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6mm - Berger VLD

Below is a look at the 87 grain Berger VLD. Joseph Peter used this bullet in his Tikka .243.  The first animal is a Red hind, estimated body weight 65-70kg, impact velocity approximately 2494fps, retained energy 1200ftlb. Joseph described "the bullet struck a bit too far back. Entry wound about caliber sized(6-8mm), broke 2 ribs on the way in, then blew clean 25-40mm hole through both lungs(camera had flat batteries so didn't get photos of lungs),then exited leaving about 15mm hole. Bruising on entry is minimal but as you can see the exit created a lot of bruising for a .243.(part of meat removed so you can see bruising and the exit hole and broken ribs.) Hind ran after being hit,didn't look like it was hit hard but made it about 15-20yards before collapsing. Pretty good blood trail for a .243 made finding the body easy. I thought this was good performance for the little .243 87 grain bullet".

Since the VLD hunting bullet jackets were toughened in 2011, I have been watching the results of the various VLD bullets with great interest.  Although pin hole wounding has been common, lighter VLD bullets seem to be continuing to produce good results.  With increased body weight or reduced bullet weight comes increased target resistance.  Still, I would like to take more time studying the current VLD and the effects of lighter bullets on larger body weights and optimum wounding versus potential shallow penetration- before drawing absolute conclusions.  The research seems never ending. This is why reader feedback and photos like those below are so important, I am always grateful for this help which eases my work load.


Hind entry wound 2 comp web


Hind entry wound skinned comp web

Exit wound.

Hind exit wound Skinned comp web

Joseph also shot this young nanny goat at 120 yards, impact velocity around 2913fps. The shot struck the spine resulting in major damage as is typical of spine shots. Yet compared to the Gameking spine shot wound (see data base), the wound in this instance was more dramatic and penetration much deeper.  So we have to ask why. Possible answers include the fact that spine shots do produce random results with all calibers and projectile combinations.

A second explanation of the deeper penetration could be due to the projectile tumbling as opposed to immediate expansion / fragmentation. Tumbling is one characteristic of the VLD hunting bullet. If a projectile tumbles, it usually holds its full weight for a distance before coming apart (if it comes apart). The retained weight can allow for deeper penetration, regardless of the complete loss in SD. When Berger bullets are manufactured, those with draw marks (forming marks) in the ogive are separated from the production line and nominated as 'Hunting' bullets while those with smooth ogives are designated 'target'.  It is hoped that the forming marks have a weak tip, the tip shearing off on impact (or expanding), prior to full fragmentation for wide wounding, fast bleeding and ultimately fast killing.  Once the tip shears off, tumbling can occur, more so on low SD bullets.  That said, with spine shots, any bullet design can exhibit tumbling due to angled and very dense bone.

The GameKing (see data base) is designed to expand on impact, both the soft point and hollow point Gameking bullets have wide meplats (tips) to promote expansion, sacrificing BC for this performance.  Nevertheless, the Gameking is also a fragmentary bullet as after expansion and without any means to arrest or control expansion, jacket core separation is inevitable once sectional density is lost. Stability is also easily lost on impact resulting in tumbling at the latter extent of penetration.  Although the Gameking can be considered frangible, its performance often differs from the VLD as is discussed throughout the knowledge base.

Young nanny, see horn size.

goat entry comp web


Goat entry wound 1 comp web

Goat damage 1 comp web

Massive exit wounding, aided by secondary missiles (bone).

goat 243 vld comp web


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We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.