August 2007 Barnes Bullet-n
|Randy Brooks Message:|
When Barnes introduced the all-copper X-Bullet in the mid-1980s, it changed the way hunters thought about how a premium bullet should perform on big game. This revolutionary bullet was made entirely of pure copper. It had no lead core—not because of environmental concerns, but because the100-percent copper bullet delivered superior performance on game. I wanted a deep-penetrating bullet that would instantly expand, yet retain virtually 100 percent of its weight. Lead-core bullets couldn’t be relied upon to do this, so all-copper bullets were the answer. The newest generation of the original X-Bullet, Barnes’ current TSX and MRX bullets, remain lead free.
During the last several years, environmental groups have voiced concerns that game killed with conventional lead-core bullets may be poisoning endangered species like the California condor. They claim these birds, along with other scavengers and predators, are ingesting toxic quantities of lead from gut piles left by deer hunters.
This has become a hot issue in California and other western states. In a few areas, efforts have been made to encourage hunters to use only non-toxic, lead-free bullets. Some states have even introduced legislation that—if passed—would lead to a virtual ban on lead hunting bullets. Since the vast majority of today’s bullets contain lead, such a ban would have a devastating effect on hunters.
Recognizing the negative impact such a ban would have on the hunting sports, Barnes has avoided alignment with certain environmental groups. While some are primarily concerned with the welfare of threatened species, others are associated with the Humane Society, PETA, Friends of Animals and other organizations with anti-hunting and anti-gun agendas.
Barnes appreciates the efforts of those working to protect the future of the California condor and other scavengers. But it deplores the actions of environmental extremists, who are willing to go to any lengths in their attempts to outlaw hunting and restrict firearm ownership.
Barnes remains focused on producing lead-free bullets—not because of environmental concerns, but because our copper bullets greatly outperform conventional bullets in the hunting field. After pioneering pure copper bullets more than 20 years ago, some of our competitors are working on introducing all-copper alloy bullets. Barnes will continue to stay ahead in the field of bullet technology, as always, because we have the ability to stay light on our feet and move quickly with new ideas. Wait until you see what we have in store for new products in 2008. The competitors will continue to have a hard time keeping up!
Many of you may not be aware of this, but Barnes has a long history of developing new bullets for the military. We’ve adopted some of these designs in our commercial hunting bullets. The popular XPB pistol bullet was originally developed for military use. A more recent example is our new Varmint Grenade bullet, which features a highly frangible powdered metal copper-tin composite core very similar to that used by our armed forces. These lead-free bullets were developed to meet demanding military criteria. Our hunting bullets are similarly lead-free, simply because they perform so well.
Top performance has been the Barnes standard for the last 75 years, and this tradition will continue on into the future. Our promise to our customers is to offer premium, performance based products that we stand behind as shooters and hunters, just like you.
I hope everyone is getting excited about the upcoming hunting season. For many of us, it is just around the corner.
As I mentioned in one of my past newsletters, this year my hunting season started in May with a successful water buffalo hunt in Australia. My next hunt is a mule deer hunt planned for September. I’ll be hunting in Northern Utah with some industry people from Federal and Kimber, and a few outdoor writers. I hope this year I can connect and find a good trophy. Of course, I’ll keep you posted in the October Club-X newsletter—and hopefully report on a success story.
Here at Barnes we are gearing up for new products in 2008. I am truly excited because we have a lot to offer. We have had many requests to put a tip on our extremely successful Triple-Shock X-Bullet—and yes, that’s one of the things we plan to do for 2008. The new Tipped TSX bullet has already been tested in Africa this past May by Dave Scovill –editor of Handloader, Rifle and Successful Hunter magazines.
Dave was the first to try this new bullet out. He used a .300 belted magnum and our 130-grain Tipped TSX bullets. He took impala, warthog, blue wildebeest, kudu and jackals. Dave said the results were unbelievable. He said the internal damage these bullets created was like nothing he had ever seen before. Even the guy who cut up the meat in camp took the time to come to Dave and, in total amazement say, “I don’t know what you shot these animals with! I have never seen the kind of internal damage this bullet caused.”
Dave said the bullet gave explosive results, adding that, “everything inside looked like hamburger, but the bullet still exited the animal.” Dave said it seemed to him that, with both the Tipped TSX and Triple-Shock Bullet, “the faster you shoot these bullets the better they work.”
