December 2008 Barnes Bullet-N
|Randy Brooks Message:|
December is a busy month here at Barnes Bullets. It’s trade show season for the shooting and hunting industry. We kicked things off last month by attending the NASGW (National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Now we’re getting our display booth, catalogs and materials ready for the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show next month in Orlando, Florida. This will immediately be followed by the SCI (Safari Club International) exhibition in Reno, Nevada and various other shows and expos including the NRA Annual Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona later in the spring.
In addition, we’re hard at work on the new products Barnes is introducing for 2009. There’s barely enough time to get everything done—but we’re still following our tradition of closing the plant from Christmas through New Years Day. It’s important for our employees to share this special time with their families.
While the Christmas holidays haven’t yet arrived, just last weekend a group of Barnes employees got together for a coyote hunt. They used several different calibers including .223, .22-250 and .308 Winchester rifles shooting Varmint Grenade and MPG bullets. As colder weather sets in, we anticipate even more predator hunting activities involving the Barnes crew.
Lee Maynard, who lives nearby the Barnes factory, recently used 36-grain Varmint Grenades to place in the Rawlins, Wyoming National Coyote Calling Championship. He’ll soon be using these same, extremely frangible bullets to compete in another coyote calling championship meet in Cortez, Colorado.
Bill Saksa, President of Predator Callers of Orange County, CA (PCOC) has been putting the Varmint Grenades to task as well. He reports that every coyote and bobcat he’s taken so far this year has been a one-shot kill and not a single bullet has exited an animal.
I know many Barnes employees will be spending time hunting or shooting with their spouses, families and friends over the holidays. I hope all of you will do the same. These outdoor activities are enjoyable and help strengthen family bonds. Families are what the coming holiday season is all about.
Here’s wishing all of you a happy Christmas season, and a great year in 2009.
Happy Holidays to all Club X Members.
Since the presidential election, things have really been going wild. Distributors and dealers alike have been extremely busy selling all types of shooting products. Everyone seems worried about what the future holds. They’re buying up everything they can get their hands on.
We may not be happy about the outcome of this election; however, we have no choice but to deal with it the best we can. There is hope that there are some good democrats, and also good republicans, who share our same outlook on this really great industry and sport.
Utah voted in a democrat—Congressman Jim Matheson, who by the way has an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association. He is also a great man. With allies like him, we still have hope. At the moment, fuel prices are coming down. That really helps—especially if you’re traveling long distances to get to and from work, or to your favorite hunting or shooting destination. Prices for fuel haven’t been this low since March of 2005!
The construction of our new Barnes manufacturing building is going well. We’re still on track to move into the new plant by the end of February or early March. We’re all very excited about this move. We look forward to being located in some quiet, open spaces in the small town of Mona, Utah where we’ll have plenty of room to grow even bigger and faster.
We have a lot of new products that will be available in January. You can view some of them on our website at www.barnesbullets.com . In 2009, our website store will be offering factory ammunition loaded with Barnes Bullets. Ammunition manufacturers that have allowed us to sell their factory ammunition through our internet store include Black Hills, Cor-®Bon, Weatherby, Inc. and International Cartridge Corporation.
Many customers have told us they are unable to find factory ammo loaded with Barnes Bullets. Others have mentioned they’re unable to locate the particular loads, caliber and bullet weight they’re looking for. We want to help customers who don’t reload have access to and use our great products. We plan on selling all the Barnes calibers and bullet weights these manufacturers have to offer, and will hopefully be able to keep them in stock. We also plan on taking orders at the Safari Club Convention in Reno, Nevada in January. If you’ll be attending that show, please stop by our booth and see what we have to offer.
We hope you have a great holiday season. Remember to keep our great sport of hunting and shooting alive by continuing to support our industry and groups like the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and others that continue to fight for our Second Amendment rights. We want to preserve this sport—not only now, but for future generations.
Thanks for your business.
Question: I am preparing for a hunt in Namibia, and am trying to develop a load for my Ruger M77 .25-06 using 115-grain Triple Shocks. I have had tremendous success in the past with 180-grain Knight Redhots in my muzzleloader, and have killed several mule deer with a .220 Swift and 53-grain XFBs. I have witnessed the hydrostatic shock created by Barnes Bullets and want to use only them on my hunt.
