Bullet Review

TimeOnTarget

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As has been said in many threads around here, bullet construction is more important than the caliber.

I finally got to take a nice buck with my 6.5x284 this year. I got 140 berger hunting Vld's to shoot very well and with all the hype about Bergers, i thought it would be perfect medicine for whitetails.

A nice buck came in to about 240yds, I hit him right behind his front shoulder, and connecting with a rib. The buck made about a 300yd circle and died within feet of where I had shot him. The entrance hole was larger than a softball when i skinned him out. Not 1 piece of that bullet had made contact with the off side ribs. Had I shot this buck in the front shoulder like I many times do, I have no doubt that this bullet would have exploded and the deer never to be recovered.

I'll NEVER put another berger VLD into any critter besides a coyote.

Time to work up a load with some Accubonds it looks like.

Just wanted to give my experiences with this particular bullet.
 

Rooster52

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A buddy and I was mule deer hunting in Wyoming.He had loaded some of the early Barnes Bullets for his 300 magnum.He saw a nice buck standing at 300-350 yards and fired at him.Thebuck just stood there like nothing happened.My buddy fired again and the buck run off away and stopped and stood there,again he fired and the buck run off about 200 yards and dropped over dead. When we skinned out the deer we found he had hit him all three times but the bullets never expanded.Just put pencil size holes thru the deer.
That is why I will never load or shoot Barnes bullets.Even though they claim the new line of bullets are better,I just do not trust them.
 

elkantlers

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UT
I have a 6.5x284 and shoot the same 140 Hunting VLD.
In the last 5 years my family and I have taken 10 pronghorn and 6 deer with that same bullet and I have not had one failure. Fact is I haven't recovered a single bullet. They have all been a complete pass through. Most of the shots have been 100-300yds with a couple out to 400.
I'm not sure what happened in your case, but I can't imagine that it wasn't anything but a fluke.
 

TimeOnTarget

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I have a 6.5x284 and shoot the same 140 Hunting VLD.
In the last 5 years my family and I have taken 10 pronghorn and 6 deer with that same bullet and I have not had one failure. Fact is I haven't recovered a single bullet. They have all been a complete pass through. Most of the shots have been 100-300yds with a couple out to 400.
I'm not sure what happened in your case, but I can't imagine that it wasn't anything but a fluke.

Interesting to hear, and stories like these are why I thought they would be perfect whitetail medicine..

One fluke is enough for me;)
 

sbhooper

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North Platte, Nebraska
I will not shoot a Berger in anything. All they are is over-rated target bullets. Shoot what you want and I guess if you are in the 1000-yard gang, then they may be OK. I want a bullet that is made for hunting and can be counted on to penetrate EVERY TIME and not dynamite.

I put Bergers in the same category as SSTs, as far as reliability.
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
I have a 6.5x284 and shoot the same 140 Hunting VLD.
In the last 5 years my family and I have taken 10 pronghorn and 6 deer with that same bullet and I have not had one failure. Fact is I haven't recovered a single bullet. They have all been a complete pass through. Most of the shots have been 100-300yds with a couple out to 400.
I'm not sure what happened in your case, but I can't imagine that it wasn't anything but a fluke.
Sample size of n=1 make it hard to draw conclusions. I've used a similar bullet out of a 260 Rem and am tickled with it's performance. 140gr Bergers have been sent through shoulders much tougher and bigger than that of a whitetail...
 

golfer

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Work up some loads with partitions they have been performing for at least 65 years!
 

JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
A buddy and I was mule deer hunting in Wyoming.He had loaded some of the early Barnes Bullets for his 300 magnum.He saw a nice buck standing at 300-350 yards and fired at him.Thebuck just stood there like nothing happened.My buddy fired again and the buck run off away and stopped and stood there,again he fired and the buck run off about 200 yards and dropped over dead. When we skinned out the deer we found he had hit him all three times but the bullets never expanded.Just put pencil size holes thru the deer.
That is why I will never load or shoot Barnes bullets.Even though they claim the new line of bullets are better,I just do not trust them.

The Barnes TSX work just fine. I've killed more animals with them than any other bullet.
 

mtmuley

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montana
Bergers can and do work well. My kids hammer deer and antelope with the 95 grain in .243. The 168 grain Classic Hunter is a killer in .30-06. I don't care for them in my RUM, however. Most people that make the most noise about how bad they are have never even used them. mtmuley
 

TimeOnTarget

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I wish I had taken pictures for you guys, It honestly looked like I'd used a 55gr vmax.
 

Muleyfanatic

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I have used them a fair amount in 7mm, 6.5x284, and 240 weatherby. They do perform for 95% extremely well but I have had instances where they blew up on an elk shoulder at close range not penetrating at all. I have also had an instance where they pin holed though a deer. I have learned they you need to use them within there maximum recommended impact velocity recommendations which you should have been at that distance to keep them from blowing up. I have tried the Nosler Accubonds out of the 7mm and the 6.5x284 and get good accuracy results to 500 yards before the groups start opening up too much for my liking. The Accubonds performed flawlessly on game for me. This past year while elk hunting I loaded an Accubond in the chamber for close range shots and put bergers in the magazine in case a long range shot presented itself I could just eject the accubond and load the Berger. I got ridiculed by some members last year for this procedure but it worked for me. The elk I shot was close range and the accubond went through on side shoulder and was lodged under hide on far side. I plan on trying some of new Hornady ELD-x out of my rifle this year and see how they perform at long range compared to the Accubonds. I am not saying the Accubonds tip melt but I just haven't had much luck in them holding under a MOA at 800 yards where as the bergers are very accurate for me. I do not obviously go out planning on a long shot but do like to have that option if presented with one in the right conditions.
 