The Tipped TSX (TTSX ) bullet features a polymer tip extending into a specially engineered nose cavity in the all-copper TSX body. The combination of tip and cavity initiates rapid expansion the instant the bullet strikes game. The streamlined tip also increases the ballistic coefficient of the TTSX bullets for superior long-range performance. This bullet expands reliably over a broad range of velocities.
Some of these bullets will be available near the end of 2007, and will be offered in four different calibers beginning 2008.
By the way, you members are the first to hear about these bullets. Getting new product information early is just one more perk you get as elite members of Club-X. Now you can feel free to spread the word!
Watch our website, too, because we will be offering these new bullets for sale as soon as they come off the production line. They have been field tested by a highly respected and knowledgeable member of our industry. To see how well the new Tipped TSX bullets performed, you can read about Dave’s hunt and his great success with this bullet in the upcoming November issue of Rifle magazine.
I do have other new products to talk about, but I am going to save those announcements for next month’s Coni’s Corner. You’ll just have to wonder what they are, for now.
Our new “Bullet Myths Busted” DVD is now available, and has been getting rave reviews from those who have viewed it. Many of you in Club-X haven’t requested your free copy yet. So far, only 40 percent of you have ordered one. If you don’t yet have your copy, please order one now from our website. When you receive “Bullet Myths Busted,” please share it with others. I guarantee your friends won’t want to miss seeing this great DVD. It is truly worth spending the time to watch.
We wish you great success in your hunts this year, and hope you’ll continue to choose Barnes for all your hunting adventures. You’re always welcome to call us if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We love hearing from our customers, and welcome what you have to say.
We are proud to be the leaders in bullet technology, and will never tire of developing new and interesting products. We take pride in being innovators–not simply imitators.
Thanks to you, our customers, for supporting our efforts.
One of the most common questions I’m asked is what bullet I recommend for a given hunting situation. This seems to be a real tough decision for many folks. Is one bullet type or weight better than another? What guidelines should you follow when choosing a bullet?
I like to start by dividing game into three categories—first, small varmints, followed by medium-sized game. Medium-sized game would include anything larger than a coyote, but smaller than an Alaskan brown bear or a Cape buffalo. The third category would include dangerous game like elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, etc.
It’s easy to decide which bullets to use for varmints. The key is to choose a bullet that expands quickly. The Barnes Varmint Grenade is a no-brainer here. As its name implies, this bullet is specifically intended for use on varmints—everything from prairie dogs to coyotes.
What if you’re hunting fur-bearing animals and don’t want a big hole in the valuable pelt of that cat or coyote? Many folks use small-caliber TSX bullets. These bullets expand within the first inch of penetration; providing great shock and killing power without fragmenting to demolish the hide. Exit wounds are typically nickel- or quarter-sized.
The middle category is the one that makes you wonder if you have too much or too little bullet. Consider elk as an example. Let’s say you have a .30-06. Is a 150-grain bullet heavy enough–or is a 200-grain bullet too heavy? I suggest it’s better to have too much rather than not enough bullet. Penetration is the name of the game, and you can never have too much. In this case, I’d recommend a 165-grain to 180-grain bullet. Remember, when in doubt step up to the next weight class. There is no such thing as too much bullet.
Bullet design has a lot to do with the penetration capabilities. Over the years, Barnes has improved bullet design to achieve maximum weight retention and complete penetration. Bone, tissue and organ destruction are the things that will put an animal down. Our all-copper TSX and high-performance MRX bullets both give great penetration compared to other brands that lose as much as 60 percent of their original weight after impact. Does this mean you can shoot a Barnes bullet that’s half the weight of a competing bullet and get great results? Not necessarily. Barnes does recommend stepping down one weight class from what is normally recommended when using bullets from other manufacturers. This is because the high weight retention of TSX and MRX bullets results in better penetration.
Animals in the dangerous class require some big-bullet medicine. You should consider the caliber and cartridge as seriously as the bullets you use. I’ve spoken with many guides and PHs, and I take their recommendations to heart. After all, they are the professionals. These guys typically want to see you bring the largest rifle you can shoot well loaded with heavy bullets. That said, Barnes recommends heavy TSX and MRX bullets with whatever cartridge you’re using when hunting dangerous game. These bullets give good expansion, creating a large-diameter wound channel as well as great penetration. For Cape Buffalo, most PHs want to see heavy Triple- Shocks. Some want you to use Barnes Banded Solids as a backup in case you’re charged. For elephants, use Banded Solids only. Most elephants are taken with head shots, and their skulls are several inches thick. Talk to your guide or PH. He’ll give you good advice for the game you’re hunting.
