June 20th, 2008

New 'Thick Jacket' 140gr Six-Fives from Berger

Berger has introduced a new type of 6.5mm bullet. This 140gr design features a thicker J4 jacket and a tangent (non-VLD) ogive. The thicker jacket should provide increased bullet durability when shot at high velocity through 6.5-284s and the short magnums. Berger’s testing showed that the 30-32″ barrels used on many long-range rifles produced increased frictional heat compared to 26-28″ barrels. The new, thick-jacket 140s should handle that heat better. The new bullets have a claimed BC of 0.593 and are designed for 1:9″ twist (or faster) barrels. These new bullets should work very well in 6.5-284 and 6.5×55 match rifles. (Berger does not recommend using its thick jacket bullets for hunting.)

Robert Whitley recently received some of the new bullets. He reports: “The 140gr ‘Thicks’ look great in all respects and I have no doubt they will shoot well based on their design and the obvious quality of manufacture. When you hold a Berger 140gr BT Thick Jacket bullet next to a Sierra 142gr MatchKing, the two look rather similar in length and shape, although the meplats of the Berger 140 gr bullets are closed up tighter.”

The nice, tight meplats on the new Berger 140gr BT “Thicks” should give these bullets an edge in BC compared to other tangent-ogive bullets in the same weight range. Additionally, based on our testing with bullet pointing tools, the small meplats should provide better BC consistency from bullet to bullet. With non-plastic-tipped bullets, we’ve found that the smaller the meplat, the better the BC uniformity.

More Thick Jacket Designs Coming — Including 7mm
The 6.5mm 140gr BT Thick Jacket is the first of a line-up of Thick Jacket bullets to be introduced by Berger in the coming months. Thick-jacketed match bullets will be offered in most of the popular calibers. Long-range shooters will be interested in the new 180gr BT Thick Jacket 7mm bullet. With a claimed BC of 0.642, this should be ideal for 1000-yard and F-Class shooters with .284 Win, 7mm WSM, and 7mm SAUM rifles.

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