Switched to copper and went 3 for 3 in So Cal!

Mass-n-trash

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I now there is still a year left with the whole lead free copper thing in CA, but a friend of mine and I decided to work up a few loads and make the change now. We were shooting a 270wsm Browning A-bolt using Barnes 110grn. TTSX's and then a 257 Weatherby Mag using Barnes 100grn TTSX's. With those two loads we were able to take three nice bucks in So Cal. The shots were 250, 280 and 400 yards, with two hitting right behind the shoulder and the other was a neck shot. All were BANG-FLOP kills!
Gotta tell ya, I was reluctant at first but these bullets performed flawlessly! On top of that, we have never had this kind of accurate and consistent grouping with anything else we have ever tried. The A-bolt 110grn combo was at 3510fps on the chrono and the 257WBM w/100's was at just over 3600fps. I also loaded up some 129grn. Barnes LRX's for my 270wsm X-bolt...and that thing is an absolute tack driver at 3352fps!
Anyway...we took three very nice bucks spread out over the entire season, and couldn't be happier with the bullet performance. For those of you on the fence and dreading the coming copper regs, all I can say is....faster with a flatter trajectory, TIGHT groups and you can't do any better than BANG-FLOP! A little less kick with the lighter bullets as well.
One note: With copper I would recommend a little lighter bullet, and SPEED is your friend!
 

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Smithb9841

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Glad to hear you found some that are working so good for you guys. Just curious why do you recommend a lighter bullet with it being cooper. I am not up to speed or even looked into the differences from copper to lead.
 

Mass-n-trash

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Glad to hear you found some that are working so good for you guys. Just curious why do you recommend a lighter bullet with it being cooper. I am not up to speed or even looked into the differences from copper to lead.
The short answers is that, since copper is lighter than lead, the same weight bullet will be noticeably longer. Then you get into the fact that the copper bullets will retain almost 100% of their original weight, as opposed to a lead bullet that (when recovered) has only the rear portion remaining because the front of the bullets (lead) has sluffed away. Copper bullets are harder and more robust, so you don't need all of that weight to punch through bone. On the down side, copper will not open as easily at slower speeds...so dropping in weight helps increase speed anyways. Mall f my research shows that the faster goes the more likely it is to open/mushroom. Some of the original copper bullets did have a bit of an issue with not opening/mushrooming. However the new ones seem to have this figures out. There is a slow-mo video out on youtube that shows a Barnes bullet completely mushroomed out after going through a cherry tomato.
At some point, if the bullets gets too long, to will need to be spun up faster to keep it stable as well (faster rifle twist).
 

6x7

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You won't find bullets in the heavier weaights you find lead,copper rounds,the coppers to light your bullet would be to long to match the weaight.I set up a 6.5 this year to shoot copper and a typical lead round is 140-143 grain and with copper the equivalent round is 120 factory and you can reload a 127 from what I have seen.
I killed a bull elk at 375 yards and my dad shot a muley in Nevada with the copper and both went 30 yards and were done.
 

TheGDog

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What zones were the 3 bucks taken in? (Since you said SoCal)
 

garlicsalt

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Hey 6x7, congrats to you and your crew. them are real nice bucks. and a great write-up. was just curious if you found in any of the bucks the bullets and how they looked.

Thanks man.
 
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Smithb9841

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Thanks for the info mass and 6x7. I had no idea there was going to be that much difference when we have to switch. I’ll be the first to admit I’m lacking in that Dept of ballistics and differences in ammo. Got brought up shooting Remington core-Lokts and never had a reason to look into anything else I know how my guns handle them so that’s all I needed haha. But anyway thanks for the info I guess I need to get some copper ammo and start practicing with all my rifles now!!
 

solus

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Yes it's always recommended with copper to go one weight class down. It keeps you shooting about the same as loads you already have. The biggest issue is finding the right bullet to powder ratio like any other load. Once you find that ratio, then you start messing with oal
 

6x7

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Smith no bullets were recovered from our kills both were complete pass throughs.
 
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Planetcat

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I'm gonna give you guys an A+ for shot placement. :) I'm slowly warming up to copper bullets.
 

