Berger advertises the BC of this bullet as .347 G7, while applied ballistics lists it as .334 G7. I have used the Applied Ballistics custom profile, which falls in between the .347 and the .334 G7, but is for the most part, identical to the .334 G7 inside 1000 yards. This custom profile has put me right on waterline out to 1200 yards in my testing, with both the rifles we have put them in. That being said, looking at 1000 yard drops, the difference between the three is very little. With a muzzle velocity of 2930 fps at my Wyoming home, the .347 G7 calls for 21.75 MOA, the AB custom profile calls for 22.0 MOA, and the AB designated .334 G7 calls for 22.25 MOA, to 1000 yards. We’re talking about a difference of only slightly over 5”, at 1000 yards, between the three. Bottom line, some optics may have near that much error in their dialing percentage, so any of these numbers, or the AB profile, will get you on steel out to 1000 yards or more, with proper velocity input. You should be able to determine which number works out the best when validating drops out to your max range. This has been with an 8 twist .260 AI, and we have also used them in a 7.5 twist .264 win mag, going 3085 FPS.
In loading for this bullet, I have found it to be rather insensitive to seating depth. While I have found a little tuning to seating depth can really yield great results, I have shot them from .005” OTL all the way out to .070” off, and had consistent sub .75 MOA results. With the tuned loads in my two rifles these have been loaded in, sub half MOA is what I expect.
TERMINAL PERFORMANCE DESIGN INTENTION
As with other Berger bullets, this one is designed to penetrate 3-6”, and then violently expand and fragment, causing massive internal damage to the animal. Specific retained weight percentages and certainty of exits aren’t really a focus for these bullets, but massive internal trauma and organ damage is.
TERMINAL PERFORMANCE OBSERVATIONS
At this point, we have observed a significant number of animals taken with this bullet, around fifteen to eighteen pronghorn, five large bodied mule deer, and two elk. Aside from two doe pronghorn, about 180 yards and 250 yards, the remainder of our data comes from shots over 500 yards, with impact velocities below about 2550 fps. I will break down our observations into Pronghorn, Mule deer and Elk.
Pronghorn can create their own challenge terminally for bullets. Pronghorn, even the larger bucks, are built light, with a very low fat content, and very thin skin. Trauma needs to start rapidly on these critters, as doe pronghorn can be as little as 4” wide in the lower brisket area where the heart lays. On the flip side, meat yield is not great on these small animals, with doe pronghorn being as little as 25-30 lbs, and bucks rarely rising outside of the 50 lb range, so too much meat loss is a concern.
On pronghorn, we have never failed to have an exit, even on quartering shots. Generally, speed goats have dropped in their tracks, or do the typical pronghorn death sprint, ending in a faceplant in a cloud of dust after a short distance, usually less than 50 yards. The rapid expansion tendencies of these bullets lend themselves well in our experiences on pronghorn. Bullet sized entrances, and two-inch exits are rather typical, and meat loss has not been excessive.
Mule deer –
Mule deer are a middle ground animal, and many different bullet styles can be suitable for them. They offer a light enough build that light, small, fragile built bullets can still do sufficient damage to be effective, but at the same time, offer enough resistance that even heavily constructed bullets still stand a good chance at functioning properly. Mule deer can be very tough though, and can often times soak up heavy impacts, and still cover significant ground if they aren’t broken down structurally or have significant internal trauma.
On our mule deer, with 6 shots taken on 5 animals, 3 have exited, so a 50% exit rate. All but one went down within about 10 yards of where they were initially hit, with the outlier traveling about 75 yards down hill into a bottom.
This mulie was hit through the shoulder, just off the scapula, and exited about half way between the shoulder and diaphragm. The lungs showed massive trauma, and a fragment went back through the diaphragm and made a minor opening in the paunch. Even with all that trauma, this mulie managed to cover some ground before going down. Of all the animals we have taken with the 156, including elk, this guy covered the most ground, and took the longest to go down.
While often lacking exits, this bullet has created massive internal trauma and blood loss, which has generally resulted in very quick kills. The observed exits on mule deer have been smaller than those observed on pronghorn, around one inch on average over the three.
While elk are not the armored tanks they are sometimes made out to be, they are very tough animals, with thick heavy muscle tissue, very thick hair, and tough hide. They are often in or around very thick, dark timber, limiting visibility if they cover much ground after the shot, and can also put themselves into some very hard to retrieve areas if they are not put down fast. A combination of enough penetration to consistently reach the vitals, and enough bullet induced trauma to the organs to cause fast hemorrhaging are desirable attributes for a quality elk bullet.
We have only taken two cow elk with these, one at 840 yards, and the other at 865 yards, and neither exited. However, neither needed to be tracked. One was a high shoulder hit, double lunged just under the spine, and dropped in its tracks, and the mushroomed bullet was under the hide on the exit side. The other was hit directly through the heart, on a forward quartering shot. The bullet entered through the shoulder knuckle joint, and eviscerated the heart and lungs with bullet and bone fragments. However, after impacting the heavy bone and muscle tissue, it did not exit the off-side rib cage, and only made very small cuts on the internal side of the exit side rib cage. That being said, she only went about 10 feet down hill, before dropping due to massive internal bleeding and a heart exploded nearly in half.
The information in the terminal performance section of the Bullet Break Down is not endorsing, nor detouring the use of any given bullet for any given game, at any given range. It is simply meant to inform our viewers of our observation and our experiences on game. We do not hold any liability for your choices. Every hunter should strive to be informed, and make appropriate choices to be the most effective hunter they can be. We only hope to give a database and an additional resource to help you with your choice.