Berger Bullets vs Controlled Expansion Bullets

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jhlobik, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. jhlobik

    jhlobik Member

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    Its my understanding that the Berger Bullets are designed to shed 40-80 % of their weight, after they penetrate about 2-3 inches. In the process, they are designed to transfer most of the energy into the animal tissues in the form of shrapnel and cause a huge wound cavity. This is according to their description and to me it sounds a lot like a "hollow point" approach ??? I think it may work on small or maybe medium game, but not on the large tough game.

    Traditional soft point hunting bullets are designed for penetration and to hold together as much as possible to ensure that penetration.

    Berger takes a different approach to hunting with their VLD bullets.
    Does anyone have any experience with VLD bullets in the real hunting situation ??? Any comments would be helpfull.
     
  2. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    I have used bergers a bit and am impressed with them, when used correctly. I would not use them up close because I feel they would over expand (blow-up) and not penetrate. However, when the distance increases and velocity drops off they expand and penetrate well.
    I have shot several red deer and a pig at 400 - 590 yards with the 168 berger from a 7mm mag. The berger behaved as expected. Massive trauma inside, no exit, animal dead on the spot.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/pig-476-yds-168-berger-60985/

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/168-gr-berger-results-graphic-photos-49692/

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/red-hind-594-yds-unusual-shot-47571/

    There are a lot of good reports on here with the berger, do a search on berger and read them up.

    Stu.
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I've been surprised by them, so far I really like them, the most use we've had are the 105gr 243, 140gr 270 and 210 30 cal. The 243 and 270 have taken a fair number of elk out to 400yrds with excellent results, they go in and start to open at the ribs or just inside and then blow a hole through all the goodies and you find the jackets under the hide on the of side, zero blood shot and no need of a second shot. The 30 cal we've only put on deer and results were mixed but I think on a heavy elk they would do just as the others. It is my bullet of choice if it will shoot, I think they work even better on heavier game.
     
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Very simple, through slick marketing they try to sell there minus as a plus. They are more match bullets than hunting bullets and perform about the same as any match bullet. Most blow up and/or complete jacket seperation or they pencil hole. Just no reliability. That is why one guy braggs on them and the next guy hates them. Just no reliability to duplicate performance shot to shot like a top quality hunting bullet. That is why I hear of way more lost game to Berger bullets than any other. BC's are great, but for best hunting performance you have got to get a top hunting bullet first and then look at BC second. I will not under any circumstances shoot a berger bullet at game animals.
     
  5. 4LClover

    4LClover Member

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    Brain damage due to lead poisoning is permanent. I switched to all copper for this reason first, and then found that they work better, period. A couple of the studies where they took a portable x-ray to deer check stations really woke me up.
    Get the Lead Out - Autumn 2009 Living Bird, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    I was skeptical about letting my wife use an 85gr. TSX on deer and antelope in her .243 but found that they go through bone better than the 165gr SST's my son used to use in his 30-06. The internal organ damage is bizzare. Looks like a boat propellor went through the organs. (hydrostatic shock) All the bad press I have heard about copper bullets "pencil holing" etc. looks to be false.

    If the game I hunt would stay as still as a paper target I would use Sierra Match Kings all the time, but unlike targets, animals have bones. (duh)

    I have seen frangibles do some wacky things when they hit bone, including a 90 degree turn off the shoulder of a deer at 400+yd. I think I would rather leave that stuff behind.

    Happy hunting
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone designs a bullet to shed the jacket. I do think that they design to a
    specific use and if not used for that designed use they cannot be expected to perform perfect
    every time.

    Most bullet failures are from improper use (Not within design velocities, wrong type for game,
    Poor shot placement for that particular bullet and even the wrong twist rate). all of these
    things can lead to poor performance if not paid attention to.

    There is no "Golden Bullet" that will do it all, so you have to select the right one for the job.

    I use more than 10 different types of bullets for hunting because of a combination of accuracy
    and terminal performance on the type of game I am hunting and if presented with a shot that
    does not lend it's self to the bullet I am using I ether change my point of impact to improve the
    performance or pass on the shot all together.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  7. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    I cannot tell you how much the Berger bullets I've used shed weight as I've never recovered one or any fragments of one. I've got a few deer under my belt with the 270 and 308 calibers. All were pass throughs and wound channels/exit holes were the same as btips I've used or regular speer or sierra hunting bullets. I could tell no difference in performance other than the Bergers were more accurate.

    I like the Bergers well enough to where I am looking at a freshly shipped box with about 1000 bullets in various calibers and weights. All Berger, and they will be used for hunting.
     
  8. Talyn

    Talyn Member

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    They accurate but open up pretty fast so I only use them on deer & antelope. I prefer something more controlled expansion and deeper penetration on elk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  9. dustybrown

    dustybrown Well-Known Member

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    Just a few examples...all 300 rum. To much gun for me IMO

    2008- elk season 185 gr. vld 300 rum at 3250 fps.- spike bull quartering away. 40 yards. thick cover. shot was in the 4th rib back from shoulder. elk humped up looked back at me and fell down. skinned the elk and found a totaly liquified chest cavity. tiny lead particles in the heart lungs area.

