Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics

Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics


Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 11-30-2011, 11:45 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 8,651
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Originally Posted by bowhunter42 View Post
I am completely sold on the Berger's for hunting. I just started using them earlier this year and was very pleased with how accurate they were out of my 300wsm and 300 win mag, and could'nt wait to hunt with them. I went on a mule deer hunt in september and used the 185 vld to help finish off my partner's buck, The bullet entered just in front of the shoulder at 185 yards (quartering to) and turned the entire chest cavity to mush. Then took an elk in montana at 331 yards, put the round in the center of the shoulder, she took one step and fell over a log. same result, a chest cavity full of mush. Then this last weekend, I took a mule deer buck at 609 yards, It was a quartering away shot, the round hit 4" behind the shoulder, took out a rib, The bullet then traveled into the chest cavity and once again turned everything to mush. The buck ran about 10 yards and the tumbled 200 yards down the mountain. I have used the accu-bond exclusively up till this year, and have noticed that I lose alot less meat with the Berger, Especially on the entrance side of an animal. I have also used them on several coyotes and unless I hit bone they usually just go right thru with minimal pelt damage, But if you do hit bone you could wear that hide like a hat. Imo they are a devastating bullet that just put the smack down on animals. I would not hesitate to use them at any yardage.
Nice to hear actual field reports like this. Your results mirror mine. Now by reading the posts you wll be able to determine who is actually using the Bergers and who has simply choosen to not like them with out trying them first.

Good job and congrats on your successful season. Feels good to anchor them quick and fast doesn't it.

Thanks for the report.

Reply With Quote

Unread 11-30-2011, 06:08 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cheney Wa
Posts: 168
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Ya there is nothing cooler then a non tracking job! And please dont get me wrong, I have nothing bad to say about the accu-bond, Its a GREAT bullet, In fact my girlfriend used one to drop her first elk this year, One shot at 371 with a 270 and 140gr AB and it dropped in its tracks. But if her rifle had the right twist rate in it she would be shooting A 150gr Berger. You just can't beat the accuracy and high BC of the VLD hunting bullet! Jay
Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2011, 08:23 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 150
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I to have had nothing but good luck from the Berger bullets in my 7mm RUM, I am shooting the 180 vld at 3200fps. I have shot 5 elk now with them from 200 yds to 560 yds. All shots where complete pass through with 2'' hole on exit side. All were lung shots, I personally try and not shoot front shoulder as I like my elk meat to much. Not one of these have gone more than 60 yds. Also have shot 2 deer with this load. One at 250- the other at 550, same results. I also have had good results with the 150gr vld in my 270wsm at 3290fps. Two elk and 4 deer that never went more than 50 yds. Up until I changed I had shot mostly Nosler partitions but most of my hunting until the last 7-8 years had been at ranges that hardly ever got to 500 yds. The reason why I switched to the Bergers was the areas I was wanting to hunt now favored more long range shots. I never had any problems with the Nosler's its just that the Bergers don't seem to fall out of the air like the Noslers do once you get beyond 500 yds. I also have a friend who swears that he will never shoot Bergers because he shot an elk and never could find it. The only thing I can say to this is that without the animal we will never know where it was shot, and as previously stated, there is not any bullet out there that lets you shoot an animal anywhere at all and always have a kill shot. So for now I am a firm believer that if I do my job the Berger will do its.
Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2011, 09:29 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 974
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Berger don't design anything to shed jacket or core weight.
To answer this question you need to know something about making jacketed bullets.
Berger started in the Bench rest bullet game making loose core BR accuracy bullets.
Now just because the bullet tip is open does not mean it is a true hollow point in fact loose core ( meaning not weld core , not crimped core , not h mantel , not multi jacket , not core bonded etc ) BR type bullets are a Protected point. PP . This means the jacket point is open but the core is flat and square under the meplat ( point) . Not a traditional hollow point as that would have a cavity in the core material.
Now Berger use the loose core PP style because it makes the most accurate bullet when combined with very concentric precision made jackets like J4 which is a Berger subsidiary .
Once you start adding , jacket crimping , H mantels , core bonding , multi jackets , canular crimping , heavy solid bases , partitioned jackets etc . etc. You introduce greater risk of variables that will upset the balance and concentricity of the whole bullet and then the potential accuracy.
Keep the process as simple as possible keeps it accurate.
External bullet shape affects accuracy also and at longer ranges the higher BC bullets assist higher accuracy most of the time but inside the bullet the simple process of the loose core and PP design is still in operation .
You can make two bullets identical in every way except one is core bonded and one is not and the non bonded bullet ( loose core ) will in most cases shoot tighter groups.
It all comes down to once you introduce that bonding procedure , either soldering , chemical you have upset the fine concentric balance of the bullet.
The same thing happens with other additional processes to some degree that give a bullet controlled expansion . Ballistic tips are an attempt to get around this problem by introducing a very controllable device that will not upset the concentricity and balance of the bullet greatly while also enhancing the BC .
The construction of the bullet is a trade off as to what purpose it will be put too in use . The short range BR bullet only needs consistent grouping accuracy and terminal ballistics is irrelevant . However a big game bullet needs good terminal ballistics for the intended target first and foremost and BR accuracy is not required .
Many loose core PP bullets made well with precision jackets will take a variety of thin skinned game quite well and do it with better accuracy than most run of the mill bullets. How well a bullet is made and how good the jackets are made has a lot to do with how well they will shoot.
Thin jackets like J4's are easier to make to a high precision and as the jacket gets thicker and the base thicker or the jacket design more complicated , partitions etc the precision is more costly and hence lost to some degree .
That is why most bullets sold as Target bullets will have thin jackets in most cases . Berger has done some work in this area to produce a thicker precision jacket than previously used and in this case a stronger jacket has resulted that still preserves accuracy or so they say.
This was done mainly because the thinner target jackets were having trouble with the cut rifled barrels and blowing up in flight.
The end result is a target type bullet with a stronger jacket that should still shoot well with the side benefit that it can take soft skin game more effectively . With the trend to longer ogives and smaller Meplats in target type bullets this can also mean that they penertrate soft skin game deeper before they start to deform and may go right through because the fine Meplat does not pick up any real frontal pressure like a big open tip will . However on a hard thick bone target the longer ogive is weaker than the lower caliber ( blunter) ogive and can bend before it penertates properly having unpredictable results . That is why big heavy bullets for Dangerous game have solid points and blunt ogives to resist any chance of deflection off the hard surface .
Once the target is the bigger hard skinned game the controlled expansion and solid types come into play and generally Varmint type accuracy goes out the window not only from bullet construction but also from recoil and weapon type .
Once you understand how bullets are made and the limitations of certain designs you realise that bullet makers make a bullet to suit a particular purpose and then go about making up a spiel to promote it's sales sometimes that spiel is very accurate and sometimes it's fantasy.
Selecting the right type of bullet for your job is a huge subject and a whole book could be dedicated to it . However we are very well served by some good companies like Berger , Sierra , Hornady , Nosler etc. that do a lot of the work for us.
Reply With Quote
Unread 12-02-2011, 05:11 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Shoshoni, WY
Posts: 143
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I jumped on the Berger bandwagon a few years back. Between my brother an myself we shot four elk with 168 VLD's out of our 7mm Rem Mags at max with RE-22 powder. In our elk country a shot can present anywhere from 50 yards to as far as a person is comfortable shooting. The results were mixed. I gave up entirely on Bergers for elk the following year when I shot a huge 6x6 bull. The first shot hit (at about 695 yards) hit the bull behind the front shoulder dead center on a rib. That long nosed bullet failed to expand and instead the nose bent sending the bullet skittering down the rib cage until the bullet entered the gut cavity and came to rest. I was (still am) not only amazed but pissed off. At least the animal was recovered thanks to follow up shots.

