Berger close range impact

PApa Black

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Tip wasn't clear/open. I've posted this elsewhere but in reloading the VLDs I've found nearly 20% per box have had tips that were partially or severely closed. Plugged tips lead to results like yours. I use a small drill bit and check each one by hand and clear the tips as needed. Never had a failure this way. That said, I'm a huge fan of the accubonds and would never try to talk you out of using them either. ;-)
Silver Bullet: You are 100% correct. Some rifles damage the tips when chambering from the magazine and even loading the magazine. An open tip is a must. My friend had the same pencil hole problem with the 155 VLDs in his Browning 308. After contacting Berger and doing some water jug expansion test ( where all bullets expanded in the 1st jug) we discovered the COAL was too tight in the magazine. I loaded 3 rounds in the magazine, chambered each round and ejected the round in my hand. All 3 had the tips smashed closed. i reduced the COAL: from 2.810" to 2.800" and his problem was solved.
 

trhall

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Some look at the bullet the goes to pieces part way in or through a animal as wasted energy. The Bergers I shoot do not do that. I do not like a exploding bullet. With that being said they have there place. I am switching from one kind to another because of surface splash. Depending on the game being hunted you need all the penetration you can get. With all that said. I prefer a bullet that expands good and sheds weight but still goes clean through. Bullets like that tend to leave the insides in a puddle and even take some of the lung clean out with the bullet. So far a golf ball sized hole is all I get on the exits. To me that ideal. BUT I do not shoot for bone. I would rather kill rib meat then shoulder meat.

This is exactly the performance I have been getting with the Berger 215 Hybrids out of my 300 WM's for the past 10 years on numerous elk, deer and antelope at ranges from 90 - over 700 yards. Haven't had a single critter go more than 70 yards after a hit whether it was through the shoulder or in the desired crease behind the shoulder.
 

PApa Black

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This is what they are advertised to do. Penetrate 3" and start expanding. This thread is centered on the VLDs for hunting but aren't they actually target bullets? Anyway, gaping holes and lead scattered throughout the meat isn't a great thing in my book. I have not taken game with Bergers yet but have done a lot of load development and target shooting with them and they are crazy accurate and consistent.
I am going on a hunt soon using 6.5 135 Classic Hunters and I will keep in mind shot placement and meat destruction / contamination. Barnes TTSX are my choice for penetrating anything and decent expansion down to 2K fps. Everything I've shot with them ends DRT with a nickle sized exit hole, minimal meat loss and NO led contamination.
The VLDs are the hunting verion of the Target bullet: The VLDs have a thinner copper jacket.
 

trhall

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Actually all Berger bullets are VLD bullets. VLD stands for Very Low Drag. Their designated hunting bullets are listed as hunting bullets and as you mentioned have a thinner jacket than the designated target bullets. I and MANY others have had great performance from the 215 Hybrid target bullet with the thicker jacket. The key to ensuring they expand well is ensuring that the hollow tip is clear and not partially plugged. I check all my hunting rounds after loading with a small jeweler's drill bit. Never had one fail to expand and never failed to have a complete pas through with a golf ball to tennis ball sized exit hole.
 

CanardNoir

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The magnum-mentality appears alive and well among us - despite the overwhelming law of physics that: "It's not what you shoot - but where you hit - that really matters."

Most are not dumping a HV projectile into ballistic gelatin afield - so there are an infinite number of physical variables that actually affect any projectiles' external & terminal performance. And the examples both pro-and-cone will likely never end.

But wait! - Ballistic gelatin is a solution of gelatin powder in water. Ballistic gelatin closely simulates the density and viscosity of human and animal muscle tissue, and is used as a standardized medium for testing the terminal performance of firearms ammunition. What? They failed to mention - bone?!!

Then how can we ever determine "Good-Better-or Best" projectile & magnum caliber?

Since the above circa 1965 avatar I've bagged more one-shot whitetail deer with a .22-250 Rem pushing a 53 gr. HP about 3,500 fps MV - than any other owned caliber. And at ranges from 40 yards to 225 yards - no cripples. (Including two .300 Win Mags with previously available FailSafe projectiles; and a 7mm STW).

