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September 2011 Barnes Bullet-N

Randy Brooks Message:  

One year ago, my good friend Pete Shepley of PSE Archery fame, drew the Arizona Super Tag for elk. He has put in for this tag every year, but has not really ever expected to draw it. Hence, I always say that if you never put in for a tag, you will never know if you could have drawn. This Super Tag allowed Pete to hunt from August 16th, 2010 through August 15th, 2011 with any weapon. A full year!

Pete began bow-hunting as quickly as he could get out. His plan was to hold out for a bull that was over 400-inches. As the 2010 rut progressed, several of the big bulls he was watching began showing up with broken antlers. This frequently happens when numerous large bulls are competing for the same cows. The archery season passed and he then went in to competition with muzzleloader and rifle hunters – a very difficult position for an archery hunter to be in. Consequently, he ended up not taking a bull and chose to wait for July of 2011 to begin scouting again.

He spent all of his spare time in July and August of this year searching for the right bull for him. His tenacity finally paid off. Several days prior to the closing of his season, he located a bull that he wanted to shoot. Unfortunately, Pete was unable to get within a range he was comfortable shooting the bull with his bow. So, he made the decision to lay down his bow and pick up his 7mm Remington Magnum loaded with 150 gr. Triple-Shocks. Just two days prior to the closing of his season, he connected with a magnificent 408-inch bull. After a single, but lethal shot, Pete had taken a bull of a lifetime on a once in a lifetime tag.

Pete and I have been good friends for many years now. About 10 years ago, he challenged me take an animal with one of his bows. I didn’t have any experience to speak of with archery equipment. I contacted our mutual friend, Jake Jacobsen of Jake’s Archery, to work with me until I was proficient with a bow.

I hunted Muskox in the Arctic in early fall with no snow on the ground. This makes for an extremely difficult spot-and-stalk hunt, which was the experience I was after. It was truly one of the most challenging hunts I have been on. I ended up taking a bull at 40 yards, and could hardly wait to get home and report to Pete about my success with his products.

Hunting has been a significant part of my life since I was a child. Although I have personally chosen to primarily hunt with a rifle, I do respect other ethical means of taking game. Hunting is something personal and individual to each of us. As a shooting and hunting community, we strengthen our bonds by sharing our own experiences, while respecting the experiences of others that fall within the boundaries of safe and ethical practices.

Below are a few photos from a recent Barnes company shoot. Many Barnes employees and their family members came together to enjoy a wonderful outing, shoot some VOR-TX Ammunition and experience a new type of rifle or alternative cartridge they might have been curious about.

Barnes employees trying to stay cool

Dave Wheeler - Rotary Press Operator

Norm Gillespie - Machinist

Gregg Sloan - Special Projects Technician, Tim Janzen - Research and Development Manager, and John Hartman - Machine Shop Supervisor

Ty Herring - Consumer Service Technician

Good luck to you this hunting season,

Randy Brooks

Coni’s Corner:  

I cannot believe it is September and summer is basically over. It is crazy how the older you get the faster time goes by. I really dislike that!

September in Utah means hunting season is beginning for some hunters. August was for archery hunters. In Utah we have to draw for premium big game tags. Unfortunately this year I didn’t draw for anything that I put in for. Not good – but luckily I had a backup plan that I’ll talk about shortly.

My daughter Jessica did draw a Utah bull elk tag that she is very excited about. Her hunt is this month and I’m hoping in my next newsletter I’ll be displaying a picture of her successful hunt with a really nice bull! She will be shooting the 175 gr. LRX in a custom 300 Win Mag built by Kerry O’Day’s fine company MG Arms. This rifle is topped with a Leupold 3.5×10 Mark 4 LR/T scope.

My backup plan was hopefully to locate a landowner elk tag since I didn’t draw a one. I’d like to offer this official explanation of what a landowner tag is:

The intent of the limited entry landowner permit is to provide an opportunity for landowners, whose property provides habitat for deer, elk, or pronghorn, to be allocated a restricted number of permits for a limited entry bull elk, buck deer, or buck pronghorn unit, where the landowner’s property is located. Landowners are allowed a restricted number of permits: These permits do several things for the landowners.

(a) encourages landowners to manage their land for wildlife;
(b) compensates the landowner for providing private land as habitat for wildlife;
(c) allows the division to increase big game numbers on specific units

These landowners can in turn offer these tags to specific person or persons of whomever they choose to allow them to hunt on their land.

