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

 
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  #36  
Old 06-17-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

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This is a thread for discussion of the article, Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful, By Eric Stecker. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
Eric,

I have been utilizing Berger VLDs for hunting purposes for many years following a discussion with Walt back when his operation was here in Phoenix. Prior to using the VLDs for hunting a cursory penetration and performance test was conducted to ascertain actual results. Predicated on the jackets used I was surprised by the positive test results. Needless to say I started using the VLDs for hunting long before there was any public discussion or advertised suggestions concerning their use for hunting purposes. I have found that they perform exactly as discribed in your article. I have experienced excellent results on thin skinned animals in the deer family consistently producing clean kills.

Upon close scrutiny of the Barnes article I find the author to be not only misinformed but several of his insinuations are unquestionably downright misleading and contradictory. It is unfortunate that a company must stoop to such a low level in an effort to bolster sales of their products. In closing I would like to advise that in my log book I have a target with a 3 shot group from a .300 RUM that printed a .243 group at 300 yards. We have never experience such extreme accuracy from any of the Barnes bullets that we have tested - I would suspect that an elaboration concerning accuracy of VLD bullets for medium to long range shooting in something intentially left out of the Barnes article!

DSW - Independent Ballistitian

Last edited by Ackley Man; 06-17-2009 at 01:04 PM.
  #37  
Old 06-17-2009, 01:13 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Paul,

In order to be certail we are talking about the same "magic";

The .338 bullet in question would retain it's weight (>90% mass & >2.0 caliber mushroom) in high-velocity impacts, and open reliably at low velocity (> 1.5 calibers in 99.8% of impacts @ ~1,400 fps), with an average expansion of 2.5 calibers, correct?

If these numbers need revision, based on a concensus of the requirement, I will adjust the physicals.

Best,
Noel
  #38  
Old 06-17-2009, 01:47 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Noel,

I except and appreciate your comments. Certainly there are interpretations that will vary related to the best option regarding terminal performance. I agree with many who have posted on this forum that the application needs to be considered when a bullet is selected and that one bullet cannot fit all hunting applications.

For the sake of clarity, the exact quote in our video is that the Berger VLD "is the only bullet to use for ethical performance in extreme distance shooting". It is preceded by specific performance characteristics that support this statement. Additionally, our video emphasizes long range hunting which frankly, is where the Berger Hunting VLD clearly separates itself from the other bullet options. I encourage everyone to watch this video and see how many references are made to long range hunting performance and then consider if this statement is marketing hype or based on factual performance results.

Berger Bullets

It is an interpretation on my part; however I believe that this statement is in keeping with our bullets performance in this application. The producers of this video making this statement have used every brand for this applicaton. They back this statement up by using Berger VLDs to produce more consistently successful results than they were able to get from every other brand. This is further supported by results reported by hunters in the field.

Barnes' states that hunters who choose bullets based on BC are "unethical and careless". I believe this statement is completely inaccurate. They have no evidence to support this statement and it is in fact contrary to a very important aspect of choosing the best hunting bullet. BC plays a significant role in shot placement on targets at unknown and changing distances.

I am not suggesting that we do not play to our strengths but we do so factually. I state in my article the following; "If you feel you need a deep penetrating, high weight retaining bullet to have the best experience then by all means please shoot Barnes or any of the many others brands that produce the same result." My article was born from a frustration that misinformation was presented in a misleading way. It was not the result of my interest in how Barnes' article will affect our sales.

Having said all this, I am certain that I am guilty of providing inaccurate information from time to time. I do not claim to be perfect but am committed to seeking the truth and communicating it as accurately as possible. I will be the first to admit publicly when I make an error and will correct it as quickly as I am able.

Regards,
Eric
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  #39  
Old 06-17-2009, 02:24 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

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Originally Posted by joep17 View Post
Wow.

I read both articles carefully. Learned something from both. However, there was one big difference. To my perception, the Barnes article came across as information with some opinion and artisctic license BUT completely professional and left the reader to decide for themselves. I did not get the sense of personal or corporate attack like I did the second article. The tone definitely dropped my high opinion of the Berger name down a couple of notches. Great product, just a step backwards in company image.

And here I thought shooting, reloading and ballistics were pure science where emotions and passions got checked at the door.
joep17,

Couldn't disagree with you more. The Barnes article was littered with inaccuracies. Unquestionably Barnes additionally attempting to influence the readers with their skewed opinions. Berger has every right to defent their product and address the inaccuracies and unfounded opinions set forth in the Barnes article. You really shouldn't lower your opinion of Berger for their rebutal. Should the Barnes article been forthright, completely factual and less opinionated I am sure you would not have seen Berger address the issues as strongly.

