_by David E. Petzal
Recently, at a shoot where I qualified at 600 yards, I heard the word “Berger” so often it was like working at Wendy’s. These Bergers were not beef, but copper and lead; it seemed everyone and his uncle was handloading the creations of Walt Berger, a Hall of Fame benchrest shooter–including myself.

Berger makes target, varmint, hunting, and tactical bullets, all to match standards. The ones I was shooting were the second category, called Hunting VLD (for Very Low Drag), .308, 155-grain. VLDs are made with J4 copper jackets, lead cores, very small hollow points, a very long secant ogive, and a pronounced boattail base. They come in 6mm through .308. What I can tell you also is that they are exceedingly aerodynamic. The wind can’t seem to grab them, and they drop far less than the numbers say they should. Every time I estimated how much to hold over at long range, they hit higher than I guessed.

Hunting VLDs are quick expanders. They’re designed to get several inches inside whatever you’re shooting and then come unglued. I haven’t taken anything with them, but Kenny Jarrett has, and he says that while they’re not instant killers, they’re extremely reliable killers.

Bergers are not loaded by any of the big ammo manufacturers, but they are loaded by three custom ammo makers whose address you can get from the Berger website, which is