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

 
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  #211  
Old 10-24-2011, 06:21 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Stecker View Post
For the benefit of some who are reading this information for the first time it is important to explain some points.

From the very beginning we communicated that the way a Berger Hunting VLD works is an alternative to the way deep penetration, high weight retention bullets work. Those who believe they want their hunting bullet to perform differently have an alternative option.

Barnes clearly does solid bullets better and in far greater numbers than any bullet company on the planet. They are the experts in this area. I strongly believe that enough hunters enjoy the Barnes bullets that they will forever (in one form or another) exist in the market.

It has never been our intention to communicate that another bullet should not be used, period. In fact I know of several times that I've publicly encouraged shooters to use other brands for various reasons.

This thread exists because of how Barnes tried to make a point about their bullets. During this effort they made claims that ranged from partially incorrect to dangerously wrong. My rebuttal article was written as a response to the specific claims made and not for the purpose of telling hunters "don't shoot Barnes".

I don't want shooters to decide which bullets to shoot simply based on this debate. I want all shooters to know the truth. Those who use the truth to make the best choices for them will have the best experience no matter which products they use.

Barnes serves a specific group that wants the performance of a solid bullet. This will never change. On the other end of the terminal performance spectrum (in terms of how the bullet is lethal) is the Berger Hunting VLD. There are hunters who enjoy how the Berger Hunting VLDs works. This will also never change. However, as these groups continue to debate (which will also never change), at the very least we can speak correctly and honestly.

Regards,
Eric
As this thread ages and is reviewed over time the above point tends to get lost. The above comments are as true today as they are when I wrote them.

Regards,
Eric
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  #212  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:47 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Terminal Ballistics Research is a website by a pro Kiwi hunting guide and gunsmith that judges terminal ballistics in the real world shooting real animals. There are three main ways you can choose a big game bullet: Light and tough (high speed, short distance), Heavy and frangible (slower speed, longer distance), or a Frangible/Tough combo such as the Nosler Partition.

Long distance bullets must retain speed and accuracy at distance and open reliably after considerable speed is lost. Heavy and Frangible works well here.

Short distance bullets should not fly to pieces even if bone is hit on the way in. Accuracy and high BC are not as important here. Light and Tough works well here.

You can have both in a single bullet if the nose is frangible but the rest of the bullet is not. Nosler Partitions have been the choice for decades as the big game bullet with the widest performance envelope, but at a high price. At any bullet weight, you have a soft nose and a tough shank. At the two extremes, you can do better with a bullet that is often lower cost and more accurate.

Light and Frangible....or....Heavy and Tough....are the typical varmint or dangerous game bullets that see little usefulness in typical non-dangerous big game applications.

The Kiwi PH also said that if you were a heat shot specialist, you could forget all the commercial hunting bullets and just use military FMJ to great effect, as Karamojo Bell proved long ago on elephants in Africa. Also, in the field, with his own clients, the Winchester .270 was the most successful cartridge, as Jack O'Connor strongly recommended long ago.....in the REAL world with AVERAGE hunters of limited ability shooting what is normally hunted.

The more things change....the more they stay the same.
  #213  
Old 10-24-2011, 12:53 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

FAL Shot,

I understand the observations of the test to which you are reffering. I've been exposed to numberous such reports. Most of the reports I recall have not involved observations from game taken with Berger Hunting bullets. This one may but you didn't mention it. I'm still interested in hearing your thoughts on how they perform when you try them.

Fortunately, you have several options from which to choose among all the various brands. If you are most comfortable making decisions based on this report then by all means use the bullets that you believe will work best.

Understand, I am not trying to be sarcastic but the whole point is to enjoy hunting, right? It is my strong opinion that each hunters does whatever it takes to enjoy their hunt.

Regards,
Eric
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  #214  
Old 10-24-2011, 12:56 PM
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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
Also, in the field, with his own clients, the Winchester .270 was the most successful cartridge, as Jack O'Connor strongly recommended long ago.....in the REAL world with AVERAGE hunters of limited ability shooting what is normally hunted.
A close confidant of Jack O'Connor authored an article after Mr. O'Connor passed away and revealed that Mr. O'Connor actually came to believe the .280 Remington was a better cartridge than the .270 Winchester. I read the article with my own eyes. I think it might have been Jim Carmichael that authored the article.

