Re: Pushing Berger 7mm Berger 168s or 180s??
The load I was using in my 7mm RUM, was 99.5 gr. of US 869 over a Fed 215M topped off with a standard 180 Berger VLD. The load was giving me an average velocity of 3358 in warm temps. Accuracy was outstanding and EVERY bullet fired reached it's intended target with not one single bullet blowup!
Barrel was a 30" pac-nor supermatch with a 1/9" twist.
I recently sold the rifle. Accuracy in this rifle was in the .25-.5 range. I know I might catch some flack about this, but the main reason I sold the rifle is because I was unhappy with bullet performance. I shot 7 whitetails this year from a distance of 75 to 533 yds. Every deer that was shot through the lungs ran at least 25-75 yards with little blood. The two deer that had pass throughs.... penciled through. the Hole going in was the same as the one going out with little damage to the deers internals. If I hit ANY bone at all the bullet was completely destroyed and the deer still ran. Thats fine and too be expected with lung shots at close range.
The last deer that i shot with the rifle was in KY. A nice 8 pt. came out in the field (approx 175 yds.) following a doe through some tall sage grass. When the deer stopped I put a high shoulder shot on him and he fell right there, but I could not see him due to the tall grass. I continued to sit for around an hour and fifteen minutes until dusk. When I walked out to get the buck he was still very much alive. Unable to go anywhere, but still alive. Bullet hit 3/4 the way up right in his shoulder. I ended up sticking him behind the shoulder with my hunting knife to finish him off. The deer weighed 255 lbs. on the hoof. Bullet completely destroyed the bucks front left shoulder and obviously did damage to his spinal cord, but did not get enough penetration to shut down the front top of the lungs. It's one of those things that I wouldn't believe unless I experienced it myself.
This is on a whitetail! Not a Bull Elk, which I would be very hesitent to shoot with this bullet
I know that these VLD bullets are meant for extremely long range shooting, and I believe if you slowed them down to around 2800-2900 fps they would perform alot better on game.
The fact of the matter is......each of us can practise to perfect our skills to be able to take game at extremely long ranges. When hunting, we have to make the shot where the game presents itself....close or far.
From my experiences this past season the berger 180 @ 3350 isn't what I want to shoot game with under 500 yds. despite what anyone watching the "BEST OF THE WEST" might say
NRA Life Member