Done with 215 Bergers

Ward Thurman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
70
Location
Hamilton, Montana
We have not had any experience with Berger's as we pretty much stick to Nosler Partitions or Accubonds. We do have some Sierras Game Kings we have yet to use on an animal from a 338 WinMag. We used some Hornaday 130 gr in a 30-06 and I was disappointed with them on deer. Only one went down on the first well placed shot and it only because it was hit in the spine and the shock killed him. The bullet actually turned up and exited out his back with very minimal damage to anything other than the spinal cord. All others required mulitple shots to finish the job. Went to 180 gr partitions and an elk went down with a single shot to her boiler room. None of the above were at long distances I have to say.

I think the longest kill our family has had on a deer is about 250 yrds with a 308 and 150 gr Partitions. Went through his chin and was under the hide of his neck after severing the spinal cord. Deer hit the ground so hard dirt was buried in what was left of his mouth. Point is, massive penetration through serious bone.

Deer in the picture at left same story from same gun, same shooter only it was less than 30 yards. Deer was looking directly at my son. The only thing visible was the dear's head. The shot hit him just left of his nose went straight through the skull and stopped under the hide on the back of his neck. Another non-mover. That one is hanging on the wall in my home. The entry wound was barely visible even before the taxidermist got done with him.

Years before, same gun, same load but in my wife's hands. She shot a whitetail buck through a willow. Not the best situation but she was the one with the gun and tag that day. The deer ran off like a rocket, ran down a hill and disappeared from view. We found him no trouble as the reason he vanished is he dropped over. Upon analysis, the entry hole (this was a close range shot) was as big as the exit; the bullet had passed through a willow branch, mushroomed out, traveled on to hit the deer and still had plenty of energy to blow completely through the animal. The heart and lung were not recognizable.

I'll go to my grave swearing on the Partition as the best.

After reading this thread, I think I will avoid the Berger's.
 

T3ninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
572
Location
NW indiana
Some may have read the thread I started about my first bull. Shot him first rifle season Colorado. Shot was 290 ish with 215 bergers. My load is running 3030fps out of a 28” proof with a suppressor. I did not get a pass through on either shot. The first round I thought I missed, the bull did not react at all that I could see, I immediately sent another Round at him, again no reaction, I sent a 3rd round, but as the shot broke he was going down saw dust fly behind him, I barely grazed his back. I recovered one bullet, and one jacket with no lead.


I can’t complain about the performance since they’ve been 100% for me, (one animal lol) but since I can never leave well enough alone, I am strongly considering trying the hammers. Especially if I put together another lighter SHORTER rifle.
 

HANGum HIGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
82
Broz is definately the go to source for berger 215's, BUT and this is a big BUT, most of the commenters here are missing a big piece to making the berger a reliable bullet and this is a step that Broz does to them and that is running a pin drill in to the hollow point. He does it to clean out the hBn after tumbling but even he admits that this step may help in making the berger more reliable. In his youtube video on hBn bullet coating he talks briefly about this.

IME I have had no issues with the bergers until I used the 338 250 EH and I had three complete pass through with no expansion or fragmentation - what most are calling penciling through. And all three of these were well placed shots behind the shoulder. The fourth shot I put in to the shoulder and dropped the bull but it took bone to make the bullet fragment. Once I got home I experimented with wet newspaper and was able to duplicate the bullet failure every time at different ranges. Once I took a pin drill to the hollow points the bullet fragmented perfectly every time.

FOR 100% BERGER BULLET PERFORMANCE OPEN UP / CLEAN UP THE HOLLOW POINT.

Pin drill kits can be purchased from ebay or amazon for under $20. I pick the bit closest to the size of the hollow point. Berger can give you this info or Bryan Litz's book also shows the hollow point size for each berger.
That's crazy. Drill out the hollow point to make it perform? That's something I don't feel anyone should have to do to make a product perform like it claims.
 

Hand Skills

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
961
Location
Canada
Good info and good comedy here, love it!

I notice lots of guys having success with bergers follow the 'unwritten' rule. The hollow point on a 215 hybrid should measure about .400" if you stick it with a depth gauge (needle, pin, or .027" wire drill bit).

Also, to the uninformed, the difference between a J4 hunting jacket and a J4 target jacket is not great. I have sectioned both and have a hard time telling them apart.

