February 2007 Barnes Bullet-n
Just before Christmas, Rifle & Handloader Editor Dave Scovill and I spent a week hunting deer in Sonora, Mexico guided by Vaquero Outfitters. Dave and I hunted apart, but in the same vast valley broken up by several small hills. High brush limited visibility, but clearings here and there allowed some long-range glassing.
There had been no moon the night before, so deer were moving later than usual that morning. I spotted a huge buck almost as soon as it was light enough to see. He was 550 yards away—a long shot I’d rather not take if there was any chance of getting closer.
The buck was one of four in the small group I could see. One of the other bucks had a trophy-sized rack, but he didn’t measure up to the one I’d first found in my binoculars. The rut hadn’t yet started, and the four deer were on the move.
The wind wasn’t right for an effective stalk, so my guide and I waited, hoping the deer would move closer. The brush made it tough to keep the big buck in sight, but he eventually stopped to feed on some cholla (a type of spiny cactus). The other bucks moved off as he stood there eating. That would make getting a clear shot easier if I could move within decent range.
We watched the buck eat for several minutes, then the wind suddenly shifted in our favor. We didn’t know how long the breeze would hold or how long the buck would stay put, so we began a hurried stalk.
A few minutes later we’d closed the range to just over 300 yards. I decided I’d better shoot before the buck stopped eating and moved off. Steadying the .300 WSM Kimber on the monopod I’d been carrying, I took careful aim and squeezed the trigger.
The 180-grain Maximum Range X-Bullet struck home. The deer took three running steps before dropping dead. The MRX did its job well. We’d spotted the buck at first light, and had it on the ground just 40 minutes later.
A trophy of a lifetime, the deer had a gross score of 209 6/8. I’ve been fortunate to take a few similar bucks on other hunts. Two factors have contributed to this success. First, I always do my homework, carefully planning each hunt well in advance. Preparations include researching areas likely to produce trophy deer, applying for permits well before the deadline, then selecting the right guide or outfitter.
The second factor is the increasing availability of trophy deer and elk. These animals are more abundant now than they have been in years. Let me give you a personal example. Barnes has outgrown its current facility, and will soon move to a new plant in a rural area 40 miles to the south. I’ve also purchased several acres there for building a new home for Coni and me. During a recent visit, we spotted five elk on our property—the smallest was a 350-class bull, while the largest would score in the 380′s. Seeing those magnificent animals so close to civilization was a rare treat that wouldn’t have been possible a few short decades ago.
Today’s abundance of game can be attributed to good wildlife management and the work of habitat preservation groups. Give your active support to the national and local organizations working to preserve existing wildlife habitat.
Remember—if you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to get your applications in for this year’s trophy hunts. Some deadlines have already passed, but there’s still time to apply for several excellent hunting areas. Planning ahead means starting NOW! Maybe this is the year for YOUR once-in-a-lifetime trophy.
I started the trade show season January 2 nd. For me, this busy season won’t end until mid- March! I enjoy trade shows because the people we see are so positive and upbeat. They’re looking forward to buying and hunting in the coming months of this new year.
I especially want to thank the SHOT Show and Safari Club Convention customers who visited our booth this past month. We really appreciated their visits and kind words. It is such a pleasure for us to hear how pleased our customers are with our products. They’re vocal about the success they’ve had with our bullets, and that means a lot. It helps us to know that we are doing something right. Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us, and we constantly strive to provide the best possible service to all our customers.
We get a lot of comments about our Club-X Newsletter. I must say I am very proud of it, and of the employees who participate not only in writing articles, but in laying out the newsletter, mailing, and collecting the prizes offered each month to lucky Club-X members.
We feel that getting our newsletter out on time every month is very important for the members. We do our best to give them interesting and educational information that’s worth their time to read. We want Club-X members to know we care about them enough to keep them informed about what’s happening here at Barnes.
I’d like to mention that our new Varmint Grenade bullet has really created a stir in the industry. We will soon be posting some high-speed video on our new, redesigned website to show how this phenomenal bullet performs.
Many who visited our booth during recent trade shows have already seen this footage, but it’s so awesome we wanted to share it with everyone. In addition to being posted on the Barnes website, this demonstration can also be viewed on our new DVD, “Bullet Myths Busted” due out in late April. Visit our website at that time to order your FREE copy.
