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Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

 
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  #85  
Old 11-04-2012, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 593
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

This is my first year shooting Bergers, as many I have been skeptical, but this year with the 300 gr hybrid, I have to say I am impressed. First hunt for practice was on antelope and my scope got knocked off from banging around too much on my atv. Results were two antelope hit in the hind end due to the poi shifting 8 inches to the right at 100. Both shots were 300+, not pretty, but neither goat went anywhere. I had to switch guns and took another goat at 600 with my 300 rum with 180 accubond, drt. In the past, I had an antelope buck I shot with my 300 rum with a 180 accubond appear to explode on the skin, the bullet however remained in tact and dropped him. I did recover the bullet and it weighed about 50%. I have had very good luck with the 225 gr accubonds out of my 338 rum at 3300. No bullet failures and mostly drt kills. I got the chance this year to take a bull elk at 550 yards in my favorite canyon and I can honestly say I have never seen a bull go down so fast and hard as the berger did. I literally saw his 4 hooves in the air as the recoil moved me off target. There was very little blood shot and the entrance was just behind the shoulder nicking the shoulder blade. I could see where the bullet left a tract through the bone. The bullet did not exit and I saw no evidence of it when I quartered the bull. My last kill with the Berger was on the last day of deer season, my dad was out visiting and said he wanted some venison, so we headed up the mountain to find a meat buck and I killed a small mulie at 620 yards with a spine shot. It blew up about 6 inches of spine with very little blood shot. I guess I need to make a test media to see how the bullet does at 15 yards for hunting in griz country, because they are all around where I elk hunt. So far, I am impressed. I shot a nice bull elk in the same canyon several years ago at 542 with a 250 grain partition and the hit broke the shoulder, caused a lot of muscle damage and the bullet shed what seemed to be all of its frontal area. The remaining shank, penetrated into the boiler room and killed the elk, no exit. I have also killed a bull in the same canyon at 572 with a 225 accubond and it didn't exit either. I can't blame the accubond for poor performance on that kill because I had a new pos barrel that wouldn't hold moa but the accubond imparted enough damage that the bull couldn't move and I eventually dropped him. I also have some 225 Tipped Tripple shocks loaded up that shoot very well, I just haven't taken any game with them yet. When I first bought my 338 rum, I shot 210 grain Barnes xlc's and they were killin machines until my barel developed a crack in one of the lands and then they wouldn't shoot any more. I finished off a cow elk that my brother made a bad hit on at about 550 and I broke both shoulders and we recovered the bullet in the meat of the off side shoulder when we were cutting it up. 3 out of 4 pedals in tact and perfect mushroom.
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Remington model 700 300 RUM LH 26" rem ss/blued receiver lam stock 215 Berger @3025/180 NAB @3300
Remington model 700 338 RUM LH 27" Broughton 5C 225NAB@3300 /300gr Berger@2830
Savage LH 22-250
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  #86  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 123
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Here is a picture of a 7mm mag 180gr. VLD .659bc bullet that i shot a cow elk with at 626 yards. THIS IS A HUNTING VLD BULLET (NOT TARGET) THAT CAME OUT OF THE ORANGE BOX. I have never bought a target Berger bullet so there is no question that it is a hunting VLD. The bullet was found under the hide of the elk on the opposite side of the rib cage. This elk had ran off and I was lucky enough to get one more shot to eventually put her down. But my question is why didnt this bullet perform? The riflings on this bullet are very apparent and it doesnt look like this bullet was going to expand no matter what! Could just about reload this bullet again! Shot placement was perfect and 7mm mag at 3,025fps should have done a perfect job! Also in the picture is another Berger bullet (300gr. .818bc 338 Lapua cal) that a friend shot a bear with at 1,152 yards. The bear was not recovered but we knew it was a hit! We went over and found the bullet in the hill side and 1 speck of blood. Another question here is why didnt this bullet expand like it should? I eventually switched to my 243 Ackley Improved 115gr. Berger bullet .545bc at 3,153fps and shot my mule deer buck at 731 yards. Perfect Shot placement and bullet performed how it should. It dropped the deer in his tracks and had excellent blood on the ground. Am I just way over gunned or what? I really am disappointed on the performance of my custom 7mm mag not being able to put down an animal with the 180gr. Berger VLD hunting bullet. These are just a few stories of the bullets we actually recovered. But we do have video footage of animals getting hit and just walking off! Maybe someone can explain or share similar stories. I know there is great talk about Bergers performing, but it seems to only happen sometimes and not ALL the time! I just want feedback of simliar stories!