From Bryan Litz

"I can tell you that the thick jackets of the target bullets are only ~0.003" to 0.004" thicker per side than the standard thickness (hunting) jackets. "
 

T3ninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
572
Location
NW indiana
image.jpg5F3F492F-476B-47E1-B1C5-C87A9AB3DC0F.jpegE0B40EDA-6FC4-405E-9DAF-8828B381CEC6.jpeg
 

T3ninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
572
Location
NW indiana
Another thing to consider with bergers is thier stability factor. For example: if your load is 2700 fps from a 1-10" twist, you may have marginal stability. It may be stable enough for ½ minute accuracy, but have marginal stability for terminal performance. This has been an issue for me with the 156 elite hunter at 2700 fps ( 6.5 creedmoor). I was getting great accuracy from my 8 twist but weird results on game. The berger stability calculator said I had marginal stability at 2700. I switched to rl-26 and got my velocity up to 2875 fps, stability increased and terminal performance has greatly improved. My experience is with white tail and hogs anywhere from 30 to 750 yards.

Long story short, people claiming that you need to be driving the 215 at 3000 fps are correct, but maybe for the wrong reasons. It isn't about energy or impact velocity, it's about stability! A faster muzzle velocity generates more rpm's out of the same barrel vs slower velocity.


You may be on to something here ..
 

Quicksilver338

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
205
Location
Lynden
That's crazy. Drill out the hollow point to make it perform? That's something I don't feel anyone should have to do to make a product perform like it claims.
This post matches your previous ignorant or uninformed posts on here...along with many Maybe like everyone else having failures, they fail to mention they are cleaning the tips. I’ve read a lot of failed Berger bullet threads, not one of these had the shooter cleaned the tips, let alone they had to know about it. People loading their own ammo get so anal about their process and consistency, then cry when they have to take the 3 seconds to clear their bullet tips with a drill bit to make sure the animal they shoot at can be dispatched quickly. What a horrible thing to do...let’s just complain about that simple step and have to wound an animal multiple times and let it potentially run off to suffer a slower death.

I have never heard of a berger failing if the shooter took the responsibility to make sure that bullet was prepared correctly. You could go a step further like I did and uniformyour meplats and clear the centers, essentially enlarging the meplats in the process, and have a softball size exit hole coming off the other side ribs on a black bear because it opened so violently.

I do appreciate everyone’s post that are informative whether the outcome was good or bad, this is where others benefit and can make their own decision on what bullet they want to use. To all the others that say “this bullet sucks, I’ll never use it again”...well that’s pretty vague and leaves no supporting cause or evidence that backs your extremely informative statement. If you took the time to read and comment, you can take the time to share your experience and not sound quite as uppity and ignorant.
 

gator378

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
287
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.
I guess wait to you see the whites of their eyes then shoot probably was not bad advice. Takes some patience
 

Trnelson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
728
Location
Nebraska
A meplat trimmer will square the nose up and this will help but a pin drill will still be needed to clean up the hollow point. The pin needs to be run to the lead. I use a le wilson trimmer set up for meplat trimming only used with whidden meplat bushings.

0.040”pin drill solves every issue with any of the Berger hybrids or tactical bullets.
 

Trnelson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
728
Location
Nebraska
This post matches your previous ignorant or uninformed posts on here...along with many Maybe like everyone else having failures, they fail to mention they are cleaning the tips. I’ve read a lot of failed Berger bullet threads, not one of these had the shooter cleaned the tips, let alone they had to know about it. People loading their own ammo get so anal about their process and consistency, then cry when they have to take the 3 seconds to clear their bullet tips with a drill bit to make sure the animal they shoot at can be dispatched quickly. What a horrible thing to do...let’s just complain about that simple step and have to wound an animal multiple times and let it potentially run off to suffer a slower death.

I have never heard of a berger failing if the shooter took the responsibility to make sure that bullet was prepared correctly. You could go a step further like I did and uniformyour meplats and clear the centers, essentially enlarging the meplats in the process, and have a softball size exit hole coming off the other side ribs on a black bear because it opened so violently.

I do appreciate everyone’s post that are informative whether the outcome was good or bad, this is where others benefit and can make their own decision on what bullet they want to use. To all the others that say “this bullet sucks, I’ll never use it again”...well that’s pretty vague and leaves no supporting cause or evidence that backs your extremely informative statement. If you took the time to read and comment, you can take the time to share your experience and not sound quite as uppity and ignorant.
Exactly.
 

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.

 
 

Recent Posts

Top