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Author Topic: Bullet experences requested, Help me understand the Berger for big game  (Read 2721 times)

Offline birddogdad

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I have no issue at all shooting elk with a Berger... done it plenty of times.
Saw a 140 Berger smash a 330 bull at 980 yards last fall.  :twocents:
They work fine

Nothing but good with Berger, I too have several Bulls with them. 7mag and 168VLD's. There are 2 "types" of bullets from berger, they have a hunter and a target which from my understanding would be a hardness / expansion difference. By the way, the 2 bulls shot took less than 3 steps before dropping.. I love them! They are consistent and very dependable. Accuracy with my rifles is great. Working up a 338 Lapua load with the 300gr match tactical now for 2 friends.. have run them in my free bore wby 340's and they are great.
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Offline trophyhunt

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I've killed a lot of elk with my 190 gr, berger out of my .300 win mag.  Yes they do blow up but I've never lost an animal with them, I'm a vitals shooter but have shot them in the neck before.  They don't go far at all.  Plus the bullet does very well with long range shots.
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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 have run them in my free bore wby 340's and they are great.

Not to derail berger thread but quick question - whats your load for the bee and the lapua with those 300 gr bergers  ?   thx.  Back to Berger success/failure stories........

Offline b23

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It largely depends on which bullet theory you choose to follow.  If you believe bullets should mushroom and have maximum weight retention in order to best kill animals, Berger bullets are not for you.  But, if you believe wound channels do a better job of killing, then you will likely be happier with the thin jacketed Berger bullets.

I doubt I'd use Berger's if I was going on an African Safari but for most everything in North America, I would use Berger's.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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I've seen/shot approximately 30 animals give or take a few with bergers in various sizes.  Performance is always been devastating.  I've also seen/shot 10x that number with accubonds, eldx, barnes, partitions, interbonds, sst's, ballistic tips, core lokts,  interlocks, round nose, silver tips, flex tips, etc.  All performed.  A few failures, but always dead critters.  Currently on an eldx kick because they shoot good and are pretty cheap but performance isn't life changing.  For me bergers have always been flawless and easy to get shooting very accurately. 

Only line I won't shoot are Barnes.  Just don't see a point in shooting a bullet that fouls my barrel horribly and doesn't always expand.
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline CaNINE

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I use heavy for caliber Berger Bullets for all of my big game hunting. 140 VLD in my 6.5CM and 264WM, 215 Hybrid in the 300WSM and 230OTM in my 300 Ultra. Plenty of mass to penetrate and destroy vitals. I prefer a bullet that dumps all of its energy inside the animal. Regardless of range nothing has ever walked away.
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Offline BULLBLASTER

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More pics.
First is a small bear I shot with a 215 hybrid at 80-90 yards so they will work and expand even in a small target at high velocity and pass through.

Second is a mule deer that a buddy shot last fall with my 6.5-284 and a 143 eld x.


Offline jmscon

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I have one question,
Are any of you using bergers noticing more meat needing to get tossed compared to a bullet that retains more of its weight?
My interpretation of the rules are open to interpretation.
Once I thought I was wrong but I was mistaken.

Offline Bushcraft

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Berger bullets have a following for many years with the long range precision crowd due to the fact that they tend to have higher than industry average B.C.'s.   Their use inevitably carried over to hunting.  I've used them for years as long range practice rounds.

I've observed friends using them to quickly drop and kill animals, but the lead grenade meat damage was horrendous in every single instance even at moderate ranges.

Same goes for any of the other lead grenade bullets out there.

No thanks!

I like no-mess, no-fuss, easy field cleaning, no lead or copper shrapnel contamination and maximum meat yield for my freezer.

Therefore, it's Barnes TTSX's for me all the way.

They are versatile in the sense that they just plain work at short range and on out to longer distances if velocity remains above 2,000 fps. (Barnes advertises 1,800 fps, but I add another 200 fps of insurance.)

They can be extremely accurate and have high enough B.C.'s to retain plenty of velocity and energy well beyond where 95% of the hunters have any business shooting deer/elk/bear (250-300 yards.)

