Berger 338 300 gr OTM tip/cavity

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by timeless61, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    the other thread on the Berger Failures got me to look at some of my bullets, I looked at 50 I have loaded, this is what I found:

    using a small sewing needle, sticking it into the hollow tip of the bullet,

    19 had the needle go in about 1/4"
    5 it barely went in, just the tip of the needle went in, obstructed right away
    26 had it go in around 1/16" or a little more

    even though the meplat looked good on all bullets, some had material right below the meplat itself not a cavity

    is this normal? seems like only 19 of the 50 I looked at are what they should be?

    will these bullets still "open"?

    I also did the same for some SMK's and the SMK's all went in around 1/4" unless the meplat was damaged and sealed shut at the very end.


    thanks in advance
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have fired over 700 of these through a 338 LM and many were long range on game. This includes antelope and coyotes to 1200 yards. The smaller, narrower and softer game would be the first so show an expansion problem. I have not had one issue. Since this discrepancy has come up for discussion there are a few of us looking into it. I plan to do some testing on this myself. At this time, my best advice would be not to panic and lets see what some of us come up with. There has been way more DRt's than problems with the 300 OTM's. Probably over 100 to 1. I believe that if they indeed have a open tip they will expand. I also know the actual tips at the very end will vary in length quite a bit. So this is going to be something to consider as well.

    My advice would be, if you have some plugged and completely solid use them for target shooting, but if they are open at all they should expand in my mind. It is possible that even the closed ones would expand as there should be a open void behind the point. many bullets have no hole at all and expand with solid plastic tips. Again this is my opinion from experience. Not backed by tests yet. So, use what the ones you are most comfortable with for game and I bet you will be fine.

    Hope this helps.

    Jeff
     

  3. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I also plan on doing some expansion testing using the 300 grain otm in wet newspaper with the closed tips next spring.
     
  4. timeless61

    timeless61 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the responses, i will also be doing something similar as I know which bullets are which now...


    this relates to SMK's, not Bergers, but worth sharing,

    I traded some first gen Berger 338's for some SMK's the person I traded with packaged the SMK's worse than a 5 year old would have, threw them loose into a flat rate small USPS box with a peice of newspaper crumpled up.... no additional tape, or anything even holding the bullets. I lost a bunch of bullets on the way to me, 67 i beleive, person said they would send me more, never did, i figured as much, anyway thats another story,

    but because of this, the tips were pretty messed up, meplats were damaged, but all still had the cavity

    i tested some at only 50 yards to compare to SMK's I had previously that were not damaged at all.

    at 50 yards with wet newspaper stacked together pretty tight:

    the normal non-damaged SMK's entered at 338 diameter for 1-2" then for the next 2" or so started to open up, and from 5-16" through the newspaper, there was a 6-7" hole, that tapered back down, and I found the copper stripped back with barely any lead at around 24" deep in the newspaper, I did not test many, but they all did the same thing.

    the ones with damaged tip, went in 338 diameter for an inch, then for 2-3" more there was around an inch hole, then it went up to 2" or so for another 8-10" and exited 25" of wet newspaper, not a very big exit hole though.

    so again, I will test the Bergers at 50 yards, and it should show a bit, I know longer range would be better, but this will serve 2 purposes for me, show whether the ones with the deep cavity open better than without, also, if I have to shoot something close, it will show me what happens.

    I know that it really should not matter if close and on softer tissue, but I have done the same test with a 300 wsm and 168 A-max's, and it was pretty bad...

    bullets entered the cardboard box housing the wet newspaper, then fragmented and pretty much went upward, almost no damage past an inch or so in, multiple shots did the same thing, so that worried me for hunting where I may need to shoot something closer.

    I will let you know how this goes and post pictures and such.

    also, anything I should try to do special with these tests or any advice?
     
  5. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    i did some testing with the 280 grain Barnes LRX in wet newspaper heres the thread if you would like to read it. http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/barnes-280-grain-lrx-low-velocity-expansion-results-97213/

    I would like to see some reduced loads shot with the bullets with open and closed tips, in a 338 Lapua around 33 grain of trail boss will give you around 1500 fps. Start at like 29 grains to be safe though.

