Brass bullets pros and cons

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Bas, May 25, 2018.

  1. Bas

    Bas AH Enthusiast

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    Have been shooting firearms of several types for 55 years but never tried brass bullets. They are currently available from .32 acp to the biggest of bores and in bullet weights considered light for caliber/cartridge. If the folks on this site can't relate valuable info about these projectIles then no one can. What about excessive bore wear, solvents successfully used and cleaning techniques, frequency of cleaning?

    Thanks for your input, Bas
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    The TSX 300gr .375 isn't light for caliber, has a great BC, and has killed decisively everything that I have targeted with it including two of the Cape Buffalo I have taken. It and the Swift A-Frame are my two favorite bullets.
     
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  3. dsmerrills

    dsmerrills AH Senior Member

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    Bud the 300gr Barnes TSX is made of copper not brass. The OP is asking about brass bullets specifically.

    To the OP I have heard mixed reports about brass bullets. Firstly, for hunting dangerous game I cannot see a problem with brass solids they work extremely well.

    Secondly, I would not use them as a plinking or range bullet/everyday bullet as I've heard mixed reports as to the maleability of brass vs copper but I'm sure there are some guys on the forum that can discuss this more in-depth.
     
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  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Thanks Bud. Missed the brass part. Pretty much point of his question.

    I would think a brass solid would be easier on a bore than a steel jacketed one - as are the brass jacketed variety.

    I have not tried any of the fragmenting designs which seem to have gained some traction. That concept represents the antithesis of what I think a quality big game bullet should do.
     
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  5. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I don't know the exact composition of brass bullets but being harder and solid, I would surmise they would cause more wear. Whether or not that would decrease the useful life of a hunting barrel depends on how many shots before accuracy degrades.

    Edit, except for rimfires, all of my rifles have custom barrels and I would NEVER shoot a brass or steel core bullet.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  6. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I have been looking closely at the cutting edge bullets. I have a few boxes of them for a rifle I dont yet have:rolleyes: They make both brass and copper in their fragmenting design. From my conversations with them I think brass is less malleable as it fragments into larger pieces than their copper which seems to peel more.

    To break in a barrel I was told to use the softest bullet I had. So to me that indicates some detrimental effect with brass. Also, the brass bullet will leave less residue in your barrel, so I guess it could contribute to more wear.
     
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  7. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @PaulT has the most experience with these bullets that I know of. Perhaps he has some insight on the OP
     
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  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Hey bud;)

    I have settled on the concept being similar to a Nosler Partition but the front end sorta explodes rather than smears off. I think this seems to work best with brass.
     
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  9. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I've only used the brass bullets from CEB in my .458 B&M. And for hunting only the 260gr version. I have put their 420gr "soft" and 450gr solid thru that rifle. From what I can see, due to their bore rider design, there's less strain on the barrel in comparison to a more conventional lead core bullet.

    I would have to also believe it's in part due to the nature of the B&M cartridge, but for those of use that own one, we put as much powder in the case as possible and have very compressed loads. Brass "growth" after resizing is very small. I think I've only trimmed a few cases.

    As far as cleaning goes, I don't know. I hate cleaning barrels and I haven't found a need to clean my .458 yet. Honestly the barrel looks the same and accuracy has not dropped off.

    But I second the motion to have @PaulT join the conversation.
     
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  10. Bas

    Bas AH Enthusiast

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    Cutting Edge Bullets, Lehigh Bullets and Woodleigh Bullets are the ones that prompted my inquiry as what the pros and cons might be. Nosler has offerings as well and there are probably others not mentioned here.
    When considering heavily built DG the usual choice is high SD, stoutly constructed bullets. CEB for example is proposing the sharp x pointed and nose fluted design to deliver a different concept in killing power. Lehigh gives options of controlled fragmentation in brass that are also interesting.
    Heavy bullets for heavy game is a time tested practice. Brass bullets may be ushering in new ideas but I've read little real world experience about them.
    As far as the light for caliber issue, contemplate a 225 gr. .458 x-nose CEB brass bullet pushed to near max pressure coming out of a .460 Weatherby !
    Bas
     

  11. BobT

    BobT AH Enthusiast

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    I have no practical experience with brass bullets other than limited range testing with the CEB solids that I have chosen for an upcoming buffalo hunt. I'm shooting the 300 grain .375 H&H. The bullet has a bore riding design with driving bands, I suspect this is to keep pressures lower. I have noticed something that I have never seen before in my limited load testing, with an increase in powder charge weight the velocity actually decreased. I am planning to verify this velocity decrease with a second chronograph in the next few days. Accuracy has been acceptable from the start as has velocity, my first loads with Winchester 760 slightly bettered my velocity goal of 2500 fps and the accuracy was just over MOA, but more importantly grouped very well with the 300 grain Swift A-frames. As far as barrel wear goes I doubt I'll ever shoot enough of any bullet in my .375 to matter. The same solvents that work for gilding metal or copper should work for brass I would think. I'm kinda with Phil on the cleaning, I don't do it until the accuracy falls off.
     
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  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The 260gr SOCOM is clicking along at 2900fps out of my .458B&M. Absolutely devastating on PG and one lioness.

    High SD in regards to DG is just another way of saying heavy. While I don't dismiss SD altogether, it is a parameter that I think many rely a little to heavy on. SD is not static, it changes as soon as the bullet impacts the animal. At that point, the material and design of the bullet comes into play.

    My belief is that when SD was first used, it was in regards to bullets who in comparison to what is available today pale. It was a good parameter to ensure you had enough mass in what was really a fairly low tech bullet.

    But with the bonded lead bullets available and the mono-metal bullets available now, I don't think that a slightly lower, prior to shooting, lower SD or lower weight bullet is necessarily such a bad thing.

    When @PaulT was still guiding for those big buff down in Australia, he had pretty much completely switched to the CEB "softs" and killed in the hundreds of buffalo with them.

    Results of the 260gr on a quartering away shot on a cow BWB. Bullet entered just behind ribs and passed through heart eventually. The blades likely had very little effect on this shot, but the 'solid' shank did it's job.

    IMG_1352.JPG IMG_1353.JPG IMG_1354.JPG IMG_1355.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2018
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  13. Bas

    Bas AH Enthusiast

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    I got mixed up with the CEB and Lehigh j
    Lots of great information, thanks much.
    Bas (Bob)
     

  14. Bas

    Bas AH Enthusiast

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  15. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    The other day I shot a full-grown buffalo bull at thirty-five metres in the heart with a 570 grain Woodleigh Hydro from my .500 Jeffery. He took five little steps and fell dead. That’s not a big deal... but he was feeding directly away from me when I shot. One of the quickest one-shot kills I’ve seen. The bullet didn’t exit. His head was down, feeding, so that’s an extra metre of neck / head to get through.
     

  16. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    The best .308 bullet for buffalo from my .300H&H is the 180 grain Woodleigh Hydro. It is pretty devastating.
     

  17. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    So far, the 150 grain Woodleigh Hydro has turned the struggling little 1894 .30-30 into a quick and effective buffalo killer. Only two big bulls so far, but neither went more than five to ten steps.
     

  18. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    And it’s almost boring saying how effective these Hydros are out of .416 Rigby and .375H&H.
     
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  19. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    But check them for feeding. Make sure they feed.
     
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  20. Bas

    Bas AH Enthusiast

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    Awesome !!!
     
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