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July 2010 Barnes Bullet-N

Randy Brooks Message:  

As spring has come and gone, the heat of summer is upon us. This is the time of year that offers prime opportunities to get outdoors and hone our shooting skills with the assistance of prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and coyotes. I have always been an advocate of supporting the local farmers in preserving their fields and crops by eliminating as many varmints as possible. Besides, it is a great way to get practiced up for all of the big game hunts.

Barnes Ballistics Lab Manager, Thad Stevens and Product Manager, Jessica Brooks took their kids to Colorado this past weekend to do some varmint and predator hunting of their own. This kind of hunting was a great opportunity for them to spend quality time with family and firearms. The purpose of the trip was to perform some specific tests using the .224 caliber 36 grain Varmint Grenades and .308 caliber 140 grain MPG bullets. However, they also took their boys to get them in practice for their fall hunts (both boys drew Utah mule deer tags, and will also be hunting other game) and shoot some video footage for DVD #4. There were a variety of rifles used including: Remington Model 700 .22-250 and .223 Rem, Savage Model 12 .22-250 (w/ thumbhole stock) and .223 Rem, Ruger Model 77 .220 Swift, and a DPMS LR .308 Win. All rifles were topped with Leupold scopes and worked great for the ranges tested of 50 to 300 yards. Two different bench rests were used and both served the shooters well. One was the RCBS R.A.S.S. and the other was the Lonestar Spec-Rest . Be sure to check out a few of their photos in “Parting Shots” at the end of the newsletter. It was certainly time well spent, mixing business with quality family time. And a big thanks to Hal Gahm of Texas Trophy Hunters for hosting their event. Barnes is a sponsor of TTHA and they’re doing a great job for us. Be sure to check out their TV Show on The Outdoor Channel.

July is a great time of year to dabble into some predator control. In a number of areas, coyotes kill approximately 50% of the fawn crop in the deer herd. Wiley is a real challenge to not only call-in, but also gives you a very tough target, especially when on the move. With the coyotes, prairie dogs and ground squirrels in excessive numbers, we have got our work cut out for us. All the while enjoying the outdoors and sharpening our shooting skills.

I hope you all enjoy the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend and keep in mind its importance. It is truly a day that we can reflect the freedoms that we benefit from. And remember, it’s not too late to be thinking about the best candidates to represent us and our freedoms in this very critical mid-term election. I hope you have a great month.

Aim high and shoot straight,

Randy Brooks

Hello to all my good Club-X friends,

What a great summer so far! The weather has been pretty good here in Utah and has only begun to really heat up the past few weeks. We’re glad about that. About 4 weeks ago, I had 6-inches of snow in my yard!

Things have been pretty busy here at Barnes with getting ready to ship the new VOR-TX ammunition (officially announced June 15th) out to our distribution network. Ammunition is something we offered on a very small scale back in the 1980s, and we at Barnes have wanted to do on a much larger scale for a very long time now. Our dream has come true and we are very proud to be offering it to customers who want to hunt with Barnes Bullets that don’t reload. By the way, most stores will have the VOR-TX ammunition by August 1st. To learn more about VOR-TX Ammunition, please click on this link. If you have trouble finding the ammunition once it is available August 1st, please give us a call or send a message to and we can direct you to your nearest outlet.

We have an exciting promotion that is beginning July 1st. It is a rebate of $5.00 for every purchase – (up to 10 boxes) of (1) box of TSX®, Tipped TSX™, 250 packs of Varmint Grenades® OR (2) boxes of 100 pack Varmint Grenades® or 50- and 100-packs of MPG’s™. (Sorry but this does not include VOR-TX Ammunition.) Below is a sample view of the actual rebate:


You should be able to find the rebate information at your dealer beginning the third week in July. If you have trouble finding it, be sure to tell them about it and we’ll be happy to send them a packet. If you have purchased one or more of the above Barnes products you can also download a rebate form from our website by going to . The rebate is good on purchases made from July 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 so you have plenty of time to buy your bullets.

If you haven’t ordered the new DVD introduced in January of 2010 titled “Performance vs. Deformance”, I highly recommend you do so. There is some more than amazing footage of bullets being tested in all types of media including animals. Some of the unique footage has never been done before by anyone so please don’t miss out on this great opportunity and please share the DVD with your hunting friends. If they aren’t Barnes users before viewing the DVD, the will certainly become a Barnes user after the see it.

OK, time to talk hunting!!! I am particularly excited about a Utah Vernon area mule deer tag I have for this year. My hunt begins in October and I am really looking forward to it. There are some great deer in that area and I hope to connect on a really nice trophy. I have had MG Arms make up a custom 300 Winchester Mag and it is a dandy! Very light weight and fits me like a glove. I just received it and haven’t even had a chance to shoot it but I know it will shoot well. You can learn more about MG Arms by going to

Thanks as always for your continued support. We are appreciative of your Club-X membership and for being part of the Barnes loyal followers. We wish you a great rest of the summer season and if we can help you out in making your hunt a more enjoyable experience, please let us know. We truly believe we have the best bullets out there – and now the best ammunition – so don’t go on a hunt this year without Barnes Bullets.

