December 2006 Barnes Bullet-n
Here in the west, deer and elk seasons are winding down. Whitetail seasons in Southern, Midwestern and Eastern states are just hitting their stride. I’m happy to report that quality hunting is on the increase. Thanks to good game management and the efforts of both national and regional wildlife conservation groups, wildlife has never had a brighter future.
Game numbers are increasing—often dramatically. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), there were fewer than 500,000 whitetail deer in the United States in 1900. That number rose to 18 million a few years ago. Today, Whitetails Unlimited reports a healthy whitetail population of some 30 million.
In the last century, the number of wild turkeys in this country has exploded from approximately 100,000 then to 7,000,000 now. Ducks Unlimited says ducks have rebounded from a relative handful to the 31 million now populating the US and Canada.
Elk are another success story. A hundred years ago, only 41,000 of these magnificent animals were counted in the United States. Today, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation estimates our elk population at more than one million in the ten Western states.
I’m not just talking quantity—hunting quality is also on the increase. I make my home in Utah, where the state record for elk has been broken twice in this year alone. Similar success stories abound throughout the country.
While wildlife habitat continues to be shouldered aside by new business parks and housing developments, there’s still plenty of public land available to hunters. The record elk mentioned above were both taken on public land.
The quality hunting we’re enjoying today can be attributed to good wildlife management, coupled with the active efforts of habitat preservation groups. I take pride in being involved with Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife since its inception. Now active in four Western states, it’s in the process of spreading to others. At the upcoming Western Expo (contact: www.huntexpo.com), SFW will give away more than 200 coveted tags for deer, elk and other species. This organization is making noise and getting the right people’s attention. Like similar groups in other parts of the country, it’s making a real difference.
Your participation is needed. Support the national and local organizations that are working hard to preserve existing wildlife habitat. It’s vital to secure land deer, elk, pronghorn and other species need to survive, and prevent encroachment by developers.
Don’t stand by and let the other guy do it—get involved! Attend wildlife preservation group meetings! Participate in fundraisers! Volunteer your time! You’ll gain fresh appreciation for our sport, and will find few other activities so rewarding.
It’s hard to believe 2006 is almost over. It’s been a great year! The success of the Barnes Triple-Shock has kept our presses, employees and sales personnel extremely busy. The unsurpassed accuracy and performance of this bullet has been very exciting for us. We love making our customers happy with great products like the Triple-Shock.
The newly introduced MRX bullet is building steam as we speak. Although MRX distribution has been slow, we’re hearing remarkable success stories from customers who are hunting with them. We will have full distribution of MRX bullets by early next year.
Mike Lineberger took this Canadian Moose with a .300 RUM and 180-grain MRX bullet.
The new 2007 Barnes catalog will be available in late December. If you would like to receive a copy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-574-9200 with your name and address. We’ll be happy to send you one.
We have a few new items for 2007 that I haven’t yet mentioned in Coni’s Corner.
This includes a new, revamped website scheduled to launch January 1 st. The new website will have several exciting new features—for instance:
- A fresh, new look
- Easier-to-follow site navigation
- Built-in search functionality
- New blog for regular Barnes posts and visitor comments
- An updated online store to make purchasing Barnes products easier
We will also be making Barnes University available to all Barnes customers, as well as those who just want to learn more about reloading. Our Copper Club members are already enjoying Barnes University, and have found it a great tool. We want to get more people into reloading, so we’re trying to help them become more knowledgeable about this great pastime. The more people we get involved and educated about handloading, the better.
For just a $9.95 fee, you can enroll in all the narrated PowerPoint courses that teach you invaluable facts about reloading, shooting, ballistics and other interesting subjects. Once you complete all the courses (and pass the tests), you will be awarded an official Barnes Bachelor of Reloading Science Degree suitable for framing. Becoming fully educated about reloading makes it a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Next year we will be appearing regularly on Tom Gresham’s radio show, “Gun Talk.” Tom is an old friend, and we look forward to talking with those who call in. We made our first appearance on Sunday, November 19th. Visiting the www.guntalk.com website and clicking on the LISTEN icon will tell you if there’s a station in your area that carries the show.
