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Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

 
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  #57  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:52 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

It looks like some of us have never had a problem and some have seen/heard of this numerous times.

When you have the same lot number where there is no problems along with having some problems it poses a real tough situation in trying to pin point what is causing the problem. With that said could the guys having seen this problem one or numerous times be doing anything in their bullet seating process with whatever they are using for a bullet seating die be closing the tip????

The tip being closed makes the most analytical sense to me at this point and that could be anything from coming straight from Berger that way, our bullet seating process, and even in the handling of said bullets be it in the reloading room or in a magazine that has been fired 'N" number of times.

I will tell you that in long past I have used lead tipped bullets and after a 100 miles riding in a rifle scabbard on mule/horseback the tips would flatten out just being in the magazine. I'd just jack 'em out to use on the rifle range and put in a new batch.

I have been a long time user of Berger's. With that said I was VERY skeptical in even trying them at the very beginning. After seeing about a dozen animals taken by my sons and analyzing the results at the gut piles I made the switch and will say I have had nothing but a positive experience since. We do try and buy our Bergers in lots of 1000 so we don't have that much experience with a whole lot of different lot numbers.

I've been around a while and I will repeat what has been said by others: "I take my hat off to Berger and their response". I even decided I needed a Berger hat in my stocking so I ordered one yesterday. Never have advertised for a particular product unless a shirt/hat/coat was given to me.

Although my initial thoughts on this were BS because we've never seen it happen personally, it may well be going on and I am thankful that this discussion is taking place. If a manufacturing process, handling or reloading is causing it I'd like to know so that we can avoid ever running into it.

Again - thank you berger for your responses and more than anything your attitude in this matter.
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  #58  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:35 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

Here's a pic of a 168gr .284 VLD (upper) and a 210gr .308 VLD (lower) which have been meplat trimmed and hollow-pointed with the Kevin Cram tools. I didn't get too agressive in removing tip material. I shaved off enough of the tips to completely smooth up about 90% of the VLD meplats, and the tips on the remaining 10% are then about 90% uniformed. I was more interested in the hollow-pointing feature and the thinning of the leading edge of the jacket material.


Last edited by phorwath; 12-07-2012 at 05:30 PM.
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  #59  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:11 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

I keep wondering if there is some way an ejection pin in the die can sometimes push a little peal of copper or pull a little copper up into the hole a little? The one bullet we found was definitely plugged with copper and we drilled it a little to see how far it was closed and it was significantly thick. It was reported to Berger also.
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  #60  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:17 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

Quote:
Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
Scott E and IdahoRedneck,
Short answer is I don't have the answers to Scott's great questions for several reasons. I've shot custom bullets that elkaholic has manufactured the past two hunting seasons. So my chronograph work, load development, and testing turned to those bullets and loads shortly after I meplat uniformed and hollow-pointed these VLDs. I plan to shoot the meplat tricked-out VLDs through my triplicate chronograph setup at 1000 yds to determine % reduction in BC, but haven't done that yet. And in general, a move within the local area has reduced my hobby time over the past 12 months.

I can say the Kevin Cram tools produce sweet looking bullet tips. I did this because I had an intuitive expectation that if I created the slightly enlarged V-shaped hollow point on the tips of the bullets, that I might be able to reduce or eliminate those instances of non-expansion, and that the bullets might be even more apt to expand at long range, low velocity impacts on game. The hollow-pointing tool thins the leading edge of the jacket and creates a picture perfect V down into the hollow of the tip of the bullets. It seemed to me that a V shape would be more apt to disrupt when impacting game than a thicker, blunter leading edge on the jackets.

It does take a fair amount of time and effort to meplat uniform and hollow-point 450 bullets. If Berger did this, they'd have to charge a premium for the extra time and labor. And if you decide to do it yourself, you'll value the bullets more than before due to the investment of your labor.

My thoughts: I will be able to determine any reduced BC value after I chronograph at 1000 yards. I may be able to discern some affect on accuracy, but I don't expect that. Otherwise ALL benchrest shooters would be doing this. I won't be able to determine if the hollow-pointing improves the odds of expansion any time soon, because the vast majority of VLDs seem to expand as intended. And I don't kill enough animals to reach a confident conclusion any time soon. Going about it on my own WILL require a large number of game animals killed to determine if the hollow-pointing eliminates the incidents of non-expanding bullets.

