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#7250628 - 08/09/18 03:42 PM Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 13228
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I've had some interesting conversations lately about the Berger VLD-H bullets. The H is for hunting. I have loaded MANY of these for lots of customers who hunt and target shoot. I personally shoot the 140 VLD-H out of my 6.5 competition rifle. They are VERY accurate!!! But here lately I have had some interesting stories on these bullets for on game performance. Yes, these bullets will generally fragment, sometimes dramatically.

I had a customer shooting a 270 WSM with 140 grain VLD-H running about 3200 fps. He shot a fallow deer in the chest at 90 yards, with the deer facing him. The deer went down, but got up and ran off. They followed and later got another shot on target broadside for a double lung, and that finished the deer off. Upon inspection of the first shot, it broke the chest bone, but did not penetrate past the chest bone. The 140 grain bullet was found flattened out under the skin in the chest in multiple fragments.

Last year, I good customer of mine shoots a custom load I made for him in his 308 Win with 155 grain Berger VLD-H bullet. Velocity was 2900 fps. He shot a doe broadside in the shoulder, and same story. The bullet flattened out destroying the facing shoulder, but did not penetrate hardly past the shoulder bone. A second shot was needed, and finished the doe off.

I have personally shot several deer with the 6.5mm 140 VLD-H. Most were head shots, and I had 2 behind the shoulder shots. Both were right behind the shoulder, not in the shoulder. The bullet fragmented so much that I was pulling out jacket material in the rear hams. I had never seen this.

So, after hearing all these stories about this bullet, I'm not too sure about this bullet when it comes to bone and deep penetration. But they are certainly Thor's hammer on game when it comes to dropping them in their tracks.
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#7250642 - 08/09/18 03:55 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
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Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I've said before, they don't do as well at very high speed, in my opinion. Run heavy for cartridge bullets, and they do better. My 7 Rem Mag is loaded with 180's, not 168's. My bet is the 168's going much faster, would give me results that are not as good as the 180's.
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#7250663 - 08/09/18 04:19 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
kmon1 Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 23402
Loc: Texas
I think you are correct Jason, heavy and slower might work a lot better.

I have only shot a few things with VLD Hunting bullets and those were 6.5s at 2900fps starting. Lets just say the rest are for target only.

Are the VLD Hunting bullets not the same nullets that were discontinued from the target line and replaced with thicker jacketed bullets that all reach the target instead of blowing apart in flight sometimes?
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#7250701 - 08/09/18 04:49 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
dee Online   content
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Registered: 04/10/10
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C&C like the vld are fine at speed in my tests if you stay off heavy bone.
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#7250718 - 08/09/18 05:06 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: kmon1]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Unless something has changed, Hunting VLDs have thinner jackets than target VLDs. The thick jacket on targets is something to do with rapid, repeated fire. So Berger said...
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#7250722 - 08/09/18 05:08 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: dee]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Originally Posted By: dee
C&C like the vld are fine at speed in my tests if you stay off heavy bone.


Each time I've killed with those 180's out of my 7 Rem Mag, the only bones I would have hit were ribs on two elk, and one Mulie, and vertebrae on one elk. The VLD dropped them all. On a scapula or humerus, the results may be more negative, but I don't aim for those.
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#7250724 - 08/09/18 05:09 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
RedSnake Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 3480
Loc: Dallas / Nolan County
Ideal impact velocity is between 2800 and 2000 fps. Work best on game if put behind shoulder ó heart/lung shot. Faster than that they will not penetrate reliably especially if heavy bone is encountered. Slower than that they wonít expand reliably and you need to hit shoulder girdle.

My experience using 168 VLD-H out of my 280ai mirrors the info from ballisticstudies.com...

When the 168 grain VLD is used on medium through to large bodied game at close range using the rear lung POI, the VLD performs in a reliable and spectacular manner. In this regard, the 168 grain VLD can tackle very large animals up to the size of Elk.

As the 168 grain VLD approaches 2600fps (330 yards), it comes into its own. Ordinary cross body shots produce exit wounds of up to 3Ē in diameter and killing is very fast. The 168 grain VLD continues to produce spectacular performance out at the 650 yard mark (2200fps) showing a gradual reduction in wounding, although still vivid, as the bullet approaches 2000fps
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#7250733 - 08/09/18 05:17 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
FiremanJG Online   content
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^^So yeah, heavy for cartridge bullets, or shots at some distance.
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#7250777 - 08/09/18 05:58 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
J.D.A Offline
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Registered: 06/27/18
Posts: 14
Loc: Junction
I have never personally had issues with Berger bullets and I am always recommending them. When clients ask to use my rifle I have a Nosler M48 liberty chambered in 6.5x284 itís killed close to 100k worth of animals. Itís my go to for mid range (400-700yards). Most of the time I tell clients to aim for the shoulder the reason I do that is because the Vidalís are more forward in African game (aoudad,scimitar,and so forth) as far as shooting animals straight on I have had no issues most of the time itís 100-200 yard shots and I find the bullet near the rear of the animal. I did have to finish a axis one time (Texas heart shot) 257 Weatherby 115g Berger and the bullet did not penatrate like I thought it would. But other than that one they drop in there tracks or run a short ways.
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#7250803 - 08/09/18 06:31 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
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100k worth of animals?
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#7250832 - 08/09/18 06:47 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
DStroud Offline
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Registered: 11/02/11
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100k worth..... hmm where I hunt that would be 6 Turkeys. cheers
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#7250850 - 08/09/18 06:57 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: FiremanJG]
J.D.A Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 06/27/18
Posts: 14
Loc: Junction
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
100k worth of animals?

Yes sir when you have clients hunting Nubian Ibexís,Transcaspian Uralís and other high priced exotics it adds up. I work for Pope Brothers Guide Service and Outfitting,
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#7250867 - 08/09/18 07:10 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: ChadTRG42]
scottfromdallas Online   content
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Registered: 06/23/15
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If I feel I need an ultra high BC bullet because shots could be long, I would look at the ELD-X before anything else. Hornady ELD line is shockingly affordable compared to other high BC bullets and I'd feel better about it's traditional design. The penetrate 2-3 inches and explode theory of the Berger always concerned me if I only had a tough angle.
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#7250872 - 08/09/18 07:12 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: J.D.A]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 25531
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: J.D.A
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
100k worth of animals?

Yes sir when you have clients hunting Nubian Ibexís,Transcaspian Uralís and other high priced exotics it adds up. I work for Pope Brothers Guide Service and Outfitting,


So, you've been through 50 barrels? Is that all on the same action and trigger?
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#7250876 - 08/09/18 07:15 PM Re: Berger VLD-H (hunting) bullet issues [Re: scottfromdallas]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
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Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
If I feel I need an ultra high BC bullet because shots could be long, I would look at the ELD-X before anything else. Hornady ELD line is shockingly affordable compared to other high BC bullets and I'd feel better about it's traditional design. The penetrate 2-3 inches and explode theory of the Berger always concerned me if I only had a tough angle.


I only have one rifle running on Bergers. Most of the other rifles are shooting Hornady bullets. I made a post in January of 3 skinned whitetail that were shot with ELD-X. Text book perfect penetration, expansion, and exit on all 3.

I am a Hornady promoter many times a week.
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