Berger VLD bullets on Moose - will it work??

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by smokeumm, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. smokeumm

    smokeumm Well-Known Member

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    I got lucky and drawn and once in a life time ND Moose tag. The concern I’m having is with bullet selection. I’ll be hunting with a 7mm STW, the best load “and only load I developed” is using a 180 grain VLD-H Berger. Since this load shoots lights out (3150FPS, 1 inch groups at 250 yards) I would hate to switch loads unless needed.


    Of course shot placement is key for any bullet. What your thoughts or experiences using these bullets on Moose, or any game similar to Moose? Thank you...
     
  2. D1mens1onsh00ter16

    D1mens1onsh00ter16 Active Member

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    You will have no issues with that projectile.
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    If you can keep them in the ribs I'd proceed with caution. Any other shots may be suited for a more durable bullet. I've not had positive experiences with moose and bullets not of the ACCUBOND or Barnes variety when other than perfect broadside shots were needed.

    It's a once in a lifetime hunt for a large heavy boned mamal. The fact that you even asked shows at least a small amount if doubt in your mind. Doubt has no place on a once in a lifetime hunt. Do yourself a favor, choose a projectile which eliminates the doubt.

    M
     
  4. D1mens1onsh00ter16

    D1mens1onsh00ter16 Active Member

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    You are sub MOA at 250 yards with the load you have now. That round will carry more than enough energy to take down large game up to if not more than 1000 yards. I would not change a thing. The VLD's are good bullets and its all about shot placement.
     
  5. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    I would listen carefully to Michael. mine did not make it though a bighorn. you are sending over 200 fps faster too. mooses are thicker and heavier than a bighorn and a bigger target. i would use a partition or a accubond or a tsx.
     
  6. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    I have two Elk down with a 300 Wby no issues 190 grn Vld. If you are, looking for a pass through shoot Barnes if you are looking to dump energy into the animal Bergers work great. As a side I have two moose, Canadian and Alaska Yukon down with 300 Wby and 180 grn Swift Siraccos. I would not hesitate to shoot Bergers For the smaller species you should be just fine and will probably be able to close some distance.
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    I've never used one on Alaskan moose, and never plan to. The primary advantages to a Berger VLD is their target grade accuracy and high BC for long range hunting - where retained long range energy and velocity, reduced wind drift, and pinpoint accuracy are required.

    The kill zone on a moose is huge, and you're unlikely to need any of those bullet properties to kit the lungs. You shouldn't need to worry about shooting 1" groups at 250 yards on an animal the size of a moose. Unless you purposely intend to set up for a 500 plus yard shot, I would shoot something like a Nosler Accubond or Partition or Nosler's all copper bullet. Or a Swift Scirocco or A-frame. Even a Speer Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, or some other bonded lead core bullet. Or you could go lead free with a Barnes TSX. These bullets are all reliable killers under 500 yards, and if you do happen to hit a meaty or muscular area, they'll damage less meat and help ensure more reliable penetration to the vitals.

    If you do decide to hunt with the Berger VLD because you're married to them, or your expect, or plan on, a 500 plus yard shot, I recommend waiting for the perfect broadside exposure, and then punch it into the lungs just behind the front shoulder muscles. He'll probably run 50 yards, certainly less than 100, stop and lower his head while losing strength, and then bed down or collapse. Alaskan moose don't seem to go down as if struck by lightning unless their hit in the head, neck, or the spine. But they don't go very far when double-lunged with a sharp broadhead or an expanding bullet.
     
  8. ta406

    ta406 Well-Known Member

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    I took a north Idaho bull moose last year with a 210 grain hunting VLD from a 300 WM at about 250 yards. Bullet was recovered in the hide and it performed exactly as it was supposed too. Good luck on your hunt.
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I'd say you've got it nailed down. gun) I shoot the 180 VLD's out of my STW, too.

    Might I pry and ask what your load data is to get 3150 fps? My load is only 2900... I wouldn't mind stepping it up a bit to reach that 3,000 fps mark.
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I can not speak personally for a moose taken with 180 HVLD's. But can attest for being present for many bull elk taken with them at both near and far distances. I am using Bergers in all my hunting rifles now. I apply for a moose tag every year and have no plans on changing bullets if I draw my once in a lifetime tag.

