Berger bullets

esshup

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Mar 23, 2008
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674
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N. Central Indiana
Like others have said, which bullet? ANY bullet shot at game outside of the impact velocity parameters that the bullet mfg has for that bullet will result in poor bullet performance. I've shot whitetail with .257 Wby at 100 yds using a NBT and had no exit and no blood except for the last 20 yds. She ran about 80 yds before piling up. Guys on the Savage Muzzleloading forum had problems with the 250g SST blowing up. I never had a problem because I kept MV a hair under 2400 fps. They were pushing them over 3,000 fps.

I switched to Barnes X bullets in that gun and my .243 because of the possibility of close high velocity impacts. Never a problem since switching. I've killed deer from 20 yds to 240 yds with that bullet. MV of the 85g Barnes X is 3300 fps in the .243. I shot a Corsican Ram with the .257 Wby and that bullet at 15 yds. Ram stiff legged and tipped over and there was still hair floating down.

I have shot coyote and cow elk with the 180g Berger VLD Hunting bullet. Yote was 867 yds, elk was 708 yds. Both pass through shots, both DRT, not a single step was taken from both. Elk exit hole was about the size of a silver dollar, coyote was a mess. No complaints from me about them. I will be using them next month on Indiana Whitetail, I have a deer reduction hunt on a farm, need to remove 10 deer. Will report back, impact ranges will be anywhere from 100 to 800+ yds, depending where they walk out at. Oh, the cartridge is a 7mm Allen Magnum, 3380 mv.

Shot placement, & bullet impact velocity all determine whether a bullet performs as designed or not.
 

vancewalker007

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Mar 30, 2013
Messages
370
What are everyone’s opinion on Berger bullets? I have heard many polar opposite opinions on whether they are to explosive on impact. Others say that they are the most foolproof way to get an animal. I don’t want to ruin lots of meat because I mostly hunt for meat.
If you mostly hunting for meat you're likely not taking long shots which nullifies the need for a Berger or long range type bullet. If your shots on game are 90-100% under 400 yards stick with a sturdier bullet that shoots consistently good in your rifle. The Barnes monos are cheap and readily available so that would be my first choice. I used the TTSX in Africa and easily killed 9 antelope with them with the longest shot being 220 yards on a Blue Wildebeest.

For my western US hunting I use Berger's because shots tend to be 400-700 ish. Never lost a deer or an elk yet to a Berger.
 
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DJ Fergus

Formerly 'djfergus'
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Dec 25, 2015
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2,091
What are everyone’s opinion on Berger bullets? I have heard many polar opposite opinions on whether they are to explosive on impact. Others say that they are the most foolproof way to get an animal. I don’t want to ruin lots of meat because I mostly hunt for meat.
They shoot great. For ultimate long range accuracy, there's only a few other bullets that might hang in there with them: eldm smk's etc.... It depends on what camp you are in, for me they are ideal: fast kills, minimal if any tracking required. If meat is your primary concern, you will probably be in the other camp that prefers Barnes, partitions, accubonds and such. How ever, there's always some trade off no matter what bullet you choose. For me, I can live with some meat damage if I don't have to go deep off into a gorge to drag an animal out . I can live with some meat damage if I
don't have to cross a border to recover or track an animal. So the ideal bullet would be one that has day in day out non finicky accuracy, has complete pass through every time, doesn't do much meat damage & mushrooms nicely without blowup at distances from 50 yards to 1000 yards while dropping the animal within 20 yards or preferably on the spot when shot. Along with Berger, smk or eldm equivalent ballistic coefficient...... If you have info or where abouts leading to the capture of these bullets please call 1-800 djfergus for your reward 😂.
 
