Discussion in 'Product Reviews - Discussion' started by ADMIN, Jun 14, 2009.

Barnes' Tests Prove Why Berger Hunting VLDs Are So Successful

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  1. ADMIN

    ADMIN Administrator

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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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2009
  2. Leupold308

    Leupold308 Active Member

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    Nice article Eric (good sportsmanship). BAD report Barnes! Very disapointed with them, recommend your produced for what it is, DO NOT try to sell it for what it is NOT (a great long range bullet).

    300 Weatherby with 168gr ttsx, muzzle velocity of 3112, and getting out to 1000yds with 1850fps left :rolleyes: Conclusion, Barnes test facility must be 13000 feet above sea level!

    Barnes makes a great produced with penetration being there forte, that said I believe there bullets are at there best when used to take large game with a caliber traditionly deemed to light for reliable performance, like making your favorite varmint rifle usable for deer sized game. Energy will be on the light side, but it will get to where it matters. Or to use light for caliber bullets to flatten trajectory for those with turretless optics (or just plain hate math).

    I never load barnes when looking for accuracy, although they have always proven acceptable for most hunting situations.

    Someone please explain to me why it is (in any given caliber) Barnes light bullets tend to be boattail while the heavy are flat base, maybe to keep shorter for stability reasons??? Must be why they weighted there MRX bullet because it didnt help the B.C. much (if any).

    Each hunting senario may have individual equipment requirements, should come as no suprise the bullet itself may need certian physical qualities.lightbulb
     

  3. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    You didn't really expect Barnes to post information indicating the competition's bullets were better. Anyhow, your critique is way more balanced than Barnes' test, interpretation, and conclusion.

    Look's like you've identified a number of flaws in the Barnes' analysis and sales pitch. Good to see the other side of the story, or perhaps I should say the rest of the story, that the Barnes' article neglects.

    Down range retained velocity at 1000 yds is important for purposes of ensuring terminal expansion velocity. That's one primary reason I use Berger VLDs with the higher BCs for my longest shots, provided I get a good load worked up with them. I don't think the guy that wrote the Barnes article shoots much at 1000 yds. Otherwise he couldn't possibly have overlooked the importance of high BC bullets and maintaining expansion velocity at 1000 yds.
     
  4. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    Amusing publication from Barnes. Stop whining about folks choosing bullets for BC and get the BC of your bullets up! Better produce what the consumers want. This is not a trend that's going to reverse itself. I would choose Barnes products for certain applicatioins. Trying to dictate hunting ethics won't sale me product!
    My experience with the accuracy and terminal performance of the Bergers has been MORE than positive. 100% effective! Yes it is a different concept than the "premium" bullets. Yes, it absolutely works. More importantly, it works at ranges I hunt at.....Catch up Barnes, or get left behind.
    I think most of us understand the characteristics of each design. I found Barnes "study" a pretty pathetic ploy. Come on guys, you can do better than that.
     
  5. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    I have limited experience with Barnes bullets, but it has not been good. My son shot a cow elk with a Barnes 150 grain 30-30 bullets and the first three entered and exited with zero expansion when put right throught the boiler room. The forth and final shot was quartered away. We found that bullet partially expanded under the off side shoulder. Don't have the load committed to memory but they we loaded hot and should have opened up fine.

    I realize that many people swear by Barnes for certain applications but I will have trouble using them again after my first experience.

    The one animal I shot with a Berger dropped in it's tracks.

    Great response Eric!
     
  6. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    Excellent article Eric!
     
  7. adam32

    adam32 Banned

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    Great article Eric...I wonder if Barnes will remove their "test" or come here and try to defend it??
     
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Eric,

    Great article. I can't disagree even a little bit with the pics of performance. Its exactly what I have come to expect since my hog testing.

    The words that surround the pics I couldn't disagree with more.

    I appreciate you closing remarks. Very spot on and nicely done.

    We do have choices.
     
