Berger Bullets on Game. Specifically 6.5

Skeeter05

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
36
So I have a lot of experience with Berger’s in various calibers, but will limit my experience to the 6.5, several will not agree with me but this is my experience.


In the 6.5 SAUM I have only used the 140 HVLD. They are by far the most accurate and fun to punch tiny holes in paper, because of how they shoot in my rifle I hunted with them. I have taken several animals with the 140HVLD. 8 Whitetail Deer from 70-285 yards, all animals dead several only ran 60 plus yards, but with no exit it made tracking a chore, and a couple requiring a dog to find. Several hogs at varying distance no exit but all recovered. One bull elk at 700, no exit went 60 yards and had to put another in him. All of these shots are behind the shoulder shots and killed all of the animals.

I now exclusively shoot Barnes bullets in all of my hunting rifles. The 127 LRX is a beast, 600 yard bull thru both shoulders went 20 yards massive blood trail. Countless hogs, most didn’t take a step. Whitetail deer 50-300 yards. If you take a behind the shoulder shot he will run a few yards but it’s like you painted the trail to him, none of this on your hands and knees looking for blood. If you shoot for the shoulder he is done right there.

It all boils down to preference the Berger’s will kill any animal you hit, and if you take the high shoulder shot (I am not a fan of) they will more than likely be DRT, but if you hit them behind the shoulder and it doesn’t exit then it’s like hunting for a needle in a haystack. I can honestly say I will never take another big game animal with a Berger. Not trying to bash Berger but they do not perform the way I want a bullet to perform.
 

Chuckrub

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Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
102
Location
YW.

So I have a lot of experience with Berger’s in various calibers, but will limit my experience to the 6.5, several will not agree with me but this is my experience.


In the 6.5 SAUM I have only used the 140 HVLD. They are by far the most accurate and fun to punch tiny holes in paper, because of how they shoot in my rifle I hunted with them. I have taken several animals with the 140HVLD. 8 Whitetail Deer from 70-285 yards, all animals dead several only ran 60 plus yards, but with no exit it made tracking a chore, and a couple requiring a dog to find. Several hogs at varying distance no exit but all recovered. One bull elk at 700, no exit went 60 yards and had to put another in him. All of these shots are behind the shoulder shots and killed all of the animals.

I now exclusively shoot Barnes bullets in all of my hunting rifles. The 127 LRX is a beast, 600 yard bull thru both shoulders went 20 yards massive blood trail. Countless hogs, most didn’t take a step. Whitetail deer 50-300 yards. If you take a behind the shoulder shot he will run a few yards but it’s like you painted the trail to him, none of this on your hands and knees looking for blood. If you shoot for the shoulder he is done right there.

It all boils down to preference the Berger’s will kill any animal you hit, and if you take the high shoulder shot (I am not a fan of) they will more than likely be DRT, but if you hit them behind the shoulder and it doesn’t exit then it’s like hunting for a needle in a haystack. I can honestly say I will never take another big game animal with a Berger. Not trying to bash Berger but they do not perform the way I want a bullet to perform.
He is not the biggest one out there but he is a trophy in my eyes.

First time elk hunting with my new 4S and I was pleased with the performance, this is also my longest shot on an animal. I am shooting the Gap Extreme Hunter, Bertram Brass, H1000, Fed 215 primers and Berger 140 VLD hunting bullet, Muzzle velocity 3050fps. The bull was 786 yards from me and I was shooting down on him 15 or so degrees. Shot placement was behind the front shoulder, the wind was at 9:00 at 8mph so I adjusted for that as well. My first shot was 4”high ( I assume this was due to me shooting down on the animal?) but he went to the ground where I finished him with a follow up shot (which was also high). Once the celebration was over the work started and when I field dressed him I was amazed at how much damage the bullet had done. Both lungs jello and both bullets exited in the ribs 6 or so inches behind the opposite shoulder (apparently he was slightly quartered to me). This is my first elk with a Berger and it performed very well for me. For next year I will be practicing on incline/decline shots to try to have slightly better shot placement, I believe if the shot was slightly lower it would have only taken 1 to finish the animal.
 

