Amax verses Berger

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by BHR, May 14, 2012.

  1. BHR

    BHR Member

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    I've been working on a hunting load for this fall's whitetail season and would like to get yall's opinion.

    Rifle: Remington 700, 26 inch Barrel
    Caliber: 7mm Remington Magnum

    I have developed two different loads that both I and the rifle seem to like but can't seem to make up my mind as to which to go with.

    Load #1 168 grain Berger VLD Hunting at an average MV of 3060. SD of about 50
    Load #2 162 grain Hornady Amax at an average MV of 3020. SD of less than 10

    Both loads will shoot consistent 3 inch groups at 650 yds. The Amaxs are a bit more vertically consistent than the bergers and quite a bit cheaper to shoot. The Amaxs also seem to have less recoil, making them more manageable during practice sessions. The Bergers leave a 1/4 inch crater in the 1/2 inch mild steel plate at 650 yds whereas the Amaxs simply remove the white paint and leave almost no crater whatsoever. The Bergers are loaded pretty hot whereas ladder testing for the Amaxs yielded a second accuracy node at a velocity of around 3150, but i haven't tried refining that load yet because the lower velocity is shooting so well.

    So, if whitetail deer is my primary game animal, which bullet do yall think will give me the shortest blood trails?

    Thanks, Bryan
     
  2. The Surgeon

    The Surgeon Well-Known Member

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    With a 7mm Rem Mag, I do not think it would matter much what bullet you used. What are the average weights of the whitetails that you are hunting?

    What ever round you use it should wad the deer up nicely. Honestly, I would use a heavier bullet and slow the MV down a bit. I have a relative here in Oklahoma that use to run a similar set up out of his 7mm Mag and we noticed a tremendous amount of damage to the meat, especially at ranges under 200 yards. We went to a heavier bullet and slowed the muzzle velocity down and seen better results as the meat was concerned after the shot.
     

  3. jeff 300

    jeff 300 Well-Known Member

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    I think both will get the job done but i would have to go with the Begers.
     
  4. BHR

    BHR Member

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    It's funny you mention going to a heavier and slower bullet because I just told told my shooting partner today that I was strongly considering trying a box of the 180 grain Bergers when I finished up the amaxs I already have. The only reason I have not already tried them is because I'm concerned that my rifle may not be able to stabilize them with a 9-1/4 inch twist rate. Any thoughts?

    The doe in my area average around 95 lbs with 80 lbs being on the small end and 130 lbs being unusually large. A 2-1/2 year old buck weighs in around 160 lbs with a trophy size animal weighing between 190 and 215 lbs.

    We hunt huge bean fields with the average shot being around 300 yds but numerous opurtunities out to 600 yds. We have to really look hard to find a shot longer than about 650 yds.
     
  5. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    Are you working these loads up with same powder? If you mentioned it I missed it. If different, then all things being equal I would choose the load with the more temperature stable powder. Otherwise I prefer Berger of the two listed.

    Also, if you are potentially going to get close shots, you may want to go with a partition or similar.
     
  6. BHR

    BHR Member

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    162 amax gets 71.5 grains of Retumbo and the 168 grain Bergers are getting 73 grains of Retumbo. I've tried RL-22 and H4831SC but get the tightest groups with Retumbo. Been through almost 6 lbs of Retumbo since February with this rifle and it just loves it for whatever reason. I typically take neck shots on anything less than 200 yds so I'm not too concerned with bullet performance at the closer ranges.
     
  7. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    I was having the same problem but being able to buy bergers in lots of 500 or more was the deciding factor for me. Bergers of the same lot are so consistant weight and bearing surface wise I dont really bother to sort them anymore. THe amax you cant buy by lot# so every box is different. I did bearing surface comparisions on bergers, noslers, and swift. Every brand has a pretty big difference when comparing one box to another of the same brand and model# nosler and berger were ok but swift was horrible. Buying bergers in 500 or more solved that problem for me.
     
  8. The Surgeon

    The Surgeon Well-Known Member

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    correction
     
  9. The Surgeon

    The Surgeon Well-Known Member

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    Stability becomes an important item to consider when going to the longer VLD's. Berger recommends a 1:9 twist when running the 180 VLD's. The extra .25" twist that you have should not prove to be to noticeable in your shooting. I do not see any problems in running the 180's out of your 1:9.25 twist barrel. I personally do not think you will see any stability issues out to 650 yards with the 180 VLD's out of a 1:9.25 twist barrel. If you were to start shooting out to and past a grand, I would do some testing to see what the stability is like. Even then, I feel that you won't see any ill effects on stabilization.

    Although the the smaller, 90lbs - 120lbs animals that you are telling me about are still on the small side for the 7mm Rem Mag and I would not attempt a shot on this size game under 200 - 250 yards.

    Since most of your shots are beyond 300 yards I think you would be okay in terms of damage to edible meet on heavier game i.e 150+ lbs. With good bullet placement, a few inches behind the front shoulders, on game that you may want to have a trophy mount i.e. 150+ lbs, should prove to be the safer shot from 300 yards and further. Even with good bullet placement right behind the front shoulder, the 7mm Rem Mag on larger weight classed game, will create considerable damage to the heart/lung cavity as well as the gastrointestinal cavity as well.

