~George Washington
"The only advantage a light rifle has is weight, all other advantages go to the heavy rifle."
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I would shoot the all but the 5 closed tip ones at game, I would also cut them open to see if it's lead or copper causing the obstruction or shoot them at targets. I think there will be varying degrees of depth to the lead just from how it mushes up into the point when the pointing die makes the tip. I shoot piles of 165 Matrix and the lead comes clean up to just under the top so there is really no cavity to speak of and they open like gang busters.
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