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January 2007 Barnes Bullet-n

Randy Brooks Message:  

This year’s hunting seasons are winding down, but the 2007 trade show season is about to get underway. These shows give the shooting industry—and regular shooters like yourself—an advance look at new products that will be introduced during the year.

The first event will be the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show held this year in Orlando, Florida January 11-14. This is the big kickoff show for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The SHOT Show is billed as, "the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, archery, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, camping and related products and services." At the 2006 show, products from 1,846 exhibitors were displayed. A record 40,892 visitors attended, including buyers from all 50 states and more than 75 different countries.

Sorry, but unless you’re professionally involved in the industry, you won’t be able to attend this one. However, you’ll be welcome at all the shows mentioned below.

The Western Hunting Conservation Expo ( will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City January 17-20. This event will have more than 500 exhibitors, including guides and outfitters from throughout the world. Jeff Foxworthy and Montgomery Gentry will perform in a live concert January 19. A bonus for attending is the drawing held to give away 200 coveted big game tags for the west’s best limited draw hunts. You can apply in person or online. There’s a $5.00 fee to be entered in each drawing, or you can pay $465 to be eligible for all 200 hunts (a savings of $675).

If you’re interested in hunting trophy animals or any kind of big game, be sure to attend the Safari Club International ( show in Reno, January 24-27. In addition to booths and displays from countless manufacturers, you’ll see large numbers of outfitters, guides and PHs from the United States and throughout the world. You’ll meet Barnes staff members, who will be on hand to answer technical questions.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with outfitters, ask questions, and see exactly what kind of hunts they offer. Buying premium hunting and shooting products at a discount is another bonus. You could also find some bargain-priced hunts available only at the show.

The National Rifle Association’s ( 136 th annual convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri April 13 through April 16. This is a “must go” event for any NRA members living within flying or driving distance. Members can attend a special meeting April 14, followed by a Members Banquet.

Again, many manufacturers (including Barnes) will staff booths at this show. Here’s another chance to drop by and chat. Specially priced products should be widely available.

While last year’s hunting seasons are behind us, there’s plenty to see and do before the 2007 hunts get underway. Don’t forget to apply for the licenses and permits you’ll need next fall. Many hunting application deadlines close in January or February.

Happy New Year—and good hunting in the months ahead.

Randy Brooks

It’s very good to see that many states realize we need to get our youth involved in hunting at an earlier age.

Recently Utah Governor Jon Huntsman removed the minimum age requirement for hunting upland game, small game and turkeys in the state. The new law requires a young hunter to be accompanied by an adult mentor. The law marks another victory for Families Afield, a coalition of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Begun in 2005, the initiative works with hunters and elected officials to call for the removal of unnecessary legal barriers to hunting participation. In Utah, hunter retention has been on the decline. The state’s retention rate is 0.59, which means for every 100 hunters it loses, only 59 take their place. When I served on the Utah Wildlife Board, this was an issue that concerned us deeply. We tried many things to get and keep youths involved in hunting. An important fact brought to my attention was that in Mississippi, a state that has had no minimum hunting age and about the same number of youngsters under 16, had a retention rate of 1.01.

I was very pleased to learn about Governor Huntsman’s help and support in getting Utah’s new youth hunting bill passed.

In June 2006, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed HF847, a bill both houses of the legislature passed unanimously, removing the minimum age for turkey hunters. Now hunters younger than 12 can hunt with a hunter education-certified adult.

In June 2006, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law Senate Bill 1105, creating an apprentice hunting license allowing youngsters to hunt under the supervision of a licensed adult before completing hunter education. To become licensed and hunt alone, the novice hunter must complete the hunter education program.

This is all music to my ears. If it interests you, go to to get the most up-to-date information on the campaign’s progress in various states.

I’ve always said we need to get women and youths involved and excited about hunting. Without their involvement, our sport will become smaller and smaller with each passing year. What then will become of wildlife? Without hunters’ dollars to keep wildlife thriving, we would soon have little or no wildlife left. If the animal rights people win their fight to make hunters extinct, I’m willing to bet they would NOT agree to donate enough money to replace the revenue lost for aquatics and wildlife—money the fishing and hunting population now supplies. This is a scary thought. I, for one, want to see wildlife thriving for generations yet to come.

