My bet is there's nothing wrong with that Berger bullet, other than it didn't expand. And probably only God knows why there are instances where this happens, while most of the time the VLDs will expand under your described scenario and shot. Clearly the bullet didn't tumble before it hit the elk, otherwise you'd have never hit the animal at that range. Plus you describe a normal, circular entrance hole. What are the odds a tumbling bullet would happen to hit exactly point on, or butt-end on.
Long bullets have quite a tendency to tumble inside game animals if they don't expand. The military knows this and it's a well documented fact, so the tumbling which deformed the bullet most certainly occurred inside the elk. Which also explains the loss of velocity within the animal, and why the bullet was caught under the hide on the off side.
I agree with your conclusion! I appreciate the feedback and posts, like stated in previous posts, we always hear the success stories which is great, and I do have some success stories with the bergers that I'm proud of, but I will not hide anything and that's why I'm sharing this physical evidence with you all. I'm very picky and precise and just would like to have more confidence not with shot placement but with performance. I don't want to be proud just sometimes. I want to be proud each time I pull that trigger.
Broz----Did Erick send any bullets your way for the testing and all the info you produced?
No, All the 215's I tested with and hunted with I purchased from a distributer. I believe the first 150 came from Sinclair's if my memory serves me well. I just bought another 300 from Bruno's. But for sure they were all from distributers and none came directly from Berger. I do not now nor have I in the past received free bullets from Berger. Why do you ask?
I would not cut up that bullet open before talking to Berger!!! I think issues are rare and guys who don't just flip out and point fingers but try to get down to the bottom of what happened are even more rare, golden opportunity to get it figured out!!!!!
I always check the tip to make dang sure it's open, use a light or needle to make sure there is no obstruction, that hole being open is critical function!!! I've seen exactly one Berger bullet that was obstructed in the thousands we've shot but we did find it and removed it from out hunting line up.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
I didnt read all of the replies but this is why I dont care for this type of bullet. I have had my 300SMK's act similarly in my 338 lapua. And I have seen this happen with 168's in a friends 7mm. the other fail I have seen is they sometimes blow up on contact, Controlled expansion is the only way to go in my opinion
" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad