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October 2006 Barnes Bullet-n

Randy Brooks Message:

Last month I talked about what you could expect to pay for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt in Africa. I pointed out that some plains game hunts were affordable to almost anyone willing to save up for a couple of years.

How about taking your family on an exciting hunt next year—a hunt that’s even more affordable? A hunt you could arrange yourself without hiring a guide. You wouldn’t need a passport, inoculations or costly airline tickets. You could simply drive to the hunting area for the price of gas and oil.

Western elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and pronghorn are all highly desirable game animals. All can be hunted on public land without the expense of a guide or outfitter (although hiring one of these professionals can boost your chance of success.) With a little advance planning, you can have a “do-it-yourself” western hunt at surprisingly low cost.

Mule deer predominate in many western states, but whitetails can also be hunted in Colorado, Montana, Idaho and parts of Wyoming. Elk are widespread and increasingly numerous, while antelope are relatively easy to find and hunt. Wyoming and Montana are prime pronghorn states, but these animals also inhabit some areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.

Planning early is the key. Most elk, deer and pronghorn tags are distributed through advance drawings, although a few tags may be purchased over the counter when you arrive. Many applications must be mailed in January, although some deadlines are as late as March.

The first thing to determine is what and where you want to hunt. The next step is to contact the Fish and Wildlife departments in the states you’re considering. Ask about current game populations, popular hunting areas and past success rates. Be sure to ask about huntable public land and request a map showing these areas. Here’s a list of state wildlife phone numbers and websites you’ll need:

Arizona Game & Fish
(602) 942-3000

Colorado Division of Wildlife

Idaho Fish & Game
(208) 334-3700

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
(406) 444-2612

Nevada Department of Wildlife
(775) 688-1500

New Mexico Wildlife

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
(801) 538-4700

Wyoming Game & Fish

Some landowners sell trespass permits, which may be available for $100 or $200. Ask for names and phone numbers so you can contact these landowners well in advance. Be sure to get a list of hunting regulations, along with open and closing dates for each area. Some pronghorn hunts are held on weekends only.

Once you succeed in drawing a tag, it’s time to finalize your plans. If you’ll be crossing or hunting on private land, be sure to get trespass permission in writing. Staying in a motel instead of a tent? Make reservations early—rooms in good hunting areas go fast!

Weather can quickly change, particularly in western high country. Bring appropriate boots and clothing for the conditions you expect to encounter. Don’t forget coolers for the venison you’ll be bringing home.

Good transportation is important. Four wheel drive is great, but a good two-wheel-drive SUV or pickup will do if heavy snow isn’t encountered. If you’ll be hunting at elevations above 7,000 feet, plan on snow. I’ve just returned from a deer and elk hunt in northern Utah, where nearly a foot of snow fell in mid-September.

Aside from the relatively low cost, the best thing about western do-it-yourself hunts is you can bring the family along. This could be a great experience you’ll all remember.

Good hunting,
Randy Brooks

Last month, I promised to talk this month about the Utah mule deer hunt I was about to go on.

Well, luck wasn’t with me on that hunt and I didn’t shoot anything—but not for lack of trying. We did a lot of hiking and spotting and stalking, but things just didn’t come together.

At that time of the month (the week of September 10th), the moon was almost full. The nights were lit up like a concert hall, which meant the big boys came out at night to eat and play. The wind blew constantly during the day—and not just a light breeze. Long shots in this area are common, and I was a bit concerned about taking a 300- to 400-yard shot in the high winds we were experiencing.

I’d checked the weather before leaving for the hunt. The forecast was for warm weather with a small storm due in Friday. I could live with that, but when the storm came in it was no small storm! On Friday we had rain from the time we got up in the morning. As the day progressed, the sky turned black and the temperature continued to drop. Around 5:00 p.m. the rain turned into sleet and hail. By 7:00 p.m. it was snowing! I hadn’t planned on a snowstorm on the 15th of September!

We got back to the lodge around 8:00 p.m., and figured maybe two inches might be on the ground in the morning. By morning, two inches of snow had grown to nine inches. Our friend and guide said, “We have never had this much snow this early in the season, and I’ve lived here all my life.”

I want to say we did have fun. This was one of the nicest camps I’d ever been in– beautiful lodge, super hunting area, great food and very friendly people. We will be going back next year—hopefully with better weather.

I am including a picture of me glassing while standing in the snow. This picture doesn’t do the snowfall justice, but I wanted to prove I’m not fibbing!

Coni Brooks hunting Sept. 15, 2006

Randy is in Tanzania this month–unfortunately without me–but there is plenty here at work to keep me busy. Barnes sales are up substantially this year, which has us all excited and extremely grateful.

