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How to Load a Hybrid Bullet

How to Load a Hybrid Bullet
  • How to Load a Hybrid Bullet

by: Phil Hoham

Getting your rifle to shoot good groups with a Berger Hybrid bullet is easy! After all, that is why hybrid bullets were designed in the first place. These bullets boast a high BC, but are still relatively easy to tune.


We get calls on the tech support line and support emails all the time from shooters that try to use the same bullet seating depth testing procedures on our Hybrid bullets as our VLD.

The Berger Hybrid bullets have both the VLD (secant) and Standard (tangent) ogives incorporated into the nose design. This makes these bullets very tolerant of jump in most cases. As a result. I suggest that you start your bullet seating depth testing with the Berger Hybrid Target and Elite Hunter bullets at .015 off the lands. Then work back into the cartridge case in .015 increments. Once you find your bullet seating depth accuracy node and want to see if you can “tweak” more accuracy out of it. Test at .002 to either side of that bullet seating depth. Between .015 to .060 off the lands is where your bullet seating depth accuracy node is usually found. There are always exceptions to any rule though. So if your bullet seating depth accuracy node is not found going away from the lands. You may want to start at .015 off the lands again and work towards the lands in .002 to .003 increments.

Information on the effects of bullet seating depth can be found here.

When doing bullet seating depth testing your moves are always based on the CBTO (Cartridge Base to Ogive) distance to the lands! Never use the COAL ( Cartridge Over All Length)! This measurement is only used in regards to cartridges that are loaded to magazine length.

What you need to load a Hybrid bullet

Before we begin, you will need the following:

  1. To be familiar with how to reload.
  2. To know what Cartridge Base to Ogive means.
  3. To know what Jamming a bullet and Jumping a bullet means.
  4. A good CBTO measurement tool, like a set of calipers and a Sinclair Bullet Comparator.
  5. A good reloading press and the tools to reload, along with reloading dies that have VLD seating stems.
  6. Reloading components for 50 rounds of ammo (24 for initial load development, the rest for tweaking your load).
  7. The minimum powder charge from the load data for the given bullet, found either in our Reloading Manual or by contacting our Tech Team. You will use this powder charge for all seating depth testing.

Loading a Hybrid for optimum precision

Load 24 rounds at the following Cartridge Base to Ogive lengths.

  1. .015″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
  2. .030″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
  3. .045″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
  4. .060″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Shoot 2 (separate) 3 shot groups in fair conditions to see how they group. One test should outperform the other three. Once you know which one of these 4 CBTO shoots best, then you can tweak the CBTO +/- .002 or .005. Taking the time to set this test up will pay off when you find that your rifle is capable of shooting the Hybrid bullets very well (even at 100 yards).

A final word from our Chief Ballistician, Bryan Litz, on loading Hybrid bullets


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