300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong? ANOTHER UPDATE

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by montana_native, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    I have been trying to transition from the 300 SMK to the 300 Berger in my 338 Lapua. The SMK is a very consistent performer. I’ve verified the load well under 0.25” at 100 yards numerous times. Under 0.5 MOA at 1000 multiple times etc. This is with 91.5 grains of H-1000, GM215M and a 0.080” jump to the lands. I am at 2785 fps with single digit ES.

    I’m down to my last 80 from a 500 ct box and have been trying to get a Berger load dialed in with marginal success. To date, my best at 100 yards is 0.750”, best at 350 yards is 0.67 MOA and at 1000 yards it’s about a 1.2 MOA rifle. At a mile they shoot about twice the size groups as the SMK. I’ve checked run-out, tried a clean barrel, dirty barrel, CCI250s. I’ve tried loads with H-1000 from 2680 fps – 2820 fps and Retumbo from 2710 fps - 2845 fps with no real indication that one load is better than the other. The ES is also about double that of the SMKs. I’ve tried jumps from 0.010” to 0.100” and nothing seems to make improvements. They are also about 40 fps slower than the SMK with the same powder charge. My understanding is the reduced baring surface would give an increase in velocity.

    This is all out of a 28” Lilja 10-twist barrel that has a total of 635 rounds down the pipe.

    I had high expectations for this bullet. Will some rifles just not shoot these things? It will be a big disappointment if not since I have 1500 of them.

    What am I missing? Thanks.
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I haven't had such problems w/my 338 RUM but things really came together with 101.5 gr 50BMG and Fed 215s.

    Shoots SMK and Berger's well w/Bergers having the accuracy edge and much better terminal performance.

    MV is 2735 on the day I checked. ES was 3 for 5 shots.

    HTH
     
  3. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    montana_native,

    Please verify the twist rate of your barrel. What you're describing is consistent with a twist rate slower than 1:10".

    A 1:11" would shoot SMK's well but Berger Hybrids not so well since the Berger's are longer they need a true 1:10".

    You can check barrel twist using a cleaning rod with a tight fitting patch. Measure how far the cleaning rod travels to complete 1 full turn. Repeat the measurement several times and take an average.

    Another thought, has the rifle shot SMK's well since you started trying with the Bergers? Maybe something happened about the time you switched bullets? But if the rifle shoots SMK's well, then Bergers poorly at the same time, that would indicate the difference really is related to the bullet.

    Take care,
    -Bryan
     
  4. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?


    Lilja doesn't make an 11 twist but I will verify that it's not a 12.

    Thanks
     
  5. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

     
  6. Bear Camp

    Bear Camp Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I'm shooting a 338 Edge with a 1-10 twist and the 300gr Bergers. My accuracy load is:

    -300 Berger -.035 off lands
    -90gr H1000
    -CCI 250
    -muzzle velocity of 2,820 fps

    Best 100 yard group to date is .097" CTC. It has shot extremely well at all distances out to 2,027 yards. My hunting buddy and I took a whitetail doe last year here in Idaho with that load at 1,697 yards!

    This exact load also has worked out very good for my hunting buddy in his 338 Edge as well. Hope this helps. Check your twist rate as mentioned above, that could be a big factor.
     
  7. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    Wanted to add that I have confirmed the SMK load recently. After trying the Bergers and it's still about 0.200" at 100.

    Joel, everything I have read about the Bergers is that they are better performers then the SMK. Not so in my rifle yet.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I would and do only shoot 3 shot groups for load work up and have wasted lots of components at 100 with 300gr bullets in a 338. Do your work up at 200 plus.

    Jeff
     
  9. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I own a 10 twist Lilja that is actually a 10.5 twist. Button rifles barrels can evidently have some loose tolerances on their twist rates.
     
  10. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    All of my load development with this rifle has been done at ~350 yards with a few attempts at 1000 yards. The 100 yard efforts were to confirm zero after optics changes. Usually I shoot three shot groups. Lately I've been shooting five shot groups with lots of time to cool between shots/strings.
     
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    Sounds good, keep a close eye on parallax and mirage when remounting the rifle between cool downs
     
  12. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    Not so in any of my rifles shooting the 300 SMK either....
     
  13. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I have built quite a few Edges using True Flite UM 1-9 barrels.

    All but one have shot the 300 Bergers fantastically.

    One just would not shoot the Bergers, it did shoot the SMK very well.

    Goodness knows why it didn't like the Bergers, just how it goes I guess....
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Re: 300 grain Berger Disappointment - What am I doing wrong?

    I have shot them both in quite a few 338's. Typically the Bergers held tighter past 1000 with repeatable and noticeably better results. I attributed it to the better BC of the Berger.

    But it for sure is not outside the realm of thinking that one barrel and chamber throat may prefer either over the other.

    If you decide to off the Bergers you have my number.:)

    Jeff