I shoot the 52gr Berger match out of one of my PD guns. I had 1,000 of them and figured, why not? I found a very accurate load using TAC with this bullet. If there is a difference on terminal performance between match and varmint, I can’t really tell.
They don’t give the same performance (air time and sound on impact) as a Vmax, but they certainly get the job done.
Just before my 2nd PD trip back in 2002 I got a deal on some Sierra 52 gr match bullets. Bout quite a few, maybe 1000. It seemed I was missing many more than I should and I probably was. Then maybe mid way of the shoot I noticed a dog with a red spot on his side, crawling away. Now knowing what to look for, I saw others. My observation is that when you hit a large bone you get explosive affects, but when you just get flesh, you get little terminal damage. I won't use anything other than explosive varmint bullets. I want red mist and body parts, not little red holes.
My best friend is a bergerbullet fanatic. Myself not so much. I had been PD hunting several times before he came with me to Montana. We started shooting and I heard the ricochets when he missed. We started calling them singing bergers. He learned the difference between a Carnot bullet and a match bullet on that trip
They are not as explosive as a v-max. You don’t want a bullet that ricochets, you don’t know where it’s going to end up. You want a thin jacketed bullet that blows up on the first thing it hits.
I understand you are in open country that is sparsely populated. But realize that there is a very remote chance that there are ranch workers out and about and plenty of cattle. Is a small difference in accuracy in a target rich PD town that important. I doubt that it is. I think a quick humane kill should also be considered. A cow a mile away with a hole in the back leg from a tumbling bullet is going to be a bad situation.
Even out there in the wide open spaces we need to practice gun safety.
Be it TNTs or any other hollow point there is one plain fact, If they can blow open ,they can blow shut. Video told us years ago that TNTs and other hollow points skip across the prairie much more often than lead or plastic tips. For long range work maybe? or if I had them to burn up but imho I would not buy them for doggin.
The Berger match bullets are accurate, yes. But, MATCH compared to V-Max on critters, the V-Max (or Nosler BTs and other polymer tipped) bullets are more "explosive". That said, Berger has some bullets that have a more open tip than some of the pure "match" bullets do. I've shot some of them, and they seem to work as well as polymer tipped pills do.
Far as accuracy goes - every gun likes different bullets, all else being equal. And, I've found concentricity and bullet weight uniformity of V-Max bullets to be better than some custom "match" bullets have been. (Berger excluded).
Chiming in a little late on this topic.. but here's my experience with 62 grain Hornady match bullets form midsouth shooters. Although very accurate out of my Savage model 12v they were not at all a good choice for prairie dogs... A lot of runners ..meny with large holes blown in them. They just don't have the violent expansion the z-max and the nosler ballistic tips do
The OP's question was Berger MATCH bullets performance on (varmints), no?
Berger makes VARMINT bullets too - mostly hollow points (that I'm familiar with).
I only bought a box or two - geeze - 20+ years ago(!) to try out. I compared them to equal weight (.224 cal) Speer bullets and 50 gn V-max on PDs.
As I recall, they were accurate, but so were the V-max and/or Nosler BTs* (50 gn). And, the terminal performance was definitely better as was the ballistics compared to Berger's varmint bullets.
I've shot 10s of thousands of 50 gn V-Max and a few 1000 Nosler BTs through many 223s - almost ALL with polymer tips. I shoot what works for me. And, thinking some more on the subject, I too recall more ricochets (ZINNNnnnng...) with the HP (Berger AND Speer) than with the polymer tipped bullets.
*Truth be known, I have that after a barrel's throat starts to recede and groups start to balloon that the "cure" has been switching to the Nosler bullets of the same weight.
My hypothesis is the center of gravity of the Nosler BTs being further forward is perhaps more stable than bullets w/ the center of gravity nearer the base(???). I dunno. But, they shoot better in worn barrels...or so it seems to me!
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