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

 
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  #64  
Old 06-19-2009, 12:00 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Eric,

I think the potential value of a debate over the "generalities" of solid bulllet performance is low, unless you are prepared to involve case alloys/design, non-commercial HE propellants, and new barrel materials/geometry. These elements will knock all lead core projectiles out of ELR contention due to weak construction, and poor BCs (including your yet to be introduced 300 grain VLD)... there I go "injecting" information into the thread again (but at least I saved time in beginning a, very short lived, new one.). In all seriousness and due respect, I do not believe 19 years of swaging bullets has equipped you for that "debate".

I have reread your article, and must confess, could find nothing about the solid boat-tail, or absence thereof, on the Barnes bullet. Somewhere in your material I came across a critique of this, and it's association with solid design constraints. This was the basis for the umbrage taken, of a general nature, with your specific criticism of the Barnes offering relative to long range accuracy. Since I can not give a citation, let's move on to what appeared to be your most vociferous peeve with the Barnes text... ethics.

Bryan threw you a life-line when he stated that the message was somewhat compromised, by necessity, in the Berger video's use of terms, ie. : allowing for the needs of an uneducated public to take priority over correctness. When you subsequently came back with "... specific performance characteristics that support this statement", you made yourself a fair target for the precise criticism lodged against Barnes. In one fell swoop you impuned the use of any bullet, but yours, as "unethical" for use in long range hunting. What is more, the chronology places you as a first offender by endorsing the video language.

When Joep17 suggested that your article came across as a "personal or corporate attack", you struggled to understand how he could come to this conclusion. I pointed out that you had used tactics similiar to the ones which you were now condemning, and my participation in this thread was forthwith designated inappropriate as to subject matter. It appears that the only sanctioned response is something akin to "aren't those Barnes folks a bunch of dumb *****". How many times do you need to hear affirmation before it becomes a pile-on event? I was orignially leaning torwards a dumb-sales-talk (on both sides) assessment as the root of this thread, it certainly was not a concern for public safety, or education. I am more inclined to agree with Joep17 at this juncture.

I am interesting in starting a thread on "learn(ing) things that (would) help me break this common perception.", but I am sincerely unable to format a seed post. Help me out Eric.

Regards,
Noel

Last edited by noel carlson; 06-19-2009 at 12:36 AM.
  #65  
Old 06-19-2009, 12:48 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Good Job Eric. Interesting read and for the most part excellent comments. I've been using Barnes' X-bullet since they came out, and have had excellent success. I've only been using Berger's VLD bullets for three years now and I'm anxiously waiting for my first animal using the Berger bullet.

Let me back up a bit to explain the kind of rifles I shoot, the distances, and the animal(s) I hunt.
About six years ago I sold off most my rifles chambered for magnum cartridges. These days I'm
likely to be shooting a 280 Rem, 7mm Mauser, 308 Win, or 9.3x62 Mauser and 375 H&H.
I hunt the usual soft skinned animals, but have focused on black bears the last three years,
hunting in Alaska and the lower 48. The distances run from short (under 100 yds) out to
500 yds.

I have successfully collected a number of deer and other game out to 325 yds (farthest one-shot
kill to-date), using flat based and bt Barnes bullets. All bullets completely passed-thru the animals. All but a couple animals dropped dead where they stood, the others walked 15 paces
or less and fell down.

Frankly, I don't think BC would make any difference in the outcome at these short distances.
Bullet Placement was the decisive factor. Barnes has somewhat of a 'troubled' history with
personnel in their ballistic department. Ranging from 'aggressive' BC assigned to their bullets,
poor consumer info regarding load data for the TSX bullets (when compared to their latest
manual), as well as everyday mishaps. Add product development (X-bullet, TSX, Tipped TSX,
MRX, their 'Green' bullet, and now their Tactical bullets), and not having anyone double checking
their figures "BEFORE" they publish stuff has lead to some embarrassing situations like the report on their web page. However, the Barnes TSX bullet is probably one of the best bullets
available for all around big game hunting, including dangerous game. But they are somewhat
pricey, but still a few pennies less than Nosler's Partition bullet. But I don't normally consider
them a "long range" bullet (meaning 750+ yds). The problem being their lack of weight to
create the momentum needed to travel the distance. A friend of mine tried some 200 gr TSX
30-cal bullets in his 300 Weatherby. Yes they were accurate, but neither as accurate or capable
as Sierra's 240 gr bullets were.

I've been shooting the Berger VLDs over the last three years (168 7mm & 168 and 175s in the
308), with excellent accuracy and velocity from the cartridges I'm shooting. Unfortunately, most
of my shooting (practice) is limited to a 300-yd range. And don't get out to shoot 500+ yds
as much as I should. That said, I'm extremely confident the Berger VLD that leaves my barrel
en route to a deer, antelope, or whatever will find it's spot and kill the animal just as quickly
as the Barnes, or any other bullet. Shot Placement is often not given the recognition it deserves
to bringing a hunt to a successful conclusion. The fact that I'll have more pennies to spend on more Berger Bullets doesn't offend me in the least.

