Berger "Thick" bullets

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by royinidaho, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Has anyone determined just how much thicker the "thick" Berger bullets are over the standard ones?

    Wondering if they will hold up in the "extreme" magnum world?
     
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    I was supposed to have received some 180 gr. 7mm Bergers but that never materialized. I bought some instead and I also contacted Berger and inquired about the thick jacketed bullets.

    Tom Hime at Berger said the heavy jacketed bullets do not perform well on game and recommended the light jacketed bullets. He also indicated that the top fps range of the 180 light jacketed bullets would probably be around 3500 fps.

    I'd guess the heavy jacketed bullets would hold up but you may have to do another hog test and let us know how they do.;);)
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    We'll see,,,,,,,,,,

    I tried the 150s (277) which turned out to not be up to "extreme" magnum barrel twist and velocity. @ 3600 they grouped not good at all.

    The longer the jump the larger the group. The "expert" says they were twisting like a wet towel which was greater the longer the jump. Hmmmmm

    I have some wilda$$ ideas that just might work..........

    Also, Kirby and Shawn are working on some kind of new throat that is supposed to be gentle. Hmmmmm again. They are coming at it from two different directions. Should be interesting.

    Nothing like being on the pointy end of an Ice Breaker. The "bleeding edge" so to speak.
     
  4. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

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    +1 Roy you got that one correct; the bleeding edge means bleeding $$$$. I'm finding that out on a development project that I have in motion as we speak. I never thought I'd start a bon fire with a stack of $$, but that is what most development projects seem to be....

    Did you ever try taking your Bergers in closer to the lands? I know its obviious, but my Berger 180s hate jumping in my F-Class 7WSM, but group like crazy when 0.010 into the lands.

    just a thought.

    JeffVN
     
  5. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I asked the same thing of Berger...."how will the heavy jacketed 180 7 mm VLD bullets perform on game?".

    The answer was we don't know but we THINK they might not work as well.

    Hopefully someone will post their results on game.
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    JeffVN,

    The groups were not good when I jamed them hard into the rifling and got exponentially worse as I backed them out.

    AZHunter,

    I suspect Berger will be very cautious regarding the "thick"s performance on game. I'm confident that they haven't done the extensive testing as conducted on their 'regular' bullets.

    If they made a "thick" in 277 I'd already know how they'd perform against NABs, BTs and SMKs and against standard Bergers. But they don't.

    However I do have access to a 7mm RM that will be sufficient to test at LR velocities.

    This won't be without its problems as I'll have to figure a way to keep my media from freezing.:( Another one of those bleeding edge things.:D But the media functions very well for comparing terminal performance of bullets. I'm pretty high on it. Maybe I'll figure a different moisture additive such as antifreeze or some such thing. That would be a mess though. Or I could build a small fire under the container. I think I see a Darwin Award coming my way.:D
     
  7. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I will be trying the thin 180s in Jan. when the rifle get finished and I have time. If they fail in flight I'll be trying the thick versions. The rifle have a 1 in 7 twist Lilja, 30" #7 profile chambered in 7 Rem Mag. I would have used a slightly slower twist like a 1 in 8 but Dan doesn't make that twist. I am a bit concerned with the thin 180 coming apart in flight. He says he hasn't heard of anyone having issues with that 1 in 7 and the 180 VLDs. Watch...for some reason I'll be the first.

    I'll bet antifreeze would work with a 10 or 15% mix...consult the label for just enough to prevent freezing for a given temp.
     
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    interesting... the gal I spoke to at Berger ADAMANTLY said that the thick jacket bullets were NOT designed for game. They were designed to overcome the issue of bullets coming apart in some cartridges and loads and should NOT be used on game. She was very adamant.
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    AZshooter,

    My barrel is the Lilja 1-7 twist, 3 groove and 30" in 270 Cal.