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Straight-Shot

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Sep 19, 2020
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Dallas, Texas
So, I'll take the opposite side of the discussion (someone has to right ?). I reload and Berger Bullets can be tuned to your rifle very nicely. So those below are Berger VDL 140gr with H4350 out of a 7mm-08. I took them on a mule deer draw hunt in West Texas, got 2 nice bucks and 2 does. The Berger Bullet will make a pencil entry and about a softball size exit. As some have said they "grenade". After being hit the does just stood there as if nothing happened. One walked 30yrs or more with a blown out shoulder while the other just stood there, looked around, walked a ways, then laid down. I though I had missed in each case before the guide told me they were hit and bleeding out. Cleaning them I noticed the internals were more shredded than pulverized and I am guessing that is why they might not have gone down quicker. I haven't seen that happen with SSTs or other "cup and core" bullets, maybe that is just luck. The bucks required a follow-up shot. For those reasons I am going back to SSTs. (There, stirred the pot, let the fun begin)




IMG_1633.JPGIMG_1672.JPG
 

DJ Fergus

Formerly 'djfergus'
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Dec 25, 2015
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2,091
So, I'll take the opposite side of the discussion (someone has to right ?). I reload and Berger Bullets can be tuned to your rifle very nicely. So those below are Berger VDL 140gr with H4350 out of a 7mm-08. I took them on a mule deer draw hunt in West Texas, got 2 nice bucks and 2 does. The Berger Bullet will make a pencil entry and about a softball size exit. As some have said they "grenade". After being hit the does just stood there as if nothing happened. One walked 30yrs or more with a blown out shoulder while the other just stood there, looked around, walked a ways, then laid down. I though I had missed in each case before the guide told me they were hit and bleeding out. Cleaning them I noticed the internals were more shredded than pulverized and I am guessing that is why they might not have gone down quicker. I haven't seen that happen with SSTs or other "cup and core" bullets, maybe that is just luck. The bucks required a follow-up shot. For those reasons I am going back to SSTs. (There, stirred the pot, let the fun begin)




View attachment 217340View attachment 217347
The sst kills as fast & faster than just about anything I've ever hunted with. They took a little bit more seating depth tuning for me than say the eld-m or hybrid but was plenty accurate. As far as terminal performance, they were my all time favorite. I opted to go to the eld-m for higher b.c. but I still think it doesn't beat the sst in terminal performance. I guess the eldx is supposed to be the high bc version of the sst but I had much better results getting the eldm to shoot over the eldx. Inside of 600 yards in most situations, the sst is an excellent bullets from my experience. People either loved it or hated it, I personally liked it alot. Most people who didn't like it were partition & accubond die hards.
 

Straight-Shot

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Sep 19, 2020
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Dallas, Texas
The sst kills as fast & faster than just about anything I've ever hunted with. They took a little bit more seating depth tuning for me than say the eld-m or hybrid but was plenty accurate. As far as terminal performance, they were my all time favorite. I opted to go to the eld-m for higher b.c. but I still think it doesn't beat the sst in terminal performance. I guess the eldx is supposed to be the high bc version of the sst but I had much better results getting the eldm to shoot over the eldx. Inside of 600 yards in most situations, the sst is an excellent bullets from my experience. People either loved it or hated it, I personally liked it alot. Most people who didn't like it were partition & accubond die hards.

The ELD is a really good bullet.... love the BC.. the A-MAX was good too ! But I just can't turn over my inventory that fast although I know folks who do. Once I've gone to the trouble to find a good combination (bullet, powder and charge) for a rifle I like to stick with it.... SSTs are not the flashiest bullet around but they can be very consistent and a shot in the correct spot will liquify the vitals.
 

LVJ76

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Tucson, Arizona
The sst kills as fast & faster than just about anything I've ever hunted with. They took a little bit more seating depth tuning for me than say the eld-m or hybrid but was plenty accurate. As far as terminal performance, they were my all time favorite. I opted to go to the eld-m for higher b.c. but I still think it doesn't beat the sst in terminal performance. I guess the eldx is supposed to be the high bc version of the sst but I had much better results getting the eldm to shoot over the eldx. Inside of 600 yards in most situations, the sst is an excellent bullets from my experience. People either loved it or hated it, I personally liked it alot. Most people who didn't like it were partition & accubond die hards.
The ELD is a really good bullet.... love the BC.. the A-MAX was good too ! But I just can't turn over my inventory that fast although I know folks who do. Once I've gone to the trouble to find a good combination (bullet, powder and charge) for a rifle I like to stick with it.... SSTs are not the flashiest bullet around but they can be very consistent and a shot in the correct spot will liquify the vitals.
The 139gr SST on my 7mm-08 is the fastest killing bullet I have ever used in this cartridge. It seems to cause Hydrostatic shock when you place it where its supposed to go.

