Jump to content
Double Naught Spy

6.5 Gendel Berger 130 gr. VLD-Hunting 1st Field Test

Recommended Posts

https://youtu.be/9-guybTjxuI

 

I picked up some ammo that Precision Firearms loads with Berger VLD-Hunting bullets from my 6.5 Grendel. I was told that these had outstanding terminal ballistics and that I would be pleased. I watched various videos on the ammo and learned that it was well liked by the long range hunters, was quite effective on soft-sided targets like deer, and that pretty much nobody had a bad thing to say about it. Berger's big selling point is the extreme accuracy of the bullets. I like accurate ammo. It just means that if the shot is bad, the fault is all mine, LOL. However, 0.5 or .75 MOA isn't going to matter much over 1-1.25 MOA ammo at distances I normally shoot (200 yards and less). The ammo is frangible and is supposed to explosively come apart starting at 3" or so after entering the body. The selling point here was that it would do massive heart/lung damage, resulting in a quick kill.

 

For my first test I decided that I was going with a neck or shoulder shot and opted for the neck. I am not sure what the ammo is going to do if it hits heavy bone such as the humerus, but that will be left for next time.

 

The hog went right down when shot, but to my surprise, was still alive 10 minutes later, conscious, and its eyes tracked me as I walked up to deliver the coup de grace. Butchering the boar revealing absolutely massive, downright cavernous soft tissue damage in a shot location that is reputed to be exceptionally lethal, usually DRT lethal. So I was surprised that the hog was still alive despite the damage. Maybe it is a fluke. No doubt the hog would have expired in the immediate future had I not gone ahead and put him down, but that was a very unexpected result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the kill! Great video! Must have been a fluke as it was a good shot and the critter definitely suffered a full pass through with spinal damage .....maybe just not enough to stop his lungs. Did you find any bits of bullet around the wound?

 

I am always torn on bullet performance. On one hand, I like fast rapidly expanding projectiles for the shock effect and massive damage. On the other hand, slower moving soft points seem to penetrate better and deliver energy over a longer period. Of the animals I have wounded and had to follow up, I seemed to have had more bullet failures in the fast, thinly constructed bullets than in the more heavy, slower expanding ones. I believe that a bullet at high velocity and with a thin jacket, crazy things are more likely to happen to a bullet's expected performance. Conversely, with heavier bullets, I have had to look for more animals and had noticeably less DRT's. Obviously, a lot of it has to do with the size critter you are hunting, the bullet and a whole bunch of other things, but I think overall slower, heavier bullets on deer/hogs might have a bit of an edge over the faster lighter ones.

 

OK, OK....I opened the old can of worms so let the "bullets" fly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the interesting and thought-provoking comments. Okay, I will throw this out to muddle the waters further.

 

I usually shoot a higher velocity, lighter weight, non-bonded but maybe heavier jacketed Hornady SST 123 gr ammo that is 2500+ fps out of my rifle. The Berger is heavier at 130 gr, obviously thin jacketed, and somewhere around 2400 fps. The Hornady tends to give me very good penetration, even with heavy bone strikes, and also is a fragmenting bullet (erratic fragmenting performance, however). So bullet construction seems to really come into play as well, I think.

 

When it comes to hogs, I assume that if I am not shooting it in the head or neck by the head (CNS damaging), that it will be a runner. I am pleasantly surprised when I make thoracic shots and the hogs don't run. The only other hog I can recall having to put down after a CNS shot was a running hog that already had 5 shots in him (4 shoulder area, 1 mid body) that I caught across the brow with the last shot and I don't think it was a brain penetrating hit. He was 322 lbs. Otherwise, head shots and high neck shots seem to produce very quickly lethal results for me when it comes to hogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Otherwise, head shots and high neck shots seem to produce very quickly lethal results for me when it comes to hogs.

 

I agree 100%!

 

Gladly, my days of crawling around in a yaupon thicket with a flashlight and a .45 while looking for a wounded pig are well behind me! Shoot smart or not at all. Head/neck shots it is! Although, with the right load, I'll try to anchor them with a double shoulder shot if I can't get a clear shot forward. I have had the bad luck to have a .223 glance off a skull hit. He went down, twitched, got still, and then jumped up and ran when we approached. We tagged him later that night and saw what happened to the first shot. He must have been nursing one heckuva headache to let us get a second chance. Maybe part of the reason I am more of a "momentum" guy rather than velocity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×