The loads for my .300 Weatherby are working well, and my light gun loads for the .25-06 are grouping between .750 inch and 1 inch at 100 yards. When I move out to 200 yards, my groups open up to 6 inches. I have experienced this with 100-grain and 115-grain Triple Shocks on different days. I usually use the .25-06 with 75-grain bullets for varmints, and have no problems at extended ranges. Could this be a function of the twist rate not stabilizing the heavier bullet past 100 yards, or am I looking in the wrong direction? This has happened with Black Hills 100-grain factory loads as well as with my handloads. If you could possibly shed any light on this, I would greatly appreciate the help. Keep up the great work!
—Thanks, Doug Hudson
Answer: Nice round holes in the target at 200 yards will confirm good stability. I suspect an outside force such as wind or a scope issue is the culprit. In our ballistics lab under controlled circumstances and using a machine rest, we find a 1-inch group at 100 yards means a 2-inch group at 200 yards and a 3-inch group at 300 yards, pretty much without exception. However, we now have an 80 grain Tipped TSX in 25 caliber that could confirm if it actually is a bullet stability issue with your rifle.
With that said, I think it’s difficult for many shooters to produce really tight groups at 200 yards and beyond. Particularly when using low power scopes. Furthermore, if the 100-yard group you’re shooting with the 75-grain bullets is half the size of the 100- and 115-grain bullet groups, this could possibly explain the difference in accuracy. Smaller groups at 100 yards mean much smaller groups at 200 and 300 yards.
Question: I use Barnes bullets for all my hunting needs and have since the introduction of the X Bullet. I’ve also favored your .45 caliber hollowpoint in the 50-caliber sabot. This year I purchased your 250-grain Spit-Fire TMZ bullets with yellow sabots to use in a new T/C Triumph. This is the bullet I wish to hunt with, but it’s too difficult to load even with a clean barrel and the help of a lubricant. I’ve bent a solid aluminum rod trying to push these bullets down the barrel. I’ve had no problems loading other manufacturers’ bullets. I know others who’ve tried these muzzleloader bullets with similar results.
I’ve tried other sabots, but while they’re easier to load, they don’t shoot well because they’re not shaped to fit boattail bullets. T/C’s early Shock Wave bullet had similar problems, but not to the extent of the Spit-fire TMZ. T/C has since introduced new Super Glide yellow sabots.
For those of us who wish to use Spit-Fires, is there a sabot available? Where do we go from here?
Answer: Throughout the industry, there’s little real standardization in bore size. As a result, different muzzleloaders have different bore diameters. The key to shooting a particular bullet is to find the right bullet and sabot combination that works well in your rifle. Fortunately, Knight markets the Barnes TMZ bullet in their Ultimate Slam Series –and because their bores are typically tight, they use a slightly smaller blue sabot. Knight (phone:641-856-2626) can provide you with this alternative, or you should be able to find their product at your local retail outlet.
Barnes has recently released a new easier-loading bullet/sabot called the Spit-Fire T-EZ to help folks who have rifles with tight bores. These bullets are flat-based versions of the current Spit-Fire TMZ boattail bullet. These will also be a good alternative for your tight T/C Triumph barrel.
I shot this six-point bull the morning of October 14 before leaving for school. I had a Utah “any bull” tag, and every morning before school, I and my dad, Mark Grace would go looking for elk. I passed up a two-point bull the second day of the hunt. I saw a few more bulls on other days, but couldn’t get on them. Then my dad glassed a herd and said “big bull,” and the race was on.
When we got up on the elk, the bull was standing broadside 300 yards away. I put my 7mm magnum on my shooting sticks and was about to squeeze the trigger when the bull turned and started to run straight away.
My dad and I shoot a lot, and we have the target turrets on our scopes doped out to 600 yards. I took my time and finally put the crosshairs on his neck, then squeezed the trigger. He was 350 yards away by then. The 140-grain Barnes MRX hit him in the center of the neck, busted through his vertebrae and dropped him dead on the spot. We recovered the bullet. It weighed 133.3 grains.
I’m 15 years old, and this was my first bull. Thanks for a great bullet.
3-4 lbs. young bear roast
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 garlic clove
1 minced onion
1/3 cup red wine
3 stalks celery, diced
1 1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. salt
Place roast in a skillet and add cooking oil. Braise roast on all sides using high heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Place roast and sauce in an open pan and cook for 3-4 hours at 350 degrees. Baste often. At the end, remove the vegetables and blend to thicken sauce. Roast should be served well done. Serves 6-8.
