TESTED: Berger 25 Cal 135gr Long Range Hybrid Target Bullets

Written by Travis Fox

Hello Ultimate Reloaders! The 25 caliber has quite a following, as evidenced by our recent story featuring Guy Miner with his quarter bore. He loves his 25-06, and based on the feedback from the story, so do a lot of you! Berger just released their new 135 grain 25 caliber long range bullet, which is a great addition to their 25 caliber bullet lineup, in this story we’re going to put it to the test! 

Disclaimer

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About Berger’s 25 cal 135gr Long Range Hybrid Target Bullets

Berger’s 135 grain Long Range Hybrid 25 caliber bullet is aimed at long range target shooters and competitors.

From the Berger website product page:

Berger 25 cal 135gr Long Range Hybrid Target

  • G1 BC 0.65
  • G7 BC 0.334
  • G7 Form Factor 0.876
  • Minimum Twist (or faster) 1:8″
  • Ogive Style LR Hybrid
  • Base Style Boat Tail
  • Jacket J4 Target Jacket
  • Sectional Density 0.292
  • Bullet Dia. 0.257
  • OAL 1.416
  • Base to Ogive 0.735
  • Nose Length 0.729
  • Bearing Surface 0.45
  • Boat Tail Length 0.216

Lab Measurements

Berger has a reputation for excellent bullets. Berger’s 135gr Berger Long Range Hybrid Target bullet is no exception, and our lab measurements agree. The uniformity of diameter, length and weight help with consistent bullet flight and load development.

Above: Precision Measurement Tools used for lab data include micrometers and a precision scale. Berger 30 caliber test shown here.

Summary of data for Berger’s 135 grain 25 caliber bullets:

These results are very consistent with other bullets we’ve tested from Berger including the following:

Test Setup: Rifle and Optics

The rifle used for this story is a custom that Gavin Gear built on his Precision Matthews PM-1440GT lathe! You can review the rifle build here. Here’s the info for this 25 Creedmoor rifle: (optic in picture is different than what was used for this story)

GRT Research (what powders)

What do you do when you receive a new product?  The first thing I do is research. There is not a lot of data out there for the 25 Creedmoor and none at the time of this writing for this brand new Berger Bullet! 

Looking at Gavin’s data for the 131 Blackjack bullet I did get a starting point. However I wanted to find other powder options for the Creedmoor rather than just using H4350. So beginning with that data and combining research I then turned to Gordon’s Reloading Tools (GRT) for more study. GRT is a free to download program for interior ballistics.

I used GRT to study case fill, burn percentage, burn rates, pressures and more. It is a powerful tool when used correctly.  So what this led me to was the traditional HodgdonH4350 and the Vihtavuori N555. More options are better right?! Researching options can open doors to new and maybe better load combinations.

 The following components were used along with the LE Wilson mandrel and inline seating die and the Primal Rights competition primer seater.

Here’s a summary of the load development specifics:

Test Scenario 1: 25 Creedmoor, H-4350

As expected, Hodgdon H4350 produced excellent results. Good velocities and good groups were found quickly with 41.5 grains giving 2864fps muzzle velocity with single digit SD. Not surprised are you? I was not either! I will admit this was a simple and easy load to work up and test.

Here’s a summary of the data collected for H-4350, 25 Creedmoor, and the Berger 135 grain bullet (some shots missing due to chronograph issues):

The groups were impressive, especially considering we’re doing load development here!

Test Scenario 2: 25 Creedmoor N555

Now onto the Vihtavuori N555. This is a newer powder from Vihtavuori. I was really hoping for good results in order to expand powder options for everyone. Results were super. While the velocities were less than the H-4350 by almost 100fps, where the N555 really caught my eye was in the SD’s. All were in the single digits! Very consistent! 

And some more GREAT groups:

Conclusion

You may be asking yourself this question… “ok which powder should I use?” hmmm. Given how “things” are these days I say grab either and go shoot! Not one of these powders is going to be better or worse. Yes the N555 is slower but 100fps? Not enough to worry about. The more consistent SD more than makes up for that.

What do I like about the 25 Creedmoor 135gr Berger LRHT? You get a flat trajectory bullet with less “large” caliber recoil but it provides a much bigger impact on target over say a .22 or 6mm caliber bullet. This 135gr bullet will have a good “splash” on target (ability to see hits and misses). 

This is another one of those rifle cartridges that you can take to a competition, shoot it all day and not be “beat up” by recoil. Then you can take the same rifle and get your hunting load (Berger has a 133gr Elite Hunter) and harvest large game animals. Super versatile! Grab some of these 135gr Berger Long Range Hybrid Target bullets, grab the available H4350 or N555 powder and load up!

Get them at Creedmoor Sports

You can get these new Berger bullets at Creedmoor Sports:

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Thanks,
Travis Fox

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