    On game such as the smaller white tails in your area with weights in the 85 lb - 120 lb weight range, where trophy mounts are not an issue, I would go for a neck shot or even a head shot. The weights of the smaller game are just to small for the 7mm Rem Mag to really consider a conventional "behind the front shoulder shot" at distances under 200 yards, the risk of damaging edible meet is just to high.

    Again, shots under the 200 - 250 yard mark I would not take unless I could be certain that I could place the bullet in the neck or head region and even past those ranges I would still be cautious of my bullet placement. On small game in the 90 lb to 120 lb weight range I would not attempt to place a round behind the shoulder unless they were out around the 450 yard mark. Even with great bullet placement at these ranges on small game you are going to damage a lot of the internal organs. I think you'll find that the rounds ends up exploding the in entire heart/lung and gastrointestinal cavity.

    I think going to the 175's and the 180's is the right direction when shooting the 7mm Rem Mag at the White Tail in your area. If it were me, I would want to see my muzzle velocity below 2900 fps. Ideally I would want it to be below 2850 fps to ensure less damage to the game and the edible meet.

    Either way, you are not going to be trailing the animal to far with the 7mm Rem Mag.
     
  10. ultraedge

    ultraedge Well-Known Member

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    BHR, I live in Georgia where whitetails are the main big game.We have a 12 deer limit annually.Over a 10 yr. span, among family and shooting aquaintances,you get results from over 1000 deer kills. A-max, Ballistic silvertips, and Matchkings are the best deer killers we have seen. Bergers and Accubonds are the worst. Gary
     
  11. BHR

    BHR Member

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    Surgeon, i appreciate the time you spent on your response and there is a wealth of knowledge embedded within those paragraphs. Iv'e been very hesitant to say what i'm about to say but here goes....I don't care about damage to meat. I know this is going to offend many people here but the whole story is that in my area we have a major over population of deer and crop damage is reality. The farmer whose land i hunt had to replant 2 fields totaling approximately 150 acres of soybeans last year because the deer simply ate the entire field over a period of 2 weeks. Because of this the farmer brought in a group of dog hunters and allowed them access to a 1500 acre portion of the 3500 acre farm for the last week of hunting season. 43 deer were killed over the course of 4 hunts, and the dog hunters don't care if the deer are trophies or yearling does. The bottom line is that if we don't use all of the assigned doe tags this year, then the dog hunters will be back in late December to shoot the 15 inch bucks that we've been letting walk. I have located an organization in a nearby city that will accept all the deer we deliver for butcher and redistribution to the needy. At this point seeing as the drive is an hour round trip i would like to waste as little time as possible following blood trails in the dark.

    With all that said and hopefully behind us........ Gary, THANKS...that is exactly the information i was looking for.
     
  12. Boom

    Boom Well-Known Member

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    BHR--I am in SC as well. PM sent.
     
  13. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    I am not surprised about the A-Max, Bal. Sil/BT's, but the SMK results is a surprise, I figured the Berger would come out on top of SMK. Are you using heavy Accubonds at slow velocities?
     
  14. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Bryan, "I have the need for speed" #1 is 6 grains bigger and 40' per sec faster. No contest. That extra time on target could let the deer move= a miss at 650yds. with #2.

    I shoot a 338WM 185GMX & TTSXs for ELK & EVERYTHING now, was a 270 for 45 yrs. but From What I have read you need an exploding 140gr "Ballistic silvertip" @ 3100 to 3270 fps. Below is what I would work up too.
    I know nothing about these loads but it could be worked toward....
    0.181 (inches by 3 shot at 100 yds) @3,270 aint bad shooting!!!:cool: I know people who would give a left one for that.:rolleyes:

    USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!
    Load 9543 detail in caliber 7mm Remington Magnum. Print format
    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]Load 9543 in caliber 7mm Remington Magnum[/FONT]
    LoadID
    9543
    Nosler Ballistic Tip
    140 grs
    Alliant Reloader 22
    68 grs
    Federal 215
    Brass Remington
    Barrel Length
    26 (inches)
    C.O.L
    3.19 (inches)
    Velocity
    3270 fps
    Group
    0.181 (inches by 3 shot at 100 yds)
    Submitted Date
    10/23/2004 4:10:00 AM
    Submitted By
    Bob Lasson
    Gun Info
    Savage 110
    Comment
    Reloader 22 better then 5 other powders tryed.
    ======================================================
    LoadID
    7785
    Nosler Ballistic Tip
    140 grs
    Alliant Reloader 22
    68 grs
    Federal 215
    Brass Remington
    Barrel Length
    26 (inches)
    C.O.L
    3.19 (inches)
    Velocity
    3130 fps
    Group
    0.5 (inches by 3 shot at 100 yds)
    Submitted Date
    6/7/2003 1:18:00 AM
    Submitted By
    Jim L.
    Gun Info
    Comment
    Sendero Jewell Trig
    ===============================================
    Good luck and ck your Private Messages