problems with bergers

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cooper89, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. cooper89

    cooper89 Member

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    Has anyone had trouble with berger varmint bullets not killing? I shot a coyote tonight with a .243 80 grain berger varmint at 581 yards he did the spin dance for awhile and the trotted off not limping or humped or anything. Found a little blood but never did find him. Also shot a mule deer doe at 400 with my .270 shooting 140 grain vlds and she jumped and kicked then ran off. No blood and never found her. Last I saw she was on private property still going good. I shot 2 antelope with the same combo both about 350 yards and they tipped right over. I love my bergers just having some confidence issues I guess. Am I doing something wrong or what?
     
  2. JeffP40

    JeffP40 Well-Known Member

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    No way to tell where you hit them. If it was a killing shot, they are dead. If not, they aren't. It can happen with any bullet.
     

  3. SaskShooter

    SaskShooter Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be a downer here, but truth is, if you hit that doe in the killzone she'd be dead. Even if the bullet failed to mushroom or fragment at all, if it went into the boiler room, she would not live that long.

    My guess would be that you went just a tiny bit low and likely hit the leg but didn't hit bone causing only a muscle wound that would eventually heal up.

    I haven't shot many animals with Bergers, but they've still never failed on me.

    When it all boils down, caliber, sectional density, ballistic coefficient, bullet weight and construction, velocity, etc. all put together don't matter half as much as shot placement.
    As long as you poke a hole in the right spot, the critter will die, as the dozens of cattle I've killed with a .22 LR have proven.
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have shot plenty of coyotes. Usually the spin while biting at their rear means a hit in the rear or high rear leg muscle.

    I also agree with what jeffp40 said.

    Where did you hit the 2 antelope at?

    Jeff
     
  5. cooper89

    cooper89 Member

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    Hit both antelope behind the shoulder. As for the doe I have shot a lot of animals and never seen one jump and kick over their head if not hit in the heart area. And if the bullet performs correctly on a coyote it doesnt matter where you hit them there should be something tore up if its a varmint specific bullet. My point is I dont think some of my bullets are opening up.
     
  6. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    The Berger Varmint bullet are little thin at the nose @ 581 yds may of hit something before bullet got to him or you missed vitals. Berger does rec a 1/12 twist barrel for that bullet might want to step up to the 88gr if you have 1/10 twist only reason I mention that is just started to load that bullet in my 243AI with 1/10 twist. I've had pretty good luck with the 87gr Hornady bullet also.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    A hit to any part of the heart or even close and I feel the deer would be done in a very short distance. Even if the bullet never expanded at all.

    But we can't say for sure where it was hit if it was not recovered. If you have lost confidence then by all means change bullets. I did when I had trouble with bullets not expanding. But I had recovered animals to prove my thoughts. I changed to Bergers years ago and have not tracked an animal since, and that was a 100 plus kills ago.

    Jeff
     
  8. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    as has been said, without recovering the animals you have no idea what is going on. I've had some issues with bergers in a certain rifle and it has been narroed down to jacket damage from the rifleing causing premature expansion. I just stepped up to the thicker jacketed match bullets and things are better, however until you know what the problem is, you don't know what to do to fix the issues.
    RR
     
  9. extreme

    extreme Well-Known Member

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    Barnes bullets is your answer.
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I've shot a lot of the 140 Berger out of a 270 WSM but way faster than a 270 will push them and they are flawless.The deer is a hard call without recovering it, I've seen them jump and kick when shot in the brisket, also the heart though. I've had deer run a long way without a heart that has been removed by a Matrix or Berger VLD, like almost across a pivot far but seeing the hit I knew they were dead so let them run with one hit, every deer was missing most or all of it's heart which kinda surprised me. From everything I've hit with the 140 Berger if anything I've though it opened a little easy from the WSM and just about right for the 270, my buddy runs them at 3035 from his 270 and does well with them or he runs a 165 Matrix.
    The coyote hit does not surprise me, I think the Berger varmint bullets at the range you hit it are not as aggressive as you normally think of a varmint bullet like a V-max. We shoot the 60 gr Berger varmint bullet in our 22-250's for deer and antelope out to 600 yards and after about 300 yards ish you will get exits that look like you shot them with the Berger hunting bullets, by 500 yards they are excellent making a nice augered hole through deer and antelope. Just the Berger Varmint bullets we've shot they are great for accuracy and shooting but you do have to place them better than a bullet that will just blow up at the slightest hit.
     
  11. cooper89

    cooper89 Member

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    Thanks for all the response guys. What would happen if I used vlds for coyotes instead of the varmint bullets?
     
  12. hhack

    hhack Well-Known Member

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    I switched to Bergers last year after hearing all the great reviews. I loved the accuracy I was getting with them in my 270 wsm. When deer season rolled around, The first deer i shot through the front shoulders both shoulders. To my surprise it didn't even phase him so I started tracking after following the trail about 700 yards he quit bleeding and I lost the trail and never recovered that deer, which puts a really bad taste in my mouth. Next deer I hit with the 130 gr Bergers did almost the same thing only I was able to catch up to this one before the trail went cold, thanks to my horse. The second shot I put through both lungs at a 100 yards, it didn't even phase him no shock whatsoever. I started to think that I somehow missed but after he ran about a 150 yards he tipped over dead. Both deer were averaged body deer, after inspecting the wounds. The first shot the entrance hole and exit hole were the same size. The second wound the exit hole was bigger than the entrance but not much. I loved the bergers for their accuracy but I switched back to noslers for hunting, I have never had any bad experiences with a nosler.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    What was the internal damage?
     
  14. hhack

    hhack Well-Known Member

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    Internal damage was minimal for my 270wsm shoulder shot missed the heart by only a couple inches it was a perfect hole no shock transfer. The internal damage on the lung shot was minimal holes were straight through both lung with the lung on the closer side having same sized entrance and exit. The far side lung had a little bit more damage but was still unimpressive. Every deer I have lung shot with nosler's the damage has been impressive with massive damage to both lungs. Don't get me wrong I love bergers but I just don't have any confidence shooting them at Game after my bad experience.