Done with 215 Bergers

treillw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
110
I might as well be bringing up politics, but here it goes. I've been shooting the 215 Bergers out of my 300 win since 2017. Developed a great load shooting sub half minute at 2705 fps.

2017:
  • Wife shot a cow at 260 yards. Didn't look for a blood trail because we could see the animal laying 40 yards away. Bullet worked. Wonderful.
2018:
  • I shot at a cow. 300ish yards, poor rest, rushed/hectic shot. My wife, brother and I looked for about 1.5 hours. Couldn't find a drop of blood. No hair. Nothing. Three people looking all over for that long, we swore I missed. My other brother had a tag and ran off after the herd after my shot. He came back and asked if we found blood. No, we said. I guess I missed. He said alright. Let's head back to the truck. He started walking and we all followed closely behind. After a couple hundred yards he stepped to the side to reveal my dead elk laying there. He followed that elks tracks the whole way back to where we stood looking for blood and said that he didn't see a single drop. Granted this one is my fault; I hit it in the guts. I would still hope to see some sign of a hit.
  • The next day my wife shot at a cow at 460 yards. She practices at this range all the time and I know she can make the shot. She doesn't shoot if she's not comfortable and confident. No sign at all of a hit. The four of us looked for half the day and couldn't find anything. She definitely could have missed, but after the previous day's display I would not be surprised at all if she hit it.
  • Couple of weeks later I shot a cow at 260 yards. Ended up breaking the front shoulder and it only went 10 yards.
2019:
  • I shot a bull at 40 yards. It ran maybe 70 yards with blood spewing everywhere and died. Happy
  • My wife shot a bull at 260 yards and dropped it in it's tracks. Happy.
2020:
  • This spring I shot a beautiful big color phased bear. 260 yards, prone, solid as a rock - I could hit a baseball with the gun at that range. The bear was over a hill and disappeared after the shot. It looked like I hit it in the scope. Walked up to it swearing I would find a beautiful dead bear. Nothing. No hair. No blood. Nothing. Looked all over. Nothing. Two weeks later I found a pretty monstrous (in my book) black bear skull in the same area. My bear? I'll never know for certain. Sickening.
  • Monday I shot a bull. Thought it was dead. Walked up to it and it stood up. I shot it at ~30 yards broadside right in the boiler room. It flinched and kept standing. I shot it again, right in the boiler room. It took a couple steps and fell. I gave it 30 seconds and it was still pretty with it, so I shot it in the head. Still moving. Shot it in the head again and it finally faded slowly.
The first shot was at about 100 yards. None of the shots, except one head shot, had exit wounds. I found one copper jacket laying against the far side ribcage. The autopsy revealed that the internal organs were essentially fully intact. I saw no signs of the one "boiler room" shot. The other one, I saw a hole the size of my pointer finger through the lungs. I could barely stick my finger through the hole. The bullet didn't exit the far side of the animal, but penciled through the lungs - I would have expected to find a pencil exit.

I guess I'm starting to see why "not suitable for hunting" is stamped onto the box.

Unless somebody can show me what I'm doing wrong here, I'm pretty sure I'm done with the 215 hybrid. I might try the 205 Elite Hunters out. I'm also open to other suggestions.
 

Elk Hunter 338

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Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
1,698
Location
Pocatello Idaho
sorry for all the trouble with them.

I'm a firm believer that bergers any size need to be at or over that magic 3000 fps MUZZLE VELOCITY threshold there is a huge difference in 300 fps and how they perform on game from 20 yards to over a thousand , I've witnessed it first hand

and honestly if a guy is going to shoot in that 100-700 yard range and do it consistently i would shoot the accubond or hammer bullets .. these will not fail to give blood and extreme shock and i have never seen an animal not leave a massive blood trail and most times they are DRT..
 
Last edited:

rfurman24

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Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
2,931
Location
Kansas
All I will say to the "target" bullet response is you are clueless if you actually believe a bullet is engineered to behave a certain way. Some "target" bullets have thin jackets and the "hunting" bullets of the same company will have thick jackets. Another company will be the exact opposite. Some trial and error has shown us some general differences in the way a cup and core bullet responds vs a bonded bullet but generalities are about as good as that gets. You can not engineer a bullet to behave a certain way on impact at all velocities. There is no free lunch. Bullets that expand great at 50 yards give up terminal performance at 800 yards and vice versa. Use what you want. The Berger 215 is one of the greatest hunting bullets ever created despite the the label says. Ethics are not allowed to be discussed on this forum but I can GUARANTEE more animals are shot at unethically with "hunting" bullets at running animals than are shot at long range with a well place 215 Berger.

The OP's post is full of speculation and anecdotal evidence at best. This is generally how the "this bullet sucks" argument starts. No facts. Usually no recovered bullet. Usually no recovered animal to prove where on the animal it was hit. I have lost track of the animals I alone have taken or seen taken with the 215 Berger and I have personally seen no better bullet.


The 3000fps remark makes no sense either because muzzle velocity has zero affect on terminal performance. Impact velocity is all that matters. A faster MV will give better performance farther away but impact velocity is the deciding factor.
 

rfurman24

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Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
2,931
Location
Kansas
Here is what usually happens with a heavy for caliber Berger bullet. It makes a pencil sized entrance then explodes destroying the vitals( if you actually hit them) with the copper shrapnel. Most of the lead core exits leaving a slightly larger than caliber exit. In most cases in my experience the animal either does not move(often the case with the 215) or is dead within a few feet. It you often make poor shots and need/want a blood trail I will be the first do agree there are better bullets for that. I personally like my animals DRT.
 

Rick Richard

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Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
3,461
Location
North Carolina
sorry for all the trouble with them.

I'm a firm believer that bergers any size need to be at or over that magic 3000 fps threshold there is a huge difference in 300 fps!!!

and honestly if a guy is going to shoot in that 100-700 yard range and do it consistently i would shoot the accubond or hammer bullets .. these will not fail to give blood and extreme shock and i have never seen an animal not leave a massive blood trail and most times they are DRT..
Blasphemy!
 

DangerRanger

Formerly 'jmcmath'
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
1,883
Location
NC
4/8 perfect performance
1/8 killed with a single gut shot
2/8 no proof animal was hit
1/8 poor performance

if you change bullets here we are hoping to improve the 1/8 poor performance, and possibly get an easier track job on the recovered gut shot.

seems like most of your shots are under 400 I’d imagine a pretty tough bullet would work out to there so you have lots of options. Irrational or not I’m not going into the woods with something I don’t trust so if you’re unhappy I say test the waters if you can find other bullets that shoot small.
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
2,412
I stopped using Berger 338 300gr OTM’s cuz they pencilled through or tumbled with virtually zero expansion out of my Edge.
Inexplicably, in my 338-416 Rigby Improved, I had the opposite happen, they blew up on the hide the 4 times I used them.
I have only shot a handful of game with the 215gr Berger to date, and have had mixed results also. I had better luck with the 210gr.
I have moved away more so due to the lack of availability here.
I’m having excellent results with ABLR’s.

Cheers.
 

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