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History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

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Old 03-23-2011, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

The story of the Berger Hunting VLD is a story of discovery rather than design. The VLD bullet design was created by ballistician Bill Davis. Bill's goal was to produce a bullet design that performed better in the wind than the 30 cal 168 gr SMK. He was asked to do this by the US 300 meter shooting team, who had discovered that they were losing points late in the match due to recoil fatigue. They wanted a lighter bullet (less recoil) that would still fly with the same or better trajectory.Read More...
This is a thread for discussion of the article, History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD, By Eric Stecker. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.

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Old 03-25-2011, 06:05 PM
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Location: Prosperity, Pa
Posts: 373
Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

Great review! The idea that the standard hunting bullets could fly apart makes me wonder about some of the stories about the bullet blowing up on impact before reaching the vitals. That has never happened to me, but I've never shot 10 rapid shots at game. If friction in the barrel is the cause, a very fouled barrel would possibly have the same results on the first shot, just thinking out loud! In my opinion Bergers are the best bullets I've shot. Only problem I've had is using the .224 80 grain TARGET bulllets on groundhogs and not getting rapid enough expansion. Now I know why !!
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:39 PM
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Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

My experience with Berger VLD bullets have been very good. My brother and I have been shooting long range (1,000 and 600 yds) IBS matches for many years now and have found that Berger vld's are hard to beat. If you find the right load and seating depth they can certainly produce match winning/ record groups as my brother has proven over the years.

I am a firm believer that in hunting good shot placement is vital for a successful quick kill. Being an "old timer" I was indoctrinated with the idea that one shouldn't use match bullets for hunting. However, after seeing the outstanding accuracy of the VLD's, I couldn't help but think that a perfect shot placement would trump the supposedly "deficient" match bullet. So, feeling a bit guilty I began to hunt with the Berger VLD,s. This was way before Berger began selling their bullets as good for hunting. The first whitetail deer that I shot stumbled 5 yards and dropped. After examining the wound made by the VLD I was amazed at the internal damage, tremendous. Since then I have been convinced that the superbly accurate VLD's are very good for benchrest and hunting.

I am mostly a lurker on this and other sites but having a long background in long range shooting both military and civilian I found the discussions about Berger's VLD bullets to be interesting. A good product is a good product in spite of marketing hype and to this end Berger has succeeded.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:46 PM
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Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

Welcome and I too think this is a great site to find opinions and good information about most anything!!
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:27 PM
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Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

Thanks Paphil.

Eric's article was very good in detailing the historical development of their marketing strategy, lots of info I was not aware of.

My son-in law was one of those "early" hunters who was in contact with Walt before their decision to support the VLDs' for hunting. He used them extensively in Alberta on big game as large as Bison. I think he even took his 1,000 yd 7mmRSUM bench gun and made some kills with it. At the time we thought we were on to some kind of "secret" weapon because very few people were hunting using VLD bullets. All during that time I was still reluctant to admit to using match bullets but the proof was right there to see.

In my experience using VLDs I have found that one needs to keep velocities fairly high in order to gain maximum terminal performance. In one instance using a lower velocity (arround 2,500 fps) 6.5x55 on whitetail deer I found that the 140 gr bullet did not expand as much as I would have hopped and punched a small hole all the way through. The deer was killed but it ran 40 yds. All part of the learning curve.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:48 AM
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Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

Eric does it again. Very informative!

I still recall the terminal testing done on the 650 pound hanging boar several years ago. The 25 cal Berger VLD blew all of the other test bullets out of the water and it wasn't even an intentional part of the test.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:18 AM
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Location: Genola, Utah
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Re: History Of The Match Grade Berger Hunting VLD

I have been shooting Berger 105gr. VLD's through my 6-284 for years now @3340 fps. deer hunting. The results have been great. After growing up watching my father hunt with his 6mm and { the proper hollow point bullet } I knew the killing power of hollow point bullets. Criticised by most of the hunting world, I would watch video after video of people with large caliber rifles shooting game that often times ran off { and sometimes a considerable distance } before expiring. Not that the large caliber rifle didn't have the power to kill big game, it simply lacked the proper bullet to create enough shock to get the job done in a timely manner. You can poke a shovel handle through a deer and he may at some point die, or he may not. Shock kills game and expelling all of the bullet's energy inside the animal makes good sense to me, The wider the wound Chanel, the quicker the kill, and in my experience the proper hollow point bullet makes perfect sense.
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