Eric's approach will be much more time-efficient to determine if the closed tips are a causative factor in failures to expand. Identify a potential cause and then focus on thoroughly testing that specific cause. In this case, shoot only the closed-tip bullets to determine if those bullets with no hole in the tips fail to expand a significantly increased percentage of the time. I appreciate the challenge. When the vast majority of VLDs do expand, it will be difficult to finger a primary cause for the limited number of non-expanding incidents.

A hunters, we may have to accept the fact that just about any bullet design may fail to perform 100% of the time. I had a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip fail to expand on a dall ram at a distance of 12 yards about 20 years ago. Shot the ram through the ribs, just behind the shoulders. Completely broadside shot. The ram acted like he'd not been hit. He jumped and reversed position 180 degrees and then stood there looking around until I saw a small tiny red spot on the white hair in the middle of the ribs where the bullet exited on the off side. So I continued to wait and watch thinking the animal would collapse very soon. Long story short, he was still alive 20 minutes later when I finally shot him a second time. This experience is why I stated earlier, perhaps only God will know why bullets sometimes fail to perform to standards of expectation.

An even more bizarre incident. Locally, and about 8 years ago, an older man shot his neighbor with a .338 Win Mag at point blank range (less than 15 feet). He was tying to kill his neighbor following some sort of disagreement. The gunshot victim did fall to the ground, but continued to talk. Was asking the neighbor why the h_ll he shot him? Another long story short. The gunshot man survived being hardly any worse for the wear. EMTs and paramedics were all dumbfounded and reported that the bullet struck close to the heart, and thru and thru'd the torso above the diaphram. Same type of report later from the hospital. Obviously that bullet didn't expand. I would have loved to have seen the look on the shooter's face after the shot, which produced very minimal affect. I'd guess he may have decided he'd picked a fight with the wrong fella! For the unbelieving, this incident was reported in the local Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, Alaska. Might be able to find it with a Google search. Last piece of gossip... The shooter was an occasional customer at my brother's gun shop. My brother said the customer always seemed like a nice guy. Never imagined he'd have done something like this.

I'll report on my findings with the meplat trimmed and hollow-pointed VLDs, but only after I've reached some fairly confident conclusions. I think I'll be able to discern and calculate a reduced BC. But the reduction in BC has already been fairly closely determined in the past from other shooters' reports (~2%, but it's dependent on how much tip is shaved off the bullets). I'm not confident I'll be able to reach conclusions on the other items of interest anytime soon...
Thanks a lot for the info and the time spent writing it out. Very helpful.

I will tell you what is interesting to me. I have followed all the Berger issues with interest because to my way of thinking they are the ultimate killing bullet when they perform correctly. The only real issues you hear are some non expanding issues and some premature blowup issues but they are very rare.

It seems for the real dedicated LR guys, willing to deal with the extra labor, that it would be about perfect to take some of the thicker jacketed hybrid target bullets and use the uniformer and HP tool on them. Seems like it could be possible to create the perfect hunting bullet with no drawbacks. At least it would be a really fun experiment!

Scot E.
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  #61  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:57 PM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

[QUOTE=Scot E;7286
It seems for the real dedicated LR guys, willing to deal with the extra labor, that it would be about perfect to take some of the thicker jacketed hybrid target bullets and use the uniformer and HP tool on them. Seems like it could be possible to create the perfect hunting bullet with no drawbacks. At least it would be a really fun experiment!
Scot E.[/QUOTE]

Been talking about this very same thing - we're going to do some playing with very thing. Can't decide what to use as a testing media and all our seasons just closed. Wish I still had a pocket full of anterless tags that still needed using.
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  #62  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:01 AM
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Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
Been talking about this very same thing - we're going to do some playing with very thing. Can't decide what to use as a testing media and all our seasons just closed. Wish I still had a pocket full of anterless tags that still needed using.
Well don't tell Broz. He'll get all giddy about a new Berger project and and won't be able to sleep until next fall!

Please keep us all up to date. I am very interested in the results!

Scot E.
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  #63  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:20 AM
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Posts: 286
Re: Pics of Berger Bullets NOT Performing????

I couldnt agree more. The extra step required on making match quality huntin ammo is somethin I would enjoy as I love makin LRH ammo......... As far as media I wonder if Brian litz would be interested in testin some bullets prepped this way. Comparing the expansion against the tests he already runs, should show for sure at least if there is a downside to doing this.......at least using whatever media he uses.

Plus one on Berger being the ultimate bullet.when they work which has been always for me.... If this new step would add to them working I think lots of folks wouldnt mind doing it.

And the fact that the tips do look awesome when done is always a good thing...

also very interested in your results......... Dan
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