Originally Posted by ICANHITHIMMAN
So are you happy or unhappy with the VLD performance?
To answer a few questions:
These were the Berger Hunting VLDs.
I was disappointed that the first bullet didn't anchor the ram on the spot with the velocity of impact at only 355 yds. The lack of an incapacitating response always leads to concern about the shot placement or the scope losing its zero. These Dall rams are pretty easy to dispatch, relative to other large game. I aimed behind the front shoulders to avoid massive meat damage from an explosive VLD on the first shot. The first bullet hit in front of the diaphram and exited slightly behind the diaphram, mid-height on the animal. The exit hole through the hide was small, and the internal damage was very minimal, compared to when one of these VLDs comes unglued. It should have looked like a blender passed through the internals - but the internals were more or less intact.
It became clear that the first hit was not going to kill this ram any time soon. I wasn't sure what was up, but after several minutes the ram exposed the exit side and I could see a small blood stained dot in about the right location. So I began to suspect the bullet simply didn't expand. I aimed in tighter toward the front shoulders with the second shot. The second bullet opened up more normally, and the only reason the ram stayed on his feet at the second hit might have been because he was already pumped up on adrenalin, or in shock, from the first shot.
I may continue to use these 210 VLDs for sheep, because a wounded ram is relatively easy to recover in the wide open mountainous terrain, compared to big game animals that live in the brush and thickly vegetated areas.
But I may need to switch to a different bullet for hunting black bear with my 300 Win Mag. Bears that aren't dispatched quickly are a nightmare to recover where I hunt due to the steep terrain and thick alders. The first bullet to strike must
Of course I prefer a bullet that expands reliably on any solid body hit, 99% of the time. I've only shot about 4 large game animals with the 210 hunting VLDs to date, and I've already had one non-expander. Not what I was hoping for.