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Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

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Unread 04-12-2009, 06:19 PM
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Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

This is a thread for discussion of the article, Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets, By Eric Stecker. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
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Unread 04-14-2009, 04:06 PM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

I was already good looking enough but with the Berger hat I am just down right irresistible.

You need to have a talk with Brian. I told him not to downgrade the BC on the 6mm 115 Berger but the child just couldn't resist fixing what wasn't broke. That's the kind of thing you get from a Penn State engineer. Next time get one from the home of Bear Bryant.

550 yards Twofer on hogs

600 yards antelope doe.

picture not uploaded being as it was too short range to count.

686 yards - Got me the Berger hat.

800 yards

860 yards --- antelope

see last picture - one of them is it.

1140 yards

A truck load !!!

The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 04-16-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

Eric, that was a well written article with good information. I have been thinking about trying the Bergers in a 300 WM but was under the belief that they had to be up against the rifling. After reading this, I think I will give them a try. A couple questions though.

1). What bullet do you recomend I try in this 300 WM for long range Elk and Deer?

2). Do you mind briefly describing what benefits in bullet construction I would gain using this bullet? I understand the VLD concept and have read the BC on these, but I have always thought these were more of a target bullet similar to a match grade. I currently use a 180 Accubond.

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Unread 04-16-2009, 08:47 PM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

Hello, after joining awhile ago and watching this will be my first post.
I have been contemplating using the bergers for some time, I have an 85 sako in 6.5x55 that I am currently using 140gr Amax's in to shoot on steel out fair way. I have reached 700 with no real problems but wish to go as far as 1000-1200.
I still need to tweake the load a little and at the moment am loading to an over all lenght of 3.2" with room to spare. The Sako seems to have a very long throat.

A] I was wondering what you thought of using your 130gr bullet for this, starting with your formula on what I read in the article, the hunters one, as I wish to use the load for coyote sized animals as well, [ not at 1000 though]

B] I am using Vihtavuori n560 currently, would this be a good powder for your bullet.?

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Unread 04-17-2009, 02:23 AM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker

I've been shooting the 210gr VLD in my 300 WM for several years now.

I only managed to get decent results at around 0.01 jammed (as I recall I was trying jump up to around 0.02). But I wasn't really happy with this - I seemed to get fliers (not necessarily the reason for it, but I wonder whether very slight deating depth variation isn't totally critical with a jam which is why more jam was more consistent than slightly jammed or just touching) and I pulled a bullet unloading once and had endless problems for the rest of the day's hunt and ended up borrowing a rifle.

I persisted because I was very happy with the on game performance of the bullet.

After chatting with a fairly well known national level LR shooter very recently I tried a jump that I thought would never work - around the 0.04 recommended. It's early days, but I've managed a few .4 and .5 MOA groups at 200m and it seems the fliers are gone, even in the larger groups i.e. they are "just bigger" not tight with a flyer. I intend to tweak with charge here and not COAL.

In short I can say that this really seems to work although I still need to do more work on it. I can also run a bit quicker with less pressure with the jump, although it seems my best results are so far around 2780 - 2820 or so.
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Unread 04-17-2009, 11:49 AM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker


Thank you for your kind comments. The best all around 30 cal bullet for elk and deer at long range (an assumption based on your posting on this forum) is the 210 gr VLD. This gives you the most versatility. Admittedly, if you have a shot at a 130 pound deer at 200 yards you will get a massive exit wound but the deer will be on the ground.

Having said that you can achieve success with our lighter (175 gr to 190 gr) bullets on elk. The 210 gr VLD is the best choice if you know you will be shooting at long range (600 yards or more).

All Berger Hunting VLD bullets act differently upon impact than traditional (high weight retention, deep penetration) hunting bulelts. Upon impact the VLD will penetrate 2" to 3" of hide and bone. After the bullet is through this tough surface of the animal it starts to shed its weight. Depending on impact velocity 40% to 80% of the bullets weight will be distributed inside the animal as fragmentation.

This is why our bullets are so deadly on a wide variety of game sizes, bullet weights and impact velocities. This fragmentation deep inside the animal combined with hydrostatic shock tears a wide and deep wound channel inside the vital area of the animal. This tremendous internal destruction usually puts the animal into shock which is why they drop quickly. Those animals that manage to stay on their feet will quickly succumb to loss of blood pressure or major organ failure.

Once the bullet starts to expand (2" to 3" inside the animal) the wound channel will be anywhere from 13" to 18" long. This is definately enough internal damage to put down the largest North American game. Depending on the size of the game you may or may not have an exit wound. Those who like blood trails so they can track the game may not like this but if the animal can't go more than 50 yards then why do you need a blood trail?

On the other hand, those animal that are small enough that you will have an exit wound have far more energy dumped into their internals than they would have if shot by a high weight retension bullet. These traditional bullets are great for going all the way through medium sized game but most of the energy is spent on the ground or in the tree behind the animal.


The 6.5mm 130 gr Hunting VLD is a very popular bullet. Frankly, if you are shooting out to 1,000 yards then the 140 gr is the better option but you mentioned that you won't shoot that far for coyotes.

To get the best answer for your "which bullet is best for a particular application" the person to ask is Bryan Litz at bryan.litz@bergerbullets.com. He can provide a very thorough answer which takes into consideration all your circumstances. I will send him a link to this thread so he can answer publicly.

I am a shot range BR shooter who has many years of experience with the 6PPC and which powders work best for this case. To get the best information on which powder is best for yours (and pretty much every) case contact Kevin Thomas at kevin.thomas@bergerbullets.com. There are a handful of folks on the planet that have as much trigger time with as many components as Kevin has used over the last two decades. I'll send him a link to this thread as well.


Sounds like you are on your way to dialing it in. I definately recommend the 4 COAL test listed in the article. It seems like a lot to do at first but if you take the time to load at these 4 different COAL you will quickly find out where your sweet spot is in your rifle. I believe you will soon get the flyers and the large round groups out of your results.

To strengthen your shooting skills go to the range.
To strengthen the shooting sports take a new shooter with you.

Berger Bullets
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Unread 04-17-2009, 03:27 PM
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Re: Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets By Eric Stecker


Well darn,

I just ordered 3 boxes of 30 190 Hunting VLD's for long range hunting out to a 1000.

Am I r-e-a-l-l-y going to miss out that much by not using a 210? I bought the 190's wanting to
be able to load my magazine, an FN SPR 300 WSM. I'm shooting 185's now at over 3,000 with RL 17.

Outside of a higher BC, what if any difference in terminal effect will there be between the
two bullets? Being how the VLD works on large game would impact velocity really make a
difference after all everything penetrates two inches then violenty opens up.

Thank you for the write up and I look forward to your reply.
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