Berger VLD pencil through Elk in Cold?

FEENIX

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All this talk about dumping energy inside the animal is exactly why I use a 22-250, but when you talk about it, people get in your face about not using enough gun or how the bullets explode.... I like a nice open tip or a soft point. Drive em fast enough and they do incredible damage. Anything going 3000+ fps is going to wreck an elk's day if put in the right place. My brother has had bullets pencil through deer, and those had a very small tip opening. I think the tiny tip openings on some bullets get forced closed way too easy. Look at how much bullet is wedging the tip closed when it hits something. You need to get material inside the tip to open it, meaning a bigger opening is better.

Not exactly apples to apples here, but I have seen 30-50 cal airgun slugs that look like beer steins because the entire front is a giant hollow cup. They open up to several times their diameter and dump most/all of their energy in the animal. High velocity rounds don't need to be that open, but I think a slightly bigger hole is better than dinky tiny. You don't need the very best bc to kill critters, in fact I find the opposite to be true.
Energy transfer is affected by many factors; bullet (weight, design, construction, etc.), impact velocity, the distance at POI, etc ...

 

Recon$$

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I had a hunt this year. After 2 years of no issues I shot a hog of a deer at 650 with a 140 vld which I know was a good shot that hit him hard. He stumbled 50 yards and I put an insurance shot that I I can't say exactly where it hit but was torso and he looked about ready to drop before he got his wits about him and stumbled off. Never saw him again but found 5 or 6 beds with blood. I havnt had an animal go more than 30 yards with this load. Very perplexed and disappointing but meets your criteria. Not saying it wasn't my shooting but my superb confidence in berger took a ding for sure. I'll be anal about the tips from this point because that explosiveness I'm used to didn't seam to be the case this year. Who knows.
 

ENGUNEER

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I've killed 2 doe antelope in -16F to -25F temperatures using a 7mm Practical with 180 Berger hybrids at 725 and 747 yards. Both bullets performed flawlessly. One ran maybe 20 yards after shot and the other was DRT. No bullet problems whatsoever.
 

phorwath

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I killed a dall ram with a non-Burger VLD bullet in 55F temperatures, after the first bullet, which was a Burger 210gr .308 VLD penciled thru the ribs without expanding.

The ram bolted 40 yds and stopped to look around. Distance was 320yds. Bullet fired from a 300 Win Mag.

I waited 3 minutes for the ram to fall over. Didn't happen. He was still very healthy. During that time I saw a red dot of blood in the white fur,on the bullet exit side, middle of the ribs. I knew what had likely happened. Another Burger failure to expand. I loaded a different bullet into the chamber, shot the ram in the same location. Crumpled him on impact, straight thru the ribs, broadside profile.

It doesn't need to be cold for a Burger to fail to expand on impact. It can happen at any temperature.
 

Wanashoot

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I have been reluctant to complain about the bergers because every one sparks so highly of them but I had failures on 3 deer and a wild pig before I realized they were not expanding. I had bought a new rifle and I do load my own rounds. I sighted in and was very happy with the results. I shot a buck at about 100 yards and he limped away. No blood and never found the deer. I assumed I had made a bad shot since the gun was on. Went on a controlled doe hunt and shot a doe at about 60 yards and killed another one about 20 yards beyond her. I never saw the dead doe and the landowner told me I shot the wrong one. I told him I knew I hit her and then I saw the dead one. We tried to track the first doe but lost the trail because of no blood. The next deer I shot I drilled both shoulders to be sure it went down. Later that day I shot a wild pig in the head and it went down but both holes were about the same size. We found the buck 2 days later but the coyotes had been eating on it so hard to tell but we also found the 1 st doe piled up in a mesquite bush and it had not been disturbed and it was hard to find the exit wound. I still use them but for only practice. I have switched bullets and need something I am pretty sure is going to work. I had bought some for my 300 WM but have not loaded them. I lost confidence in them and
 

Allen Kitts

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Have heard of the famous "Berger failures", never personally witnessed one. Generally speaking, I'd say 99.9% of "bullet failure" was actually poor shot placement.

Here's a Berger 180 in some really cold temps, at 525. No exit, and you can see how fast that Bull dies.


Great Video and thanks for sharing.
 

Jcook02

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-16F with real feel of -32F to 98F, I've never had troubles with them. I do however take a few seconds per hunting round to clean tips with a wire drill bit. I only do this to the hunting rounds, not practice. From coyotes to big bull elk, I've always had fantastic expansion.
 

D2wing

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Nov 2, 2011
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It isn't the cold. It is the distance. The bullet has slowed too much to expand properly. That is why I limit the range I shoot at living creatures. Unreliable bullet performance.
 

