View Full Version : Best lead free bullet?
12-24-2010, 03:34 PM
Best lead free bullet for knock down – terminal performance of the Reminton "all copper", the Barnes Triple Shock or the Hornady GMX?
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I have just returned from the range and found I had excellent groupings at 150 yds. in my 30-06 Browning A-Bolt with Remington 150 “Copper Solid”, Federal 165 and 110 “Triple Shock”, and the Hornaday Superperfomance 150 GMX ammo. The 110 was about 2” high while the 165 was about ¾ inch low. Federal uses the Barnes all copper bullet while Remington and Hornady must make their own. As all this factory ammo shot well, I have a choice of which bullet to use. Cost isn’t the issue, they are all freakin’ expensive. I’d be very interested in learning if anyone out there feels there is a significant difference in terminal performance of the bullets other than the weight difference. This will be used for mule deer and feral pigs here in California.
I'm hoping to learn from the experts here. And if this is the wrong forum, I suspect someone will redirct me.
12-24-2010, 07:22 PM
I shoot the Barnes to excellent effect. My hunting partner does as well. You didn't mention the calibers you are shooting. We have killed big hogs with: .270 win, 7mm rem mag, .300 short mag, .300 win mag and muzzleloader.
One of our hunting pals shot a lot of hogs with the .270 short mag and the E-tip. All one shot kills. The Hornady is the least expensive of the ones you mentioned and I'd be tempted to shoot those assuming they group well. They ought to do just fine on animals.
12-26-2010, 01:00 PM
Thanks Myfriendis410. That is helpful. I thought I’m mentioned I use an A Bolt II 30-06. I do not reload (for my own safely as I am not careful/compulsive enough) so I have to stick with commercially available ammo. This is what I have gleaned do far for the 30-06 for the three that shot real accurately in my rifle. ffice:office" /><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" /><o:p></o:p>
FEDERAL (Barnes TSX): From what have learned, there seems to be broad agreement that the TSX does the job real well. I too have observed that – my wife used her .243 with Federal Triple shock (Barnes 85gr) and did the job real well – 100 % retention (85.069gr weight) and a perfect “flower” on the recovered bullet on a mule deer shot 241 yards from the rear quarter. Cool thing about the Federal (Barnes) for the 30-06 is that it comes in 110, 165 and 180 gr. so one can change the bullet depending on the game. <o:p></o:p>
REMINGTON (All Copper): I shot a small 140 lb mule deer with the Remington 180 “Premier Green” ammo (Lapue Naturalis bullet, all I could get at the time) at Catalina this year at 180 yds and it was “too much” – went straight through both lungs with small entry and exit and probably spent most of its energy in the ground. Deer literally flinched, took about 2 more steps and I put another one into its spine as I wasn’t sure I’d even hit it the first time. Found the hole of the first bullet when we skinned it. But that is a different bullet than the Remington “All Copper” 150 gr bullet. I’ve been able to find out very little about the all copper 150 gr Remington, maybe because apparently it was next to impossible to get them for a long time. Has anyone killed anything with this 150 all copper Remington?<o:p></o:p>
HORNADY: I’ve gotten a couple of reports of good killing effect with the Hornady 150 gr GMX bullet from the web but there doesn’t seem to be much information out there. This is a Copper/Zinc combo like the etip. There are a number of worrisome reports of misfires with Hornady superformance 30-06 SST ammo. I plan to call Hornady about this next week as one of the 12 cartridges I fired was a misfire.<o:p></o:p>
WINCHESTER: The Etip is a lead free lead/zinc combo made in collaboration with Nosler. These are probably the most expensive standard commercial lead free ammo. I didn’t ask about it as 3 companies with several different bullets was enough for my shoulder and wallet and it only comes as 180 gr in commercial ammo. That certainly should be enough to knock down most pigs as Myfriends410 noted.
01-15-2011, 09:53 AM
I sighted in using Rem Core Lokt in .270 130 grain. When I shot lead free I found that e-tips were the closest to the core lokt. Didn't take a deer with the .270 this year so I can't tell you about knock down. But they definitely followed the core lokt.
01-15-2011, 11:05 AM
I will point out that in our experience the non toxic stuff makes your gun behave as if it were a little more gun than it was before. What I mean is; you can shoot a lighter bullet in copper, with higher velocity, and it will behave in the animal more like a heavier gilding metal/lead core bullet. So, I shoot a 168 gr TTSX in my .300 win mag, and a 150 grainer in my 7mm rem mag. I've shot clean through big Rocky Mountain elk with that .300 load with great performance; instantly down. My hunting partner shoots a 130 gr in the .270 and a 165 in his .300 short mag. We have no personal experience with the E-tip, the GMX or the Remington copper solid.
01-16-2011, 04:39 PM
Thanks myfriend410. I've gotten feedback about that from other sources, not only the ammo makers, and the seems to be a general consensus with what you say. The weight retention is supposed to be "the ticket" and I've found nothing but good reports about the Barnes triple shock which is on the Federal ammo. That is what I've decided on, both because of the more extensive intel on it and the fact that at least for my '06, they come in a variety of weights from 110 to 180. I could find little first hand info on the E-tip or GMX or Remington.
