Berger bullets in Africa

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

  1. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    If my shot is likely going to be inside 120 yards, I use these:
    20191114_180314.jpg

    They don't need to expand. As for bergers, I like them for the range and they shoot well. However, I have a really hard time walking away from the Barnes TTSX. There are bullets that do more damage and bullets that shoot better, but the TTSX travels in a straight line after impact and that is more important to me (at least in my experience, I've never had one deviate even when punching bone). If the bullet deviates from the path you set it on when it hits, then all your marksmanship skills aren't worth squat for bringing the animal down.
     
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  2. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

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    @ChrisG ok, what are those in the image? I’m guessing large silver lipstick tubes, or a D battery.
     
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  3. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    I recalled this reply from ChrisG that really helped me understand how a Berger works. Under certain circumstances I can see the advantages for certain hunting. Mountain goat comes to mind since they like to jump off cliffs. You just have to be pickier about the shot. The same shots that work best for this bullet work best for bowhunting.


    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/7-rem-mag-for-african-plains-game.47343/#post-506323

    There really is nothing "magical" about the berger VLDs or hunting VLDs or any such thing... I have shot them in several rifles and have found them to be accurate... however, they are essentially just a match bullet with a majority of the weight in the rear. As such, sure they go in a bit then flip end for end and the stress at high speed causes them to fragment violently. Section one and you will not find any enchantments inside. Sierra matchkings do the same thing when they are long enough to just stabilize and I don't see people touting them as the new space age bullet. The reason Bergers do it more readily isn't because of some magic construction, but because their geometry makes them more prone to flip on impact. They are as long as Berger can make them for a given weight. It works well as long as you don't hit heavy bone. I am positive that they will bust bone when using a heavy enough projectile, but the damage is then localized on that side and chances of a good killing shot are decreased. I know people say they go for the lung shot but what if you mess that up and your bullet goes 4 inches left or right and slams into a 4 or 5 inch thick leg bone? I like to assume that I am human and that I can make mistakes, so I stack the odds in my favor and use a controlled expanding bullet. Sure, Nosler Accubonds don't penetrate a magical distance and then magically blow up in the vitals (how does a Berger know where the vitals are anyway?) like some sort of GBU-15 bunker buster. But, controlled expansion bullets are predictable. That is what I like about them. They do exactly what they are designed to do regardless of where they hit the animal, and at what angle. I would love to see a Berger penetrate an Elk's greenery filled stomach and punch on through to the vitals, then break the opposite shoulder to anchor the animal. I notice that in their promo videos all the animals they shoot are always standing broadside or very close to it. I like my bullets to perform at all angles and through all mediums. Not just when the animal is broadside.
     
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  4. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Hi there Ryan. I going to suggest that a Berger doesn't flip or tumble on impact. I don't believe that is true unless the bullet isn't stable to begin with. That can happen if your barrel's twist rate is insufficient for the bullet length/weight. As to a shoulder. I killed a Livingstone Eland with a shoulder shot at 75 yds with a 7mm SAUM and a 180 gr Berger. Plus 2 Cape eland both of which were 1 shot kills. Most of us would agree that a 7mm of any flavor is the bottom end of adequate for eland. The Berger worked just fine.
    Now the shoulder "knuckle joint" is a whole different animal. By the way I'm using the hunting VLD. They do make a target line also.
    It is not a magic bullet nor a do it all bullet. There is no such thing IMHO. If you read and understand my prerequisites in my first post you may see where a Berger is useful. I have used the AB's and TTSX's before and I like them. My post was not intended to suggest that Bergers are the best. Just that they should be considered. It also was meant as some guidance of the limitations of Bergers.
    Bruce
     

  5. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    Gillettehunter. OK.

    I am mostly passing this along since information around here gets lost in the shuffle quickly. I found @ChrisG explanation worthwhile. Perhaps I should have put quotes around everything below the link, which is his explanation, not mine. I personally can't say it tumbles but I can say his expanation makes sense for the way Berger and others state it violently fragments. Heck, this fragmentation is a big selling point in their videos. It obviously works under the right circumstances. As for magic bullet, well we all get a bit wrapped up in what we use around here, sometimes people overstate things.
     

  6. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Haha no. Those are a 775 grain .732" wadcutter bullet loaded into an RMC 2.5" brass 12 bore case. They make about 1100 fps from my rifle and sighted dead on at 80 yards, they are around 3" high at around 55 yards and 6" low at 120. The energy figures show it as a paltry 2,000 some ft-lbs, but the momentum is on par with a .375 h&h shooting a 300 grain bullet. I haven't actually hit anything other than paper and a gong with it yet but I have high hopes that it will work.
     

  7. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    if anyone says that berger is a good hunting bullet, they are saying by implication that sierra, Hornady, corelokt, and speer cup and core bullets are better hunting bullets.
    bruce.
     
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  8. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    Just spend a week on the game farm again .It is between Vaalwater and Modimolle. True South African bushveld. Just attaching a picture to remind everyone what our bushveld looks like. When hunting here chose your caliber and bullets wisely.
    Shots are taken in the small gap between the tree leaves and tall grass.
    Happy hunting :)

    D7DA4BAE-1028-4CC0-9D30-381A2894167B.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2019
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  9. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Alchemist brings up a good point. A more frangible bullet may not be the best choice in heavier bush where most shots are at under 120 yds. There are other places where they Bergers work well. I've had TTSX's and AB's deflect from small branches and grass...... So there is no cure all for hunting in the bush from what I've seen.
    Bruce
     
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