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  #87  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Tillamook, Oregon
Posts: 401
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullridety View Post
Here is a picture of a 7mm mag 180gr. VLD .659bc bullet that i shot a cow elk with at 626 yards. THIS IS A HUNTING VLD BULLET (NOT TARGET) THAT CAME OUT OF THE ORANGE BOX. I have never bought a target Berger bullet so there is no question that it is a hunting VLD. The bullet was found under the hide of the elk on the opposite side of the rib cage. This elk had ran off and I was lucky enough to get one more shot to eventually put her down. But my question is why didnt this bullet perform? The riflings on this bullet are very apparent and it doesnt look like this bullet was going to expand no matter what! Could just about reload this bullet again! Shot placement was perfect and 7mm mag at 3,025fps should have done a perfect job! Also in the picture is another Berger bullet (300gr. .818bc 338 Lapua cal) that a friend shot a bear with at 1,152 yards. The bear was not recovered but we knew it was a hit! We went over and found the bullet in the hill side and 1 speck of blood. Another question here is why didnt this bullet expand like it should? I eventually switched to my 243 Ackley Improved 115gr. Berger bullet .545bc at 3,153fps and shot my mule deer buck at 731 yards. Perfect Shot placement and bullet performed how it should. It dropped the deer in his tracks and had excellent blood on the ground. Am I just way over gunned or what? I really am disappointed on the performance of my custom 7mm mag not being able to put down an animal with the 180gr. Berger VLD hunting bullet. These are just a few stories of the bullets we actually recovered. But we do have video footage of animals getting hit and just walking off! Maybe someone can explain or share similar stories. I know there is great talk about Bergers performing, but it seems to only happen sometimes and not ALL the time! I just want feedback of simliar stories!
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Is there any chance your 180VLD could have hit brush or tall grass before making contact with the animal? Almost seems the bullet could have been tumbling or hit the elk somewhat sideways?
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  #88  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Grantsville Utah
Posts: 3,500
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Just for info: My friend was shooting his new .280 Sherman this fall and asked me for a recommendation on a long range hunting bullet. I told him he might try the 180 vld. He bought a box and had good accuracy right away at 100 yards. He shot a whitetail at 300 yards in the middle of a field (on video). The shock wave was easy to see and the impact on the deer was 2/3 of the way up the rib cage and approx. 10" behind the shoulder. The deer kicked it's hind feet in the air (like they do) and sprinted off accross 200 yards of field into the brush. They were able to find where the deer entered the brush line and tracked it for a ways but only found a couple drops of blood. They searchd the area for two hours and never found the deer. I know that a lot of people have good success with the Bergers and I have as well, but I have also seen and heard about this happening. A non expanded bullet will tumble nearly everytime and that is obviously what happened in this post when you look at the bent tip and the battered sides. In testing we refer to this as a "banana bullet"!
I have seen this a lot in my bullet testing and have given a lot of thought lately to why some people have such success, and others have this happen. One thing that I know for sure is that a very small meplat needs to have enough of an opening (hollow point) for hydraulic action to occur and expand the bullet unless there is enough resistance and velocity to rip off the tip. Sometimes, depending upon what is hit, this doesn't seem to happen (maybe hair in the tip, etc?)
Here is another possibility for the tumbling, and non expansion:
One of the things that makes a Berger work is the fact that the meplat is small allowing it to penetrate a few inches before it often explodes and causes a great deal of trauma inside the animal. What if the bullet just barely clips the side of a rib, on say a deer, but hits the side of the ogive and not the tip. This might happen with less than two inches of penetration on a deers rib cage. The bullet might then deflect sideways and start to tumble BEFORE expansion is initiated. I know there are credible people on this forum that have seen "and experienced" both including myself. You can decide my personal credibility Anyway, those are a couple of likely possibilities in my view. A bullet, such as an A-Max, which is constructed and shaped much like a Berger, only with a ballistic tip, will not do that which also makes it less effective at higher velocities because it expands Too quickly. It is more predictable, but not necessarily in a good way. FIRE AWAY!.........Rich
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  #89  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:19 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: ND
Posts: 2,770
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkaholic View Post
Just for info: My friend was shooting his new .280 Sherman this fall and asked me for a recommendation on a long range hunting bullet. I told him he might try the 180 vld. He bought a box and had good accuracy right away at 100 yards. He shot a whitetail at 300 yards in the middle of a field (on video). The shock wave was easy to see and the impact on the deer was 2/3 of the way up the rib cage and approx. 10" behind the shoulder. The deer kicked it's hind feet in the air (like they do) and sprinted off accross 200 yards of field into the brush. They were able to find where the deer entered the brush line and tracked it for a ways but only found a couple drops of blood. They searchd the area for two hours and never found the deer. I know that a lot of people have good success with the Bergers and I have as well, but I have also seen and heard about this happening. A non expanded bullet will tumble nearly everytime and that is obviously what happened in this post when you look at the bent tip and the battered sides. In testing we refer to this as a "banana bullet"!
