Copper Bullets - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 07-25-2020, 08:20   #1
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Copper Bullets

Copper bullets retain about 98 percent of their weight after penetrating an animal. It seems like you need enough velocity to make the bullet mushroom so it does its job. If the copper bullet doesnt lose much weight, it seems like we should be able to use a lighter bullet, going faster so it opens up. Because it retains its weight, we can start out with a lighter bullet and it should still mushroom and penetrate.

Will this potentially lead us to use smaller brass with less powder capacity and shoot smaller bullets with less recoil? Maybe we can balance velocity with powder capacity and use shorter barrels (lighter rifles) to produce a new type of rifle that is still effective on game?

Consider loading a 120 grain copper bullet in a 30-30 and shooting elk with it. Does a 308 winchester become the new magnum?

Adequate velocity to open the bullet becomes the new hunting standard, and conversations about "Ft Lbs of energy" go out the window.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:51   #2
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Number, first of all, Welcome to the forum from Central Virginia! When the opportunity presents itself, drop by the intro section and introduce yourself.

Can't speak the physics of copper in shooting. I'm saving up all my copper wire left-overs to fight COVID-1984!
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...ill-180974655/
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:54   #3
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Can't really say I have an answer for you. Bullet type should be chosen based on it characteristics and what your trying to do. Expansion of course is one of those considerations. I think 30-30 bullets are traditionally heavier that some others due to its slower velocity and the belief that in closer ranges a heavier bullet is less likely to deflect. Not sure I agree with that, but the belief is still there. There are also shape considerations in the 30-30 due to the tube mags.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:30   #4
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Used Barnes 150 gr TSX FN FB for deer.
Makes a heck of a hole coming out the other side.
Dropped where shot it.
Loaded some in my 300BLK but have not had a chance to use them yet.
Going to try them on hogs soonest.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:33   #5
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Hey Sparkie, how far away was the deer you shot with your 30-30 and the 150 grain copper bullet?
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:35   #6
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I see a lot of guys use the 110 grain copper barnes in the 300 blackout for hogs with great success.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:20   #7
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Deer was 60 yards broadside thru the lungs.
36.0 grns of Leverevolution.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:27   #8
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Just remember, all-copper bullets can be hard on older barrels. The engraving forces are higher than for a traditional cup and core bullet. You need to load them to a shorter overall length, as they seem to work best when they have a running start into the rifling.
They do have some great properties, however. Being made of only 1 piece of material, the risk of imbalance is less. Assembling 2 or more elements into 1 bullet can be problematic for concentricity. That's why some M855 shoots well, and other lots of the same bullet not so much. There are 3 parts to that bullet. 2 cores(lead, steel), and a jacket. Mono metal bullets also tend to retain a lot of weight, and penetrate like there's no tomorrow.
I wouldn't, however, shoot them in an older rifle, as the steel may be softer than modern rifles barrels.
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