January 16th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: New Bullets and BCs from Berger

Jason’s first stop on his 2009 SHOT Show tour was at the Berger Bullets booth. Our readers know that Berger manufactures some of the best varmint and match bullets in the world. Eric Stecker, Berger’s master bulletsmith, announced that Berger is organizing its production into three main lines: Varmint bullets (flat-base and standard boat-tails), Target bullets (both Tangent Ogive and VLD designs) with thicker jackets, and Hunting bullets (low-drag VLD with standard J4 jackets).

Berger Bullets

A design effort is underway to optimize the “long range” bullet shapes, centering around a tangent ogive BT design with shorter than normal bearing surface. This allows a longer nose shape with a better BC. It should also be easier to tune, given the tangent ogive design. Berger’s designers are also working with a double ogive shape for big bore bullets. This will feature a tangent ogive immediately above the bearing surface to allow a smoother transition into the lands. Then the shape transitions to a secant ogive for better BC and a smaller meplat.

New 20 Caliber Bullet is Ready and Two .338 Projectiles in the Works
Berger announced a new 55gr, 20-caliber “Long Range” BT bullet. Prototypes have been tested successfully in 8-twist barrels. With sufficient velocities a 1:9″ twist might work also, but Berger wants more field testing–by shooters like you. NOTE: Berger is currently looking for “volunteers” to test this new 20-cal 55-grainer in 8-Twist and 9-Twist barrels. Contact Michelle Gallagher at Berger for more details.

Big-bore shooters will be pleased to learn Berger hopes to release both 250gr and 300gr .338-caliber bullets by the end of 2009. While design work is on-going, Berger expects to offer tangent ogive, secant ogive, and double-radius .338 projectiles in both 250gr and 300gr weights. So you’ll have a choice of three different bullet shapes, each in two weights. That’s good news for hunters and ultra-long-range shooters.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) to Be Analyzed and Updated
Berger recently hired Bryan Litz as an in-house ballistics experts. Bryan, a top-level High Power and long-range shooter, formerly worked with the Air Force as a rocket ballistics scientist. Drawing on his expertise, Berger will be testing its match bullets to establish more precise drag figures. So, you may see the stated BCs on your favorite Berger bullets changing a bit in the future, but those changes will be based on improved design analysis and testing.

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