1932: Fred Barnes began selling bullets made in his basement workshop in Bayfield, Colorado. Handloading was in its infancy and Fred, dissatisfied with the hunting bullets then available, decided to make his own. After experimenting with different possibilities, he settled on a bullet with a soft lead core encased in 99 percent pure copper tubing. The copper tubing was much thicker and tougher than the gilding metal coat conventional jacketed bullets wore. The result was greater penetration and more controlled expansion when the bullet struck game. After making these bullets for himself and a handful of friends, he realized the commercial potential of his highly effective bullets and started manufacturing and selling them from his home.
1939: Barnes began large scale manufacturing of Barnes Bullets®, becoming the sole supplier of custom bullets in the United States.
Following World War II, Barnes Bullets® moved to Durango, Colorado in 1945. The company later moved again to Grand Junction, Colorado.
1965: Fred Barnes sells Barnes Bullets to the Burford Corporation of Maysville, Oklahoma.
1967: The company was sold and relocated to Montrose, Colorado. The company’s name was changed to “Colorado Custom Bullets.”
1974: Randy and Coni Brooks purchased Colorado Custom Bullets and began producing copper-tube-jacketed lead core bullets in American Fork, Utah. The following year, Fred Barnes spends several months consulting with the new owners, who acquire rights to use the Barnes name.
1979: Barnes Solids introduced. Designed for deep, reliable penetration on dangerous game. These bullets do not contain lead, but are constructed of a solid copper/zinc alloy to prevent riveting, fish-tailing and bending to ensure straight tracking and maximum penetration.
1985: Randy Brooks conceives the idea of an expanding, all-copper bullet while hunting brown bears in Alaska. Immediately upon returning home, he begins designing and testing the new bullet. A hollow nose cavity causes the revolutionary new bullet to expand into four sharp copper petals on impact with game. Viewed from the front, the four copper petals form an X-shaped silhouette, giving the new X Bullet® its name.
1986: During a spring hunt, Randy Brooks fires a 270-grain X Bullet from a .375 H&H Magnum rifle to shoot an Alaskan brown bear-the first game killed with an X Bullet®. Development work continues on the radically new, all-copper bullet design.
1988: Barnes Ballistics™ DOS based exterior ballistics program is introduced, becoming one of the very first ballistics software programs designed for home computers.
1989: The revolutionary all-copper Barnes X Bullet® introduced in .270, 7mm and 30 calibers. This is the first all-copper hunting projectile to be made widely available commercially to shooters. Barnes Burners™ introduced – jacketed rifle and handgun bullets designed for target-grade accuracy and varmints.
1990: January 10 th, Fred N. Barnes passes away at the age of 82 in Montrose, Colorado.
1991: PMC begins loading Barnes X Bullets in PMC factory ammunition.
1992: First edition of the Barnes Reloading Manual introduced. The XPB™-a pistol version of the X Bullet®-is designed for the U.S. Military.
1993: XPB pistol bullet introduced to civilian shooters. Weatherby begins loading Barnes X-Bullets in Weatherby factory ammunition.
1994: Expander MZ™, a saboted version of the all-copper X Bullet®, introduced for muzzleloading rifles. Modern Muzzleloading markets the Expander MZ™ as their Red Hot bullet. Barnes CR-10™, a new bore cleaner especially formulated for removing copper, brass and lead fouling from bores, is also introduced. Federal offers Premium ammunition loaded with Barnes Bullets.
1995: World Record for accuracy set by Craig Taylor with the Barnes .50 caliber 800 grain LRS at the FCSA International Match. Barnes Ballistics for Windows computer program released.
1996: Barnes moves into a new 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Lindon, Utah. Buddy Clifton sets world records at the FCSA International Match with the .50 caliber 800 grain LRS in 2-Gun Aggregate, Light Gun and Heavy Gun.
1997: XLC™-coated X Bullets introduced at SHOT Show. Barnes Expander SGS ™ shotgun slug also introduced. Barnes Reloading Manual No. 2 published.
1998: Sako offers factory ammunition loaded with Barnes X Bullets.
1999: Skip Talbot beats the previous world record for accuracy at the FCSA’s International Match in Heavy Gun using the Barnes .50 caliber 800 grain Bore Rider.
