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

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Unread 02-16-2011, 12:37 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

The 6.5 Berger VLD flies and groups very well, I will give it that. But, how it performs on big game is inconsistent at best. In my experiences, the 140 VLD works best if you have a perfect double lung broadside shot. How often do you get a 'perfect' shot? Even then, I would consider it a gamble if using Bergers; especially if hunting whitetail.

Berger states that their hunting bullets penetrate 2 to 3 inches of tissue and bone before expanding deep in the vital area. They also brag that game "won't run away from a Berger Hunting VLD." I have found these statements to be false, more often than not. I have seen both the 130 and 140 work well on black bear, mulies and whitetail. Although, none of the animals were DRT. Some actually ran very far before going down; which makes me nervous using it in thick, brushy areas. I have also witnessed the 6.5 140 literally blow up on the outside of multiple deer and antelope. Hence, why my main argument is with Berger's consistency.

Besides consistency, I have not seen many exit holes. And, if it does exit, it generally destroys the hide. I want my trophies killed cleanly and DRT. Therefore, I want my bullets to retain weight, penetrate deep and leave an exit hole. I believe exit holes are important for better blood trails. Since using the Tipped TSX, I have not had to follow any.

If I just wanted to ring that 800 yard gong all day, there would have been no reason to switch. But, I want to do that and more. I want my bullets to actually kill every time. So now... I Shoot Better, I Shoot Barnes.

Unread 03-05-2011, 12:25 AM
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Posts: 151
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I have used Barnes since Randy and Connie were shipping out of their garage. They are wonderful in Africa and Alaska on big thick skin animals or where you want to use the shoulder/spine DRT central nervous system placement on soft skin big cats i.e. lions,leopard,mountain lion (I haven't got a jaguar yet but it'll work), they can be intermixed with solids for cape buffalo and elephant and I am working on shooting a half dozen of each and almost there. For you Western open country LRHs they would be wonderful to carry in your rifle with the scope down of its lowest power while you are sneaking into or out of your sniper hide or if you get antsy and decide a mid day black timber sneak would break the boredom...this will perform the Texas-Heartshot...I put one thru the right pelvic, right kidney,boiler-room, left lung and exited the left brisket of just such an elk. Until the hunting Berger came along these Barnes with their petals were the technology...now we have an unbelievable LRH killer in the Berger Hunting VLD. Sniper teams have one man with a bolt action precision marksmanship tool and a spotter with a semi-full automatic to keep the bad guys off their neck if they get discovered. Most pocket knives have more than one blade. Like I tell visitors in my kitchen...DONT USE MY PARING KNIFE FOR AN ICE PICK! I have both in the drawer.
Somewhere Between Ignorance & Arrogance
Unread 03-15-2011, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Keizer, Or
Posts: 7
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

First I would like to say Hi.

I am not an expert and am not saying one bullet is better then the other, yet. I have only made one kill on a black bear that I consider long range, it was 366yards with a hornady sst 165grn from my 300Wby. I do know that I like a bullet that expands and dumps it's energy in the animal and not the dirt. I have a couple of people I know and one has shot deer and elk with barnes. The deer was 50 yards and he had full penetration with a frontal shot. It exited out the back ham. The elk that was killed had full penetration also, it also killed another elk standing behind it that was not seen by the shooter. He got a ticket for shooting a extra animal. The other person I know killed a spike elk at 500+ with a berger 168vld in a 7mm mag. It only took a few steps and the bullet worked as bereger said it would.

I have tried many times to get barnes to shoot well through my weatherby it has not happened yet. I have been reloading for 20+ years and have tried everything within my knowledge.

I have purchased a box of 168vld's to try. I have not had a chance to shoot them yet. When I do i'll let everyone know what I think. I am lookin forward to shooting these after reading and hearing from people that have killed animals with them.

This thread has been very informative.
Unread 03-16-2011, 12:22 PM
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Location: N.W. Texas
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I have experimented with both bullets as well. My experiences with the barnes are mixed at best. Accuracy with the barnes has always been MOA or less and penetration is always certain; but stopping power is the question. In a 223 the 53 gr X works more like a 243 with a 80gr, and in my 458 win mag the 300gr x is awsome on feral hogs as should be expected. But the trouble comes in the real hunting calibers and weights. I bought some for my buddies 6.5-284 in 120gr and were great at 100-150 yards but when past 250 or so we got what seemed to be zero expansion on deer. Five shots in the vitals on the same deer before he went down, all clean passthru, just flinched and kept chasin a doe. We had similar results in a 270. The VLDs on the other hand after firing over 600 of them in 6.5 and 7mm from ranges of 50 to over 800 yards have always worked as advertised.
Unread 03-16-2011, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 79
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

One reason I went to Barnes bullets was my son's experience with high velocity 140 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip on deer at 70 yards. Trashed both front shoulders. I decided a more controlled expansion would be better. Never had a failure with a Barnes, but I wasn't overly impressed with their muzzleloader bullet. Took 3 shots starting at 90 yards to dispatch a cow elk. My one experience with the Berger was 168 gr. 7mm at 2700 fps shot at 350 yards. Dropped an elk almost in its tracks. I'm buying more. I was hoping to try one on a Barbary sheep, but didn't get a shot this year.
Unread 03-26-2011, 10:15 PM
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Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 1,012
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I dont pay much attention to the theory I do pay attention to field experiance................I have used Barnes TSX 120gr in my 7mm-08 on three mule deer .....................ALL went down where they stood. Three out of three for me...............I have no complaints........................

Unread 04-10-2011, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

My son and I have been reloading Barnes TSX and TTSX bullets for the past five years. I shoot a 180 gr 300 Wby, my son a 150 gr 270 Win. Never had a problem putting the animal down, including an oryx, several elk, a dozen or so mule deer, and close to a dozen pronghorn. Typical shots were usually in the 275 to 325 range, longest about 450. Generally had a nice exit hole on just about every animal. Never had a problem with having to pick fragments out of the meat...nor would I want to do that. Probably realized some improvement on the grouping when moving from the TSX to the TTSX...but for practical hunting purposes, it was a wash. For anyone having an accuracy problem with a Weatherby, make sure you have a proper OAL gauge and are using it correctly. Discovered early on that this is an important measurement for the individual weapon.
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