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Old September 20, 2022, 08:23 PM   #1
jackstrawIII
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Copper Bullet Testimonial

After much deliberation, I decided to make the switch to copper bullets for my deer hunting and was able to take two deer with them this year. Was really pleased with the results and figured I'd pass it along.

Cartridge: 308 Winchester
Bullet: Cavity Back MKZ 125 Grain
Velocity: 3200 fps at the barrel, probably around 3000 at impact (80 yards or so average)

Both deer were broadside and hit double lung. The first one ran about 35 yards and went down, the other dropped in its tracks. Damage was adequate but not overly dramatic (I was concerned about getting tons of blood shot meat because of the high speed, but the entrance and exit holes both looked pretty good once the skin came off).

Why did I want to use copper?
- No lead in the meat. My kids eat it and, while this may not actually be a concern, it's concerning to me.
- I like an entrance and exit hole. Copper gives me a higher probability of full penetration.

I was concerned that the "harder" copper wouldn't expand enough for quick wounding on the lung shots I prefer to take, but these two worked great. One dropped and the other had a very nice (short) blood trail. Can't argue with those results.

Anyways, wanted to pass along my experience for those who are debating making the switch.
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Old September 20, 2022, 11:49 PM   #2
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Well, I'd never heard of any significant poisoning from lead bullet fragments...
but you ever know.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1278491/

This article's even more interesting as you get further down...
https://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/c...or-red-herring

.

Last edited by mehavey; September 20, 2022 at 11:55 PM.
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Old September 21, 2022, 01:07 AM   #3
ChimpMunk20
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I have been using 168 grain Barnes ttsx in my 300 WSM for years and they are deadly. I also just started reloading with 124 grain Hammer Hunters but have not shot any thing with them yet but the shoot very well on paper.
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Old September 21, 2022, 05:57 AM   #4
jackstrawIII
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ChimpMonk, glad to hear you’ve been having good success with the Barnes and I’m sure the Hammers will do you well. I loaded 152 grain Hammers in my 308 for a couple years but never shot anything with them. My understanding is that the Hammers fragment, which should be deadly. I switched to the lighter MKZ because Hammer didn’t have a light option at that time. It does appear that the MKZ fragmented a bit (multiple exit holes on one of the deer) but I can’t be sure, as it could have been bits of bone or something.

For copper, I think light for caliber bullets are definitely the way to go.
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Old September 21, 2022, 04:23 PM   #5
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There was an article on another site that showed some of the X-rays of the dead condors. While there were traces of lead in the bird's crop, there were also beer can tabs, gum wrappers and other odd bits of shiny material. None of that junk will be ground up in the crop like the birds proper food. Neither would any lead regardless of size. Seems the condors are attracted to shiny stuff. This leads me to believe that much talk about lead fragments are the main cause of Condors, eagles and other predatory birds is a lie. Seems like those giant windmills kill more birds of prey and lead fragments. Maybe we should outlaw them. Besides, they're ugly as hell.

According to California, everything has lead in it. Mention lead and they freak out. Lead bullets and shot are outlawed for hunting. Many rifle will not shoot copper bullets well. One rifle I have, a .35 Whelen thrives on the 225 gr. Barnes bullets My three 7x57s and a .280 Rem. will not shoot any weight all copper bullets but are sub one inch with old fashioned cup and cores. I've not done any work with the .308 and 30-06 with copper bullets nor have I tried them in my .300 Win. mag. Maybe I'll get around to it and maybe I just won't bother.
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Old September 21, 2022, 07:04 PM   #6
jackstrawIII
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Quote:
Maybe I'll get around to it and maybe I just won't bother.
This post is definitely not meant to tell anyone they need to go to copper. Just to reassure anyone who is thinking about it or anyone who might be required by law to do so. I was pretty skeptical about it, but so far I'm pleased. Granted, two deer is a small sample size, but so far so good.
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Old September 22, 2022, 06:30 PM   #7
Scorch
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I tried copper years ago and was not impressed, but I may need to go back and reconsider. A few years ago I bought a case of Hornady Outfitter ammo with copper bullets, and they shoot pretty darn well. While I'm sure copper bullets will kill just fine, I was appalled at the amount of copper fouling I got when I first tried Barnes TSX years ago, but the ones I just tried didn't foul hardly at all.
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Old September 22, 2022, 07:13 PM   #8
jackstrawIII
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Quote:
I was appalled at the amount of copper fouling I got when I first tried Barnes TSX years ago,
Yeah, you probably know this, but the secret to avoid copper fouling when using monolithic bullets is to clean ALL the gilding metal (jacket material) out of the barrel from your old lead bullets first. The gilding metal is harder than the copper they use in most monolithic bullets and if there’s any in the barrel it will grab the copper and foul terribly.

I was told this by the owner of Cavity Back Bullets and since i started deep cleaning my barrels whenever switching alloys, I’ve had no problems.
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Old October 5, 2022, 08:00 PM   #9
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackstrawIII View Post
After much deliberation, I decided to make the switch to copper bullets for my deer hunting and was able to take two deer with them this year. Was really pleased with the results and figured I'd pass it along.

Cartridge: 308 Winchester
Bullet: Cavity Back MKZ 125 Grain
Velocity: 3200 fps at the barrel, probably around 3000 at impact (80 yards or so average)

Both deer were broadside and hit double lung. The first one ran about 35 yards and went down, the other dropped in its tracks. Damage was adequate but not overly dramatic (I was concerned about getting tons of blood shot meat because of the high speed, but the entrance and exit holes both looked pretty good once the skin came off).