Muleyfanatic

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The groups with the Accubonds will hold around 4" at 500 yards when the yardage increases much beyond 500 they open up up considerably. An average group at 800 can be any where from 12" to 20" with nothing be consistant about how they will impact. Some will be high, some will be low, some will be left, some will be right. I can shoot the Bergers in the same conditions and average around 6" with most averaging under that. I use an oehler chronograph and strive to load for extremely low es and accuracy. Both rifles I have shot them in have produced pretty much the same results. We have also tried them in a couple 300 rums and 7mm rums. All rifles we shoot are custom rifles. The twist rates on my rifles are 1-9 in 7mm rem and 1-8 in 6.5x284. I am in no way bad mouthing the Accubonds because perform very well on game. I have considered that the bonding process may cause a very slight yaw in the bullet. When you look at most other bullets used long range they are not bonded and are of cup and core construction. Then I look at groups you (mtmuley) shoot long range using them and you don't seem to have any issues and there goes my theory about the yaw so I don't know. I'm gonna try ELD-x's and see how they perform for me. I'm hoping for Berger accuracy with Accubond performance. If there is one thing I have learned in years of hunting, long range shooting, and reloading is that there is not exact science to it. Trial and error is the only way.
PS I'm not selling my Accubonds
 

mtmuley

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Interesting results with Accubonds. Seems like a huge discrepancy in group size. For me one of the most accurate bullets at LR I've tried. (Berger VLD's being the other) You're right, you gotta shoot. At every range to really know. If you do want to off any Accubonds though..... mtmuley
 

Muleyfanatic

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I agree that it is a huge discrepancy and wish that I can explain it especially with how well they perform on game. We have had similar results in 6 different rifles. 3 of the rifles are in 7mm and show the most group changes. The 6.5 and 300's would hold around 10"-12" at 800. I tried one of my 7mm at 950 yards with them and would only get 1 out of 3 shots on a 20"x20" steel plate. The bergers have always shot very well for but that is what these rifles were specifically built to shoot. I don't know if the Accubonds would shoot better in a different twist or not. If the hornadys shoot that's what I'll be using this year if not it will be Accubonds in the chamber with bergers backing them up. I do use the Accubonds exclusively in my 280ai as it is only set up as a 400 yard rifle although I may have try it long range and see how they perform in it. I did do a write up a while back on the Berger and Accubonds when I was selecting a bullet for the 280ai just giving an FYI to the fact I'm not strictly buying into all the new hype of melting tips etc... I'll do a write up on hornadys once I have them and get some shooting in. I also hope to be able to provide some feedback on how they perform on game if they shoot well for me.
 

Tradewind

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I have used them a fair amount in 7mm, 6.5x284, and 240 weatherby. They do perform for 95% extremely well but I have had instances where they blew up on an elk shoulder at close range not penetrating at all. I have also had an instance where they pin holed though a deer. I have learned they you need to use them within there maximum recommended impact velocity recommendations which you should have been at that distance to keep them from blowing up. I have tried the Nosler Accubonds out of the 7mm and the 6.5x284 and get good accuracy results to 500 yards before the groups start opening up too much for my liking. The Accubonds performed flawlessly on game for me. This past year while elk hunting I loaded an Accubond in the chamber for close range shots and put bergers in the magazine in case a long range shot presented itself I could just eject the accubond and load the Berger. I got ridiculed by some members last year for this procedure but it worked for me. The elk I shot was close range and the accubond went through on side shoulder and was lodged under hide on far side. I plan on trying some of new Hornady ELD-x out of my rifle this year and see how they perform at long range compared to the Accubonds. I am not saying the Accubonds tip melt but I just haven't had much luck in them holding under a MOA at 800 yards where as the bergers are very accurate for me. I do not obviously go out planning on a long shot but do like to have that option if presented with one in the right conditions.

I also shoot the Berger's. 168 grn. I have had almost exactly the same results you have.
I am looking for something else that shoots as well at distance but stays intact with good expansion. Looking for the best of both worlds, I guess, when life is usually a compromise.
Let me know how your testing on the ELD-x comes out. I was also planning on trying them this summer. Thx
 

Lawnboy

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Bozeman, Montana
I struggled deciding what to use out of my gun. I was able to get both Bergers and Barnes to shoot amazing. I've come to the conclusion that you can find a horror story on the internet about every single bullet even Accubonds. Do a search and you'll see what I mean. I've decided that I'm going to use the Bergers until I have a failure. So far I have 1 cow elk and 3 mule deer that have died by them and they only went a about 20 yds average. The elk was at 180 yds. Penciled in and turned the insides to jello. When I say penciled in I mean the hole in the hide is the size of the bullet. Mule deer were from 300 to 250 with the same results. Small pencil holes in and jello on the insides. They are insanely destructive.

This is my wifes deer shot at 250 broadside 180 Berger VLD. This is the entrance side and I'm pretty sure she got a rib in that hole somewhere :D Like I said I'll use them until I personally have a failure. I was also told that core lokts suck but have about 11 bulls who'd argue that.

berger.jpg
 

WapitiBob

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All the people I know who have killed wth Bergers go heavy for caliber. 210's for 30's and at least a 180 for the 7's.
 
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