wedgy

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You won't find bullets in the heavier weaights you find lead,copper rounds,the coppers to light your bullet would be to long to match the weaight.I set up a 6.5 this year to shoot copper and a typical lead round is 140-143 grain and with copper the equivalent round is 120 factory and you can reload a 127 from what I have seen.
I killed a bull elk at 375 yards and my dad shot a muley in Nevada with the copper and both went 30 yards and were done.
The typical barrel twist for any 6.5mm is a 1:8 twist and is not fast enough to stabilize a 140 grain copper bullet. Even though a bulletshoots good on paper it can be on the edge of stability and won’texpand/penetrate/perform when it hits the animal. Many bullets have been recovered that were simply bent like a banana with zero expansion. Another example is a bullet seemingly making a right turn after hitting broad side, and not expanding. Had I not seen one of these I wouldn’t have believed it. Theonly explanation is the bullet wasn’t properly stabilized when it hit. Several bullet manufacturers have recently changed their twist recommendations mostlikely due to additional terminal performance testing. A 1.5 gyroscopicstability(SG) factor is the bare minimum. http://www.bergerbullets.com/twist-rate-calculator/
I have gotten away from Barnes as I have had too many passthru without a large exit hole and blood trail. The animal died because it washit in the heart/lungs/vitals, but there was little if any blood on the exit.In one case we had a 20 yard encounter with a grizzly eating my elk when wereturned in the morning to recover it. They are very accurate but there are better options in none lead bullets these days, at least for me.
I switched to Hammer Bullets about 2 years ago and have been very happy with the advantages over Barnes. They do WAY more testing on game than almost any company and modify the bullets immediately, which they can do because they are done on a lathe, not pressed. It’s a simple change of a program, no retooling necessary. They are a hybrid design ogive(secant/tangent)which makes the insensitive to seating depth, Barnes are very finicky aboutseating depth. Also more consistent weights, bearing surface, hollowpoints, metplats, etc. due to a better manufacturing process. A little softer material that gives better velocity(less pressure) and expansion at longer ranges while still getting penetration. The owners are avid long range hunters.Hammer Bullets will also develop a load for your gun and work up your dropcharts out to 1200 yards, just send in your gun and they will do the rest. They will even program it into your Sig kilo 2400 or G7BR2
https://hammerbullets.com/services/
https://hammerbullets.com/shop/
 
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solus

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The typical barrel twist for any 6.5mm is a 1:8 twist and is not fast enough to stabilize a 140 grain copper bullet. Even though a bulletshoots good on paper it can be on the edge of stability and won’texpand/penetrate/perform when it hits the animal. Many bullets have been recovered that were simply bent like a banana with zero expansion. Another example is a bullet seemingly making a right turn after hitting broad side, and not expanding. Had I not seen one of these I wouldn’t have believed it. Theonly explanation is the bullet wasn’t properly stabilized when it hit. Several bullet manufacturers have recently changed their twist recommendations mostlikely due to additional terminal performance testing. A 1.5 gyroscopicstability(SG) factor is the bare minimum. http://www.bergerbullets.com/twist-rate-calculator/
I have gotten away from Barnes as I have had too many passthru without a large exit hole and blood trail. The animal died because it washit in the heart/lungs/vitals, but there was little if any blood on the exit.In one case we had a 20 yard encounter with a grizzly eating my elk when wereturned in the morning to recover it. They are very accurate but there are better options in none lead bullets these days, at least for me.
I switched to Hammer Bullets about 2 years ago and have been very happy with the advantages over Barnes. They do WAY more testing on game than almost any company and modify the bullets immediately, which they can do because they are done on a lathe, not pressed. It’s a simple change of a program, no retooling necessary. They are a hybrid design ogive(secant/tangent)which makes the insensitive to seating depth, Barnes are very finicky aboutseating depth. Also more consistent weights, bearing surface, hollowpoints, metplats, etc. due to a better manufacturing process. A little softer material that gives better velocity(less pressure) and expansion at longer ranges while still getting penetration. The owners are avid long range hunters.Hammer Bullets will also develop a load for your gun and work up your dropcharts out to 1200 yards, just send in your gun and they will do the rest. They will even program it into your Sig kilo 2400 or G7BR2
https://hammerbullets.com/services/
https://hammerbullets.com/shop/
I've never had issues with the ttsx line of bullet from barnes. The ballistic tip helps greatly with expansion on impact. Also you can't compare berger to barnes. They don't have the same shape. Berger are noticeably longer in design and 100% copper where as barnes now makes there's out of a copper/tin alloy
 

Mass-n-trash

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The typical barrel twist for any 6.5mm is a 1:8 twist and is not fast enough to stabilize a 140 grain copper bullet. Even though a bulletshoots good on paper it can be on the edge of stability and won’texpand/penetrate/perform when it hits the animal. Many bullets have been recovered that were simply bent like a banana with zero expansion. Another example is a bullet seemingly making a right turn after hitting broad side, and not expanding. Had I not seen one of these I wouldn’t have believed it. Theonly explanation is the bullet wasn’t properly stabilized when it hit. Several bullet manufacturers have recently changed their twist recommendations mostlikely due to additional terminal performance testing. A 1.5 gyroscopicstability(SG) factor is the bare minimum. http://www.bergerbullets.com/twist-rate-calculator/
I have gotten away from Barnes as I have had too many passthru without a large exit hole and blood trail. The animal died because it washit in the heart/lungs/vitals, but there was little if any blood on the exit.In one case we had a 20 yard encounter with a grizzly eating my elk when wereturned in the morning to recover it. They are very accurate but there are better options in none lead bullets these days, at least for me.
I switched to Hammer Bullets about 2 years ago and have been very happy with the advantages over Barnes. They do WAY more testing on game than almost any company and modify the bullets immediately, which they can do because they are done on a lathe, not pressed. It’s a simple change of a program, no retooling necessary. They are a hybrid design ogive(secant/tangent)which makes the insensitive to seating depth, Barnes are very finicky aboutseating depth. Also more consistent weights, bearing surface, hollowpoints, metplats, etc. due to a better manufacturing process. A little softer material that gives better velocity(less pressure) and expansion at longer ranges while still getting penetration. The owners are avid long range hunters.Hammer Bullets will also develop a load for your gun and work up your dropcharts out to 1200 yards, just send in your gun and they will do the rest. They will even program it into your Sig kilo 2400 or G7BR2
https://hammerbullets.com/services/
https://hammerbullets.com/shop/
I actually looked at these, as well as the Kalahari brand. Both are specifically designed to shed their pedals. Just my personal preference but, since I have gone to the lighter bullets, I was more interested in a bullet that retained most (if not all) of its weight. If I hit a bull elk in the shoulder, I want that bullet to mushroom but hold together...so it can penetrate as much as possibe. Again, just personal preference, as they do look like a quality product. In the end, you should always shoot what you have the most confidence in.
 

