215gr Berger Hybrid Target for hunting

Mc Fraser

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Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
378
Location
Calgary, AB
Hello Everyone,
As a hunter I am strictly opposed to hunting with target bullets. That being said bullet manufacturers have been known to advertise target bullets that perform very well on game.
My questions for you fellow hunters that have hunted with these bullets are
1. Does the bullet mushrooms?
2. How does internal damage compare with other bullets?
3. Does it have better terminal performance at long range then short range? Or vice versa?
4. How would you describe the performance in comparison with the best hunting bullet you have experience with?
There is good information here that I read, most of it, but it’s thought to go though all threads specially when most reviews are “love it dropped dead in its tracks job done” - doesn’t really help me much.

TIA
 

Brydawg512

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Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
411
Location
Washington
Hello Everyone,
As a hunter I am strictly opposed to hunting with target bullets. That being said bullet manufacturers have been known to advertise target bullets that perform very well on game.
My questions for you fellow hunters that have hunted with these bullets are
1. Does the bullet mushrooms?
2. How does internal damage compare with other bullets?
3. Does it have better terminal performance at long range then short range? Or vice versa?
4. How would you describe the performance in comparison with the best hunting bullet you have experience with?
There is good information here that I read, most of it, but it’s thought to go though all threads specially when most reviews are “love it dropped dead in its tracks job done” - doesn’t really help me much.

TIA

I had this question somewhat recently in regard to the 215g Hybrid for my 300WM. I had several individuals say they had taken game under 100 yards with the Hybrid. I personally will not shoot past 500 yards on game, so found the Nosler Accubond to suit my needs better. My understanding is that at shorter distance the Hybrid may have more of an explosive effect on impact compared to a cup and core bullet.
 

FURMAN

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Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
3,120
Location
Kansas
The Berger hybrid is a cup and core bullet maybe brydawg meant compared to bonded? In any case within the first few pages of this post you are just going to see a train wreck. It is mostly going to be because of one of your comments. If you are looking for a bullet stuck in an animal to decide if the bullet performed I would strongly suggest you bypass the Bergers and look for a different bullet. I am the guy you are talking about when I tell you the absolute ONLY thing i care about in "bullet performance" is how fast did the animal die. Having an animal run 500 yards but finding a nice mushroomed bullet inside the animal means the bullet failed to me(which I have seen). Nothing I have every witnessed has put animals down like the Berger 215 period. Shots from 50 yards to 800, it does not matter. I will also tell you that not all hybrids are the same. I just have not been as impressed with the 180 hybrids and personally would stick with the 180HVLDs or try the 175 EH. Most often what you see with non bonded bullets such as all Bergers, is the jacket sheds and destroys the internals while the lead core continues through the animal and exits. As with any bullet there is going to be variance on how the bullet itself reacts/behaves from 50-1000 yards. Most guys that tell you "the bullet failed" have no proof because they have no recovered animal and therefore no bullet. The most likely cause, regardless of the bullet used, is a bad shot placement. I have enough kills with Bergers to know that if you shoot a relatively heavy for caliber bullet such as the 215 it is going to put animals down quickly. I have posted kill vids of Bergers elsewhere on the site. I have no idea what more you could possibly ask form a bullet. I will not post again in this thread. I don't have to time to argue with the naysayers. Some are going to agree with me some are going to disagree. Like I said I have enough kills to know what works. Good luck this fall.
 

Tiny Tim

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Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
1,043
This subject has been thoroughly covered in a multitude of other threads. As rfurman 24 said, there is alot of "discussion" and "interjection" of opinion without evidence that has little to do with the posters question. Most either love them or hate them, no middle ground. Perhaps a better approach to your query would be for YOU to decide HOW you want your bullet to perform (go in and self destruct, or perfect mushroom and pass through). Decide your self imposed ranges and limits, and then ask for a recommendation within those parameters. I've had these exact things happen on threads I've started on a very similar topic I have used bonded, standard cup and core, and target bullets for nearly forty years now and all have worked well for their intended purposes if/when used within their design parameters and placed correctly. Everything in our industry is changing and advancing. We need to be open minded enough to see the truth regardless of our personal bias. Determine your parameters and goals and make a well informed decision. May it perform admirably as you put it to the test this fall!
 

AZShooter

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Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
2,901
Location
Tucson Az
The 215 Berger Hybrid Target is an excellent big game bullet regardless of its target moniker.

Jeff AKA Broz posted a long thread on the 215's performance on game when it first hit the market in 2012. Thread is titled 210 VLD vs 215 Hybrid. The first five pages are bullet comparisons and results shooting at targets. Bottom of page six begins Jeff's documentation of the first game taken with this bullet through page 13. His 300 win mag took 31 cold bore kills by 2015. Family members and a few friends used the rifle in addition to Jeff.

The thread goes on for a total of 35 pages. Lots of load data and experiences posted by other hunters.

