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Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

 
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2010, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 153
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I started hunting with the 168 7mm vlds a few years ago. My first kill with a vld was a cow elk at 450 yards. Bullet went through both shoulders and turned the heart and half a lung into mush, she collapsed on impact. I shot an antelope at 290, bullet left a golf ball sized exit hole, antelope dead on impact. Killed another cow at 275 with about the same results. This year I shot a nice 6x6 bull elk at 265. Shot right through the shoulder and found the bullet on the opposite scapula when I quartered him. Bullet weighed 71.6 grains.
Had the opportunity to take a second elk this year as I had a cow tag for an area where I was looking for mule deer. Came on a group of cows and a spike right off the trail at about 60 yards. This was going to be the easiest elk I've ever taken on public land. Shot her in the shoulder (I knew better then this but a tree was crowding the rear half of her and I made a BIG mistake). The elk all sort of walked up hill in the trees giving me another shot but I couldn't be sure which one I had hit, so I waited. I then began a very long track with not a whole lot of blood. About an hour and a half later I saw through a small window in the trees about 10 yards away this poor cows front shoulder in a huge bloody mess. I drew to shoot but she took one step and I couldn't see her and she was gone. I tracked her another couple hours until she went onto private land. It was now snowing hard and starting to get dark, and I now realized I wasn't sure where I was as I couldn't see more than 100 yards. I had to follow my tracks to get back to the trail or I was going to spend the night on the mountain. It snowed over a foot that night on top of the knee deep snow that was already there.
This is the first time I have ever left an animal wounded, I feel terrible. I knew better than to shoot shoulder at this range but things happen quickly in the reality of a hunt. I have no doubt that vld blew up when it hit her shoulder at that range. I will never again hunt with these bullets in my magazine, I may carry them in my pocket for long shots but never again in my magazine.
I hunted in bear country much of the season and even though I had bear spray I didn't realize how vulnerable I was to a bruin.
I know I made poor shot placement for this bullet at this range but I need something that will get the job done even when I make a mistake in the middle of a hunt. I hadn't shot anything under 250 yards in several years and my instincts held the cross hairs on the shoulder. I won't be filling this cow tag this year as I feel I failed and left an animal that is so sacred to me wounded. It turned what would have been my best season ever into a shameful disgrace. These vlds are great long range bullets but at 60 yards you are taking a chance I won't take again. I hope you can learn from my mistake and not have to find out as I did the short comings of the vld bullets.
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2010, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 23
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Yeah, that's the point I have been trying to make. Target bullets are not made to penetrate bone, and until a boneless elk species evolves the bergers should be used for their intended purpose....killing paper.
As far as bears are concerned, grizzly sightings have been documented in the Snowy's (southern wyoming) and I will be darned if I elk hunt there with hollowpoints. That bogus advertising that Berger spins is going to get somebody killed. Mark my words on that.
Bummer about losing that elk. I lost a deer once because I only had one round to hunt with and had nothing to finish it off with (duh). Made my stomach queasy.
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2010, 01:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,433
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
No meat loss?

I have yet to see that in my entire hunting life. There is always meat loss at the entry and exit points (if there is an exit). In my own experience and in pics I've seen of a skinned deer or elk there is always meat loss. Some worse than others depending on how fast the bullet opens up.

