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Thread: Berger VLD; need special die?

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Default Berger VLD; need special die?

    I had a custom rifle built and a recipe for loads made up. Gun is a 300WSM, recipe is for 185gr Berger VLDs. I was going to get my 300WSM dies, but a friend told me that Berger requires a "special die" as they are longer bullets. Anyone heard of this? The maker insists that my friend is full of crapola, as he just uses the standard 300WSM die from RCBS.
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    Member billy jack's Avatar
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    I just got into reloading and am currently reloading for my Model 70 in 300 WSM using 185 Berger VLD hunting bullets. I have a RCBS Rockchucker and dies, have had no issues. The only issues I've read and you probably already know this but, the magazine length determines if you can use Bergers. I have my rounds touching the lands in my barrel, just touching. Out of a couple different bullets the VLD's are the most accurate, look like they will make a great sheep, goat or bou round. My only issues are I have a tight chamber and my reloads are snug when closing my bolt.
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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I use Berger's in the following sizes:

    .204, .277, .284, .308, .338 and have never had any issues with the seater plug hanging up on those bullets.

    The seater plugs in my dies are interchangeable. If yours are you could try using a smaller diameter plug on the Berger if you run into problems. I've heard from others that did it with success when their seater plug was getting hung up.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan22 View Post
    I had a custom rifle built and a recipe for loads made up. Gun is a 300WSM, recipe is for 185gr Berger VLDs. I was going to get my 300WSM dies, but a friend told me that Berger requires a "special die" as they are longer bullets. Anyone heard of this? The maker insists that my friend is full of crapola, as he just uses the standard 300WSM die from RCBS.
    I've not heard of "special dies" for VLDs, but a lot of bullets benefit from specific seating stems. I've long been a Redding fan and a phone call to them will help you get sorted out if there are any issues.

    FWIW, I've loaded various caliber VLDs with standard seating dies and not found a problem yet...
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    I had an issue with my 325WSM when using a Forster seating die it would crush the ballistic tip when trying to seat 200 grain Accubonds. I called Forster and they had me send them the die and a couple bullets. For 7 bucks they modified the plug and I have had no further issues.

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    The gun maker is correct, your friend is wrong. No special die is needed for reloading the VLDs. I have reloaded them out of both Redding and RCBS dies with no problems. I load for 300WM, 300WSM, and 338 Edge with berger VLDs.
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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT_SLDR View Post
    I have reloaded them out of both Redding and RCBS dies with no problems. I load for 338 Edge with berger VLDs.
    Not to steal the thread but I would be interested in your results with the 338 Edge. I assume your using the 300gr Hybrid. I load that Berger in my 338 Lapua to 2750 with outstanding results.

    Drop me a PM when you have time to chat.

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    I've loaded VLD's in 270 & .30 using Redding seating dies and Wilson in-lines with no trouble

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    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...ndard-seaters/

    Don't shoot bergers but found this info on bullet seater(s) for berger bullets.

  10. #10

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    I have understood that you do not want the bullet to be touching the lands because of it building excessive pressure. Billy Jack posted that he had his bullet just touching the lands. Is this safe? The only time that I know you need to do this is when fire forming brass with a reduced load. I am definately not trying to run your buisness and it is a fact that I do not know it all. Some of you with more experience give us your thoughts on this. He said he was new to reloading and I would not want to see anybody get hurt.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    I have understood that you do not want the bullet to be touching the lands because of it building excessive pressure. Billy Jack posted that he had his bullet just touching the lands. Is this safe?
    Touching or jumping, it really doesn't mean safe or unsafe in either case as long as incremental charges were used to come up to the desired performance. However, if a load is max pressure and developed at say .050 off the lands it is assumed to have a rise in pressure if it is loaded touching the lands with that same charge. It's really hard to say for sure without testing equipment. Chronographs can be used to measure velocity but can't directly read pressure.

    I have personally loaded a mid charge and set bullets at .000, .025, .050, .075, .100, .125 off the lands for group testing. One seating depth stands out in accuracy every time. The interesting part is I had higher velocity at .000 and .125 on that cartridge. In most cases higher velocity indicates higher pressure when the same powder is used.

    Some ogive shapes are better suited for loading touching the lands and some don't matter. Jamming the lands can cause issues if you have to unload that round. In some cases the bullet gets stuck in the barrel and the powder dumps into the action and trigger when the case is ejected.

    Hope that helps.

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    You may have to do one or two things. Again MAY. First is polish your seating plug. Easy to do chuck in a drill and hold crocus cloth or similar to smooth it up. Second is to mix up some epoxy place a dab on the seater, lube a bullet and press into the epoxy to get a prefect match for your projectile.
    Usually Berger bullets load rather easy, just have to watch overall length to fit your rifles magazine. I recommend the RCBS dies, but use what you are comfortable with. A good velocity would be right around 2900 to 2950 fps for accuracy.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Chris

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Alrighty....and the responses are:

    From RCBS:
    "A custom seat plug is often needed with these type of bullets with their long ogive.......

    Thank you for choosing RCBS
    Have a great day
    RCBS Tech/LM "


    From Redding:
    "Hi Matt

    Thank you for your interest in Redding Reloading Equipment. I would recommend using Redding's Series A full length die set part number 80223 and adding the Bullet Seating Micrometer part number 09180 for the Berger VLD bullets.

    Here is a link to a list of Redding's Mail Order Dealers: http://www.redding-reloading.com/mail-order-dealers

    Regards
    Chris Fox
    Customer Service


    Redding Reloading Equipment
    1089 Starr Road
    Cortland, NY 13045
    (607) 753-3331
    "

    From Berger:
    "Hi Matthew,

    All new seating dies will work. Some of the very old seating dies the relief hole in the seating stem was not deep enough and the point of the VLD bullet hit the bottom of the relief hole.
    If you plan on becoming a match Shooter Redding makes a seating stem that will fit the exact contour of the VLD ogive and you might want to consider this seating die. For a field rifle all new seating stems are satisfactory.
    If we can be of any additional help feel free to contact us.

    Walt Berger
    Berger Bullets
    Technical Advisor"

    You'd have thought that RCBS would know that theirs "would work" or at least point you to one of their sets that would, or mention that they can have it fit for your bullet. Morons.

    Anyways, going the Redding way. You can see from the responses that they took a bit of time to respond with good information.
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    talking generally about dies and die companies, when I began the learning curve on the nuances of loading WSM cartridges I went through Hornady, RCBS and now I'm a "Redding man" for good - Not only do they have, IMO, a better product but they seem to know what they are talking about and don't leave me sitting there feeling like a dumb-sh1t at the end of an email or phone call AND they have a bigger catalogue ! (maybe bigger IS better)

  15. #15

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    I use RCBS dies for my 308 and I load only Bergers for that rifle---very accurate. I have never had any issues with the RCBS dies seating the 168 grain VLD Berger. Try it, if you have issues then go from there but I have had no issues.

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