is 360 yards too close for bergers?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by D.ID, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    I switched from 180 nosler ballistic silver tips to 190 berger hunting VLDs this year in my WSM. Record groups had me very optimistic but terminal performance has me concerned and about to switch to something else. My hunting partners 400 yard bull elk went right down from a neck shot with a 168 vld ( he switched after seeing my groups) but did not exit or do much damage really. We where a bit surprised but not panicked. I filled a cow elk tag at 360 yards shooting what I thought would be a perfect double lung and she did go down after one jump but was still moving her head and trying to get back up several minutes later and I could not stand to watch any more so with her laying quartering away with her neck up- head tilted down I put around right behind her jaw in line with the brain and she flopped over still. I ran up the hill to my truck down the road two miles, filled two canteens with water and headed back. Started working my way down looked over and much to my horror she was STANDING there bleeding in the same spot I thought she had already expired. She was facing the opposite direction as the first shot which gave me yet another broad side shot and that ended this fiasco but left me vary concerned to discover the 190 vld leaving the muzzle @ 2875fps failed to penetrate @360 one lung from each side and a head shot which landed as intended did not make it threw. With data galore and dear season upon me, I decided to use them for dear. Foolishly taking my first and last high shoulder shot on a four point muley @200 yards which broke his back and sent him crawling @20 mph across the hill side where I was able to slip a second round just over his heart and end it. None got away, but the front meat of the dear is now a salvage op and my string of one shot kills has bean ended. Elk@360 Dear@200 too close or just too soft a jacket for hunting? Very accurate just not effective like others I have used. Tell me this is not normal.
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have seen first hand this season 3 elk taken with the VLD's. Two with 210's from a 300 wm and one with 168 from a 7mm rem. Distances were 803 and 234 for the 210 and 450 for the 168. Two of the elk did walk a short distance of less than 100 yards but nothing like you have seen. The one that took the longest to die was mine at 803. In a moment of wisdom I elected to tuck one right behind the shoulder to save meat. My wind calc was light ad I hit him at the back rib. It missed the rib going in and exited the other side farther forward with an exit hole of 2". If I had took my usual high center shoulder shot he would never have taken a step like the past one I took with a 210 berger. All shoulder for me from now on for elk. They have a will to live like no other and need to be put down. Lastly, we recovered the 168 vld from the bull at 450. It was in tack including the jacket and looked nice as it was a perfect rounded mushroom.

    I feel any one bullet can act in many different ways. Angle, bone, distance all play a part with all bullets. I have read about most all bullets being king, or the same bullet being bad from someones different experience. My thought is this. I use what ever is most accurate in my rifle and I have the best chance of good placement. I doubt anyone will argue "shot placement rules" So I strive to shoot at a small area and have a follow up ready.

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Should be "FIRST shot placement rules", so that much of this 'problem' would be rare.
     
  4. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    I would say..this is not normal. I killed two whitetails this year from 280 and 300yards with 140VLD in my 260 with an MV of 3000fps. Bullet performance was perfect. Bullet entered behind the should and blew a 2" exit hole out the other side. Both deer took a few steps and tumbled over.
     
  5. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    I agree, not normal.

    I shot an axis doe at 170yards last year. First round hit a rib going in and absolutely nuked her. She ran 10yards and stopped, dead on her feet, however since I'd never used berger's before I held same spot and sent a another 210 VLD at 2930fps her way. This one hit the spine and took a grapefruit size chunk out the other side.

    The guide was feeling quesy looking at the thing!

    After "gutting" the extend of the damage from the first bullet came aparent, lungs and heart were indistiguisable. It was just soup.

    No insult intended, are you sure those are the hunting VLDs?
     
  6. carterv

    carterv Member

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    this is a 210 VLD recovered from a Mule deer at 320 yards. Shot at 3080fps. Hit behind the shoulder. He gave the death kick and ran 30 yards. No pass through. My gun also killed another deer at 426 with the same results. Where is the core of the bullet?[​IMG]
     
  7. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it is proper to say that the OP's experience is "not normal" or "not common." What is the "normal" expected outcome?