    Yours will be a good test, a very good test. I'm betting that the bullets won't come apart but may distort as the front begins to turn in the rifling and the base is still in the neck. The 150 270 VLD don't come apart w/the 7 twist but I'm confident that there would be no problems with a 10 twist but, who would want to be limited to a 150 grain bullet in a 270 Allen Mag. Surely not me!

    I'll do some expansion test comparisons between the 168 VLD standard and thick versions. If that works out I'm going to reduce the diameter of the 168 and 180 thicks from 284 to 277. My luck will be or has been "Hmmm that didn't work". The "odds" are only slightly in my favor. Slightly is enough for me.:D Hey, its nothing but time and $$$:(.

    If the diameter reduction doesn't work, I have a much better and more expensive plan "B". Plan "C" is out there but A and B will have to be tried in order. That's the order of lower cost, higher risk. Once thru A and B the largest investments will have been made and C will can be rationalized as a fairly inexpensive upgrade:rolleyes: but way more hassle.:(
     
  10. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    RoyinIdaho,

    Very interesting! Going to reduce the dia of a 7mm 180 VLD to .277? That ought to need your 1 in 7 twist! Some sort of swaging?

    If it works it might be interesting in reducing a 30 cal 200, 210 or 220 gr Sierra MK to 7 mm! I will be very interested in how that turns out!

    Have you altered an existing bullet's diameter before?
     
  11. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    1213456
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Late up date,

    Drawing the 7mm to 277 was a bust. 0.007 is just too much.

    Gave up on the idea and gave the reducing die to a bullet maker to keep me from dabbling with it again.

    However, I have purchased a lathe and ordered a first version jacket core reamer (what's the odds of the first design working?:rolleyes:) as first the next step in development of a bullet jacket that will hold up to tough bore configurations and still give good LR terminal performance with a decent BC.

    Received a PM from Azshooter that indicates I'm headed in the right direction. I just wish I knew whether I was on the pavement or out in the sage brush.:D
     
  13. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    The thick jackets were created to solve the failure problem, which they have.
    Since we haven't tested them for terminal performance, we can't know how they might perform, so it would be irresponsible for us to recommend them for hunting, or even say they're OK for hunting.

    Since I know some of you guys like to live on the bleeding edge :D and you're working on things that the front line answers don't suffice, I'll offer the following additional information.

    The thick jackets are thicker by about ~0.005" (more or less depending on caliber) in the bearing surface area. From the bearing surface to the mouth, the jackets have more taper than the standard (hunting) jackets, so that the thickness at the mouth is nearly the same as it is for the standard jackets.

    What does that mean for expansion? One could assume (dangerous) that since the jacket thickness is close to the same at the mouth, that expansion would be initiated the same as it is for the standard jacket, but that the subsequent expansion/fragmentation could be less violent/excessive. Another way to say it is that the bullets might not provide enough expansion/fragmentation on long range, low velocity impacts as the standard jackets because the thicker jackets could hold the bullet together more.

    Then again it's possible that the thicker jackets could prevent adequate expansion/fragmentation even at nominal/close range impact speeds. This is the possibility that we're afraid of, and it's why we can't advise them for hunting, which translates to advising against their use for hunting.

    Jacket design is a classic trade-off between terminal performance on low velocity impacts vs survivability in high velocity / rough barrel applications. Reliable performance on low velocity impacts drives jacket thickness down, while survivability drives it up. The shooter who wants a bullet that survives 3400+ fps MV from a possibly rough barrel, and have that same bullet expand reliably on a long range shot where the impact velocity is 1800 fps or less is really asking a lot.

    We're doing our best to understand and improve the design of jacketed hunting bullets in order to make the best bullets possible for as wide of a range of applications as possible. I see our current offerings of thick and thin jackets as a stepping stone toward a better solution. One shouldn't have to decide between high velocity survivability and low velocity terminal performance, but that's currently the situation.

    Hope this sheds some useful light,
    -Bryan
     
  14. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bryan,

    Just about to dive in on this one, but I see you've already addressed everything possible that I might have commented on!

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA