Barnes versus Berger

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Engineering101, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    This debate has been had before. Both are accurate, both will kill stuff. The high BCs makes the Bergers attractive but I would like to focus on a couple of specific potential issues with the Bergers.

    1. Bullet fragments in the meat.
    2. Tip damage from recoil or from running them out of a magazine, up the feed ramp into the chamber.

    I know Barnes bullets don’t fragment and the TTSXs have a polymer tip that has no problem with magazines or recoil but I wonder about the Bergers.

    For you guys that shoot Bergers any issues with bullet fragments in the meat? Any issues with tip damage?
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    No problem at all with either. We cut quite a bit of our own meat and simply toss the ribs. If we place it badly and get into a front shoulder we discard the blood shot area. Just like with every bullet I have hunted with over the years. I love a nice trophy animal, and look for them. But our freezer is filled each fall with Elk and antelope. 98% of the meat we eat is wild game. The meat is important to us. If I was loosing too much meat, or was getting bullet fragments in our table fair, I would not use the bullets.

    The tips are tough. With 1000's of rounds through the 338 Lapua and 300 win with Bergers I have never seen a damaged tip from recoil. I have seen that before with soft nose and plastic tipped bullets though. At one time I was having an issue with plastic tips breaking off in the mag box. That was before I went exclusively to Bergers.

    Jeff
     

  3. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    Broz,

    Great info. With a lot of guys using them I suspected that they would be OK but it is nice to hear from someone who has done it. Thanks.:)
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome Sir. If he does not respond to this thread you should PM BignGreen. He has been professionally cutting meat for years. I doubt there are many guys around here that has cut more wild game. I would think he would be a great source of information on this topic.

    Jeff
     
  5. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen a problem with Berger's damaging meat, I suppose if you put one into a heavy bone thick muscled area they would, but so will anything else. As far as tip damage goes, that would be one helluva nasty recoiling rifle to deform a open tip bullet. Lead and Polymer tips are soft, copper is quite a bit harder than lead or Polymer bullet tips
     
  6. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I have probably taken as many animals with Barnes bullets as anyone as I and my sons shot them for many years

    Switched to Bergers about '05 or so and never looked back.

    We bone everything right at the kill site, 98% of the time we use the gutless method.

    We process 100% of all our meat ourselves and always have. My kids are married and have their own young ones and it is a rarity that store bought meat is used by us.

    I started out many years ago using the Sierra and Hornady type over the counter bullets, went nosler partition for a lot of years, then Barnes and now berger. We have less blood shot, fragmented and wasted meat now than ever IMO.

    All I can say is - to each his own but I sure as hell wouldn't allow any bad meat/fragments/blood shot crap to ever get into a package that them grandkids of mine will eat.

    The bang flop, dead quick will have much less blood shot than when something puts a 200 yd sprint before collapseing. Seen it too many times. If you can break 'em down quick you will have much better meat majority of time.

    One last thing - with the new bigger and faster is better in today's world I would guess your going to have some meat questions with any bullet on say a 338 lapua on an antelope.
     
  7. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    cowboy

    More good info on the Bergers. I appreciate your taking the time to educate me.

    By the way, I’ve found that with bullets that pass clear through like Barnes that the big 338s and such won’t mess up a smaller animal because they dump less energy in them than they would when shooting a bigger animal. To test this theory, I shot a whitetail with my 338 RUM. It stumbled for about 20 yards and fell over and had not the slightest bit of meat damage - just a small hole on both sides. I’m guessing a Berger would have made a hole like a coffee can and knocked it into next week.

    So yes I’m guilty of the “bigger is better mentality” but not without a little thought – thus the use of Barnes bullets. Like you, I used to shoot deer with Sierra Game Kings. In my case, I used 100 grainers out of a 6mm Rem. That bullet pretty much stopped on the opposite side. And as with the 338/Barnes combo, the deer might go 20 yards but that was about it. The 6mm seemed like a pretty good way to go until one day my nephew let me shoot his 300 RUM and I was hooked.

    The Barnes/338 combo works on elk the same way, 20 yards and flop but of course more energy gets dumped into the elk since they are thicker through. Kind of nice that bigger animals get hit harder but that only works with bullets that pass through with horsepower to spare. You get out there at 1,000 yards and you have no horsepower to spare so I have been thinking a different strategy might be in order – like say some Bergers. Also a friend gave me 3 boxes of them because he couldn’t get them to shoot. I’m thinking that I can get them to shoot, but I first wanted to know if it was worth it. Thanks to all for the very useful info.:)
     
  8. Speck

    Speck Well-Known Member

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    I shoot Bergers in my hunting rifles also (whitetails and hogs) and they are the best bullets i've seen yet to anchor an animal. Bullet placement is key with any bullets but i've hit many animals right where I wanted to and they run awhile but very few run any distance at all with the VLDs from my experiences with them not to mention the accuracy.........:)
     
  9. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Very good info - it is always good to hear other's experience in the field. As far as getting your "inherited" Bergers to shoot well, check out the sticky on Bergers at the top of the Reloading forum here at LRH. Foolproof - just don't tell your buddy about it or you will stop getting free bullets . . .
     
  10. mgdhunter

    mgdhunter Active Member

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    The Key is "putting the bullet where you want to!" I still have some questions about the bergers, like hitting a big shoulder bone in an elk or a moose?? I've watched some other bullets that were exclusive hunting bullets, fail on this test. I would like to talk to someone, or have someone who has hit an animal, tell me how it performed. When I hunt the big animals, I usually use/have used Nosler Partition, Barnes X, etc., with very good results. That doesn't mean I can't put a bullet where I need to, it just means that animals don't always stand still, or can turn when you shoot.
     
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    See for yourself here.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/cmparing-berger-210-vld-215-hybrid-88657/

    The first of 19 large game animals taken starts on page 12 of the thread. But there is plenty of good info prior to that.


    Jeff

    PS: The bull below was taken at 250 yards with a 30-378 and 210 Bergers. Directly through both front shoulders.