I've never cared for exit wounds, because they indicate that the projectile did not expend all of its kinetic energy on the desired target. So why would you push a 200 gr projectile to near 3,000 fps?

So spend more of your time improving your rifles' accuracy while better managing recoil - and you'll be much better served when it really counts...
 

CanardNoir

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WOW I came here to post my experience from my hunt this weekend and have a different impression. I was shooting the Accubonds before and had excellent results but wanted to try the berger's, I'm shooting the VLD 130's in a 270wsm.

Whitetail buck normal entrance, exit was dime size. Shot (125 yards) slightly quartering away through the lungs, entrance between the ribs exit hit part of 1 rib. Buck ran about 75 yards then hit the ground. Very little blood where I shot him. Inspected the internals when cleaning and appeared the bullet didn't start expanding till the very end. Very little damage internal.

Trophy Axis don't know because I lost it (120 yards) dropped, hit the ground hard where I shot him(assumed DRT) then 5 min later he gets up and takes off. Found little blood with tissue and that's it.

Axis Doe (150 yards) lung shot, dropped right there kicked twice then got up and ran another 100 yards. Internal looks like it expanded little after half way through.

I'm going back to my accubonds unless someone can convince me otherwise on what happened.

To my point - In re "exit wounds".
 

trhall

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To my point - In re "exit wounds".
Had the first 215 Berger from a 300 WM that I ever recovered. This one was from a doe antelope shot frontal through the brisket and bullet was recovered at the hip socket in hind quarter. I didn't weigh it but in my hand with an unfired bullet it felt like about half. Interesting thing is that the side the bullet traveled down had a huge, gaping hole from the ribs to the flank through which big chunks of organs fell out during the 75 yard death run. I didn't take photos as it was pretty gruesome. Because of that hole I was really surprised to find the bullet. Seems like the shock wave riding the nose of the bullet blew that open as it passed down the length of the body cavity near the side.
 

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CanardNoir

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Had the first 215 Berger from a 300 WM that I ever recovered. This one was from a doe antelope shot frontal through the brisket and bullet was recovered at the hip socket in hind quarter. I didn't weigh it but in my hand with an unfired bullet it felt like about half. Interesting thing is that the side the bullet traveled down had a huge, gaping hole from the ribs to the flank through which big chunks of organs fell out during the 75 yard death run. I didn't take photos as it was pretty gruesome. Because of that hole I was really surprised to find the bullet. Seems like the shock wave riding the nose of the bullet blew that open as it passed down the length of the body cavity near the side.

Using a .300 Win Mag on ants is a bit much, but I have an original Browning M1000 with a 6-20X in .300 WM that I have considered using on ants on those slow muley days.

That sed - we must remember that the Berger projectile is generally a long-range-thinner-copper wall design which controls mushrooming with 1,500 lb/ft of energy at 650 yards, rather than 4,000 lb/ft closer to the muzzle. So the low recovery weight is to be expected along with massive meat & bone trauma!

I made a "Cheyenne Heart Shot" on a nice 15" ant in Wyoming with a .270 Win and 130 gr bronze point pushed to 3,000 fps, running away at about 125 yards. That projectile was recovered just under the skin near the sternum with no fragmentation. Other than being gut shot, the animal was quickly field dressed and washed with a gallon of saltwater and very little meat was lost.
 