One tech tip worth sharing: check the tips on all hunting rounds to be open. Some shooters including me use a tiny pin vice with a very small drill bit to insure that the holes are not opening from the average size.

This thread documents distance, impact velocity, shows entrance and exits, the most thorough report on taking game with a Berger bullet I have encountered.

 

BEEMAN

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Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
2,012
Everything AZshooter said. Look up the thread by Broz and make a decision if the 215 suits your needs. The 215 has been the only bullet I have shot out of my 300 Win Mag. I have not seen a reason to change. Deer in the 5-750 yds and a elk at 625 yds. Bullet performed good in all cases.
 

lancetkenyon

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
5,308
Location
Arizona
We have used the 215 Hyb on several elk with fantastic results. Nothing has ever gone more than 40 yards, with 8 of 10 dropping at the shot. From 50ish to well over 800 yards. I have only recovered one 215 Hyb. Under the offside skin of a big bull. 432 yards, uphill, smashed both shoulders and shattered a vertebrae before coming to rest under the skin. Retained about 40% weight still. Jacket and remaining lead core stayed mostly together.

I use Hybrids (and other "match" bullets) on most game in almost every rifle I own.
.224 69 SMK
6mm 105 Hyb
.257 131 Blackjack (hope to use this on pronghorn this year)
6.5mm 130 OTM
6.5mm 140 Hyb (hope to try the 144 Hyb this year)
6.5mm 142 & 150 SMK
7mm 180 & 184 Hyb
7mm 183 SMK
.308 175 & 210 SMK
.308 215 & 230 Hyb

I have only recovered 4 bullets total.
.308 175 SMK @ 3300fps from 160 yard broadside bedded bull elk. Flopped over dead. Bullet was lost in the field, but probably around 50% retention?
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.308 215 Hyb @ 3100fps from 437 yard broadside bull elk. Dropped at the shot, kicked twice, then dead. Bullet was shredded. 40% retention, 88gr.
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6.5mm 130 OTM @ 2901fps from a 454 yard hard quartering away mule deer buck. Dropped without a twitch. Mushroomed well. 55% retention, 69gr.
20191122_095155.jpg

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6mm 105 Hyb @ 3101fps, 450ish yards broadside pronghorn buck, dropped dead without a twitch. Perfect mushroom. 50% retention, 51gr.
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To be honest, the two slowest killing bullets I have seen were the 6.5mm 127 LRX @ 3009fps @ 530 yards on a deer, and a .308 210 HVLD @ 2950fps @ 250 yards on an elk. Shots were both well placed, and game appeared down, but both needed a follow up shot once we got to the animals.
Animals can be tough. Bullets can fail. But, in MY opinion, blaming bullets failure is a crutch 95% of the time for bad shot placement, ESPECIALLY when game is not recovered. I have heard several stories from people I know that have had issues with the 210 HVLD. One guy got 4 or 5 shots into a bull elk over a couple hours and miles of trailing. All shots were well placed.
 
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bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
Messages
8,761
Location
SW Montana
1) Yes it does mushroom but Frome the shank down, from what I've dug out of a lot of elk, never have caught one in a deer, they go in a couple to a few inches then the nose hydraulics open and there is a violent expansion of the nose down to the lead inside then they mushroom and large frag of copper and lead come of not in an explosion but not slow either, they do not blow up but they do continue mushrooming and you'll find a base with the jacket rolled and jagged around it.

2) The internal damage is greater than any other 30 cal bullet I've shot, that's why for me they have been the benchmark for terminal performance. I've shot mainly elk with them but a few deer from inside 100 to well over a grand with a 308, 300 Win and 30 Nosler. I care about quickly killing an animal then meat loss, I do not like dispatching animals!!

3) A cup and core bullet requires the user to take at least some responsibility to learn and operate inside it's functional parameters, if I launch this bullet at 3200 fps and then insist on shooting an elk at close range in the shoulder the possibility is there to expand all it's energy trying to make up for my **** poor shot placement for the impact speeds, I have seen the bullet clean out both shoulder on bulls but that's a bless lethal more meat waste shot. At closer range I am more careful to absolutely shoot behind the shoulder, quick clean kills are important enough to me to pass a less than perfect shot, I've seen these bullets cover more bad shooting than other bullets though because of the expansive terminal damage though. Over all the 215 has given me the widest operating range of any single 30 cal bullet I've shot.

4) The 215 is thee best bullet I've shot, changed my out look on hunting really!! I shot exclusively Barnes 168 TSX and ttsx for a long time then finally had to accept how poor they performed, then shot 180 and 200 gr Accubonds, better but still shared the issue of not shedding weight to get the frontal area down on heavy hits. I was very sceptical about the 215 but after spotting for Broz on the first animals he shot with them and looking at the internal damage I started running them through a 308 and loaded them for a couple trusted friends who I either hunted with or were as interested as I was in actual terminal performance, two years of one shot performance is what it took fo me to believe just how good this bullet was. It's the benchmark bullet, I've watched one bull hold his feet long enough for a second round.