Last edited by Ackley Man; 06-20-2009 at 12:10 PM.
  #40  
Old 06-17-2009, 02:52 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Eric,

I readily agree that your article provided valid criticism of the Barnes data. The "danger" component to that misinformation would seem to be somewhat self-correcting, but this is no excuse for the fact that Barnes knew, or should have known better than to publish it. The problem I am having is with non-scientific value judgements being presented as "factual performance results".

Reference was made to a "spiritual" facet of the hunt in your article. If it is not glaringly obvious to anyone following my posts, I am here to learn from hunters... but I think I understand what you mean. Taking life, to sustain life, is a godlike act that should be taken seriously regardless of the prey... man, or animal.

"Ethical performance in extreme distance shooting" can mean only "ethical" kills in ELR hunting of animals. As a hunting projectile, it is not difficult for me to envision numerous scenarios in which the Berger VLD would be unethical for use by that standard, and in this context. I sense that you can also based on your observation that "one bullet cannot fill all hunting applications". As good as the Berger VLD is, I believe the video statement to be factually erroneous, and am left with either imputing dark motives, or chalking it up to sales shorthand. I prefer the latter, not only because I believe it is a healthier assumption, but also more likely to be true.

I have no direct experience with Berger as a company, or you personally Eric. I have had contact with Bryan, and if a person can be judged by the company he keeps, then a Company can be judged on the team it assembles. On that basis, I have a good opinion of both you, and your company.

Best,
Noel

P.S.; I empathize with your frustration.

Last edited by noel carlson; 06-17-2009 at 02:56 PM.
  #41  
Old 06-17-2009, 03:37 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Quote:
Originally Posted by noel carlson View Post
Paul,

In order to be certain we are talking about the same "magic";

The .338 bullet in question would retain it's weight (>90% mass & >2.0 caliber mushroom) in high-velocity impacts, and open reliably at low velocity (> 1.5 calibers in 99.8% of impacts @ ~1,400 fps), with an average expansion of 2.5 calibers, correct?

If these numbers need revision, based on a concensus of the requirement, I will adjust the physicals.

Best,
Noel
Noel,

That performance would be impressive. Significant & reliable expansion down to 1400 fps, yet high weight retention at high impact velocities. Getting that quality performance in both high and low velocity extremes would be close to magical, in light of the currently offered selection of bullets. Include a high BC and good accuracy for long range delivery - then yes, we're communicating in common. Bullets like that would be breaking new ground, to my knowledge and understanding.
  #42  
Old 06-17-2009, 03:58 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Noel,
I understand the problem of interpreting literally the phrase: "ethical performance in extreme distance shooting". Just the words: "ethical performance" themselves don't really go together. Ethical implies a judgment of morals, while performance implies something that should be able to be quantified.

Although the literal interpretation of the words themselves may not be perfect from a scientific point of view, I think the message is clearly conveyed. The real message being: When shooting at extreme distance, a precise and high BC bullet with good terminal performance will be optimal for accomplishing the following objectives.
A. Make it easy to achieve good shot placement, and
B. Dispatch an animal as quickly and with as little suffering as possible.

Part A addresses those measures of ballistic performance that can be quantified (drop, drift, energy, etc).
Part B is assumed to be commensurate with what most would consider 'ethical' taking of game.

Although I'm not in the 'sales' part of the business, I've come to understand the realities of presenting information. Promotional materials have to be factual and informative while connecting to the greatest number of people as possible. As much as you and I would like to see and hear information that's only 100% scientifically, technically, and literally accurate, we have to understand that it would be unwise to tailor promotional material to such a small audience. The result in the case of Berger's promotional video is a message that is somewhat compromised in presentation, but captures a very factual and important reality that we can explain at length if the shorthand is not understood.

By contrary, Barnes promotional material puts forth very specific information that is simply skewed in their favor. If I were them (to echo a previous poster) I would stick to emphasizing how well Barnes bullets do what they actually do best, which is penetration and weight retention. To those who believe that is the key to lethality, they will be convinced. Those who have other ideas about how bullets should perform on impact will not be fooled with Barnes interpretation of the pictures. I think it was a huge mistake for them to enter the arena of external ballistic performance (retained velocity).

I think we're all on the same page here guys, at least with the big stuff.

-Bryan
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Author of: Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting
And: Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting

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