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Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

 
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  #183  
Old 09-04-2013, 10:32 AM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

As J.E. says, lots of good comments! To me, it all comes down to range (velocity upon impact). I will just say this. A tipped bullet will be more CONSISTENT than anything else! That is not to say it is better for everything. I certainly don't recommend the ones I make and shoot at long range close up on heavy game. They are consistently explosive! Having said that, with the right combination of jacket and core, a tip will initiate the expansion more uniforly than a bullet without one..........rich
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  #184  
Old 09-04-2013, 11:37 AM
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Re: Meplat trimming and annealing Berger VLD Bullets

The meplat-trimmed and hollow-pointed VLD bullets I shot the caribou with produced a result in the direction I was looking for. I was surprised at how that relatively minor tip modification produced such rapid expansion upon impact on the entry side of the animal. This demonstrated that the size and shape of the tips of the VLDs bears heavily on terminal performance. It also infers that a slight deviation in tips during manufacture of the bullets, such as tips that may be pinched closed during production, could heavily impact terminal performance. I do believe that the very small percentage of closed tips that are produced and shipped from the factory play a role in the small percentage of incidents where the VLDs fail to expand on game. But I also have learned that any bullet designed to expand can also, unexpectedly fail to expand on game. I say this because of my experience with a 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip on a Dall sheep at 12-13 yards from a .280 RCBS Improved. Bullet entered the middle of the ribs and exited the middle of the ribs on a completely broadside shot. No expansion. The animal was still alive, ill and bedded down 20 minutes later, at which time I killed it with another shot. I then confirmed everything I'm relating here during field dressing and examination. Some are incredulous when they hear of this experience. They can't fathom that a Ballistic Tip could fail to expand at that high velocity impact on an animal the size of a mature deer.

My Ballistic Tip experience is not meant to dismiss 'elkaholic's comment. I do agree that a tipped bullet is the expanding bullet design most apt to ensure terminal expansion on game. These tips (quite a bit larger in diameter than the hollow core in the tip of a VLD) being forced back into a lead core bullet upon impact with game is a reliable initiator of expansion.

Here are a couple links I recently came across and found interesting, from a fellow in New Zealand. One discusses annealing the tips of Berger VLDs to help promote expansion at lower impact velocity than might otherwise occur with the factory bullets. It includes an annealing video tutorial. The author states: "Annealing (softening) is one method of encouraging fragmentation of the VLD, meplat trimming to 70 thou and sacrificing BC for fast clean killing is another method."

Berger VLD annealing tutorial

And here's another video tutorial and discussion on annealing the Hornady SST and Interbond bullets:

SST and Interbond annealing tutorial

Nosler's recent production of their AccuBond Long Range line of bullets is an interesting blend of a tipped, bonded core bullet, with pretty good aerodynamics (BC). Initial reports on performance are sounding pretty good. Certainly an attractive option for those preferring tipped, bonded core bullets for long range hunting.

Last edited by phorwath; 09-04-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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  #185  
Old 09-04-2013, 01:25 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

A lot of good info and comments here. The collective experience of so many is invaluable and we are lucky to have a place like this to exchange our experiences.

Most/all hunting bullets perform well in the vast majority of experiences. I think I have read isolated cases of failure about every major type of hunting bullet. It happens. Sometimes there's an apparent cause and sometimes not.

There is a lot of wisdom in JE's post, but, on the other hand, if we look at Broz' experience with the 215 hybrids last year, he went 19 for 19 at various ranges and impact velocities. Those are very good odds.

I prefer the non-tipped bullets to the tipped. Which is more reliable for expansion depends on the size and condition of the HP meplat. Both ahev been know not to expand, but IMHO, if the size of the HP meplat is not too small and it is in good shape and free of obstructions, they are more reliable than a tipped bullet.

Now, although the Bergers are an excellent bullet, I don't think they are a perfect bullet. Their explosive nature works great in the chest cavity, but on other than boiler room shots, there may be a lot of meat damage and in some cases, lack of penetration. In my experience, probably 95% of my shots have been the lung shots, so an occasional quartering shot that damages some meat is not a huge deal. My biggest concern would be the bullet failing to pentrate heavy bone in a large elk if that's the only shot I had. That's where the heavier 30 cal and 338 cal bullets make a big diff IMO.
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  #186  
Old 09-04-2013, 03:26 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

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Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
That's where the heavier 30 cal and 338 cal bullets make a big diff IMO.
I agree totally.

Good info indeed, all bullets work, some work better than others for certain criteria. I always said know how your bullet works best and use that to your advantage. None work "best" at all distances. It is not possible as far as I am concerned.

The heavies have bailed me out more than once. Reading the 215 thread from last year will reveal at least 2 instances I can think where I showed less than perfect placement. (too far back) But neither elk got up or walked away. This is where the heavies fragmenting off and still have enough for penetration paided off for me.

