Originally Posted by Hicks
I had the exact opposite experience with my 700 CDL. I actually burned up the bbl trying to get the Bergers to print any kind of group under 2 inches. I did ladder tests, I did 10 thousandths and 20 thousandths jammed into the lands, and behind the lands. I tried 50 BMG, Retumbo, us869, and H 1000. I finally gave up and tried the 160gr ABs with 93 gr of Retumbo and bingo, shot a half inch group at 100 yards. Used it two seasons on antelope, and I was stupid and believed I could get the Bergers to shoot. I would shoot four or five and clean down to bare metal, never let the bbl get too hot, but alas the groups opened up to 5 - 6 inches, even with the ABs.
I talked to a guy at Berger, one of their balisticians, and he told me that really the only way to know if the bbl on the 700 is twisted at 1 in 9.5 was to actually check it myself. I did that with the cleaning rod method, and it was actually twisted a bit looser that advertised. The guy at Berger said that he'd seen a few 700 with factory bbls twisted looser than advertised, as was the case with mine. He said that 1 in 9 was the Minimum that would stabilize the 180gr.
As far as the AB goes, while it was very accurate in my rifle, the terminal performance was poor at best. I never really checked this out but I'm assuming that they are extremely hard because on the antelope I killed they did not expand AT ALL. I hit one at about 320 yards, hitting a rib on the way in and the exit wound looked like a little bullet hole. I got one at just a bit over 500 yards, again with a rib hit, and a tiny exit wound. That one I also hit at a high raking angle, I put one just in front of the left hind quarter, with no bone hit, there was a tiny exit wound just in front of the right front quarter.
From my experinece my advice would be to not spend too much time on Bergers if you don't chance on an accurate load fairly quickly in that round.