    2008- deer 165 mrx barns at 3300 fps. 427 yards shot was 3 rd mid ribs behind shoulder. deer ran 100 yards and ran out of blood. exit hole was 3 inch ? damage was confined to lungs.

    2009- cow elk- 211 yards 185 vld. 3250 fps. shot a little back from 6th rib. futher back than I wished. cow ran 50 yards and slid down in snow to my feet. guts were mess. lungs liquified 3/4 way back. no exit. lead cloud. messy situation.
    2009- wife- cow elk 7mm rem 140 gr. tsx ? 2850 fps. 185 yards cow shot behind shoulder 2 nd rib. ran down hill 40 yards. fell down and was shot again in neck. both exit wounds were 2 to 4 inches. neck was broken behind ears.
    chest cavity wound confined to top of heart and some upper lungs.

    2009- 300 rum- 185 vld. 496 yards.Big Cat- hit low in chest broad side. entered first rib. blew out brisket. Cat slumped and landed in a pile never moved again. no sign of any bullet or fragments. 4 inch exit wound.

    2009- deer. 330 yards broad side. 190 vld at 3180 fps. deer ran 20 feet fell down. entire chest cavity above diaphram liquified. small fragments of jacket found.

    2009- elk. spike bull 70 yards. 190 vld at 3180. neck shot. dirt nap. all four legs tucked to fetal position and landed that way. 4 inch exit hole. 3 neck vertabray gone. spinal cord gone. no fragment of jacket found. lead cloud in hide on oposite side.

    2010- deer 190 vld- 3180 fps. 103 yard. full frontal shot below neck line at center chest. chest cavity liquified above diphram. DRT. found a small jacket and some particles of lead. jacket weight was 23 grains.

    2010 dad deer- 300 wsm 165 tsx at about 3000 fps ? not hand loads. 400 yards deer broad side. shot hit low in chest and some lower leg. could have been better. deer found 1/2 hour later. still alive. finish shot neck. no sign of any bullet. exit wound neck was 2 inches ?
     
  10. 4LClover

    4LClover Member

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    And for a little humor....

    Client reads Berger ad in Handloader magazine.....

    Client uses VLD on coastal brown bear and shoots it in the shoulder at 40yd.. Bear gets upset and mauls hunter. Guide shoots bear in head with Nosler partition and kills it. Partition found in the bears body cavity. Client sues Berger for false advertising.

    I know that is a bit sarcastic but I really don't wish to become a bear turd anytime soon and I would not want that to happen to anybody else either.

    Penetration and weight retention are what made partitions, a-frames, X's, solids etc., famous. I really doubt there are many guides, PH's or bullet companies that would endorse a hollowpoint/frangible for large or dangerous game.

    BTW. X-bullets always leave a small exit hole. It is what they do between the holes that is important, as you can see in this video. YouTube - Triple-Shock X-Bullet

    I'm not trying to offend anybody, but I have to honestly say that using frangibles on anything larger than Alabama sized deer is unethical. Using them on dangerous game is just pure nuts.

    2 weeks ago, Wife, 85gr. TSX. antelope shot in shoulder quartering away. Shoulder bone and joint shattered. bullet exited neck behind ear. lope dropped like rock. Ruark rolls in grave.

    Happy hunting
     
  11. Talyn

    Talyn Member

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    Congrats with the results, but I'll stick to my original statement.
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Not offended but would respond that I sceptically started giving Bergers a try and after a friend shooting a 300class bull elk with a 243 though the shoulder, spine and ending just under the shoulder on the off side at 100yrds I got serious enough to shoot an elk with one so I shot one cow at 335 yrds with my 270 WSM through the heart and I was amazed how hard that elk dropped, so I've shot some more and results are impressing every time, I don't need to put it on bone just hold behind the shoulder and drop em. I would not put the Berger in a varmint type frangible they penetrate and unleash, I have yet to hear of one splash wounding so they aren't as frangible as your thinking in fact if they have any problem it is over penetrating and not opening. I also really like the Accubond style bonded bullet, they open fast but punch though, I have a very high confidence factor with a bullet of this style, copper bullet do nothing for me and I've had way more bad things happen with them than a Berger type bullet. I do plan on giving the GS HV line of bullets a try for a copper bullet.

    This is long range hunting some times a varmint bullet works great when you shoot them in the range that the velocity lets them function like a normal bullet, some of the ranges we have shot some stuff a Barnes or Bonded bullet would not even open up but a varmint bullet opens nice and kill very effectively.
     
  13. 4 power

    4 power New Member

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    4 power to long time long ranger no lost game with bergers in last year gun has killed ten deer on youth hunts. last one at 700 yd! we all call these bullets dit----dead in tracks---- with no meat loss.
     
  14. Talyn

    Talyn Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010