Originally Posted by noel carlson
An open query...
Assume the following projectile performance parameters;
- 338 caliber sub-minute accuracy at 1,000+ yards
- Reliably controlled expansion to 2.5 calibers
- Ninety percent+ weight retention, with minimal fragmentation
Is it necessary, within these constraints, to still generate a >7"x 8" diameter lead cloud within soft tissue to achieve a "humane kill"?
Are you collectively accepting the complete fragmentation properties, of the Berger-type projectile as a desirable, or an unavoidable, consequence of high accuracy (or both)?
No, it's not necessary for a bullet to grenade/shrapnel in the initial 10" to achieve humane kills. But the bullet does have to expand to produce humane body shot kills. Ideally I'd prefer to have a bullet that shot as accurately as the Berger VLDs, had equivalent or higher BCs as the Berger VLDs, expanded reliably (like 99.8% of the time) at impact velocity to ~ 2 times caliber diameter, retained 100% of its weight, and at a price that can be justified with the knowledge that the Berger VLDs will get the job done at long range at a known price/bullet. Oh yeah. The bullet has to survive high launch velocity also. At some level of increased cost, I will just go ahead and use the VLDs in spite of the availability of a better more expensive bullet, since the Berger VLDs are getting the job done at long range quite nicely.
My preferences are based on these considerations: 1) I believe the high weight retaining expanding bullet will provide more lethal kills when used on quartering or frontal shots - less than the picture perfect broadside shot opportunities. If I have to dispatch a bear up close, I'd like a bullet that will hold its mass well enough to plow through into the vitals on a frontal shot. At close range and high impact velocities, fragmenting bullets are susceptible to failure. If the animals are small enough, one can get away with a fragmenting bullet. If they're the size of moose or brown bear, one may not. If my long range bullet also performs well up close on less than ideal shot presentations, I can hunt with one bullet only. Right now I typically load Berger VLDs for longe range shots (>~4-500 yds), and Nosler Accubonds for carry-in-the-magazine rounds for closer shots, around camp, and on the go.
2) Berger VLD bullets will not survive ultra high launch velocities. The high weight retention bullets generally do better. Higher launch velocity is an asset for long range hits and improved down-range energy.
3) I hate picking lead out of my game meat, or chewing on bullet fragments. And the VLDs are utter destruction from 2-10".
The Berger VLDs do a lot of things right at long range for a reasonable cost. I don't consider them the ideal, ultra high velocity, killing the charging brown bear up close in my face kind of a bullet. Which is why I currently develop and carry two separate bullets. The bullet you describe has the potential to shine in both settings. How much will they cost? That could be where the rubber meets the road.