I can’t cover every situation in the short space I have here—but when in doubt, you can’t go wrong by using a heavier bullet for any given caliber. There’s no question that light bullets go faster and have a flatter trajectory at short to medium ranges, while heavier bullets follow a more rainbow-like arc. However, I think you’ll find that a good ballistics program will show you’re not sacrificing much trajectory at the distances most folks shoot game.
Thanks for taking the time to read my section. I hope it’s helpful.
May all your grandchildren have the ability to shoot and hunt as we do today. Make the world a better place—take those kids hunting!
The Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet has been my hunting bullet of choice since it first became available. I have taken countless big game animals with it, but as you know, recovery of any X-Bullet is a rare event.
I am sure you have hundreds of photos extolling the performance of the Triple-Shock X. The accompanying photo is of the only two such bullets I have ever recovered. I consider both true trophies. Both bullets in the photo are of the 180-grain Triple-Shock X-Bullet variety. The bullet on the left was fired from a Remington .300 Ultra Mag, and the one on the right is from a .30-06. The left-hand bullet killed a 5×5 bull elk at 125 yards last season near Durango, Colorado. It broke both shoulders and was found just under the skin on the far side of the animal.
This bullet lost one petal inside the bull, but still had a recovered weight of 172.3 grains. The .30-06 bullet killed a 300-pound black bear at a range of 50 yards while I was hunting near Ft McMurray, Alberta. The recovered weight of this bullet was 180.0 grains. The bullet was found lodged in the bear’s neck.
Besides the incredible weight retention these bullets exhibited, I found it interesting how the bullets performed at different muzzle velocities. The bullet on the left, fired from the .300 Ultra Mag, has peeled back much farther than the one fired from the 30-06. If this photo does not make a person a believer in your bullets, I don’t know what would.
Thanks for making such a great product.
–David J. Antanitus, Rear Admiral, US Navy (ret)
4 lb. bear roast
1 1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 tbsp. instant minced onion
1 cup beef bouillon
Rub all sides of bear meat with the first four ingredients. Place seasoned meat in crock pot, sprinkle with onion and pour bouillon over all. Cook on high setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound until 180 degrees F. (check internal temp. of thickest part of roast with meat thermometer). Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and celery may be added and cooked the same amount of time as the meat. For gravy: remove meat from pot; stir flour in small amount of water and add to meat juices. Serves 6.
Question: How many rounds do you fire at the range before cleaning your rifle’s barrel?
I’ve been shooting quite a bit, all with Barnes X-Bullets. I start out with a completely clean barrel, then fire five X-Bullet rounds to foul the barrel before I began shooting groups.
Answer: Every barrel is different. Cleaning is necessary when accuracy begins to suffer. Some rifles need to be cleaned every 20 to 30 rounds, while others can go several hundred rounds before cleaning. Most factory rifles for hunting deer and larger game require cleaning every 30 to 50 rounds for best accuracy.
It’s a good idea to fire at least one fouling shot from a cold, clean barrel. We’ve found this first shot often impacts at a different point compared to the rest of the shots in the group.
Question: Would it cause a problem to load the .375 255-grain bullet in my Winchester 375 Big Bore rifle? I was concerned that when loaded end-to-end in the magazine tube, the nose of the bullet touching the primer of the round ahead of it may set off the primer.
Answer: We offer three different .375-diamter 255-grain, lead-core Barnes Originals. They all have flat-point noses designed for tubular magazines. Pointed or even round-nose designs could cause a chain fire, destroying the rifle and possibly cause serious injury.
Yes, you’ll be fine with the bullets you mentioned.
Hello, My name is Corey Plumley, and I’m from Hurricane, West Virginia. I am 18 Years old and love shooting and hunting with Barnes Bullets, but more precisely with the Triple-Shock X-Bullet. I am an avid hunter and fisherman, and I love passing time in the gunroom reloading. I have loaded around 200 cartridges for my .270 Winchester. I just recently took my first longbeard turkey. It weighed in at 18 pounds, and had a 9.75-inch beard, and .75-inch spurs.
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