July 2011 Barnes Bullet-N
|Randy Brooks Message:|
A funny thing happened this week at Barnes. The guys ran across a reamer in the machine shop, and no one had the slightest clue as to where it came from, or what it was. So, I enlightened them. The story goes like this.
In the late 70s I developed a friendly relationship with Col. Charles Askins. His first visit with us was a precursor to an article on Barnes Bullets that appeared in a 1980 issue of American Rifleman. He stayed as a guest in our humble home. Our daughters, Jessica and Chandra, were very fond of him even though he took over their sleeping quarters and displaced them to the living room couch. Interestingly enough, he thoroughly enjoyed their waterbed. This was the subject of many future conversations as it was a new experience for him. He also took great pleasure in Coni’s wonderful home-cooked meals, referring fondly to her as “The Child Bride”.
In the early 80s, the conversations between Charlie and I were usually about Africa and how he was going to achieve his personal goal of shooting 100 buffalo (as of 1979 he had taken 87 buffalo). That said, he was very interested to create a namesake cartridge and discussed his idea with several people, including myself and a notable custom rifle maker. He settled on a cartridge design and called it the 290 Askins. At the time I was building custom rifles, mostly with synthetic stocks. I purchased a reamer and built him a practical hunting rifle chambered in this cartridge. Although he favored beautiful, wood-stocked rifles, he graciously accepted my gift and used it in the field. I also made a custom run of heavily jacketed 180 grain Barnes Original SP bullets.
This month, my column is the feature for the monthly FACEBOOK contest. If you are the first person to post the correct answer to the following question on Facebook ON OR AFTER Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00 am Mountain Time, you will win a free box of VOR-TX Ammunition or Barnes Components.
What is the parent case of the 290 Askins, and what is the actual bullet diameter specifically for this cartridge? (e.g. .308″ for 30-06)
And as a BONUS question, the first person to post the correct answer to the following question on Facebook ON OR AFTER Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00 am Mountain Time, will win a free box of VOR-TX Ammunition or Barnes Components.
Who was the notable custom rifle maker who built the original 290 Askins wood-stocked rifle? (Hint: both Askins and the rifle maker lived in Texas)
(Note: One person has the chance to win both prizes if the correct answer to both questions is posted first ON OR AFTER Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00 am Mountain Time.)
This month I would like to talk about customer service. I really dislike going into a business that doesn’t seem to care if you are in their store or not. I like to be able to ask a question and get an answer which, at times, is hard to do. I also dislike getting products that do not do what the manufacturer says they will. Some manufacturers are just out to make a quick buck and do not appear to care if the end user is happy or not, but that they were able to make a quick sale.
Our team at Barnes has a different approach and always have: to make sure the customer is totally satisfied with the products they receive and that the products work as we say they will. We like to take care of our customers promptly. When the season starts heating up we really get busy we do not let our customers down. We believe that if you take your precious time to contact us, it is important that we do our best to address your needs as quickly as possible.
When you invest money and take time off work to have fun and do what makes you happy, you expect your equipment to work properly because that is valuable time that can’t and shouldn’t be wasted. We at Barnes understand that and we also understand that a lot of money has been invested on a hunt – no matter what type of hunt it is – and the customer should be happy with the products they have purchased and have total confidence that the product will work.
On a hunt a few years back in Australia I had a water buffalo running straight at me and he wasn’t happy. I raised the 375 that had a 300-grain TSX bullet loaded in it and watched him come at me through my scope. I thought to myself “You only have one shot! Make it count!” I aimed at the chest of the buffalo and calmly pulled the trigger. The buffalo turned, ran a few yards and fell. The guide told me he was proud that I had kept my cool and made the shot at the charging buffalo that was coming to “eat our lunch.” My hunting partner stated that it was obvious I have a lot confidence in my product to stand there and face this big, charging beast. If the bullet hadn’t worked perfectly, the outcome could have been much different. I agreed that I do have a lot of confidence in my products. The thought of the buffalo not going down at my shot never crossed my mind.
We at Barnes have always enjoyed coming up with new and innovative products. The all copper bullet is being copied now and quite frankly we are flattered but just remember, Barnes has been doing it for a long time and we know what it takes to make a perfect product. We offer more calibers and weights than our competitors and have the best delivery rate in the business. We have maintained an average 97% delivery rate for close to 10 years now and we don’t expect that to change.
If you can’t find our products, it isn’t because of delivery so you have a good talk with your favorite dealer who doesn’t have what you need! Also, remember that if you don’t reload or don’t have time to reload we now offer VOR-TX Ammunition in 45 sku’s loaded with the TTSX, TSX and TSX FN bullets. If your favorite dealer isn’t stocking VOR-TX, please let us know and we will get in touch with them.
We truly feel that you are Barnes’ best form of advertising. Your satisfaction with our products is extremely important to us. We appreciate your membership in Club-X and thank you for your support and business. Please feel free to call our tech line or email them at any time. They enjoy helping our customers to make their shooting and hunting experiences the best they can be.
Happy Shooting and Hunting,
I have a real treat for you this month. Barnes has allowed me to go undercover in the shop and get some great photos of how our Match Burners are made.
The jackets are made from guilding metal. Most lead core jacketed bullets are made of this metal because of its ability to be drawn and form a cup. Thus the name for the process “cup and draw”.
This process begins with copper strip which is fed into the Waterbury Farrel press as seen in the photo. For .224 cal bullets, the strip is then punched into a small dime size piece. This copper dime then goes through a series of seven cup stretching and trimming dies before it is ready for a lead core. This process is monitored very closely and inspected regularly to ensure a very consistent jacket thickness.
