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

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Unread 06-18-2009, 08:10 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Originally Posted by Shawn Carlock View Post
Well said.
Plus 1

Unread 06-18-2009, 08:43 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker


esorenson....ty....very well said
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
Unread 06-18-2009, 09:59 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

"To tie this all together, it is shot placement that is key." ...

"... flight characteristics alone is in perfect concert with a long range hunting role, even if we dismissed all terminal performance." ...

"The damage shown by a Berger bullet is a type of broke that could only be treated by a complete organ transplant..." ...


"I've found my magic bullet."


In view of the preceeding premises, the last statement is a non-sequitor. Something other than regard for "facts" is prevailing here.

Unread 06-18-2009, 10:57 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker


I have been making bullets since 1990. Years prior to my joining Berger, Walt was named the exclusive distributor for the J4 bullet jacket. Berger merged with the company that produced the J4 jacket and in 2006 Berger purchased J4.

As many are aware J4 jackets are used by nearly every custom bullet maker in this country and many others. Walt and I eagerly encourage and educate anyone who is interested in making bullets. We promote die makers and those who support bullet makers with materials and other tooling.

I want to make it very clear that we are not against the existence and success of other bullet makers. Walt taught me many years ago that there are enough shooters in the world to keep all the bullet makers busy. I have seen this first hand and believe it completely. I have gone so far as to work toward a cooperative between the major bullet makers in the interest of growing the shooting sports.

You might believe that I am saying this because of a point I want to make regarding Barnes. This is reasonable considering the topic of this thread but this is not the case. You are making it clear that your motives have little to do with the topic of this thread. Your comments are an obvious effort to further develop and promote your bullet.

Understand that as a fellow bullet maker I have no objection to the promoting of any bullet. My concern with your comments is that others might mistake them to be in an effort to support Barnes' position.

You are clearly intelligent and I expect that the concept and development of your bullet is well thought out. I have seen many start up bullet companies come and go. Some have managed to build good bullets and stay around long term. Time and results will tell whether you have been successful in developing the magic bullet. You are certainly not the first (and not likely the last) to attempt this feat. If you are successful there is no question in my mind that price will be less of a factor than you might think.

I suggest that your injection of this subject into this particular thread is causing confusion as to your intensions. I understand that you have been clear in your comments that you in general do not have an issue with my article in relation to Barnes' article. Your comments are focused more on why you believe your bullet is better than all others including ours which is not the subject of this thread.

I believe your cause will be better served if you started a thread titled "My hunting bullet will be better than all the others." I am confident that the debate will be clear and engaging.

To strengthen your shooting skills go to the range.
To strengthen the shooting sports take a new shooter with you.

Berger Bullets

Last edited by Eric Stecker; 06-18-2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Clarification
Unread 06-18-2009, 11:59 AM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Noel, sorry if my opionated statements are somehow misleading. With Berger bullets, I get to have my cake and eat it too. I get premium (read world class) external ballistics, as well as unprecedented terminal performance. Having both has long been the scope of bullet makers. However their results have been more or less marginal in respect to both departments. Most often one or the other to a greater or lesser extent.

I assume you are out to do the same. Create a superior flying projectile while retaining excellent terminal characteristics. Maybe I should have used a different term other than "magic". All of the information I presented was factual. I don't work for Berger. To me having both external and terminal ballistic performance that meet my objectives at a competitive price are indeed "magic". Just eatin' my cake and callin' it as I see it. Thanks, Eric
AR-10T in .308 & .243 both 24"
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Unread 06-18-2009, 12:52 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker


As mentioned before, my limited experience with Berger, primarily through Bryan, has been positive. I believe that you encourage other jacketed bullet manufacturers, and understand that you even sell them components.

Notwithstanding your valid review of the Barnes promotional "data", there are other aspects of your article which implicate solids generally, and do fall within the scope of my criticisms. My comments have been germane to this thread.

To wit;

- Solids are not inherently less accurate.
- Solids are not restricted to a low BC.
- Jacketed bullets (the Berger VLD specifically) are not the "only... ethical" medium of a humane long-range kill, and by extension... solids unethical.

An explicit aknowledgement of this would actually satisfy any objections I might have to your article.


I did not mean to imply that you had a hidden agenda. The "X" factor that I could not put my finger on sounded more like a comfort/familiarity phenomena than anything else. I have run into that with regularity, and I do not think it is limited to this industry.

On the value aspect of the Berger, I could not agree with you more. While I appreciate Eric's optimism that price is a smaller obstacle than I suspect, I have no expectation that a highly developed hunt bullet will ever find general use.

Unread 06-18-2009, 01:26 PM
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Re: Barnes's Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful By Eric Stecker

Originally Posted by esorensen View Post
The Berger VLD bullet based on flight characteristics alone is in perfect concert in a long range hunting role, even if we dismissed all terminal performance.

In shooting lots of bullets from lots of reputable manufacturers, I have ended up with more yellow boxes on my bench. I cannot remove myself from the confidence they inspire when I pull the trigger. "They go where you point 'em", to quote Walt.

Sorry for the disjointed rant, spelling etc. it's late. It's just my opinion. I've found my magic bullet. Thanks Walt, Eric
Pretty good presentation of information and I won't be overly critical. I'll say that I'm not able to dismiss all terminal performance, and give one real-life example why. Dead is dead, but some animals won't be recovered without expansion on solid body hits through the lungs, and I suspect the liver also. I broadside dead-centered a Dall ram from 13 yds many years ago with a 280 AI 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip - MV ~ 2875 fps. The bullet penciled through with no expansion. The ram moved off 125 yds, bedded down, and was still healthy enough to motor away 30 minutes later. He was above tree-line in the mountains so I was able to observe the physiological response. When I saw small blood spots develop on both sides of the rib cage in the correct locations, I kept expecting the animal to expire at any moment. I finally gave up on the animal expiring and moved up to shoot again. When he saw me approaching at close range he was up and running on adrenaline again. Had this been a bear or many other game animals living in the timber, he would likely have never been recovered shy of the use of dogs. I finished him with a BT that did expand and performed my autopsy during the butchering process on that first hit. Exit hole out the ribcage same size as the entrance in.

I suspect your comment wasn't intended to be taken so literally, and was just part of expressing complete satisfaction with Berger VLD performance.

Don't get me wrong. I'm using VLDs for long range loads. That jaw-shot black bear was the first animal I shot with one. I should mention that three weekends ago I was hunting the same location and I shot a nice boar with a 210 VLD from the same rifle. He was standing about 5 feet from where the jaw-shot sow was the prior spring. This bear was slightly quartering away at 425 yds; the shot was through the rib cage and into the off side shoulder. Much deeper penetration was obtained. Some of the bullet exited in front of the off-side shoulder. This was a substantially larger bear and I never saw the animal so much as twitch after bullet impact. Instant immobilization. So I'm not on any mission to discredit the Berger VLD performance.

I had that first experience with one off the end of my muzzle that surprised me. I've since had two additional experiences on bear and caribou involving farther down range impacts and terminal peformance was devastating & deadly, in line with the majority of results I've read of.

Last edited by phorwath; 06-18-2009 at 02:15 PM.
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