I do have a question. I've read very comments about the all copper bullets having increased fouling of the barrel. This sort of makes little sense to me in most modern riffle bullets the parts that interface with the barrel are copper or at least some metal and certainly not lead. Is there any truth in the issue of these lead free bullets being more fouling?
01-17-2011, 10:11 AM
It certainly was true in the past with the Barnes. This was with their old "X" bullet design and is much less problematic with their Triple Shock. The primary difference being relief grooves cut in the body of the projectile to allow material to "flow" in to. I clean my rifles periodically, but not every time I shoot. I use the Barnes cleaning solvent and follow the directions exactly (it's pretty caustic). The E-tip and GMX are constructed of gilding metal so should not suffer the same issues as the ductile pure copper of the Barnes. The opposite issue occurs: those latter bullets are enough harder that pressures peak sooner in the barrel. This means that for the handloader at least, velocities can be quite a bit lower.
Really; the final judgment goes to what you rifle likes best. You'll be happy with the performance of all of them.
01-18-2011, 01:31 PM
That makes sense to me now about the fouling considering the physics of the lands/groves and the need to "compress" the bulllet at the lands - with the all copper being harder e.g. less deformable than the lead interior bullets, more of the jacket materials will need to "flow" somewhere or it gets deposited in the barrel. At least I think that is the implication of what you are saying. As I said, I'm very pleased with the performance of the Federal - Barnes ammo and it has great options in lead-free 30-06 so I"m sold and going to stick with that. Thanks again for the education
01-18-2011, 02:23 PM
Glad I was able to make myself understood.
01-27-2011, 03:43 PM
Of the bullets that you listed, I've only had experience with the TSX, and I've never shot a deer with one, and I've never shot a hog with anything. How's that for an excellent background for giving advise?
I have, however, killed a pile of critters in Africa, some deer size, some larger, and some smaller, with TSX bullets, and I felt that the TSX bullets performed very well. Those animals were all shot with my .375 RUM, and with over 5500 foot pounds of muzzle energy, that's way more than enough gun to kill a deer, with any bullet.
Back to asaxon's original question. I've hunted mule deer for about 45 years, and have killed them with a variety of calibers from .22 LR to .300 Win. I've never found them to be that hard to kill. Just put the bullet into the deer's heart/lungs, and you'll have venison in your freezer. My favorite deer/antelope/sheep rifle is a .257 Ackley with just about any 115-120 gr cup and core bullet at 2900-3000 fps.
A couple of years ago, I built a .300 Weatherby, and because I liked the way TSX bullets performed in my .375 RUM, I worked up loads with 168 gr and 180 gr TSX bullets for it. Both bullets give good velocity and accuracy in my rifle.
I primarily built this .300 Wby for an elk rifle, but a year ago I was itching to shoot it, so I took it to Texas for an Exotic hunt. The load that I used on this hunt was the 168 gr TSX bullet at 3290 fps muzzle velocity.
The first animal that I shot was a Blackbuck. The shot was about 130 yds, and he stood quartering to my. The TSX bullet entered the front of his left shoulder, and exited from his right hip. He ran about 30 yds and fell dead.
The next animal was a Scimitar Horned Oryx. The shot was broad side at about 100 yds. The bullet went through both shoulders. When the bullet hit him, he reared up on his hind legs and fell over backwards, dead.
The last animal that I shot in Texas was an Aoudad ram. Again the shot was broad side at about 100 yds, and again the bullet went through both shoulders. He did a 20 yd nose dive run and fell dead.
This past November I finally got to use my new .300 Wby for it's intended purpose. It killed it's first bull Elk. Again the load that I used was the 168 gr TSX bullet at 3290 fps. I shot the bull broadside at about 100 yds, but I put the bullet 1/3 up in his body in the crease just behind his right shoulder. The bullet exited behind his left shoulder leaving a 1 1/2" hole through his lungs. When the bullet hit him he humped up, spun around, took two steps, and fell dead.
Something else that I noticed with this TSX killed elk was the bloodshot area of the ribs. Until this year, my primary elk load was the 180 gr Nosler Partition at 2990 fps muzzle velocity. Often, with a broadside shot, I would find the back half of the Partition bullet just under the skin of the "off" shoulder, and the bloodshot area of both ribcages would be about 16" in diameter. With the 168 gr TSX bullet at 3290 fps, the bloodshot area of both ribcages was about 6" in diameter. It's only one animal, but this TSX bullet killed quickly and didn't ruin very much meat.
I personally don't think you need premium bullets for deer, but I also don't live in California where you have endangered scavengers and many political morons.
01-28-2011, 07:04 AM
I, on the other hand, despise Barnes products because its MY experience that they over penetrate and cause small wound channels on medium-small game, i.e. deer, hogs etc. No doubt in my mind its a perfect Big Game (Africa) round.
I personally like the E-tip, it is remeniscent of the Partion round and gives similiar knock-down results. Winchester does make a 150gr 30-06 e-tip under the Supreme line of ammunition. In my Tikka, it routinely gives me MOA accuracy at 100 yds.
I spent hundreds of $$$$$ trying to get something approaching reasonable accuracy from the TTSX and gave up. IMHO, the Barnes stuff isn't the worth the money, too many of my animals walked away as if they didn't feel the hit.
03-15-2011, 05:54 PM
stupid lead ban zone I hate it!
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