My .02

So far all the animals I've killed with a 140 Berger out of my 270 WSM I've lost a piece of meat the size of a quarter on the entrance, all shots have been behind the shoulder and nothing has taken a step after getting hit. Not all will do this, the 243 with 105 Bergers leaves a hole on the way out but I've found that there is little blood shot, mostly carnage from bone fragments, the entrance is almost impossible to find. 60 gr Berger out of a 22-250 takes out about two lbs of meat on an antelope on the off side, entrance is a pin hole.
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2010, 04:27 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Id.
Posts: 3,331
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8shoot View Post
I started hunting with the 168 7mm vlds a few years ago. My first kill with a vld was a cow elk at 450 yards. Bullet went through both shoulders and turned the heart and half a lung into mush, she collapsed on impact. I shot an antelope at 290, bullet left a golf ball sized exit hole, antelope dead on impact. Killed another cow at 275 with about the same results. This year I shot a nice 6x6 bull elk at 265. Shot right through the shoulder and found the bullet on the opposite scapula when I quartered him. Bullet weighed 71.6 grains.
Had the opportunity to take a second elk this year as I had a cow tag for an area where I was looking for mule deer. Came on a group of cows and a spike right off the trail at about 60 yards. This was going to be the easiest elk I've ever taken on public land. Shot her in the shoulder (I knew better then this but a tree was crowding the rear half of her and I made a BIG mistake). The elk all sort of walked up hill in the trees giving me another shot but I couldn't be sure which one I had hit, so I waited. I then began a very long track with not a whole lot of blood. About an hour and a half later I saw through a small window in the trees about 10 yards away this poor cows front shoulder in a huge bloody mess. I drew to shoot but she took one step and I couldn't see her and she was gone. I tracked her another couple hours until she went onto private land. It was now snowing hard and starting to get dark, and I now realized I wasn't sure where I was as I couldn't see more than 100 yards. I had to follow my tracks to get back to the trail or I was going to spend the night on the mountain. It snowed over a foot that night on top of the knee deep snow that was already there.
This is the first time I have ever left an animal wounded, I feel terrible. I knew better than to shoot shoulder at this range but things happen quickly in the reality of a hunt. I have no doubt that vld blew up when it hit her shoulder at that range. I will never again hunt with these bullets in my magazine, I may carry them in my pocket for long shots but never again in my magazine.
I hunted in bear country much of the season and even though I had bear spray I didn't realize how vulnerable I was to a bruin.
I know I made poor shot placement for this bullet at this range but I need something that will get the job done even when I make a mistake in the middle of a hunt. I hadn't shot anything under 250 yards in several years and my instincts held the cross hairs on the shoulder. I won't be filling this cow tag this year as I feel I failed and left an animal that is so sacred to me wounded. It turned what would have been my best season ever into a shameful disgrace. These vlds are great long range bullets but at 60 yards you are taking a chance I won't take again. I hope you can learn from my mistake and not have to find out as I did the short comings of the vld bullets.
This is exactly what I have stated in previous bullet posts! There is no such thing as a "one size fits all" in the bullet world. Bergers, and similar thin skinned bullets are great when used within their proper window. Too close, they blow up, and too far, they don't expand. In between, they are as quick a killer as anything made. This is why the old nosler partitions were , and are, such good bullets. They expand easily and cause a lot of tissue damage but the back section ALWAYS stays together and passes on through. The problem is, they do not have a high enough b.c. to be used effectively at the ranges we talk about on this forum. That is why my next bullet making project will be a partitioned, vld with a ballistic tip....Rich
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2010, 04:59 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,433
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

It doesn't matter what bullet guy shoots, shooting an elk in the center of the shoulder will catch a guy at some time. I had a Barnes TSX fail on an elk shoulder so you can have a problem with any of them. A guy at work punched a 168 gr VLD from his 7mag through the shoulder and spine of a nice bull at 50yrd this year, he found the bullet nicely mushroomed on the of side of the neck after going though all that, that same shot 6in lower would have been on the heavy shoulder bone below the scapula and then who knows what would have happened.

Guys would be surprised how many elk survive a hit in the shoulder, when I cut them I'll find the shoulders fused into a hard mass, you can't hardly tell from the outside they have a bad shoulder.
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2010, 06:23 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dillon Mt
Posts: 163
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Just to expound a little on the reference bigngreen made about the 210, .308 bullet. They were shot from a 300Wby at 2950 fps. at something over 300yds. That was the self imposed minimum after seeing the results of shooting into a barrel or water at 200yds. It looked something like coarse sand. Two deer were shot, each one taking two bullets to get the job done.
The first one I simply flinched and took the rear wheel off at the hock, followup shot penciled straight though.
Second one was about the same distance as the first but a bit better hit.It went down instantly, so we went back to the pickup to get the sled to drag it out. When we returned there was no deer there. After following the tracks around through some rocks I spotted it making a get away on the opposite hillside. As it stopped to look back before going over the top of the hill it turned broadside and I could see a crater on the exit side shoulder bid enough to see the shoulder blade move when it took a step. One behind the ear finished that one and it took some doing to find the bullet hole.
While I'm not ready to give up on them it appears that there may be a rather narrow range that they may work well in, such as elk.YMMV
Cliff
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:15 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 37
Re: Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

I harvested my first animal with a berger yesterday,...I used .30-06 with 168gr berger vld and max charge of H414. Shot was 50yards on a large WI whitetail buck 200+lbs field dressed. The buck was chasing a doe and breathing heavy so very reved up. Shot placement was slightly quartering away behind the shoulder on the leg crease. Buck rear legged kicked on the shot and took off chasing the doe, I could see lots of blood, as I chamberd the second round the buck stumpled and expired after about 60 yard run and died in sight. If I would of needed to blood trail it would of been cake looked like a spray can of red road lines in the field.

After field dressing the lower heart was shredded with lots of blood in the cavity,...entry hole was difficult to find exit hole was quarter size. Although it is difficult to draw any conclusions from one experience this bullet performed as well as any convential bullet or bonded bullet I used in the past. From the others posters experiences I would say Stay away from shoulder shots, if you can't place it behind the shoulder don't take the shot. If you can't live with that restriction there are plenty of other options. For those of you in bear country well that is a whole nother matter that we in the midwest don't have to consider.

Hopefully I'll get a few more chances on the 5 doe tags I have left to fill.
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