Bullet for moose...VLD?

ImBillT

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I’d put a VLD in a moose before an Accubond. While the 168 is probably plenty, I wouldn’t hesitate to move up in weight, and would even consider trying the 175 and 195 Berger Elite Hunters.
 

wllm1313

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How many animals that you shot with VLDs required follow up shots and/or major tracking?
Not sure if that’s a relevant question...

I killed a mule deer with one shot using match grade Barnes... perfect heart shot the bullet disintegrated and had essentially 0% weight renention.

I also took a shitty shot on a bedded elk using partitions that required tracking and a follow up, in both of those cases the shooter was the limiting factor.

If it was me I would be think... worst case scenario last day huge bull comes in... dense willows and my only shot is a head on chest shot at 80 yards...

1. Do I even take the shot...
2. What do I want to be shooting in that situation.

I will be hunting elk this year with 120grn etips... this won’t be my first or last elk hunt so I have no problem passing on questionable shots. If I was hunting moose I would probably call hammer and get 160 grain copper for my rifle or go with 140grain a-frames.

I’ll be honest, in the moment I’m taking the questionable shot on the moose... and I want a bullet that can wade through meat.
 

ImBillT

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Not sure if that’s a relevant question...

I killed a mule deer with one shot using match grade Barnes... perfect heart shot the bullet disintegrated and had essentially 0% weight renention.

I also took a shitty shot on a bedded elk using partitions that required tracking and a follow up, in both of those cases the shooter was the limiting factor.

If it was me I would be think... worst case scenario last day huge bull comes in... dense willows and my only shot is a head on chest shot at 80 yards...

1. Do I even take the shot...
2. What do I want to be shooting in that situation.

I will be hunting elk this year with 120grn etips... this won’t be my first or last elk hunt so I have no problem passing on questionable shots. If I was hunting moose I would probably call hammer and get 160 grain copper for my rifle or go with 140grain a-frames.

I’ll be honest, in the moment I’m taking the questionable shot on the moose... and I want a bullet that can wade through meat.
Obviously I trusted mtmuley not to blame the bullet in the case of poor shot placement. There’s a reason he didn’t answer the question.

Edited incorrect capitalization of mtmuley’s handle.
 
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BearFoot

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I have killed a lot of moose, and have witness many more leave this realm. You have what it takes. Place the shot and follow up if needed.
 

cahunter805

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Every animal I've seen shot with VLD's
Really? That’s interesting. I’ve witnessed a lot of kills from VLD’s and the furthest an animal has made it is maybe 30 yards with most being DRT.
What caliber and bullet was this?
One thing to note with Berger’s many people chose the wrong bullet weight for their caliber.
 

recurveman

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I would look for a bullet designed for weight retention and the VLD's aren't that bullet. I would look at the Nosler Partition and the A-frame. I would also use both of these bullets on pawed critters in the same location. I would also try and shoot the heaviest bullet I could for caliber. Trajectory will likely not be an issue. I don't think shooting long distances is part of moose hunting typically. The partition has a heavier bullet than the A-frame so I would go with that bullet.
 

brockel

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It all boils down to what you want a bullet to do. Do you want them to dump all their energy and do major damage in the process rarely exiting (berger) or do you want a bullet to blow through the animal leaving an exit wound for a blood trail? Either way animals just aren’t that hard to kill when the bullet is driven properly
 

ImBillT

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Every animal I've seen shot with VLD's
At least you’re willing say it.

For me, on one hog, five mule deer and an elk, only the elk required a follow up. The first shot was in the guts, but he was bedded down in close proximity to where he was shot the first time. The rest died within one step.
 

nimrod_gn

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Nosler Partition, Hammer Hunter, Barnes TTSX, Swift A-frame. Bergers will work if bullet hits broadside in the ribs. Otherwise - unpredictable
 

88man

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Every animal I've seen shot with VLD's
Bullet is 7mm 180grn hunting vld at 3050FPS> Only had the gun since 2011or 2012 those VLDS killed 6 Bull ELK, 1 Bighorn sheep, 2 antelope, 1 ORYX, 1 muledeer. All dead right there DRT. Almost every shot was a passthru. I can only remember two bullets not passing thru.
Why do they get a bad reputation?
I do whatch alot of hunting shows and I remember when BOTW and the davidsons were shooting berger and it seemed like alot of the animals dropped. Now many of these guys are shooting the ELDX and it looks like those eldx just dont kill like the berger? Am I crazy?? Bob Beck is still shooting bergers and his animals seem to drop more frequently than the shows that shoot the eldx. Just my observation and I don't make a living selling outdoor advertising.
 

recurveman

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Really? That’s interesting. I’ve witnessed a lot of kills from VLD’s and the furthest an animal has made it is maybe 30 yards with most being DRT.
What caliber and bullet was this?
One thing to note with Berger’s many people chose the wrong bullet weight for their caliber.
I shoot a 6.5 X 284. Bullets have been going anywhere from 2880 to 2950 MV. I shot the 140 grain VLD hunting bullet. I shot a coues deer at 409 yards. Hit is exactly where you would want to hit a deer. Right on the crease just below halfway up. The deer got drunk and fell over. We went over to the deer about 30 minutes later to see the deer get up and start down the hill. We ended up shooting the deer with our handguns to finally kill the animal. The exit hole was maybe the size of a dime and the internal damage was minimal at best.

