I am having great luck with the 70 gr. VLD and 95 gr. VLD Bergers on the target. I am going prairie dog hunting in Texas the middle of October. What kind of terminal performance can I expect on dogs with these bullets? I have two guns shooting these bullets in the 1s. Thanks for your response.
Gary, First of all what cartridge are you using. The bullets you have mentioned are excellent bullets and they will work on varmints. If your going to be shooting past 600 yards, I would stick with the bullets you mentioned.
I am a big varmint hunter myself, and I like to use the V-max and Ballistic Tip bullets for varmint hunting. They really take the varmints down quickly and provide the red mist factor. They are also much cheaper too. However, most of these bullets don't have the BC of the bullets you are currently shooting. It also depends on what type of area your shooting in. If your in Pdog country, I am guessing you have to deal with lots of wind, so the high BC bullets, like the ones you have mentioned, might be the way to go.
However, if you have a good ballistics chart and you are good at reading the conditions, you can get away with using the V-Max and Ballistic Tip bullets. Some of the plastic tip bullets have some pretty decent BC. I use the 87grn V-Max, in my 6BR, and it has a BC of .400. I have had pretty good luck with this bullet out to 600 yards. I am only pushing it at around 3100fps in my 6BR, however, if you shoot this bullet out of a 6MM AI, 243 AI, or 6x284, you can push it much faster and really reach out with some really good kill power.
I guess it depends on what you want to do with the rifle, however, it sounds like you have a really good set up already.
Patriot, thanks for your input. I am shooting the 70 VLD out of a 22/6mm Remington at 3644 FPS. This is a brand-new barrel and has only seen range time and no varmint hunting time yet. The 95 grain VLD is being used in a 6x284 and will be in the 3500 to 3600 FPS range.
In the past, I have also used the 87 gr. V-Max and grew to love its splat factor. I got a PD at 1,020 yards last May with it, but this is getting pretty close to the outside limit of range for it. It was surprising to me how well it worked at that range in terms of terminal effect. It knocked the PD over the top of the hole and four feet back. I tried shooting it at 1300 yds or so, and the accuracy really dropped off with it. I was launching it at 3600 FPS out of the 6x284. My Sierra ballistics progam shows that the Berger 95 VLD should be a pretty good step up with a BC of 512.
My biggest question was that the Bergers have such a small meplat area I wasn't sure they would do anything but drill small holes. What has been your experience with the Bergers on small animals like PDS?
PDs don't offer much resistance to bullets, and at that range (and closer) they might wander off and die in the holes.
I have spent about 50-60 days on Dog towns in my life, and I have found that long needle bullets are disappointing.
As to the wind factor - at "X" range and "Y" wind conditions, say bullet "A" gives 54 inches of drift, and bullet "B" gives 68 inches of drift.
Does it make any difference?? NO! You have a target that is 4" wide and you can't judge 54 inches with a +/- error of 2 inches in the field, so all the BC in the world won't help you. You might as well be guessing.
I will offer my experiences.
I found that the bigger the cartridge was, the the lower the hit ratio of PDs/Rounds fired was.
You need to see your hits, and so if you can't see the dust on a miss, you can't hit the little buggers on the next round.
Don't worry about the wind - set up your kit on the upwind side of the town so the wind is at your back. Put up a 3 or 4 foot stick with a 12" piece of light string attached to the top... it will point in the direction of the wind - shoot the dogs that the string points to. As the wind varies, just shoot the dogs that the string points to, and you will NEVER have wind drift.
I would suggest V-Maxs - 60's in the 22/6mm and 75's or 87s in the 6-284.
On my last trip out on dog towns, I took dogs at 700 to 850 yds routinely with a .222 Mag benchrest grade rifle once I was set up - I used an optical rangefinder (Wild), which is much more accurate over the flat dog towns than a laser.
Thanks, Catshooter, for your info. I've been shooting PDs for 35 years, and my experience pretty much is like yours. Up until the last two or three years, I have always been a guy who shot out to about 400 yards and then moved on to greener pastures. Recently I have become interested in making the longer shots as opposed to mass anihilation. After three or four days, all that gore gets a little tiresome. I made the VHA 1,000-yard club in May, and I'd like to reach 1,500 yards sometime. I think I'm going to have to get the 6.5x284 out for that. I went to the range today with the 6x284 and the 95-grain Bergers. It shot some really good groups at 100 yards: .212, .210, .367, .377, but the only load that had good repeatability was the lower node, 52 grs. of 4831SC. 55 grs. shot a .210 group, but when I tried to repeat it, it shot a .820. My Oehler didn't work today for some reason, so I don't have any velocities to quote. It went in the box last time working and came out of the box this time not working, even a new battery didn't revive it. Anyway, I think I'm just going to concentrate on dogs from 50 yards to 800 yards this trip, and maybe next time I'll have my long range game in order.