Monday, May 2, 2011

Berger 30 Caliber Hybrids- Right on Target!

In getting my thoughts together to write this post on these new products from Berger Bullets I decided that I should start with a disclaimer. I have no official affiliation with Berger or their parent company. I merely answered the post on Long Range and I was sent the products to evaluate.

Ok, now with that out of the way let's turn to the testing of these new bullets from Berger, the 168 and 155 Hybrids. Saturday was not the best day to test at 600 yards, with winds running 15-18 mph and gusts over 25mph there was even some talk of cancelling. Our cantilever targets, though easy to operate normally, become a nuisance when the wind gets up. Safety also becomes a concern as we have had uprights fracture in these types of conditions. Finally it was decided to go ahead. As I wrote in the post preceding this one, I had loaded the Sierra 2156 Palma bullet as well as the Berger 168's and 155's . I usually do not chronograph ammo all that much, I have always thought it to be a waste of a good barrel and if it shoots who cares how fast it's going. Must be the minimalist in me showing again. Anyway one of our Junior Team coaches had his Ohler set up and out of curiosity I quickly ran 5 shots of the three loads I had brought with me over it. I was surprised to see the Sierra's were just over 3030 fps as I had never chrono'ed them before. Next I shot five of the 155 Hybrids and they averaged 3010 fps. This was with the same charge weight of Varget I had used with the Sierra's but the Bergers were jammed as well as seated .020 shorter. The primers looked ok, a little flat but nothing bad. Last of course were the 168 Hybrids and they were running an average of 2880 fps. Though there was no sticky bolt lift the primers were about as flat as I like to see them so I'm going to call 44 grns of Varget my max load. I have never been one to try and run my ammo really hot, seems I have always found accurate loads at lighter powder charge weights. By the way temperature was around 81 degrees.

Moving to the line for my first string I decided to shoot the Sierra's, I have been shooting them on and off for the last 6 months and they have been shooting very well in my Palma gun (Stolle Panda, Krieger 1-13, McMillian stock) and they continued to do so. For my second string I chose the 155 Hybrid, which despite the 20 fps difference in velocity shot right on top of the Sierra's with a nearly identical verticle group size.
For my last 20 shot string I shot the 168 Hybrids and found that I had definetly saved the best for last! Prior to going to the line for that relay I found out from Mid and Nancy that they were going to practice a bit from the 1000 yard line after the match. So after firing ten shots into a group measuring less than 3 inches high, I decided to save the rest for shooting at the longer range. Very impressed would best describe my thoughts about the new 168.

Back at the 1000 line the 168's continued to shine, but here is a note to self story. Dont walk up to your friend with a loaded 155 Hybrid in one hand and a 168 in the other and ask them if they can tell the difference, and then get them mixed up. Reason? you can't tell them apart!!! So while I was shooting a 5 shot string with the 168's a mystery 6 at 12 oclock showed up. Yikes! I think I found the 155!!! Anyway I would like to thank Mid Tompkins for calling the wind for us back there. From 12 minutes left to zero and back to 12 min left in the space of 30 seconds was some pretty hairy wind conditions!

Obviously better wind conditions would have been nice but overall my impression is that in my rifle all of the 155 offerings seem to shoot about the same. The 168's will definetly see more use in my rifle as I thought they stole the show. It looks like I wont be able to shoot them again until May 16th. I will try jumping these new bullets from Berger and report my findings.



Anonymous said...

I did appreaciate looking at the differance, wich one is the 168?

RCURTIS said...

The Berger 168 alongside a 168 Sierra can be seen here

Anonymous said...

Im curious about these new hybrids. How do you think the new 168 and 155 stack up against their fullbore 155.5? Is the 168 a viable option over the 155's... so much has been said about how 168s will tumble before 1000. Thanks for your time

RCURTIS said...


I would not hesitate to take the line with any of the 155 Berger offerings including the VLD as I have had success with them all. My testing with the 168 found it to be very effective at 1000 yards, with a BC of .519 it stands head and shoulders above the Sierra 168. I will add that years ago I shot 1000's of Sierra 168's out of an M-14 as a Marine Team shooter and never had an issue.