Berger for Hunting Bullets

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Rustystud, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Rustystud

    Rustystud Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is entitiled to his or her I am a firm beleiver that a J4 jacket is alright to be a target and even a hunting for varmints.

    One of my customers received his .284 Winchester rifle. We worked up loads between 2875 and 3100fps. My customer shot two deer with his new rifle. The shot was in the open and broadside. The bullet entered the right side behind the shoulder. The entrance would was distinctly larger than the exit wound.

    I had two fears:

    1. The bullet would blow up before exiting.

    2. Or pencil through the deer witha minimum wound channel.

    Both deer he shot had the second effect. Blood and lung tissue at the impact site. Little or no blood for the first 25 or 30 yards.

    One deer dropped approximately 40 yards and the other deer went 300 plus yards. The entrance and exit wounds were about the size of a nickel. I like knowning with almost every shot that I will have controlled expansion and both an entrance and exit wound.

    I beleive that a controlled expansion bullet like the Nosler Accubond or Swift Scirocco offer better and more reliable terminal performance. The partition type and Barnes X bullet also give the shooter more assurance that the bullet will stay together and have both an entrance and exit wound. These controlled expansion bullet may not have higher BC and/or accuracy of the longrange target style bullet. But they will usually shoot sub 1.moa in a good rifle.

    Over the last 40 years I have harvested a very large number of deer many for crop depredation. There is nothing more humane than shooting a deer with a 22-250 or 220 swift running a 55 grain bullet at 3800 plus fps . Shooting them below the ear or in the lungs. They go down like they were hit with steam roller dropped from the sky. this was what I was expecting frim the Berger bullets. Real time experience has produced a different result.

    To each his own but I beleive in a quick humane harvest.

    Nat Lambeth
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  2. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I have to use the old line: at what point did the bullet fail during the death of those deer?

    Guess you are not up to date on the Berger VLD hunting bullets. John Barsness did a write up on them in Handloader almost two years ago. He and Walt Berger and a few others went to N. Zealand and shot around 40 animals with several different caliber bullets. His comments were that the hunting VLDs were the fastest killing bullets he had ever used/seen used. He also said they tend to penetrate 2-3" then open up violently. He said they even shot a few red stag. His comments continue to say that these type bullets work well on animals up to 400 lbs.

    I am certain many would argue that hunting VLDs are quite capable of killing animals larger than 400 lbs and I am certain there are many hunters here that can verify that fact. Personally I have only shot coues wt with my 257 weatherby with the 115 VLDs. Have seen 5 of them shot and none were wounded to die later. Quite the opposite, Two dropped in their tracks, the other three staggered around for 10-15 seconds and folded. That tiny bullet has entered through a shoulder and exited breaking bone on the way in. It has turned lungs to mush.

    A good friend of mine has killed 3 elk and 3 mule deer with that tiny bullet. He says he has not seen anything like it. He says he doesn't know why he has any other rifles when his lightweight 257 Weatherby is so lethal.

    Time for others to chime in....
     

  3. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    OH, Boy! Here we go again!

    I've never used VLD's. I've been reading plenty about them though, on this site. Which VLD's did he use? How long were the shots?

    It seems that VLD Hunting bullets need to be heavy for caliber, at a long enough distance for them to be between aprox 2200-1400fps.

    Then again the deer died. They were bagged, 300yds sucks, but didn't get away. It could happen with lots of different bullets.
     
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i shot a rocky mtn big horn with the 168's it did not exit. the bighorn went about 10-12 yards and fell. another 5 yards and it would have rollled about 500 yards down. my opinion is the bergers are "soft " and don't penentrate as well as a standard bullet like a 168 cbt or a 165 horn/sierra. the accubond to a lesser extent and barnes always pass through . that is exactly what i did not want for the bighorn hunt. the nosler partition are the perfect compromise. while i have shot some good groups with the partitions , the accubond and berger shoot some fantastic groups.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    We kill quite a few deer with 22-250's and found the 60gr Berger varmint bullet quite good, accuracy is there to head shoot them if the situation will allow and cleans out their clock with a lung shot!

