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140 VLD Berger & the 7mm Rem Magnum

14 Apr 2012
@ 10:23 pm (GMT)

Danny Strong

Hi All,
I am in the process of developing a load for a 7mm RM for game no larger than Red Deer. I have read the surprisingly comprehensive knowledge base developed by Nathan. I note he hasn't discussed the 140grn Berger projectile. As light as it might be it still has a BC of .51. That BC with an fps in the region of 3200 makes it a flat shooter to some distance. Given I have at this pont in time no intention of engaging quarry beyond about 400mI'm thinking the 140grn pill will be more than adequate for the game I am hunting (until I go to NZ or Montana for Elk).

Has anyone dealt with the newer 140grn Berger and do you know if it too has a thick skin like its heavier 168grn and 180grn sibblings?

Would it too benefit from annealing?

Do you have any comments on my choice of projectile for the stated task?

Thanks in advance


15 Apr 2012
@ 10:58 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 140 VLD Berger & the 7mm Rem Magnum
Hi Danny, the jacket thickness is the same, whether you are shooting a .25 cal or 30 cal, they are the same throughout the Berger line.

The 140 grain bullet weight isn't the best for Red deer when using traditional soft points, let alone a bullet design that is currently suffering from design problems- from a terminal performance point of view.

What you will find is that on many shots, full fragmentation will occur due to the target resistance, but occasionally, you will see pin hole wounds / slow kills. Have a look at the Wounding data base, go to the 6.5 section and look at the lapua Scenar 139 bullet. This has the same jacket tolerence and meplat diameter as the current VLD, performance will be very similar.

You shouldn't really be looking at a fully fragmentary bullet for use on red deer out to 400 yards. Fragmentary wounding is best utilized in the absence of high velocity to initiate disproportionate to caliber wounding. At high velocity, controlled expanding bullets create dsiproportionate to caliber wounds without need to full fragmentation. When light for caliber fragmentary bullets are used on red deer at close ranges, there is always a risk of shallow penetration at high velocity.

Trajectory is only one part of the 'effective cartridge' equation. Many of my clients like to use the .308 Win with the 168 grain A-Max at an MV of around 2670fps. This load has a steep trajectory but is more than adequate for 400 yard shooting, its adequate for 650 yard shooting, becoming challenging thereafter. If you start out with the 162gr SST loaded to 2900fps or above, you will have a much high BC and higher MV that the .308 shooters so you will be well ahead of the game, there is no need to go for a lighter bullet as all you will be doing is sacrificing other factors, primarily through a loss in SD and increased strain on the bullet when taking close to moderate range shots.

The 162gr SST is a good starting point for you, it will do everything from feral goats to QLD pigs to red deer. it will bore far wider wounds than you are possibly expecting and if you want to, you can continue to use the load out to 1000 yards or so. The 162 SST is semi frangible in that it loses roughly 50% of its weight, yet it works well on Reds up close, I will post some pics of this within the next month from a client who is away on a red hunt at the moment, just piled up a big stag with the 162 grain SST at close range, the bullet performed perfectly.


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