    Take lots of pictures of the wound channels and bullet fragments, i am very interested.
    Riley
     
  6. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Interesting posts, I will follow.
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I would shoot the all but the 5 closed tip ones at game, I would also cut them open to see if it's lead or copper causing the obstruction or shoot them at targets. I think there will be varying degrees of depth to the lead just from how it mushes up into the point when the pointing die makes the tip. I shoot piles of 165 Matrix and the lead comes clean up to just under the top so there is really no cavity to speak of and they open like gang busters.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I am thinking the first thought of a bullet needing a deep hole could be a misconception. The ones with lead closer to the tip should be less likely to loose a tip on impact. But this is just my opinion. The 215 Hybrids I hunted with this year have a huge cavity and all opened well. So maybe all this tip stuff is not all that important and we are looking for a problem that does not exist? Time and testing will tell.

    Jeff
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    When in doubt, use a meplat uniforming tool like ...

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_7jjSnUNZw"]Montour County Rifles - Ballistic Meplat Uniforming Tool - YouTube[/ame]

    ... or ...

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcWCViNvLm4"]Sinclair - Meplat Trimmers - YouTube[/ame]

    ... or ...

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvTiB5-R-Po"]Hoover .30 caliber meplat trimmer review - YouTube[/ame]
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I think there may be some room to use the tip cavity to "tune" the way the Berger type bullet performs. The depth of the cavity would definitely change the hydraulic pressure inside the tip and should in turn affect how bullet opening is started.
    Bottom line, I think is picking your shot and stick it in the ribs, IMO your testing shows shot placement is the first key factor in one shot cold bore kills!!
     
  11. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    My dad played with just cleaning up the tips and hole a little using some Redneck tech and I would be very, very careful doing it, I don't think we'll be doing any more!! Deer it was OK on but from what we saw we were not going to shoot an elk with a trimmed bullet!
     
  12. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    Elmer Keith woulda just shook his head and laughed at all of this. Bergers/smk/amax are TARGET BULLETS. Therefore ....thin jackets and no expansion control. If you use a long for caliber projectile they will work like a charm. Before bondage we all looked at sd as a indicator of expansion/retention/penetration. Barnes and other bullet makers have sucessfully minimized the role sd plays in killing stuff.
    The problem with this is when you go back to a traditional style bullet and forget what effect sd has on performance.
    Same thing on this expansion controversy. Shoot a thin jacket into something and it will expand with enough velocity.
    We as hunters have been too caught up in SOOOOPER BOOOOOLITS.
    Shoot a long for caliber target bullet into an animal and it will wreck stuff. Shoot a 110gr .308 and it wont.
    SD is the end all of non bonded/partitioned performance and as Broz said the pencil issue isnt a big deal with a thin jacket closed tip or not.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the stuff I see on forums about bullets is directly related to not understanding SD and traditional bullet performance. Im guessin a lot of guys dont remember when a premium bullet was a core-lokt.
     
  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I hear you, Redneck ingenuity rocks! :cool:

    Personally, I do not bother trimming them either. gun)
     
  14. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I think Elmer would be floored with the improvements in every area. Laugh no I don't think so, he would probably have an issue with the distance shots are being taken today, since back then 500yrds was a damned long shot. The old school conventional thinking still applies for sure when your using the older calibers in the old school method. SD isn't the end all of anything never has been, just like BC it's an indication of possible performance relative 1 and only 1 area of bullet performance. You take 2 bullets of the same caliber and same bullet weight, with bullet A being cheap mass manufactured bullet and B being carefully engineered, with a tapered jacket, and construction being very tightly controlled at every step you will get 2 very different performances at every step of bullet performance. Be it exterior ballistics or terminal ballistics. Even though both bullets have the same basic design.

    I do remember cor locket bullets very well, and power point, power lokt. That's all my Dad would buy when I was a kid, what ever was cheapest, I also remember him having one blow up on a spine shot on a cow elk, and proclaiming that a 270 was no good because of it. An issue I've never ever experience since I started reloading, and learned that bullet makers are very good at making a better product.