Caribou Gear Tarp

Copper Anyone?

SixPoint

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Nov 16, 2013
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150
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Southwest Montana
I am curious what experience this crowd has with solid copper ammunition. I myself was a real skeptic for a long time, until late this summer I attended a speaking event about Golden Eagles. Aside from talking about eagles, a majority of the evening was spent discussing lead ammunition and some of the research findings. The"a ha" moment for me was seeing several x-ray images of animals hunters had shot and the amount of lead fragmentation that occurred in the meat. These critters were lit up like a Christmas Tree.

Personally I was able to take a cow elk with the Federal E tip ammo out of my 300 WSM this fall. I have to say that I am more than impressed. The cow was bedded down at 275ish yards and she never even got up. I shot her twice and both bullets went through both shoulders. The crazy part is there was almost no blood shot meat. It was more similar to an archery kill than a traditional lead bullet kill. Had I used a lead bullet and hit in the same spot there would have been significantly more bloodshot/ in-edible meat.

I was able to recover a bullet and this blew my mind a bit. They were 180grains both before and after I shot. They lost 0 mass!

300 WSM Post elk 180gn.jpg

Now I know there are umpteen different kinds of lead bullets and they all behave differently, some much better than others, and I am not looking to open up that debate. My ammo reserve will always have lead bullets! I am just curious if anyone else has experience using copper ammo in a hunting situation. After this year these seem like an incredibly effective tool for big game.
 

Paul in Idaho

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Aug 9, 2012
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Southwest Idaho
I switched to copper a few years ago. My experiences have been similar to yours, and I plan to keep using mono-metal bullets. I can get cartridges loaded with solid copper bullets for the same price or cheaper than the premium lead cartridges I used to use. I have been preparing to start reloading my own, and will use copper when I start building my loads this winter.
 

Ben Long

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Aug 8, 2011
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Kalispell, MT
My rifle shoots Barnes TTSX in 165 grain very well and I have shot several deer and elk with them. I have yet to recover a slug because all have been pass-throughs. That's how I prefer it.
 

NoWiser

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Feb 12, 2013
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Minnesota
I've been very happy with the Barnes hand loads I've worked up for my 270 WSM.

When I first bought the gun and used lead bullets (partitions, accubonds, fusions) I was disappointed because everything I shot was blown up. It was ugly and I know there was lead going everywhere. I drew a MN moose tag in 2011 and decided to go the all copper route. Long story short, I got my bull at 300 yards with two shots through the lungs. One was a pass through and one was buried under the hide on the off side. The moose went about 20 yards. He was a huge bodied 11 1/2 year old bull.

After that I decided to try the copper on deer and have been sold. I've used both the 140 grain tsx and the 130 grain ttsx (which is what I use exclusively now.) Every animal I've shot has been the same......pencil sized entry, golf ball sized exit, and a dead animal. No longer do I have a mangled mess of animal and bloodshot meat to deal with. I will never go back to lead. I'm trying to convince the rest of the group to switch to copper as well.
 

sra61

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Mar 30, 2003
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426
Location
Kalispell, MT
I have used only Barnes TSX bullets for years now. I have never recovered a bullet that looked any different than the one you have the pic of. I love them and can't see ever going with something different. I shoot them in my .300 RSAUM, .300 RUM, and .338 Win Mag. I have killed elk with all of them moose with the .338 and deer with the RUM and RSAUM. I have never experienced anything but excellent performance from the bullets as long as I did my part!
 

swmt

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Dec 15, 2012
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I have used only barnes 130 grains for the last six or seven years out of my .270 WSM for basically the same reasons as the original poster. We cut all of our own meat and when i started thinking about all of the meat lost to blood shot and bruising and the fact that the damage is caused by lead fragments which could end up in meat I switched. I did not choose the bullets based on performance (there are many modern bullets with more than adequate performance) but I have been very happy with how the work; amazing weight retention, very consistent expansion and good penetration. On the bull we shot this weekend the 130gr broke a femur, went though both lungs broke a rib and then lodged against the skin on the far side. The expansion wings had broken off but it still had good overall weight retention.
 

RobG

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Dec 10, 2010
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Bozeman, MT
I feed my kids deer or elk 3-7 times a week. I don't shoot any big with lead anymore for their sake. Why risk it?

Barnes TSX have taken a lot of deer and elk for me and never once had any issues. I saw a study (Ian Martin of Toronto was one of the authors) where even people who ate birds shot with lead had elevated lead levels in their system.
 