Starlite

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
471
Location
New Brunswick Canada
Just curious. Why you using the G1 in your calculator. Though G7 would be preferred. Especially the 143 ELD-X. BTW the velocity on the at mono is crazy. that’s almost 1000FPS faster then my creedmoor. Seeing how I have 100’s of 6.5 projectiles, maybe I’ll build a 6.5 300 🐝 instead of the 300 WSM.
 

Rifleman97

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Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
227
I would like any input anyone has on Berger bullets on mule deer and up size game( Elk). From 50 yards to 1000 yards. I know there are people that love them and people that hate them.

Im most specifically looking at the 6.5’s in 140 VLD Hunt and 156 EOL. I have a few boxes of each. Currently shooting ELDX

any wounded animal, DRT animals, pictures and videos would be greatly appreciated.

Are they the best option for heavy for caliber high BC and SD bullets? Or is there a better option that has high BC and is used for hunting?
No experience with owning a 6.5 but the 195 EOL (7mm) was not at all impressive on game. 30 cal 215 VLD works really well but I still prefer Accubond/partition. I’ve heard a lot of other people say they weren’t happy with how the 7mm 195gr EOL did on game as well. But maybe their 6.5 EOL works better than their 7 does, can’t testify. But their VLD’s usually work pretty well and they shoot really accurately in anything I’ve shot Bergers out of.

edit: seeing North Idaho Hunter’s picture already tells me their 156 EOL is a lot better than their 195 was. Looks great
 

raamw

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Midwest
I used a Berger 185 out of a 30-06 on an antelope at 400 yards Bang flop, the entrance hole was like a stab with an ice pick but the exit was the size of 16" softball. After seeing this I would limit it to medium soft skin game
 

LongBomber

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Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
691
Location
Fernie BC, Canada
To the OP
You said you are shooting a 6.5-300wby, I struggled with the 140’s from a 26N. Once I got them up to around 3200fps they were inconsistent, over 3300 I had the odd one not make it to the target. Say 1 in 20 came apart midflight.
From the 6.5-300 You could drive them 3350ish fps if they held together, but with the bigger 6.5’s I would try the 156gr. Or swap to a copper mono and push it really fast.
 

Limbic

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Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
323
Location
Jackson Ms
168 vld from 280ai. Absolutely devastating. Boys and I shoot for “high shoulder” shots. Not sure what happened here but it was impressive. Dozen or so white tails from 100-250 yards and none have run. I plugged a doe at 440 and she went 50 yards. Hit a little further back than I wanted but the blood trail was thick.
10 hogs. Several two with one shot kills. Just waited till their heads lined up.

130 vld @330 on a big buck. 260 rem Quartering away. It chewed up the insides and the deer didn’t go far.

Same performance I got from SGK bit a bit more accurate.
 

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bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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SW Montana
I've killed a pile of elk with the 140 vld from pbr to a number between 800 and 1000 yards, starting velocity 3230 fps, never put a second one in anything and only caught one in an elk that was close range heavy quartering through the center of the front shoulder and front of chest ending up mid way up the neck on the off side. The 140 is one of the best hunting bullets I tested on elk, the 156 is looking very good also but not many numbers.
 

The Oregonian

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Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,213
Location
Missoula, Montana
I use the 140 VLD’s out of a 6.5cr and get 2880 out of it. I use Berger’s in 3 of my guns...the 6.5cr, 280ai with the 168 VLD, and the 195’s out of a 28 Nosler.

Between these I have probably killed ~10 animals with them, all shots within 100 yds. One common theme I have noticed is that if they don’t hit shoulder they are unlikely to give a blood trail. So you need to choose what kind of kill you want,

If I am in an open field or somewhere I can see the deer run about 50 yards in any direction, I’m fine with a shoulder. If I am concerned it could run into thickets, I need to either DRT him or hobble him so he can’t go very far or fast without me seeing him, so aI go for a shoulder shot.

It took me a few animals to see a pattern but I didn’t lose any of them. There were a couple of times when I had to just area search in tough areas but was able to find all of them, with the longest run being 75-100 yds. So those shots are quickly fatal, but with heavy cover and no blood it can get dicey.

