For you guys that shoot Bergers any issues with bullet fragments in the meat? Any issues with tip damage?
No problem at all with either. We cut quite a bit of our own meat and simply toss the ribs. If we place it badly and get into a front shoulder we discard the blood shot area. Just like with every bullet I have hunted with over the years. I love a nice trophy animal, and look for them. But our freezer is filled each fall with Elk and antelope. 98% of the meat we eat is wild game. The meat is important to us. If I was loosing too much meat, or was getting bullet fragments in our table fair, I would not use the bullets.
The tips are tough. With 1000's of rounds through the 338 Lapua and 300 win with Bergers I have never seen a damaged tip from recoil. I have seen that before with soft nose and plastic tipped bullets though. At one time I was having an issue with plastic tips breaking off in the mag box. That was before I went exclusively to Bergers.
Great info. With a lot of guys using them I suspected that they would be OK but it is nice to hear from someone who has done it. Thanks.
You are welcome Sir. If he does not respond to this thread you should PM BignGreen. He has been professionally cutting meat for years. I doubt there are many guys around here that has cut more wild game. I would think he would be a great source of information on this topic.
I haven't seen a problem with Berger's damaging meat, I suppose if you put one into a heavy bone thick muscled area they would, but so will anything else. As far as tip damage goes, that would be one helluva nasty recoiling rifle to deform a open tip bullet. Lead and Polymer tips are soft, copper is quite a bit harder than lead or Polymer bullet tips
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.
I have probably taken as many animals with Barnes bullets as anyone as I and my sons shot them for many years
Switched to Bergers about '05 or so and never looked back.
We bone everything right at the kill site, 98% of the time we use the gutless method.
We process 100% of all our meat ourselves and always have. My kids are married and have their own young ones and it is a rarity that store bought meat is used by us.
I started out many years ago using the Sierra and Hornady type over the counter bullets, went nosler partition for a lot of years, then Barnes and now berger. We have less blood shot, fragmented and wasted meat now than ever IMO.
All I can say is - to each his own but I sure as hell wouldn't allow any bad meat/fragments/blood shot crap to ever get into a package that them grandkids of mine will eat.
The bang flop, dead quick will have much less blood shot than when something puts a 200 yd sprint before collapseing. Seen it too many times. If you can break 'em down quick you will have much better meat majority of time.
One last thing - with the new bigger and faster is better in today's world I would guess your going to have some meat questions with any bullet on say a 338 lapua on an antelope.
More good info on the Bergers. I appreciate your taking the time to educate me.
By the way, Iíve found that with bullets that pass clear through like Barnes that the big 338s and such wonít mess up a smaller animal because they dump less energy in them than they would when shooting a bigger animal. To test this theory, I shot a whitetail with my 338 RUM. It stumbled for about 20 yards and fell over and had not the slightest bit of meat damage - just a small hole on both sides. Iím guessing a Berger would have made a hole like a coffee can and knocked it into next week.
So yes Iím guilty of the ďbigger is better mentalityĒ but not without a little thought Ė thus the use of Barnes bullets. Like you, I used to shoot deer with Sierra Game Kings. In my case, I used 100 grainers out of a 6mm Rem. That bullet pretty much stopped on the opposite side. And as with the 338/Barnes combo, the deer might go 20 yards but that was about it. The 6mm seemed like a pretty good way to go until one day my nephew let me shoot his 300 RUM and I was hooked.
The Barnes/338 combo works on elk the same way, 20 yards and flop but of course more energy gets dumped into the elk since they are thicker through. Kind of nice that bigger animals get hit harder but that only works with bullets that pass through with horsepower to spare. You get out there at 1,000 yards and you have no horsepower to spare so I have been thinking a different strategy might be in order Ė like say some Bergers. Also a friend gave me 3 boxes of them because he couldnít get them to shoot. Iím thinking that I can get them to shoot, but I first wanted to know if it was worth it. Thanks to all for the very useful info.