TESTED: Berger 133gr 25 Cal Elite Hunter Bullet

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:

Disclaimer
Ultimate Reloader LLC / Making with Metal Disclaimer: (by reading this article and/or watching video content you accept these terms). The content on this website (including videos, articles, ammunition reloading data, technical articles, gunsmithing and other information) is for demonstration purposes only. Do not attempt any of the processes or procedures shown or described on this website. All gunsmithing procedures should be carried out by a qualified and licensed gunsmith at their own risk. Do not attempt to repair or modify any firearms based on information on this website. Ultimate Reloader, LLC and Making With Metal can not be held liable for property or personal damage due to viewers/readers of this website performing activities, procedures, techniques, or practices described in whole or part on this website. By accepting these terms, you agree that you alone are solely responsible for your own safety and property as it pertains to activities, procedures, techniques, or practices described in whole or part on this website.

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

Caliber 25 Caliber
Bullet Weight 133 Grain
Product Line Elite Hunter
G1 BC 0.613
G7 BC 0.315
G7 Form Factor 0.914
Minimum Twist (or faster) 1:8″
Ogive Style Hybrid
Base Style Boat Tail
Jacket J4 Hunting Jacket
Sectional Density 0.288
Bullet Dia. 0.257
OAL 1.407
Base to Ogive 0.73
Nose Length 0.723
Bearing Surface 0.447
Boat Tail Length 0.214

Lab Measurements

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:

Test Setup: Rifle and Optics

This was another occasion to use our custom 25 Creedmoor rifle built by Gavin Gear:

Please review the rifle build here.

Test Scenario: 25 Creedmoor with N555 and Berger 133 Elite Hunter

Components

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.

also used were the LE Wilson Mandrel and Inline Seating Die, and the Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater.

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:

41g

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

41.5g

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

42g

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

42.5g

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).

Thanks to Clear Ballistics for the crystal clear gel. This product allows for superior high speed camera action! See our previous use of the gel blocks in the Hornady bullet test here.

Conclusion

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:

Don’t miss out on Ultimate Reloader updates, make sure you’re subscribed!

Thanks,
Travis Fox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Reloading Safety

Polls