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Barnes Silver Anniversary


The year 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the X Bullet. This landmark innovation launched a new era in bullet technology. The all copper X Bullet was designed solely with superior performance on game in mind.

While hunting brown bear in Alaska during the fall of 1985, Randy Brooks conceived the idea of an expanding, all-copper bullet. The test and evaluation process began immediately upon the return home. Ten bullets were hand-made the first day. Five were fired at the range for accuracy, and five into water for expansion. More testing was conducted through the winter and tooling was improved. Twenty bullets were produced and taken back to Alaska for brown bear in the Spring of 1986. It was on this hunt that Randy took his first brown bear, and the first animal with an X Bullet. The 375 caliber projectile center-punched the 9’6” boar’s near shoulder, breaking through and destroying massive amounts of tissue, vital organs and bone, to exit the far side. The performance was impressive, but this was just the beginning. More experience would be required for complete confidence.

Randy Brooks Alaskan Brown Bear
Randy With His Brown Bear – The First Animal Taken

With An X Bullet

Over the next several months, Randy field-tested X Bullets on numerous cape buffalo, African plains game and cow elephant. Coni collected many North American animals including deer, bighorn sheep and mountain lion. Whitetail and antelope culls were conducted to understand performance on thin-skinned game. The X Bullet reliably expanded, penetrated and retained more weight than the Original lead-core bullet Fred Barnes began building in 1932. The radical, new design had an extremely wide range of workability to down thin-skinned game, yet reliably perform on dangerous game as well. Randy began telling customers “I cannot in good conscience recommend our lead-core bullet in any caliber an X bullet is available.”

Twenty-five years after its introduction to the market in 1989, we pay tribute to the original, all-copper X Bullet. Its trademark and legacy are in every Barnes’ all-copper projectile and ammunition product we offer today. Competitors attempt to imitate, but fail to duplicate its proven performance. Barnes remains today the leader in bullet technology and innovation.