This article was written by Travis Fox
Hello Ultimate Reloaders! We are back with a new quarter bore bullet from Berger Bullets. The 133 Elite Hunter pushes 25 caliber hunting bullets to the limit, a great addition to their 25 caliber bullet lineup. In this story we’re going to put it to the test!
Recently we have published some 25 caliber stories you’ll want to check out:
- 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!
- The Berger 135gr Long Range Hybrid Target Where we tested the bullet with H4350 and N555 with excellent results.
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About Berger’s 25 cal 135gr Long Range Hybrid Target Bullets
Berger’s 133 grain Elite Hunter 25 caliber bullet is aimed at the crowd shooting the beloved quarter bore in hunting applications.
Data From the Berger Website
|Bullet Weight||133 Grain|
|Product Line||Elite Hunter|
|G7 Form Factor||0.914|
|Minimum Twist (or faster)||1:8″|
|Base Style||Boat Tail|
|Jacket||J4 Hunting Jacket|
|Base to Ogive||0.73|
|Boat Tail Length||0.214|
Berger has a reputation for excellent bullets. Berger’s 133gr Berger Elite Hunter bullet is no exception, and our lab measurements agree. The uniformity of diameter, length and weight help with consistent bullet flight and load development.
Here’s the summary of the lab data we collected for these new bullets:
These results are very consistent with other bullets we’ve tested from Berger including the following:
- TESTED: NEW Berger 156 grain 6.5mm Elite Hunter Bullets
- ULTIMATE 6.5 PRC Hunting Load: Berger 156 Elite Hunter + N565
- TESTED: Berger 25 Cal 135g Long Range Target Bullets
- TESTED: New 205gr 30-Cal Elite Hunter Bullets from Berger
Test Setup: Rifle and Optics
This was another occasion to use our custom 25 Creedmoor rifle built by Gavin Gear:
Test Scenario: 25 Creedmoor with N555 and Berger 133 Elite Hunter
Here’s a summary of the components used to test this new bullet:
- Lapua 6.5 SRP necked to 25 Creedmoor
- Berger 133gr Elite Hunter Bullet
- Vihtavuori N555
- Federal 205 small rifle primer
Above: Vihtavuori N555, a newer powder from Vihtavuori that’s ideal for Creedmoor-class cartridges.
Velocity and Accuracy Summary
You can see from the results above that best accuracy was had at 42.0 grains, and best velocity/consistency was at 42.5 grains. We are thinking to try the EC Tuner Brake with the 42.5 grain load to see if we can get the best of both worlds (velocity and accuracy).
Here’s a nice 5-shot group shot at 100 yards, at 42.0 grains of N555:
Velocity Data Per Load
Here’s the raw chronograph data for each load level (powder charge) tested:
|Stats – Average||2748.7||fps|
|Stats – Highest||2758.58||fps|
|Stats – Lowest||2740.44||fps|
|Stats – Ext. Spread||18.14||fps|
|Stats – Std. Dev||6.82||fps|
|Stats – Average||2774.54||fps|
|Stats – Highest||2783.94||fps|
|Stats – Lowest||2769.14||fps|
|Stats – Ext. Spread||14.8||fps|
|Stats – Std. Dev||5.95||fps|
|Stats – Average||2798.6||fps|
|Stats – Highest||2813.36||fps|
|Stats – Lowest||2782.82||fps|
|Stats – Ext. Spread||30.54||fps|
|Stats – Std. Dev||11.15||fps|
|Stats – Average||2827.04||fps|
|Stats – Highest||2830.47||fps|
|Stats – Lowest||2823.9||fps|
|Stats – Ext. Spread||6.58||fps|
|Stats – Std. Dev||2.78||fps|
Ballistic Gel Testing
One of our favorite things to do is shoot ballistic gel. These gel blocks combined with the Edgertronic High Speed Camera provide a lot of information. The wound channel can be examined statically and the bullet extracted and examined for expansion and retained weight.
Test 1: 2800 fps “Full Velocity”
We started our test at full velocity, which for this load was right at 2800 fps:
Above Berger 133 gr Elite Hunter Bullet Full Velocity Cavitation, a “massive” impact
The high speed bullet mushroomed very well and weighed in at 84.2 gr, and so retained 63% of the original bullet weight.
Test 2: Absolute Minimum Velocity: 1800 fps
The 1800 FPS bullet study was designed to mimic a shot at approximately 800yds, A very long shot, one I don’t believe I would take on an animal. However we wanted to show the results. Watch the video and see if you were as surprised as we were. Our thoughts were that the bullet would lodge in the first block. That did not happen as you can see here:
Above: Berger 133 gr Elite Hunter Bullet Down Leveled Velocity Cavitation
The bullet did not expand much and traveled much farther into the second block than the high velocity bullet did! Due to a lack of expansion the bullet weighed in at 127.6gr for 96% weight retention. Interesting results.
This makes us wonder what the results would look like at 1900 fps or 2000 fps! I’m betting we’d see more expansion. For comparison, we shot the same type of ballistic gel with a 6.5mm 143 grain ELD-X bullet from Hornady, also at 1800 fps and observed a near identical result (very little expansion, and long penetration distance).
What do I like about the 25 Creedmoor 133gr Berger Elite Hunter? 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 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 varmints and deer size game.
This bullet will demand a fast twist barrel. Our rifle we are testing with is 1:7. Most “off the shelf” rifles have a 1:10 twist which will not stabilize this bullet. Your local gunsmith will likely be able to help with a custom barrel installation.
Get The Gear
Here’s the gear and components we used for this story:
- Berger 25 cal 133 Elite Hunter Bullet
- Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass
- Vhitavorui N555 Powder
- LE Wilson Sizing die
- LE Wilson Mandrel die
- LE WIlson Inline Seating die
- Primal Rights Competition primer seater
- Forster Co-Ax Press
- RCBS Chargemaster Supreme powder dispenser
- Clear Ballistics Gel
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