More and more hunters are discovering just how awesome our products are, and we’re more than proud to be making high-quality products that truly work for hunters.

We hope all of you have a super successful hunting season—and, as always, please send us your photos and stories. We’ll proudly use them on our website.

Good Luck,
Coni Brooks

Ty’s Tips

Are you familiar with the 75-year history behind Barnes Bullets?

This month I’m going to tell you how Barnes Bullets came about, and give you some compelling reasons to use Barnes whenever you go hunting.

With so many bullet brands to choose from, what makes ours so special?

It all started back in 1932, when Fred Barnes began making bullets and selling them to handloaders. When he began using heavy copper tubing to make the thick-jacketed bullets, he soon found he was onto something special. Thicker jackets gave his bullets deeper penetration. Since Fred subscribed to the “heavy bullets = better penetration” theory, he’d found his niche in the market. For years he continued to make bullets one at a time in his garage. Folks soon recognized how well these bullets performed on large game, and the Barnes name became synonymous with quality and penetration.

Fred Barnes

Eventually Fred sold his bullet company to Colorado Custom Bullets. Little was done to improve upon the bullets Fred had designed. In 1974 the business was sold to the current owners, Randy Brooks and his wife Coni. The first years were hard going. Randy and Coni, along with their two young daughters Jessica and Chandra, worked hard to keep up with the demand.

In 1986, Randy made a breakthrough that would change the bullet industry. He came up with the idea of an all-copper bullet with a small amount of lead in the tip. Within a year, a specially designed cavity replaced the lead tip, and the X-Bullet was born.

The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, we’ve seen the X-Bullet evolve into the best bullet available on the market today. Others have tried to copy its design, but none of these bullets performed as well as the X-Bullet did. Barnes later improved on the original X-Bullet design with the Triple-Shock and new Maximum-Range X-Bullets.


These new, improved X-Bullets represent the pinnacle of hunting bullet performance. No other bullet manufacturer places as much emphasis on testing, research and design. Did you know that Barnes tests samples from every 5,000 bullets produced? Some manufacturers only test samples from every 100,000 bullets produced. These high standards help make Barnes the best bullets available today.

As Fred’s customers learned, penetration is top priority when it comes to putting big game on the ground. Penetration is exactly what you’ll get when you use any Barnes X- style bullet. Triple-Shock X-Bullets, Maximum-Range X-Bullets, Expander MZ, Spit-Fire MZ and Spit-Fire TMZ muzzleloader bullets, and Barnes XPB pistol bullets really shine in worst-case scenarios. All deliver great penetration and dependable one-shot kills.

Accuracy? Barnes’ new Maximum Range X-Bullets and popular Triple-Shock X-Bullets are giving other manufacturers a real run for their money. I regularly get calls from customers who say these new X-Bullet designs are giving them better accuracy than any other bullet they’ve tried. We’ve posted several targets on our website that show firsthand what these customers are talking about. Take a look. I think you’ll be impressed.

Barnes wants your business. We’re doing what it takes to get it!
Ty Herring

Success Story!
John Evanoff

We all find ourselves compromising at some point in our lives. However, I have never been one to compromise in my hunting equipment. Being a black powder enthusiast, I have searched for a bullet that does not compromise on accuracy or performance. Hence, I use your bullet in my Thompson Center Encore magnum. When I combine your 300-grain bullet with 150 grains of Pyrodex, I have a combination that has proven deadly powerful and delivers bench rest accuracy.

May 24th was a night that will change my life forever. I always go to HeBear Lodge in New Brunswick, Canada the week before Memorial Day. This year, I was blessed when a monster came in to my bait pile. The 650-pound bruin had an eight-inch-thick layer of fat that would have greatly limited the penetration and performance of most bullets. As you know, big bears are tough animals. Fortunately, your bullets are tougher.

I do not even want to think of what might have happened had I been using an inferior bullet. Fortunately, I chose wisely. Now my biggest decision is where to put my trophy when it returns from the taxidermist.

—Sincerely, John “Chip” Evanoff, Jr., M.D.

Interesting Facts

Elephants typically reach puberty at thirteen or fourteen years of age.

They have offspring up until they are around 50 years old. They may live seventy years or possibly more.

A cow produces a single calf and in very rare cases twins. The interval between births is between two and a half to four years.

An elephant´s trunk, a union of the nose and upper lip, is a highly sensitive organ with over 100,000 muscle units.

Elephants don’t drink with their trunks, but use them as "tools" to drink with. This is accomplished by filling the trunk with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant’s mouth.

Elephant trunks can get very heavy. It is not uncommon to see elephants resting them over a tusk!

