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Reloading Berger Bullets


Berger VLD's, not impressed so far.

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Unread 07-24-2008, 08:29 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 308
This is my experience... I don't know about you but I've never been able to shoot very well off sand bags unless the rifle is nice and heavy. I went out and bought a nice Caldwell Rock BR front rest and my group was noticably smaller. Also there is alot to be said about a good rear bag as well. When I shoot from a bipod most of my groups open up to .75" when they are .5" off a good rest.

Now the lead sleds are really stable and I believe they are illegal in BR shooting probably for that one reason. Isn't that correct?
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Unread 07-24-2008, 08:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 308
On another note I've heard that berger has new tooling that allows them to make more consistent bullets. I've heard the bearing surface of the bullets doesn't vary as much as they used to. This plays a noticable role when shooting at distance because the BC will vary. With the smk's I measure the bearing surface and sort by increments of .001. I have found that the SMK's vary alot and I sure wish Sierra would follow Bergers lead. In fact I'm building a 7mm wsm right now so I can shoot the 180 gr berger 7mm bullet.

Good Luck
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Unread 07-24-2008, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,476
I guess I'll try off a lead sled @ 200 yards. I have some loaded up at .005" off, right on, and .005" in the lands. I'll pull the .005" off bullets so I can test a bit further into the lands.
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Unread 07-24-2008, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 8,652
For what it's worth, I have a 30-378 wby with a 32" HS Percision pipe. It has a long free bore and I load as long as the mag box will allow (3.800") still a good deal off the lands, I think about .150". Anyway I was shooting a 14" target at 1000 last weekend 3 consecutive hits in gusting wind with 210 VLD's @ 3130 fps. My point is I think you will be pleased when you get them dialed in.

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Unread 07-24-2008, 10:04 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: western PA
Posts: 55
If it's worth anything I have a .243 that will not shoot the 95s either. I have tried every powder primer seating combo I could come up with, the gun just did not like them. All my other rifles shoot them really good .5 moa or better if i do my part. I just went back to ballistic tips for ground hogs and coyotes.
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Unread 07-24-2008, 10:20 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Bergers. . .

Being a highpower shooter (NRA SR) I've loaded quite a few Bergers.

I learned the process from my best friend; CWO David Karcher, the 2002 National SR champion from the USMCR shooting team.

Here's what he showed me that has worked well.

VLD bullets have a long ogive and a short bearing surface when compared to non VLD bullets.

So, you gotta jam them buggers into the bore so that you know they sit concentric. The other reason is the shorter bearing surface means it takes less initial pressure to get them moving down the bore.

Ever play with neck tension when loading? Sometimes higher neck tension makes a gun shoot better because of the higher pressure developed before the case "sneezes" the bullet into the bore. Same sort of idea here only your doing it by getting a bigger initial bite into the bore.

.005" seemed to work well for .223 stuff.

The load is something like this: (.223 Remington) 7.5 rem SR primer, CCI BR's work too. Lapua brass with all the widgits done to it (short of neck turning) and then stoke it up with either Varget or N-140.

I'm guessing your shooting something in 6mm. 243 maybe?

Dave would run his stuff quite hot in order to get the velocity up on that short 20" barrel. (again, talking 223) If you go this route, you won't get many reloads because the primer pockets will swell. Maybe two/three at best and that is being optimistic.

You gotta have the right twist rate on the barrel or all bets are off. Long bullets gotta spin hard to stabilize. VLD's are no exception, in fact they are even more dependent on it.

Don't get discouraged, just fuss with them some more and they should come around. Also, not all guns will shoot Bergers due to the reamer used. If the throat length/angle is funky, then you may not ever get them to work. If that fails, maybe try the Lapua Scenar bullets. My 6mm BR 300m international rifle loves em.

Good luck.

Last edited by NesikaChad; 07-24-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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Unread 07-24-2008, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,476
I'm shooting a 6mm Ackley, 1-10" twist. No signs of the bullet not being stabilized. 105 grain Amaxes stabilize as well, but groups are about the same.
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