    So far I've seen great performance from Berger in the 243, 270WSM, 7mmMag, 300WSM, I think it does require shot placement just as any bullet, I've seen
    Accubonds barely open on deer shot in soft spots like high between the ribs also have had several TSX do a terrible job not even entering the chest cavity and deflecting of bone, you can get runners with a typical hunting bullet just as easy.
    Everyone shoots a little different so I think it is quite easy to see different result with different people but most of use tend to jump on the bullet as the culprit when we just need to place that particular design differently, the way a Berger functions has been hard for me to accept cause I've all ways been a "hunting" bullet kinda guy but in using them they have done a good job, no better no worse just different. So far every rifle I've shot them in they have been hands down the most accurate bullet and I'll take that!!
     
  6. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    The likely hood of a pointed projectile simply penciling through is extremely unlikely as to be nearly never.

    Pointed bullets are notoriously famous for tumbling and continuing in an erratic direction.
     
  7. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Since my first VLD use on game, 100% success as with any other hunting bullet I've used. No tracking necessary. So, I agree, to each his own and I also believe in a quick humane harvest, as evidenced by all of my VLD kills.
     
  8. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    A quick humane kill is more a product of bullet placement than anything else.

    A shot to the chest cavity does not explain exactly what was hit and the amount of damage done.

    A high shoulder shot (2/3 up from the bottom) always anchors game because of the shock to the spinal column.
     
  9. rdsewell

    rdsewell Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the high shoulder shot. Last weekend shot a cow elk at 502yds with 7mm.mag 168 gr Berger vld she dropped right in her tracks. Few days later buddy of mine shot his cow at 130 yds. same rifle same result dropped in her tracks. And now he is a big Berger believer. But, whatever anyone wants to shoot shot placement is key.
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    shot placement is key but the bullet has to do a proper job once it reaches that proper POI. Kind of like these 2 statements (pick which one is true):

    1. practice makes perfect
    2. Perfect practice makes perfect.

    I love the shoulder shot.
     
  11. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I've tried like none other to duplicate the high shoulder shot, a lot of guys are good with it and TKO elk like crazy but I can not get it done, I've had two fails with 168 TSX out of a 300WBY because they turned and came out sideways doing no internal damage, they both dropped HARD, legs coming up to the chest and slamming into the dirt just like the videos and both came to and tried to make a get away and required more shooting. When the boss has hunters out to cull elk the one shot that fails more often than any to kill an elk in one shot is the high shoulder, when I cut elk the most often healed wound I find is in the shoulder area. I've given up on it as I like elk to be dead when I pull the trigger the first time but I don't consider it a bullet problem it's more of a operator situation.
     
  12. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    >#2. if you pracktice lots, get tired/sore, you end up practicing bad habits. Practice as much as you can comfortably and still be perfect. You will do what was practiced when time is not in your favor, so perfect is better.

    And save the barrel.
     
  13. CPGfan

    CPGfan Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple examples of how Bergers are for hunting!! Griz is 350 Yards shot with a 7mm 180 grain Berger and the doe is 600 yards shot with 243 AI with a 105 grain BergerYouTube - 09 Doe.wmv
    YouTube - Griz Kill
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    If you are getting lung tissue blown out the exit wound then you did not get a pencil through.

    At a range of 550 yards I put a Berger all the way through an adult boar hog and then still had enough bullet to make it through and exit an adult sow hog. Boar was dropped at the spot and sow had her pelvis broken. Sow crawled away and had to be finished with additional rounds. There is a certain mythology that has grown up around how Bergers perform on impact and that is not what I have found from my own experience. I find that the high SD ones penetrate extremely well.

    Here is a picture of an antelope with a four inch exit wound. It ran about a hundred yards after being hit. My experience is that most times an animal's reaction can be traced to two things-- bullet placement and basic fundamental mammalian biology. An animal dies because you disabled its central nervous system. That occurs from direct trauma or oxygen deprivation. If death is not by CNS trauma then death is approximately a 2 minute process and never the instantaneous situation that many people like to claim.

    [​IMG]






    I will say that once I have a bad experience with bullet performance I get leery of it and if it occurs again I will switch bullets. That is why I never shoot Hornady A-maxs. so, if Bergers make you worry then by all means switch to something that makes you feel better.