Originally Posted by bigngreen
I always check the tip to make dang sure it's open, use a light or needle to make sure there is no obstruction, that hole being open is critical function!!! I've seen exactly one Berger bullet that was obstructed in the thousands we've shot but we did find it and removed it from out hunting line up.
I will add a comment on my personal experience with sealed Berger VLD bullet tips and how I blundered into this finding. Eric may scold me for this post because he advises against messing with their bullet tips.
Anyhow, I purchased the Meplat Uniforming tool from Kevin Cram. It's a tool that precisely trims the Meplat flat on the VLDs. In addition, Kevin sells a hollow-pointing tool that can be used after the meplats have been trimmed to a uniform length. Here's a quick link to photos of the tools and bullets that have been meplat unifomed and hollow-pointed: Montour County Rifles
After this link opens, left click on the Meplat Uniforming Tool
tab in the left hand column of the web page.
So I did this with about 200 of the 168 gr .284 VLDs and about 250 of the 210 gr .308 VLDs. During this process, I encountered at least 6 bullets, and I believe it was 7 bullets, with the tip of the jackets completely closed in - sealed - no hole in the tip of the jacket. This is easier to see after the meplats has been trimmed back ever so slightly, but the real confirmation comes when using Kevin Cram's hollow-pointing tool after the tips have been squared off. The leading tip of the hollow-pointing tool never did reach down into the hollow cavity in front of the lead core of these seven bullets.
This led me to suspect that this could be a reason for the occasional VLD failing to expand on game. I began this meplat uniforming and hollow-pointing venture in the effort in improve the likelihood that my VLDs would be even more likely to expand on each and every impact on game, after I had an experience where a 210 VLD didn't expand on the dall ram.
So for what it's worth, I encountered approximately 7 VLD bullets out of approximately 450 that I meplat uniformed and hollow-pointed - with the tips of the bullets completely sealed off. The jacket material was pinched totally together at the tip, and extending down into the tip at least the full length of the drill tip on the Kevin Cram hollow-pointing tool (a minimum of about 3/32" and more likely 1/8"). Berger doesn't recommend or encourage their customers to mess with the tips of their bullets that will be used for hunting. But I have my suspicions about the closed tips being a source of the non-expanders, and I will personally sort those few bullets out from now on and use them for sighting in or load development, rather than on game animals.