April 13th, 2020

Barnes Opens Online Store for Bullet Sales

Barnes Bullets online store e-Commerce

Cutting out the middleman — that’s what Barne is doing by launching its own e-Commerce website. Yes, now you can purchase the full line of Barnes bullets directly from the manufacturer. However, Barnes ammunition will only be sold through commercial retailers — no online ammo sales.

The new e-commerce web store, Shop.barnesbullets.com, allows individual consumers the convenience of purchasing Barnes Bullets directly. This can help you find the most popular bullets that are sometimes in short supply on dealers’ shelves.

Direct Shipping for Most States
All items on the site can be shipped direct to a consumer’s residential address except certain jurisdictions (such as California), which are noted on the site. All purchasers must be of 21 years of age or older, and adult signature with photo ID will be required to verify this upon delivery. And right now Barnes is offering FREE Shipping on all orders over $99.00.

Set Up Your Own Account or Shop as Guest
Personal acco­unts can be created to store shipping addresses for speed of checkout, see order status, and order history. A guest checkout option is also available. After an order is submitted auto-generated emails will be sent for: order confirmation, invoice of purchase, processing status, and shipped status.

CLICK HERE to view a catalog of All Barnes products.

Barnes Bullets online store e-Commerce

If you have questions about the new Barnes online store, contact Barnes Customer Service: customerservice@barnesbullets.com. Or Telephone: (435) 856-1000.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 9th, 2017

How Bullets Are Made — Videos Reveal Process at Barnes Bullets

Barnes Bullets FactoryMany of our readers have been interested in learning how modern bullets are made. While a “boutique” bullet-maker, supplied with appropriate cores and jackets, can craft bullets using relatively simple hand dies and manual presses, factory production is different. The major bullet-makers, such as Barnes, employ huge, complex machines to craft their projectiles on an assembly line.

Modern hunting bullets are made with a variety of sophisticated (and expensive) machines, such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lathes, giant multi-stage presses, and hydraulic extruding machines that draw lead ingots into lead wire. Barnes offers an “inside look” at the bullet production process in a series of videos filmed at its Mona, UT factory. We’ve embedded four videos from the series here. These videos can also be viewed on the Barnes Bullets YouTube Channel.

Milling Slots in TSX All-Copper Bullet
This video shows how the slots (between the drive bands) in the TSX all-copper bullet are cut. The slots reduce the bearing surface that contacts the rifling. This helps reduce friction and heat, extending the life of barrels used with all-metal, drive-band bullets:

Varminator Bullets Produced in Jumbo Transfer Press
Here is the transfer press used in the production of Varminator and MPG Bullets. The process begins with a giant spool of flat copper material. The copper is stamped into jackets and eventually the formed Varminator bullets are ejected one by one into a bucket.

CNC Lathe Turns Bullets Automatically
In the video below, a Bar-Feed CNC crafts mono-bloc bullets from metal bar stock. Barnes uses a small CNC lathe to turn .50-caliber bullets from brass bar stock. We’re not sure which bullet is being made in this video. The material looks to be sintered metal. In the close-ups you can gold-colored shavings from when the machine was previously used for CNC-turned brass bullets.

Accuracy Testing in 100-yard Tunnel
Barnes regularly tests bullet samples for accuracy. In the video below, a Barnes technician loads sample rounds and tests them for accuracy in a 100-yard tunnel. The rounds are shot through a special fixture — basically a barreled action connected to parallel rods on either side. This allows the testing fixture to slide straight back on recoil (see it move back at 1:07-08 minute mark). Note how the tester actuates the trigger, which is oriented upwards, just the opposite of a normal rifle. The technician taps the upward-pointing trigger shoe lightly with a metal rod. Could this upside-down trigger orientation be useful in benchrest shooting — perhaps with railguns? It could make for an interesting experiment.

Story suggestion by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
January 4th, 2013

James Mock Tests “Match Burner” Bullets from Barnes

Review by James D. Mock
Around the first of November, I received a call from Boyd Allen. During one our conversations about all things Benchrest, he mentioned that Barnes made conventional match bullets. This I did not know. Most hunters are familiar with the excellent Barnes premium hunting bullets, but many like me did not know that they make match bullets also, marketed as “Match Burners”.