Regardless, there is no amount of Kool-Aid that will lead me to conclude any specific cartridge is heads and tails above another. That's the kind of stuff that old wives' tales are made of. Take equally constructed bullets of similar caliber, with comparable hits on game at equal velocities and the result will be the same. It won't matter if the cartridge is stamped .270 or .280.

I find it amusing that Jack O'Connor could spend a career extolling the super-performance virtues of the .277 caliber bullet above and beyond the .284 caliber bullets in cartridges with virtually identical powder capacity. This just speaks to hunters' tendencies toward love affairs with their pet cartridges. If Mr. O'Connor had been shooting the .280 Remington cartridge headstamped .270 Winchester and had access to equal quality bullets, neither he nor any other bystander would have been able to sense any difference in the effectiveness on game.

And nowadays, we do have access to equally constructed bullets. Bergers being just one example of the availability of differing caliber bullets of equal construction with high levels of manufacturing tolerance control.
  #215  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:09 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

phorwath,

The Winchester .270 is more widely available than the .280 Remington. I would favor the .280 Remington if I were a reloader, but favor the .270 Winchester if I bought ammo off the shelf.

I bought my CZ 550 7x57mm because it was a .30-06 action length with a fast twist barrel. It can hold long tapered A-Max bullet ammo (or Bergers) in the magazine without single loading or having to buy a special fast twist barrel at extra cost. The same rifle in .270 Win caliber would have to be single loaded, and then it might not stabilize the bullet. .280 Remington isn't available in that CZ model, and I wanted a modern Mauser 98 action at reasonable cost but high quality.

Eric,

Terminal Ballistics Research lists the Berger bullets in many of their cartridge data pages. They are usually recommended where a heavy but frangible bullet design is preferred for the intended use (usually long range). My decision to use Hornady A-Max was largely based on cost and local availability. Berger VLD would be completely adequate as well in my intended use. I live in a small Montana town, and Berger VLD means a trip to Billings or mailorder, and a higher price as well. In most cases, I would probably use a handloaded Nosler Partition or factory loaded Norma soft point as I already have a stock of those. The A-Max or VLD is ONLY for LOOOOONNNNGGGGG shots that the first two were not designed for.
  #216  
Old 11-10-2011, 02:40 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

I've been reading a lot about both Barnes and Bergers for some time now trying to make an accurate decision . I have to agree with Barnes on the fact that higher BC is not as important as bullet construction ,though they and I will most likely get a lot of negative feedback on the subject.
Berger Vlds do seem like a good bullet, I am not trying to take away from that , but from everything I've read and heard, they work best in certain range areas....not too far , not too close. They obviously work great on large and smaller big game animals alike, and for those of you that want to hunt deer at ranges of +/- 100 yards, your thinking too much. For those of us that are debating this with intent to use a bullet on bigger game at distances ranging from 10 yrds to 1000 yrds, we are looking for a bullet that operates effectively in that area. Bergers work well on game out longer ranges, but as said before, I don't want a giant 7x7 walking in at 50 yrds. that I can not effectively take down. I am not saying that Bergers won't do the job, but if said situation arises, you will be taking a quick shot with possible marginal results. (for those of you liars that say you wouldn't take the shot, I didn't mean you ).
I guess what I am saying is that with all the variables, wind , elevation, uphill/downhill shots among other things, to say that we are all going to make perfect shots every time and never hit bone is just false.
As far as BC being the most important variable is also a farce as anyone who handloads knows , there are many things that a shooter can do to help accuracy, different powder, different load, different OA case measurement.
What blows my mind is the amount of times I read that someone is expecting "tackdriving" accuracy in their production rifle by worrying about BC's.
I currently am shooting Barnes bullets with consistent 3" groups at 700 yards, so for me the BC difference just isn't as important.
Look at the ballistics gel at 100 yards with the berger. 9" of penetration does not impress me.
The bottom line is that we all have to find our own comfort zone. But most importantly enjoy the sport of long range hunting and all the math and discussions involved. There are a lot of products out there with many different uses, no one more right than the other.
  #217  
Old 11-10-2011, 03:03 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

The three inch groups are not off a bench, or using a vise. This is in prone position, front of rifle on backpack, rear of rifle resting on a closed fist. Not done indoors, this is out in a field shooting from one hill to another. Very light breeze where sitting, light breeze at target, no idea what was going on in wind currents above creek in valley.
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