Done with 215 Bergers

remingtonman_25_06

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
2,373
Location
Hermiston, Oregon
I quit using them 15 years ago before they were even really popular for hunting, still labeled just target VLD bullets. Used the .257" 115g VLDs in 25/06, 7mm 168g and 180g VLDs in a 7 RM, and 210g VLDs in a 300 RUM. The terminal performance was just unpredictable at best. Sometimes, they would pencil through like FMJs up close, sometimes they would blow up at 600-800 yards like varmint bullets. Never did lose an animal with them, thank goodness, but some did take 2 or 3 follow up shots as well. I switched to Hornady AMAXs and never looked back in 7mm and 30 cal. Still have a thousand or so of the 7mm/162 AMAX. Also using the 180g ELDMs. I dont have to worry about what they're going to do when they hit an animal close or far, they expand violently either way, every time. Work better at longer ranges IMO, but work just as well up close if you slip em behind the shoulder. Just my experience anyway. Plus the Hornadys are about half the cost of Bergers and give up really nothing in terms of BC or accuracy in my rifles, and they kill really well when you put the bullet where it needs to go.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
14,455
Location
Great Falls, MT
This means more Berger bullets are available for those of us that have very good success with them. The "NUT" behind the trigger remains the biggest factor.

deer-eats-popcorn_64.gif
 
Last edited:

Quintus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
621
When the shooter does his job it is hard to find a bullet that kills quicker than the Bergers. My only issue has been too much tissue damage if you get into a meaty part it's not even grindable, it's ground. The great thing is, they are sooo accurate, it is usually pretty easy to keep em passin through just the pumphouse. To be honest out to 500 yards I'd still prefer an Accubond, Partition, or Scirocco. Only a couple animals in, but so far I am also getting great performance from the Tipped Gameking.
 

remingtonman_25_06

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
2,373
Location
Hermiston, Oregon
Try running them through milk jugs lined up and filled with water at 25 yards or whatever distance you like really. I found they (bergers) typically only held between 30-35% of their original weight and always seperated from the core...Which isnt really that great for a big game bullet, especially elk up close. I always get a kick out of people claiming how explosive ballistic tips are, but will shoot match bullets and not even think twice about it haha. Doesnt make any sense to me...Ballistic tips usually hold between 40-50% of their weight. Accubonds typically hold 50-60%, partitions slightly better at around 60-65% average. Just some food for thought anyway...I've shot enough bullets from various cartridges into jugs over the last 20 years to get an idea of how a given bullet will perform, and it does give you a pretty good idea anyway.
 

Quicksilver338

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
204
Location
Lynden
Biggest thing most guys that are getting unpredictable performance are failing to mention is are they checking the tips of the bullet to make sure they’re clear of lead from the manufacturing process?

Secondly, seems like half the OP’s issues are caused by him and not the bullet, then proceeds to come on here and complain about it. Still very vague in a lot of people’s negative reviews.

Impact velocity, shot placement, terminal performance (or lack there of), any bullet recovery, etc are all helpful to approach scientifically rather than chock everything up to the bullets fault. The 215 probably has the largest cult following for a reason, doesn’t mean it’s meant for everyone though. The 215 has done well for me, but here I am getting the 245 ready for next season. If you had more data of other Bullets to compare as well it could maybe stand for a better argument against them or for them, just a thought.
 

B-LOT Banga

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
392
Location
Hawaii
It’s a rainy night here in Hawaii, slightly humid in the mid 70’s

anyways.... I have yet to see an animal runaway from a perfectly placed 215 gr Berger shot from my RUM. The ones that did run away was shot bad or I completely missed. Early on I made the mistake of not cleaning the tips which caused penciling for me. I personally want the bullet to enter and dump every ounce of energy in the animal. I don’t care about blood trails as they are usually DRT or within a few yards. An exit hole only means one thing to me, wasted energy.
 