Always be aware of what’s going on in your state. Participate any way you can to make the laws better for all of us. As I’ve pointed out, getting personally involved can make a big difference! In my home state of Utah, hunters take an active role in achieving healthy, thriving wildlife populations and insuring better hunting experiences. I know without a doubt that it works. Your voice is important! Make sure it’s heard!

Here’s wishing you a great and prosperous new year.

Coni Brooks

Ty’s Tips

When I first started working for Barnes, I began looking for the ultimate cartridge. The movie, “Quigley Down Under” had captured my imagination, and I found myself longing for a large-bore rifle with long-range capabilities. Time and time again I found myself comparing other cartridges with the .45-70. The deeper I dug, the more apparent it became—this time-proven cartridge was the most readily available bigbore on the market, and offered more options and bullet choices than any other round in its class. When I saw an H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic with its sleek lines and 32-inch barrel at a local gun show, a voice rang in my head. It said: “You Must Have One of These!” Well, that was all the convincing I needed.

Adopted by the US military in 1873, the 45-70 was used in the “Trapdoor” Springfield rifles, where it served for 19 years before being replaced by the .30-40 Krag. It’s been chambered in several popular rifle styles, including Marlin and Winchester lever guns along with the very popular Ruger No. 1. Because each of these rifles has very different pressure limits, three separate categories of handloads are needed. They are, in order of least to greatest pressures:

  1. Trapdoor Loads
  2. 1895 Marlin Loads
  3. Ruger No.1 Loads

Depending on the manual, you’ll find some difference of opinion as to the allowable pressure limits for each category. I’m going to use the 1895 Marlin data from the Barnes Reloading Manual No. 3 for my H&R 1871 single shot. This is the data recommended by H&R, and I highly recommend following the manufacturer’s advice.

This year, Mississippi has new laws for its muzzleloader hunt. The Game and Fish Department allows the use of “blackpowder” cartridges in firearms designed before the turn of the 19th century. This means .38-55 and .45-70 cartridges are both legal for the muzzleloader hunt, provided they’re chambered in rifles designed in the 1800′s. According to Mississippi State stipulations, you can legally hunt with H&R 1871 and Browning High Wall single shot rifles in
.45-70 chambering. There’s no stipulation requiring black powder loads in these rifles.

It just happens that Barnes Bullets has developed a new line of Triple-Shock X-Bullets for the
.45-70. These are classified as TSX FN (Triple-Shock X-Bullet Flat Nose) bullets. They are available in 250- and 300-grains. The flat-nose design allows them to be safely used in both single-shot and tubular-magazine lever rifles.

Barnes .45-70 250- and 300-grain TSX

These fast-expanding, six-petal all-copper bullets retain nearly 100 percent of their weight. Consequently, they give much better penetration than many would expect. Ballistic gelatin tests show 25 1/4 inches of penetration from the 250-grain TSX bullet fired at a muzzle velocity of 2222 feet per second (fps). The 300-grain version produced an even more impressive 30 5/8 inches of penetration with a muzzle velocity of just 2002 fps.

In comparison, firing a 180-grain TSX from a .300 Win Mag resulted in 31 inches of penetration through ballistic gelatin. The difference here is bullet diameter. The .458-caliber TSX FN expanded to double the diameter. This bullet produced a much larger wound channel, with devastating results. The gelatin block literally split open at the seams in reaction to hydrostatic shock. The eight-inch diameter blocks typically return to their original external shape after absorbing the shock of a .308-caliber 180-grain Triple-Shock fired from a .300 magnum.

Some folks shooting heavy .45-70 bullets cringe at the substantial recoil. Using an eight-pound rifle for reference, the data below shows how dramatically bullet weight affects recoil.

400gr @ 1850 feet-per-second = 35.89 foot-pounds of recoil.

300gr @ 1950 feet-per-second = 26.05 foot-pounds of recoil.

250gr @ 2050 feet-per-second = 22.15 foot-pounds of recoil.

180gr @ 2750 feet-per-second = 22.50 foot-pounds of recoil.

(These are average maximum velocities from a 24-inch barrel, as shown in the Barnes reloading manual. The 180-grain bullet is representative of an average .30-06 load.)

