Barnes all-copper bullets


October 12, 2008, 01:19 PM
I've repeatedly listened to Tom Gresham interview the folks from Barnes bullets on the radio, and I am very interested in trying them for several reasons. They are a local company, their (advertised) performance is incredible, and they are lead free.

What I am wondering, is if there is any possibility of damage to my rifles? I'm just having this thought that rifle barrels use rifling cut to accommodate copper-jacketed lead bullets. Is there any real difference in hardness for an all-copper bullet that might damage the rifling, could they possible prematurely wear out the rifling, or am I just being silly?

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Jim Watson
October 12, 2008, 01:22 PM
What gun?

I have seen it recommended to not shoot solid bullets in a double express rifle, but they will do no harm to the usual bolt action sporting rifle.

October 12, 2008, 01:34 PM
I use Barnes Ruger #1 Tropicals......never had a problem!

October 12, 2008, 02:06 PM
The Barnes bullets are very soft copper, and all the later designs have relief grooves on the bullet shank to give the metal a place to go when engraved by the rifling.

They will not hurt the barrel.

There is complete info on your very question in the Barnes FAQ:

IMHO: A bullet manufacture would not be able to stay in business very long if their bullets caused damage to a rifle barrel.


October 12, 2008, 03:47 PM
Well, I wanted to get an opinion from someone BESIDES the manufacturer. :)

I'm actually looking at using them in my Remington 700 VSSF 22-250, my S&W 1500 .270, AR uppers in various calibers, and trying their .45 ACP and 10mm bullets. (In .400 Corbon.)

October 12, 2008, 04:16 PM
With Barnes bullets, you have to make sure that you use the recommended barrel twist to stabilize them due to the fact that the all-copper bullets are longer than lead based types of the same weight.


Vern Humphrey
October 12, 2008, 04:19 PM
Early (non-grooved) Barnes X-bullets would foul some bores to the point where extensive cleaning was needed to get them to shoot well -- and that would last for only a short time before more cleaning was needed.

The new Triple-shock bullets seem to have solved that problem.

Bily Lovec
October 12, 2008, 06:28 PM
I have shot Barnes X-style bullets for 20 years in a large variety of rifles.
I have 0 complaints, I have been estatic with them for everything.

Mark whiz
October 13, 2008, 10:51 PM
The newer Triple Shock bullets work great for me - accurate, great performance on game, and actually copper foul my barrels less than standard jacketed bullets

October 13, 2008, 11:08 PM
the new triple shock have driving bands cut into them, and so have less pressure and barrel wear. Cor-bon makes a few different loads using teh TSX bullets, and they are suppsosidly very good.

December 31, 2009, 02:13 AM
How about out of modern double rifles like Chapius or Merkel?

December 31, 2009, 05:07 AM
I live in California and we are forced to use copper for hunting. I have reloaded Hornady GMX's, Nosler E-Tips, and the Barnes TSX's. These copper bullets do leave a substancial amount of fouling your barrel. That said I have went through quite a bit of bullets trying to find the right one and I did with the TSX's. I used to use Hoppes to clean my barrel until I ran into the copper ordeal. Then I had to get serious and go to the Sweets 7.62 Solvent. That stuff is serious business and cleans that fouling out like a charm.

December 31, 2009, 11:52 AM
I've heard these are problems in DOUBLE RIFLES (Express or SxS rifles) too. Big arguments about it. Why would double rifles be affected more than standard single shot, bolt or lever guns?

Can anyone comment specifically on this double rifle issue? I'm considering getting one but I also live in California and will be limited in bullet selection. I'd like to know before I put money into a double.

December 31, 2009, 11:54 AM
Gosh darned California!!!

Jim Watson
December 31, 2009, 12:36 PM
The problem (or potential problem) with a double rifle is that the barrels are joined by soldered ribs and the claim is that the bulge of the passing monolithic bullet is enough to pop the solder joint. For a new rifle, I would ask the gunmaker if he warranted his rifle for solids.

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