Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from Berger VLD bullets in Your Rifle

mtntrapper1

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Apr 30, 2012
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NW MT in a remote quiet area
Thanks, but it was not all easy. it takes time and commitment to shoot that far and great rifles like I have help incredibly so. Work your way up learn wind well and it will come in time. I shot Prairie Dogs for years to 500 Yds with a varmint reticle wit super accurate 220 Swifts and 243 Win. handloading and using Leopold VXL 6.5x20 Varmint reticles and knew where to hold from years of shooting and shooting with Craig O'Gorman of Broadus MT, one of the best all time predator men in the world.

the 300 GR Bergers have great performance and knockdown performance. Also See Broz's threads on 300 Win Mag and Berger 215 VLD's. Look up Shawn Carlock on the web shooting 2700+ yds with his LRKm also. Also on this site.

Andy
 

Rickroyem

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Jan 3, 2013
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I have used this method for my Savage 11. I'm shooting Berger VLD 168 hunting in Lake City LR brass sorted for volume to .1gr by filling the cases with a small ball powder and weighing the powder. I used IMR8208XBR powder& Winchester primers. My jump was at .010".

The best pattern I've come up with is a 5 round group at 200 yards @ .24MOA. The velocity’s were within 42 fps. A quarter easily covered the group.

The problem I have been having, and the reason I'm here today, is that Ican't seem to control the variation in my velocities. The variation is about 125 fps. Until I can solve thisproblem I can't count on anything when I pull the trigger.:D

My case volumes are precise to .1gr weighed powder volume, seatingdepths--base to ogive +/- .00075, powder quantity to .1gr., concentricity preciseto +/- .001. Cases have been annealed. The necks have not been turned,
I use a full length sizing die and I use an internal neck sizing tool. I also crimp the top .003" of the case .001 to .002" smaller than the outside case neck dia. after the bullet has been seated.

Any Ideas?lightbulb
 

Broz

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Townsend, Montana.
I have used this method for my Savage 11. I'm shooting Berger VLD 168 hunting
I also crimp the top .003" of the case .001 to .002" smaller than the outside case neck dia. after the bullet has been seated.

Any Ideas?lightbulb
First think that comes to mind is what chronograph are you using and how far is it from the muzzle?

Second I would stop crimping all together of these bullets.

Jeff
 

Tones

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Aug 6, 2013
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Can anyone confirm that when testing for the best seating depth as per detail here, that the best shooting group (hence specific seating depth) at 100m will be the most accurate long range seating depth?
 

Rickroyem

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Jan 3, 2013
Messages
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I have found that the bullet path oscillation has not generally settled down at 100 yards.
I use 200 yards to zero or test patterns.
My most accurate load at 200 & 300 is a 1" circle at 100.
 

Rickroyem

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Jan 3, 2013
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Yes,

Read Brian Litz's books (LRH store), and a PDF paper on shock wave theory by Christopher long (www.the-long-family.com) & watch Reloading for Long Range Hunting also available in the LRH store, I think.

We all intuitively know that longer-stiffer-heavier barrels & lower BCs are better for precision. Long's study demonstrates that a barrel flexes as the powder explodes creating a curve in the barrel that changes the point of aim for milliseconds. Long provides a xls sheet that predicts the "nodes" or the milliseconds from powder ignition until the bullet exits the barrel at the instant the barrel is again straight.

The jamb-jump discussion with VLDs is about getting the centerline of the VLD bullet on the barrel centerline and adjusting the time that the bullet is in the barrel.

I just started using Long's predictive spreadsheet for "bullet time in the barrel" with Quick Load to optimize the powder load based on matching bullet time in the barrel with Longs prediction and optimizing barrel pressure.
The two loads I have tried have been amazingly precise for a first trial-- .5 MOA at 200 yds.. There were three 30 cal. holes that I could cover with a dime & 2 further out. For jamb-jump I just randomly chose .010".
 

OBXhunter

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Eastern NC
This is a great sticky on Berger VLD's and the information Mirrors my experiences with them. I use VLD's in .270 win, 6.5 x 55 Swede and .308 Win. Luckily I can seat Mag lenth and touch the lands in 2 out of the three rifles. My .270 is a Weatherby Vanguard VGX and has a loooong throat so I cannot get them touching the lands without single loading them. With all three rifles I have shot at four COAL's from .120 to .005 off the lands. Mine like them jammed.

For what it is worth my Savage Model 11 in 1/10 twist lives 168 gr VLD's and is sub MOA through 500 yards. Not bad for a cheapy rack rifle. Just thought I would share.
 

txsendero

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Nov 29, 2007
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Location
Humble, Texas
I know this thread is about the VLD Bullets, but does the same seating depth testing apply to their "Classic Hunter" Hybrid bullets. Has anyone found that the seating depth window with those are also approximately .030" wide?
 

baydog

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Jan 11, 2014
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Berger Bullets' Eric Stecker has just made available a tech bulletin in Word format.

You may download it here to save it one your own computer or read it online.



Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from VLD bullets in Your Rifle

Background

VLD bullets are designed with a secant ogive. This ogive shape allows bullets to be more efficient in flight (retain more velocity = less drop and wind deflection). While this result is desirable for many rifle shooters the secant ogive on the VLD bullets produces another result in many rifles. It can be difficult to get the VLD to group well (poor accuracy).

For years we encouraged shooters to use a base of cartridge to end of bearing surface OAL (I will use the term COAL to represent this dimension) which allows the VLD to touch the rifling or to be jammed in the rifling. This provided excellent results for many shooters but there were others who did not achieve top performance with the VLD jammed in their rifling. These shooters were left with the belief that the VLD bullets just won’t shoot in their rifle.

Other groups of shooters were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling. Some of these shooters knew that at some point during a target competition they will be asked to remove a live round. With the bullet jammed in the rifling there was a good chance the bullet will stick in the barrel which could result in an action full of powder. This is hard on a shooter during a match.

Yet another group of shooters who were discouraged by our recommendation to touch the rifling are those who feed through magazines or have long throats. Magazine length rounds loaded with VLDs could not touch the lands in most rifles (this is the specific reason that for years we said VLD bullets do not work well in a magazine). When a rifle could be single fed but was chambered with a long throat a loaded round that was as long as possible still would not touch the rifling.

Until recently, shooters who suffered from these realities were believed to be unable to achieve success with VLD bullets. Admittedly, we would receive the occasional report that a rifle shot very well when jumping the VLD bullets but we discounted these reports as anomalies. It was not until the VLD became very popular as a game hunting bullet that we were then able to learn the truth about getting the VLD bullets to shoot well in a large majority of rifles.

After we proved that the Berger VLD bullets are consistently and exceptionally capable of putting game down quickly we started promoting the VLD to hunters. We were nervous at first as we believe the VLD needed to be in the rifling to shoot well and we also knew that most hunters use a magazine and SAMMI chambers. Our ears were wide open as the feedback was received. It was surprising to hear that most shooters described precision results by saying “this is the best my rifle has ever shot.”

We scratched our heads about this for awhile until we started getting feedback from hunters who were competition shooters as well. Many were the same guys who were telling us for years that the VLDs shoot great when jumped. Since a much larger number of shooters were using the VLD bullets with a jump we started comparing all the feedback and have discovered the common characteristics in successful reports which gave us the information needed to get VLD working in your rifle. We were able to relay these characteristics to several shooters who were struggling with VLD bullets. Each shooter reported success after applying our recommendation.


Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from VLD bullets in Your Rifle

Solution

The following has been verified by numerous shooters in many rifles using bullets of different calibers and weights. It is consistent for all VLD bullets. What has been discovered is that VLD bullets shoot best when loaded to a COAL that puts the bullet in a “sweet spot”. This sweet spot is a band .030 to .040 wide and is located anywhere between jamming the bullets into the lands and .150 jump off the lands.

Note: When discussing jam and jump I am referring to the distance from the area of the bearing surface that engages the rifling and the rifling itself. There are many products that allow you to measure these critical dimensions. Some are better than others. I won’t be going into the methods of measuring jam and jump. If you are not familiar with this aspect of reloading it is critically important that you understand this concept before you attempt this test.

Many reloaders feel (and I tend to agree) that meaningful COAL adjustments are .002 to .005. Every once in a while I might adjust the COAL by .010 but this seems like I am moving the bullet the length of a football field. The only way a shooter will be able to benefit from this situation is to let go of this opinion that more than .010 change is too much (me included).

Trying to find the COAL that puts you in the sweet spot by moving .002 to .010 will take so long the barrel may be worn out by the time you sort it out if you don’t give up first. Since the sweet spot is .030 to .040 wide we recommend that you conduct the following test to find your rifles VLD sweet spot.

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a target competition shooter who does not worry about jamming a bullet:
1. .010 into (touching) the lands (jam) 6 rounds
2. .040 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .080 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .120 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Load 24 rounds at the following COAL if you are a hunter (pulling a bullet out of the case with your rifling while in the field can be a hunt ending event which must be avoided) or a competition shooter who worries about pulling a bullet during a match:
1. .010 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
2. .050 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
3. .090 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
4. .130 off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

Shoot 2 (separate) 3 shot groups in fair conditions to see how they group. The remarkable reality of this test is that one of these 4 COALs will outperform the other three by a considerable margin. Once you know which one of these 4 COAL shoots best then you can tweak the COAL +/- .002 or .005. Taking the time to set this test up will pay off when you find that your rifle is capable of shooting the VLD bullets very well (even at 100 yards).

Regards,
Eric Stecker
Master Bulletsmith



This is a awesome way to help decide bullet. Can anyone tell me what would be the best distance to do this test for a 300rum??
Thank you
Scotty
 

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
This is a awesome way to help decide bullet. Can anyone tell me what would be the best distance to do this test for a 300rum??
Thank you
Scotty
Scotty,

To yield better result instead of being buried on this thread, may I suggest you start your own separate thread.

Good luck!

Ed
 

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