Your friend in hunting and shooting,

Coni Brooks

Barnes’ Tips, Tools, and Techniques

Barrel cleaning, the tools and techniques we use here at Barnes are the topic this month. I’m going to
show you how we do it and hopefully there will be something that you can use and add to your regimen along the way. For the purpose of this article we will be working with a bolt action rifle but many of the steps and cleaning components can be used for other types of rifles and pistols.

A clean barrel is necessary for best accuracy. We generally clean our barrels in the Ballistics Lab every 30 to 50 rounds. Some rifles require cleaning more often and by the same token other barrels will shoot accurately for a hundred shots or more. Each barrel is different and it takes a bit of working with your particular rifle to get an idea what works best for it.

With that said – let’s get started.

First thing is to make sure the rifle is unloaded and remove the bolt. We recommend the use of a bore guide in the chamber. This helps to align the cleaning rod with the bore and it protects the fine dimensions of the chamber from getting dinged by the cleaning rod and jag. It also helps to keep the cleaning solvents from seeping into other parts of the rifles action. (See Photo)

Secure the rifle in a cleaning fixture. We have adapted a bench mounted vice and special aluminum blocks that don’t mar the barrel when used in conjunction with a shop rag. The tighter the patch used, the faster the cleaning goes, so the tip here is to use a fixture that is very secure. This allows you to really put some muscle behind it. Another tip is to clean the barrel when it’s warm, but NOT hot. We’ve found it will clean up faster.

Begin by selecting the proper diameter jag and wetting a patch with Barnes CR-10. In one forward stroke push the patch through the barrel and remove it after it exits the muzzle. Make sure not to ding or allow the jag to hang up on the crown as you pull the jag back through the barrel. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Follow with a CR-10 saturated bronze brush and push it all the way through the barrel making sure it exits before reversing direction. Continue with the bronze brush for 10 to 20 strokes. About half way through this procedure, stop when the brush exits the muzzle and add more CR-10 to the brush, then finish scrubbing. Be sure to neutralize the CR-10 on your bronze brush by using Rem Oil, brake cleaner or some other form of non-aggressive cleaner. (See photo)


We feel the stainless steel brushes are a bit too abrasive and the nylon brushes are not abrasive enough. You can use the nylon brushes but they just seem to take a bit longer to accomplish the task.

Next, saturate a patch and push it through the barrel in one long stroke and repeat. Continue using patches soaked in the CR-10 by working the patch back and forth in short strokes all the way down the barrel until patches don’t show any discoloration. This is a technique that seems to be very effective because you can work the patch back and forth on those areas of the barrel that tend to hold more fouling. The area just in front of the chamber seems to be one of the areas that hold more fouling. This is due to more wear and a rougher bore in that area. (See photo)

When the patches come out clean, you’ll need to saturate a patch with oil, or we prefer to use non-chlorinated brake cleaner from your local auto parts store. The brake cleaner leaves no residue behind and is a good technique to flush the remaining CR-10 from the barrel. You can then return to shooting without any need to oil the bore. When your range session is complete and you have cleaned your rifle for storage, we do recommend running an oiled patch down the bore to neutralize any remaining CR-10 and protect the steel. If you like, a very small amount of grease may be placed behind the lugs on the bolt and in the cocking/ camming surfaces of the bolt for smooth operation. However, this may cause dust and grime to collect in that area so this is at one’s own discretion. (See photo)

Finally a clean rag or patches can be used to wipe dirt and debris from the rest of the rifle’s action – followed by a patch with some Rem Oil to protect and keep them functioning smoothly. (See photo)

Below is a photo of the materials and tools we commonly use at Barnes. Remember a clean barrel is an accurate barrel. Thanks for taking the time to view the X Club Newsletter. We appreciate your patronage! (See photo)

Ty Herring

Recipe of the Month

Mushroom Moose Steak

-4 moose steaks

-1 small onion, chopped fine

-4 tbsp. butter

-1 cup chopped mushrooms

-2 tbsp. flour

-1/2 cup sour cream

In a heavy skillet with a lid, brown onions in 2 tbsp butter. Add steaks making sure to sear steaks on both sides – cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add mushrooms and remaining 2 tbsp. butter to the skillet. Once butter melts mix well and coat the mushrooms with butter. Stir the flour into the sour cream and add to skillet, mix everything together evenly. Cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

From The Lab

Greggory Sloan
Special Projects/Ballistics Lab

Recently, Barnes’ Ballistics Lab performed a test using an environmental chamber to test the effects temperature has on handloads. This was a two part test. First, four different cartridges were loaded with an assortment of popular powders to see how extreme temperature, both hot and cold, would affect the consistency and stability of the powder. The second part of the test consisted of determining how extreme cold temperatures would have an effect on primers, specifically, testing the different affects between standard and magnum primers. In the interest of time, all of the rounds for each separate test were placed in the chamber and kept at temperature for two hours and then removed and fired immediately. These results could vary if loaded rounds were kept in the chamber for a longer period of time.