Your local stores should have this new bullet in stock shortly. If for some reason they don’t have them, please feel free to call us and we will direct you to someone who has them. Don’t start the varmint season without trying these bullets! These highly frangible .22-caliber, 36-grain bullets are available in 100- and 250-bullet packs. Shipping has already begun. Those who attended the shows were among the first to get their hands on these exciting new varmint bullets. Don’t delay in getting some for yourselves before varmint season is in full swing.
I just found out that I drew a Utah Turkey tag, so I’ll be looking for a gobbler during my first 2007 hunt. I’m trying to decide if I’ll use a .500 Nitro or my .338. Okay, I’m kidding—but it’s an interesting thought! I’ll let you know what I decide to use when it’s closer to turkey season.
Thanks for your membership and loyal support
Last month Randy Brooks mentioned the numerous shooting and hunting conventions and Expos held at the beginning of each year. Each time I attend one, I find several new products that suit my needs. Barnes also introduces new products each year hoping to pique your interest. We try to offer something you really want or need.
This year we have several new products. Here’s the skinny on what’s new, and how these products can help your hunting and shooting.
Over the past few years, Barnes has introduced the Triple-Shock X-Bullet line, which has done very well. TSX bullets offer better accuracy from more rifles than ever before. They also give the exceptional terminal performance customers have come to expect from X-Bullets. This year we’re continuing to expand our TSX selection.
There’s a new 150-grain Triple-Shock for .30-30 lever rifles, and two new .45-70 (or .450 Marlin) Triple-Shocks weighing in at 250- and 300-grains.
Barnes is also extending the new MRX lineup to include .277 caliber 130-grain and 150-grain bullets, along with 140- and 160-grain 7mm offerings. We’re not forgetting .338 rifles. TSX offerings in this caliber include 185- and 225-grain bullets. These bullets have been added to the popular 150-, 165- and 180-grain .308 MRX bullets introduced last year.
The X-Bullet line received one addition—a .30 Carbine bullet that weighs 100 grains. This bullet might also be suitable for slow .30 caliber cartridges like the 7.62×39 or one of the many 30 caliber T/C pistols that require a bullet that expands at low impact velocities.
Several new pistol bullets have been introduced this year, bringing our total to 22 different XPB bullets covering the most common cartridges. New calibers and weights include an 80-grain .380 ACP bullet, a 110-grain .38 Special projectile, and 125-grain bullets for the 357 Sig and 357 Magnum. There are also new 140-grain .40 S&W, 200-grain .44 Special, and 160-grain .45 Gap bullets in the XPB lineup.
Let’s not forget the new Banded Solids, which have shown vast accuracy improvements in our ballistics lab. The 12 new additions in this category range from .224 through .600 Nitro—one of my favorite calibers. Rather than stretch this article out, I suggest you refer to the Barnes website or call for a current catalog.
Last, but not least, we’re introducing a new varmint bullet this year. It has been named the Varmint Grenade, and does as its name implies. This frangible-core bullet employs new technology developed for military applications. Currently available only in .22-caliber, its light 36-grain weight allows extreme velocities and explosive fragmentation. If you’ve had enough of pesky ground squirrels and prairie dogs, blow them up with our Varmint Grenade.
This is Barnes’ 75 th year in the bullet business, giving you a name to rely on for quality products.
Your patronage is highly valued and appreciated.
Thanks… and Thanks again…
For years now I have enjoyed hunting with your bullets. This year I tried your new 180 grain MRX bullets in Northern BC. I carried the same gun as in past years, my .300 Remington Ultra Mag, except this year instead of the Triple-Shock bullets, the MRX’s were put to my test. On day 5 I took the attached 356 BC caribou at 510 yards, my guide was amazed when the caribou dropped in its tracks. The bullet entered dead center of one shoulder blade and was found under the hide after it had completely shattered the other. On day 8 I took a very good bull moose at 385 yards. This test put the bullet traveling through the right front shoulder and ending up in the left rear ham almost 8′ of penetration. The shock of the impact, combined with the energy of the bullet traveling through the length of the animal, dropped it in its tracks. The bullet from the caribou now weighs 171.4 grains, and the bullet from the moose weighs 168.8 grains.
To say this hunt ended happily, is an understatement.
Bobcats are most active just after dusk and before dawn.