Idaho Lefty

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I've been shooting 168 Hunting VLDs in my 308 for years and never a problem with expansion; but a friend was shooting 155 Hunting VLDs in a Browning bolt gun and had 3 pass throughs. Looked like the deer was shot with a target arrow, I contacted Berger and they said: check the tips for damage ( closure) from recoil in the magazine and that's what we found. These were hand loads and about .005" from touching the mag wall. I shortened the COAL by .030" and the problem was solved. I also shot those bullets in my Savage, which has a much wider mag and no problem. Berger also asked that I send back to 3 boxes of 155gr VLDs and they replaced them at o charge.
OLD Post, I know but, THIS ^^^ is VERY important, to KNOW for, any of, you Berger bullet users that, "Chase" the "Lands" in your Rifle, with, the HVLD's, where, the thin HP, Tips are close to, the end of, the Magazine.
The tips "may" be rolling over and CLOSING upon, Recoil and then, "penciling" on animals ! The shorter COAL's of, the Classic Hunter design being .030 shorter, in my .270 WSM, Tikka Magazine, are NOT, closing ! I just tested them with, 66.3 grains of IMR 7828 and they "look", fine ! 6-7 years ago, I was afraid of using Berger Bullets, because of this, "Destruction chit", and had read ALL, the "Horror stories".
My son and I, have switched over to them recently and at, close Range, we'll aim for the Neck, past 100 Yards, the "Boiler Room" !
The "Boiler room" is, just behind the fore leg "crease", Meat Destruction, "problem",.. SOLVED !
 
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Killertraylor

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Mar 2, 2008
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OLD Post, I know but, THIS ^^^ is VERY important, to KNOW for, any of, you Berger bullet users that, "Chase" the "Lands" in your Rifle, with, the HVLD's, where, the thin HP, Tips are close to, the end of, the Magazine.
The tips "may" be rolling over and CLOSING upon, Recoil and then, "penciling" on animals ! The shorter COAL's of, the Classic Hunter design being .030 shorter, in my .270 WSM, Tikka Magazine, are NOT, closing ! I just tested them with, 66.3 grains of IMR 7828 and they "look", fine ! 6-7 years ago, I was afraid of using Berger Bullets, because of this, "Destruction chit", and had read ALL, the "Horror stories".
My son and I, have switched over to them recently and at, close Range, we'll aim for the Neck, past 100 Yards, the "Boiler Room" !
The "Boiler room" is, just behind the fore leg "crease", Meat Destruction, "problem",.. SOLVED !
LOL. BS. Nice try Berger. I’ve had your Bullets blow up on the hide of two different animals now. Never again. Targets, yes. Animals, no way.
 

Cliffhunter

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May 9, 2021
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Payson, Arizona
I have been shooting Berger bullets for
Some time now . I have never had one fail me ,although most of my shots have been in the 300 to 650 yard range . That changed yesterday on a Whitetail meat hunt when I shot a doe at 40 yards . Shooting a 270 wsm
Berger 130 gr Hunter Classic
Muzzle velocity of 3250 my ballistic program will not give me 40 yard results but at 75 it’s still moving at 3102 FPS. I have heard horrible stories
Of the Berger bullets blowing up on impact with no pass through. I know this is just a whitetail deer and not a Moose but come on 3102 at 40 yards .
I’ve had bullets thrown from lesser velocity and destroyed everything.
Here are the results of the Berger Bullet I’m sticking with them .
You just can’t beat them. I’ve taken so many animals. My closest was 150 yards in my farthest this was 1605 yards. Most are 700 to 800. The berger always turns the lungs and chilling.
 

Hoss50

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135gr Classic Hunters in 6.5x55 loaded about 2600 fps have performed very well on deer and cow elk from 40yrds to 280yrds. When the bullet was placed behind the shoulder the animal died quickly.

That said, I would not shoulder shoot animals with Bergers on purpose because I am afraid they might not penetrate fully with the bullets I shoot.

My buddy is a novice hunter and this year we he is chasing cow elk with a 308. I am loading Barnes for him because they are more forgiving if he hits the shoulder instead of getting it right behind the shoulder.
 

teesquare

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Nov 2, 2012
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I dare say there are few subjects which draw out diametrically opposing views as much as the personal experiences of hunters and their ammo.....And - to each - their experience - whether good or bad...is "gospel". For me, there are too many variations in circumstance to grant veracity to these experiences. So...just like everyone else, I default to Partitions and Accubonds. Why? Well - again, just like everyone else...they have always worked for me. Could it have been well placed shots? Could it have been luck? Could it have been I am just too superstitious to try anything else? Maybe yes to all the above?
 
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