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  1. #1

    Default Terminal Capabilities of Berger's VLD Hunting Bullets?

    I've been doing some reading and Berger's 168 gr VLD Hunting bullets seems to be a no-brainer for 7mm Rem Mags as far as accuracy is concerned.

    I am looking for experience/advise on the terminal affects of Berger's VLD Hunting bullets on elk (caliber .284" and species elk preferred). Specifically, is this a bullet that if you hit the shoulder on a bull elk, the bullet is still going to punch through to the lungs/heart? Does it still perform under 300 yards despite it's design for 300 yards and out?

    If you want to throw in your experience with the accuracy of these bullets that would be great too, but I'm more concerned with this bullet's terminal capabilities.

    Thanks in advance.
    The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing.

    You can't eat antlers!!!

  2. #2
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    Ty Stubblefield told me a story about a late season cow elk he shot with a Berger bullet. He only got a few pounds of meat from a shoulder hit and the rest was ruined. He also did a podcast about this and you'll strongly consider against glorified target bullets for hunting.

  3. #3
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    I donít have experience with the 168 but I have use the 180s extensively. I have had nothing but great results I have shot animals from 180 yards out to 500. The two at 180 yards were both cow elk and I shot them behind the shoulder and they died quickly. I donít care what bullet you use you canít shoot an animal in the muscle and not expect bloodshot meat. While I admit That Berger bullets perform differently than your typical cup and Core bullet but for me they have the same results. I suggest try whatever bullet shoots the best out of your gun and formulate your own opinion. Thereís too many people that badmouth every single brand of bullet and until you have a bad experience with one particular one I would just generate your own opinion. I have shot elk and deer Mountain goat and sheep with them now.
    I have never been one to try to shoot for the shoulder typically because of the fact youíll ruin a lot of meat. I generally aim for the crease and go for the vitals right there.
    You will hear those that say well it doesnít create holes for blood trails or this or that but when an animalís vitals are totally destroyed itís not going to go very far. And that has been my experience.
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    Well said Lawnboy!! I personally love the VLD bullets for hunting also. As stated you may not get a pass through on some shots but I've had many DRT kills with the VLD. No need for blood to track when the animal doesn't take a step.
    I have used the 168gr in a 7mm Rem mag loaded over H1000 with outstanding accuracy and performance on game. Have also used the 95gr,105gr 6mm, 140gr 6.5mm, 150gr 270cal and will use the 195gr 7mm this year.
    As suggested I would load some up and see how your rifle likes them. I'd follow the seating depth tests from Berger as a start.
    Last edited by cahunter805; 06-13-2018 at 02:42 PM.

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    I can't speak to the 7mm bullets on elk but I have used the 6.5mm Bergers on whitetails and my results were interesting. I shot a doe at 215yds and she was dead within 15yds but there was only a small exit hole and almost no blood. I've found more traditional bullets work best on deer and antelope for quick clean kills because the method of expansion is much more reliable. I usually base my bullet choices on my experience with whitetails and how well those bullets expand/penetrate, how far the animals traveled, and how much damage was sustained by the animal.

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    Okie
    Just a question. You shot a deer and it ran 15 yards. Did you need blood to track it? How did the vitals look? Like soup?
    How far does a typical deer shot with a traditional bullet run?

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    I shot it from across a pasture while it was standing just inside a small patch of trees and when I got to where it was standing I saw it laying dead across a small seasonal creek. Visibility in that patch of trees is pretty good so there wasn't much tracking needed. Internal damage was pretty impressive and there was plenty of blood around her when she fell but had she run more than 50 yards or turned north and went into the thick, nasty, thorny brush across the fence where visibility is 10yds at best it would have been challenging to find her without a grid search.

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    Edit: this is the exit wound in the photo

    In my experience with the small whitetails here(150lbs or less) rapid expansion, cup and core bullets seem to best. IMHO, nothing drops deer like the Hornady SST, they seem to snatch the soul right out of deer on impact. Second to that, would be the good ol Remington Corelokts. Most of my deer have been shot with a 270 or 30-30 and, except for the ones I shot with my 140gr Accubond handloads, none of them have traveled more than a few steps before taking a digger.

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    From my experience the furthest an animal has made it when hit in the vitals with a VLD was probably 10-15 yards. Most are DRT and react as if a rug was pulled out from under them. I agree though shoot whatever your rifle likes and your confident in. Most any bullet when put into the vitals will get the job done.

  9. #9

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    I've used Bergers. Bought my first ones in 2006. Shot a few critters and wasn't happy. I use them still for some practice, but for killing I've moved on. mtmuley

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    I love the bergers and have shot quite a few animals with the 210 and 140's. They never have taken more than a couple of steps.