Will there be a failure, ya there will be but I have not personally witnesses one from the 215, I hope when it happens that the reason is found so it can add to the collective data on this bullet but likely someone will just get butt hurt and blame the bullet and not figure it out, I do check the tips in every bullet I shoot to make sure I hunt with the best regardless of brand, I don't like to push a cup and core ultra fast, my threshold on the 215 is 3100 fps, there are others in the Berger line I do cross this by a large margin but they have to prove they can handle it first close on light game then working out and on bigger game before I'm comfortable.
The 215 is a benchmark bullet for hunting for many guys who take killing clean and with precision seriously.
 

Axl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2015
Messages
697
Location
SW Montana
Hello Everyone,
As a hunter I am strictly opposed to hunting with target bullets. That being said bullet manufacturers have been known to advertise target bullets that perform very well on game.
My questions for you fellow hunters that have hunted with these bullets are
1. Does the bullet mushrooms?
2. How does internal damage compare with other bullets?
3. Does it have better terminal performance at long range then short range? Or vice versa?
4. How would you describe the performance in comparison with the best hunting bullet you have experience with?
There is good information here that I read, most of it, but it’s thought to go though all threads specially when most reviews are “love it dropped dead in its tracks job done” - doesn’t really help me much.

TIA
I haven't seen a bullet manufacturer ever "advertise target bullets that perform very well on game".
What Bigngreen and rfurman24 said is spot on about the 215's so not being a prolific typist I will only add that my extensive experience with seeing bullet performance on lots of big game mirrors what they said. The 215 is the gold standard. In .284 the 180 Hunting Berger is also very good. I use a torch tip cleaner to make sure the tips are clean.
 

Westernhuntr

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Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
414
Location
Idaho
Hello Everyone,
As a hunter I am strictly opposed to hunting with target bullets. That being said bullet manufacturers have been known to advertise target bullets that perform very well on game.
My questions for you fellow hunters that have hunted with these bullets are
1. Does the bullet mushrooms?
2. How does internal damage compare with other bullets?
3. Does it have better terminal performance at long range then short range? Or vice versa?
4. How would you describe the performance in comparison with the best hunting bullet you have experience with?
There is good information here that I read, most of it, but it’s thought to go though all threads specially when most reviews are “love it dropped dead in its tracks job done” - doesn’t really help me much.

TIA
Not another one of these threads..

It's time for the Berger bros to start talking about elk dropping like they were hit by a lightning bolt.

Nothing EVER goes wrong with a thin jacketed Berger target bullet at any range, it sheds weight almost instantly, separates from the jacket into a grenade of shrapnel, but miraculously it'll blow through both elk shoulders every time.

Pure magic!
Anyone who says otherwise is just a Beger basher, avoid contradictory claims like CNN avoids facts 😁
 

bigngreen

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Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
8,761
Location
SW Montana
We all shot other bullets before Berger's, no one stays with a bullet because it sucks, not every bullet fits every shooter! No bullet has been documented shot for shot more than Berger's!
If your results don't match the plethora of experienced guys why not ask why, there's likely a reason. I've seen a couple guns that stresses jackets so much a Berger would not penetrate like normal, not a bullet issue but that gun needs a bullet that can handle a roached throat or a guy that does not want to keep a gun clean. Guys are far more concerned about being butt hurt and telling everyone than figuring out the issue when they see non typical results.
 

sp6x6

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Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
5,010
Location
NW MT
Recall when there was hardly a 338-300 grn.Guys with the larger offerings where successful with 300 smk.Then the 300 otm came out,and has stayed.Many on this site have had great results with,larger than what needed,but wow it works.Now there are many more choices than ten years ago,but I still see it has a strong following.
 

Nomosendero

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Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
1,762
Location
Pocahontas, AR
I don't think it is a matter of a bullet being a Berger, as I have read of many and a couple mentioned here that don't do so well. I know I had 2 experiences (2 for 2) with the 168 "Hunting" Berger that was not so good, even though I retrieved both animals.
But it appears that the 215 is one of those that do work. I have seen where Broz has been open to other bullets but returns to the 215. From a business point of view I would think if the 215 did not work for Broz's clients he would not be so adamant. I am not married to any brand & use Hornady, Nosler & Barnes (more so at this pt. than Berger) but my next load workup for my 300WM will be with the 215. If anyone has better results than Broz on Elk size game from up close out to 800 plus with any other bullet, please let us know or provide a link, it's always good to have options.
I have heard the 140 Hunting VLD has been good esp. for Deer size game but not as conclusive. I want to hear more on that bullet, at least for Deer, I prefer a 300 for bigger stuff, just my opinion on that one.
 
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