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  1. #1

    Default HSM Ammo - Bergers

    I am hoping someone can provide some insight on what changed for me. I bought a savage 260 rem about 5 years ago and wanted to shoot 130 gr berger VLD's. HSM loads Bergers so I ordered a couple boxes. The factory HSM shooting 130gr vld hunting bergers grouped about MOA maybe a bit better. I was happy and ordered 300 more. All was well I shot steel I shot Deer, antelope a MT goat and was happy until last year I started running low so I ordered 200 more rounds. The new loadings wont stay on the paper. Completely eratic 14" spray at 200 yds. I checked my gun,scope, mounts everything appears good. Frusterated and wanting a new rifle I bought a box of Hornady 129 gr sst went to the range and put the first 5 shots in just under a 2" group at 200 yds. i had my MOA gun back but am confussed. The HSM loadings have the same bullets, the brass is the same I couldn't find that they changed powder in the last few years. Could the bullet seating depth cause such a change? I tried shells from 3 different boxes all with the same eratic results. Now I have 150+- loaded HSM 260 shells that are junk at least to me with this rifle. I really want to shoot Berger VLDs but not ready to handload (i barely have time to shoot). I feel like i got taken but not sure what I would expect HSM to do. I have a friend with a 260 that I plan to borrow and see if they shoot better through his rifle. It is unlikely that it will help me but what do the experts think this could be cuased by?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    North Central Montana


    i would contact HSM, especially if you have any lot numbers from the previous ammo that worked .
    Made in Montana.

  3. Default

    Definitely call HSM and see what they say. They list 2 different 130gr bergers. Also ask them if they switched powders.
    Seating depth is more critical on a VLD type bullet I've found. It could be some fouling or a carbon ring but the SST did shoot good.

  4. #4


    Do you have any of the original loaded HSM ammo left that shot well? If you have any of the original ammo left give me a call. Have seen this happen a number of times with HSM ammo in other calibers. When you coming down to visit your folks again?

  5. #5


    Thanks for the ideas. i am going to send HSM a note with the lot numbers of both batches of ammo and see what they say. Cowboy i am trying to get my hands on some of the original stuff. i gave a couple boxes to a buddy and I believe he still has it. I shot all mine up to keep the two lots seperate thinking I might have a small point of impact shift to adjust for with the new lot. I will definately keep enough of the old stuff to measure it and pull it apart and have a starting point should I be forced to reload. I bought a box of Federal Premium with 140 grn SGK that I am going to try out this afternoon. the SGK are not a hot new bullet and lack a bit in BC compared to bergers but they are tried and true and if they shoot well I think I could live with them. This 6.5 manbun (creedmore) craze sure has reduced the factory offerings for 260 since i decided to go that route.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Blog Entries


    Personally, I will not shoot any HSM ammo. I put it through my LEO Glock for practice, because the bad rounds that go through I see as real world practice for misfires and such. Too many have jammed on other rifles of mine. The last time I had to go to a gunsmith to remove the round. They paid for the trip, I sent the box back and asked for a refund. They sent another box...

    I would submit to you that your issue is QA problem, that you could try to rectify. I would move on.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  7. #7


    I know that the wages they pay at HSM aren't at the top of the pay scale. Bulk ammo for plinking, yeah. Ammo for accurate shooting, no. mtmuley

  8. #8


    Might also try cleaning the copper from your barrel (if you haven't already) .
    I find "Wipe Out" works really well.

  9. #9


    Thanks guys. I sent HSM an email. I will let you know what they say.
    I did do a through cleaning of the rifle as one of the first steps. I used hoppes #9 followed by Sweets 7.62 until the blue green stopped followed up with a hoppes patch to clean out the ammonia based sweets.

  10. Default

    Funny you posted this. I have a new Christensen Arms Ridgeline and put some HSM 210 Bergers through it this weekend. Gave me about a 6" group at 200 yards while 180gr Accubonds were about 1.5" groups.

    I know the Ridgeline can be sensitive to seating depth so maybe that is my issue but I'm only stuck with the rest of the box, nothing like what you've got to deal with.

    Once you resolve this, Berger Ammo is supposed to be shipping any day now if you want to test a box out when it hits the shelves.

  11. #11


    Why don’t you just start reloading? I know you said you don’t have time, but if you split it up over a couple evenings it isn’t bad. Believe me I don’t have much time either, but by splitting it up over 3 evenings here and there it gets done.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by JBS View Post
    Thanks guys. I sent HSM an email. I will let you know what they say.
    I did do a through cleaning of the rifle as one of the first steps. I used hoppes #9 followed by Sweets 7.62 until the blue green stopped followed up with a hoppes patch to clean out the ammonia based sweets.
    Not a good idea to mix any 2 different types of cleaners. If you want to use 2 different types of cleaners run some patches soaked in rubbing alcohol to neutralize between the two different cleaners.

  13. #13


    Noted. Thanks cowboy.

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