Barnes, Oh Barnes . . . What's to Become of You?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Hank2211, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Clayton

    Clayton AH Fanatic

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    Good to know. Somewhere I got it that an unsavory hedge fund had heavily invested in it.

    Didn't know about Soros, but he has never been any kind of asset to America or Sportsmen.
     

  2. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    When a Barnes loses a petal, it is considered a failure. When a partition loses the whole front half, its a design feature. With any other bullet, people would be bragging about 95% weight retention; I fail to see why loss of a petal is a strike against Barnes. Other than perhaps the damn things are so reliable that it is the only criticism possible.

    I expect this is a fluke. I've had ammo from another major manufacturer with primers not installed properly. Mistakes happen. Always inspect each round before use if you are using them for important work. Cycle them or gauge them also.
     

  3. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bert, I'm still a Barnes guy and Barnes is still my go-to bullet. I started this thread because I was so surprised with what I saw at Cabela's.

    And as for petal's falling off, in fairness, it's considered a failure because Barnes says they won't fall off . . .

    I own a small business. If something isn't right, I want to know about it. We can always do better, and I don't take it as slander when someone tells me they had a bad experience. It pushes me to do better. Hopefully the same philosophy applies at Barnes.
     

  4. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Just curious where Barnes said petals won't fall off. I could see them saying they rarely shed petals but I can't believe they'd emphatically state they won't fall off. If they did they are fools. There are no absolutes with bullets. I've shot and seen 100s of animals shot with a variety of mono metals and petal shedding is rare but certainly not unheard of and every time I've seen it the animal was very dead and I definitely wouldn't consider it a failure. Driving through bone or particularly heavy muscle mass like a hip at very high velocity is when it's most likely to occur, especially if the bullet tumbles. The expanded petals are actually pulled forward if the bullet tumbles 180 degrees and they sheer easily as you'd expect but the damage to the animal is long done. If all four/six petals are missing the bullet tumbled. Bend metal one way and then back the other and it breaks. No surprise there. If only one or two are missing then there could be a variety of causes. It should come as no surprise it occasionally happens. The TTSX is likely a bit more prone to it vs the TSX as well just due to the larger nose cavity but I've seen TSX, TTSX and GMX all shed the occasional petal and in certain instances all of them but it's hardly bullet failure in my books. Vanessa shot a water buffalo a few years ago with a 139-grain GMX from a 7mmRM and the bullet traveled nearly four feet inside the animal. At some point the bullet tumbled and all six petals sheered but not before taking out the bulk of the bull's vitals. Bullet failure?
     
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  5. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    I'm with you 100%. If we don't get feedback about our mistakes, we don't get the opportunity to improve. I really hope this is a one-off deal. I'd hate to be unable to trust Barnes. While it won't affect me, if they become unreliable, somewhere along the line, my descendants are going to use up the 1000 .308 168g TSX's I've got set aside. They may go through my somewhat more modest stock of TSX and flat-tipped solids for my 404 eventually as well. You could say I believe they make (made) good bullets and I didn't want to have to worry about it.

    What you have said isn't slander: truth is an absolute defense. If they sent out crap ammo, that isn't OK. If it becomes a habit, that is a real problem. But, d espite best efforts, bad ammo slips though and we all need to check each round that will be used for self defense or dangerous game.

    I suppose if the bullets are measured against the claim that the petals never fall off, then it in all fairness should be considered a failure. But we are looking at a very modest failure in a small percentage of bullets: most of them shoot through, which is what I want. Some stay in the animal and are recovered. Almost all of them are intact. Then there are the few overall that are recovered with a broken petal. It isn't perfection, but I haven't found a bullet closer to perfection yet. And they've never failed me. Nor are the bullets recovered with a broken petal a critical failure since it was extracted from a dead animal.

    What matters most is how they handle the situation. I like things to go right 100% of the time, but in human endeavors, that doesn't happen. If they own the mistake, replace the ammo no fuss- that to me is great. Of course, I don't want to do business with a company that makes a habit of doing a bad job, even if that company does a great job of making it right. At this point, I am looking at a lot of good personal experience against a single second-hand bad experience. In the interest of full disclosure, I've never purchased Barnes ammo, only Barnes projectiles. I still look forward to hearing what they do with this: it is a test of a company's character and that matters to me.
     

  6. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I don't think they've said it that way. But look at the weight retention claims. You can't retain that much weight if petals fall off. Cabela's says on their website "28% deeper penetration . . . without fragmentation." Barnes says "Nose peels back into four sharp edged copper petals . . . ". They describe how the spinning bullet with the open petals destroys tissue. On my giraffe, all 4 petals came off, and penetration was poor.

    Having said that, I have no doubt they will fall off in the right (or wrong, depending on your perspective) circumstances - heavy bone, etc. The question is not can they, but how often will they.

    Let's not forget that this thread started with poor quality control and shipping unsafe (by their own admission) bullets. That's all.
     

  7. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Not speaking to their quality control at all...just the mechanics of how bullets work. Something very misunderstood by many. Mono metals work as expected the bulk of the time...like all bullets and certain circumstances can cause them to occasionally perform differently. It's hardly failure but a matter of circumstance. The more you shoot the more you appreciate that there really are no absolutes but there's always an explanation and rarely is it bullet failure. I suspect bullet tumble once its entered the body accounts for 99.9% of petal shedding. Bullet tumble inside an animal is a result of angle of shot, striking bone, hitting a void and a host of other variables. It's no fault of the bullet. It's just physics. Take a thin piece of copper or guilding metal and violently bend it 180 degrees one way and then 180 degrees the other way and watch what happens! What Barnes describes in their advertising is what happens most of the time and I'd say it's dead on. We get so enamored with those pictures of perfect mushrooms that we forget animals in the real world aren't made of ballistic gel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  8. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    Agree 100%.
     

  9. Southwind

    Southwind AH Senior Member

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    This is from the first animal I took with Barnes which was 168 grain through my 300wsm at a bull elk at 250 yards slightly quartering away found under the skin opposite shoulder. I weighed it after recovery at 167 grains. Now I never weighed it prior but at 167 it would be 99% retention. That was in 2004
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here is another one from a 60 yard broadside shot on a brown phase black bear out of a 338 win mag 225 grain bullet.
    [​IMG]
    I have never actively looked for bullets so I haven't recovered many either and I have had quite a few pass through but the overall bottom line is for me after 12 years I have never had a failure. Everything has expired quickly.

    I was thinking the pedals couldn't make up anymore than 20-25% of the total weight which means even without any pedals you would still be 75-80% weight retention.
     

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