HighDesertSage

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Apr 6, 2013
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Sage Brush to Corn Fields
I was a skeptic for awhile. That changed since my 2 yo now eats deer and elk with us. I shot a cow Friday morning at 379 yrds with a 270 130 gr bullet. 1 round and she went 20 yrds and piled up.
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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Cedar, MI
MAde the switch this year based on the science I've seen about lead fragments and raptors. Still searching for a majic load for the 35 whelen, but the 06 & 9.3 both are lead free for game.

Getting just under .75 MOA on both with. Will spin up some .338 & 35 in the off season for next year so I'm good to go. Now if could just find some copper .318's!
 

billy-bob8

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Jul 24, 2010
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Prescott Az
++1 on the Barnes TTSX. Im sure that other bullets of similar construction are as good, but why not go with the original. They hit with such devastation and retain almost 100% of their mass. The last deer and antelope i shot were marginal, and Im sure the Barnes Bullet helped to make my success.
 

mtmuley

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montana
I've used both. Both kill well. I'm just not paranoid enough to switch to solids cause my kids are eating lead. Wish there was a study. My kids grew up on elk and deer I killed with lead bullets. So did I. We rarely eat beef. I'd offer to participate. mtmuley
 

jryoung

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hnt4life

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I have only shot one deer so far with my 300wsm shooting 165 Barnes TTSX. I was really impressed by the wound channel and the lack of bloodshot. It was a steep shot, and the bullet exited just under the offside spine/backstrap. I think with a lead/copper bullet I would have lost a lot of backstrap.
 

nrpate05

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Jan 5, 2015
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I have only hunted big game for a few years now, so my experience is limited, but have only used monumental bullets. I've used .270 win, .300wsm, and 7mm rem mag. all with terrific results. I have never had to track an animal and some dropped on the spot. Perhaps the best example I have witnessed was a bull elk shot by a friend I was hunting with. At just shy of 300 yards he hit the broadside animal in the rear quarter. The 7mm 140 grain TTSX shattered the pelvis and deflected forward through the guts, clipping a lung and burying itself in the hide on the offside shoulder. The penetration was insane and although we never weighed it, there certainly wasn't much missing from the bullet. I will never use anything else. They shoot insanely accurately as well.
 

Corax

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Jul 19, 2011
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Texas
My daughter lives in far northern California, and I talked to a raptor group at a bird festival. The x-ray pictures were very interesting. I have grandchildren, and I decided to switch to copper bullets. My main concern was expansion, so I have been using tipped copper bullets - handloads with Hornady GMX, or Barnes TTSX. I have also used the TSX. So far, I have never recovered a bullet - all pass throughs. I am using 139 or 140 gr in 7mm Rem Mag, and bullet performance has been excellent.. IMO, one of the advantages of copper is that you can use a significantly lighter bullet without it breaking up. With lead bullets, the lighter bullets (even supposedly the same type of bullet) are made to expand faster, to suit lighter game.
 

RobG

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Dec 10, 2010
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Lead is believed to cause learning disabilities so I always find it interesting when someone says they were exposed to lead (or some other toxin), yet they are just fine. Maybe if they didn't eat all that lead they would understand how silly it is to rely on an experiment without a control :D.

I've used both. Both kill well. I'm just not paranoid enough to switch to solids cause my kids are eating lead. Wish there was a study. My kids grew up on elk and deer I killed with lead bullets. So did I. We rarely eat beef. I'd offer to participate. mtmuley
You have two bullet choices. Both of them kill well. Why choose lead?
 
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mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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montana
I don't have to shoot copper. No condors in Montana. All my rifles and the loads they shoot with jacketed lead bullets are are proven. If people feel better shooting copper, that's great. It's not something I'm concerned about. I have a good friend that manufactures his own line of monos. My rifles like his bullets, and I can get all I want for nothing. As you said Rob, it's a choice. mtmuley
 

shootbrownelk

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Apr 2, 2015
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Wyoming
I've shot Barnes X bullets for big game for over 20 years now, before the 3 rings and some even with a moly coating. Now I shoot TTSX bullets and they all perform perfectly. I still load and shoot lead Noslers and Hornadys for practice, but shoot copper bullets for game. Never had a failure with them, can't say that about some lead bullets I've used. My guns don't get copper fouling that some used to claim happened, nor the inaccuracy some claimed. My rifles like copper bullets.
 

Danvet

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Sep 17, 2009
Messages
189
Location
SW KS
Being lazy and not wanting to do the research, can someone list the more common bullets available in ammunition to buy otc that are solid copper?
 

Recon_Doc

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Mar 24, 2015
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99
ONLY shoot Barnes TTSX in my M70 30.06. Taken everything up to Grizzly Bear with them
 

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