Gun Talk is also broadcast on XM Radio Channel 166 from 5 to 8 p.m. (Eastern time) every Sunday, as well as on Sirius Radio Channel l44 Live from 2 to 5 p.m. Another feature added to our new website allows you to listen to archived shows.
Tom talks with a lot of people from the gun industry, and there’s always something new to learn. Bottom line—it’s well worth your while to listen to Tom’s show. We’re excited to be a part of it.
I also want to mention that we’re working on a new DVD. It should be ready for distribution in April. I don’t want to let any secrets out about its content, but it’s going to be even better than the last one, “Choosing the Right Bullet.” If you don’t yet have a copy of this highly popular DVD, we still have some available. Supplies are going fast, so order yours soon! They’re free! (Those living outside the Continental US will be charged a minimal shipping and handling fee.) Order DVD.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and wish you a great and successful new year. As always, we appreciate your support—and for being a member of Club X.
Your partner in conservation and hunting,
It’s winter again here in Utah’s Rocky Mountains. Snow is piling up in the high country and it’s cold enough to discourage me from most outdoors projects.
I’d like to bring this month’s tips inside by the fire, where it’s a bit warmer. The reloading bench keeps calling my name, so let me share some reloading tips to help make life easier and your loads a little better. I’ll also mention some of the tools that help us in the ballistics lab here at Barnes. Who knows—maybe you’ll find some of these tools in your Christmas stocking.
Let’s start off with case preparation. Before reloading, I generally tumble my cases in corncob or walnut shell media. These products are common—but after a few uses they simply don’t work that well. Rather than replacing that expensive media, I’ve found a product that rejuvenates it to near-new status. It’s called Flitz. Just a capful of Flitz and your old media polishes like new again. There are several other media rejuvinators on the market. Lyman, Iosso and Frankfort Arsenal all make similar products, to name just a few.
Nickel-plated rifle cases just don’t size as easily as old-fashioned brass cases do. They also have diminished case capacity and tend to give higher pressures with equal charges. I don’t often use them—but for those who do, I highly recommend applying a little Imperial sizing wax. This will eliminate stuck cases and reduce the scratching common with normal sizing lubricants. If you’re case forming, this product is a must. Redding has a version of the same product. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way. You’ll need to clean the sizing die often, as the wax will build up in the die and begin creating dents in case shoulders. I clean the die after every 50 cases. This isn’t necessary when sizing nickel-plated pistol cases.
Another great product for cleaning those nasty, corroded cases is 0000 steel wool. You don’t have time to tumble a few cases? Just break out the steel wool, and you’ll have them cleaned and ready in no time.
I find many customers still using the old lube pad and standard case lube. There’s nothing wrong with this method. However, there’s a faster, user-friendly product that saves time and effort. We use Hornady’s One-Shot case lube. I know it’s a competitor’s product, but I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t work great. We use it almost exclusively in the Barnes Ballistics lab. If you haven’t used this product, give it a try.
One of our favorite tools—and a “must have” for any Barnes Bullet reloader—is the Stoney Point Chamber-All Overall Length Gauge. This tool allows you to quickly measure the distance to the rifling in your particular rifle with any given bullet. Since Barnes recommends seating our bullets .050” off the rifling, this gauge comes in very handy. Sinclair also offers a version of this useful tool. Either will do the trick, but we usually use the Stoney Point version. I might add this makes a nice stocking stuffer.
We’ve begun using the RCBS Charge Master Combo to dispense powder charges in the Ballistics Lab. Included with the Charge Master is a small paint brush. At first, we didn’t realize how handy it would become. You know how powder sticks to the sides of whatever container you’re using? This little brush removes it as slick as a whistle. I’d suggest you get one for your reloading bench. You’ll find it has all kinds of uses.
Next is brake cleaner. You know, the stuff you can buy at the auto parts store for $2.99 a spray can? We use and suggest the non-chlorinated version. It has several uses including, but not limited to, barrel cleansing after using CR-10, flushing dirt from an action, and cleaning dies to remove lubricant buildup. It also does a marvelous job on spiders and those pesky flies that keep circling.
