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August 2009 Barnes Bullet-N

Randy Brooks Message:  

We recently received an e-mail from Mr. Hal Stephens asking about Fred Barnes. Hal explained that he had occasionally hunted with Fred, and kept in contact with him up until a few years after he’d sold Barnes Bullets in the mid-1960s. Hal had lost touch with Fred, and didn’t know he’d passed in 1990.

That started me reminiscing about how this company got its start. Fred Barnes began supplying bullets to handloaders in 1932. Barnes has been making bullets for the past 77 years, which makes us America’s most experienced bullet manufacturer.

Fred Barnes

I thought about the Barnes Original bullets that were the company’s mainstay for so many yearsand how the times have changed! I remember like it was yesterday, glassing for bears alongside Alaska’s Gravina Bay with my guide and good friend, Bill Stevenson. It was 1985. That’s when the idea for a new, all-copper hunting bullet was conceived. I wanted a bullet that would expand and penetrate without coming apart. The following spring I returned to the same area, where I took an Alaskan brown bear with a 270-grain, .375-caliber prototype that became the X Bullet.

The original X Bullet has evolved significantly over the past 24 years. It’s been a major influence on how people view and use hunting bullets. It’s hard to believe we’ve come so far and had such an impact, not only in the hunting world, but in military, law enforcement and personal defense. Our company continues to grow and change at a pace difficult for me to even fathom.

Last month, we were presented a demonstration by a company that produces Doppler radar systems. We’ll be implementing the system in the 300-yard underground shooting tunnel that’s part of our new headquarters. We’ll also be using the system for outdoor shooting at ranges to 1500 yards and beyond. Being able to observe bullet flight characteristics from the time the projectile leaves the muzzle out to extreme distances further enhances our bullet design capabilities.

Imagine that—a company’s humble beginnings in a man’s garage just over 75 years ago, evolves and now employs space-age technology to build better products. We are privileged to live in a country that provides us with opportunities limited only by our minds and will.

I’m tremendously proud of our people here at Barnes. I appreciate their willingness to think outside the box and continue pushing the envelope. Their enthusiasm and creativity make a big difference. My hat’s off to all those who have contributed so vitally to our company’s success. I’m certain if Fred were alive today, he’d be proud of it all.

-Randy Brooks

I’m a pretty active gal—I’ve often been called the Energizer Bunny. A few years ago an employee said, “Coni must be on drugs. Nobody has that much energy!” My reply was, “If I were really on drugs, I could probably build a new manufacturing plant in a week. I don’t want to go there!”

I’m glad I have lots of energy. It keeps me active doing many things that help keep me in shape. That’s what helps me feel young. My husband and I have always said we don’t want to ever grow up. We also believe you’re never too old to learn something new.

When it comes to the outdoors, there isn’t much I don’t like to do. When our girls were young, we bought a boat and began enjoying a lot of water sports. I love the water and waterskiing, and look forward to summer each year.

Coni, cliff jumping at Lake Powell

We taught our two daughters how to ski and participate in lots of other water sports. We felt it was one of the best things we ever did to bond our family together. We’ve had to put water sports on hold for awhile, because these last few summers have been filled with so many other things. However, spending time on the water will always be one of our favorite things to do.

We have taken our grandchildren along on many boat outings, and we love teaching them to enjoy the water. My oldest granddaughter once said as we were riding a wave runner, “Grandma, I like to ride with you. You’re wild!”

Another thing I like to do is ride horses, and we have plenty of them to ride. Climbing on a horse and going on a leisurely trail ride is the way I most enjoy the mountain scenery. I once had a beautiful black-and-white paint horse we called “Speed”. We named him that because he just kind of did what you wanted him to—but never with much speed. He was a horse you could trust with just about anyone—of any age—riding him. Horses like that are hard to find and I was grateful to have him as long as I did.

Five of the six Brooks’ grandchildren, winter of 2005, enjoying a day spent with horses and grandparents.
“Speed” is second from the right

When I was a young girl growing up, camping and fishing was what our family did whenever my dad had time off work. I grew to really love the outdoors and I would still rather be outside than inside. Fishing and hunting are activities we enjoy doing together as a family.

I really like being involved with wildlife, and had the opportunity of serving for eight years on the Utah Wildlife Board. The eight-member board—at that time comprised of two women and six men appointed by then-Utah Governor Leavitt—is charged with setting rules and regulations for wildlife and aquatics in the state. That was an experience I will always appreciate. I learned a great deal while on that board. It helped me understand the kinds of things that need to be done to properly manage wildlife and aquatics in Utah.

I have experienced some amazing things while hunting in the outdoors, and have been able to see many different kinds of animals. I really treasure those moments and hope that everyone who has the desire and ability to take advantage of hunting opportunities, no matter where they are, will stop to appreciate nature. Sometimes hunting can be really tough on a person, both physically and mentally. But when it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

I am so happy to be a part of such a great industry. The people in it are some of the best you’ll find. Many of these people enjoy shooting, hunting, and being a part of the great outdoors as much as we do and we share a comaraderie that’s unique and special.

