7mm Hunting Bullets - a little advice please

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 300magman, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    All of my following thoughts relate to the hunting of 170-240lb deer (live weight) at distances from 50 yards to 600 yards, with a 7mm RSAUM

    When looking at 7mm bullets, there seem to be 2 choices that are far far ahead of everything else when it comes to long range shooting. First the 162 A-Max and then the Berger VLD (in either 168 or 180gr).

    As I am looking for hunting bullets the A-Max probably doesn’t fit the bill, especially at close range. But then there is the VLD which advertises itself as a “hunting bullet” that basically explodes after penetrating a short distance…something about that sounds..unreliable?..to me.

    Does anyone have much experience with the 7mm VLDs (particularly the 168gr version) ?? I would be curious if others here would recommend them. (for short or long range work...or both)
    I’m thinking about reliable performance (stopping power) as my #1 concern, and excessive meat damage as a second thought, but it would be nice to avoid a complete mess.



    On the other hand, I’m sure the 160gr Accubond would have great terminal performance, it just gives up so much in terms of energy and drift when you start to get into long distances (compared to the other 2 bullets)

    And I had also been looking at the 154gr Hornady Interbond, with its BC nearing that of the Accubond and being 6gr lighter, it should actually out perform the accubond ballistically . . . But the real question is: Would it be too much of a controlled expansion bullet for the deer I hunt? (I want my bullet to leave a good deal of energy in the deer, not just pencil through)
    Though I think the Interbond could be one of the first things I try on black bear or caribou.
     
  2. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    you'll have no problems with the accubond to 600 yards, I've taken 29 with the .284 160 at ranges from 307 yards to 1350, all with the same affect, decent wound channel and they exit no matter how much bone they encounter.
    accubond exit at 532 yards
    [​IMG]
    accubond exit at 702 yards
    [​IMG]

    the big difference in a good LR bullet and a great one lies beyond 700 yards for the most part.
    RR
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Agreed
     
  4. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    Don't be afraid of the VLD at close or long range with that caliber. You can't push it fast enough to worry about poor performance with a 7SAUM. The only negative about the VLDs is that in most rifles they need to be jammed to shoot well and that is not always convenient in a hunting rifle.
     
  5. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    I beg to differ, I used 140 6.5 vld's last year with dismal results.
    RR
     
  6. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    Would you mind elaborating on dismal? I'm curious what the shortcomming was, and weather or not it was also range related.
     
  7. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    I would be too, Berger VLDs are the only bullet I have ever had uniformly good performance from.
     
  8. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    ok, last year used the 140 vld orange box .264's, which are sposed to penetrate 4" then rapidly expand, I shot a buck at 567 yards, liver hit, buck ran 1/2 mile, shot another buck at 593, liver hit, buck was found 1.5 miles away.
    my nephew shot a doe at 230 yards, bullet hit nothing but meat, bullet never even made it into the chest cavity before it turned to dust
    [​IMG]
    These were fired at 3160 fps MV. not sure its a bullet failure but its the poorest performance I've ever saw.
    RR
     
  9. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    I ordinarily would not call a liver only hit deer that ran a half mile or even much more and died poor bullet performance...Not a recipe for a quick kill by any means. Did the bullets pencil on through or did they come apart as Bergers are supposed to?

    Now your nephews doe, if a Berger did that then no doubt it did not perform as intended. I would still say that the OP shooting the 168s or 180s as he asked about can not push them fast enough to worry about.

    I killed a doe at 50 yards with a 7mm 180gr VLD with a muzzle velocity of 2950, The bullet performance was perfect...if a little graphic.
     
  10. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    Both the othrs did basicly the same as the deer in the pic, they did not get inside before turning to dust, the yellow box bergers from what I've saw perform much better in my way of thinking.
    RR
     
  11. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    The accubond will work out great in your case.
    I use it in my 7mm rem mag hunting rifle and have never been disappointed.
    I even shot a deer at 30yds and it dropped on the spot.
    The bullet penetrated the shoulder and expanded extremely well. Liquified the chest cavity.
    You could even use the 140 gr for out to 600yds.
    i'm going to give the 140gr e-tip a try and see how it performs.
     
  12. proload

    proload Well-Known Member

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    The theory of a fragmenting bullet being a good hunting bullet is flawed.

    The minimum requirement of a good hunting bullet has got to be a good solid blood trail if something goes wrong with the shot, and a bullet that is designed to fragment has virtually no chance of giving you that.

    +1 on the Accubond.
     
  13. Shan

    Shan Member

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    I used 140 VLD in a 6.5 and they worked great on everything I shot from 50-300 yards. Same again with 180 VLDs in my 7mm Dakota. Have a think about loading some accubonds for shooting up close and then using the bergers further out
     
  14. proload

    proload Well-Known Member

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    Another consideration that is worth while, if you're worried about the bonded bullets being too hard and not opening reliably downrange, is the Nosler Partition.

    That is a wonderful bullet, and gives you the benefit of rapid expansion/energy dumping/fragmentation and the momentum to punch an exit wound at both high and low impact velocities.

    Only downside is slightly lower BC.

    If I had to hunt with one bullet only ... at both close and longer range ... it would be the partition.