View Full Version : 'Grenade' question

June 3, 2009, 03:40 AM
G'day fellas. Greetings from Oz (again).
I'm shooting among others, a .243W Howa stainless that's had around 1000 rounds pumped through it. I've recently started using Barnes Grenade 62 gr. projectiles for foxes. They've proved to be a real killer on the likes of the ol' reynards, and my rifle seems pretty happy with them, along with 70gr. TNTs.
But after the first episode when I pumped through about 20 rounds of the Barnes stuff, sighting in and into game, I noticed what seemed an excessive build-up of metal fouling in the first third of the bore (breach end). I know that's about max without cleaning so the fouling may have been normal. But it seemed excessive to me when I struggled to get a swab through that part of the bore. Sweets 7.62 cleaner soon had things back to normal, but the concern remains.
Given the fact that at this point of my rifle's life there may be a bit of erosion setting in, is the fouling par for the course or is the guilding metal that the Barnes are made from prone to more fouling than usual? I always have loaded moderately, my rifle likes it that way. So the hot-load question shouldn't come into it.
A recent hunt with TNT's - 9 rounds fired (7 foxes and a feral cat...you oughta see what the TNT did to the cat!) - left the bore with a fair bit less cr*p. But that's only 9 rounds.
I know there are some guys on this site who know their stuff. Any opinions greatly appreciated.

June 3, 2009, 07:05 AM
Try a diffeent bullet, and see if you get the same results.

My guess is that you won't.


June 3, 2009, 11:22 AM
barnes have a tendency to copper foul pretty bad. That's the only downside to them.

June 3, 2009, 11:23 AM
How fast are you pushing them? Barnes copper content is usually the highest.

June 3, 2009, 12:01 PM
Barnes uses a solid copper jacket, very soft and "sticky", as opposed to most makers who use gilding metal, which is harder and slicker. After cleaning wiht Sweets, try JB Bore Shine to really get the bore clean. Once you get the bore clean, use a bore conditioner like Tetra on the bore to keep copper fouling under control.

June 3, 2009, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the replies.
I use Australian-made ADI powders; 2209 for the Grenades, and load fairly moderately. So guess I wouldn't be driving the pills a lot more than 3 thou. Maybe three-two or so at a guess. I don't have access to a chrono so can't elaborate. As a hunter I judge the results at the other end as my guide.
Ah, so I got the metal story back to front? OK, thanks for that. More copper, more fouling then.
I switched to Barnes because I'd read some good things about them. Found in practice they shot very nicely from my rifle too. One of the properties I shoot on has one or two difficult areas where a highly frangible projectile is desireable. The TNT is very good but I thought the lighter Barnes might be better.
We don't often fire more than 10-12 rounds per hunt, so the problem isn't unmanageable. Still, that level of fouling does annoy me a bit so after your confirmation I think I'll go back to TNTs.
I forgot to mention that I fired one round of 100 grainer (also moderate load) at the end of the first Barnes session and it showed some signs of high pressure. Ouch! That hadn't happened before, so no more 100s that time!
My drill for cleaning the bore is Sweets if necessary, dry right out, then a shot or two of Hoppes No 9. Then a douse with Kleenbore conditioner for storage.
It took me three Sweets treatments to clear the fouling after that first session with Barnes. And you've got to be careful with Sweets. It's deadly stuff. But it gets the bore mirror-clean.

June 4, 2009, 12:13 PM
You might try the Sierra 70 gr Matchking in 243. Although it is primarialy designed as a target bullet, Its thin wall and hollow point does have a terriffic "grenade" effect. Copper fouling is at a minimum. I would not recommend using the bullet if you expect to keep any meat or pelt however, but for pest control, they are absolutely awesome!

June 6, 2009, 05:57 AM
Yep, thanks sc, I may give them a run later. I wouldn't mind keeping a few pelts, they're starting to look pretty good right now with our southern winter coming on. But just about anything out of a .243 does a lot of damage. My son's .223 is better but he's still working on his accuracy. 'Head shots only boy, head shots only!'

