So, I just posted a thread on the hunting forum about my hunt this past week in Nebraska. I wanted to do a little more detailed analysis for my first experience shooting Berger 168 gr hunting VLD's. I was hoping to get a longer shot than I did over the week, but the weather just did not cooperate.
First, let me start with the gun and the load. I am shooting a stock Remington SPS in 7 RM with a Huskemaw
5-20 Blue Diamond scope. The gun does have a n ASI Maxi Brake on it.
The loads are 168 gr Berger hunting VLD's over 65.5 grains of H1000, and they are seated .010 off the lands. I am using Winchester brass and Winchester magnum large rifle primers. The MV for this load is low at only 2875fps, but I decided to use it because they shoot so well out of my gun.
Okay, now on to the hunting. I shot three large, dry, mule deer does during the Nebraska rifle season. The first doe was shot at 218 yards, and she was absolutely broadside to me. The shot was through the ribs, and when shot the doe spun around and went for 10 yards before falling over dead. Upon examination I could not find the entrance hole, but the exit hole was more than golf ball size, as you will see from the pictures in a minute.
Doe number 2 was shot at 401 yards. She was quartered toward me, but I felt comfortable with the shot because there was very little wind. I shot her through the shoulder on my side, and the bullet was recovered just under the hide on the far side between the second and third ribs. The remains of the bullet weighed in at 48.5 grains, with very little mushrooming. Actually, what was left of the bullet looks to have been closed in a pair of vice grips. This doe dropped immediately, and after a few kick on the ground was dead.
Doe number 3 was shot at 234 yards. She was quartered away pretty hard, but I was able to put the bullet between the 1st and 2nd rib on my side. The bullet did not exit the deer, but I did not find what was left of the bullet. There was a channel into the opposite shoulder, but the bullet was not there when I boned the deer out. My only conclusion was that the bullet penetrated, but was then pulled back into the body cavity of the doe by the elasticity of the muscle/tendon in the shoulder, and that I then pulled the round out while gutting the deer. This doe jumped a fence and ran 30 yards before succumbing to her wound.
I will say that I was extremely impressed with the lethality of these bullets. I will let you look the pictures over and decide for yourself if they might be a good match for you, but I will continue to use them exclusively in my 7 RM. I am hopeful that the weather conditions will be better during the late rifle season so I can have the opportunity to stretch them out a bit further than I did.
Pictures #1,2, 4 and 5 are from the doe shot at 401 yards. The devastation to the lungs, heart, and liver are ridiculous! The bullet was recovered just under the hide.
Picture #6 is the "exit" on doe number 3. You can clearly see the damage and clotting through the ribs and into the shoulder, but I never did find the bullet? It really bothers me a bit that it made a channel into the inside of the shoulder, yet I did not recover anything????
Picture #3 is the exit wound on doe number 1. Plenty happy with that.