This year I decided to try Bergers again, but this time I went with the 140 VLD in my 6.5-284. I shot an antelope at just under 700 yards with the high shoulder shot as per the Best of the West. The pronghorn went down hard. To my amazement the critter shook it off and got up and just walked off. I shot the critter a second time at about 150 yards about 30 minutes later right in the ribs and it was DRT. The first round failed to open up and just punched right through. I guess it disrupted the spinal cord enough to knock the animal down initially, but not enough damage to keep it down.

I also shot a white tail deer with the 6.5mm 140 VLD. The animal was quartering sightly away such that a shot behind the front shoulder should hit in the front shoulder on the off side. I shot the animal right behind the front shoulder at 75 yards and it took off like I missed. I found it dead about 50 yards away. The bullet entered between two ribs then exited behind the diaphragm on the off side leaving a hole the size of a quarter. The bullet actually went through the animal in the opposite direction than expected. Yes, I was using the hunting bullet in the orange box.

I'll use the Bergers on antelope and dear because of their exceptional accuracy, high BC, and velocity potential due to the low bearing surface. After my experience with the Bergers on five elk, no way...
Reply With Quote
Unread 12-02-2011, 05:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 226
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I will admit, I havent ever hunted with them, just read what they do.
I thought they were a fragmenting bullet that like other fragmenting bullets wouldnt be good for hunting, but if the results prove that it is a good hunting round than it is what it is.
If it puts down deer and elk with minimal meat loss, than its a good hunting round.
Im no bullet snob, Ill use whatever works.
Im actually on a mission to find which bullet would be the best all around bullet, so I can load everything with it. I know there isnt a true one bullet that does it all, but I am looking for the closet thing to that...maybe the Berger VLD is it?
Reply With Quote
Unread 12-02-2011, 11:07 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montana Plains
Posts: 289
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

The best all around HUNTING bullet would be the Nosler Partition if you can get it to shoot accurately in your rifle. It opens up at long range. It holds together and punches through at short range. It is not an ultra long range bullet due to the average BC. No ultra long range bullet with a high BC is an all around bullet. The NP does more things well than any other expanding hunting bullet, mainly giving up the ultra long range category. The longer, heavier for caliber versions should qualify as a long range bullet, but not an ultra long range bullet. If you have a run-in with dangerous game, you may be glad you have a Partition in the chamber.

Load a Partition in the chamber, and have your long range bullet in the magazine. You have plenty of time to eject the Partition and load your BC champ on a very long range shot.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Berger VLD bullets as hunting bullets champion Reloading 36 11-05-2012 08:22 AM
Berger Bullets vs TSX bullets rdeh Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 88 04-23-2012 12:38 AM
Video interview of Walt Berger and Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets Len Backus Videos Of Tech Stuff And Reviews 6 02-18-2012 11:22 AM
WTT 7mm bullets for 168 Berger Hunting Bullets sniperjwt Reloading Equipment and Components 7 01-18-2010 08:43 AM
Need several 7mm bullets.Cauterucio,JLK & Berger VLD bullets... smack Guns For Sale 1 03-04-2007 09:10 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:21 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC