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

 
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  #127  
Old 12-16-2010, 11:52 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by FAL Shot View Post
Destroying edible meat just so you can have a "bang-flop experience" is not reason enough to choose a Berger VLD.
True, I choose to use Bergers as much as I can because I have less meat loss than any other conventional bullet, much less than the Accubond, added bonus is I have far less tracking to do with the Berger also. Second choice is the Accubond for me because it is the best performing bullet with a decent BC for long range hunting but I'll shoot the most accurate of the two in any given rifle.
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  #128  
Old 12-16-2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

We have to use what works for us. Most of my shooting is done with a fast twist .223 Remington. Berger doesn't seem to want to support that caliber with hunting bullets, so it doesn't matter to me how good they might seem to some. So far, the Nosler Partition and Swift Scirocco are the best bullets that are readily available in .224 caliber. Barnes bullets are definitely aimed at the magnum shooting crowd as expansion swiftly drops off as velocity decreases. There is a brand of copper monolithic bullets from Africa called GS Custom that are similar to Barnes, but the petals are designed to quickly open then break off after opening at magnum speeds. That strikes me as imitating a Nosler Partition, but at a much higher price and narrower range of impact speeds. OK if you are in a particular range of use and like exotic stuff. The bullets look a bit more pretty when removed from the dead animal, if you are into showing off bullets that killed something.

Barnes 50-grain might work well in a .22-250 or .220 Swift, as the impact velocity would be much higher than from a .223 Remington. I would use a Barnes bullet if only shooting at very close range from my .223 Rem or .308 Win. However, that would mean woods or heavy brush hunting, and all bullets listed in that test are Spitzers and inferior to a round nose bullet like the Nosler Partition 170 grain .308 roundnose or a Speer 70-grain roundnose in .224 cal. All Spitzers are horrible in the brush due to deflection, which is why African and dangerous game bullets have blunt or flat noses. I missed a mule deer at 50 yards in the brush this fall because I had to shoot through light brush taking a head shot, and I was wondering if those small branches a few yards in front of the deer might deflect my 150-grain Ballistic Tip. Evidently it did, as the deer ran off with nary a scratch. A Berger VLD would have performed just as poorly. A roundnose Nosler Partition would have probably brought home venison.

The good news is that less than 15 minutes later I got a shot at a nicer mule deer 3x3 buck, again at 50 yards, and it was totally in the clear. With a neck shot it was a bang-flop. There was no exit, even on a neck shot. Several pounds of meat were destroyed in the front shoulder area. The bullet deflected downward off the spine, totally fragmented, and the biggest piece of bullet I ever found was the green plastic ballistic tip.

A lot of guys would say that was fabulous performance, but I say very unreliable performance at close range (unless ALWAYS deflecting on brush or blowing up on game is some kind of reliability). I had intended to only have shots beyond 200 yards, which is why I was using a Ballistic Tip, because it gives sub MOA accuracy in my semi-auto FN FAL rifle. Working up an accurate long range load for my FAL is the best way to get a very close-in shot.

While not the best in every situation, the fact remains that the Partition is the most versatile and reliable bullet in more situations than anything else at its price point and if you need a bit more toughness and can pay for it, an A-Frame or Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. The Nosler Partition is actually on the shelves of most local ammo dealers, and its easy to find in factory loads. Can't say the same for the other stuff.

Last edited by FAL Shot; 12-16-2010 at 12:46 PM. Reason: add info
  #129  
Old 12-16-2010, 01:30 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

We tested the 60gr Berger Varmint bullet in a 22-250 on deer and antelope from 75 to 506 yrds and it did very well, shots behind the shoulders were typical results, pin hole in first lung torn up, second lung MIA and a golf ball size hole out if it exited. Shoulder shots pin hole in starting to open under the shoulder lungs mush with a jacket maybe on the far side. One deer took two but shot was quartering and the shot was made to far forward and low not really getting into the good stuff, the rest just did a short sprint then running out of go juice and tipping. Blood shot and meat loss was on par with most any other bullets we've used but accuracy and LR performance were significantly better than anything previous, a lot of the Bergers will be loaded next year!

Going to do some testing with the GS Customs next year as well, they have some good things going with a larger operating velocity range for LR terminal performance than other copper bullets and they seem to have better in barrel performance than the Barnes with better speed without the pressure.
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  #130  
Old 12-16-2010, 01:56 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

The driving band/gas check used in GS Custom bullets is something other bullet makers should have utilized long ago. However, I have never seen them on the shelves in Billings and its a long way from Africa to order them.

You seem to have realized in actual tests that .224 caliber is perfectly adequate for anything up to medium big game if bullet type and placement is correct. I am fortunate to hunt in Montana where .224 cal is legal for big game.

Unlike a slow twist .22-250, I'm able to shoot bullets up to 70-75 grains. I just got some 75-grain Swift Sciroccos, and I'm hoping my CZ 527 Kevlar Varmint will stabilize them. I have the chance of buying a custom .224 Clark with a 9" twist Lilja barrel, and if the CZ will stabilize the Scirocco, I believe the .224 Clark custom should do just as well or better. The .224 Clark has already taken an antelope at 350 yards using 80-grain Sierra Matchking, and the heart/lungs were turned to jelly and it was a bang-flop kill.

Also, did you ever notice that Nosler Partition performance is about perfect for head shots? A Partition will open very quickly, and then leave a wound channel about the length of a head, then the nose will break off and the rest of the bullet will try to exit the body. If I was a professional assassin...........no, I won't go there in a public forum.

Last edited by FAL Shot; 12-16-2010 at 09:27 PM. Reason: more info
  #131  
Old 12-17-2010, 10:25 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

This is a longrange hunting forum, right?
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  #132  
Old 12-17-2010, 05:06 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

FAL Shot,

It seems from your posts that you have a lot of hunting experience. You've made some claims about Berger which leads me to the question; have you used Bergers to hunt game? Have you ever shot Bergers at all?

I find that most of the people who say the types of things that you do have never tried our bullets before. Most of their opinions are based on conjecture in defense of their favorite brand. I am not suggesting that each of our bullets are the best bullets for all applications but those who use them typically find them to outperform, in many areas, the other bullets they've used.

I'm not working to pick a fight but rather need to point out the difference between comments made based on observed results and conjecture. There are a lot of armchair experts out there who mean well but don't understand the relevance between verifiable facts and well thought out opinions.

Regards,
Eric
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  #133  
Old 12-23-2010, 01:08 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Honestly- most premium bullets will get the job done at shorter distances but, I really like the vdl Bergers long range accuracy. Since we are on the "LONG RANGE HUNTING" forum I belive it is a clear top choice. If the bullet doesn't hit the target what's the point. I guess you could argue the explosive pros and cons of the Bergers till the cows come home.

Hey Eric,
how does the Target VDL's do in jell? Does it hold together or still fragment?
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