My last tip is something the lab guys came up with. We’re constantly hunting for the tiny Allen wrenches needed for setting dies, mounting scopes and handling various other duties. They’ve found an ingenious solution. Notice the cases holding the allen wrenches in the photos below.
As always, I’ve enjoyed bringing you these tips.
Here’s wishing you and your families a happy holiday.
I took this 9½-foot grizzly at 125 yards while hunting in Kamchatka, Russia. The Barnes 350-grain TSX bullet, from my 24-inch-barreled, custom-built .416 Model 700 Remington entered his right shoulder and exited the left shoulder. The bear went down instantly and didn’t move another step. The bullet chronographed 2550 fps at the muzzle.
To satisfy my guide, who insisted I shoot again before we approached the bear, I took a second shot. Because of the angle the animal was lying, this bullet entered the bear just behind the right shoulder and was found in the lower left jaw when the cape was removed. The perfectly mushroomed bullet still weighed 350 grains.
I’ve fired several 3-shot 1-inch groups at 100 yards with this bullet. One 3-round group measured just ¾ inch across, with all three bullets touching. IMPRESSIVE!
I have loaded TSX bullets in four of my pet loads for other big game rifles. They produced much tighter groups than anything else I’ve tried.
Thank you for the work you’ve done to engineer such an excellent product!
Just as each person has a unique fingerprint, each zebra has its own stripe pattern.
Zebra live in herds of five to fifteen animals, consisting of several mares and offspring led by a stallion.
Young females are forced out of their family group at the time they become sexually receptive, a way of decreasing inbreeding.
Female zebras give birth to a single baby after a 360 to 396 day pregnancy.
Babies can walk within 15 minutes of birth, but will stay with their mothers until they are around a year old.
When a foal is born the mother keeps all other zebras (even the members of her family) away from it for 2 or 3 days, until it learns to recognize her by sight, voice and smell.
While all foals have a close association with their mothers, the male foals are also close.
Zebras live about 20-30 years.
Zebras can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Excellent hearing and vision help a zebra to keep alert for predators.
When a family group is attacked by predators, the members form a semicircle, face the predator and watch it, ready to bite or strike should the attack continue. If one of the family is injured the rest will often encircle it to protect it from further attack.
Three species of zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell’s, also known as the common or plains zebra. The other is Grevy’s zebra, named for Jules Grevy, a president of France in the 1880s who received one from Abyssinia as a gift, and now found mostly in northern Kenya. The third species, Equus zebra, is the mountain zebra, found in southern and southwestern Africa.
John LaSala of Safari Arms took this zebra
Recipe of the Month
Southwestern Venison Roast
1 2-lb. venison roast
2 tbls. olive oil
1 c. beef broth
1 1/2 oz. tequila
1 tbls. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbls. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. cumin
4 large shallots, peeled and chopped (or 1 medium onion)
1 16-oz. can whole cranberries
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 tbls. Grand Marnier (optional)
Serve with cornbread, fried sliced tomatoes topped with grated parmesan cheese and a Cabernet Sauvignon.
In a heavy duty Dutch oven, heat enough olive oil to brown the roast. Sprinkle the roast with garlic powder and pepper. Brown the roast in the olive oil. Add the beef broth, tequila, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, cumin and shallots. Cover and place in a 350-degree oven for 1 1/2 to two hours.
Heat the cranberries in a small saucepan. Stir in the orange peel and Grand Marnier. Simmer for two to three minutes. Serve over sliced roast.
Recipe submitted by Bill Hall
From the Lab
Question: I recently purchased a .50 caliber Omega Muzzleloader, along with different saboted bullets to experiment with. One appears to be a Barnes boattail. It is the Knight Ultimate Slam Series, SBT – Spitzer boattail. The high-pressure sabots are yellow. The unit is listed as weighing 285 grains, while your information indicates 290 grains for what I think is the same bullet. Is this your bullet? What different companies market your all- copper bullets? I have about concluded that your bullet has the better ballistics and would make a quality deer load for my .50 caliber rifle.
Thanks for the information.
Answer: You are correct. Knight also markets our all-copper muzzleloader bullets in the Red Hot and Ultimate Slam series.
There are three designs
1. The Expander MZ: All copper, 6 petal, large hollow cavity available in 250 and 300 grains in the Knight Red Hot Series.