As luck would have it Jessica’s husband, Thad, was put in contact with a high school buddy of his whose family had a tag available for me to purchase. It is for the Oak Creek Unit here in Utah. I’ll be using the same 300 Win Mag that Jessica is using, but I will be shooting VOR-TX ammunition loaded with the 180 gr. Tipped TSX bullet. Our long-time friend Wade Lemon of Wade Lemon Hunting will be my outfitter in November on this hunt. The Lemon’s are excellent mule deer and elk outfitters, but their real claim to fame is lion hunting. Thad shot a really nice lion with Wade’s son, Kalan, this past spring in Southern Utah. If you are interested in an excellent Utah hunt, you really should contact Wade and Kalan Lemon. In any event, I hope I’ll be showing off a picture of my elk in the December newsletter! I’ve been on many elk hunts, but have yet to connect on the one of my dreams. I hope this year my luck will be different.

In preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons, Barnes is pleased to announce a VOR-TX CONSUMER REBATE. Click on the link, or visit the home page and click on the VOR-TX banner at the top for details. Remember, “The Bullet Has The Final Say”, so be prepared for your hunts with VOR-TX and save up to $10!

By the way, we are receiving many targets showing phenomenal accuracy with VOR-TX Ammunition and Barnes Components. Please keep them coming! YOU could be featured next month under “Parting Shots.”

Have a fun and safe September,

Coni Brooks

Barnes’ Tips, Tools, and Techniques

With things gearing up for the upcoming hunt season I thought I’d cover some important reloading tips that are sometimes overlooked. This month I’m going to highlight the primer pocket. I’ll show and discuss some common preparation steps and provide a few recommendations.

Let’s begin with new brass preparation. Because the primer pocket flash hole is typically punched through the brass case in the manufacturing process, it can leave behind an internal brass burr. Now I’ve never had the burr cause a misfire and I personally have never removed it from my hunting brass, but many consider this to be an important step. In the Barnes ballistics lab, they deburr the brass for accuracy tests. For reference, an RCBS deburring tool is pictured above.

Truing the primer pocket is another step that is not absolutely necessary for an accurate hunting load, but should be done for top accuracy. We recommend the RCBS Primer Pocket Uniformer tool for this purpose. It can be used by hand or on their prep station to clean and square the pocket all in the same step. However, trust me on this one, the hand version is a great choice if you don’t mind cramping of the finger muscles and joints in your hand! In other words – get the prep station if you can afford it and you’ll thank me later. There are also primer pocket brushes that can be used to clean the pocket. These are acceptable to use by hand because they take little effort to remove the fired primer soot but again, it’s much easier when used in conjunction with the prep station.

Since we are discussing primer pockets, I feel it important to mention and discuss where a pocket will open up under high pressure and after a few firings. So how can you determine when it’s time to throw a good case away because it won’t hold a primer snug enough to remain in the pocket under firing? There a few methods, depending on the method used to seat primers. If you are using a hand priming tool, pay attention to the amount of force required to seat the primer based on your previous load or reload. In other words, the primer is your “gauge”. However, if using a reloading press to seat primers, our test may sound a bit crude but it is simple. “Bang” the primed case on the bench counter top at a slight angle. If the primer doesn’t move, it’s good to go. If the primer backs out beyond flush, it is time to scrap the brass. If you choose to load and fire rounds with a stretched primer pocket, you run the risk of leaking gas around the primer cup which could damage the bolt face. It’s best to dispose of the brass after safely removing the primer on a reloading press or “popping the primer off” outdoors.

Military brass has crimped in primers. In order to reload this brass, one needs to remove the crimp in one of two different methods. The first is to utilize the RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center and Military Crimp Remover attachment. These items may be ordered directly from RCBS online, or purchased from a local reloading equipment retailer.

A second method is to use a Primer Pocket Swager from RCBS. This tool is used in conjunction with your reloading press and simply forces the pocket open again.

When seating primers, it’s important to make sure the primers are seated .002″ to .006″ deep in the pocket, which is slightly below flush. If primers are seated improperly, there is the possibility for a misfire.

Following these simple tips will make your ammo more reliable, accurate and safe.

Happy hunting this season, be careful, and send us photos of your great experiences!

Ty Herring
Barnes Bullets
Consumer Service Representative

Barnes’ Awards

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.

Success Story

Hal Novak

Above are pictures of my recent Safari in Limpopo, South Africa. Along with these great trophies, I also harvested a nice impala and warthog. The kudu and waterbuck were large and tough animals yet I was still able to drop them with one shot! Paul Brits of Africa Motsomi Hunting Adventures did a great job as a PH and his wife Belinda was an excellent cook. The visit to Kruger National Park was quite an amazing adventure in itself.