    If you have doubts about how they truly work, read the thread below. I gathered data for the Berger 215 on 19 big game kills from antelope to many elk at lots of different distances. All the same bullets and same rifle in one season. Impact data and terminal performance photos are all there to see for yourself. I do not wish to sway you to use any bullet. But instead provide you with actual pictures and data of how they really work and if they will work to your approval.

    I agree with the behind the shoulder placement. But what has been left out so far in this discussion is what could happen at longer distances. In this thread you will see where we had at least a few instances where bullet placement was less than perfect and the design of the Berger bullets saved our butts. Follow up shots were chambered but never needed. Also know that with longer distances where velocity, and chances for perfect placement fade, you will see increased chances of a complete pass through with a Berger. And when the Bergers pass through at these distances on Elk, I can tell you the exit holes will be far greater than a non-expanding bullets.

    You are gathering data, and that is good, I too say go with what you trust to do the job. I hope some of this data help you to make a decision that is right for you.

    Jeff

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/comparing-berger-210-vld-215-hybrid-88657/
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I've never killed a moose or elk.....But I have dropped some whitetails in my day. I know that they aren't hard to kill, being thin-skinned, but those are some tough SOB's. I've shot some that just didn't want to die...I sat around for a few minutes in the stand, got down, walked over to it, and it was still kickin at me so I had to put one in it's gourd to finish it off, even though I lung-shot it...

    I'm going to be giving the VLD's a shot this year to see how they do. In the past I've used everything from Sierra Gamekings, to Trophy Bonded Bearclaws, to Barnes TSX, to Accubonds. I did NOT like the Gamekings or Bearclaws. They ruined too much meat. The Barnes and Accubonds worked perfectly. And I'm hoping the VLD's will do the same. I'm really praying they will, because they're the best shooting bullets I've ever shot out of my rifles, as far as groupings and accuracy goes.

    However, on that note... I have faith in ANY hunting bullet being able to kill anything, minus things in Africa, b/c that's a whole different ballgame. I wouldn't see why the VLD's would not work fine...Bullets are bullets. They have 1 specific purpose to be shot into animals and dispatch them humanely.

    I mean, we could sit and argue semantics and specifics, but when it all gets boiled down to it, a hunting bullet is a hunting bullet and they will all do what they were designed to do if put in the right place.
     
  12. smokeumm

    smokeumm Well-Known Member

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    I sure appreciate all your help. Since I switched to Berger last year, I only experienced one kill. That was on a 250lb mule deer, the bullet preformed exactly as advertized. But, as you know Moose are thicker skinned vs a big mule deer. That’s the only reason why I’m concerned.

    MudRunner, I’m using 80.5 grains of Vihtavori N570 powder, with the bullet soft touching. You’ll get 150fps faster comparing N570 to H1000. To what I found, N570 is great for temperature swings. Here in ND you may have a 60 degree swing from one day to another, so a good stable powder is important.
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man! I'll have to check into the Viht 570. Not sure if my local store has any or not, but I'll check and see. They sell Viht, but their powder supplies have been kind of hit or miss lately. If so, I'll definitely give it a shot. Do you have any pressure signs on your brass with that load?

    I also load my 180's just barely touching the lands for accuracy and pressure relief.

    I have tried everything from Reloder 19, 22, and H1000 in my STW, and found H1000 to be the best and most stable so far. I will definitely be buying some N570 to try. We have bad temp swings and weather changes here in Alabama, too. We have a running joke here, "Welcome to Alabama, if you don't like the weather, stick around for a few minutes and it'll change..." :D
     
  14. smokeumm

    smokeumm Well-Known Member

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    No problem MudRunner, hope you find the speed you’re looking for. Just so you know 168 VLD with 81.5 N570 gets me around 3,200 fps. I’ve know guys who run 168 VLD’s at 3,330 using 83.0gr of N570. I tried it, but had heavy bolt extractor marks.