Ballistics Lab Manager
Barrel Break-In / Cleaning Procedure
It’s good to take a few hours to do a proper barrel break-in process. The barrel will be much easier to clean and it may help to hold accuracy longer between cleanings. The idea is to burnish away tooling marks and NOT to impregnate the steel with carbon initially. The following process is one that we use regularly and have success with.
1. Shoot one shot using a jacketed lead-core bullet (the gilding metal jacket material is harder than the pure copper X-bullet and will do a better job of burnishing the barrel during initial break in). Remove bolt and clean barrel thoroughly as detailed below. (Note: When cleaning a rifle, it’s best to have the muzzle angled downward and always use a bore guide. This ensures solvents, crud, and grime won’t drip/run through the action; gumming up the trigger and ruining the bedding. Also, one piece coated cleaning rods should be used.)
a. To clean the barrel, use the proper jag and a tight fitting patch soaked with CR-10 to remove the powder fouling. Use 2-4 patches and push each patch completely through the bore with one long stroke.
b. Install the proper size bronze bristled cleaning brush. Soak the brush with CR-10 before brushing. Brush should be stroked through the bore 10-20 times (brush must be pushed completely through the bore prior to reversing direction). Add CR-10 to the brush while it’s at the muzzle end of barrel half way through process. Clean the bronze brush once process is complete with a blast of crudbuster or something similar.
c. Next, remove all copper fouling. Use proper size jag and Barnes CR-10 soaked patches until no discoloration is left on the patches. The first two patches through the barrel after brushing should be pushed completely through the barrel in one long stroke. The remaining patches should be short stroked through the barrel a few inches at a time.
d. Run one dry patch inside the chamber, remove and discard.
e. Run two dry patches inside the bore, remove and discard.
f. Examine muzzle and throat area for any signs of copper fouling. If copper is still visible, repeat steps “b” through “e”.
g. Wipe any excess solvent from the muzzle and action area.
2. Lube the bolt lugs with a white lithium based grease and clean out the lug recesses. Also apply a small amount of grease to the bolt handle and cocking piece camming surfaces on the bolt.
a. Do this after each cleaning. There are great tool kits available from Sinclair and Midway for this purpose.
3. Repeat the cleaning process (Step 1, “a”-“g”) until 10 shots are fired, cleaning after each shot.
4. Shoot five sets of two-shot groups, cleaning after each two-shot group.
5. Shoot two five-shot groups, cleaning after each five-shot group.
6. Coat the bore with a light coat of oil (preferably not Teflon based) if gun is to be stored for some time prior to shooting.
SteriPEN Journey Portable, Compact Water Purifier
This month’s prize is the SteriPEN Journey, a lightweight, portable water purifier from Hydro-Photon, Inc.
According to the company, the SteriPEN JourneyLCD is the most compact, easiest-to-use portable water purifier on the market. The new purifier uses SteriPEN’s proven technology—ultraviolet (UV) light—to destroy the DNA of disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasitic protozoa. The new Journey is able to communicate through an LCD screen, making this the most user-friendly purification system ever available.
The SteriPEN Journey uses universal symbols that eliminate guesswork and give users confidence that the SteriPEN is being used properly. The LCD screen displays the amount of water being purified (1/2 liter or 1 liter), battery status and a countdown showing the time remaining to complete the purification.
Weighing less than 6 ounces, the SteriPEN Journey is effective for 10,000 treatments. The Journey tracks the number of uses, while the LCD screen features a lamp bar that blinks when usage approaches 10,000 cycles.
The SteriPEN Journey is simple to use: Just push the button twice to treat ½ liter or once for a full liter, insert the device into a container of clear water, and the SteriPEN goes to work! All you have to do is stir. It takes 48 seconds to purify ½ liter of water and 90 seconds for a 1-liter container. Compare this to standard chemical treatments that can take up to four hours. You get safe drinking water in seconds—no setup or cleanup required. Because the SteriPEN uses light instead of chemicals to purify, treated water doesn’t have an unpleasant chemical aftertaste.
For more information, contact: Hydro-Photon, Inc., 262 Ellsworth Road, PO Box 675, Blue Hill, ME 04614; or visit www.Steripen.com.
The Barnes Ballistics Lab recently fired this 100 yard 10-shot group with the .338 Caliber 225-grain Tipped TSX out of a 338 Winchester Magnum. The group measured .381-inch in diameter!