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    That rifle really liked the Bergers but they had to be loaded at mag length which was .10 longer than spec but I was also able to push them almost 100 fps faster with the added capacity. I switched to a slower burning powder and was able to shoot some awesome groups but I was leery about the Bergers so I abandoned it.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmuley View Post
    I've used Bergers. Bought my first ones in 2006. Shot a few critters and wasn't happy. I use them still for some practice, but for killing I've moved on. mtmuley
    And there you have it. He tried something and made a decision. You'll get the same thing on Barnes, Accubonds etc.... Just shoot what you feel comfortable shooting. They will all kill things and on any given odd situation they will all have a few crazy unfavorable curcumstances. IMO
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawnboy View Post
    And there you have it. He tried something and made a decision. You'll get the same thing on Barnes, Accubonds etc.... Just shoot what you feel comfortable shooting. They will all kill things and on any given odd situation they will all have a few crazy unfavorable curcumstances. IMO
    Yep. I actually shot my best ever long range group with a Berger. I just don't like how they performed. One thing to think about, BC is probably the last thing to consider when choosing a hunting bullet. mtmuley

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmuley View Post
    Yep. I actually shot my best ever long range group with a Berger. I just don't like how they performed. One thing to think about, BC is probably the last thing to consider when choosing a hunting bullet. mtmuley
    The only exception I have with that is high BC bullets usually have high sectional density which aids in penetration, as long as the bullet construction is right.

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    Doesn't really matter what bullet you use, you have one that does just what you want and accuracy suit's you, it will likely become your go to bullet! I am completely confident that my cup and core bullet's will preform every bit as well as any custom bullet if I do my job!

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone. As I expected, some for, some against, which helps to get the whole picture. One thing I do like so far is that not one person has reported not finding an animal after being shot with a VLD. So far, it looks like a bullet worth trying out. I'm sure some others will still chime in with some interesting posts.
    The day I stop hunting is the day I stop breathing.

    You can't eat antlers!!!

  17. #17

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    Another "no brainer" for the 7mm Remington is a 160 grain Accubond. Seen it. mtmuley

  18. #18

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    My experiance is i will not hunt them after seeing some on game results. From experiance i hold elk in high regard for toughness and bergers dont cut it. (I mostly use partitions and accubonds) for deer and other smaller big game bergers would work fine. As far as accuracy they are great, we have always been able to load bergers and find accuracy even in marginal accurate rifles.

  19. #19

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    I shoot the Berger VLD's in my 6.5 x .284 and have been happy. I have a .300 WSM that I have harvested a Shiras and a couple of elk with and that rifle likes the Barnes 168 TTSX which have also worked great.

  20. #20
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    I used the 140gr. Berger VLD Hunting in my Stevens 200 in 7mm-08AI. Great grouping, especially at distance.
    Shot a large doe last year with it 413 yards.
    Performance was spectacular in my opinion. Bullet sized entry hole. Blood everywhere, looked like i shot a can of red paint.
    Somehow she made it 20 yards. Heart in 2 gooey pieces, lungs destroyed. Chest cavity full of blood.
    Found jacket in 1 inch layer of fat on opposite side by the hide.

    Haven't shot anything but targets with the 168's out of my 7mm Rem Mag.

    If your wondering how they do on elk, check out Gunwerks on Youtube.
    Used to be their bullet of choice.

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    i've shot Berger VLD'S out of 6.5x55,270 WSM, and the 30-06 with excellent results,accuracy and terminal performance on whitetail. On a recent elk hunt, a friend used the 168 VLD in his 7mm Rem mag and had excellent results on a nice bull. There are a lot of bullets out there that will do the job well. If it is accurate and you feel confident, its meat in the freezer.

  22. #22

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    Not the 168 grain you are asking about but I was bored a few days ago so I thought Iíd do a little crude bullet testing with 6.5 140 grain berger started at 3100fps. I had an elk femur in the freezer for the dogs but decided to wrap it in a couple layers of card board. Then I taped the bone to a water jug and put it in line with a couple more. Walked back to 40 yards and shot the bone. Bullet blew through the femur and shrapneled in the first jug. If it had been a live elk it definitely would have ruined his day. Thatís a rough test on a bullet and it did exactly as it was suppose to
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  23. #23

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    If you hit an elk (or any game animal) with a .284 vld out of a 7rm from 0-1000 yards, shoulder, chest cavity, or neck and it is going down. If you hit the shoulder there will be meat loss, solution... don’t shoot them in the shoulder... 9 animals last year were killed with my 7rm and not one of them took a step and not one of them had significant meat loss. all were shot behind the shoulder or in the neck.
    ďI prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.Ē Ė Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

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    Brockel
    140VLD hunting or hybrids? Either way that's pretty impressive and should prove what some of us already know about bergers.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cahunter805 View Post
    Brockel
    140VLD hunting or hybrids? Either way that's pretty impressive and should prove what some of us already know about bergers.
    Vld hunting. Did the same test with 142 lrab and 143 eldx

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