TexSavage

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In my years of hunting deer and mainly whitetail with a few mulies and 1 elk hunt, I've used lots of different bullets from various manufacturers. Factory and reloads both. Hollow points, spire points, ballkistic tips, flat nose pistol hollow points out of a 357 Herrett, 7mm Rem Mag, 243, 6mm Rem, 30 Herret, 22-250 (accounted for over 100 deer over a 20 year period), and a 30-30. Two things I have always concentrated on were shot placement and knowing my limitations. One thing I have come to know over the years that has no equation or rule of thumb is an animals drive to survive no matter what. Point in case, I use a 300WSM using Berger 215 Hybrid VLDs. Shot a whitetail doe at 100 yards in the heart lung area. The doe ran 90 yards before she plopped over dead. I was stunned in thinking I did not place my shot well and was quite disappointed in myself considering my 40 years experience. When I got to her, 30 cal entry hole, exit hole on offside you could put a baseball in and not touch the sides. Half the heart was hanging out the hole, other half was gone as were 3/4 of her lungs. Tremendous blood loss. The will to survive is incredible in these animals. Bullet failure, nope, shot placement failure nope, will to live - incredible!
 

esorensen

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colorado
I have never had an experience like the OP. I do use Berger’s and have shot tons of them. The outside temps are not going to be a determining factor in my opinion. The heating of the jacket as it is forced down the bore ought to negate any ambient effect if there is one. I’ve had great luck with the 180 Bergers and JLK’s, as well as the 175 ELDX. Moving to the 195 EOL next. I have tested the old VLD bullets that were “tipped” meaning they were put in a die and the tips uniformed and closed. They did worse terminally. Opening the tip does help. My vote for the failures would be a bad batch of jackets and closed tips before ambient temp changes.
 

isaaccarlson

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I have noticed on my bullets that it doesn not take much for the tip to get damaged. One side of the hole can get dinged and then whatever it hits can force it closed. A bigger hole will take more damage/deformation before failure.

I was watching a few videos on terminal ballistic performance last night, and every maker has a different story of why their bullets are better and how they do more damage. Hammer says their pedals come off to make a square front, but a mushroomed bullet usually has a pretty wide/flat front anyway. If a square front was all that great, I'd shoot square front bullets to begin with and to hell with the bc.

Shooting critters way out there is fine, but the bullet has to be reliable, and the game willing to die. I shot a rabbit in the head (brain) several times and it just stood there dripping blood and looking at me. I ended up shooting it 5 times and it still took a long time to die. And that's just a rabbit! They are usually bang-flops. I was right on top of this one too.

I shot a doe several years ago with a friend's crossbow. Hit her right in the heart. She jumped up, landed, and just looked around while two huge streams of blood ran out of her. She slowly walked away wagging her tail and tipped over in some brush. We waited 45 minutes for another one (nothing came in) and then went to retrieve the doe. She jumped up and ran off! We waited another hour and went after her, only to have her run off again. I came back bright and early and tracked her through 5 beds over a half mile before the trail dried up. She showed up a few days later like nothing happened, with messed up fur where the arrow went through.

Turns out the arrow was dull and she clotted up with just enough blood to stay alive. If we had grabbed her right away or after we jumped her, she would not have gotten away.
 

RockyMtnMT

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I have noticed on my bullets that it doesn not take much for the tip to get damaged. One side of the hole can get dinged and then whatever it hits can force it closed. A bigger hole will take more damage/deformation before failure.

I was watching a few videos on terminal ballistic performance last night, and every maker has a different story of why their bullets are better and how they do more damage. Hammer says their pedals come off to make a square front, but a mushroomed bullet usually has a pretty wide/flat front anyway. If a square front was all that great, I'd shoot square front bullets to begin with and to hell with the bc.

Shooting critters way out there is fine, but the bullet has to be reliable, and the game willing to die. I shot a rabbit in the head (brain) several times and it just stood there dripping blood and looking at me. I ended up shooting it 5 times and it still took a long time to die. And that's just a rabbit! They are usually bang-flops. I was right on top of this one too.

I shot a doe several years ago with a friend's crossbow. Hit her right in the heart. She jumped up, landed, and just looked around while two huge streams of blood ran out of her. She slowly walked away wagging her tail and tipped over in some brush. We waited 45 minutes for another one (nothing came in) and then went to retrieve the doe. She jumped up and ran off! We waited another hour and went after her, only to have her run off again. I came back bright and early and tracked her through 5 beds over a half mile before the trail dried up. She showed up a few days later like nothing happened, with messed up fur where the arrow went through.

Turns out the arrow was dull and she clotted up with just enough blood to stay alive. If we had grabbed her right away or after we jumped her, she would not have gotten away.
We are in the process of designing our dangerous game line that are basically a square front from the get go. I think you would be surprised how hard these hit and how quickly they kill. You may need to change and forget the bc!
 

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