    I have now killed just a handful of deer with the Bergers with the closest being around 45-50 yards and the longest was 289 yards. Inspection of the vital region on each deer revealed destruction on par with every other "hunting" bullet I've ever used and in each case there was an exit with the Berger and more blood than most of my bowkills.

    Bullets used: 150 VLD/270, 210 VLD/308

    So, to that, I'm sure if I posted my clusterf__k accubond experience on a muley, I'd be told it wasn't normal either but it still happened.

    I don't think I'd give up on the VLDs yet but do make sure you are using the ones that say "hunting" and not "target."

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do. If I am certain I won't have a shot over 400 yards, I use Barnes TSX and TTSX bullets primarily.
     
  8. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    How long did you give the animals to die before you ran up to them? I give my bow kills an hour and guns the same before I inspect. If I know I did my part everything else has aways worked out for me.
     
  9. 300rum

    300rum Well-Known Member

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    i shot almost all my deer tags this year with 168vld-TARGET out of 7mm rem, at 175. 400. 550. 575yrds. i shot head at 400, rib cage- behind sholder, spine, and neck and all died in less then 10yrds.
    accuracy is unbelivable, and i.m very pleased with the performances on deer WT, AND MULLEY.
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Thats impressive. How big are those tags? :D

    couldn't resist!
     
  11. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    Two deer with 7mag 180 berger, one deer with 270wsm 150 berger, and one elk with 300wsm 190 berger, all under 200yds, all were one shot clean quick kills. For me the bergers have worked just dandy at close range. The only shot the berger did not exit was a quartering to me shoulder\chest shot, the big eastern whitetail dropped straight down.
     
  12. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    Howdy, I have bean out of town for the weekend. Thank you to all who responded, I appreciate the input. To those who questioned the target vs hunting bullet, they where in fact the hunting vld in the orange box. I should clarify that the shots to the buck did exit in brutal 2-3" exits and in that case bullet performance was great but shot placement was a dumb idea. He was still moving fast so follow up was direct but in the case of the elk I watched for about 15 minutes before sending the head shot(shot #2) and roughly twenty minutes before I got back with the water and gave her shot#3. I did not dig out the cores from the lungs. By my self that day, when I got the water at the inlaw's place they called the wife and my usual hunting partner and told everyone I was in the draw pulling her out in a blizzard alone ( oh ya, ten minutes after the shot it started coming down) my wife showed up in that pit shortly before dark with a pack frame but no light (and I only had one) so extraction was a bit rushed as was autopsy. Steep rocky faces covered in snow are no fun in the dark. I took three quarters, she took one and couple hundred yards later my partner showed up to take one off my hands. I looked at the head wound and spread the lungs to check penetration but I did not have time to dig them out. I hope it is a fluke as I really love there accuracy and they did perform on the dear although shot placement was waistfull. I guess I will get out the phone books and plywood and do some side by side comparisons with the other bullets before I give up on the VLDs. Thanks again for the input.
     
  13. 300spanker

    300spanker Well-Known Member

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    gun)Try the JLK 210grain longboattail. Better terminal performance. More lead in the nose portion of the bullet, and a better BC, we have shot 10 mule deer with this bullet in the last 2 years between 100-850 yards, and the performance has been unreal. google swampworks to get more info. jlk bullets also use the j-4 jacket
     
  14. wbygunner

    wbygunner Well-Known Member

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    This is my first year shooting Bergers. 300 WSM - 175 grain VLD - 3018 fps at muzzle. Here are my results:

    Mule Deer buck - 346 yards - quartering away - entered at last rib and stuck in hide on off side shouler - DRT

    Mule Deer buck (friend used my rifle) - 120 yards - laying down - high shoulder shot, bullet found in off side hide (hit bottom of spine) - DRT

    Whitetail buck - 130 yards - behind shoulder double lung, bullet exited - DRT

    Whitetail doe - 20 yards - behind shoulder double lung/heart, bullet exited - DRT

    Whitetail buck - 210 yards - behind shoulder double lung, bullet exited - ran 10 yards and dropped.

    While none of these animals were close in size to an elk, the Bergers performed flawlessly. All but one of the shots were what I consider close and they did better than I expected. They caused massive damage but did not "explode" on contact as some have claimed, especially at 20 yards (1/2" entry hole and 2 1/2" exit). Love me some Bergers!!!