November 2008 Barnes Bullet-N
|Randy Brooks Message:|
Utah’s general deer season opened on October 18. A month earlier, I’d spotted a really great mule deer buck I knew I wanted to hunt. I returned to the area five or six times, and the buck was still hanging around. I began working out various scenarios in my mind for a successful stalk.
Patiently using my binocular, I eventually located the buck again the week before deer season began. While glassing for hours on end, I thought about the many blessings I enjoy. I reflected on my freedom to buy, own and use firearms. I was grateful to be able to own property and a home. I gave thanks for the hours I’d spent over the years plinking, shooting and hunting with my family. With passing time, these moments are increasingly precious.
I believe all these freedoms wouldn’t be possible were it not for the groundwork our forefathers prepared. It all began with the War of Independence, while additional freedoms were won on the battlefields of Fredericksburg and Antietam. In the century just ended, our freedoms were defended in two World Wars and other terrible conflicts. Now our nation continues the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this month of Thanksgiving, I encourage us all to remember our brave young men and women doing battle—some making the ultimate sacrifice—in far-off lands. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these heroes, and to those who worry or mourn at home. No one should take our precious freedoms for granted—blood is still being shed defending them.
These thoughts remained with me as I returned on opening day. Unfortunately, the buck had left the area where I’d last seen him. I hunted hard over the next several days, but had no luck finding my deer. I saluted the elusive buck. Apparently he’d had his own freedom in mind.
We want to sincerely thank you for your past and present supporting business. We couldn’t have succeeded without you, and we appreciate each and every one of you who purchase and use our products.
We are presently in the process of building a new facility in Mona, Utah. This great little farming community is welcoming our move, and we’re looking forward to occupying a larger facility with state-of-the-art equipment. We built our current facility just 11 years ago, thinking we would stay in it for the duration. Much to our surprise, we have already outgrown it. Instead of constructing an addition to the current plant, we have decided to start over and build a brand new facility that’s not only bigger, but better.
At Barnes, we feel innovation is the key to our success. We pride ourselves in being innovators – not imitators. It is interesting to note that when the X Bullet was introduced in the late 1980’s, it drew little interest from others in the industry. The concept of an all-copper bullet was so advanced few thought it would become an overwhelming success. It was just too darned different to concern other manufacturers who continued to make conventional lead-core bullets. We knew in our hearts we had the bullet of the future—one that would eventually revolutionize our industry. We never gave up on our goal of making our all-copper bullet the bullet of choice for knowledgeable hunters.
In the beginning, many people told us why this bullet couldn’t—and wouldn’t—work, and that it would never be accepted by hunters. With an unconventional bullet like this, it took trial-and-error experimentation over time, with many changes incorporated to make the bullet work better. With persistence and efforts of a great team here at Barnes, our all-copper bullet has evolved into the excellent products we have today.
Several companies are now copying our products, with still others hoping to share in our success. I guess imitation is the greatest form of flattery. However, we spent more than 20 years perfecting the all-copper concept, and our products have been field-tested the world over. We’ve gained enormous experience and expertise during the past two decades. We have no doubt other companies attempting to mimic our success will encounter many of the pitfalls we had to overcome while designing, testing and perfecting our revolutionary lead-free bullet.
Barnes continues to create innovative new products. We intend to always keep ahead of our competitors by introducing unique products that not only work, but work to perfection. We never tire of innovation, which keeps Barnes ahead of the many imitators trying to share in our success. We take pride in making quality products that meet—or exceed—our customer’s needs.
We look forward to a successful year in 2009, and wish you much success as well.
Thanks so much,
Question: I have a general reloading question. I live in Canada, where temperatures vary from one extreme to another. I am a rookie handloader—took it up just a few months ago. My question: I’m led to believe magnum primers should be used when temperatures fall to 32º F. (0º C.) and below.
I recently bought some Barnes TSX bullets for my 6mm rifle, a Barnes #4 manual, and the powder recommended by you folks. I want to be ready to hunt deer in November. The temperature right now can vary from 50 to 70 degrees F., but come the middle of November temperatures can drop to -40 degrees F., with strong north winds. Should I start with magnum primers and work up a load, regardless of the temperature, then load a batch for hunting and store them? Should I keep the reloaded shells cold right up to the point where I load them into my rifle when working up a load? I would greatly appreciate any info you can give me on this. Thanks.
Answer: The use of magnum primers in temperatures below 32 degrees F is something that has been recommended by many for years. Yes, you can build your loads now using magnum primers in anticipation of cold weather. This should assure you of lower pressures (which means a safe load) when cold weather comes. Keeping your loads cold for testing will give you an idea of what’s to come.
I would also recommend field stripping the bolt and using a powder graphite or other specialized lubricant to prevent a malfunction from occurring in extreme cold weather. If the firing pin won’t engage properly and in a timely manner, that’s certainly undesirable!
Question: I am considering a Ruger Compact Rifle with a 16.5-inch barrel in .260, 7mm-08 or .308 chambering. In a barrel this short, which caliber will perform best? The rifle’s overall length of just 36 inches it would make it perfect to keep in my backcountry airplane.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Answer: Impact velocity is the critical factor. All three calibers and TSX bullets of various weights require between 1800 feet per second (fps) and 1900 fps velocity for proper expansion. This means lighter, faster bullets are the best choice regardless of the cartridge you choose. I’m assuming this rifle will or could be used for protection, so I’d recommend the largest caliber. I’d select the .308 Winchester.