Huckleberry75

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
44
Location
Central Oklahoma
Well, I have killed a lot of stuff too with Bergers. But every time I cut an animal open I'm not inspired by the way the projectile held together. I have used a lot of 250 elite hunters out of a 338 Norma and33 Nosler--and I always have a dead animal--when I started having problems is when I stepped down..I shot a very big axis buck one evening with a 130 grain out of a 6.5 Grendel (watched the buck drop, and waited for 2 min, no movement, got out of the stand drove over--gone...no blood. Again I shot about a 200 lb hog with 6.5 Grendel 130 grain berger--legs came out from under him...walked up the hill to take a look---gone. I haven't loaded any since. I still use berger s in my 7 SAUM (175 EH) and in my 338 Norma (250 EH) but have went to other bullets for preformance on game--Love the way berger said fly, but not the way they breakup...

The 130 is a little on the heavy side for the Grendel, in my humble opinion, so I wonder if it had enough velocity for the bullet to perform/upset properly. The 120 Gold Dot is an old tried and true hunting bullet in the grendel and there have been a lot of critters dropped with the 123 eldm/amax which tend to upset a little more explosively. I just picked up some Sierra 120gn Pro-hunters to try in my grendel. Since I am not planning on shots over 200 with this rig, I am less worried about the loss in bc as compared to the 120 Gold Dot. Might be something to try in your grendel, especially on pigs, since they tend carry a low rate of guilty conscience if not recovered.

(Not sure that I am allowed to confess to only planning on shooting 200yds or less and a lack of regard to BC on this forum 😃 )
 

BEEMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
1,461
I’ve always checked that the tips are open on the 215’s. So far the performance has been excellent. I shoot them at 3000 FPS out of my 300 Win Mag. From deer to elk at ranges from 100 to 625 yds.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
14,455
Location
Great Falls, MT
Try running them through milk jugs lined up and filled with water at 25 yards or whatever distance you like really. I found they (bergers) typically only held between 30-35% of their original weight and always seperated from the core...Which isnt really that great for a big game bullet, especially elk up close. I always get a kick out of people claiming how explosive ballistic tips are, but will shoot match bullets and not even think twice about it haha. Doesnt make any sense to me...Ballistic tips usually hold between 40-50% of their weight. Accubonds typically hold 50-60%, partitions slightly better at around 60-65% average. Just some food for thought anyway...I've shot enough bullets from various cartridges into jugs over the last 20 years to get an idea of how a given bullet will perform, and it does give you a pretty good idea anyway.

"IF" your goal is bullet weight retention then Berger is NOT your bullet because they are designed exactly as you described (maximum energy on impact). "IF" your goal is retained energy at the point of impact, Berger 215 shines in this area. That's the beauty of reloading, we have plenty of choices to choose from. I started with Nosler Partition and slowly transitioned to NBT, NAB, and LRAB before I finally settled with the Berger bullet types and similar (I have pretty good success with Matrix too). Like you, I experimented with many bullets but just picked a line, i.e., Nosler as an example. "IF" you're happy with your current bullet choice, stick with it. It's the same reason for the Berger end-users.

 
Last edited:

hunter0925

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
85
😂 😅🤣 Wiping the tears out of my eyes on that one....

Lol. Definitely wasn't the shot I was wanting. He was right on the edge of private so I didn't want to lose him and I can't stand to see an animal suffer.
I feel with a different bullet the first shot would have anchored him with no follow up needed.
 

ElkHunter406

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Montana
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.
Never used any of Bergers target bullets in game, but the best story I have for their hunting bullets it's the cow I shot in 2016. Broadside at 285 yards, she trotted about 30 yards then tipped over dead as a door nail. I was shooting the 185 VLD hunting bullets out of my 300 win mag. Bullet made a perfect 30 cal entrance and never exited. Found the base on the opposite ribcage, her lungs were complete mush. I don't think there was a chunk bigger than a baseball left. I agree with your decision to switch to the 205 elite hunters, I'm also making that switch as soon as I'm out of my 210 VLDs. If they perform like the 140 for the 6.5, then they will work fantastically.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top