Confused on 7mm bullets for elk

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by buckbrush, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    Been trying to decide between the 160 Accubond and the 168 Berger for up to 800 yard shots out of a 7mm Rem Mag.

    The 168 looks to perform ballistically better on paper but I am unsure what works best on game.

    I've done a lot of searching but there doesn't seem to be conclusive data favoring one over the other.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Chopaka81

    Chopaka81 Well-Known Member

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    I like to use a minimum impact energy of 1500 ft-lbs for elk at maximum range. My 7mm Rem Mag load with a Sierra 160g SBT (2900 fps) crosses the 1500 threshold at 450 yds. If you can push your loads to 3200 fps the 1500 threshold extends out to 600yds.

    Now, there a MANY OTHERS who get by with much less than 1500 ft-lbs. More than one elk has been fell using 750 ft-lbs impact energy by very skilled rifleman (& women) here on the this web site.

    The key is percision shot placement and perfect wind conditions.

    Bottom line, Little or no cross wind, standing broadside, you're good to go.
     

  3. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

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    I'd give those Bergers a try.
    I shoot the 180 gr VLD out of my 7mm RUM. Excellent performance on a nice cow Elk and my Mulie buck this season. Very accurate as well.
    You'll not only get a higher rated bc bullet, but also the slightly heavier bullet will buck the wind better and have a higher retained energy.
     
  4. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I'd use the 160g AB if it was me. I've played with both out of my 7 RM and they are both excellent bullets. I have found the Bergers to be VERY fragile and thus not really my type of bullet for elk hunting. I like to have 2 holes at any distance/angle, Bergers are hard pressed to do that at closer normal hunting ranges.

    If your elk is broadside then I wouldn't hesitate to use either bullet.

    I used the 168g and 180g vld on deer and wasn't very impressed on 2 of the 3 shot. They did die, however bullet performance was not ideal.

    Shot 2 deer with the 168g. The first was behind the shoulder about 200 or so yards. Bullet performance was great on that deer. Bullet exited leaving about 2" hole and a blood trail that was a foot wide. 2nd deer was shot at 600 yards in the shoulder. Deer dropped but was not dead. Moving its head around and what not. I put another one in its neck and that killed it. Upon skinning/gutting, neither bullet exited and this was at 600 yards.

    Next year I used the 180g vld thinking it would give better penetration and less expansion. Anyways, ended up shooting a buck about 100 yards in the shoulder and he just stood there. Put another one behind his shoulder and he still stood there. Few seconds later he tipped over. Both bullets exited, but they acted like FMJ's. pinsize exit holes and not a lot of internal damage.

    I wont be using Bergers anymore, and especially not on a large bodied elk. If they aren't performaning great on deer, they aren't going to do any better on elk.

    I'd shoot whichever is most accurate in your rifle and learn to pick your shots if the Berger is the one you decide to stick with.

    Just my experience with them.
     
  5. Chopaka81

    Chopaka81 Well-Known Member

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    This is one reason why some like to aim high in the shoulders, they're hoping to "spine" the prey. gun)
    The margin for error is very small.
     
  6. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

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    may i suggest another?

    i shot a 7 RM for yrs as my primary elk rifle. killed lots of elk with it. my favorite bullet was the 175 gr nosler partition bullet. this bullet shot great in my gun and i got great penetration and expansion. i once shot a bull that i thought was already hit..(my buddy had just fired at the same elk)..as he was headed away i shot him in the right ham, trying to quarter a shot into his vitals from the flank, from about 250yrds...we found the bull dead about 200yds away. after an autopsy was performed, the only shot found was mine. bullet had traveled all the way to the off should, thru the lungs....found the bullet just under the skin....perfect mushroom out to about 45 caliber....it must have traveled close to 50 inches thru this bull. AJ
     
  7. pjracer

    pjracer Well-Known Member

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    accubond or partition
     
  8. benchrest

    benchrest Member

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    160 TSX should be very good.
     
  9. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I haven't played with the bergers. But the 160gr AB behind a healthy dose of RL22 in my 7RM is a real tack driver (well below 1/2moa at distance). It is my do anything load when I'm not carrying one of my 338's.

    AJ
     
  10. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I have killed big game with both and read hundred's of posts about this subject. Bottom line:

    If you want a hole out the back side pick another bullet.

    Both of these will leave most of it's energy inside the animal, as that is what they are both designed to do, though one more violently than the other.

    The berger will give you consistent initial penetration then violent expansion, in the vital and make soup out of the internal organs, and a lot of bloodshot. The berger will also, typically, give very good long range accuracy and much better wind/trajectory after 500 yards. You will need to be able to reload well and know how to tune the load and seating depth.

    Accubonds are very good with good accuracy but the BC, while good, just doesn't hold up, especially given the lighter weight, past 500 yards. I do prefer that they make less of a mess than the bergers, but don't kill any better.

    If you want pass through shot's so you can trail your still alive game, then pick another bullet.
     
  11. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    I had my mind made up on the Bergers then my gunsmith told me that this year he shot his doe with some 168 Bergers out of his 280 AI. He said it took 4 shots at around 180 yards to take her down. After the first two I guess she just stood there looking around.

    Not sure if that's the exact way things played out or not, but that doesn't sound like too good of a deal. I really like how the Bergers hold 14-1500# of energy out to 800 yards.

    Thanks.
     
  12. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I would compare how many responses you get about bang-flop kills vs 4 shots at 140 yards can't kill a doe and then make your decision. I have not heard any first hand reports of bullets not working. I've not heard one first hand report of any berger's even breaking up on a shoulder bone. Discount all second hand reports. That aside, no bullet carries energy downrange bast 500 yards like the berger.
     
  13. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

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    :D:D:D:D:rolleyes:
     
  14. tjonh2001

    tjonh2001 Well-Known Member

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    i personallhy shoot a 7mmwsm shooting the 180 bergers and i have been very pleased. i have shot deer from 100 yards out to 900 yards. the only time i was questioning my bergers was 2 years ago when i was shooting 168s i shot a buck at 525 it was a slight down hill shot. i hit him on the sholder and he droped. when i went up to get him he was still alive. after looking at my bullet hole i hit lower than i wanted. that is why i switched to the 180s. here is the buck tht i shot with the bergers this year he was jsut under300 i shot him right behind the sholder and he made it a few steps. the next picture is me holding my dads deer from this year and he shot that with my 6.5x284 shooting 130 accubonds. i also load accubonds for my brother in his 270 shortmag. that thing is a desimator. point being i have videos of hunts with numerous berger kills that are drt and i have some with the accubonds. shoot what you feel is the best in your rifle. i would hope that no one would think these arent good examples of bullet performance on a couple good bucks.

    7mmwsm 180 bergers
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    6.5x284 130 accubond
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