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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
mehavey
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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
Paul B.
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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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