Here’s a thread where I have some pics of the bullet and a better description of the shot.

https://www.longrangehunting.com/threads/berger-6-5-140-vld-performance-on-game.254928/#post-2045879
 

Recon$$

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Joined
May 24, 2011
Messages
265
522 yards. 140 vld at 3050 fps out of a 6.5 PRC. He was quartering and the projectile did not exit. If he was broadside it would have exited. What was left blew throw the back side ribs and was caught in the hide. He went 10 yards. 1st deer with the rifle/round. So far, so good. The vld is disgusting accurate with my handloads.
 

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kmarsh1966

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Dec 8, 2020
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Location
Frisco Texas
3 different experiences.

First - Blackbuck, 140 Elite Hunter at 100 yards. Velocity 3000 ish, no exit.

Second Berger 156 EOL at 3044. Sika at 230 yards. Impact velocity 2700 FPS. Struck animal 2 times fatal hits 1” apart. 3rd hit was high (intentionally guide said second shot was low so I held top of back and took off 1-2” stripe of mane, did not penetrate skin) he did move on this one and quartered towards me. #4 was front chest, he finally reacted and started running and wobbling about 50-70 yards. I put one more in him on the opposite side of the body from the first 2 shots..........

Third (same trip as second) Berger 156 EOL at 3044. Auodad at 434 yards. Impact velocity 2500 fps. Typical Berger Bang Flop.

I think there may be some issues with the 156 performance up close......... Good luck
 

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Barto, PA
I would like any input anyone has on Berger bullets on mule deer and up size game( Elk). From 50 yards to 1000 yards. I know there are people that love them and people that hate them.

Im most specifically looking at the 6.5’s in 140 VLD Hunt and 156 EOL. I have a few boxes of each. Currently shooting ELDX

any wounded animal, DRT animals, pictures and videos would be greatly appreciated.

Are they the best option for heavy for caliber high BC and SD bullets? Or is there a better option that has high BC and is used for hunting?
I used a remy 7mm mag on a black bear hunt in Montana several years ago. The load was 72 grains of retumbo over a 180 Berger VLD. 1st shot at 560 yards hit too far back, as the bear took a step when I squeezed the trigger. Bullet struck hip area, nocking the bear down. She got up and went diagonal on the hillside.....maybe 150 yards. When she stopped at about same distance, I fired again and due to the angle, caught the liver. That bear went another 80 to 100 yards or so before expiring. The entrance and exit holes were close to comparison. Yep....I got the bear but given what I've seen with other kills, was not really impressed. The impressing part was on paper! .24 inch with 168's and .80 inch with180 grains, for 3 shots at 100 yards. Stock rifle, my tailored handloads.
 

Longtine88

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Nov 22, 2020
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10
Location
Texas
Both my kid's shoot 260's. One is a long throated rifle for shooting 140 VLD's on my daughters and my sons is a Cooper 260 and he shoot's 130's. 140's are at 2,820 FPS and the 130's are at 2,890 FPS. Son has shot 8 deer with his out to 300 and daughter has shot 9 deer out to 200 yards. All the deer went straight down. Only one had an exit and it was the 300 yard shot. These deer are all west Texas and south Texas bucks. I've shot numerous whitetail and Mule Deer with a 140 VLD in 7mm Mag. Furtherest being a 550 yard Mule Deer. I've never trailed one. They have all been with in a 20 yard circle. All the guns love to shoot them. The range of accuracy we have is from 0.2 moa to 0.4 moa out to 500 yards. We really don't shoot further than that much but given the opportunity I think I could extend that out more. There are people I know that have pin holed on animals. Hogs' especially. Not sure why. But I've never had an issue with them. The only other bullets the kids shoot in the 260's is a Barnes TSX 120 Grain. They do phenomenal on game but they are a 300 yards bullet in my book because of the BC and expansion down range.
 

TX Badger

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Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
328
Location
Dallas, TX
I do not think I have ever heard of a berger pencilling through an animal when someone says that they checked the hollow point on a hunting bullet. Shooting the thicker skinned Target bullet, yes; failing to make sure the hollow point on a hunting bullet is not closed, yes.
 

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