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Any experience hunting with Berger VLDs?

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  • Any experience hunting with Berger VLDs?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18

    I'm sure several have watched this video of the woman shooting an elk at 688 yards with a .243/VLD. A .243! It makes me wonder if the VLD bullets are that good? When researched the VLDs seem to devastate game. Can we now hunt elk effectively with a .243?

    Any here hunt with them Bergers? How do they really perform on Moose and Bears? Do we finally have a "Magic" hunting bullet?

  • #2
    This is a subject where the search function will be your friend. Some love them; some hate them. I lean towards the former, though I've not used them on moose or bears.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
      This is a subject where the search function will be your friend. Some love them; some hate them. I lean towards the former, though I've not used them on moose or bears.
      I only did one search here for Berger VLD and came up with nothing. I'll look some more. When I read elsewhere on the VLDs, they sound like Magic. A target bullet that accidently kills big game like lightning. In the video where the 243 VLD hits that elk way out yonder, that elk drops instantly. 688 yards with a 243! Would that have happened with a conventional 243 bullet? What about an X style? Because then, why isn't the 243 considered a great elk gun? Especially within closer ranges? Or did that elk drop so quick because that little VLD scrambled things up?

      In the first VLD article I read, I think by Barness testing them in New Zealand, the 257 calibers killed Staggs as quickly as Mag/30s! Out there too! Plus every gun shot them sub MOA! Almost sounds too good to be true and why I ask you no-nonsense AK hunters on their effectiveness.

      With some loving them and others hating them, that might indicate unreliability? But if they do work all the time, I could see where other bullet manufacturers might hate them and nothing but new Berger style bullets will be in our future.

      If VLDs really work and scramble the insides of big game, then perhaps one can step down to a much smaller round? IE- why shoot a 300 Win with conventional bullets, when a 25-06 with VLDs will do the same or possibly better job?

      That's what I want to find out... Have VLD bullets turned the hunting tables upside down? If so, that might upset many stuck in their ways. On the other hand, this could all be great marketing B.S.?

      Has anyone here shot a moose or even a black bear with a VLD? What caliber and how did the moose react? Any different than with other style hunting bullets?

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      • #4
        The VLD's that have taken the long range hunting world by storm are remarkably accurate, even more so than the coveted Accubonds loved by many. They are extremely devastating to game and often times render entire quarters of smaller deer sized animals inedible due to massive wound channel from bullet fragments. VLD's are constructed from thin wall J4 jackets. The shot placement suggested and utilized is a high shoulder shot effectively anchoring an animal to the earth. They are great for trophy hunting and lousy for the consideration acquiring the most meat from an animal.
        I have used them on two hunts, the first was a average size pronghorn in Colorado that wasted the front 1/3 of the animal, I used a 87gr .24 cal VLD at 3350 fps.mv broadside at 374 yards, it made pure goo out of it. The second and final time wanting to give it retribution from previous hunt was magnificent bull elk in Arizona. I had similar results using a 130gr 6.5 cal VLD at 3150 fps.mv at 290 yards. The entire front quarters in and out were destroyed. The friend with me said it looked like I hit it with 12 gauge point blank with buck shot. I have used 750gr Amax out of my .50 cal do far less damage at similar ranges. I personally like Barnes products and have recently received several boxes of Accubonds in several calibers for evaluation and consideration.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the great information. It sure sounds like the VLDs are deadly- even in smaller calibers on bigger game. Wow, but such meat wastage? I do believe you but it is funny how I've read the exact opposite, where it was stated that the VLSs cause less meat damage- especially with lung shots? Your experience is good to know.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cabochris View Post
            I only did one search here for Berger VLD and came up with nothing. I'll look some more. When I read elsewhere on the VLDs, they sound like Magic.
            There have always been more than a little bit of "snake oil" in all advertising. There is no magic in cartridges or calibers or bullets, but there are advantages and disadvantages and it's wise to understand the differences. VLD (Very Low Drag) bullets allow more accurate shot placement at longer ranges. That is a distinct advantage. A proper understanding of anatomy combined with precisely placed shots regularly kill animals quickly at all ranges. All else (cartridge, caliber, bullet, etc.) is mostly incidental when combined with a properly executed shot. If you can do that, VLDs may help you do it further and they will kill effectively when placed properly.

            As a side note, there are lots of VLD manufacturers, Berger is but one. A hunting partner used a 155 grain Scenar (a Lapua VLD) from his .308 Winchester to take a very nice brown bear this past spring. I can't say it was more or less effective than another bullet would have been, but I can say that bear is very dead. I'd use that combination on moose and bears without hesitation.
            Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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            • #7
              Please read again. "High shoulder shots". I'm not sure where you are aquiring your information? Guides in many of the western states love VLDs for "qualified and properly equipped" clients. They can often book several more clients per season when any critter they want within 1000+ yards seals the deal. I did my own R&D, give em a shot and you be the judge. VLD's are target projectile with a solid track record and many high powered shooting disciplines, however they are NOT a worthy hunting bullet IMO.
              Also run a metal detector over the quarters of any ungulate you smack with one and will find lead particles everywhere.
              Good luck and happy hunting.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by northwoods View Post
                Please read again. "High shoulder shots". I'm not sure where you are aquiring your information? Guides in many of the western states love VLDs for "qualified and properly equipped" clients. They can often book several more clients per season when any critter they want within 1000+ yards seals the deal. I did my own R&D, give em a shot and you be the judge. VLD's are target projectile with a solid track record and many high powered shooting disciplines, however they are NOT a worthy hunting bullet IMO.
                Also run a metal detector over the quarters of any ungulate you smack with one and will find lead particles everywhere.
                Good luck and happy hunting.
                This is exactly why I'm researching VLDs by Berger. There seems to be so much contradiction. But the more I research I'm starting to think the VLDs are close to magic on big game. I've never been one for long range game sniping but have to admit obviously with todays technology it's possible. I just read another VLD article where a hunter shot a magnificent bull elk at 1,100 yards using a 168 grain VLD in 7 Remington Magnum.

