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Berger vld hunting bullets
 Moderated by: Slingshot, Rockydog, klallen, DesertMarine, -6
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 Posted: Fri Jul 29th, 2011 08:45 PM
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shooterbob
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Has anyone used Berger vld hunting bullets.How do they preform on game?Do they shoot well?Have any good loads?I was thinking of the 168 gr or the 175 gr.I will be hunting white tail in nw PA.I will shoot them from a rem 7600 in 30-06.Thanks for any info



 Posted: Sat Jul 30th, 2011 12:09 AM
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stevekoozer
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I shoot quite a few Bergers but have not taken any game with them yet ( sorry ). I will be using them this season for sure for deer in .280 rem. They are a bit fussy to get shooting in a sporting rifle that are mag length challenged for the most part. You have to find what jump works best in your rifle which is distance to the lands from your oal based on where the full caliber bearing surface starts on your selected bullet. With 140 Bergers in my 280 it is 88 thou off the lands.

This is a cut and paste from the Berger website on how to get Bergers to shoot in a hunting rifle. I do not know if I am allowed to do such things here but will give it a go anyway.

Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from VLD bullets in Your Rifle




Background

VLD bullets are designed with a secant ogive. This ogive shape allows bullets to be more efficient in flight (retain more velocity = less drop and wind deflection). While this result is desirable for many rifle shooters the secant ogive on the VLD bullets produces another result in many rifle. It can be difficult to get the VLD to group well (poor accuracy).

For years we encouraged shooters to use a base of cartridge to end of bearing surface OAL (I will use the term COAL to represent this dimension) which allows the VLD to touch the rifling or to be jammed in the rifling. This provided excellent results for many shooters but there were others who did not achieve top performance with the VLD jammed in their rifling. These shooters were left with the belief that the VLD bullets just won’t shoot in their rifle.

Other groups of shooters were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling. Some of these shooters knew that at some point during a target competition they will be asked to remove a live round. With the bullet jammed in the rifling there was a good chance the bullet will stick in the barrel which could result in an action full of powder. This is hard on a shooter during a match.

Yet another group of shooters who were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling are those who feed through magazines or have long throats. Magazine length rounds loaded with VLDs could not touch the lands in most rifles (this is the specific reason that for years we said VLD bullets do not work well in a magazine). When a rifle could be single fed but was chambered with a long throat a loaded round that was as long as possible still would not touch the rifling.

Until recently, shooters who suffered from these realities were believed to be unable to achieve success with VLD bullets. Admittedly, we would receive the occasional report that a rifle shot very well when jumping the VLD bullets but we discounted these reports as anomalies. It was not until the VLD became very popular as a game hunting bullet that we were then able to learn the truth about getting the VLD bullets to shoot well in a large majority of rifles.

After we proved that the Berger VLD bullets are consistently and exceptionally capable of putting game down quickly we started promoting the VLD to hunters. We were nervous at first as we believe the VLD needed to be in the rifling to shoot well and we also knew that most hunters use a magazine and SAMMI chambers. Our ears were wide open as the feedback was received. It was surprising to hear that most shooters described precision results by saying “this is the best my rifle has ever shot.”

We scratched our heads about this for awhile until we started getting feedback from hunters who were competition shooters as well. Many were the same guys who were telling us for years that the VLDs shoot great when jumped. Since a much larger number of shooters were using the VLD bullets with a jump we started comparing all the feedback and have discovered the common characteristics in successful reports which gave us the information needed to get VLD working in your rifle. We were able to relay these characteristics to several shooters who were struggling with VLD bullets. Each shooter reported success after applying our recommendation.

Solution

The following has been verified by numerous shooters in many rifles using bullets of different calibers and weights. It is consistent for all VLD bullets. What has been discovered is that VLD bullets shoot best when loaded to a COAL that puts the bullet in a “sweet spot”. This sweet spot is a band .030 to .040 wide and is located anywhere between jamming the bullets into the lands and .150 jump off the lands.