Montana .308 Win. with 168 gr. TTSX's will stay above 2,000 out to approximately 350 yards.
Custom Tikka 300 WSM with same is good out to approximately 600 yards, environmental conditions depending.
Any farther and I'm going to put on the sneaky-sneak.  ;)

   
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Offline Stein

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I think the general consensus is that people chose Berger because of their long range accuracy, I haven't heard anyone say they think that bullet construction is optimal for elk.  It flies well and happens to work at some level from not great to awesome depending on the user's experience.

If Berger came out with some type of super tough, traditional elk bullet with the same flight, I don't think you would see a bunch of guys still using the current bullet.  I don't think there are many good bullet choices if you are looking at making a 1,000 yard shot and that is likely the best option.

I come at it from a perspective that 300 yards is a long poke, so I don't have to worry hardly at all about how the thing flies, any well known traditional elk bullet can be made to shoot accurate enough at that distance and will carry enough energy to be effective for good or less than optimal shots.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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I have one question,
Are any of you using bergers noticing more meat needing to get tossed compared to a bullet that retains more of its weight?
no.  If you hit a big hunk of meat (neck, shoulder, hind) stuff gets messy, regardless of bullet choice.  Unless it's a Barnes that fails to open.  Then there's minimal meat loss :chuckle:
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Sticking with the 300 SMK just seems to have a better track record at ultra long range on elk from unbiased reports while not giving up much on ballistics and expands into a mushroom rather than exploding or penciling typically.  But if I got a berger to shoot significantly better I would switch.  Bullets less than 300 gr are a whole different animal - would go with a bonded there or Barnes if you don't mind the fouling. 

Offline CaNINE

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I have one question,
Are any of you using bergers noticing more meat needing to get tossed compared to a bullet that retains more of its weight?
no.  If you hit a big hunk of meat (neck, shoulder, hind) stuff gets messy, regardless of bullet choice.  Unless it's a Barnes that fails to open.  Then there's minimal meat loss :chuckle:

This is my experience too.  I've not experienced any more meat loss when using a Berger bullet then other projectiles.  My aim point is the lungs. 

The beauty is that we have so many excellent choices for different types of hunting bullets.  I always tell folks to find one that meets your needs, matches your hunting style and shoots well in your rifle - then hunt on!   
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Offline Jonathan_S

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I'll keep shooting Bergers at game animals and I'll let folks know if I have a failure.  Hasn't happened yet but I haven't killed as many deer as some have with them.  Shots from 60-700 at deer have been clean fast kills.  Shots in the ribs don't damage meat.  If I start aiming for shoulders, I'll expect further damage.

Shot two deer with Barnes 100 grn .257 TTSX.  One penciled through at 60ish yards and another was less than impressive at about 90 yards on a quartering away shot.  Thankfully found the buck and put another in him.  Spent the rest of that year cleaning the gun I think  :chuckle:

Last fall, I shot a mule deer buck at a hair under 700 yards and impacted a little forward.  215 Berger Hybrid punched a baseball hole through both ball sockets and the front of the heart.
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Offline yorketransport

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I wouldnít hesitate to use a heavy for caliber Berger on anything up to elk as long as itís properly stabilized. After all the bullet testing I did last year Iím convinced that a lot of bullet ďfailuresĒ are the result of insufficient stability. If the bullet is under stabilized it tends to yaw on impact and reduce the amount of fluid that flows into the HP and forces the bullet to expand. You may end up with a bullet tumbling end over end through the animal and causing massive trauma. Or you could end up with the bullet penciling through doing minimal damage.

Iím not a big fan of the lead grenade you get from a lot of the targrt/VLD style hunting bullets. Iím a meat hunter at heart and I just donít like giving up any more usable meat than I have to, including rib meat. For lead core bullets, I like all of the bonded styles for that reason.

Iíve switched to solid coppers for all of my hunting guns and I havenít seen any significant fouling issues even with the Barnes TSX or TTSX. I do think that some of the Cutting Edge and Hammer bullets are worth looking at for longer range hunting
if youíre looking for accuracy and terminal performance without in a lead free bullet.


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