On a separate piece of equipment large lead ingots are extruded into lead wire and the lead wire is then cut into cores. It is further hand inspected for quality and fed into the jackets via the 9th station on the press.
At this point the nose is basically formed in one step! It goes from a straight wall jacket to a pointed tip in a single die. Then a separate die finishes and perfects the nose. Copper is an amazing metal that readily conforms to a die under pressure. It’s no wonder that it has been used in the bullet making process for over a century.
Bullets are tested in-process at the beginning, throughout and at the end of the run for accuracy (these particular bullets are not tested for function.) Three 10-shot strings are fired from a barrel that is locked in a machine rest at “start up”. The run will not begin on the press unless the bullets stand up to our unbelievably stringent tests first. Throughout the run we will test the bullets for accuracy several times a day during production. After the entire run of bullets is produced and polished, “end of run” tests are fired for accuracy to ensure the finished product performs as it did off the press.
Next the bullets are inspected by our inspection machine. This machine uses a laser to look at the dimensions of each and every bullet. All bullets that don’t fall within tolerance are rejected and recycled. By having several QC steps throughout this process, we have very little “scrap”. Other manufacturers refer to these bullets as “seconds”. Barnes makes only the best and if it’s not a first class bullet, it gets recycled.
The final step is packaging where each bullet gets to party with 99 more of his compadres in a tidy little plastic box. They even get their own nicely wrapped label proudly displaying that they are a Barnes bullet!
I had a lot of fun bringing you this month’s version of Tips, Tools and Techniques! The Match Burners are super accurate and priced right. Give them a try, I know you’ll like ‘em.
Barnes Consumer Service
Barnes Bullets is the proud recipient of the North American Hunting Club’s seal of approval for the TTSX. The TTSX received an outstanding 97% approval rating from the NAHC field test members. Click here to view the article.
Dale was recently invited to go on a hunt in Namibia, Africa. He accepted the invitation and decided that he wanted to use a gun that he’d purchased several years ago but had never really shot. This invite was on short notice, therefore he did not have much preparation time, but he got the gun out of storage, loaded some ammo and then headed to the range. At first he was disappointed in the gun and/or bullets. His group sizes were measured 3” – 5” depending on the loads. He did some minor adjustment with the gun and different loads but it seemed the best he could do was maybe just under 2” groups at 100 yards from the bench. Dale had never shot any Barnes Bullets before, but someone made the suggestion and so he gave some a try. Upon switching to the Barnes Bullets, he started to get 1” groups and even better. The gun and bullets gave him the confidence he was looking for. Unfortunately, the guns did not show up for three days and he was only able to take one animal with this particular gun, but it and the ammo worked great. A well placed shot using Federal Premium ammo loaded with the 140-gr Barnes TSX bullet were very effective on the this nice bull gemsbok. The gun was a Kimber 84M classic in 7mm-08 Remington.
Sweet and Sour Rabbit
2 1/2 lbs.- Rabbit, ready to cook
2 – Tbsp. cooking fat or oil
1 – Cup pineapple juice
1/4 – Cup vinegar
1/2 – Tsp. salt
1 – Cup pineapple pieces
1 – Med. green pepper, thin half slices
1 1/2 – Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 – Cup sugar
1/2 – Cup water
Flour, salt, and pepper
Cut rabbit into serving pieces. Roll in mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. Heat fat or oil in a heavy pan; brown rabbit pieces on all sides over moderate heat.
Add pineapple juice, vinegar, and salt. Cover pan; cook over low heat 40 minutes or until meat is tender. Add pineapple and green pepper; cook a few minutes longer. Mix cornstarch and sugar and stir into water.
Stir this mixture gradually into liquid in pan and cook slowly about 5 minutes. Serves 6.
Ron Juleff of Westminster, CO is the winner of the Rands Custom straw hat! Ron loves the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He also loves to go hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. He enjoys camping and believes that the best meal is one that is eaten in the woods.
Thank you for being a member of Club-X.
For more information about Rand’s and the products they offer, click here.
Remington Heritage Series Knive
All of the Heritage Series knives are made in America from the finest materials and have their bolsters stamped with the same distinctive Remington Arms company shield that was present on all Remington firearms produced from 1888-1914.
For more information on this prize click here.
NOTE: SEE RANDY’S COLUMN FOR THIS MONTH’S FACEBOOK CONTEST QUESTION!
Guess the right answer and win a free box of Barnes VOR-TX Ammunition or Barnes Components. The posting may begin on or after Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00 am Mountain Time. Posts made before that time will not be accepted.
We will be posting this announcement on our Facebook page on or after Wednesday, July 6th by 7:00 am Mountain Time so be sure to get there first! Good luck.
Congratulations to Ron Babcock for guessing the correct answer on the contest featured in last months newsletter. Ron won a box of 45/70 Govt. 300-gr TSX Flat Nose VOR-TX Ammunition!
I finally had a chance to get out to the range and try the new Barnes VOR-TX ammo. All I can say is WOW!! I have had this rifle for almost 2 years now and have tried around 10 different factory loadings through it(most of which are “premium” offerings). It would consistently shoot 1″ to 1.25″ 100yd 3 shot groups. On this particular trip I took two fouling shots with a different load and then settled in for a three shot group with the loaded VOR-TX 150-gr TTSX (item BB21540) . The photo is of those 1st 3 shots and I had my best 3 shot group that ever left the barrel of that rifle. This little rifle is so handy and now that I know how well it shoots VOR-TX ammo with the TTSX bullet I can handle anything up to and including moose and elk. Thanks for the great ammo!