Note: When discussing jam and jump I am referring to the distance from the area of the bearing surface that engages the rifling and the rifling itself. There are many products that allow you to measure these critical dimensions. Some are better than others. I won’t be going into the methods of measuring jam and jump. If you are not familiar with this aspect of reloading it is critically important that you understand this concept before you attempt this test.

Many reloaders feel (and I tend to agree) that meaningful COAL adjustments are .002 to .005. Every once in a while I might adjust the COAL by .010 but this seems like I am moving the bullet the length of a football field. The only way a shooter will be able to benefit from this situation is to let go of this opinion that more than .010 change is too much (me included).

Trying to find the COAL that puts you in the sweet spot by moving .002 to .010 will take so long the barrel may be worn out by the time you sort it out if you don’t give up first. Since the sweet spot is .030 to .040 wide we recommend that you conduct the following test to find your rifles VLD sweet spot.

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a target competition shooter who does not worry about jamming a bullet:
1. .010 into (touching) the lands (jam) 6 rounds
2. .040 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .080 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .120 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a hunter (pulling a bullet out of the case with your rifling while in the field can be a hunt ending event which must be avoided) or a competition shooter who worries about pulling a bullet during a match:
1. .010 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
2. .050 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .090 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .130 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Shoot 2 (separate) 3 shot groups in fair conditions to see how they group. The remarkable reality of this test is that one of these 4 COALs will outperform the other three by a considerable margin. Once you know which one of these 4 COAL shoots best then you can tweak the COAL +/- .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 VLD bullets very well (even at 100 yards).

Regards,
Eric Stecker
Master Bulletsmith


I can add a litle bit to the above make sure all your cases are trimmed to the same length so you oal's are accurate. Measure each round to make sure your getting the same jump each and every time. It may not be quite as critical for you as you have not said how far you are going to be shooting on average. I had been using 140 grain accubonds but my Berger 140 loads shoot 50% flatter at 300 yards and the two velocities are almost exactly the same. The abonds shoot tighter groups at 100 yards than the Bergers but give up versus the Bergers at 200 and 300 yards. You can send and e mail to Berger to get some starting load data for your powder preference's. Personal opinion in 30-06 you could not go wrong with one of the 4350's H-414/760 or RL-19 with that bullet weight in any 30-06.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 30th, 2011 02:27 AM
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shooterbob
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Thank you stevekoozer,most things i have seen on the vld berger says touching the lands for best accuracy.Using a pump action rifle not possible.Just gonna half to buy some and keep trying thanks again.



 Posted: Mon Aug 1st, 2011 01:51 AM
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DesertMarine
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Haven't used Berger VLD bullets for hunting but did take a deer with JLK VLD, 175 gr in 308 last November.  From what I have read VLD bullets work just about the same when they hit an animal.  I shot a deer at about 150 yds, first shot just below neck on shoulder.  Bullet penetrated bone, turned about 40 degrees, went down and into body cavity and broke up.  All the organs inside were shredded.  Thinking I had missed, I aimed at heart area.  Same thing, bullet penetrated past ribs turned 40 degrees, went thru the body pushing stomach and contents out the other side.  Deer moved about 50 yds from where 1st hit occured.  Bullet was traveling at around 2670fps.  Maybe next year I'll try the 175 gr Berger hunting bullets in 308 or 30-06.  Hopefully I'll draw out for deer and elk.   



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 Posted: Mon Aug 1st, 2011 02:19 AM
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Rockydog
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shooterbob, Never used the VLDs but from what I've read they are a good deer bullet. Just wondering at the motivation for using them at nearly $47 a box vs Hornady Interlocks at $28 a box. I know that bullets are the cheapest part of the hunt but I was wondering if some one in your group has used them etc. or if you had used them in a target application with good results. Might need to take a look myself. RD



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 Posted: Mon Aug 1st, 2011 10:18 PM
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shooterbob
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Desert Marine i like the shredded internals,not sure about the 40 degree turns.Rocky dog i don't know anyone who uses them nor have i used them on targets.I was just wondering about the vld thing berger web site says they penetrate 2 to 3 inches then shed 40 to 85% of it's weight as shrapnel sounds interesting on deer.



