Re: 7rem mag berger vld 168 vs 180
I shot both for around a year each out of my 7 RM, rem 700 BDL 1 in 9.25" twist. It shot them both great with RL-22, win cases, Fed 215 primers, seated right at the lands. Used them both on deer with mixed results. Wont use either again.
The 168g at 2950fps blew up on a bucks shoulder at 618 yards. He was definately not out of it and I had to shoot him again in the neck to finish him off. My friend used my rifle/load the same hunt and shot his buck about 200 yards behind the shoulder. It exited leaving a good 2" hole and the deer went 10 feet and fell over dead. That was the only good performance I saw from them. It led me to believe the 168g was to fragile, so I moved on to the 180g thinking they would have less expansion, but obviously do enough to get the job done. The 180g at 2825fps pinholed through the shoulder on a buck at 100 yards. He stood there like nohthing happened and I shot him a 2nd time behind the shoulder. A few seconds later he tipped over dead. Both exits were pinsize holes and minimal internal damage was observed.
Both bullets are very accurate though and do a great job out to 1K. Walt specifically told me in an e-mail that the 168g is more then enough from the 7 mag and that the 180g was a little much, and better suited to the bigger 7's. I think he is right.
Either way, I'm going back to a plastic tip bullet for LR such as an AB, NBT, or SST. They've given me more predictable on game performance over the years then the VLD's and AMAX's have.