Planetcat

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You won't find bullets in the heavier weaights you find lead,copper rounds,the coppers to light your bullet would be to long to match the weaight.I set up a 6.5 this year to shoot copper and a typical lead round is 140-143 grain and with copper the equivalent round is 120 factory and you can reload a 127 from what I have seen.
I killed a bull elk at 375 yards and my dad shot a muley in Nevada with the copper and both went 30 yards and were done.
I found Selier & Bellot eXergy copper ammo in .308 and .30-06 in 180 grain. Surprisingly, they are very accurate in my Browning and Benelli R1 rifles, so I stockpiled them before they were discontinued. I have searched the globe for other copper 180 grain ammo in .30 caliber, and it's non existent. Except for some .300 win mag, like Federal Trophy Copper.
 

huntingcali

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I killed my bear last year with a 30-06 and my deer this year with a 300 Weatherby, both using lead free, both 165 grain. 1 shot 1 kill. I don't have anything experiences to compare it to but I'm extremely happy with the performance.

Great at job on your harvest!
 

ChrisAMX

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I killed my bear last year with a 30-06 and my deer this year with a 300 Weatherby, both using lead free, both 165 grain. 1 shot 1 kill. I don't have anything experiences to compare it to but I'm extremely happy with the performance.

Great at job on your harvest!
That's good to hear. I just bought Hornady GMX 165gr in 300 win mag for reloading. I'm also trying out the Hornady MonoFlex 140 gr for reloading 30-30
 

Bankrunner

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I now there is still a year left with the whole lead free copper thing in CA, but a friend of mine and I decided to work up a few loads and make the change now. We were shooting a 270wsm Browning A-bolt using Barnes 110grn. TTSX's and then a 257 Weatherby Mag using Barnes 100grn TTSX's. With those two loads we were able to take three nice bucks in So Cal. The shots were 250, 280 and 400 yards, with two hitting right behind the shoulder and the other was a neck shot. All were BANG-FLOP kills!
Gotta tell ya, I was reluctant at first but these bullets performed flawlessly! On top of that, we have never had this kind of accurate and consistent grouping with anything else we have ever tried. The A-bolt 110grn combo was at 3510fps on the chrono and the 257WBM w/100's was at just over 3600fps. I also loaded up some 129grn. Barnes LRX's for my 270wsm X-bolt...and that thing is an absolute tack driver at 3352fps!
Anyway...we took three very nice bucks spread out over the entire season, and couldn't be happier with the bullet performance. For those of you on the fence and dreading the coming copper regs, all I can say is....faster with a flatter trajectory, TIGHT groups and you can't do any better than BANG-FLOP! A little less kick with the lighter bullets as well.
One note: With copper I would recommend a little lighter bullet, and SPEED is your friend!
I shoot a savage trophy hunter 270wsm My gun loves lead in factory Federal vital shock (130gr Nosler ballistic tip). I've tried Federal 130gr trophy copper, they don't shoot very well and there's not a lot of options for factory copper out there.
Sounds like i need to move to a lighter bullet but after reading your posts it's got me thinking about reloading and I'm wondering if you would share your recipe (powder type, amount of powder, casings, casing specs, seat, etc....) ? Since we shoot the same caliber it could be a homerun or a good place for me to start.
My long range hunting so far is out to 200yds with range shooting out to 300yds.
I like the idea of being free from CA potential new ammo regs assuming that would be the case if you buy your materials on line?
I have no reloading tools and have only helped reload for a 30.06
Your help/advise would be greatly appreciated.
 

Mass-n-trash

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Thanks for all the kind responses Folks! All were taken in D19 (One private and two public land)

Bankrunner: It's funny you would mention the results you had with the Federal Trophy copper. I too tried them, and they did group well...but I had a tight bolt lift as if they were too hot???? I also tried some from Double Tap Ammo and those did work well, but were VERY pricey. I will PM you with the load I came up with.
 

Bankrunner

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Thanks for all the kind responses Folks! All were taken in D19 (One private and two public land)

Bankrunner: It's funny you would mention the results you had with the Federal Trophy copper. I too tried them, and they did group well...but I had a tight bolt lift as if they were too hot???? I also tried some from Double Tap Ammo and those did work well, but were VERY pricey. I will PM you with the load I came up with.
Thank you.
 


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