2. The Spit-Fire: All copper, 6 petal, pointed hollow cavity available in 245 and 285 grains in the Knight Ultimate Slam Series
3. The Spit-Fire TMZ: All copper, 6 petal, blue polymer tip available in 250 and 290 grains in the Knight Ultimate Slam Series
Visit www.knightrifles.com to see these products.
We appreciate your interest.
Question: I am building a rifle chambered for the .280 Remington Ackley Improved. I am using the Barnes TSX for most loads, and wondered what rifling twist rate you recommend. For the 175-grain TSX, there is a note on your website saying that a 1:9 twist is recommended. I was already considering the 1:9, but probably will shoot 140- and 150-grain bullets more frequently. I can specify the twist I want. What do you think is the optimum twist for all-around use with this cartridge?
Also, have you noticed any difference in accuracy or fouling with your bullets between button rifled and cut rifled barrels—i.e., Lilja-buttoned and Krieger-cut? Stainless vs. chrome-moly? Any thoughts or recommendations will be appreciated. I am spending quite a bit extra on this project and hope to build a real shooter.
Answer: I recommend a 1 in 9 twist. This will allow you to shoot all 7mm Barnes Bullets. It’s very common to use a faster twist than necessary and still get very good accuracy. The 1 in 9 twist will work fine with the lighter 140- and 150-grain bullets.
While I’m no gun barrel guru, good-quality barrels from prominent manufacturers foul very little, regardless of rifling type. As far as I’m concerned, stainless vs. chrome-moly is purely personal preference. Both can give exceptional accuracy and wear.
Look for these ads in upcoming issues of your favorite magazines
including American Hunter, Safari Times, Black Powder Hunting,
Predator Extreme, Shooting Times, Handloader, Rifle and Shooting
Illustrated, to name just a few.
Club-X Prize Winner:
Congratulations Patrick Hagan!
Patrick Hagan from Idaho Falls, ID is the winner for the month of November.
He won the Leupold VX-II Scope .
I’ve used Barnes bullets since early 1990, and have actually found reliability in all the calibers we’ve shot with–7 mm magnum, .300 Weatherby Magnum, .30-06 and .340 Weatherby. There are no prisoners! We’ve won over many of our hunting partners to Barnes. I can only say “high-five” to you, and when it ain’t broke, leave it alone! You good people keep up the excellent work, and thank you. God willing and good health, we’ll continue to do our part.
Prize for December
This month’s Club-X prize is a ThermaCELL® package. This includes a ThermaCELL® mosquito repellent system in REALTREE® Hardwoods Green HD™ camo. The ThermaCELL system creates a 15 x 15-foot zone of protection that’s up to 98% effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects. It allows you to hunt in mosquito and black-fly infested areas without the need to apply chemical repellents to your skin. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge, which heats a mat releasing Allethrin, a synthetic copy of a naturally occurring insect repellent. Each mat contains enough repellent for four hours of protection, and each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. The unit weighs 6.4 ounces with a full butane cartridge. MSRP $29.99. A ThermaCELL refill ($19.99) and holster ($9.99) are also provided.
A ThermaSCENT® scent-dispersal system is also included. ThermaSCENT uses the patented ThermaCELL 12-hour butane cartridge to heat user-treated pads that release scent into the air as a game attractant or to mask human odor. MSRP: $24.99.
In addition, there is a ThermaCELL’s new P-Pak™. The P-Pak is a urine-absorbent pouch that is odor free, sanitary, compact, disposable and simple to use.
The P-Pak means hunters who spend long hours in the woods or waiting on stands no longer have to worry about disturbing game with the scent of human urine, or moving in and out of the stand when nature calls. The unisex P-Pak urinal is puncture resistant and has a spill guard, making it easy for all members of the family to use. The P-Pak features LIQSORB®, a biodegradable substance that prohibits bacterial growth and turns urine into an odorless, spill-proof gel that is nontoxic and waste-disposal safe.
Total value of package: $89.99.
ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more information on ThermaCELL’s complete line of products please call: 1-8-NO-SKEETERS. For retail locations visit www.thermacell.com.