As you can see, a 180-grain bullet fired from a .30-06 at 2750 fps produces 22.50 foot-pounds of recoil. Now you’re getting the big picture. You have a cartridge that recoils like a .30-06 and pushes 250-grain bullets fast enough to eliminate the rainbow trajectory commonly associated with heavier, large-caliber bullets. The lighter X-Bullets not only produce great penetration and a flatter trajectory, but also generate very reasonable recoil. This makes them suitable for game ranging from rabbits to moose.

During testing in the Barnes tunnel, accuracy with this mild-mannered brute proved to be better than expected. One-hundred-yard groups with the lighter 250-grain bullet came in at a fantastic 1.180 inch. The 300-grain TSX produced a decent 1.670-inch cluster. With a bit more tweaking, I’m sure these groups could shrink.

I’ve learned to respect this cartridge for its tremendous versatility. After more than a century, it’s no wonder this old warhorse is thriving right alongside—and in some cases outselling—today’s newer, so-called “improved” cartridges.

Mississippi deer, watch out!

Ty Herring

Success Story!

Edd Woslum

Edd Woslum shot this Cape buffalo using his custom double firing the .450/400 Tembo cartridge featuring Barnes’ 350-grain Triple-Shock X-Bullet.  This custom cartridge was developed by Evolution USA, who also made the rifle.


Interesting Facts

Nilgai are the second largest member of the antelope family.

Nilgai are native to India and Pakistan, where they are the largest species of antelope.

Nilgai were imported into Texas as game animals and have readily reproduced and established free-ranging populations. They are the most abundant free-ranging exotic ungulate in Texas and have done especially well in South Texas. The majority of Texas nilgai are found in free-ranging populations on several large ranches in Kenedy and Willacy counties.

Some people refer to the mature males as “blue bulls” as the dominant males typically become very dark, taking on a blackish and blueish hue. Female nilgai have a short yellow-brown coat.

Babies usually weigh 30-35 pounds at birth after an 8 month gestation period.

These are large sturdy animals with mature males weighing upwards of 600 pounds on the hoof.

Trophy size males will normally sport vertically oriented horns measuring 8.5 to 10 inches in length.

They feature a unique tubular shaped beard on the midsection of their throat.

Nilgai are very skittish, and their keen eyesight is atop an elongated neck making it difficult to approach them without being spotted.

These animals are horribly difficult to bring down, and rarely do they get dropped in their tracks unless taken with a spine shot.

They avoid dense forest and prefer the plains and low hills with shrubs.

A Nilgai can survive for days without water, but they live close to waterholes.

Howard Tripp took this nilgai
with a .300 Wby and a 180-grain MRX.

Recipe of the Month

Baked Duck

2 mallard ducks cleaned
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 slices bacon or salt pork
3 cups water
1 tsp. prepared herb seasoning
2 chicken bouillon cubes

Salt and pepper ducks. Place in baking pan. Add half of onion and half of celery; place other half in body cavities. Strip bacon (2 slices per bird) across breast. Add to pan: water, herb seasoning, and bouillon cubes. Cook at 300 degrees for 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Smaller ducks should cook 2 hours. When ducks have cooked, remove and wrap in aluminum foil to retain heat. Serves 8 (if quartered).


From the Lab

Comment: I’m writing in regards to your 7mm 160-grain X-Bullet. My brother recently bought a .500 S&W New England Handi Rifle.  He told me how he shot an 18x10x3-1/2-inch concrete block and split it in two with a  385 grain .500 bullet.

This past weekend I was at his house and saw the block he’d split in two. He shot one half of the split block with the .500 S&W and it blew it apart.

I have been using your 140-grain X-Bullets in my Remington .280 pump for the last 10 years. This day I had my 7mm STW loaded with 160-grain X-Bullets. I had my brother shoot the remaining half of the block with this bullet. There was hardly anything left of the block. He was impressed.

When we checked where the block had been, I saw the perfectly mushroomed copper bullet.  Of course I went to pick it up, and it burnt my finger. I poured water on the bullet and it sizzled (some serious heat transfer going on).

When I returned home, I weighed the bullet on my reloading scale. I couldn’t believe it–it still weighed 150 grains. After hitting the solid concrete block at the speed it was traveling, the X-Bullet lost only 10 grains of weight. I was impressed, to say the least. I haven’t ever recovered an X-Bullet from the deer I have shot with it.