Why did I want to use copper?
- No lead in the meat. My kids eat it and, while this may not actually be a concern, it's concerning to me.
- I like an entrance and exit hole. Copper gives me a higher probability of full penetration.

I was concerned that the "harder" copper wouldn't expand enough for quick wounding on the lung shots I prefer to take, but these two worked great. One dropped and the other had a very nice (short) blood trail. Can't argue with those results.

Anyways, wanted to pass along my experience for those who are debating making the switch.
I have used Copper since the early days of the Orig Barnes X. Copper has its place. I have had terrible results with them in slower cartridges.
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Old October 5, 2022, 08:31 PM   #10
jackstrawIII
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Quote:
I have had terrible results with them in slower cartridges.
You’re not the only one. That seems to be pretty universal, hence the choice to run a 125 grain bullet at 3200. There’s not fragmentation to cause a greater than caliber wound channel, so you need to crank the speed to cause more damage.

So far so good.
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Old October 10, 2022, 10:50 PM   #11
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Lead has been the projectile & pellet material choice for decades because it is a {natural} earth substance found all over this world.
When copper formed projectiles became popular few of us understood the benefits of? Those who created those all copper/alloyed copper bullets. Such Company C.E.O.s knew the answers early on. One being: lead was on the horizon to becoming a highly sought after Export commodity for electronics in the far East Pacific regions.
Executives & design engineers knowing that? there became a nitch to create a whole new bullet for us shooting sports folks.
"So long as copper is mined in the USA. We shooters benefit from forward thinking individuals.
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Old October 10, 2022, 11:12 PM   #12
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I used to be a kid with a paper route in Aurora,Illinois. Part of my route was on Galena Street. Galena is the name for lead ore. It forms in pretty much cube shaped crystals. Walking along I'd spot the cube shapes where dirt was exposed by landscaping. Some ice cube size.
Free,natural lead that God and Nature put in the soil.

Nearby is a town named Galena,Illinois. I can only speculate!

I was also a Boy Scout. A neighbor Woman was a bird watcher. Audubon style.

I got my birdwatching merit badge no problem. Lots of birds. Redwings,Orioles,Bluejays. They did not seem to die of lead.

And digging worms to go fishing was no problem.

With all that lead in the soil,from what we have been told there should be few living things in Aurora.

HMMM. But there was.

Seems like there is often an arguement between what I can see and what I get told.
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Old October 11, 2022, 11:37 AM   #13
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I have had good luck with solid copper bullets for hunting. Admittedly the largest game I have used them on is Mule Deer.

Sig Elite Performance Copper Hunting 150-Grain solid copper 30-06 Springfield hollow point is what I used.
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Old October 11, 2022, 11:48 AM   #14
jackstrawIII
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Quote:
I have had good luck with solid copper bullets for hunting. Admittedly the largest game I have used them on is Mule Deer.
Theoretically, your performance should only get better if you move up to using them on larger animals. I say "theoretically" because I've never shot anything bigger than a deer either, but "theoretically" the larger mass of a larger animal puts more resistance on the bullet, which creates more expansion and allows the bullet to release more of its stored energy. So, you get more energy transfer, while still maintaining 100% of your weight for penetration.

Lots of guys talking here about the health issue around lead. While I did mention it in passing (since that's what got me looking into mono bullets in the first place) that's not really what I wanted this thread to be about. To me, the real benefit of copper is weight retention of the bullet, allowing for greater penetration from a lighter projectile. You get the benefit of added velocity without losing penetration. That's a win/win.
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Old October 11, 2022, 05:32 PM   #15
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"Lots of guys talking here about the health issue around lead. While I did mention it in passing (since that's what got me looking into mono bullets in the first place) that's not really what I wanted this thread to be about. To me, the real benefit of copper is weight retention of the bullet, allowing for greater penetration from a lighter projectile. You get the benefit of added velocity without losing penetration. That's a win/win."

Unfortunately, whenever the subject of all copper or other non- lead projectiles comes up, so does the subject of lead and lead bullets in particular. Frankly, it is my opinion that it's all political. What is the most common ,material used in making bullets? Lead with pure, alloyed and copper jacketed have been the mainstay for bullets for hundreds of year. Outlaw lead bullets for all hunt will not only damage companies that load ammo but those that make bullets for those of us who reload our ammo. Probably in most cases it could wipe them out entirely. Not only that it would probably curtail most hunting and the average American hunter would say, "To hell with it. It's too expensive." Ecofreaks and anti gun people would rejoice and finally have the reason to totally outlaw all private ownership of firearms or anything related to firearms. If it ever does happen, never fear. The elite will always have theirs on hand.
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Old October 13, 2022, 07:09 PM   #16
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We tested a few copper bullets in .223 and .243 and although they were accurate and penetrated approx the same depth as Gold Dot/Fusion bullets, They didn't expand as much as the bonded bullets did. Since weight retention was 100% for both styles, we opted for the Fusion bonded bullets over the copper.
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Old October 15, 2022, 08:49 PM   #17
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee View Post
Lead has been the projectile & pellet material choice for decades because it is a {natural} earth substance found all over this world.
When copper formed projectiles became popular few of us understood the benefits of? Those who created those all copper/alloyed copper bullets. Such Company C.E.O.s knew the answers early on. One being: lead was on the horizon to becoming a highly sought after Export commodity for electronics in the far East Pacific regions.
Executives & design engineers knowing that? there became a nitch to create a whole new bullet for us shooting sports folks.
"So long as copper is mined in the USA. We shooters benefit from forward thinking individuals.
Barnes came out with the Orig Cu bullet, the x, to penetrate. Leaf prices will have to rise 20 fold to raise the price to Cu levels.
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