Sam & Alice Monarch
While hunting in Africa, Sam and I took three No. 1 World Record Trophies and four other Top Ten Trophies with a .50 caliber Knight Muzzleloader using Barnes Bullets. Our PH was Vlam Myberg with Madubula Safaris.
The animals we have taken using Barnes Bullets and how they rank in the muzzleloading category are as follows:
No. 1 Cape Eland (Expander MZ)
No. 1 Common Reedbuck (Expander MZ)
No. 4 Ringed Waterbuck (Expander MZ)
No. 4 Common Lechwe (TMZ)
No. 5 White Springbok (TMZ)
No. 8 Black Springbok (TMZ)
No. 1 African Leopard taken by Alice Monarch (Expander MZ). This leopard was also selected by the SCI Awards Committee as the “1st Place Major Award Winner” of all animals taken in the world with a muzzleloading rifle during the 2006-2007 hunting year.
—Sam and Alice Monarch
Recipe of the Month
Wild Turkey & Rice Casserole
6 cups cooked white rice
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups cooked wild turkey, diced
1 – 4 oz can sliced mushrooms
12 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
1 – 2 ½ oz can sliced black olives, drained
1 – 2 oz jar pimentos, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp marjoram
½ tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup milk
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the soup, turkey, mushrooms, olives, pimentos, celery, pepper, salt, milk and other spices.
Stir in the cheese and rice. Pour into a 9” x 13” pan and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
From The Lab
Ballistics Lab Manager
This month, we put together a sort of “how-to” on basic scope mounting. This may be coming a little late, as this hunting season we’ve spoken with many people who have had problems because they did not follow a good scope mounting procedure. Here’s one that works well for us.
As with any job, make sure you have all the correct tools needed before you start. Without the proper tools it will not be done right. The items needed are pictured below.
Pictured from left to right: a good screwdriver set, torque driver that measures in inch-pounds, scope ring alignment rods, lapping bar, lapping compound, thread locker. You will also need a good rest or vise.
Step 1: Make sure you have the correct rings and bases for your platform and application.
Step 2: Mounting the bases. Make sure the bases and action are clean. Apply a small amount of thread lock on the screws. Torque the screws to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Step 3: Aligning and lapping the rings. This is a step that is frequently overlooked. Mount your rings with the alignment bars placed inside them as pictured below.
The sharp point at each end of the bars will ensure the rings line up as close as possible. Some rings will be right on, but it has been our experience that some will be slightly off. Adjust as needed and be precise.
Remove the alignment bars and insert the lapping bar as shown below.
Tighten the rings so the lapping bar is snug, but still moves with a little pressure. Apply some lapping compound and start working the bar back and forth. Always remember when lapping that “a little is a lot.”
When the lapping process is complete, the rings should look something like those pictured below. Notice the areas where material was taken off. This is the reason for aligning the rings as precisely as you can.
Step 4: Mounting the scope. Place the scope in the rings. Shoulder the rifle to set your eye relief and straighten the crosshairs. An easy way to line up the crosshairs is to place the rifle in a rest or vise. Level the rifle as closely as you can with your eye. Then, line the crosshairs up with the center of the gun.
Step 5: Tightening the scope. Torque the scope ring screws to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Don’t over-tighten or you may crush the tube of the scope.
In this picture, I’m the guy in the middle. I live in Florida, where I sail and own of a business that helps companies duplicate their best employees through testing. I am also a 600- and 1,000-yard benchrest shooter. Currently, I’m experimenting with your .30 caliber 165-grain MRXs in a .30-338 wildcat load for an upcoming 1,000-yard match. So far, they seem to shoot as well as 168-grain Berger VLDs. All the five-shot 1000-yard groups I’ve fired with MRX bullets have measured under five inches between centers. They seem to handle 5-15 miles-per-hour full-value winds very consistently. This makes finding your hold point very easy.
—Albert H. Zinkand
Prize for October
Leupold’s® New MX™ Modular Flashlight
This month features Leupold’s new, high-tech flashlight. The modular MX allows you to customize the flashlight to your personal needs by selecting from four interchangeable bezels, two maintubes and a tail switch. Additional new components will soon be available.
“Much like computers, flashlight technology is improving so rapidly that it’s nearly impossible to keep up-to-date,” said Mike Slack, Leupold’s marketing communications manager. “Rather than spending a few hundred dollars on an entirely new flashlight, MX owners can purchase individual components to update their lights.”
MX bezels range from single-mode Xenon and LED models to multi-mode bezels with S.O.S. emergency flasher and a high-intensity strobe. Models with multiple modes feature a magnetic sensor switch, and all models are water-tight to depths of more than 100 feet.
The MX maintube is offered in two- or three-cell models. Tubes are knurled for a secure grip in any weather. The flashlight is threaded to accept Alumina® accessories and light filters. It comes with Leupold’s unlimited lifetime warranty (excluding bulbs and batteries). MSRP is $ 224.99.
For more information, contact: Leupold & Stevens, Inc., P.O. Box 688, Beaverton, OR 97075-0688, telephone toll-free: 1-(800) LEUPOLD or visit the website: www.leupold.com
Think Barnes TSXs, Tipped TSXs and MRXs are too tough to expand and perform on thin-skinned game such as whitetail deer and antelope? This is a photo of a 30 caliber 168-grain TSX expanding at 2,000 fps in a 1-inch thick slice of Hide-Gelatin. When fired from a .300 Winchester Magnum at 3,150 fps, this would simulate a 600-yard shot. This is just one photo taken during a series of extensive tests where Barnes Bullets came out ahead of the competition. The other bullets penciled right on through 1-inch thick slices of bare gel. The full report to follow soon under the website’s Technical Section. Stay tuned…