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View Full Version : Anyone Load 7mm wsm with 168gr Berger VLD's?



ChadH
02-22-2012, 03:07 PM
I have a Kimber 8400 Classic that I want to work up a 168 gr BERGER VLD load for. Do any of you have any experience with that bullet in 7mm WSM? I would apprecaite hearing your favorite load reciepe if you care to share.

Thanks,
Chad

bigshot
03-04-2012, 10:51 AM
I own a 7mm SAUM and it really likes RL-17 powder with Fed 215GM primers. It shoots the following bullets within a half MOA at 100 yards; 140 grain VLD bullets, 140 grain Accubounds, 150 grain Schiroccos, 140 TTSX, and the 160 grain Accubonds. I just purchased couple hundred 168 VLD's and was planning to load them in my Rem 700, "long action", 7mm Rem Mag.

My 7mm SAUM, rifle is a Rem 700, "short action", and I read on different forums that I would not be able to get the best accuracy out of the 168 grain VLD because of the limited over all length in a short action rifle (Magazine length). Unless I don't mind loading it like a single shot rifle (No thanks). The VLD bullets are known to shoot best when they are seated long to almost touching the rifle lands. I'm a curious person, so I'm going to load some at magazine length and see how they do. I'll post my results in a few weeks.

ChadH
03-04-2012, 11:17 AM
My 7mm SAUM, rifle is a Rem 700, "short action", and I read on different forums that I would not be able to get the best accuracy out of the 168 grain VLD because of the limited over all length in a short action rifle (Magazine length). Unless I don't mind loading it like a single shot rifle (No thanks). The VLD bullets are known to shoot best when they are seated long to almost touching the rifle lands. I'm a curious person, so I'm going to load some at magazine length and see how they do. I'll post my results in a few weeks.
Fortunitly for me the Kimber 8400 Short action is built with a Mauser long action mag length. I have WAY more room than I need to achieve MAX COAL. Even using a comparator and seatting on the lands leaves lots and lots of room.

The first load I worked up was with Retumbo. tried several loads and 68.5 Grains shot VERY well... 1/4 MOA. Not the hottest load around, but I don't buy into all that 100% anyway. Next time out I will borrow a chrono and let you know the speed.

bigshot
03-04-2012, 12:03 PM
Sweet! sounds like you have a good load already. I never tried Retumbo in my short mags, gonna have to try it now. I'd like to know the velocity your getting too. I reload for speed and accuracy and have to have both or not happy. The only time I reload for just accuracy and not concerned with speeds is when I reload for my wife and niece, due to their recoil issues.

ChadH
03-04-2012, 02:21 PM
Sweet! sounds like you have a good load already. I never tried Retumbo in my short mags, gonna have to try it now. I'd like to know the velocity your getting too. I reload for speed and accuracy and have to have both or not happy. The only time I reload for just accuracy and not concerned with speeds is when I reload for my wife and niece, due to their recoil issues.
I'm with you, I just always figure with a turret I am going to compensate anyway (at long range) so the whole velocity/bullet drop deal gets pretty transparent after a certain point. As long as adequate energy is acheived, accuracy is more important to me... but if you can have them both, why not? :)

Walt Berger sent me load data, and the guys at Berger recommended Retumbo so that is why I started with that. Retumbo is a great powder because being an "extreme" powder it deals with variances in temp (to a degree altitude since higher is usually colder) very well, it isn't overly sensitive. I am going to try IMR 4350 and H1000 as well.

Drhorsepower
03-04-2012, 04:06 PM
The VLD bullets are known to shoot best when they are seated long to almost touching the rifle lands..

That is a false statement. Straight from Berger. Vld hunting bullets like to jump ALOT

ChadH
03-04-2012, 04:54 PM
That is a false statement. Straight from Berger. Vld hunting bullets like to jump ALOT
Doc... I didn't post my thoughts on that when Bigshot posted it because the reality is it totally depends on your gun. A careful reading of Berger's actual thoughts on seating depth reveals something in between what bigshot and you have said. It is true that in some guns Beger bullets MAY like to "Jump ALOT". Then again they may shoot really well with a small jam as well. Here is a link to the article from Berger, for anyone interested to read:

http://02b0516.netsolhost.com/blog1/?p=43

If you notice the two different starting points, one is with a .010 Jam (target bullet) the other is a .010 jump (hunting bullet). As I read it, the difference in starting point is primarily that in a hunting round the bullet needs to feed well in all kinds of factory guns (Bigshot's original point), and that a "pulled bullet" isn't acceptable in a hunting situation. So for a hunting bullet the starting point is OFF the lands. My gun would feed perfectly fine with a slight jam, Big's may not.

As outlined in the article, there will be a "Sweet Spot" relative to seating depth at which any particular gun will shoot best. That Sweet Spot, according to Berger, is .030-.040 wide (tolerance) so going through their process will give the shooter the correct seating depth for any given gun. In this regard Berger states the following: "This sweet spot is a band .030 to .040 wide and is located anywhere between jamming the bullets into the lands and .150 jump off the lands." That would seem to me to indicate something of a compromise between your assertion that VLD's like to "Jump ALOT" and Big's that they "shoot best when seated long". Either one may OR may not be true.