The following charts show that there were significant differences between the powders tested. From hot to cold temperatures, some powders were found to be very consistent, while others had velocity differences up to 250 ft/s and pressure differences up to 17,100 PSI. Keep in mind that these are extreme differences in temperature. These results don’t necessarily mean that if one powder is currently being used that didn’t perform well in the test, that it should not be used altogether. There are a lot of great powders that are used in the Barnes lab and for many of the lab technician’s personal handloading that produce excellent accuracy and consistency but did not produce good results in the test. One lesson learned is that when a load is worked up in 70 degree weather and then taken to the heat of Africa or the cold temperatures of Alaska, the velocity and pressure will most likely be different, which will most likely change the point of impact. This goes to show that a rifle’s zero should always be verified upon arrival at camp before the hunt. As long as it is understood that loads will perform differently in varying climates, it’s not essential to use a powder that proved a minimal difference in the test. However, the test also proved that there are some very stable and consistent powders available which can help eliminate variables associated with climate change in handloads. Figure 1 shows Alliant’s RL-10X did well in the .223 Rem and Figure 3 shows Hodgdon’s Varget also performed very well in the .308 Win. The .308 Win and Varget combination showed the velocity spread between the -40 degrees and the 120 degrees was only 29 ft/s! The 300 Win Mag loaded with Hodgdon’s H1000 and Ramshot’s Magnum also produced good results.

For the second part of the test, standard versus magnum primers were tested in cold weather to determine the differences, if any at all. It has been said that if a standard cartridge is being used, such as a .30-06, in cold weather, you should use a magnum primer. It has also been suggested that if a ball-type powder is being used, or if the cartridge is loaded with a larger charge (over 60 grains), that a magnum primer can be used. To research this, Barnes ballistics lab technicians tested one standard cartridge (.30-06) and one magnum cartridge (300 Win Mag) and used both primer types in each. Powders that gave consistent velocities and pressure readings, in both extruded and ball-type, were used. Just as the Figure 7 photo of frozen rounds shows, this was an extreme-conditions test. Throughout the test there were no issues with hang fires or misfires with either the standard or magnum primers. Figure 5 shows that the 300 Win Mag had no problems using a standard primer even with a full charge of Ramshot’s Magnum powder (ball-type). Velocities and pressures were slightly higher in the 300 Win Mag with standard primers over the magnum primers. The velocity standard deviation seemed to be more consistent from one temperature to another with the standard primers. The .30-06 test showed that pressure and velocity went down with a standard primer and using Hodgdon’s IMR 4064 powder, but was slightly higher with Hodgdon’s H414.

In conclusion, the results establish that changing to a magnum primer in a standard cartridge is unnecessary, even in cold temperatures. The test also shows that if standard primers are the only primers available, they can be used in belted magnum cases such as the 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, etc…They would also work fine in the WSM family of cartridges.

Ultimately, the best rule of thumb is to simply follow the reloading manual’s recommendation for whichever load/cartridge combination you are using.

Barnes News


Congratulations Club-X Prize Winner!

Mike Olsen

Mike Olsen of Missoula, Montana is the proud winner of the Buck hunting knives. Thank you for being a member of Club-X and congratulation Mike! I am sure that the knives will come in handy for all of your outdoor adventures.

140 Skinner
135 Caper

Mike Olsen is the winner of the Buck PakLite™ Hunting Knives featured in the June newsletter.

Prize for August

Otis Deluxe Military Elite® Cleaning System

Otis Cleaning System

The Military Elite was developed with the Armorer in mind. This all inclusive cleaning system is a complete weapon maintenance tool system. It comes equipped with the blackened brass scraper tool set to perform detailed cleaning on rifles, pistols & shotguns, and optics cleaning gear for scopes, binoculars & range finders. Also included are the 10 necessary bore and chamber brushes for small arms, and the 85211®-5 Deluxe Military Cleaning System. The Deluxe Military Elite® will clean 5.56MM, 7.62MM, 9MM, .45 Caliber, .50 Caliber & 12 Gauge. This is the most complete Military Cleaning System on the market today.

For more information visit or call (800) OTIS-GUN (684-7486).

Parting Shots

Jessica Brooks, Product Manager & Thad Stevens, Ballistics Lab Manager
hunting coyotes during their June trip to Colorado.

Jessica & Thad’s sons: Tanner Harrison (left) & Riley Stevens (right) practiced various
shooting positions to get ready for their fall hunts.

The boys were consistently making shots on prairie dogs past 200 yards, in no small part
due to the tremendous accuracy of the rifles and bullets. All guns shot 1/4 MOA or better!

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