berger and no expansion?

mikeym1a

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Jul 24, 2012
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Location
Logan, Utah
For the last 3 years my friend has shot his Elk and killed it each time with a 168 gr berger. Each time he tells me that the bullets had passed all the way through with no expansion and he had to track the Elk down. This year he had thought he missed because he watched the dust fly up from behind the elk, the elk took off and then about 200 yds away it collapsed. Upon seeing the Elk he realized that he did hit the Elk and the bullet had passed all the way through just as it had the other years, with no expansion. He doesn't load his own bullets, another guy does it for him. I've never had any problems like this. I use Berger bullets in 4 different rounds, they have always been perfect. Any ideas as to what is going on? Is this a common issue with Bergers?
 

cowboy

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Jul 14, 2007
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Location
Mt., Id. , SD
I and my sons have taken many animals with the Berger bullet and have never even come close to seeing anything like this. My guess is there is something here we are not aware of.

First thing I would do is talk to the buddy doing the reloading - what bullet is he actually loading?

Don't want to start a peeing contest but this is how bad rumors get started.
 

Clndesl

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Oct 21, 2011
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127
These are 140gr hunting vlds out of a 6.5x284. I would say by the looks of these exit wounds that these expanded.
 

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4xforfun

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I would make sure he is using the VLD HUNTING bullet, and not the VLD TARGET bullet.
 

Broz

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Townsend, Montana.
I and my sons have taken many animals with the Berger bullet and have never even come close to seeing anything like this. My guess is there is something here we are not aware of.

First thing I would do is talk to the buddy doing the reloading - what bullet is he actually loading?

Don't want to start a peeing contest but this is how bad rumors get started.
Plus 1. I agree with cowboy. Many animals taken for years and years and if I was going to complain it wouldnt be from lack of expansion. Must be more to the story. The guys that use other bullets use them for less exansion and more penetration. Are you sure you are talking about a Berger and not another brand? I have seen the results you mentioned from other 168's of a different manufacturer.

Jeff
 

Eric Stecker

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Jul 27, 2007
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292
Mikeym1a,

Reports of no expansion are very rare but to say that it has never been reported isn't factual. It is very important to us that we get the specifics of this situation. I suggest that either you or the hunter you mention gets in touch with us directly so we can learn all we can. You can email me at [email protected].

In the few reports we've received, we have been unable to get to the root cause of this result. This is primarily due to the infrequency of the occurances. Also, we have been unable to duplicate this result in our testing. Having said that I will offer some thoughts on potential causes.

Using Hunting bullets rather than Target or Tactical bullets (we don't make a 168 gr Tactical so that doesn't apply in this situation) is important. The thicker jacket used in the Target and Tactical bullets has proven to open up and fragment less than the hunting jackets.

Impact velocity is important. The lower the impact velocity, the less expansion and fragmentation will occur. Our Hunting bullets have been shown to open up at 1,800 fps which is low compared to many other options. The fact that you mentioned the range was 200 yards suggests that the impact velocity should have been high enough.

Trimming and repointing Berger Hunting bullets is strongly discouraged. You didn't mention that this was done but I wanted to mention it for others reading this thread. The size of the hollow point affects penetration and expansion. If the tip is repointed to be very tight, it can prevent or significantly reduce expansion.

I look forward to hearing from you so we can do all we can work toward eliminating this from ever happening.

Regards,
Eric
 

BlackStreak

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Apr 11, 2011
Messages
42
+ 1 on the Berger VLD hunting bullet. the jacket is said to be thicker on the target VLD bullets which wouldn't allow them to "blow up" like the VLD hunting bullets do.
 

bkondeff

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Feb 2, 2008
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Location
Star, ID
I have had excellent performance, results, and reliability with my 168 berger Hunting VLD's. Now I will say that in 09, two deer we shot with my 25-06 using 115 HUNTING VLD's, had a total of 5 rounds go through the rib cage of two diff deer with zero noticed expansion. All were pass through's, none had exit wounds larger than entrance. simply looked like they were stabbed with a long round dagger.

I still have 2+ boxes of the same lot of thos bullets that I have, unfortunately, stopped loading. I assumed I may have received a bad lot, or possibly mislabeled target loads.

PS the one deer scored 192, we have the shots and the deer's reaction on Video. Still LOVE my 168's though, which I load for 4 guns, so NO bashing here.
 

bigngreen

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SW Montana
The reloader needs to make dang sure they don't damage the tip when seating the bullet and then you have to also make sure the tip does not get damaged from recoil in the mag box or packing them in a box. I've managed to catch all of the above things which does not translate to bullet issues.
 

Eric Stecker

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Jul 27, 2007
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292
I will say that in 09, two deer we shot with my 25-06 using 115 HUNTING VLD's, had a total of 5 rounds go through the rib cage of two diff deer with zero noticed expansion.

I still have 2+ boxes of the same lot of thos bullets that I have, unfortunately, stopped loading.
Bkondef,

Please email me directly at [email protected] and refer to this thread. I'd like to get those 25 cal bullet back from you so we can test them. I'm not sure if you are saying that you don't load 25 cal anymore or don't load the Berger in 25 cal anymore. Either way we can get you more 25 cal or 30 cal to replace the bullets you have that didn't open up for you.

Regards,
Eric
 

4xforfun

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Oct 1, 2007
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1,423
Eric,

Your actions speak volumns of your confidence in your product. I do not shoot any Bergers. (yet!)

Plus one on that!! BUT.... I have two problems with Berger (and that is ALL I shoot , by the way).

One....you guys are making life for people like me A LIVING HELL You know the type....TINKERITIS ERECTUS!! Just when I find THE load for a BBL.....BAM...ANOTHER NEW BULLET TO TEST!! :D

And two, I shoot lots of LR comp. I have met and visited with all of the Hornady guys many, many times....great guys!!! I have met and talked to Rich form Sierra many , many times...again, another great guy!!.. But I have yet to meet anyone from Berger. I need to met more great guys!!!

HMMM....when reading that back it sounds a little...er...ahhh...gay. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.:D
 

Eric Stecker

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Jul 27, 2007
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292
I shoot lots of LR comp. But I have yet to meet anyone from Berger.

HMMM....that sounds a little...er...ahhh...gay. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.:D
Thank you for the kind (and funny) words and I apologize for our inability to step away from the chalk board. We too suffer from "TINKERITIS ERECTUS".

Which LR competitions do you frequent? We have Michelle Gallagher and Bryan Litz who regularly attend LR High Power matches.

We also have a number of "Berger by proxy" shooters at Tactical and LR BR matches. They aren't employees but are long time shooters and testers of our stuff.



Regards,
Eric
 

Joe King

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Apr 29, 2012
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The cold part of Montana
Plus one on that!! BUT.... I have two problems with Berger (and that is ALL I shoot , by the way).

One....you guys are making life for people like me A LIVING HELL You know the type....TINKERITIS ERECTUS!! Just when I find THE load for a BBL.....BAM...ANOTHER NEW BULLET TO TEST!! :D

HMMM....when reading that back it sounds a little...er...ahhh...gay. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.:D

+1KKKKKKK

OOHHH whats this!?!? a new bullet must test must test.....................**** need new barrel :D
 
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