In any case, going through the process Berger recommends will clear that up for anyone shooting the VLDs...for THEIR gun. My Kimber at least shot well with .010 jump (at least with Retumbo, that would likely change with powder changes or charge changes). I normally shoot several powders for accuracy and velocity then pick the one I am satisfied with. Once I choose powder, I play with seating depth to dial it in. If all is well at that point, I call it "time to go hunting". :)

bigshot
03-05-2012, 12:55 PM
Thanks for explaining that in writing a little better, but in my case with having to deal with a short magazine length, I only have two choices on seating depths, far and farther from the lands. The farther the tighter my powder gets crunched with those long projectiles, so I try to stay at magazine length with the heavier bullets.

Manualman
03-06-2012, 03:05 PM
I also have a 7mm SAUM. I shot 168gr Bergers last year but was in a hurry and didn't have time to play at the range. Maybe I will try some of your ideas. Thanks

xtreme
06-02-2012, 12:52 PM
I used the 168 berger on a large bear and recovered the bullet. The bullet went into the off side shoulder and I recovered 33% or 56.5 gr. My bullet muzzle velosity was 3017fps and the bear was broadside at 150 yds according to range finder. Shot placement was perfect behind the shoulder but there was damage to near side shoulder. There was some entrance wound damage.
My thinking is this bullet kills but with some meat loss, for that reason I am thinking to using my 243wssm with accubonds, still shooting to 600 yds for mule deer this fall. I usually eat what I shoot and I don't think the Noslers will do as much damage.

dan watt
08-04-2015, 06:45 PM
I have just recently got into loading these are the first bullets i've loaded for my abolt 7mm wsm. my best groups from the first go round were 62.5 grains of H4831 with federal magnum primers and federal fusion brass. COAL 2.870" the maximum for my magazine was 2.880". just inside 1" three shot group at 100 yards.

Gr8bawana
08-05-2015, 11:00 AM
I used the 168 berger on a large bear and recovered the bullet. The bullet went into the off side shoulder and I recovered 33% or 56.5 gr. My bullet muzzle velosity was 3017fps and the bear was broadside at 150 yds according to range finder. Shot placement was perfect behind the shoulder but there was damage to near side shoulder. There was some entrance wound damage.
My thinking is this bullet kills but with some meat loss, for that reason I am thinking to using my 243wssm with accubonds, still shooting to 600 yds for mule deer this fall. I usually eat what I shoot and I don't think the Noslers will do as much damage.

What would worry my more is the dismal weight retention. Can you imagine how that bullet would have blown up if you hit the shoulder blade? I'm wondering what kind of penetration that bullet gave you? That's one of the reasons I would not use Bergers for large animals like elk or moose or big bears. Yes I know a lot of guys like those Bergers and use them on elk but I would want a bullet that is going to hold together and punch through to the opposite side even if you hit a shoulder blade.

Retterath
08-05-2015, 01:00 PM
I have a custom 7wsm with a 24" barrel shooting 168 burgers at 2953 using Winchester brass cci primers and 69.5 grains of H1000

WapitiBob
08-05-2015, 02:05 PM
For the WSM, i would go 215 hybrid.

This guy has real life experience with Bergers and Elk.
http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/comparing-berger-210-vld-215-hybrid-88657/

7shot
08-05-2015, 10:18 PM
I shoot a 7 mm WSM and loaded over 400 rounds to find the one my gun would shoot the best. I changed powders, primers, bullet seating depth, etc. I get .4 to .5 moa at 100 yards from a custom rifle. I shoot Berger Hunting VLD in 180 grain. I use federal large rifle match primers, H 4831 ext powder (ext is more stable under a variety of temperatures.) I use 64 grains. I seat my bullets to jump 20 thousands of an inch and that is where my groups are the best. I also like the 168 grain bullet, but he ballistics and energy with the 180 are better, so I went with the bigger berger bullet. My bullets are flying at 2950 fps through my chrono with a standard deviation of just over 7.

I love the Berger for hunting. It hits with amazing energy as it expands and in some cases blows up in the animal. I shot a bear at 640 yards and the bullet went through both lungs and the exit hole was almost 3 inches, it went 20 yards. My son shot a 5 point bull elk and hit the shoulder from 340 yards as it was in his bed and the bull never even moved. It was stone dead. We have shot the 150 grain and 130 grain out of the boys 270's and they have killed 4 elk. We have not lost an animal to the bullets. So from my hunting experience they fly super well, and kill just the same. Let me know if you have any questions on the load. Happy loading.14149

dan watt
08-12-2015, 12:27 PM
I got out shooting my lastest load 62.5 grains H4831 COAL 2.870 federal mag primers 168 vld hunting bullet and had 2 of 5 2 shot groupings touching the other three groups where close to 3/4" .