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I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

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Unread 06-16-2010, 12:50 PM
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Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

Originally Posted by winmag View Post
I dont even shoot Berger bullets, but I just might start! After the way Ive seen Eric, and Bryan, and the Berger guys stand up, and take this, like men, (who-depending on your opinion- may or may not deserve whats being thrown thier way). I have never seen a company of any kind stand up and willingly accept full responsibility, without some kind of finger-pointing. Very few men these days have the ''sack and gutts'' to do so. I respect that.
I here the praises of Berger all the time here on L/R/H, but havent jumped on the wagon as my effective range is limmited by my personal ability to 600+/- yards. Whats long range for me doesnt mean ''squat'' compared to many shooters here. But having seen and read SO many threads from so many reputable L/R shooters sing the praises of Berger, I find it a little odd that folks are so willing to jump on the ''dog-pile'' and ''bash'' a company who has strived so hard to give us the best Long Range bullet they could. I may have to better my ability just to start shooting Bergers out of respect for the way they stand behind thier work, and take personal responsibility for thier mistake.
Ok, so there was a mistake made. Look who stood up and offered to take the blame(personally). Look who stands behind thier work and offers-free of charge- to make it right. Does your job get put under the magnafying glass? Looks to me like theyre a stand up company, with a great reputation, and commitment to thier customers.
The Berger boys are ALWAYS referanced when it comes to HONESTY, and RELIABLE bullet data on any given bullet-even if its not thiers. I would do some ''soul searching'' before 1 small chink in the armor of a reputation like that made my decision to turn tail. They are still loyal to making thier customers happy. The scruitiny theyre put under by the Long Range shooting community, makes rocket science look like a chump job. They have the info, and are working to make it right. Give em time to fix the problemb, and you probably wont be dissapointed.
I realize that there are some very dissapointed folks. I also realize the Berger boys dont need anybody to defend them, but before you jump on the pile and bash them, think about the reputation they have earned, and what theyre doing to keep it.
+1 well said!! After all no ones perfect we've all made mistakes.

"Molon Labe"
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    Unread 06-16-2010, 03:24 PM
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    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: South central, Oregon
    Posts: 81
    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

    Just a small piece of info as far as customer service is concerned.
    All bullets have a velocity window of effectiveness and reliability. Push one to fast and the effects may vary. But make a phone call to the folks at Sierra,Nosler,Hornady, Etc. and tell them you blew their bullet up pushing it and they will say "sorry" but you are pushing them to fast. Slow them down and they will do what you want.
    I know because I've made those calls to each and every one.
    Berger is the first to accept criticism of their product and actually make the customer happy by changeing their design to please everyone.
    I personally don't have a problem with Generation 1 Hybrid. I wish they would keep it the same or offer the New one under a different # as an option. I believe toughening this bullet up so it won't have structural problems at high velocity, will make it have a higher upset velocity lowering long range expansion reliability.
    As far as the reported B.C. being lower than advertised, I like as much as I can get, so I'm also a LITTLE dissapointed. But i've shot over 200 rounds past 1 mile in the last 2 weeks and this is the most consistant bullet i've ever fired in any rifle at long range. Yes I'm only driving them @ 2,750, not 3,300 fps. But if you stay in the velocity window, this bullet will perform!
    To Eric and Bryan and all at Berger, Keep up what you do, I'm lovin' it!
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    Unread 06-16-2010, 03:29 PM
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    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: IOWA
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    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

    Great post by Eric Strecker.
    Truly a stand up guy. As I have stated previously, I have full confidence that Berger will work this issue out, just give them some time.
    I shoot Berger's is all my rifles except the 338's. Once more is known about the performance of their 338 bullets, I am sure I will be a covert to them as well.
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    Unread 06-16-2010, 04:22 PM
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    Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

    Marine Sniper,

    Fair enough. I agree the reputation of berger bullets is very good but all of them have velocity ceilings. I was hoping the new 338 Bergers would offer the same 3200-3250 fps velocity ceiling as other heavy for caliber VLDs made by Berger. In the back of my mind however I kept thinking that the larger the diameter, the heavier the bullet, the harder it is to simply keep the bullet together simply from a physics standpoint as the bullet has more mass and that does not help when its spun at high velocity.

    I also agree, with the wait we have been put through, its hard to swallow that this testing of this bullet has not been done and done again and again and repeated and repeated and retested and proven and proven again by Berger, but test shooters and again by Berger, I think you get my point.

    After 2 years, there really is no excuse to release a product that has not been fully tested and proven.

    That said, when a product hits the public, it gets tested in many applications that are the manufacture may have not been able to test but again, some pretty solid claims were made in rifle systems that we commonly use for long range shooting and the results fell short so far.

    All in all, I agree with your feelings about being disappointed with the results but would still say that your rifle will likely perform EXTEMELY WELL with the 300 gr SMK until Berger gets these bullets fine tuned for those of us that drive at higher velocity.

    Take care and keep us posted with your big Yogi project.
    Kirby Allen(50)

    Allen Precision Shooting
    Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

    Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

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    Unread 06-16-2010, 04:35 PM
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    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.


