264WM Budget build = great...Berger 156 EOL = not so great...

entoptics

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Jan 16, 2018
Messages
618
Bought a 264 WM barrel (24", 1:8, 5R, heavy sporter) from X-Caliber on Black Friday sale...Last year!

Finally got her installed on an OEM Savage receiver and Accustock that a member (@nkyshooter) kindly sold me a couple months back. Whole thing was less than $1K with scope rail, barrel nut, recoil lug, kydex cheek riser, and muzzle brake (MBM 3 port Super Baby beast).

Went out today with 3 bullets and 3 powders, just to get an idea of where to begin with loading. Forgot my front rest and "chin/chest" pillow, so I had to get a bit creative with my rest setup. Also, there was a 10 mph crosswind, and the new scope I bought has a nearly half MOA center dot (returning it ASAP), so this wasn't exactly ideal conditions.

147 ELDM was stellar, with 3 groups (only 3 shots each) averaging 0.56 MOA. The BC wasn't quite what Hornady quotes (0.697 G1), and came in at 0.669 ± 0.014 according to LabRadar tracks and JBM's BC calculator.

143 ELDX was pretty dang good too. 2 groups averaged 0.67 MOA. BC was better than Hornady claims (0.625 G1) and came out to 0.643 ± 0.014.

156 Berger EOL...Not so hot... 3 groups averaged 0.89 MOA. All three groups had 2 good, then 1 flier. Still acceptable accuracy, but what bothered me was the calculated G1 BC was 0.607 ± 0.033, which is 0.07 less than Berger quotes (worse than the 143 ELDX?!?!) and extremely variable. 2 of the 3 fliers also coincided with very low calculated B.C.s. When loading, I noticed that the bullet OAL was pretty variable (ES of ~0.006"), and the tips weren't very uniform.

All in all, I'm VERY happy with my "new" FrankenRifle, but was pretty disappointed in the Bergers. These came from a sample pack from submoashooting.com (as did the Hornadys), but I have another 100 in a regular retail box, so I'll reserve judgment till I have a bigger data set. Still, I was pretty surprised at how much visible and measurable variation there was. I've not got much experience with Berger, but I've shot a few thousand Hornady bullets in 556, 308 Win, 300WM, and 7mm Mag, and measured the B.C, BTO, and OAL of dozens and dozens of them, and have never seen the amount of variation I saw in 9 Bergers today. Heck, the 3000 or so Hornady 62 gr HPBT I've run as my "bulk" load for the last 3 years in my AR15s has showed better uniformity. Those come loose in a carboard box and are $0.11 each...

Even if the Bergers are crappy (is 0.9 MOA really crappy?), I should still have a sweet deer slayer, for my wide open wheat fields, with either of the ELD offerings.
 

nkyshooter

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Sep 16, 2014
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476
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Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati
Stop teasing ... show us some pics! 😁

BTW - on those 156 Bergers ... I'm wondering if 8 twist if fast enough ... those might need a 7.5 or a 7 which could explain the fliers ... I'll leave it to the guys shooting them effectively to chime in on that though ...
 

Capt RB

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Dec 1, 2014
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1,880
Check the twist by running a tight patch through the bore. I shoot a lot of 147's from the creed to wsm speeds and they always have been higher bc than the 140eldm and 143eldx in my rifles. Have 0 experience with the new berger. I would think twist is slightly slower than an 8 maybe 8.25 to 8.4. We had a bargin barrel that had the reverse of a gain twist. It was contoured so it went back for a refund rather than being replaced.
 

1894C

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Jul 15, 2020
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Location
Georgia/Tennessee
When you get really serious you can start sorting bullets and that will show you bergers are far and away more consistent in base to office measurements than eldm and eldx. I recently sorted through a lot of 1000 eldm for my 7mm. There where three times as many eldm outside my threshold of use in relation to the 215 Bergers I shoot in my 30. Regarding BC you’re doing well. Just because berger or hornady put a number on the box you have to quantify that. My 180 eldm are running a .735 g1 bc. Way below what they quote for a 1:8. Meanwhile my 215s are running .699 g1. A shade over what is quoted. Keep shooting play with your OAL and I think those Bergers will tighten up for you. Either way it seems to like your eld’s.
 

Montucky Roamer

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Mar 2, 2017
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112
Location
NW MT
Regarding the raggedy tips on Berger's...they look rough but people that know more than me say it flat doesn't matter. What matters is base to give and berger are incredible in that regard in my limited experience. I can't shoot the difference myself that's for sure.
One could certainly uniform the tips but I think it's wayyyy down the list and gets lost in the noise.
 
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