 Posted: Mon Aug 1st, 2011 10:24 PM
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DesertMarine
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ShooterBob.  What Berger says about penetration is what happened with the JLK VLD, except for the turn.  What I have read is that the Berger hunting vld's jacket is slightly thicker than the target vld's.  Both Berger vld's and JLK vld's have been used for a few years with good results. 



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 Posted: Mon Aug 1st, 2011 10:29 PM
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woodsman777
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Hi shooterbob

I have been working up loads in my 300 winmag with 185gr vld's  ,phenomenal accuracy 1.25" group @200yrds

I'll be trying them on deer this fall and maybe elk

as far as loads you can e-mail Berger direct for what you want and He's pretty quick about getting load data right back to you :thumbs:


bergerltd@aol.com

Walt Berger
Berger Bullets


Last edited on Mon Aug 1st, 2011 10:30 PM by woodsman777



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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 02:46 AM
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I use the target VLD's in my 300 RUM and I have had very good luck with them. They are running a lot faster than anything you can buy off the shelf but I dont have any problems with critters running off (or limping for that matter). I shoot 155's at 3980 fps and I have never had a deer walk away from that yet.



 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 03:06 AM
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swampshooter
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Blacknight, have you blown any deer in half yet? Your load sounds awesome for deer.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 4th, 2011 12:28 AM
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stevekoozer
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BlackKnight755 wrote:
I use the target VLD's in my 300 RUM and I have had very good luck with them. They are running a lot faster than anything you can buy off the shelf but I dont have any problems with critters running off (or limping for that matter). I shoot 155's at 3980 fps and I have never had a deer walk away from that yet.


Just wondering what powder you are using? and what your barrel length currently is? I could not get close to that with 150's in a 26" 30-378 and that is about 20 grains more boiler room than the 300 ultra. Bitch shot 210 vld's the best though and had the power plant to push them up thanks to Roy's free bore and H-50 BMG all the way. Never got to try the US-869 and now Alliant has a new 50 bmg style powder. Oh well have a 338 ultra now and like it better wee bit bigger bullet plenty flat enough shooting and still a powder pig what's not too like.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 9th, 2011 11:38 PM
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shooterbob
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Thank guys for all the response's the accuracy sounds good.It sounds like they will preform well in game.Desert Marine checked the jlk site about the same price but 25 more bullets sounds very good.Woodsman great groups @200 yrds very encouraging  good luck this fall with the deer&elk hunting.OH yea Desert Marine would the load data be the similar to the berger vld i got the load data from berger .



 Posted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 04:27 AM
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I haven't used the VLDs, but I picked up 150 6mm 80 gr flat base HP at one of the gun shows, the current Berger catalog no longer list them,  a couple of good old boys were getting rid of some loading stuff, I shoot them out of and old round top Sako in .243 Win., with Win. case. IMR 4350 45.0 grs, OACL 3.290, CCI BR2, it wears a thin 24" barrel, factory trigger at 3lbs, 4x12x40mm Leupold AO, with Brown kevlar & glass stock, I can't tell you how many deer and antelope the rifle and load have taken. but its more the a few, I've used it on both whitetails and mule deer, and lope, the daughters used it on mule deer and lope the ex son in law on muleys & whitetails We've never lost a head of game, the kids used more the one shot but it was due to poor first placement on the first shot. All bullets exited, allot were drop at the shot.

I don't worry about how close to the lands the bullet is as long as it feeds and group size. I would if I were loading them one shot at a time, but hunting loads must feed up thur the magazine so you are limited to magazine size.
I sight it in 3" high a 100yds. I am just about out of those Berger's, they will be missed.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 06:55 PM
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458 Shooter
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I have used Berger bullets in my 7mm STW, they kill like lightning, but really messy.



 Posted: Fri Aug 12th, 2011 02:33 PM
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Don Fischer
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I would not even consider a Burger hunting bullet. The mess they are said to make leaves me flat. They make a mess because they come apart. What will you do if your shot is close and the bullet simply fails to penetrate.

