Re: berger vld or barnes for long range
I shot Barnes bullets for a lot of years believing they were the best combination for meat loss and lethality until I got a chance to hunt a bunch of elk that I could observe every hit and watch it's affects, no flying through timber or cover just open field where you see everything. I came so close to loosing a couple elk because I believed the Barnes bullet was the be all end all of bullets that it made me realize that some of the shots on elk in the mountains that I though were clean misses were likely not, I have a very low tolerance for not recovering a hit animal and I was forced to look for better bullets.
The biggest eye opener for me was when I started shooting Berger, I'd find very little blood shot which as a meat processor rates high on my list of what I want to see, a little more than a Barnes but definitely acceptable and way less than a bonded tipped bullet. The biggest thing was the wound channel inside physically affected whole organs not just cutting something getting lucky, at longer ranges the bullets all exit and leave a blown out hole but it's not a pile of blood shot but just a hole which is acceptable. That kind of bullet performance has brought home more meat for me because I've brought home every animal I hit, and every animal I hit the hit was extremely evident with no guessing if I hit it. Switching to high sectional density bullet of the Berger design was the best thing that every happened to all my hunting, close or far. I don't like shoulder shooting unless I have to but the high section density bullet out perform the light fast copper bullets every day on that shot as well.
The best thing is to just not drink any Koolaid, load up and test different bullets, everything I shoot I have Berger, Matrix, Nosler, Barnes and Cutting edge bullet for and I test them till I settle on the one that delivers balance of performance I'm looking for in meat loss, lethality and accuracy.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"