    Good post and very stand up.

    I do have a question though, you state that these problems are caused by high presssure. I find that hard to believe as I shoot them in my 338 AX and 338 AM and played with pressures extensively and in a 1-10 twist barrel, it seemed that velocity and RPM had much more effect on the bullet performance then any issues with pressure. Let me explain.

    In the 338 AX, in a fresh 1-10 Lilja barrel, I was able to get pretty good performance, right around 1/2 moa up to 2900 fps. 3/4 moa up to just shy of 2950 fps and above that it all went to hell.

    In a seasoned barrel of the same chambering and twist, 1/2 moa accuracy stopped at around 2775 fps. 3/4 moa to around 2830 fps and then above that very poor accuracy.

    More so to the topic of pressure, when testing in my 338 AM, top loads using H-50BMG produced 3412 fps average but not a single bullet made it to target. I continued dropping powder charge to the point that I started to get hangfires and muzzle velocity was around 3000 to 3100 fps. I say around because the velocity spreads were terrible and so was accuracy, in fact, 40 to 50% of bullets did not make it to target. Pressures at this level I am sure were hardly over 50,000 psi if that.

    In testing many of your other bullets, including the 224 80 gr VLD, 6mm 105 gr VLD, 6.5mm 140 gr VLD and 7mm 180 gr VLD, all of these let loose right at 3250 fps + or - a bit no matter what pressure they were driven to. Now I know many chamberings will not reach this level of performance but there are many out there that will get to this level and some that push well past this. I just wish you would make bullets that would survive the big chamberings as you have some great bullets that would be great for long range hunting but there are many chamberings that just outperform where your bullets will hold up to as far as velocity limits or more importantly, RPM limits.

    Again, not hammering you, just asking the question, why do you believe this is a pressure issue?

    Take care and thanks for your response.
    Kirby Allen(50)

    Allen Precision Shooting
    Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

    Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

    Web Page:
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    Unread 06-16-2010, 05:31 PM
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    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.

    I'm only a backyard bullet maker but in my opinion the problem is occuring because of the larger frontal area on the .338. I'm assuming the jacket thickness is similar to some of the smaller calibers which perform well at higher velocities.......Rich
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    Unread 06-16-2010, 05:34 PM
    Join Date: Jul 2007
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    Re: I am very dissapointed with Berger bullets regarding the 338 hybrid bullet.


    When plastic tips became popular we spent a lot of time trying to get them to work. We were unsuccessful in making the axis of the bullet line up consistently with the axis of the tip. This produces precision issues.

    It has been our position that precision is our top priority so we (Walt at the time) decided not to use plastic tips in any of our bullets. We recognize that plastic tips have benefits but until we can make them shoot precisely we won't use them.


    For clarification purposes, many of our bullets do not perform well at the highest possible velocities. When the first VLD was created (6mm 105 gr) many who understood high BCs tried to use this bullet at the highest velocities achievable with big wildcats for obvious reasons (minimal drop and drift).

    In many of these situations the bullets blew up in flight. At best precision and accuracy was poor so folks learned that they had to dial the velocity back to use these bullets. In this particular example the velocities that worked were in the 3,200 fps and less region which most found acceptable.

    With this 338 cal bullet we made the jacket thicker to begin with because we wanted to prevent the bullet failures as described above. We knew many folks wanted to drive this bullet hard so we implemented a solution that worked in the past. In this case we are facing a new issue which we believe is nose slump.

    These 338 cal bullets have been reported as working very well at velocities that most would consider moderate. For this reason it is likely that the bullet that exists today will remain a part of our line. The revised version will be made as a separate option for those who want to push this bullet hard.

    I suspect that this revised version will compromise on some of the other characteristics our bullets possess but to guess which characteristic and to what degree would be pure speculation so not worth discussing now. I can say that we will not compromise on precision and will work to produce a bullet that can take hard shooting and react properly with impact on live tissue.


    Your point about waiting two years is valid. It is this long wait that played a role in my decision to release this bullet with minimal testing. I do not intend for this to be an excuse but rather an explanation. There are no excuses regarding this situation and I accept that this was an error.

    I am a shooter too. I know what it feels like to yearn for the latest hottest thing and not be able to get it. We received far more calls and emails asking about the 338 cal bullets than any other bullet in our history. I was as eager for these to get "out there" as everyone was to shoot them. I took a chance that everything was going to be fine. We make all our bullets the same way and this is no different with the 338 cal.

    Most of the two year wait was the result of our need to build a new machine that had a long enough stroke to make bullets up to and including 50 cal. Once the machine was completed it was not long before we had bullets made since our process is always the same.

    We had designed a bullet failure solution into this bullet so I had no reason to believe there would be any problems. Obviously I was wrong. If I had a chance to do it over again I would have done it differently. Wanting a bullet to work for those who are eager to shoot it is not the same as making sure the bullet will work and I understand that better now than I did a few weeks ago. I promise you and anyone who wants to push this bullet hard that we will have a solution.

    To strengthen your shooting skills go to the range.
    To strengthen the shooting sports take a new shooter with you.

    Berger Bullets
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