Wild Bill Bucks
June 18, 2009, 12:20 PM
Since you are rolling your own ammo, I would suggest trying some of the "Combined Technologies" ballistic silvertip, bullets.
They are Lubalox coated (not moly), and therefore, eliminate the copper fouling problems associated with the Barnes bullets.
I have used them in .308 as well as 30.06 and find that I can shoot 100 to 200 rounds between cleaning, with no effect on accuracy.
Most of what I bring out on a cleaning patch is powder residue since the Lubalox tends to stay on the bullet and not in my barrel.
Last year I put 100 rounds in a 1" circle at 100 yards, and the last shot was right there with the first shot. (This was a competition .308 barrel that was built for my Ruger 77)
You will have to make a little adjustment on your trajectory, as they tend to shoot about 150 to 200 fps faster than most of the copper jacketed bullets that I have tried.
I hold all of my loads to middle of the road powder charges also,and these bullets work great for me.
They are a bit on the pricey side, but for the way I use them, they are worth the extra dollars.

June 18, 2009, 03:38 PM
Foxrr try Noslier Ballistic Tips ,almost as explosive as the barnes and should be abit cheaper to buy. Some barnes can also be had in a moly coatng . They do need a very smooth bore to work well. with some claening after around ten shots. Contact barnes and see what they say about your problem.

June 18, 2009, 07:56 PM
Wild Bill, good stuff, as I'm running a .308 Ruger as well as the .243. Haven't had the .308 for long so have yet to really get into load development for it. Not sure we can get Combined Technologies product in Oz but I'll go looking. I like what you're telling me.
Hardluk, I tried Ballistic Tips back when I first bought the .243 and it didn't seem to like them. But that was then...
A fair bit of lead and copper, er, guilding metal, has passed thru the hole since then. And my home-mods to the lousy stock have also helped accuracy since the early days.
A number of the alternatives are popping up in the discussion here and they're available in Australia. I guess I really started to like what the Barnes were doing for me. The rifle was starting to look like there might be a sub-MOA in it at last. So I was disappointed when the problem popped up.
I have to face it! Time to play around with a bunch of different pills I guess. I must admit I'm not wildly enthused with endless mucking around with load development. Especially with all those foxes just waiting for me out there.:D

T. O'Heir
June 19, 2009, 06:37 PM
"...out of a .243 does a lot of damage..." Commercial FMJ's don't. They're made for hide hunting.m They have much thinner jackets than milsurp FMJ's. Speer makes a 90 grain FMJ that makes a puncture wound. Mind you, even commercial FMJ's may be evil in Australia.
"...may be a bit of erosion..." Not with only 1,000 rounds.
Barnes bullets really need Barnes data. Solid copper bullet don't fly like lead cored bullets. There's data on their site, but not with ADI powders. Your 2209 is close to IMR4350 in burn rate. IMR4350 is given for the 62 grain bullet. 43.0(3455 fps) to 47.0(3699 fps). Moot if you can't get IMR4350 easily. Kind if suspect you can use the 4350 data with your 2209 though.

June 19, 2009, 10:48 PM
Those FMJs probably would be available in Oz. Never went looking. Not sure the FMJs would be all that safe on the property I mentioned earlier. A smaller cal. would be the way to go for serious pelt gathering there.
2209 might not be regarded as the perfect powder for light projectiles in .243. But it's giving good results in my rifle and a bit easier on the bore than the somewhat faster 2208.
Your figures for IMR equivalent sound about right, according to the data put out by one of our local highly respected shooting scribes. I won't be changing though. ADI is the one Australian-made powder. It's pretty clean burning and very stable in a wide range of conditions and costs about the same or less than the others. And of course it's readily available. Gotta support the local boys when they make a good brew.
Thanks for the input tho.