                Over and over I read and seemingly no matter which caliber, VLDs drop game fast- despite defying conventional bullet wisdom of penetration and holding together. I've always favored bigger holes . I like the 338 Win because in my experience it really hammers big game. I feel it has the perfect balance of speed, bullet design/weight to get the job done reliably- more often. Especially with the 210 and 250 Noslers it thumps game, and seems to work even better on elk than my 375 did. The 375 may actually be too much?

                This is why I'm fascinated with the VLDs. What if VLD technology is so good, I no longer need my 338? I've always liked the 7 Mag and read the 168 gr VLD is devastating on big game. The big 7 is so easy to shoot, easy on the shoulder for precise shot placement. If the 7 MM can now easily drop a Moose with 1 shot, why shoot the 338?

                I'm not saying this is so, I'm questioning if this is so? With no VLD experience this is foggy. But just like few could argue X style bullets increased killing power of lesser calibers... I just have to wonder if VLDs bring us to the next level in even better killing power? This is what I can't get out of my head... Just about any caliber VLD enters game making a pinhole. Even through bone. After a few more inches it expands/explodes violently scrambling the insides and with well placed shots, big game just drops! I get the impression a 243 VLD placed right would drop a moose fast and if that is true, then killing power has taken a huge step forward.

                If this is so then I as an ethical hunter would be open to using VLDs while stepping down in caliber for ease of better shot placement. If VLDs are hype, well that's that. I guess the only real way for me to find out is use them on game and I may just have to dig out my 7MM for elk this fall. I know the 7 Mag kills elk with conventional bullets. But my expectations with a 168 VLD 7MM is a kill as quick as with my 338 210 Nosler.

                One has to admit... hunting with a target bullet seems odd and goes against the grain- but what if the VLDs are more accurate and do kill better? That's what I want to find out and would love to hear from those who have shot moose with VLDs. Did it still take 2 minutes for moose to die or was the VLD more devastating?

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                • #9
                  Then just use ballistic tips if you want maximum carnage and be done with it.

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                  • #10
                    I used the berger VLD's on my caribou. Shot placement is everything if you don't want to damage meat. I hit the front shoulder and destroyed the top half of it. It dropped it like a rock, but it got back up after a few minutes. The second shot was further back and hit the ribs and the lungs. It went strait thru both lungs and the ribs and dropped it fast. I am still undecided at this time if I will continue to use them, I don't like the meat damage, but they are very accurate.

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                    • #11
                      They are very accurate bullets.... and very soft unless you're plugging critters in the next zip code where they've slowed down considerably.

                      A 100 yd shot (which is still very typical in AK) usually results in giant gaping wounds, ruined meat and potentially lost critters- no thanks.
                      "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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                      • #12
                        Like anything else shot placement is the key. I've used them on whitetails and really liked them in my 25-06 and 243. Not all rifles will like them, mine have enough barrel twist to stabilize them so I'll shoot them when I can find them. My 7rem mag really likes the 168gr have yet to kill anything big with them, if my luck changes with bear or moose I'll be sure to take plenty of pics. Far as I know hsm is the only company that sells factory ammo loaded with these bullets. Give them a try there's always someone building a better mouse trap, if your gun likes them and you won't be disappointed with the results on game.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hodgeman View Post
                          They are very accurate bullets.... and very soft unless you're plugging critters in the next zip code where they've slowed down considerably.

                          A 100 yd shot (which is still very typical in AK) usually results in giant gaping wounds, ruined meat and potentially lost critters- no thanks.
                          Yes a great long range bullet but as with any long range hunting bullet not very good at close range unless you down-load. So they are great for say 7mm08 at sheep/goat ranges, great in magnums at 400 plus yards but for that 75-100 yard shot you better jack in a round with a reduced charge or another tougher bullet because they will waste a lot of your critter.
                          Andy
                          On the web= C-lazy-F.co
                          Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
                          Call/Text 602-315-2406
                          Phoenix Arizona

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ADfields View Post
                            ...but for that 75-100 yard shot you better jack in a round with a reduced charge or another tougher bullet because they will waste a lot of your critter.
                            Yeah. A bud of mine is real starry-eyed about long range shooting, and he's spent the money on gear and put in the practice to get good at it. But he calls them JBB's. Jello Bag Bullets, as in what happens to the front end of a critter when you use them at shorter ranges.

                            He goes the other way in his rifle loading strategy. Keeps better rounds for inside 400 yards in his rifle, but jacks in the JBB's when offered a long range shot. Lots of time for that with the long range, but less so for a bullet change with close opportunities.
                            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                            Merle Haggard

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by northwoods View Post
                              Then just use ballistic tips if you want maximum carnage and be done with it.
                              VLDs are being sold as more than carnage... a new discovery where accurate target bullets cause lightning kills by causing massive internal damage- even when shot through bone, while causing LESS meat damage than other bullets. NOT MY WORDS. But I sure want to find out if this is true because that would mean quicker and ethical kills- even using smaller cartridges because of bullet technology. After reading the New Zealand report, I was impressed.

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