180 Berger VLD expansion mystery

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by oldmossy, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. oldmossy

    oldmossy Well-Known Member

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    This year makes only the second year using the 180 vlds. However, between myself and a few buddies we have 17 kills using this bullet. The first 16 were at distances from 250 yards to 1015 yards. The bullet performed excellent in all 16 kills. The only animal requiring a second bullet was a 1015 yd doe which I hit a little low and back. But even at that distance, still had expansion. The 250 yd muledeer had tremendous expansion. 15 of the 16 animals dropped in their tracks.

    Now, animal 17. My son shot his first buck at 160 yds, breaking both shoulders and also dropping his buck in its tracks. Expecting to see the offside shoulder gone, I was shocked to see simply a bullet hole out the backside.

    Why did this bullet not expand?

    I will be skinning this deer in the next couple days and will document images to go along with the rest of the videod hunt. Once video is complete, I will get it on here for everyone to watch.
     
  2. HuntFarther

    HuntFarther Well-Known Member

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    Something cannot be explained. But chances are if I had to guess and the tip was not damaged slightly then the lead core came all the way to the tip. Just a guess.
     

  3. oldmossy

    oldmossy Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the tip was not damaged. I always inspect my bullet.
    I was under the impression that velocity is what deterimed expansion. Is it possible that at that close of a distance,something prevents it from having normal expansion? Ive had a couple people say it was traveling too fast and didn't have time to expand. This goes against how I thought things worked, I do not believe this. But then again, I've found out through this website and extensive home research and experimentation that things don't always work like I once believed they did.
    Is there anyway this "too close for expansion" theory is possible?
     
  4. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Ditto huntthedistance, can't forsee everything.

    FBI tests hollow point ammo more than anybody and they have found that if the hollow point gets clogged with debris- cloth, sheetrock, leather - the hollow point turns into a FMJ. If the front of a hunting bullet sustains even minor damage from, say a blade of grass between the target and you, it is possible that it will not upset.

    I am not saying that's what happened but maybe...
     
  5. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have experienced the same thing on two occasions using 140 VLD's in my 6.5x284. Generally they expanded well on a couple of dozen kills between 200 and 1000 yards. I don't know the reason. On the other hand, this season I shot 6 deer and antelope between 300 and 700 yards with 210Hunting VLD's in my 300WM and all were chest shot pass throughs with no expansion. All were recovered and they looked like they were shot with a field tipped arrow.
     
  6. 300stw

    300stw Well-Known Member

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    are these bullets getting the noses banged up coming out of the magazine to the feed ramp to the chamber, I have a 7 saum with the 168 hunting vld I happened to look at a couple rounds that had been in and out of the chamber and in the magazine box during firing other rounds, couple had the tiny opening smashed shut, haven't noticed if one of those bullets went thru a deer or not, just now starting thinking about it
     
  7. Solby

    Solby Member

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    With a 210VLD out of .300 WM I shot a buck at 125 yards. Saw tremendous expansion through the chest right behind the shoulder. Bullet did impact a rib on the way in. This year at 450 same load same gun I shot a buck a little further back right through both lungs. No rib contact looked like a little oversized hole on the exit. The damage in the carcass looked significantly less than the 125 yard shot. My only current conclusion is that hitting bone can cause a berger to do a lot more damage than a clean through and through on a deer sized target.
     
  8. dzlfarmboy

    dzlfarmboy Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pic of the exit on my Elk at 786yds with the 180gr berger vlds out of my 7mm rem mag moving 3000fps. Shooter shows it having 2040fps and 1660ft lbs of energy at that distance. My friends elk shot at 688yds had great results as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. houston

    houston Well-Known Member

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    Very likely the case, I also shoot berger exclusivly, however I do check every loaded round with a staple. A single staple should enter the tip apprx. 1/4 inch.I have found an avge. of 2 bullets per box that can not be penetrated, making it a full metal jacket. jeff~
     
  10. dogbuster0006

    dogbuster0006 Well-Known Member

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    Having only killed a few whitetail doe with 115gr vld from with 25-06 I'm by no means an expert on ballistics. But doesn't berger recommend a high shoulder shot on their website for larger critters maybe to ensure fragmentation? Every deer I've seen killed with them were bang flop and right behind the shoulder shots, golf to baseball sized exits hitting ribs both coming and going. A couple hit shoulder blades on both sides and didn't exit but they were extremely close shots like 20-30yd. Maybe you got that one in million bullet that just wasn't right to begin with. I've only ever heard a handful of complaints with these bullets and I researched them extensively on this and other sites when choosing a load for my 06 and 7mag. If you've only had one weird experience with them out of the 20 or so you've killed I'd say that's still pretty good results.
     
  11. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Good advice! I've read this before and started checking mine. Any that the staple won't penetrate get used on steel.
     
  12. oldmossy

    oldmossy Well-Known Member

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    I'll try the staple method. Maybe there was something in the tip. As far as damage to the bullet, there was no visible sign of it. Also,I load my rounds one at a time. I usually dont put them into the magazine. So far, this has been the only round that didn't perform as expected. And as I will show in near future, it was a very very hard impact with no expansion.

    Thanks for the replies guys
     
  13. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    oldmossy, don't sweat it. You are whacking and stacking game and they are all dead and you haven't tracked one yet. I don't care what bullet you use, if you hunt enough you will have a shot that does not do what you expect. That is just how it is. It will be interesting to see what you find as you skin the deer. Is it possible since the deer was dead on impact that the bullet did enter and expand and only a small part of it exited? Just a thought.

    Jeff
     
  14. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    What did the insides of the deer look like. I've shot a few animals with a caliber size hole in and out but everything in between looked like jello. I figured the bullet fragged and only a small chunk exited.