At that point I didn't have much confidence in the bullet. I went out shooting coyotes. Had one come into the call and performed a Texas heart shot. The dog spun in circles for 15-30 seconds and then layed down. He finally expired but it took the better part of 5 minutes for him to die. No sign of an entrance or exit wound. Zero blood. I've shot a bunch of deer and yotes with a nosler ballistic tip and I've only seen 1 buck and zero yotes leave the scene of the crime out of probably 50+ impacts. Typically the results are DRT and normally looks like a crime scene from a serial killer movie.

Now don't get me wrong. I think Berger bullets are some of the best and most consistent bullets made. I haven't seen a hunting bullet that will even compete in that category and I've weighed and measured a large majority of the bullets on the market. If people saw just how inconsistent most bullets are they would freak out but those inconsistencies aren't a big deal typically because of the shorter ranges hunters typically shoot. If you get out past 600 yards the inconsistencies start to show themselves. When I shoot out to 1000 yards I am more picky about my bullet selection for sure. I do like the hornady ELD-X bullets for a good compromise in accuracy and terminal performance. I've shot those bullets well under sub moa out to 1000 yards.

In regards to the OP needs. I think the best bullet for moose is a bullet that will penetrate deeply. I love the nosler ballistic tip bullet but I wouldn't suggest that bullet for this application. I don't think any bullet is good for all applications. So the Nosler Partition would do a great job in terms of penetration and weight retention.
 

cahunter805

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Recurve
Your experience seems to be what some have also experienced. I personally have not and have confidence in Berger as well as other match grade bullets for hunting. The internal damage caused by them that I have witnessed is devastating. I’ve had multiple DRT kills with a variety of calibers also.
I agree there is no perfect bullet and everyone needs to choose what they are confident in for their chosen rifle and game.
 
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ImBillT

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Recurve:

The first two deer I shot with Berger’s were in their feet for a while and the bullets seemed to have acted as FMJs. I emailed Berger about my disgust and they informed me that about 1% of their lots were doing that, and that they thought they had figured out the issue and fixed it. They also asked me a lot of questions about what I was doing and they said “STOP POINTING BULLETS YOURE GOING TO HUNT WITH”. They said that tumbling to coat with WS2 was fine. They sent me a new box of bullets of my choice and assured me that if I did not point them, that I would be pleased with the results. I was highly reluctant to try them again, but I did.

Since then I shot a mule deer and a hog with a .308 185vr VLD Hunting at 2560fps. Both DRT. Then four mule deer and an elk with a 6.5-257RobAI using 130gr VLD Hunting at 3400fps, a 140 VLD Hunting at 3300fps, and 140 Elite Hunters at 3175fps. All four deer were DRT. The first at around 100-150yds, the second at 380yds, and the next two at about 300yds. The elk was hit in the guts on the first shot, the bullet exited, and the elk only went a very short distance before bedding. The second shot was at point blank range. It hit the ball joint where the humerus meets the scapula and it no problem making a hole about 6” in diameter where those bones had originally been and continuing on into the lungs.

I’m not sure what caused your problems, but I don’t think it was velocity. I do know that Berger doesn’t recommend VLDs on varmints because the expansion is often delayed enough that the bullet won’t expand much before exiting a smaller bodied creature.
 

ImBillT

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Your experience seems to be what some have also experienced. I personally have not and have confidence in Berger as well as other match grade bullets for hunting. The internal damage caused by them that I have witnessed is devastating. I’ve had multiple DRT kills with a variety of calibers also.
I agree there is no perfect bullet and everyone needs to choose what they are confident in for their chosen rifle and game.
I wouldn’t recommend other “match grade” bullets for hunting. The Bergers weren’t originally designed for hunting, but they are somewhat unique and now they are tested with hunting in mind. When they thickened the original jacket to handle longer barrels with tighter twists and higher velocities those bullets didn’t perform well on their testing, and thus they had to split product lines. The orange box and the yellow box are different bullets, and do perform differently. In the case of other match bullets, the manufacturers generally specifically advise against using them on game.

In my personal experience, Bergers are the only bullet that fragments so violently, yet doesn’t do so until penetrating a reasonable distance first. Most other bullets tend to delay expansion at the cost of reduced fragmentation, or fragment with the possibility of doing so on the surface. Others may have had different experiences, but so far, I’m highly pleased.

Confidence is important. If you have a bullet that was treated you well and you have confidence, then I say stick with it. The monolithic bullets out there have lots of good things going for them, and I was going to switch to them from Nosler Solid Bases and Balistic Tips(and hunting with guys using Accubonds) whenever I tried Bergers. I do believe that in spite of my decision to switch from Noslers, that they are better than most other bullets out there.
 
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