Copper bullets

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Dr Ray, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    I load copper bullets for two rifles my 375 Ruger and my sons 22-250 I use GS Custom bullets which are pure copper but with their design of drive bands they they don't seem to leave a copper buildup in the bore and I have recovered many of them from the back stop with no sign of erosion of the copper.
    I have also noticed that heat build up in barrels is less than other bullets especially in my 375.
    The hardest thing to accept was the fact that they recommended bullets that were light for caliber but after a few emails and a couple phone calls I decided to try them.
    Sorry to say that the 375 did not get a chance to harvest any game but my sons 22-250 with 40gr HV took two deer the first at 172 yards the little bullet moving at 4175 at the muzzle entered just behind front shoulder taking out 1 lung then into a full stomach and intestines and exited in front of hind leg on other side.
    That little bullet penatrated almost 23" of deer before it exited. The second was a broadside shot at 220 yards another complete pass threw. In both shots the 375 was on the animals because I was a little concerned about bullet performance but in both shots it was unnecessary.
    In comparison the 40gr HV is slightly longer than a 55gr cup and core bullet and 200gr HV is longer than a 250gr game king. I know that two shots does not make a complete test but so far so good.
     
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  2. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I believe there was a question of how the Barnes factory ammo shoots. So I went to the range today to test 300 WM 165gr Barnes TTSX VOR-TX factory loads. Started with a clean bore at 100 meters and fired 3 rounds (9/16"). Then tested 12 rounds of 200gr Nosler Partition reloads to dirty the bore with traditional copper/lead bullets. Finally fired 5 more rounds of Barnes factory 165gr. First 3 within 1/2", the next 2 opened it to 7/8" (probably my fault because I was chronographing the 5 rounds).

    IMG_1657.jpg IMG_1662.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2017

  3. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I find the statement copper is as good as lead bullets even when x% lighter as its painting a picture that is only sorta logical.

    Copper is lighter than lead. So a 150gr copper and a 180gr lead have the same volume. Thus, of petals expand on copper it will create a somewhat similar enlarged hole in game as mushroomed lead. That's the logical truth.

    But the contention then comes in, what is more true and reliable, the heavy foe caliber lead, or the lighter for caliber copper? In 7mm an a-frame at 175gr is delivering a lot of weight and equal expansion as the 130-135gr copper. You're really reliant upon those petals working properly but at very high and very low velocities, the mechanical nature of that copper petal bullet may not work as intended. That a-frame has punched the animal with more mass and is more likely to work magic at a wide range of velocities without giving up more than 2-3% of weight. If you lose petals on copper or it deflects on bone with its more rigid nature, could be problematic.

    I'd take it much more seriously and research copper more myself if I had high velocity rifles but all my guns shoot 2200-2400 at the muzzle and for these speeds at muzzle, almost everyone agrees high quality copper jacketed lead is the prudent choice.
     
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  4. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    From the first PH that I hunted with, I learned that Barnes TSX, Swift A-Frames and Nosler Partitions all had excellent weight retention and penetration. (He highly recommended ANY of these 3 bullet designs.) Therefore, I tested various weights of these three bullets in all of the hunting calibers that my wife and I shoot. Without exception, the Barnes TSX bullets grouped the best in my .300 Win Mag, .375 H&H and .416 Rigby rifles. Ditto for my wife's 7mm Rem Mag. Two safaris and multiple hunts in the US have yielded excellent results with no lost game. I know this is anecdotal, but the handful of bullets I have recovered showed a 99-100% weight retention.

    I will still test all 3 of these bullet types in any new rifles. (Breaking in a 8x57mm that I built right now.) However, the results so far are favoring the Barnes all copper bullets.
     
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  5. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Your current test will be telling because 8x57 is a moderate velocity caliber. Looking forward to an update.
     

  6. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    I'll post the accuracy results when I test the bullets. I still need to finish break in using the cheaper 170gn Speer bullets.

    For this loading, I purchased the 160gn TTSX. I did not want the 180 or 200gn options for whitetail hunting in the backyard and I am hoping that the polymer tip will lead to better expansion.

    I've not had good groups with the tipped configuration in my .375 H&H or .300 Win Mag - only the TSX. I expect the velocity will be in the 2700-2850 range.
     

  7. broncolcj

    broncolcj AH Enthusiast

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    I use 300 gr. Barnes ttx only in my .375. they have tremendous effect on buffalo with complete expansion and pass through
     
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  8. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My preferred bullet weight for a 6.5 x 55 is 140 Grs. Unfortunately no one offers a solid copper bullet in anything heaver than 130 Grs. The reason given to me by Barnes is that they couldn't get the 140 Gr TSX to stabilize. Instead of trying the 130 Gr. as they suggested I went to Plan B and used Nosler Partitions. My question to you other 6.5 x 55 shooters is, have any of you used the 130 Gr. Barnes TTSX or TSX on game? At what velocities, how did they perform? I'm pushing my 140 Gr. loads at 2775 fps and would expect a somewhat higher velocity using a 130 Gr. pill. Proper expansion should not be an issue.
     

  9. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    With copper unless you have fast twist for caliber you need lighter bullet to stableize.
     
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  10. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Interesting discussion going on here guys!
     

  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    To add to what Shawn said, it's due to the length of copper bullets being longer in comparison to lead bullets of the same weight. Longer bullets have to either be shot at faster velocities or as Shawn said have a faster twist rate. Since a longer bullet means you have less powder in the case, and you can't of course easily change the twist rate on your barrel, you must therefore shoot lighter.

    If you're hand loading the Barnes at 130gr, I would not expect it to shoot faster than a 140gr lead bullet. Case capacity for a specific COAL will be about the same. In fact it may be a little less with the Barnes due to its length.
     
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  12. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    IMG_0502.JPG IIf you use a drive band bullet they move way faster my GS Custom 200 gr moves at 3213 with no sign of pressure at all setting on top of 85 grains of powder.
    Barns can't come close. If you look at the rifleing marks there is very little contact therefore low pressure. Even using faster powder than usual.
    Shawn
     
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  13. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    What you're asking for is a 185gr lead bullet by volume in your 6.5x55....doesn't exist, wot stabilize, will never exist. The MAX bullet for a 6.5x55 is 160gr or so. Even a 130gr copper is greater volume than 160gr lead so the 130gr is the physically largest bullet by volume in existence for your rifle even though it weighs less.
     

  14. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    My 200 is longer than than a 250 game king by .050.
     

  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Your explanation makes perfect sense, but at the same time I'm confused. When I first started reloading the 6.5 x 55 I used 140 Gr. Barnes X bullet. Were they Copper Jacketed lead bullets, or solid Copper bullets? They had been setting on a shelf for about 10 years. They shot very well. I thought that the TSX was just a modern version of the old Barnes X.
     

  16. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Not sure on the 140gr. I am sure that it would weigh about 177gr if it were lead since lead is 126.7% heavier by volume. I'd be shocked if something the size of a lead 177gr bullet would stabilize in a 6.5x55.
     

  17. Heeler75

    Heeler75 AH Veteran

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    The TSX are banded to decrease pressure and copper fouling. The ogive was also redesigned. That's the difference between it and the old Barnes-X.

    Barnes bullets are designed to initiate expansion at an impact velocity of around 2,000 fps.
     

  18. Gsxrmike

    Gsxrmike AH Veteran

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    I used TSX bullets for my .404 and my .375. Performance was excellent.
    The bullet in the attached photo entered a buffalo, punched through a rib, went through the heart and nearly exited the opposite side. I'll continue using TSX in all my hunting rifles.

    IMG_2026.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2017
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  19. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    GSC claim reduced pressure and increased velocity. They also claim to be able to load rounds jammed into the rifling without increasing pressure, all because drive band technology. Drive bands are not new
     

  20. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    IMG_0502.JPG The drive bands on a GS Custom are nothing like groves on a Barns bullet I know I posted this pic earlier but if they are close in the thread it will be easier to compare the bands fill in the rifleing groves but the lands barely touch the body. Notice lack of rifleing marks on body.
    Shawn
     

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