Berger bullets in Africa

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by gillettehunter, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    My 2c
    I would rather hunt with a premium bullet like Barnes, Nosler AB or partition giving me a 2” grouping than shoot a Berger VLD with a .5 grouping. The target on most animals are 6” and larger. The tight grouping means nothing if there is no penetration. Why would you put the hunt success in a bullet that might just fail due to its construction. It is one of the reasons why we have the bullet performance data base thread as you can see how bullets really perform.
    It might be a good idea to get input from a PH/guide/ tracker and ask for their opinion.
     
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  2. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Berger only offers 2 bullets in 375 caliber labeled "match solids" and there is nothing larger than that made by them.
    If I were a PH, these options wouldn't be at the top of my list for my personal use.

    That said, I'm sure there are PH's here that have had clients use them for game.
    I mean Brush Country Monsters is sponsored by Berger, uses their bullets and have been to Africa.
    They must have been successful, but I haven't watched it.
    I'm just not into long range hunting and prefer a good stalk to get close to game.
     

  3. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Another data point. Six trips in Africa, rifles used were .17 Fireball, .45 SML, 6.5x47 Lapua, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler. All but the 17FB and SML used Berger HVLDs. Not one lost animal, 99% were DRTs. Ranges from 200 to 700 yards. I would rather have .25 to .50 MOA accuracy and a bullet that dumps ALL of its energy inside the animal instead of the dirt behind it. Or a bullet that requires one to follow a blood trail or lose an animal due to pencil holing or other failure. YMMV.
     
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  4. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Your 2" group on wobbly sticks now becomes a six inch group. I bet you never hunted with Bergers and are relying on hearsay and the experience of poor shooters.
     
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  5. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The point I wanted to make was that Berger's are deadly IF you follow the suggestions I made at the beginning.
    Berger isn't making the larger bullets .375 and up for hunting. My A-frames worked perfectly on this trip for that need.
    Bruce
     
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  6. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    Yes you are correct. I have never hunted with Berger but I was the spotter last year on our Kalahari trip where my hunting buddy shot a Gemsbok on the shoulder. The bullet disintegrated on the bone and the Gemsie showed us the farm for the next 6 hours.

    Second experience with a Berger was this year when a fellow hunter shot a Blue wildebeest - full frontal shot - I was the spotter once again and the impact was perfect, but the Berger fragmented on the brisket and failed to penetrate. In typical BWB fasion, the wound closed up and we had hardly any blood trail to follow. Once again the BWB showed us the farm.

    I think the VLD is OK for small game, but when you start chasing Gemsbok, Eland and BWB you better have the right bullet.
    I have never seen a recovered Berger bullet, hence the reason why I do not use them.

    If it works for you, then use the VLD's. I am lucky that I get accuracy with my rifles using the Nosler, Swift and Barnes bullets.
     
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  7. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Call them what you will but I categorize them as poorly placed shots. I go for a double lung. I NEVER shoot at a shoulder and most every runner is a shoulder or poorly placed shot against a bone. Most any four legged animal can run on three legs. They can't run if they can't breathe. Why hunters insist on shoulder or hard bone shots is beyond me. Break that air bag and they're not going anywhere.
     
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  8. Denvir Tire

    Denvir Tire AH Member

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    No hand's on experience with Berger except this; PH in Namibia asked me to bring 7mm Barnes X for reloading. Apparently he's unable to obtain the Barnes in that caliber? I saw some Bergers and remembered hearing that they have a good reputation for accuracy so I grabbed a box thinking he might like them.
    One look at the Berger box and he told me that he will not use the Berger bullets, poor terminal performance.

    Now, help me out.....

    Is One MOA at 450 yards a group smaller than 1 inch or smaller than 4.5 inches??
     
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  9. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My limited experience with African PHs is a lot of them are stuck in the mud when it comes to bullet technology. YMMV. Yes, 4.5".
     
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  10. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Where do you aim on a full frontal BWB or Eland for the double lung shot? Or quartering frontal shot?
     

  11. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    I think he's saying he wouldn't take the frontal or quartering frontal shot, he considers them poorly placed shots in his opinion.
     
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  12. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Everyone has their methods but I either wait or position for a broadside or for rear quartering, aim for the opposite side front leg. Frontal and rear end shots can end up in a runner.
     
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  13. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    This is exactly my point. Using a Berger on a quartering or full frontal is a bad idea as it disintegrates and a poor shot. Using Barnes, Swift or Nosler, it is a perfectly fine shot and as deadly as square on, as you destroy the major arteries and heart.
     
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  14. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I would rather use a bullet that I can confidently use from any angle presented and that has the ability to reach what I am aiming at.

    The word match and hunting should not mix
     
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  15. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I sure wish that we all could wait for that perfect broadside or quartering away shot but in the real world a lot of times we need to take the shot that is presented to us. The only shot that I will pass up on is what is called the Texas heart shot, however if I have a chance at the head from the backside and it isn't a trophy animal I'll go for a head shot.

    When it comes down to it we need a bullet in our rifles that can kill the animal quickly no matter what that shot is and for this I wouldn't use a Berger. They may be some fantastic shooting bullets but until they address the thin skin and rapid expansion I'll just stick with the Barnes that I shoot in all of my rifles and while those Barnes bullets might not shoot as good as a Berger they are pretty dang close to them.
     
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  16. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Alchemist you spoke of 2 failures. What caliber and what bullet weight? For those that worry about using them I killed 3 eland with a 180 grainer in a 7 MM SAUM. 2 were 1 shot kills. The 3rd in Zambia appeared to be going down when I hit him again. I'd suggest that the penetration was acceptable.
    Bruce
     
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  17. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    All due respect, amigo, but the Hatcher theory has been thoroughly debunked.

    I can shoot 175 VLDH into a single hole from 100 yards all day long, and i think they're great medicine for the zombie apocalypse. I have 6 boxes of them waiting to be stuffed into brass. But I'll never use them for hunting 4-legged critters.

    I haven't yet shot VLDH at 1000, but I have with 178 ELD-X, and they're money, too.

    For hunting, I prefer almost anything to VLDH or ELD-X.

    Woodleigh 160 or NP 125 for my 6.5x55, NP 286 for my 9.3, and lead alloy for my 45-70.
     
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  18. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    300 Win Mag in both cases. I remember the hunter mentioned VLD - not sure if it was 175 or 180 gr.
     

  19. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I wondered if it was something like that. I really don't want to come across as a smart as_ or a know it all, but that was the wrong bullet for the job. See my initial remarks to start this thread. If they had been running the 215 gr hybrid the animals would probably would of been dead in short order.
    I have a friend that manages a ranch in MT that they have a depredation hunt for elk on it. Some years he helps hunters take over 75 elk many with his rifle using the 215 gr bullets. I would post the thread where he describes his results but the mods will remove it from here. PM me if your interested. IMHO an elk is approximately comparable to a gemsbuck.
    Last year I killed a bull moose. Substantially bigger than a gemsbuck. 1 shot at just over 100 yds. Quartering to me. 215 gr berger. Didn't make it 20 yds and down . Heavy for caliber bullets is one of the keys. Respectfully.
    Bruce
     
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  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    All this talk about Bergers or any bullet for that matter failing is pure speculation. There's no inconclusive proof that the same shot with a Barnes, Swift, Hornady, Sierra or whatever tea you drink, wouldn't have had the same results. To each his own but I'd much rather prefer a hand grenade to a brick and from this chair, there are no bad bullets, only bad shots. Make a ballpoint pen go fast enough and hit an animal's vital organ, it's going to die. YMMV.
     

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