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

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Unread 01-31-2010, 09:09 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Hello , and thanks for hitting on one item that DEFINITELY has a affect on OUR WAY OF HUNTING. When I am hunting an area where I EXPECT the shots to be long, or potentially so , I want to have a VLD in the pipe. However , and as you mentioned, if your shots are closer or at "normal' ranges you prefer to a different type of bullet , and we will leave it at that. That being said it just goes to show you that not every bullet is good in every situation. A close appearing deer shot with a smoking VLD will have less than desirable results, although I am sure that death would reult. However, and this is the good part, if a deer is downtown, and in the next county, and the ACCURACY of said other bullet is less balliscally predictable, than a superior bullet, ei BERGER VLD, you dont have the confidence at the shot, and can not put it where it counts. For the overall avergage most of my hunting shots are on the long side and very few are less than average distance, so for my book the Berger VLD is spot on for my intentions.

Unread 02-01-2010, 08:13 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Good article and an excellent thread. Well worth the 487 pages of reading...

I see a requests for a "controlled expansion" version of the Berger VLD...

Why? The rapid expansion of the VLD in the chest cavity of the game animal is what makes it kill so quickly and effectively.

When I want a controlled expansion/deep penetrating bullet, I'll go with one of the many good premium/heavy-duty bullets on the market. I've used Nosler Partitions for 30+ years now, very happily. Actually they're an interesting and lethal combination of violent expansion, and a rear core that hangs together for penetration. Also have used a few Barnes TSX bullets in recent years, and they too worked as advertised. Reliable expansion, excellent penetration and good accuracy. For their purpose, I like them very much. Have also played with the Swift A-Frame and the Nosler Accubond, both of which hang together very nicely on impact.

However... I have sure fallen hard for the Berger VLD as a general purpose bullet for my mule deer, coyote and rock chuck hunting. I just use the 115 VLD from a .25-06 for all of them. Works great! Three mulies from 175 - 400 yards so far, nothing terribly far, nothing at ten yards like that bear Eric told us about either!!!

At any rate - I see No Need for a controlled expansion VLD - they work great just the way they are, and there are plenty of excellent controlled expansion bullets on the market for that purpose.

Regards, Guy
Unread 02-01-2010, 09:32 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Barnes product isn't keeping pace and evolving and they know it. That's the bases and why they wrote what they did. They're behind the curve and need to catch up. Kinda of like 2 cars in a race...since your car won't go any faster then let's try slowing the other guys car down. In this case they figured they could pull it off with smoke and mirrors.
Unread 02-02-2010, 08:57 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I have read and re-read the above article from our friend Eric, and have another analyogy about it all. It is almost like a smear campaign in a political race. In this day and time, and especially in our industry,making accusations such Barnes did and the velocities stated which are not attainable is a liability suit at least. The whole article and Erics rebutal has turned my head around to the point that I actually have in my inventory, some barnes tsx bullets which will shortly be given away, and I have some Berger VLD's in 3 calibers and 4 different weight on order. I am very dissapointed by barnes. I feel that each manufactor needs to have the Tact to co-exist in each others arena, but to make and produce facts that are not true and to smear someone elses product is like the games they play in Washington. Just like Goofy on tv said "why can't we just get along". Just my 2 cents, and opinions are like ---holes, and every body has one, That's mine!
Unread 03-11-2010, 07:47 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I am still amazed people take shots at deer at a 1,000 yards. I live near a Conservation area and have the opportunity to view deer often at 1,000 yards. They get pretty small at that distance. Then trying to dope the wind. I think I will stick to 300 yards or less. Shoot when you see the whites of their eyes.
Unread 05-07-2010, 06:01 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

How can you not love a bullet that explodes and drops an animal fast?
It looks like it penitrates deeper as it slows down for the long shots too.

The accuracy numbers are bogus, as it has more to do with the load tuning of the rifle. They could have picked a bad harmonic load for the other rounds.

It proves they have a very deep penitating bullet tho...and that can be handy sometimes.

Still, when all said and done +1 on the Bergers as a multi use bullet.

My 3 cents (inflation)
Unread 12-16-2010, 02:57 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I've noticed some glaring errors.

The Nosler Partition (and the similar Swift A-Frame), the granddaddy of premium hunting bullets, was not chosen for testing. It has a combination of rapid expansion for shock and weight retention for punching through. Sort of like a Berger VLD and Barnes monolithic bullet combined. It will cover more situations than either bullet and is more versatile overall. The Barnes and Berger bullets take opposite extremes of the performance spectrum and hype it for all they can.

African big game guides have noted the frequent failures of Barnes bullets while Swift A-Frames and Nosler Partitions usually get the job done. Enough said. That is a report from the real world.

Anybody who has used Nosler bullets extensively will hold the reported accuracy of the Accubond bullets in contempt. The Accubond is very similar to a Ballistic Tip which is highly regarded for accuracy. A Swift Scirocco or Hornady Interbond should be capable of similar performance, and many people report excellent accuracy with all 3 bullets.

Destroying edible meat just so you can have a "bang-flop experience" is not reason enough to choose a Berger VLD. Immediate incapacitation and death by "hydrostatic shock" is also proving to be a myth. A broadhead arrow hits with no more than 50 foot pounds of energy, it has zero expansion, it hits with a velocity well down in the subsonic range, and it rarely exits the animal. The animal usually dies anyway. The arrow also fails to destroy many pounds of edible meat by turning it to jelly. Maybe bullet manufacturers need to go back to square one and study some flint arrowheads. Hydrostatic shock, high velocity, high energy, pass through, and massive expansion are all brought into question by the broadhead arrow that possesses none of those qualities YET KILLS THE ANIMAL ANYWAY.

The reported accuracy of the Nosler Accubond is definitely bogus in relation to the other bullets. I've shot enough Nosler bullets in enough different rifles to know better than that. Barnes had to look far and wide for a barrel and/or load that would be so poor for an Accubond but so good for a Barnes. I guess that had to be brought into question, because if you wanted a bullet that had a mix of good expansion and good penetration, the Accubond won the test, just as the Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame or Swift Scirocco or Hornady Interbond would have done.

Barnes and Berger mine the opposite ends of the performance spectrum, but other companies strive for some kind of a mix, trying to retain as much expansion or penetration without giving up too much of the other. Maybe Barnes and Berger are really the best at what they do, but that doesn't make them the best in the real world of hunting.

Take all the bullets to a slaughterhouse and shoot large animals at various distances and study the actual results. That was actually done with pistol bullets on billy goats in France. Why can't it be done with rifle bullets? The next time I am hunting blocks of ballistic gelatin, I'll put more confidence in all these ballistic gelatin tests.
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