Berger VLD hunting

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  • Berger VLD hunting

    Hi guy's & gals, first post on the site so thought I'd start with this one.
    I am about to start loading the above projectile & I have read the Berger tips articles on the net.
    My question is to those who have done LD with these, what was you best performing OAL??
    The suggested method of finding the sweet spot is-
    Load 24 rounds at the following COAL:
    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

    So wondering if any followed this method & where they ended up.

  • #2
    From memory you have a Tikka T3 Varmint 260 Rem.

    Since you mention "Hunting" I would not be thinking too much about the 0.010" Jammed. Depending on your neck tension you may end up with a bullet stuck in the chamber and powder all through the Action.

    With all my 6.5x47 Lapua Rifles I started all load development with the 130gr Berger VLD's at 0.002" off the lands and worked up a powder load. In my case using AR2208 I started at 36gr and did increments of 0.2gr up to 38gr. Four rounds only, target at 200 yards and looked for the tightest 3 shots that showed a little verticle and very low horizontal.

    Another popular seating depth is 0.040" off the lands.

    Don't have a 260 and you didn't mention bullet weight. BTW the Hunting and Target Bullets are exactly the same just the Hunting has a thinner jacket.

    Welcome to the new Forum.


    • #3
      Hi Aus.

      In my personal take on load development seating depth (thus OAL) is the final adjustment I make. Firstly i determine optimum powder load via a ladder test using standard OAL before performing a grouping test across a range of seating depths as you suggest.

      You haven't stated your caliber however in 308 take smaller intervals and norrow the range. I avoid jamming the projectile into the lands (this was a popular trend for a while in target rifle circles) but I will claim shortens barrel life (Im open to debate). And I avoid the larger jumps as again I claim this shortens barrel life. I Test between 0.02" jump and 0.09" jump and typically end up around 0,04".


      • El-Skippo
        Skip commented
        Editing a comment
        Not so much hunting but a good arvo of bunnie busting on the warrens

        478 yards 130 grn vld target ( coz that's what I got ) I would be happy taking a dirty red coat with them also.

        Off topic :

        Mega .... The OAL gauge you sent I worked it out, with my other case and as it turns out I was .006 jam not .005 off the lands. So I am going to seat the pills to .002 off and see if my load of 37.2 shrinks or goes nuts. If no good ill put it back to .006 jam and leave it there.

        I don't want to waste much more barrel life out the 47. As I am at 130 rnds count now.

    • #4
      The system for finding the "Sweet Spot" for Berger VLD's is that suggested by Eric Stecker (Berger Bullets) and supported by Bryan Litz in some of his technical articles on Precision Shooting & Reloading.

      I would however find an accurate load before performing this test then see what seating depth does.

      The theory is that the VLD has an accuracy spot 0.040" wide so it's pretty easy to find the best depth.

      I can't see how seating depth can affect barrel life. The exposure of the "throat" to extreme heat is the factor in barrel life and if anything the extra thump the bullet hits the beginning of the bore from seating deep away may be an extra factor but the cartridge design is much more of the factor and where the hotest point of the burn actually resides like in the case neck or forward of it into the barrel throat.


      • Guest's Avatar
        Aushunter commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Mega, I will just go about my normal process, seating 10 thou off the lands going through the 2209 range & get my best node.
        Then I will start to fiddle with the seating depth, which I normally do anyway but might have to try with more jump than I would normally try.
        I have only ever had to go to 15 thou before finding the best node so 120 thou seems massive!
        I did read they were the same proj as the target with a thinner jacket,
        Seating depth contributing to throat erosion
        I always thought throat erosion was attributed to fast burning powders, hot loads & excessive velocities!

        Geez skip, awesome shot!
        I wouldnt think there would be anything left of that widdle wabbit!

    • #5
      What weight are the Berger VLD's .... ????

      AS far as throat errosion goes, I don't think anyone has pegged the exact cause or set of circumstances. Fast burning powders well, in 30BR the typical powder is AR2207 31-34gr and I would say that's a fast burning powder for rifle. Nobody has reported wearing out a barrel and some have shot over 8,000 rounds in competition accuracy.

      Keep the thread posted with your progress results please.

      For those that may not have read the article by Eric Stecker (Master Bulletsmith) here is the link...


      • Guest's Avatar
        Aushunter commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry Mega, link doesn't work for me.
        They are 130gr's.
        Maybe some of that BR round accuracy tally could be also using molly pills?
        Anyway looking forward to the challenge of making it work

    • #6
      For some reason the Forum link worked first up but then I notice the address changed and gave the error. Tried deleting the link and putting it back with the same result anyway, different method and now should work.

      The 30BR story is with and without Moly. I don't believe Moly coating has anything to do with barrel wear, it's main purpose is to substantially reduce the bore cleaning required during competition shoots to maintain accuracy.

      Since you are using the lighter 130gr Bullets, I'd give AR2208 a look if you have any but with your bigger case it might not perform as well as it does in the little 47 case.


      • Pody
        Free Member
        Pody commented
        Editing a comment
        Grab yourself some 120 and 140 Amaxs and give them a run too you won't be disappointed.

      • Guest's Avatar
        VMAN commented
        Editing a comment
        Good shooting Skip