  9. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    Great article Eric. The barnes advretisement lost all credibility with me when they posted groups sizes showing that barnes bullets shot better than Bergers......like yea right.:)
     
  10. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, cut Barnes a little slack. If I ever need to penetrate 32" with a 150gr 7mm bullet at 100yds, I know where to get my bullets!lightbulb

    Hey, anybody ever measure how thick a deer is?:D

    AJ
     
  11. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    In Texas, I keep hearing 32" for a heart shot.
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I found the Barnes article very interesting, not for there technical info but for the pictures of the ballistics gel. My first reaction was that the Barnes and the Bergers were performing as intended. I was more excited about using Bergers this fall after reading the Barnes article, then after reading Eric's article I got even more excited to use the Bergers.
    My family uses allot of Barnes bullet and they have worked very well. Since getting into this forum and ordering Bergers then shooting them, I can say that in every rifle we have shot the Bergers they have shot more consistant and smaller groups than almost anything. I guess that is what you get if your shooting a Match Grade Hunting Bullet.
    I would hope that Barnes would fix or answer to apparent bad data. We shoot a 300 Weatherby with 168 tsx bullets @ 3129 fps and the numbers that I get for what we shoot is no were near what they had for 1000yds. :rolleyes:
     
  13. noel carlson

    noel carlson Well-Known Member

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    An open query...

    This thread has generated an important question for me. As a designer who is somewhat unclear about your needs as long range hunters, I need feedback.

    Assume the following projectile performance parameters;

    - 338 caliber sub-minute accuracy at 1,000+ yards
    - Reliably controlled expansion to 2.5 calibers
    - Ninety percent+ weight retention, with minimal fragmentation

    Is it necessary, within these constraints, to still generate a >7"x 8" diameter lead cloud within soft tissue to achieve a "humane kill"?

    The reason I ask, is that it is easy to construct a solid bullet that will explode like a grenade when it passes through bone, and to achieve this with material which is entirely non-toxic. My working assumption, and one that presents the greatest engineering challenge, has been more along the lines of what Barnes has pursued (minus the marginal accuracy, and poor long range performance).

    Are you collectively accepting the complete fragmentation properties, of the Berger-type projectile as a desirable, or an unavoidable, consequence of high accuracy (or both)?

    Best,
    Noel
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  14. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    No, it's not necessary for a bullet to grenade/shrapnel in the initial 10" to achieve humane kills. But the bullet does have to expand to produce humane body shot kills. Ideally I'd prefer to have a bullet that shot as accurately as the Berger VLDs, had equivalent or higher BCs as the Berger VLDs, expanded reliably (like 99.8% of the time) at impact velocity to ~ 2 times caliber diameter, retained 100% of its weight, and at a price that can be justified with the knowledge that the Berger VLDs will get the job done at long range at a known price/bullet. Oh yeah. The bullet has to survive high launch velocity also. At some level of increased cost, I will just go ahead and use the VLDs in spite of the availability of a better more expensive bullet, since the Berger VLDs are getting the job done at long range quite nicely.

    My preferences are based on these considerations: 1) I believe the high weight retaining expanding bullet will provide more lethal kills when used on quartering or frontal shots - less than the picture perfect broadside shot opportunities. If I have to dispatch a bear up close, I'd like a bullet that will hold its mass well enough to plow through into the vitals on a frontal shot. At close range and high impact velocities, fragmenting bullets are susceptible to failure. If the animals are small enough, one can get away with a fragmenting bullet. If they're the size of moose or brown bear, one may not. If my long range bullet also performs well up close on less than ideal shot presentations, I can hunt with one bullet only. Right now I typically load Berger VLDs for longe range shots (>~4-500 yds), and Nosler Accubonds for carry-in-the-magazine rounds for closer shots, around camp, and on the go.
    2) Berger VLD bullets will not survive ultra high launch velocities. The high weight retention bullets generally do better. Higher launch velocity is an asset for long range hits and improved down-range energy.
    3) I hate picking lead out of my game meat, or chewing on bullet fragments. And the VLDs are utter destruction from 2-10".

    The Berger VLDs do a lot of things right at long range for a reasonable cost. I don't consider them the ideal, ultra high velocity, killing the charging brown bear up close in my face kind of a bullet. Which is why I currently develop and carry two separate bullets. The bullet you describe has the potential to shine in both settings. How much will they cost? That could be where the rubber meets the road.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
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