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Old September 16, 2018, 04:14 PM   #1
4570Marlin
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Barnes bullets factory loads?

I am generally in search of ammunition for a brown bear hunt, specifically 375 H&H. Been trying to research ‘best bullets’ etc, and Barnes's name comes up fairly often. I did however notice that it seems Buffalo Bore is the only factory loading of Barnes bullets in anything other than 300 grain. Not saying 300 grains is undesirable, but located many recommendations of the 270 grain loading.
Let me clarify that I will not likely get involved in handloading anytime soon, and do not have the time to research countless similar options, so I am only sincerely interested in following up with any new information regarding factory load options that involve Barnes bullets, or if you are brave enough, please freely discuss with dependable confirmation why I need not seek such bullets.
I think I have read most everything available, but am curious why , if they are indeed the ‘best’ option as far as dangerous game bullets these days, why is the industry slow to incorporate their use..(?)

Last edited by 4570Marlin; September 16, 2018 at 05:04 PM.
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Old September 16, 2018, 06:39 PM   #2
huntinaz
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A Barnes bullet would probably be my first choice, although there are other good options. Swift A-Frame for example. Solids probably good as well. Barnes is going to give you the best penetration in a bullet that opens up.

I doubt the 270gr is better than the 300gr. Dunno why Buffalo Bore is the only company to commercially load that bullet, but, I'm sure it's a fine load. If I was to do a brown bear hunt, a 375H&H with a Barnes TSX would make me happy. In fact I'd likely buy that exact cartridge and 90% be shooting a Barnes bullet. Good luck on your hunt.
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Old September 17, 2018, 12:10 PM   #3
Don Fischer
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I have never hunted Brown Bear nor have I ever fired a 375 H&H. But if I were for some reason to select a 375 H&H I would use the heaviest bullet I could get. I can find only one reason for going to a larger cartridge like that, to use heavier bullet's at somewhat better velocities! I suspect if you do get a shot at a Brown Bear, the range will be relatively close. Would you really risk going into brush to finish off a brown bear rather than taking a closer shot? The beauty of all magnum cartridge's is their ability to handle heavier bullet's. Very doubtful you'd need a premium bullet but if it would make you feel more comfortable, use the premium bullet. Bare in mind that Brown Bears were killed with rifles firing round lead balls at one time. I have never shot any animal and kept the bullet inside the animal but then I pick and choose my shot too. I'm not so sure a cartridge I''d choose to shoot a brown Bear would exit but I also strongly suspect it wouldn't do the bear any good either! Bottom line is that you are thinking of shooting at something that if you screw it up bad enough can kill you with an extraordinary amount of pain. Choose a cartridge you can fire well and a bullet you believe will give you more than adequate penetration at a range your willing to shoot! The cost of a Brown Bear hunt compared to any bullet is huge, pick one you believe you can trust, even if it's to heavy. With a proper shot I suspect it would be very hard with a 375 H&H to pick a bullet to light or to heavy!
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Old September 17, 2018, 02:22 PM   #4
jmr40
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Generally speaking copper bullets don't need nearly as much weight to get the same, and often more, penetration than traditional lead bullets.

My personal experience is with much smaller calibers. But a 130 gr 30 caliber copper bullet will match or exceed the penetration you'd get with a traditional 180 gr lead bullet.

There are 2 reasons.

#1, since copper is lighter, copper bullets of the same weight are LONGER. That alone increases penetration, but it also limits powder capacity and velocity. If you look closely at load manuals traditional lead bullets of the same weight will be a bit faster than copper.

#2, Copper retains 100% of it's weight after impact. A 270 gr copper bullet will still weigh 270 gr after it passes through a game animal while giving good expansion. A 300 gr softpoint lead bullet will lose at least 20% of its weight at impact and end up weighing 270 gr or less. OR you could use a 300 gr solid bullet that would still weigh 300 gr after impact. But you'd get no expansion.

The copper bullets are good choices, but the rules are different. Lighter bullets should be used. But any good 375 bullet will get the job done in this case. Where the copper bullets shine is when using calibers generally considered borderline too small. With a 375 bullet choice isn't that critical. If I were hunting big bear with a 30-06 I'd be using 180 gr copper bullets, or 220 gr Partitions.
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Old September 17, 2018, 02:44 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I’m a big fan of the Barnes bullets and use them in all my big game hunting loads and I agree with what jmr40 said above.

For a bit better selection (maybe), try researching loads that use the Hornady GMX line. They are Hornady’s version of the Barnes TTSX and usually very well regarded.

I see that there is a Hornady Superformance load in .375H&H that uses a 250gr GMX. I’ve never hunted brown bear, but I’d be utterly shocked if that bullet wasn’t extremely effective.
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Old September 17, 2018, 03:29 PM   #6
Dufus
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Good shooting and results with the Nosler 300 gr Accubond and the 300 gr Partition.

Works for me.
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Old September 17, 2018, 05:19 PM   #7
huntinaz
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Quote:
Bare in mind that Brown Bears were killed with rifles firing round lead balls at one time.
And it was common knowledge how much of a bear it was to do it. Often requiring multiple shots and a big rodeo. Meriwether Lewis thought the same thing as I recall and after a rodeo or two with grizzly bears he changed his tune. These were (relatively) small Montana grizzlies, not big Alaska browns. Give me the Holland & Holland with a good bullet. Recommended reading: Undaunted Courage-Ambrose


Quote:
The copper bullets are good choices, but the rules are different. Lighter bullets should be used. But any good 375 bullet will get the job done in this case. Where the copper bullets shine is when using calibers generally considered borderline too small. With a 375 bullet choice isn't that critical.
Agreed. Both bullets are going to work great and give most of the penetration as a solid but they'll expand. Going lighter is not very important in this cartridge, with these two bullet weights.




P.S. Accubonds and Partitions are awesome too
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Old September 20, 2018, 06:31 PM   #8
4570Marlin
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I definitely appreciate all the replies and discussion... I stumbled onto some interesting facts when I was researching what some of the Alaska guides recommend, and some are comfortable speaking against familiar names like Nosler. I read where certain types of bullets result in a quicker kill, and that I think is where the Barnes name came up often. When I first started buying rounds I found a few good deals, but I ended up with too many solids and some odds and ends. Sounds like some guides are fairly adamant about bullets/loads, so I’ve been learning along the way. I’ve got plenty of practice ammo bought up already, but I doubt I’ll find my preferred loads at a discount...(lol).
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