Everyone should go to South Africa, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


Recipe of the Month

Elk Wok Stir Fry

One large Chinese Wok skillet

2 – Cups small strips of elk

2 – Tbsp. canola or olive oil

1 – Large clove garlic, crushed

1 – Cup chopped green peppers

2 – Cups sliced mushrooms

1 – Cup diced onion

1 – Cup cubed potatoes

1 – Cup corn kernels (frozen work well)

1/3 – Cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 – Cup red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper

Crushed oregano leaves

Heat oil in wok until very hot. Add crushed garlic clove and let sizzle a minute or so. Add elk strips and sauté for a few minutes. Add potatoes and onions next and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Add Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar. Add salt, pepper, and oregano leaves as needed to taste. Lastly, add green peppers, mushrooms, and corn kernels, and cook only long enough that the vegetables don’t go limp.

Tastes great with a topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Barnes News



Congratulations Club-X Prize Winner!

Bruce Freeman

I am a long-time Boy Scout rifle, pistol, shotgun and archery instructor and have been active in our local Friends of NRA fund-raising chapter for the last 14 years or so. When I get to shoot for fun rather than volunteering for scouts, I tend toward modern sporting rifles and pistols.

-Bruce Freeman

Thank you for being a member of Club-X. Bruce won a Remington Heritage series knife.

For more information on this prize click here.

Prize for September

Rands Custom Straw Hat

In the early west, one of the cowboy’s most important pieces of equipment was his hat. It shaded his eyes from the sun, kept the rain off his neck and, in a pinch, served as a bucket for water and feed. It was an integral part of his existence, and he was seldom without it. It was the first thing he put on in the morning, and the last thing he took off at night. Today’s cowboy, and those who fancy western apparel, expect no less from their hat than the cowboy in the old west. It reflects their taste and lifestyle. In this age of cheap workmanship, it is difficult to find the hat to fit these needs. It’s with that thought that Rand’s approaches the design and construction of their custom hats. Utilizing traditional artisan’s tools and skilled craftsmen, we have achieved a quality product that combines the skills of the past with the concerns of today. Antique copper steamers, wooden sizing blocks, curved pencil curling irons and other traditional implements abound at Rand’s, reminding us that the skills of the past are still with us.

For the September prize, Barnes is giving away a Rand’s custom straw hat. For more information about Rand’s and the products they offer, click here.

Barnes Monthly Facebook Contest

Name all of the DVD’s that Barnes Bullets has produced and the year they were released.

Guess the right answer and win a free box of Barnes VOR-TX Ammunition or Barnes Components. The posting may begin on or after Monday, September 12th 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 Monday, September 12th by 7:00 am Mountain Time so be sure to get there first! Good luck.

Congratulations to Dan Mottern for guessing the correct answer on the contest featured in last months newsletter. Dan won a box of 270 Win. 130-gr TTSX Boattail VOR-TX Ammunition!

Congratulation also to Jerry Morin for guessing the bonus answer. Jerry won a box of 30 CAL. 180-gr TTSX bullets.

Parting Shots

Hey Barnes! I know big bores like the 458 Lott aren’t supposed to be tack drivers. And I know Blaser R8 rifles are famously accurate and I know Barnes TSX bullets are deadly on game — but still, a .86″ group from the bench at 100 yards with your 500 grain VOR-TX ammo from a new Blaser R8 and barrel after initial sight-in is crazy! If I see a world record suni or dik dik at 100 yards while hunting buffalo, I’ll be able to target it with confidence. The buffalo is in real trouble.

Ron Spomer
Ron Spomer Outdoors Inc.

I wanted to take a minute and send you a photo of my target and a testimonial for Barnes Bullets, and hopefully you will think this is as cool as I do. After our meeting with Randy and Coni Brooks last week I thought I would take out a box of VOR-TX 308 Win Tipped TSX’s in 168 gr. to see how well they would shoot. I was shooting my Remington Stainless Steel SPS rifle which is my go-to deer rifle. As you can see by this 3-shot group that I am estimating to be around .5″ or a little less at a 100 yards is very impressive out of a factory deer rifle. The best group I have ever been able to produce with this rifle and other competitors ammo was 1″ or a little larger at 100 yards. I am sold and I couldn’t believe the performance I was able to achieve out of my bone stock factory deer rifle.

-Brett Lilte