Re: hunting with Berger bullets
Then I would say you have 2 immediate options.
1), try seating the Berger a bit deeper, and try up to 4 loads with each consecutive load going deeper but by a very small margin.
2), stick with SMK. I personally do not see how the 2 brands will perform noticeably different on game as neither are designed for it.
I knew that Sierra MK would work on game because back in 1990 I bought a box and loaded them in a friend's 30.06. He must have killed 8 or 9 deer that year. Sure, I knew they looked different, but I didn't know what a "match grade bullet" was compared to a "hunting bullet."
So, out of sheer ignorance, I load up a bunch of paper punchers for my friend, and he's dropping deer up to 175 pounds left and right out to 225 yards without any evidence of bad bullet performance. (I was very green then).
He popped a doe at 35 yards as she faced him. The bullet actually exited out her distal paunch right below her vent. But there were fragments throughout as we gutted her. She fell dead right there.