162gr SST on the 7mm Rem Mag is great as well.

Stay safe
 

Capt RB

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Dec 1, 2014
Messages
1,748
My brother is using the 162 amax and I'm using the 168 Berger both 3030-3050fps. His kills have shown a lot of bloodshot meat. I've only shot one small buck at 190yds with the Berger. I was a bang flop and a softball-sized exit lost most of the off-shoulder. I have shot many bucks with a 270 that were bang flop like that however the ballistic tip I used never did that kind of damage and that is 3150ish. I loaded the 130 sst and the 140 gamechanger to 3140(both of them) The serria makes a solid whap when you hit even smaller game. Sort of like a baseball bat hitting a rug on a clothesline. (for you younger guys that is a piece of rope hung between 2 poles to dry your clothes). I have not shot a big game animal with it only coyotes to date. I have never heard that with a coyote before.
 

deweyduck

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
28
Location
Atlanta, GA
They shoot great. For ultimate long range accuracy, there's only a few other bullets that might hang in there with them: eldm smk's etc.... It depends on what camp you are in, for me they are ideal: fast kills, minimal if any tracking required. If meat is your primary concern, you will probably be in the other camp that prefers Barnes, partitions, accubonds and such. How ever, there's always some trade off no matter what bullet you choose. For me, I can live with some meat damage if I don't have to go deep off into a gorge to drag an animal out . I can live with some meat damage if I
don't have to cross a border to recover or track an animal. So the ideal bullet would be one that has day in day out non finicky accuracy, has complete pass through every time, doesn't do much meat damage & mushrooms nicely without blowup at distances from 50 yards to 1000 yards while dropping the animal within 20 yards or preferably on the spot when shot. Along with Berger, smk or eldm equivalent ballistic coefficient...... If you have info or where abouts leading to the capture of these bullets please call 1-800 djfergus for your reward 😂.
I have a bunch of 175 gr SMK's that I thought would only be used for target practice. But you are using them for hunting? Just want to clarify because they shoot very good in my 30-06. In fact they shoot better than the 168 VLD's I planned to use for whitetails this year. Thanks in advance for your reply.
 

DJ Fergus

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Dec 25, 2015
Messages
2,091
I have a bunch of 175 gr SMK's that I thought would only be used for target practice. But you are using them for hunting? Just want to clarify because they shoot very good in my 30-06. In fact they shoot better than the 168 VLD's I planned to use for whitetails this year. Thanks in advance for your reply.
I've shot them but I haven't hunted with them. Most people doesn't recommend it but I guess I should have clarified that I was just comparing there accuracy to the Berger. Some people do hunt with them. Other folks swear not to. I haven't shot an animal with them so I can't really make a recommendation either way.
 

Capt RB

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Dec 1, 2014
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1,748
I have a bunch of 175 gr SMK's that I thought would only be used for target practice. But you are using them for hunting? Just want to clarify because they shoot very good in my 30-06. In fact they shoot better than the 168 VLD's I planned to use for whitetails this year. Thanks in advance for your reply.
If you are shooting the 175smk's the 180 game king is the bullet to use
 

deweyduck

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Jun 27, 2013
Messages
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Location
Atlanta, GA
If you are shooting the 175smk's the 180 game king is the bullet to use
Thank you for the kind reply. That is what I had learned from others too. And the game king shoots well in my 30-06; but I ran out of em. I did have a bunch of, 250, SMK's and shot a lot of them trying to find the sweet spot for the BOSS on it. I found lots of 3/4" groups at one setting and then quit wasting powder, brass, and barrel. Now the BOSS shoots better than it ever has.
 

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