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Any experience hunting with Berger VLDs?

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  • #16
    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.
    I wonder why in the New Zealand report and elsewhere was the claim of little meat damage? Yet others report the exact opposite? Something is not right here. If VLDs ruin lots of meat then for me they are useless!

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    • #17
      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, that's exactly what one would think using a target bullet, but the New Zealand article by Barness, seems to describe something different and unexpected. Please describe your experience using VLDs. Which calibers caused the giant gaping wounds/meat damage? From what I've read the VLDs create an pinhole entrance- sometimes difficult to find. You say gaping wounds- perhaps some caliber VLDs work great and others fail? This might explain your experience of meat destruction, while others say little?

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      • #18
        Other than trying VLDs myself, I think I'll contact Berger and ask how they recommend their bullets be used. I'll also will ask them about excessive meat damage, and when that might occur. If they respond I'll post it here.

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        • #19
          VLD's are designed to hunt at long ranges, and that in my opinion is over 400 yards. Every other bullet in the world will do fine inside of that range and some will do better. However, many say the Berger bullet does not do well at close ranges. The nod goes to every other bullet inside of 400 yards as a consensus. You don't need a VLD bullet with the increased BC to hunt under 400 yards, do the math. They also don't regularly fit into standard magazines. So, they are specialized bullets for long range. If you are a long range hunter, maybe consider them. If you are shooting a 35 Whelen then not so much. I looked into the cutting edge bullets for a while and would consider those if I was going to stretch it out a bit. I tried the VLD for a while in my RUM, but opted for a monolithic bullet instead to stay together a closer ranges.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Cabochris View Post
            ...New Zealand....
            There's a big clue right there.

            You're not required to recover ANY meat in New Zealand, and in fact it's unusual for anyone to take home so much as a forkful, much less even dress the animals. Take the cape and skull and you're done. You'll hear one term down there: Big Heads. You'll never hear Great Steaks.

            I bet the "little meat damage" reports are based on entrance and exit holes only.
            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
            Merle Haggard

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Cabochris View Post
              Yes, that's exactly what one would think using a target bullet, but the New Zealand article by Barness, seems to describe something different and unexpected. Please describe your experience using VLDs. Which calibers caused the giant gaping wounds/meat damage? From what I've read the VLDs create an pinhole entrance- sometimes difficult to find. You say gaping wounds- perhaps some caliber VLDs work great and others fail? This might explain your experience of meat destruction, while others say little?
              A buddy's 168gr VLD in a .300RUM.... caribou shot in the onside shoulder at 275ish.... total wreck of the front end. Not sure we recovered more than a couple pounds of meat- jellied most of the neck, shoulder and ribcage. Bullet fragments in everything. Hit later switched to 150gr Sciroccos and they weren't much better.

              I stayed away from high speeds and soft bullets after that. Similar subsequent shots with my .300WSM and 180ABs had comparatively little damage- some meat to trim near the entrance and exits- especially if you hit bone but not nearly so much meat ruined.
              "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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              • #22
                Makes very little since to me why someone would use a bullet designed for long large target shooting, to use it for game. But to each their own. Good luck in all your carnage.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.

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                • #23
                  Another issue with them I see is there are "target" and "hunting" Burger VLD but most don't seem to know that and they look the same . . .
                  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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                  • #24
                    I did receive a response from Berger. I've also read everything on their website. I still do not know what to think. I do embrace technology when good. When I read their success stories online, their bullets sound great. They've even designed a new hunting bullet- similar to their VLD, but better suited for the average hunting rifle.

                    I'm more interested in the killing effectiveness of their bullets more so than long range ability. Because everything I read indicates i.e. a 30-06 shooting a 185 VLD should drop a moose as quickly as my 338 shooting 210/250 NPs, because of the way they explode the insides? That's what I want to know- Has Berger upped the killing effectiveness of lesser cartridges?

                    I also want to know if the VLD types regularly ruin excessive meat/blow up upon hitting game. Some here say yes to both. So far Berger responded that any such failures are due to poor shot placement. So again I asked Berger... are your bullets just an alternative, or do they kill better and ... do your bullets cause excessive meat damage?

                    I suspect the only way I'll find out is to try them. Perhaps I should shoot the Berger 185 in my 300 Win on bear, deer and elk this fall? If there will be excessive meat damage, I suspect the 300 would bring it out. But then there is shot placement too... chest or shoulder... where one might cause more meat damage than the other?

                    Funny, while I'm researching Hi-Tech VLDs I've come across several gleaming reports on how well the simple Federal Fusion 180 in 300 Win Mag does on deer, elk and bear. It's supposed to be a deer bullet but seems to work better on bigger game. Plus most 300s shoot it sub MOA. Very interesting. The VLDs are kind of future technology and the Fusions sort of a more basic conventional approach.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
                      Makes very little since to me why someone would use a bullet designed for long large target shooting, to use it for game. But to each their own. Good luck in all your carnage.


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      Funny- Berger says many are confused about their bullets. 1- they make target bullets made for punching paper and 2- they make hunting bullets for hunting that look like target bullets. Perhaps those experiencing "carnage" are using the WRONG bullet? A very realistic possibility... because my research shows some say there's lots of meat damage and others who say very little meat damage? Why the discrepancy?

                      Yes it just occurred to me that perhaps those experiencing excessive meat damage are using Berger TARGET bullets by mistake instead of Berger Hunting bullets. Obviously using their target bullets might cause all the meat damage. This is starting to make sense and I'm feeling much better about trying the Berger Hunting bullets.

                      Hoyt-Hunter, thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ADfields View Post
                        Another issue with them I see is there are "target" and "hunting" Burger VLD but most don't seem to know that and they look the same . . .
                        Yes- perhaps this explains why some experience such excessive meat damage and others little to zero meat damage? Perhaps some are loading the wrong bullet and loading target bullets? Berger said people had problems understanding their bullets.

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                        • #27
                          VLD's are not some "high tech" wonder bullet. They are a merely a hybrid ogive projectile that is very concentric and uniform. I am amused at your willingness to go where others have gone before, seems like talking to my kids when they were teenagers.....
                          Best of luck.

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                          • #28
                            Skip the headache. Look at who is bashing the other premiums like an A-Frame, Partition and TSX for game stopping reliable expansion bullets. You will find a few threads. Look at who is questioning the Berger bullets for ruining game meat. Most everybody. If you are looking for a consensus, you have it. They explode on game but are lights out accurate if you get them just right in a long range gun.

                            If your goal is to stop game and not lose meat, then the answer may be the other way with low tech. Big slow bullets. You suffer long range with them in theory. You get a big hole with minimal blood shot meat. Easy for the bullets to stay together but expand reliably. Food for thought.

                            I don't want to bash the VLD type bullets, they are neat. My two long range rifles are set up to shoot them with longer magazines. I just found the TTSX to shoot sub MOA, so I use them. Right now I am a 300-400 yard guy with ability and equipment. Actually 100-200 at present due to injury, but that will change. No need for them. On day I might use them again if I stretch it out a bit, but I will have to be super impressed with their accuracy to give up the other premium bullets.

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                            • #29
                              Sounds like they really work well on deer sized animals and for lung shots on bigger animals. Do they make them in 5.56? If so, then lets get a few million of them loaded up in the magazines of our nations military. I'm feeling very patriotic today.

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                              • #30
                                MK 262 Mod 1. They have been in service for a while now. Black Hills manufactures them for our military. The exact ammo is available for civilians too. They are 77gr SMK . Interestingly enough Sierra beat out Nosler and Berger during trials.

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