2000: Barnes Burner™ VLC™ varmint bullet introduced. This lightly constructed, jacketed lead-core bullet features solid dry-film coating that reduces friction and enhances velocity.
2001: Barnes Reloading Manual No. 3 published. Lazzeroni offers proprietary ammunition loaded with Barnes X Bullets.
2002: Barnes Burner™ Varminator™ introduced. This economical, uncoated, jacketed lead-core bullet is designed to deliver explosive performance on varmints and small game. Taurus offers .45 ACP XPB™ bullets in factory handgun ammunition marketed as “Hex Bullet” loads. Black Hills begins offering XLC™ bullets in Black Hills factory ammunition.
2003: Barnes Triple-Shock™ X Bullet® introduced. XPB™ pistol bullet selection is greatly expanded. Federal begins offering Triple-Shock™ bullets in Federal Premium factory loads. “Regular-Unleaded” advertising campaign begins.
2004: Introduced long-range Spit-Fire MZ™ bullets for muzzleloaders. Added .500 S&W XPB™ pistol bullets, now offered in 275, 325 and 375 grains.
2005: Introduced Triple-Shock X Bullets for new 6.8mm and .325 WSM cartridges. Expanded Triple-Shock lineup to include additional weights and larger calibers through .458 caliber. Introduced Banded Solids™ for large, dangerous game. Offered new free DVD, “Choosing the Right Bullet.”
2006: Introduced new Maximum Range™ X Bullet® (MRX™) featuring a Delrin® tip and a patented Silvex® core. Introduced new Spit-Fire TMZ™-a streamlined muzzleloader bullet with a Delrin tip. Increased Triple-Shock selection to include additional weights and calibers. New Banded Solids™ and Triple-Shock™ bullets offered for 9.3mm, .404 Jeffrey, .470 Nitro, .505 Gibbs and .500 Nitro cartridges. Added .357, .41 and .460 magnum bullets to XPB™ lineup.
2007: Barnes celebrates 75 years of “Making Bullets The Way They Ought’a Be.” The Varmint Grenade and MPG (Multi Purpose Green) bullets, incorporating technology Barnes developed for the military, are offered as a component to handloaders.
2008: Introduced the Tipped Triple-Shock (TTSX) in 270, 7mm, 30 and 338 calibers. Expanded Varmint Grenade line in 22 caliber, added 204 and 6mm VG’s. Reloading Manual #4 made available.
2009: Introduced the M/LE (military/law enforcement) bullet line, Spit-Fire T-EZ loading muzzleloader bullets, new offerings in TSX, TTSX, MRX, Varmint Grenade and MPG. Mid-year introduction of the Barnes Busters in 44, 45 and 50 caliber handgun and 45/70 lever rifle calibers. The company relocates to Mona, Utah.
2010: In January Barnes Bullets was acquired by the Freedom Group. Barnes VOR-TX Ammunition is introduced offering hunters the ultimate in accuracy, terminal performance and handloaded precision in a factory loaded round. New caliber and weights of TSX, TTSX, Buster, M/LE, MPG, and Banded Solids are introduced.
2011: Barnes expands the VOR-TX line offering Safari, Handgun, and Metric cartridges. The new Match Burners are released which were designed specifically with the competitive shooter in mind. Barnes adds a new bullet line for long-range hunting—the LRX. For the hunter who is confident in long-range hunting, the LRX will fill the niche of this new hunting craze.
2012: Barnes re-introduces VARMIN-A-TOR™ line of bullets. LRX line expands to include a 127 grain 6.5, 168 grain 7mm and a 280 grain 338 Lapua bullets. The Match Burner line gets the addition of the 7mm 171 grain bullet. The VOR-TX line of precision rifle ammunition get the additions of the 300 AAC Blackout in 110 grain and 180 grain 35 Whelen load, while handgunners get the 41 Rem Mag with a 180 grain load and a 454 Casull offered with a 250 load.
2013: Barnes introduced TAC-XPD Defense Ammunition loaded with the TAC-XP all-copper bullet. LRX line-up sees the addition of the 129 grain 270 bullet. VOR-TX premium ammunition line get new loads: 22-250 Remington 120 grain TTSX, 260 Remington 120 grain TTSX, 280 Remington 140 TTSX and 300 Weatherby 180 grain.