No lead bullet would have withstood the impact into that block and only lost 10 grains of weight. This is why I use your X-Bullet in my centerfire and blackpowder rifles.

—A satisfied customer, Dan Ivancic

Response: Thanks for the great comments. I’ve had other customers experience similar results when shooting rocks, although Barnes actually tests in ballistics gelatin and other hydraulic media—including game animals—to confirm expansion. Barnes tests samples from every 5000 bullets to ensure they will perform as expected in the field.

Your input and patronage is appreciated.  

Ty Herring

I have been using your 180-grain Triple-Shock bullets in my .300 Dakota and am happy with them. I see you have them in 375 caliber. How do they work in 375 H&H Magnums?

—Alan Marley

Answer: The Triple-Shock X-Bullets in .375 caliber are basically a scaled up version of the .308 caliber bullets you are currently using. They have the same all-copper, four-petal design and expand in the same hydraulic manner. I’d expect to see similar, near-double-diameter expansion, along with greater hydrostatic shock because of these bullets’ larger diameter. Based on customer reports, accuracy should be outstanding.

Thanks, Ty

Barnes News


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 Tom Summerhays!

Tom Summerhays from Pleasant Grove, UT is the winner for the month of December.
He won the ThermaCELL® package

ThermaCELL ® mosquito repellent system in REALTREE ® Hardwoods Green HD™ camo
ThermaCELL ® mosquito repellent refill pack

I wanted to tell you how impressed I am with your products and service. I hunt most big game and varmints in the west. I don’t claim to have bagged big trophies, but I have put some trophy steaks in the freezer. I started handloading about 10 years ago for my .25-06, .308 and .338 magnum rifles. I have enjoyed the process and the results I’ve had developing loads for game ranging from coyotes up to elk. When I first started handloading, I wanted to be sure I was using the best components available. That led me to the original X-Bullet, then to the XLC, and most currently to Triple-Shock X-Bullets.

Whenever I had a question or concern regarding a load I was working on, I received prompt professional advice from Barnes. That helped me develop good multi-purpose loads for my rifles. I am looking forward to working with the new MRX line, as well.

I’d like to tell you of a recent success I had with a favorite load, using the TSX bullet. One of my hunting goals has been to take a decent pronghorn antelope in the high plains and grasslands of Wyoming. I felt the .25-06 would be a perfect caliber for the task.

As I started load development, I wanted it to handle everything up to and including elk. After a breaking-period for the gun, I narrowed my bullet choice to the 100-grain .25-caliber TSX, and a 120-grain bullet of another brand.

To make a long story short, after experimenting with several powders and seating depths, I have the TSX printing three-shot, one-hole cloverleafs at around 3300 fps. I drew a tag for my first pronghorn in south-central Wyoming. We scouted for two days before the opening morning of the hunt, and spotted some nice bucks. As the opening morning progressed, I moved onto the elevated edge of a grassy basin. Four bucks were feeding on the far edge of the basin. So far, they hadn’t noticed me.

Ranging them at 350 yards, I picked out horns of the best size and shape, then waited for a broadside shot to present itself. The buck quartered toward me as the other bucks started moving off, so I decided to take him.

At the crack of the gun, the buck dropped like a sack of potatoes. Upon reaching the animal, I found the TSX had entered just forward of the front shoulder and broken the neck, leaving a golf-ball-sized exit channel in the ribs on the far side—just perfect performance.

Thanks, Barnes!

—Tom Summerhays

Prize for January

Frankford Arsenals™

Micro Reloading Scale

Frankford Arsenals™ new Micro Reloading Scale is the perfect accessory for reloaders who want a light, accurate portable scale. The unit is suitable for use on the reloading bench, and also works well at the shooting range or in the field.

The Micro Reloading Scale weighs objects up to 750 grains. It is accurate within plus/minus 0.1 grains. The digital scale can be set to read in grains, grams, ounces, ct, dwt or ozt.

It comes with a protective sleeve and is small enough to fit in your shirt pocket. A calibration weight and batteries are also included. The Micro Reloading Scale sells for a suggested retail price of $49.99, and can be purchased direct from Battenfeld Technologies.

For more information, visit the company’s website at

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