This is not an 'either or' discussion for me. I like both bullets, even though I've been shooting
more Berger VLDs than Barnes lately.
  #66  
Old 06-19-2009, 11:46 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by noel carlson View Post

I am interesting in starting a thread on "learn(ing) things that (would) help me break this common perception.", but I am sincerely unable to format a seed post. Help me out Eric.

Regards,
Noel
Noel,

Here is the link to the thread.

The Solid Bullet Debate

Eric
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  #67  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Hi All i have been hunting and loading nearly all of my life and commercialy loaded in a family run custom loading buisness we loaded millions of rounds of ammo.

I find it strange that the testing for 1000 yard performance was run with 168gr projectiles in each calibre. I would have loaded the 180gr in the 7mm and the 210 in the 300 this would have realy blownn the comparisons though as the Barnse bullets are not made with a BC that is close and they would not have had a chance of comparing for long range ballistics.

As for projectile construction i have found the most reliable projectiles for medium sized thin skinned game have been a Medium thicknes jacket with soft lead core. These projectiles usualy penetrate well into the vitals then send scrapnell through the vitals and kill humanley on the spot. We loaded 500,000 rounds of 308 for feral pest destruction they were used from helicopters shooting feral donkeys, pigs and other animals in 308 wins. The problem was every factory loaded 308 with a 150gr projectile was punching straight through the animal and leaving tremendous ammounts of wounded animals. we loaded them with Speer 130gr Hollow points and an Australian made 130gr and 140gr Taipan projectile with a construction almost identicle to the Speer. These are explosive projectiles and when they started using these they are now the ONLY projectile allowed for this shooting as they removed the top of the heads and killed the animals on the spot no ober penetration and no under penetration.

Now Barnes are not the only ones with this idea of producing a projectile that hangs together and penetrates the others including Win with their Failsafes. We loaded for many Sanbar shooters here in Australia and they had a lot of problems with Failsafes and Barnes projectiles punching a hole straight through the deer and loosing the animal. Even the Win silver tips and Rem cor Locks are getting harder to get to expand it seems every body is trying to make a 223 a deer rifle and a 308 a buffalo rifle. When the WSM's were released they came to Australia and used them on Buffalo's they were using 270 WSM's with Failsafes this allowed the projectile to penetrate to the vitals the guids had 416's and 458's for backup as they dont trust a small calibre on a charging buff. I believe that the Barnes and other heavy projectiles that penetrate have a big place like the Australian made Woodleigh bullets. I believe that in 338 and up for use on large heavy skinned dangerous game they are invaluable i like the 500gr Barnes X in the 460 WBY a perfect match.

The problem is that now people expect to use a 25-06 for shooting large dangerous game and dont think anything off it here in my state for deer their is a minimum case length, min projectile diameter and minimum projectyile weight but that still allows someone to use a 30-30 with black powder and a 130gr soft point for the biggest deer but the 264 Win mag is not allowed because the projectile is not at lease .277". Not a perfect system but is helps with stopping 223's being used on Sanbar.

As for the projectiles that were used and very common when i first started shooting they work just like they did when they were the cutting edge like the speer Hot Core's they were designed to have a better core to jacket fit and be more accurate as well as having boat tails and nice spire points for longer range shooting on some of them. Thest type of projectiles and the Sierra,s, Noslers work realy well i remember when PMC projectiles were available in bulk they were awsome and performed perfectly if you hit an animal in the Vitals they stayed hit. Now with all of these super penetrating projectiles hit in the vitals they do go down but if miss hit a small amount they dont have the expansion that makes the older designes work so well.

So now to the long range hunting part. For years the Sierra MatchKings have been the benchmark for getting to 1000 yards and past with 30 cal realy seen as a minimum but most going to the 338 to get that 300gr MatchKing realy working. Their are other calibres but these were the mainstay for a long time. Now Berger is marketing their projectiles at this market and for good reason they work just like the older designed copper jacketed projectile with soft lead core when an animal is hit they are humainly dispatched as for the Barnse X Bullets unless for use on dangerous game i believe they are helping the shooter to use a calibre that was never adiquite for anything but a perfectly placed shot to use a rifle that was never designed to take game of the size or toughness to have a chanve to take it instead of getting the correct rifle in the first place as are a lot of other projectiles. Another peojectile that is amasing for light thin skinned game is the Hornady A Max the dam,age they do is amasing but i would limit them to small deer and goats as the largest game because they are super explosive.



So back to the article their is no comparison between Barnse and Berger for long range Hunting as the Bergers used by most of us are not as light as 168gr in either calibre for 1k shooting some will use the 168's back to 600 yards but past that nearly every one i know would use the heaviest projectile they can and for 7mm that is the 180gr Berger or a 175gr MatchKing and for 30 cal it is the 210gr Berger or the 210,220 or 240gr MatchKings when Berger bring the 338 300gr projectiles out they will be awsome with the 300gr MatchKings i will never use a small calibre solid projectile like a Barnse in any rifle i believe they are a great projectile but shound be used in large calibres for dangerous game an area that they are amasing in.