I have seen this a lot in my bullet testing and have given a lot of thought lately to why some people have such success, and others have this happen. One thing that I know for sure is that a very small meplat needs to have enough of an opening (hollow point) for hydraulic action to occur and expand the bullet unless there is enough resistance and velocity to rip off the tip. Sometimes, depending upon what is hit, this doesn't seem to happen (maybe hair in the tip, etc?)
Here is another possibility for the tumbling, and non expansion:
One of the things that makes a Berger work is the fact that the meplat is small allowing it to penetrate a few inches before it often explodes and causes a great deal of trauma inside the animal. What if the bullet just barely clips the side of a rib, on say a deer, but hits the side of the ogive and not the tip. This might happen with less than two inches of penetration on a deers rib cage. The bullet might then deflect sideways and start to tumble BEFORE expansion is initiated. I know there are credible people on this forum that have seen "and experienced" both including myself. You can decide my personal credibility Anyway, those are a couple of likely possibilities in my view. A bullet, such as an A-Max, which is constructed and shaped much like a Berger, only with a ballistic tip, will not do that which also makes it less effective at higher velocities because it expands Too quickly. It is more predictable, but not necessarily in a good way. FIRE AWAY!.........Rich
That is a very good point Rich, not one i have thought of before. And it can happen with any bullet, more so to a light (weight) one, along with light construction if my thinking is correct. Which it usually isnt .
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  #90  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:01 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
Posts: 1,390
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullridety View Post
Here is a picture of a 7mm mag 180gr. VLD .659bc bullet that i shot a cow elk with at 626 yards. THIS IS A HUNTING VLD BULLET (NOT TARGET) THAT CAME OUT OF THE ORANGE BOX. I have never bought a target Berger bullet so there is no question that it is a hunting VLD. The bullet was found under the hide of the elk on the opposite side of the rib cage. This elk had ran off and I was lucky enough to get one more shot to eventually put her down. But my question is why didnt this bullet perform? The riflings on this bullet are very apparent and it doesnt look like this bullet was going to expand no matter what! Could just about reload this bullet again! Shot placement was perfect and 7mm mag at 3,025fps should have done a perfect job! Also in the picture is another Berger bullet (300gr. .818bc 338 Lapua cal) that a friend shot a bear with at 1,152 yards. The bear was not recovered but we knew it was a hit! We went over and found the bullet in the hill side and 1 speck of blood. Another question here is why didnt this bullet expand like it should? I eventually switched to my 243 Ackley Improved 115gr. Berger bullet .545bc at 3,153fps and shot my mule deer buck at 731 yards. Perfect Shot placement and bullet performed how it should. It dropped the deer in his tracks and had excellent blood on the ground. Am I just way over gunned or what? I really am disappointed on the performance of my custom 7mm mag not being able to put down an animal with the 180gr. Berger VLD hunting bullet. These are just a few stories of the bullets we actually recovered. But we do have video footage of animals getting hit and just walking off! Maybe someone can explain or share similar stories. I know there is great talk about Bergers performing, but it seems to only happen sometimes and not ALL the time! I just want feedback of simliar stories!
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Have you compared the Meplat of a seated bullet to the Meplat of one unseated? Wondering if your seating plug isn't trying to point your bullets.
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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.

Joe
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  #91  
Old 02-09-2014, 03:33 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 8
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I hunt more for meat than trophy. It is important for me that a maximum amount of meat is saved for eating. My friend and I went hunting together, and he shot a boar with a Berger bullit. Both shoulders were totally mangled and beyond salvaging. Even part of the tenderloin and part of the back strap were damaged. He was happy he put the boar down. I was sad, since so much meat was lost. I'll have to check and see what Berger bullits were meant to shoot and what they suggest would be the best manner of shooting (long distance vs short, head shot vs heart/lung, etc.).

If anybody can suggest some 30-06 loads for Berger bullets, I would be grateful.
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