Bobcats are secretive, solitary and seldom observed, tending to hunt and travel in areas of thick cover.
Bobcats rely on their keen eyesight and hearing for locating enemies and prey.
Bobcats’ sense of smell is not acute.
A bobcat’s diet is comprised of snowshoe hare, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, porcupine, and white-tailed deer. Bobcat also feed on mice, moles, shrews, reptiles, birds, bats, turkey, grouse, insects, and woodchucks, but specialize on rabbit-sized animals.
Bobcats are considered polygamous breeders and they will take several different mates throughout their lifetime.
Gestation is generally 63-70 days. On average 2-3 kittens are born in the litter.
Juveniles generally stay with their mother until breeding season in February or March. Males generally disperse earlier and farther away than females. Females often times settle in areas of their mother’s home range. However juveniles have been known to travel over 100 miles before reaching a permanent home.
Mike Boykin took this bobcat
Recipe of the Month
Moose Roast in Brown-In-Bag
3-4 lb moose roast 4" thick
salt and pepper
1 medium onion quartered
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup dry red wine
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shake 1 tablespoon flour in small size (10×16") brown-in-bag and place in 2 inch deep roasting pan. Pour wine into bag and stir until flour is well mixed. Rub meat with salt and pepper. Place meat in bag. Put onion and bay leaves around roast. Close bag with twist tie and make 6 half- inch slits in top. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. *You can also use venison or elk
From the Lab
Question: Can one use the Barnes .50 caliber .500 diameter 375-grain XPB pistol bullet in a .50 caliber T/C Encore muzzleloader?—Harold Bobbitt
Answer: A .500 caliber Barnes Bullet will not work in a .50 caliber muzzleloader. The reason is most muzzleloaders have a bore diameter of .500 inch, but the groove diameter is about .506 inch. This means the gases would escape around the bullet and not create the pressure required to fire the bullet properly. When using cast bullets, a patch is required to take up this excess space, and the softer lead bullets can obturate or swell to fill the rifling grooves. Another issue would be rifling twist and stability. Since the harder all- copper bullet would not be engaged into the rifling, no twist would be imparted to the bullet, which would begin to tumble after leaving the barrel. The result would be very poor accuracy.
Question: I am attempting to load some of your 180-grain TSX’s in my .300 Weatherby Accumark Ultra Light. I have been unable to find any information regarding overall length with the exception of your recommendation to seat the bullets .030" – .070" off the lands. I don’t have a tool to measure this distance, which concerns me because this measurement appears to be critical to the accuracy of these bullets. Any information would be appreciated.
Also, when can the public expect to see the new reloading manual and will the information that I am looking for be found in that book? I have the latest edition and there are no overall lengths listed. I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
Answer: The Weatherby cartridges are the exception to the .030" to .070" recommended seating distance off the lands rule because of their long throats. Typically, they are seated to accommodate the magazine length. For Weatherby cartridges with freebore, Barnes recommends a cartridge overall length (COAL) that is .050" short of the magazine box to allow the cartridges to function and feed properly.
The new Barnes reloading manual will list a maximum COAL of 3.560" for the .300 Weatherby, which is SAAMI’s recommended maximum COAL for this cartridge. We expect to have the new book available in about one year from now which will list this information.
For cartridges with standard throats, the Stoney Point Gauge is our favorite tool for measuring the distance to the lands (rifling) in a particular rifle.
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 Stephen Holt!
Stephen Holt from League City, TX is the winner for the month of January.
Prize for February
The newsletter prize for February is a Series S, Model L folding bipod from Harris Engineering. The Model L is the world’s largest-selling commercial rest. Series S bipods rotate to either side for instant leveling on uneven ground. The hinged base has tension adjustment and buffer springs to eliminate tremor or looseness in the crotch area of the bipod.
Folding legs on this model allow a barrel height from 9 to 13 inches, making the rest ideal to use from the bench or while shooting prone. Made to fit the forend of a conventional bolt-action rifle stock, adapters allow it to also be used on handguns and other types of rifles. Anchors to the front sling stud. Can be installed or removed quickly and easily. Won’t mar stocks. Made of heat-treated steel with a black anodized finish.
The Series S, Model L bipod weighs 14 ounces and retails for $ 121.90. For more information, contact Harris Engineering, Inc.; telephone: 1-270-334-3633; or visit www.harrisbipods.com.