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Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

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Old 06-14-2009, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Other important and potentially dangerous facts revealed in Barnes’ tests that every game hunting reloader needs to know.

Barnes recently published test results on their website at the following url:

Lab Tests | Barnes Bullets

I encourage you to read their report before you continue reading this article. They shot Berger, Nosler and Barnes bullets into bone encased in ballistic gelatin at impact velocities consistent with (according to Barnes) 100 yard and 1,000 yard shots using a 7mm WSM and a 300 Weatherby. They also list accuracy results which I will address later.Read More...
This is a thread for discussion of the article, Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful, By Eric Stecker. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.

Last edited by Len Backus; 06-15-2009 at 08:56 PM.
Old 06-14-2009, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 37
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Nice article Eric (good sportsmanship). BAD report Barnes! Very disapointed with them, recommend your produced for what it is, DO NOT try to sell it for what it is NOT (a great long range bullet).

300 Weatherby with 168gr ttsx, muzzle velocity of 3112, and getting out to 1000yds with 1850fps left Conclusion, Barnes test facility must be 13000 feet above sea level!

Barnes makes a great produced with penetration being there forte, that said I believe there bullets are at there best when used to take large game with a caliber traditionly deemed to light for reliable performance, like making your favorite varmint rifle usable for deer sized game. Energy will be on the light side, but it will get to where it matters. Or to use light for caliber bullets to flatten trajectory for those with turretless optics (or just plain hate math).

I never load barnes when looking for accuracy, although they have always proven acceptable for most hunting situations.

Someone please explain to me why it is (in any given caliber) Barnes light bullets tend to be boattail while the heavy are flat base, maybe to keep shorter for stability reasons??? Must be why they weighted there MRX bullet because it didnt help the B.C. much (if any).

Each hunting senario may have individual equipment requirements, should come as no suprise the bullet itself may need certian physical qualities.
To all our Veterans, Thank you.
Old 06-15-2009, 03:37 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,227
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

You didn't really expect Barnes to post information indicating the competition's bullets were better. Anyhow, your critique is way more balanced than Barnes' test, interpretation, and conclusion.

Look's like you've identified a number of flaws in the Barnes' analysis and sales pitch. Good to see the other side of the story, or perhaps I should say the rest of the story, that the Barnes' article neglects.

Down range retained velocity at 1000 yds is important for purposes of ensuring terminal expansion velocity. That's one primary reason I use Berger VLDs with the higher BCs for my longest shots, provided I get a good load worked up with them. I don't think the guy that wrote the Barnes article shoots much at 1000 yds. Otherwise he couldn't possibly have overlooked the importance of high BC bullets and maintaining expansion velocity at 1000 yds.
Old 06-15-2009, 04:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,377
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Amusing publication from Barnes. Stop whining about folks choosing bullets for BC and get the BC of your bullets up! Better produce what the consumers want. This is not a trend that's going to reverse itself. I would choose Barnes products for certain applicatioins. Trying to dictate hunting ethics won't sale me product!
My experience with the accuracy and terminal performance of the Bergers has been MORE than positive. 100% effective! Yes it is a different concept than the "premium" bullets. Yes, it absolutely works. More importantly, it works at ranges I hunt at.....Catch up Barnes, or get left behind.
I think most of us understand the characteristics of each design. I found Barnes "study" a pretty pathetic ploy. Come on guys, you can do better than that.
Old 06-15-2009, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 901
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I have limited experience with Barnes bullets, but it has not been good. My son shot a cow elk with a Barnes 150 grain 30-30 bullets and the first three entered and exited with zero expansion when put right throught the boiler room. The forth and final shot was quartered away. We found that bullet partially expanded under the off side shoulder. Don't have the load committed to memory but they we loaded hot and should have opened up fine.

I realize that many people swear by Barnes for certain applications but I will have trouble using them again after my first experience.

The one animal I shot with a Berger dropped in it's tracks.

Great response Eric!
Old 06-15-2009, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,595
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Excellent article Eric!
Ernie (xphunter)

SEB Coaxial Front Rest - Dealer


"Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh no.........they're awake!""
Old 06-15-2009, 05:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kookifornia
Posts: 355
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Great article Eric...I wonder if Barnes will remove their "test" or come here and try to defend it??
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