Done with 215 Bergers

Ross1147

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Aug 31, 2018
Messages
244
Location
San Diego
Stole this off a southern ca hunting site. Guy shot a buck at 300 yds with Barnes bullet out if his 308. The deer dropped right there, so I guess it did it’s job? It can happen to any bullet. Personally I’ve never had a Berger hunting VLD fail me on a deer (20+ deer). I know their limits and usually step up to a “tougher” bullet when hunting something with thicker skin like a hog.
3D26D3E6-3893-4CA9-AA18-ACAE37F4A915.jpeg
 

coyotezapper

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Sep 26, 2009
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920
Location
Central Utah
Stole this off a southern ca hunting site. Guy shot a buck at 300 yds with Barnes bullet out if his 308. The deer dropped right there, so I guess it did it’s job? It can happen to any bullet. Personally I’ve never had a Berger hunting VLD fail me on a deer (20+ deer). I know their limits and usually step up to a “tougher” bullet when hunting something with thicker skin like a hog. View attachment 222636

I don't see much rifling engraving there??? It is a fuzzy picture.
 

Mike from Texas

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Sep 7, 2013
Messages
211
Location
North Texas
Stole this off a southern ca hunting site. Guy shot a buck at 300 yds with Barnes bullet out if his 308. The deer dropped right there, so I guess it did it’s job? It can happen to any bullet. Personally I’ve never had a Berger hunting VLD fail me on a deer (20+ deer). I know their limits and usually step up to a “tougher” bullet when hunting something with thicker skin like a hog. View attachment 222636
I only use Barnes bullets in calibers that drive them really fast. The performance in those is typically spectacular. I won’t shoot them if impact velocity is below 2400-2500fps because of the reason in the picture.
 

BEEMAN

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Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
1,473
Before I bought pindrill bits I used a paperclip to ensure the point is clear. Never had a single issue with any berger, hunting, hybrid or tactical. Just make sure it’s clear and they tip over.
Exactly the process I follow. Never had a problem with the 215. Maybe not the most high tech but it works. Bullets with plugged hollow point get used to check zero and shoot steel. I mark the bullet with a black sharpie so I know which ones to use for practice.
 

hunter0925

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Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
86
This would be going at max 2000-2200 FPS and it blew up on on a thin skinned pronghorn? Plus it was hit behind the shoulder? I’m not saying you’re wrong but this is hard for me to believe


Sure did. I was surprised as well. This was literally the first animal I had ever shot with a Berger. The guy that was with me is a berger fan through and through and he witnessed and was disappointed in the results as well.
 

vancewalker007

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Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
409
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.
You're using a pair of pliers when you need a saw. The longest range you list for several years of hunting was less than 500 yards. I wouldn't be using a Berger or any other long range bullet if most of my shots were less then 500 yards. You need to be shooting a hunting bullet that will reliably expand. The target bullets you are using are not built to expand. The bad results you're getting are likely because the bullets are pencilling through. A bullet need to mushroom concentrically, expend dynamic energy to the vitals, and travel in a straight line through the vitals. A bonded bullet or a mono will likely serve you better. The Nosler 210 ABLR, Barnes 180 TTSX, Barnes 200 TSX, Swift 180 Scirocco would all give you better results and likely give you decent mid range performance if needed. If you have the right barrel twist some of the high end monos might work for you. A partition or a Swift A Frame would work great but will run out of gas faster.

I hope you find an accurate load for what ever bullet you choose. A similar thing happened to people back in the 90s when the first monos came out. The bullets were so hard they when through without expanding.
 

ATH

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Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
1,255
Location
Lizton, IN
I pass no judgement on a bullet if someone didn't find the animal. No carcass to examine, no way of knowing what happened.

I don't shoot Bergers because before I got around to trying them I witnessed too much inconsistent performance among my hunting partners. Everything from penciling through to blowing up shallow with no real pattern to it. No animals were lost but a lot of meat was, and some ran pretty far.

I shoot Accubonds on game primarily because I've seen consistent performance with them. And just like the reason I shoot Sierras for F-class, if the manufacturer can't deliver me the bullet ready to perform out of the box I see no reason to finish them up for them when I have other options that perform well.

Shoot what you have confidence in. At the end of the day what is important is you don't have doubts in your head when you're pulling the trigger.
 

CO_Guy

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Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
1,071
Location
CO, USA
My Berger VLD performed excellently this year on my cow elk. 362 yards right thru the heart, stopped, took 2 steps back and up and died.
Just like good property it's all about location, location, location.
 

Michael Cantor

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Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
173
Location
SoCal
Its called "Hunting". Not ever shot is perfect . You could miss a shoulder bone by 1mm and the bullet wont respond the same as hitting that bone. If the animal is quartering, the bullet can deflect somewhat. Skin and fat and hair varies. Temperature varies. You have shot so many animals of course your results will vary. Theres nothing wrong with those bullets.
 

William W.

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Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
6
Is the shooter a Democrat/Liberal/Socialist whose primary characteristic is the total inability to read and self-learn, who whines about the clearly warned-about consequences of their actions? A more suitable ending would have been if the poorly-shot bear was able to exact a well-deserved revenge for the undue suffering.
 

richhymas

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Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
87
The only thing I suggest is make sure the tips are open.
I've had nothing but great success with Bergers on alot of animals.
I second this. Use a welding tip cleaner. Looks like a hand held drill bit. Just make sure the tips are open. Sometimes they are not and that will cause more of a penciling.

you cannot have a bullet 215 grains at close range hit the vitals and pencil through and not exit. Either it explodes inside dumping all of its energy into the vitals or it pencils through exiting dumping less than 100% of its energy into the deer

if you want a good exit at close range use a Solid bullet. Accuracy is less important inside 400 yards. 1.5 MOA will do. Additionally, ballistic coefficient is not important either. Therefore, try nosler partition or swift A-frame.
Personally I will stick with berger and accept these limitations until I have a good reason not to. This is true for mule deer and elk in western hunting situations. For grizzly etc inside 100 yards I would use a solid or high weight retention bullet to get through heavy bone and get an exit hole at close range.
 
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