Berger Hunting VLDs: Heart/lung vs Shoulder

lennyo3034

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I am switching to Berger 140 hunting VLDs this year since that's what my new rifle likes most.

I have heard this bullet tends to fragment as opposed to expand. If that's the case, should I look for a heart/lung shot as opposed to a shoulder shot?

My property is not particularly large so I try to drop them DRT. Shoulder shots have been effective at this but I'm not sure how well a fragmenting bullet will worj for that shot.

Any with experience with VLDs through the shoulder? White tail is target species. Muzzle velocity with 6.5 140 VLD is 2750.
 

ddossett1976

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I try for the heart lung and if I hit shoulder with 140 vld's no worries the bullet will still do plenty of damage and the game will expire very soon so No Worries either way.
 

TexSavage

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So far with the 215 Hybrids out of my 300WSM, 2870fps, I have had three whitetail drt. Range 365-380 yards, with exit wounds about the size of a softball, all high shoulder shots in the Autonomous Plexus area (I think that's how they describe it) and a single whitetail go less than 10 yards with a heart lung shot. Half heart and only 1 partial lung was left. Distance was 250 yards or so with a blood trail that looked like someone painted on the grass with a 12" roller.

Your mileage may vary.
 

MudRunner2005

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I am switching to Berger 140 hunting VLDs this year since that's what my new rifle likes most.

I have heard this bullet tends to fragment as opposed to expand. If that's the case, should I look for a heart/lung shot as opposed to a shoulder shot?

My property is not particularly large so I try to drop them DRT. Shoulder shots have been effective at this but I'm not sure how well a fragmenting bullet will worj for that shot.

Any with experience with VLDs through the shoulder? White tail is target species. Muzzle velocity with 6.5 140 VLD is 2750.
Yes.
 

lennyo3034

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I'm a little sensitive to DRT because my neighbors are anti hunters.

2 years ago I took a heart/lung on a big buck. Took out both lungs and the top of the heart. Still ran 30 yards into the neighbors property. He had heard the shot and came out to argue. Refused to allow me to retrieve the deer until the cops were called to settle it.

I choose that particular location on my 5 acres because that is the safest location to shoot, down into a gulley. Unfortunately it's close to his property. His house is 400 yards away over two hills but his property line goes pretty close. Anti-hunter on the other side too.

I will be using a suppressor this year to tame down the noise and unfortunately can't archery hunt because the deer run too far.
 

Buttermilk

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At the velocity you mentioned, I still go for the shoulder shot, even with the Berger VLD-H.

The deer I've taken with the Berger VLDH bullet have been deadly.

However, one was a doe taken at ~65 yards, and the shot was behind the shoulder. The shot impacted near side behind the shoulder, exiting off side behind off-side shoulder (entrance and exit were both in the ribs). The bullet exit was actually two holes, indicating the bullet came apart in at least two major portions. Exit holes were both combined the size of my fist (side by side). That doe traveled ~70 yards, leaving a massive blood trail. The gun used was a T/C Encore 30-338WM handgun with a 16.5" bbl. MV was 2700 FPS with a Berger 175 VLDH bullet (normally I load this one at 2846 FPS, but slowed it down for increased brass life).

Another deer, a small buck, was shot a 41 paces using a T/C Encore 30-06AI 15"bbl handgun. Muzzle velocity was 2650 FPS. Bullet was a Berger 168 VLDH. That bullet entered behind the near side shoulder (deer was quartering towards me), blowing up inside the deer and never exiting. I found bullet fragments all the way back to the rectum of that deer. He dropped in his tracks, then proceeded to try to drag himself for about 10 feet before expiring.

Another deer was a good size mature 7pt whitetail buck. Taken using a 300 RUM with a Berger 210 VLDH at 3144 FPS MV. This buck was shot at 82 yards, behind the shoulder in the rib cage, and the bullet exited the offside in the rib cage. However, the deer dropped in his tracks like a sack of potatoes. The bullet, with out impacting the spine, broke the deer's back - just like snapping a stick over your knee - likely from the hydrostatic shock. I was expecting a rather large exit hole, but it was rather unimpressive. However, that buck never knew what hit him (he was chasing a doe - and the doe wasn't ready for him to quit chasing her, as she hung around waiting on him to get back up and get after her - she finally eased over there and sniffed of him, then slowly walked away).

So, in summary, I'd still shoot for the shoulder even with the Berger, just to try to anchor the deer on the spot.
 

Buttermilk

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If your shots aren't long range, and you want to make sure the bullet holds together for shoulder shots, then consider another bullet (even though I would not hesitate to do so with a Berger, depending on the specific cartridge, bullet weight, and muzzle velocity, and also the size of the deer).

A 6.5mm 140gr bullet has a decent amount of sectional density which certainly helps with penetration. I have the Berger hunting DVD, and on it they demonstrate the Berger capabilities using a lot of high shoulder shots, ultimately dropping the animals in their tracks (granted, it's designed to promote Berger bullets, but clearly shows their effectiveness).
 

jasent

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I shot one small 4x5whitetail at 30 yards with my 300wm and 185 hvld. Double lung, rib in rib out. Took 4” of lung out the exit hole. He went 20 yards
 

MudRunner2005

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high shoulder if you need to anchor them right there. It sucks to lose the meat, but better than losing the whole critter.
Whitetail can easily go 100 yards with a perfect heart shot. They don't always do that, but certainly can. With two broken shoulders, they don't go anywhere.
Not necessarily... Seen one with both blown-out front shoulders pushing his body with his back legs back into the nearest wood line and was hiding behind a fallen tree...Where he did expire almost immediately from blood loss from working so hard to get away. Had I not watched it happen, I wouldn't have believed it. Seen the opposite happen too, where someone hit the spine too far back, and took out the back legs, and it attempted to drag itself away with just the fronts... Whitetails may not be the largest game animals, but they are one of the most hellbent on survival that you will hunt. Tracked plenty of them with a blown-out heart and both lungs that ran 85+ yards through a briar thicket... Talk about some fun tracking... :rolleyes:
 

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