As the person who wrote the response to the original Barnes article I feel compelled to respond again even though the previous posts have addressed this matter well. I'll attempt to bring something original to the discussion.
For 2 decades I have watched much information be dispensed that is either incorrect or blatantly misleading. Little else gets me as frustrated as those who communicate misinformation as fact. It is my sincere hope that Thad and those at Barnes who fact checked his work just don't know any better. It would be a shame to think that this misinformation is being dispensed with a deliberate intent to mislead.
There are so many examples of misinformation in the latest Barnes article that I suggest the only way to sort it out thoroughly is to have Thad make these comments on this (or any) public forum. This will allow those who know better to debate Thad's claims with him directly.
Having said that and knowing it is unlikely that Thad will join us in this discussion, it is important for everyone to understand that Berger Bullets is genuinely committed to enhancing the shooting experience. We believe very strongly that a science based approach is the only way for us to clear the fog that has settled over the shooting sports thereby enhancing the shooting experience. BC is not
just a “magical” BC value
a measure of the bullets performance in flight.
There was an article recently in Precision Shooting (
I believe) which compares the published BC of many bullet brands with an accurately measured BC. I do not have the article in front of me so if I misstate anything please correct me. If I recall clearly Berger consistently had the closest published BC numbers to their measured BC numbers. More importantly the author provided accurate and not magical
BC numbers. Many of you know that Bryan has also done this in his book Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting
The author (I apologize for not recalling his name) of the PS
article is able to calculate accurate BC data. Bryan is also able to calculate accurate BC data. Those who properly test the BC numbers generated by both these men will find them accurate to within a very small percentage. Why can't Barnes (and other bullet makers) do the same?
Here is the answer. The reason why BC numbers seem to be magical to some was touched on in Thad's latest article. He relayed that:
Barnes Ballistics Lab employees and anyone who has fired large numbers of BC tests understand that, even when shooting indoors under strictly controlled conditions, you’re darned lucky if you can shoot the same bullets from year to year and keep the numbers within five percent
Remember that BC is a numerical value of the flight performance of a given bullet compared to a standard. It is not magical, subjective or a reference point. The only way a BC number can be different for the same bullet fired at a different time is if you do not have control over the testing process AND/OR you do not have control over the dimensions of the bullets.
(Note: To stay on topic I won't go into the potential inaccuracies of using G1 instead of G7 BCs for long range bullets. Averaged G1 BCs can be measured accurately even though using a G7 BC is more applicable and less likley to produce trajectory calculation inaccuracies.)
So the truth is that this "fog" as I call it or this "magical" BC data as Thad calls it is the direct result of a lack of control over either the testing process or the manufacturing process or both. Bullet manufactures have forced onto the shooters the concept of using a "magical" BC as a reference because this is easier than it is to gain and maintain control of their testing and/or manufacturing processes.
This fact compels me to wonder what else has been forced onto shooters due to the fact that it is easier to make the shooters accept what they are given. Publishing only G1 BCs for long range bullets instead of G7 BCs is one great example. I also believe that high weight retention and deep penetration being required to kill efficiently may also be on this list since our bullets are field proven
to kill very quickly (in spite of what the
protocol the FBI requires of handgun bullets
I refer to Thad's comment about FBI protocol on handgun bullets because this was one of the more rediculous comments. I know that it is suggested that Bergers are not good for close range. I suggest that those who believe this without having tested them read the article at this link:
The article is (among other things) a reporting of what happened during a field test of 30 animals shot in New Zealand from 20 to 531 yards. You can read for yourself (if you haven't seen this already) what John Barsness observed when Berger Hunting VLDs were used at "short" range on animals of various sizes.
I'll make my case on the concept that deep penetrating and high weight retaining bullets have been forced on hunters as being more effectively lethal. I suggest that the most important measure of a hunting bullet is the bullets ability to deliver an animal to death as quickly as possible after impact. Bullets that do this very quickly are in my opinion more effectively lethal than bullets that take longer to achieve this goal.
Many hunters tell me that they like the deep penetrating and high weight retaining bullets because they need
an exit hole. They insist that this exit hole is necessary to allow for blood to leave a trail so that the animal can be tracked and found. If this is the desired result achieved by using the deep penetrating and high weight retaining bullets then this strongly suggests that the animal takes longer to die when these bullets are used. If it is true that animals shot with deep penetrating and high weight retaining bullets take longer to die then these bullets are less effectively lethal. If they are less effectively lethal (I suggest they are) then the idea that this type of bullet is a better killing
bullet than those bullets that perform like Bergers is wrong.
They may in some situations be a better meat saving bullet but they are not a better killing bullet. Also keep in mind that the longer an animal takes to die the more adrenaline is pumped into the meat. Hunters may consider that getting less meat from an animal that is killed quickly might be better meat than a larger amount of meat taken from an animal that took longer to die.
Getting back to which bullet is more effectively lethal, why would a hunter need a blood trail if the animal is within yards of where it was hit because it died quickly after impact? (Bergers can produce exit holes but this is not consistent especially in larger bodied game)
I'll stop now and let everyone digest what I've said so far. I thought this subject was a dead issue but I am willing and able to continue the discussion.