Re: Berger bullets blowing up?
I'm going to chime in here and throw out a theory of why I think people often have DIFFERENT experiences with Berger bullets which has nothing to do with shot placement, etc. but just comparing apples to apples. First of all I have, and will continue to use Bergers to some degree in the calibers that I don't make my own bullets for, so I'm not trying to start an arguement with anyone. THIS IS JUST WHAT I HAVE OBSERVED! I had this discussion with Phorwath over the phone a few days ago, and it would seen like a good time to throw this out there.
A berger jacket is about .012" in thickness at the mouth (at least in .308) When you squeeze the jacket together in a die during the swaging process, there is a lot crushing, distorting, that takes place, and "it is not identical every time". I find this when I make my own bullets using the same process. This is just a mechanical fact! In other words, sometimes the interior of the tip is completely closed, and sometimes there might be a very small opening. I discovered this when disecting, and especially when drilling out the tips. This is why I have suggested to a few people that they carefully drill out the tip just short of the lead with a fine drill bit approx. 1/2 the meplat diameter. Fill the resulting cavity with silicone. This is especially useful when using at longer ranges, (lower velocity).This will not affect the b.c. or accuracy. The reason for doing this is to create a more uniform and consistent result when the bullet impacts and is exactly why, IMO, people often report varying results. The silicone in the tip also performs a valuable purpose. A hollow point will not always perform with consistency depending upon what happens inside the cavity upon impact. i.e. hair, flesh, etc. The silicone filled tip will create more of a hydrolic effect which will help to start the expansion more uniformly (much like a ballistic tip).
My point about all this is that some of the bullets, the ones that are completely closed up, are more likely to need more resistance to start to open and also more likely to act like a fmj and why people have reported (penciling thru) even at higher velocities. Others have reported explosion upon impact, this likely due to the tip being wedged open quicker from what I described above during the swaging process. This is why a ballistic tip will ALWAYS be more predictable than a closed, narrow meplat. This is not to say it will ALWAYS be better so please don't unload about that. The ONLY reason that a Berger will work, (penetrate) when other types with just as thin a skin will not, is because the meplat is very narrow and closed. This is also the very reason that they are not consistent in the way they perform. As I've stated in the past; there are no perfect bullets for every situation and the Bergers definitely have there place but don't be surprised when something "unusual" happens even though you haven't yet experienced it..........Rich