Cheers Bill
  #68  
Old 06-19-2009, 11:37 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Eric,

Good article and reply to the Barnes article. If I was in your place, I would have done the same and probably not as good a job of it. I was very disappointed in reading it as I thought their assertions on ethics was stooping low and their data extremely questionable. The 1000 yd velocities jump right out at me before ever reading your response to them. Barnes bullets are not 1000 yd hunting bullets, not even close.

Having said that, I am not likely to use Berger bullets on game at high velocities. Just like the Barnes bullets, I have read many good reports of their results, but I have also read a few not so good reports. The reasons I wouldn't use them...

1) Reports of much blood shot meat. Some guys aren't too concerned about this, but I am. I hate seeing blood shot meat. I eat what I shoot and I hate to see meat go to waste.

2) Reports of lack of penetration due to explosiveness. Here again, the great majority of reports are good on penetration and lethality, but there are enough not so good reports to make me shy of using them.

3) Reports of pencil holing. Again, very few of these but there have been some.

The combination of these is why I say i wouldn't use them at high velocoities. I would consider them at ranges where they ran less than about 2400 fps.

I think you guys make a great bullet, just not for high velocity short range hunting IMO.

The Berger paradigm seems to be the thin J4 jacket, non bonded bullet. Has Berger ever considered the VLD style in a more controlled expansion model to provide a choice to hunters who prefer a controlled expansion bullet? Just a question and hopefuly something to think about.

Best,

Mark
  #69  
Old 06-19-2009, 11:39 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I'm not understanding what the hang up on "retained weight" is. Standing BRAODSIDE, a bull elk's heart is less than a foot from the ribs. How much retained weight is enough? How much penetration is enough? I've yet to recover ANY VLD and the fragmentation that is evident inside these animals is tremendous. Much more damage than a controlled expansion counterpart in my opinion and experience. The VLDs don't have so much of a wound "channel" as a wound event or such. I believe between this massive organ damage and using high shoulder shots, that approximate or get closer to the spine and cause CNS shock, is why The VLD design puts animals down so quickly.

As shown by Barnes, the VLD imparts so much material and energy to such a broad area, animals hit even at very long ranges don't stand a chance. I shot my antelope last year at 640 yds with a 180 VLD 7mm. It went thru the ribs and went on its merry way. The exit on that doe was big enough to fit this computer mouse! Antelope are VERY light creatures. This one was no exception. The lungs and heart were shredded and much of both were missing. This was an extreme example of bullet performance.

The bullet had a MV of ~3000fps. My elevation is ~6000' I used a G7 bc that Bryan gave me and I can't remember for the life of me what that was now. It was a lot though. Any how, light animal, heavy for caliber bullet, extreme range. I put this one behind the shoulder as opposed to the high shoulder just to see for myself. I hit one rib going in. Works for me. Eric
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  #70  
Old 06-20-2009, 01:08 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by esorensen View Post
I'm not understanding what the hang up on "retained weight" is. Standing BRAODSIDE, a bull elk's heart is less than a foot from the ribs. How much retained weight is enough? How much penetration is enough? I've yet to recover ANY VLD and the fragmentation that is evident inside these animals is tremendous. Much more damage than a controlled expansion counterpart in my opinion and experience. The VLDs don't have so much of a wound "channel" as a wound event or such. I believe between this massive organ damage and using high shoulder shots, that approximate or get closer to the spine and cause CNS shock, is why The VLD design puts animals down so quickly.

As shown by Barnes, the VLD imparts so much material and energy to such a broad area, animals hit even at very long ranges don't stand a chance. I shot my antelope last year at 640 yds with a 180 VLD 7mm. It went thru the ribs and went on its merry way. The exit on that doe was big enough to fit this computer mouse! Antelope are VERY light creatures. This one was no exception. The lungs and heart were shredded and much of both were missing. This was an extreme example of bullet performance.

The bullet had a MV of ~3000fps. My elevation is ~6000' I used a G7 bc that Bryan gave me and I can't remember for the life of me what that was now. It was a lot though. Any how, light animal, heavy for caliber bullet, extreme range. I put this one behind the shoulder as opposed to the high shoulder just to see for myself. I hit one rib going in. Works for me. Eric
Eric,

Not all shots are broadside shots. I dont doubt that you and a lot of others have had great results with Bergers. But I have also read of otheres who have not always had great results including a couple of guides who see the performance of a lot of bullets. I wouldn't hesitate to use a Berger at longer ranges where velocities are in the lower 2000's. That's just the way I and quite a few others feel about it. Also, I shoot to damage as little meat as possible. I dont take shoulder shots if I dont have to. If you or anyone else wants to, that's fine, but not me. I have never lost a boiler room shot animal yet and most have dropped in their tracks with a a Nosler Partiton with a few wandering off only a few yards.

I am only suggesting that Berger offer a fine designed bullet in a style that many hunters prefer. We are all different and have our preferences.

Regards,

-MR

Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 06-20-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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