Berger has been busy developing and releasing new bullets, continuing to innovate in popular long range categories. I recently had the privilege to get my hands on some pre-release sample bullets for one of the exciting new bullets Berger is releasing: the Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter bullet, all-new for Spring 2020. In this article I’ll share my experiences with this new bullet, and some laboratory data that I collected as well!
Specs and Ballistics
From the Berger Product Page, here’s the specs for this new bullet:
The 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter is purpose-built for hunters seeking a mid-to-heavy bullet solution for their 30 Nosler, 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mags, 300 PRC, and other 30 caliber long-range hunting platforms. Elite Hunters utilize Berger’s industry-leading hybrid ogive design, which blends tangent and secant designs to optimize efficiency, reduce wind-drift, and minimize sensitivity to seating depth. Their sleek profile features an ultra-high ballistic coefficient (BC) and increased sectional density, delivering the highest energy retention upon impact. Elite Hunters are easy to load and shoot, and provide unmatched accuracy and performance.
I was curious to run some ballistics calculations to see how this bullet will perform for long-range applications. So I ran a quick calculation using Berger’s Ballistics Calculator, It’s handy that with this calculator you can select the bullet and have all of the properties pre-populated!
Here’s the range card that I produced for the Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter bullet loaded in 300 PRC: (click/tap to enlarge)
1668 fps at 1000 yards- that’s SOLID performance!
Lab Consistency Tests
One of the most “objective” ways to evaluate bullet quality and precision is to take laboratory measurements to evaluate the consistency for a particular bullet. I’ve settled on a sample size of 20 in order to ensure quality data. For bullet testing I focus on the consistency of bullet weight, bullet diameter, and bullet length.
For weight consistency testing, I use an A&D FX-120i lab-grade precision scale. Here’s the data from the weight consistency testing:
For diameter consistency, I use a digital micrometer accurate to 0.0001″, performing two readings for each bullet (with the bullet rotated 90° between the two readings). Here’s the data from those tests:
The final lab test is length consistency- again using a digital caliper (1-2″ in this case) accurate to 0.0001″. Here’s the length data:
Loading Test Ammunition
For my testing loading, I used the following gear:
- MEC Marksman Press
- MEC Digital Calipers
- AutoTrickler V3 Powder Dispensing System
- Hornady 300 PRC 2-Die Set
- Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater (CPS)
Test Load and Data (300 PRC)
For my testing, I used the following load (this same load performed well with other 208 grain bullets):
- Berger 30 Caliber .308 Diameter 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullets (seated to a depth of 3.609″)
- Ramshot Magnum Powder (80.5 grains)
- Federal 215 Large Rifle Magnum Primers
- New Hornady 300 PRC Cases
Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.
Breaking in the New Mountain-Top 100y Range
I’m pretty excited about my new ridge-top rifle range! So far, I’ve been shooting steel targets at 198y, 330y, 400y, 66oy, 700y, and 1000y (see THIS STORY about D-M Targets – you can visit https://www.d-mtargets.com/ to get your own!). For this story, I put together the first “iteration” of my 100 yard testing range at the top of the hill. What an amazing place to shoot! My first day of shooting wasn’t the best however- with winds gusting at 20-25 MPH, and lots of heat boil and mirage preventing super-accurate shooting.
Here’s the first shots at 100 yards:
The second day of shooting at the range was better, but still with some good strength mirage. I’ve decided that I’ll need to get an earlier start to prevent wind and mirage from hampering my precision shooting at this mountain-top range! Nonetheless, my first 3 shots of the day went into a 0.5″ group! A proper concrete shooting bench and rests will also help out greatly, especially with heavy-recoiling 30 caliber magnums like 300 PRC!
I’m not finished testing this bullet at 100 yards- I’m planning to shoot 5-shot groups with the enhancements noted above, and I’m confident I’ll be able to achieve sub-1/2-MOA results when all of that is put together.
So far I’m really liking these Berger 205 grain Elite Hunter Bullets- I’d love to try them out on some big game, too bad it’s not that season… If you’re looking for a great long-range hunting bullet for cartridges like 300 Win Mag, 300 Weatherby, 300 PRC, 300 Norma Mag or similar, these bullets are worth a look!
But that’s not all- very soon I’ll be looking at another great new Berger bullet: the 153.5 grain 6.5mm Long Range Hybrid Target bullet! More on that soon…
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