Things haven’t always been easy in the bullet-making business, but we’ve always had a good time. We are proud of our great products. Randy and I, along with our employees, are committed to making great products shooters and hunters can depend on—and we have a great time doing it. We never tire of coming up with new products and new ways to make something unique and better. Barnes Bullets is the leader in bullet technology.

We really appreciate your support, and hope you’re having a wonderful summer. We also wish you luck in the upcoming hunting season—it’s not too far away. Good luck in finding everything you need for the upcoming hunting season.

-Coni Brooks

Ty’s Tips

Please explain what the Banded Solid spitzer boattail bullet is. I see a 165-grain version is offered in .308 diameter.

—Jim Scallen.

Hi Jim,

The Banded Solid spitzer is a nonexpanding, mono-metal, free machining brass bullet commonly used for target shooting or for taking fur-bearing animals where pelt damage must be held to a minimum. I’ve also known some to use the smaller caliber solids for turkey hunting (in the few states where it’s legal).

These bullets are very accurate because they are a turned solid and tight tolerances are held. In fact, Barnes’ .50 BMG 800 grain LRS (Long Range Solid) held the world record for accuracy at 1000 yards in the heavy gun class for ten years. The record was just broken in July of this year at the FCSA’s National Match in Raton, New Mexico by Lee Rasmussen. Click here to read about the new world record group.

Thanks for the great question.

—Best, Ty

I’m planning on hunting with a 7.5x55mm K31 Schmitt-Rubin rifle. I have been told that I can reload the cartridge with .308 bullets. Do you have any reloading data for this cartridge using your bullets? The information would be greatly appreciated!

—Mark Tennier

Hi Mark,

You are correct. The 1911 model and later models of the 7.5mm Schmitt Rubin use .308 caliber bullets. The earlier model 89 used a .299-caliber, paper-patched bullet.

The model 89 with rear locking lugs has a very low pressure rating of only 37,000 pounds per square inch (psi), while the model 1911 and later models have a pressure level rating of 45,500 psi. Due to the relatively low pressure limits and the age of these rifles, I recommend having a gunsmith check your rifle for safety.

Unfortunately, we have never developed load data for that cartridge. Therefore, we recommend using load data from another source with bullets of equal weight. Start with minimum charges, and gradually increase. Be sure to exercise caution when working up loads for low pressure cartridges! Due to the lower operating pressure of these rifles, dangerous pressures won’t manifest themselves through flattened primers or other pressure signs commonly displayed in the modern high-pressure cartridges. I highly recommend using a chronograph when developing loads, and not exceeding the velocities listed in published manuals. Use these velocities as a pressure guide.

Thanks for the great question.

—Best, Ty

Recipe of the Month

Rabbit Almandine

1 dressed rabbit cut in pieces

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup oil

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. lemon rind

1 med. onion, cut into rings

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sour cream


1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Coat rabbit pieces with flour (reserve remaining flour). Brown in heavy hot skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour chicken stock with rosemary, lemon rind, and onion over rabbit. Simmer 45 minutes. Remove rabbit pieces to warmed platter. Combine reserved flour with water and stir into broth until sauce is thick. Stir in sour cream and almonds; pour over rabbit.

Barnes News


Congratulations Club-X Prize Winner!

Lisa Madarassy

Lisa is a 43 year old mother of 2 who got involved in hunting as a way to spend more family time with her husband and youngest son. She grew up in Northeast Nebraska, and currently resides in Watford City, North Dakota.

Along with hunting, She also enjoy target shooting, scrapbooking, and rottweiler rescue.

Her family is looking forward to filling their two white-tail buck tags that she and her husband drew this year.

Lisa won the Caldwell’s® Shootin’ Gallery™

Prize for August

Tipton’s® Best Gun Vise

This vise was designed to accommodate the widest possible array of firearms for cleaning, maintenance, or gunsmithing, and is easily configurable to handle bolt-action rifles, break-open shotguns, AR-15’s, and handguns.

A central aluminum channel lets the user move individual components to the ideal position for their firearm. Each individual component then adjusts to the perfect position for secure support. The rear base features two adjustable offset clamps for a tight grip on a wide range of buttstock configurations.

The Best Gun Vise is extremely stiff and is made from high-quality, solvent-resistant material that will stand up to years of hard use.

• Great for cleaning and gunsmithing
• Highly adjustable design for maximum versatility
• Non-marring contact surfaces
• Rigid, solvent-resistant polymer stands up to years of hard use
• Innovative, offset clamping mechanism on rear base

MSRP $129.99

For more information, visit the Tipton® Best Gun Vise website: .

Parting Shots

This 5-shot group was fired by Brad Trelstad at the FCSA’s National Championship Match in Raton, NM July 2nd – 4th, 2009. The 4 3/16-inch “Screamer” was shot with the Barnes 50 BMG 800 grain LRS at 1,000 yards. In a separate event, Brad’s four-man Hunter Class team took 1st place.

Way to go guys!

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