Years ago Sierra made some really soft hunting bullet's. I shot a bear with one fairly close and the bullet blew up almost exactly on contact. I did recover it and there was a hole it the front of it's chest about 4" around and less that an inch deep. Everything I have read about Berger bullets keep me away from them. I know a lot of longrange shooter's use them on game but they don't shoot at much less than 600yds. In that distence the bullet's slow enough that they probably will penetrate better. As for the secant ogive, Hornady has been using it for a lot of years.

Your loading for a pump so I doubt you'll be shooting at all that much range. What you need is a bullet that preforms well from close up to maybe 300yds. If I were hu8nting where your hunting with the rifle you have, I'd concentrate on 180gr bullet's actually designed for huntin g the ranges you hunt. The only thing a Berger bullet will give you is a bullet I'd really suspect hitting any animal at any normal range.

Last edited on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 02:37 PM by Don Fischer



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 Posted: Fri Aug 12th, 2011 06:34 PM
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TMan51
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Rockydog wrote:  Just wondering at the motivation for using them at nearly $47 a box vs Hornady Interlocks at $28 a box.
I've used 150/165 Hornady bullets in an '06, flat and boattail base for whitetails, mulies, and antelope, from 50ft to 400yds.

Remington pump rifles are often extremely accurate, but I wonder if you can find much advantage for the extra $20 :confused:



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 Posted: Sat Aug 13th, 2011 10:57 PM
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It will be interesting to see what the results come out like. I hope that when you field dress your game you can see what happens to the insides and let us know on the forum. I am on a course going the opposite direction as I want to minimize meat loss and so have taken to trying bullets that fragment less.

muley guy



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 Posted: Sat Aug 13th, 2011 11:43 PM
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Ernie Bishop
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I use the 130 grain and 140 grain Berger's in 6.5 for pd's through mule deer.  Have a buddy who popped a elk with a 168 grain in 280 Rem.
I plan to use the 300 grain Berger for elk this year in a 338 as well.
I prefer the 130 Berger's to the 140's in 6.5.
I am shooting at 6.5-284 MV's and I love the way the 130's work on antelope and mule deer last year.
I believe the hunting jackets are thinner, than the target bullets.
The hunting bullets are Berger's original VLD, but they were having some problems with bullets blowing up with guys who had rough throats and or who were running them hard, so they came up with a bullet that had a heavier jacket, and that solved the problem for the guys who were running them fast.



 Posted: Sat Nov 5th, 2011 05:24 AM
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Txshooter
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TMan51 wrote: Rockydog wrote:  Just wondering at the motivation for using them at nearly $47 a box vs Hornady Interlocks at $28 a box.
I've used 150/165 Hornady bullets in an '06, flat and boattail base for whitetails, mulies, and antelope, from 50ft to 400yds.

Remington pump rifles are often extremely accurate, but I wonder if you can find much advantage for the extra $20 :confused:



Where did you get the price for the Interlocks Rocky, is that for a box of 50?:confused: The VLDs are cheaper than most premium hunting bullets out there.

Regardless of the cost, these are some of the best hunting bullets i have found. I've taken several whitetails with them, and they have preformed as advertised every single time. They have penetrated tissue and bone upon entry without "exploding upon impact". The entry wound channel was small through the shoulder and rib cage. The bullets seem to fragment once inside the chest cavity as the tissue damage was massive, heart and lungs were unrecognizable. The opposite shoulder can get a little messy, in most cases the bullet did not exit but many fragments could be found just under the skin.

I've taken game from 60 yards to 250 yards using a 243win. with 105gr VLDs, and a 270win. with 140gr VLDs both about 2900fps. For many years I've used Sierra Game Kings, Barnes X, and later TXS. While these are great bullets, excluding neck or head shots, I have never knocked a deer down with a non magnum rifle using them. With the VLDs on the other hand, i have not shot a deer that did not drop instantly. I started using these when my daughter started hunting with me. I didn't care about meat loss, it was more important to me that the deer go down even if the shot placement wasn't perfect, and she hasn't lost one yet.  With careful shot placement it is possible to only minimally damage the front shoulders.

That is the extent of my experience with the VLD. I don't know how they would preform at magnum velocities or on tougher game. I have not used them in any of my magnums yet, though i plan to. Hope this helps.



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