We got 26" of penetration and that was through the far shoulder of the Bull at 200 yards. I was totally impressed with that. While skinning I was able to insert my 1" wide carpenter tape all the way through the wound channel to what was left of the bullet and a small pile of fragments under the far side hide. I sure wish I had that one on video. It was steep, foggy as heck, snow on the ground, and he came sliding towards us like a toboggan.

Jeff
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  #187  
Old 09-04-2013, 04:46 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
A lot of good info and comments here. The collective experience of so many is invaluable and we are lucky to have a place like this to exchange our experiences.

Most/all hunting bullets perform well in the vast majority of experiences. I think I have read isolated cases of failure about every major type of hunting bullet. It happens. Sometimes there's an apparent cause and sometimes not.

There is a lot of wisdom in JE's post, but, on the other hand, if we look at Broz' experience with the 215 hybrids last year, he went 19 for 19 at various ranges and impact velocities. Those are very good odds.

I prefer the non-tipped bullets to the tipped. Which is more reliable for expansion depends on the size and condition of the HP meplat. Both ahev been know not to expand, but IMHO, if the size of the HP meplat is not too small and it is in good shape and free of obstructions, they are more reliable than a tipped bullet.

Now, although the Bergers are an excellent bullet, I don't think they are a perfect bullet. Their explosive nature works great in the chest cavity, but on other than boiler room shots, there may be a lot of meat damage and in some cases, lack of penetration. In my experience, probably 95% of my shots have been the lung shots, so an occasional quartering shot that damages some meat is not a huge deal. My biggest concern would be the bullet failing to pentrate heavy bone in a large elk if that's the only shot I had. That's where the heavier 30 cal and 338 cal bullets make a big diff IMO.
This is one of the reasons that I say a tipped bullet, at really long ranges is more consistent "better", providing you are talking about the same, or similar jacket. In order to insure expansion with the hollow point, the meplat has to be wide enough, and remain open, to work properly. When you have this situation, my sharp pointed tips have a greater b.c. which is a big plus at extreme ranges, not only for the obvious reasons, but also for maintaining the velocity needed to initiate expansion. Again, it comes down to the range and target. I consider the Bergers "better" than what I use for a lot of conditions, but not when you are talking 1000+ yards. Mine just start working well at over 500 yards where a Berger, or similar, will penetrate better and cause far less entry damage than mine closer up.......rich
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  #188  
Old 09-04-2013, 06:41 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkaholic View Post
This is one of the reasons that I say a tipped bullet, at really long ranges is more consistent "better", providing you are talking about the same, or similar jacket. In order to insure expansion with the hollow point, the meplat has to be wide enough, and remain open, to work properly. When you have this situation, my sharp pointed tips have a greater b.c. which is a big plus at extreme ranges, not only for the obvious reasons, but also for maintaining the velocity needed to initiate expansion. Again, it comes down to the range and target. I consider the Bergers "better" than what I use for a lot of conditions, but not when you are talking 1000+ yards. Mine just start working well at over 500 yards where a Berger, or similar, will penetrate better and cause far less entry damage than mine closer up.......rich
Rich,

If I was going to pick a tipped bullet for hunting it would be like yours. Metal is better than poly and brass is better than aluminum. I've still got a few of yours to send down the pipe as soon as I get the RUM back from nitriding. They are good looking bullets It's true that pointy meplats have a better BC than HP's but when you reach a certain meplat diameter there is very little gain in BC by going to a pointed tip, and Bergers are close to that.

Now I don't have enough personal experience with the various types of bullet at various ranges to make a solid knowledge judgment. So I have to rely mostly on the collective experience of all you guys and others and others and the bullet makers themselves (who are definitely going to try to market their brand)

Gerard Schultz (GS Custom) said once in one of these bullet threads that tips do not facilitate expansion as they are actually an obstruction and that the HP design is the best for reliable expansion. Well that statement isn't completely accurate IMO, but there is some truth to it. Every now and then a tipped bullet fails to expand. And if you have an adequate opening in the meplat, there is no better mechanism to facilitate expansion. If you look at the GS bullets they have a slightly to significantly larger HP than Bergers or CEB's. You will not likely hear of one failing to expand and if you do it will almost certainly not be the bullets fault. The question is how small can you make that opening for better BC and still get reliable expansion? It seems to me the Bergers have got that nailed down pretty good based on overall performance which from what I can tell exceeds 95%, and that could probably be improved if the bullets were properly inspected prior to hunting with them.

Bottom line for me is HP's are the way to go, not that they are vastly superior to tipped bullets, especially ones like yours, but I do believe they are the best overall option. But even if I decided I liked tipped bullets better, it would do me no good until you start mass producing them So till then, I'm drinking the HP kool-aid
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Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 09-04-2013 at 07:22 PM.
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  #189  
Old 09-04-2013, 07:02 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

I would agree that "overall" the Berger type is a good option. It is important to know the limits regardless of what you shoot. My most common shots are 900 to up to 1500 if I chose. In this case, I'll take mine every time ....rich
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