If two elephants meet, one may raise its trunk then curl it back to touch its forehead. This is a sign to acknowledge that the other elephant is more dominant.

Elephants graze and browse and eat up to 600 pounds of food a day. They can be extremely destructive in their feeding habits by pushing over trees, pulling them up by their roots or breaking off branches.

Family herds are not led by a massive bull, but by an old grandmother known as the matriarch. She is responsible for the herd’s safety and for providing enough food and water.

Pat Short took this elephant with a Barnes Solid

Recipe of the Month

Venison Burger Supreme
1/8 lb. sausage (mild)
1 lb. ground venison
Salt and pepper
1 egg
1 small onion
1 tbsp. bacon grease
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. oregano
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 cup sweet cider

Mix sausage and ground venison. Combine with remaining ingredients except cider. Brown until almost done. Add cider and finish cooking.

From the Lab

Question: I have a Weatherby Mark V Ultralight rifle in .300 Weatherby Magnum. It gives sub-MOA accuracy with Nosler Ballistic Tips. I have shot Barnes X-Bullets for years and have produced some ½-inch groups with a .308 Winchester. I want to shoot 200-grain TSX bullets in my .300 Weatherby, but the best accuracy I’ve been able to get was a 1.8-inch group at 100 yards. This is from a barrel that has been cleaned with Sweets 7.62 solvent until the patches came out white. Do you have any tips for loading these bullets in a "freebore" rifle? I have been loading with 75.5 grains of RL 22 and a COAL of 3.560 inches. I would love it if you could lead me in the right direction with this load. I have also tried 150-grain Triple-Shocks with a little better results, but the groups were still way over my sub-MOA goal. You make a great product and I will continue loading for the .308 regardless, but I would love to give you more business for the .300, as well. You can’t beat your bullets’ performance when it comes to dropping game dead in its tracks!

—Roland Rogers

Hi Roland,

Typically we see best groups when charges are at or near maximum. I’d suggest increasing your charges. I’ve attached some load data I suspect will shrink your groups. If they don’t improve, you should try another bullet weight. Your rifle may not prefer the weight you’re currently using.

Your comments and patronage are appreciated!

—Ty Herring

Comment: I tried your recommendation, and the results were astonishing. My groups went from 1.6-inches to 0.351-inch for three-shot groups at 100 yards. I was using the 150-grain TSX in the .300 Weatherby. I will be ordering more TSX bullets in several weights, including the 150 grain. Great product!

—Roland Rogers

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 Bill Deady!

Bill Deady from Lusby, MA is the winner for the month of September. He won the Bushnell Sportsman’s ® Riflescope 3-9×32

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Spent 6 years in the Nuclear Navy on Submarines. I have been in love with and married for 21 years to Nancy E. Deady. We have three grown boys, and three grandchildren. We have been living in Southern Calvert County, Maryland since 1991, where I work. I enjoy playing acoustic guitar and singing at home and at church. I also enjoy target shooting with my various pistols, rifles and shotguns at the Sportsman’s Club, and in Virginia (our second home).

—Bill Deadly 

Prize for October

Shoulder Armor by McCoy

The newest recoil protection on the market is Shoulder Armor, which the company calls, “a breakthrough in recoil protection for serious shooters,” noting that it “allows a shooter to comfortably fire virtually any caliber off the bench with little discomfort.”

Shoulder Armor consists of a heavy leather shoulder pad enclosing a semi-rigid, specially shaped piece of Lexan—a material that spreads recoil energy across a much larger part of your shoulder than a cushioned buttpad can.

“Shoulder Armor acts very much like a football player’s shoulder pad,” says inventor Tom McCoy. “The semi-rigid Lexan insert is designed to flex just enough to absorb a substantial amount of shock from the gun before transmitting it to the shooter.

“The Lexan is a unique, triangular shape that causes the Shoulder Armor to move perpendicularly to the butt of the gun when you reach for the trigger,” he added. “This eliminates any shearing effect when the butt contacts the Lexan plate.” In addition to the Lexan insert, the shoulder pad features recoil-absorbing foams specially selected to moderate recoil over a broad range of temperatures.

A green-colored shield is intended for repetitive, low-recoil shooting, offering good protection for up to .300 magnum rounds. A thicker red shield is designed for hard kickers like the .416 and .458 magnums.

The company says its product “eliminates almost 90 percent of all felt recoil!” One Barnes employee who tried it said it made a substantial difference in the recoil he experienced.

Shoulder Armor lists at $70. For more information, contact: McCoy’s Superior Shooting Products, L.L.C., Dept. R, PO Box 791, Selah, WA 98942; telephone: 1-509-697-4196; or visit online:

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