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X Bullet = Deep Penetration

Nodak Hunter

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Jan 18, 2001
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Grand Forks, ND
Well, I've got a story to tell, and I must say I'm not terribly proud to tell it, but there's something of value to be learned. I was filling my doe license yesterday, and took a bit of a longish (360 yards) shot at a doe standing in the middle of field. I misjudged the wind drift, and hit her too far back, between the last two ribs. She humped her back, then took off fast. I had to do a quick follow up shot from behind to bring her down. Fortunately, my second shot was much better than my first, and landed above her tail, smashing through her spine and heading forward into her chest.

I was using a Barnes 120 grain XLC bullet in my .264 Win Mag. Muzzle velocity is about 3,400 fps, and the bullet hit her at about 400 yards.

Performance was perfect. The bullet broke the fourth vertebra from her tail, angled through the back into the chest cavity, through the diaphragm and left lung, and broke her left front leg. I found the bullet (first one I've ever recovered from any big game animal) under the hide of her left leg. It had three perfectly formed petals, one had been broken off.

All in all, I figure that bullet traveled through two bones and about 28" of meat and organs. I'm mighty impressed, to say the least. The first bullet broke the last rib on the right side and passed completely through. That second bullet anchored her hard, and has really made me a believer in the penetration claims Barnes makes about their bullets.
 

danr55

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That's grat Nodak. I've just never been able to get the darned things to shoot accurately enough to make changing from Noslers worth while. I've always had to back off the load to get the accuracy. Sure am impressed with the 264 bullets though. I have a collection of 6.5 calibers that I am very fond of. :cool:
 

Nodak Hunter

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Jan 18, 2001
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Grand Forks, ND
Hey Dan,

I used to have similar problems, until a fellow at my gun club who uses only Barnes bullets took me under his wing and taught me how to make my rifles shoot them.

The first step is to ensure the barrel is absolutely spotless. No copper from other bullets at all. He and I spent two hours cleaning my .264's barrel with CR-10 and Hoppe's #9 until it had no traces of copper discernible with a bore scope.

Once you start using Barnes bullets, cleaning is fairly normal, but if you shoot regular jacketed bullets with the rifle, you have to start all over again with the cleaning routine.

Secondly, seating depth seems to be far more critical with them than with Partitions. Barnes recommends starting .050" off the lands. I do that when working up a load for velocity/pressure testing, but after I find max load, that depth goes out the window. I fiddle with seating depths in .020" increments, from just .010" off the lands, to .100" off the lands. Usually, the rifle will shoot better at one depth than all the rest. 140 grain XLC bullets like to be seated .030" off the lands, whereas the 120 grainers like to be seated .010" off the lands.

Also, the blue coating they now offer on many of their bullets helps reduce fouling tremendously.

I'm a believer in them now. I've been cleaning my .300 Win Mag all morning, getting the bore ready to try out some 180 and 165 grain XLCs.
 

danr55

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Well, now that I know the trick, maybe I'll have to give it a try. Just promise not to tell John Nosler.
:cool:
 

WDSWIFT

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Dec 16, 2000
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Ohio
NDak, Did this fellow give you any reason or theory as to why all the "other" fouling had to be removed? Thats interesting. ;) WD
 

Nodak Hunter

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I've talked to the folks at Barnes about that, and they agree that the barrel must have NO copper fouling from other bullets in it for the X bullets to work.

The way they explain it is that the copper alloys used in the jackets of other bullets are much harder than the almost pure copper used by Barnes. If any of that hard alloy is left in the barrel, it will strip material away from the passing bullet, leaving ragged gouges on the bullet in addition to the rifling marks.

This does two things. First, the bullet is less aerodynamic and stable, with a resulting effect on accuracy. Secondly, the barrel of the rifle will foul significantly more quickly, further reducing accuracy on successive shots.

This explanation makes sense, and my results with two different rifles (.264 Win Mag and .300 Win Mag Rugers) seem to bear this out.

I'm prepping my Ruger .338 Win Mag today, to complete the Win Mag hat trick. With these three rifles, in addition to my original Model 77 in .220 Swift, I'll have a battery of rifles to cover everything I'll ever hunt, using Barnes bullets.

OBTW, my .300 Win Mag shot three groups averaging .78" at 100 yards yesterday using 180 grain XLC bullets cruising along at 3,110 fps. The 165 grainers weren't quite as good, averaging about 1 1/4" with velocities at 3,260 fps. I've got to do some more fiddling with the 165s, but the 180s are dialed in nicely.
 

danr55

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Well, I am suitably impressed. The explanation makes good sense. I can understand how it would work just as explained. Now, how do we get the price down?

I'll give it a try and we'll see what comes of it. Thanks Nodak. :cool:
 

WDSWIFT

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Dec 16, 2000
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Thanks for that Ndak, makes good sense after ya explained it. Son of a Gun. Maybe I can get my rich buddy to buy me some to try for Christmas. ;) WD
 

MLM

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Feb 8, 2001
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Milford Center, Ohio ,USA
Gee ,I am sure DanR will buy you the bullets WD, but will he pay for the shipping? GOt to watch those rich guys, they know how to keep a penny clean. I hope DanR tells me how he made his some day , So I will be able to live the high life!
MLM :D :D
 

danr55

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WHOA11 STOP THE MUSIC!!

How did I all of a sudden become the rich guy? I'm the one that lives from paycheck to half way to the next pay check.

If you want to make yours the same way I made mine, you have to start with very special paper and hard to find ink. Then you need a GREAT copier. The rest is secret. :cool:
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'm the one that lives from paycheck to half way to the next pay check.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Haha! Boy do I know about that, Dan! It's called creative banking!

Oak
 

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