Barnes Match Burner Bullets VLDAfter contacting the good folks Barnes to request some Match Burners for a review in Precision Shooting Magazine, I received a box of 6mm 68gr match bullets and a box of 6mm 105gr VLDs. By the time I got these, I learned that Precision Shooting would no longer print a magazine.

These bullets sat around the house for quite some time, but I finally got around to testing them. First of all I weighed many of the bullets and found that the nominal 68gr bullets averaged 68.07 grains and the 105s averaged 105.08 grain. The 68gr bullets were .845 inches long and measured .2432 on the body and .2435 on the pressure ring of these flat-base bullets. The VLDs measured 1.192 inches long with a diameter of .2433 at the largest point and the boat tail measured .180 long with a diameter at the base of .210.

Flat-Base 68gr Match Burners Prove Very Accurate
Although I shot the 68gr bullets in some fairly “strong” conditions, they performed well as you can see below. I loaded the rounds with 28.4 grains of the new Accurate LT-32 powder (from Western Powders).

Barnes Match Burner Bullets VLD

Above is a target with three 3-shot groups shot with the 68-grainers. I chose the following seating depths: (from left to right) .020 off jam*; .010 off jam; and .005 off jam. Since then I have shot a few more groups, and have been pleasantly surprised.

Barnes Match Burner Bullets VLD

Barnes Match Burner 105gr VLDs Perform Well
For the 105 VLDs I chose my Dasher with a 26.5″ Bartlein gain twist (1:8.25″ to 1:7.75″). Like the 68gr bullets, these VLDs were a pleasant surprise. I plan to shoot these bullets again as soon as the weather improves.


*Editor’s Note: The term “Jam” (or “Jam Length”) is used to describe a maximum practical bullet seating dimension, typically measured from base to bullet ogive. As James uses the term, “Jam” means the maximum functional length to which he can seat a bullet in his brass, with his selected neck tension, before the bullet starts to move backwards in the case (in the direction of casehead) when he closes the bolt. Thus, if James specifies a load that is “.010 off Jam”, this means that James has seated the bullet ten-thousandths shorter than maximum functional length in his gun. His bullets are still engaged in the rifling at “.010 off Jam”, and probably still touching the rifling at “.020 off Jam”. The “Jam” length is specific to James’ barrel and brass. In different barrels, “Jam Length” can vary according to numerous factors — bore dimensions, land configuration, neck tension, bullet geometry et cetera.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 1 Comment »
April 25th, 2011

Evaluating Pressure Signs in Reloaded Cartridge Brass

Selection from BARNES BULLETS’ Tips, Tools, and Techniques
by Ty Herring, Barnes Consumer Service
The purpose of this month’s Tip from Barnes is to make you aware of valid pressure signs in most centerfire rifle cartridges so you can keep yourself out of hot water. Following the Barnes Manual should do exactly that. Below are photos of cartridges that definitely had too much pressure. Fortunately [they] were fired in controlled circumstances and no one was injured. But this shows what can happen if you are not careful….

High-Tech Pressure Testing Equipment
At Barnes Bullets, we use some of the best equipment when we develop load data for you. Ours is state-of-the-art with a specialized “conformal” pressure system. This set-up uses a high-tech SAAMI-spec pressure barrel with a hole bored into the chamber area and a piezoelectric transducer is installed. As the pressure peaks under firing, the gauge that is specially calibrated reads the pressure and sends a signal to the control box where a technician can see the results.

For many years hand loaders have used the old fashioned trial and error method, hoping that by adding another grain of powder you don’t blow yourself up. Certain “guidelines” have been the standard — such as when the primer gets flat, or when the bolt locks up — you should stop and reduce the charge. These methods have worked for many, but some of them are more myth than reality. I’d like to go over some of these common pressure signs to help you avoid the pitfalls.

Pressure Signs That May Be Unreliable or Deceptive
When I first started hand loading centerfire rifle cartridges, I was told that when the primer flattens I should back the load down. This is one of those semi-myths. Some primers will flatten under high pressure and others will not. I’ve had some Remington primers that have blown right out of the case without ever showing any sign of flattening and on the other hand I’ve had Winchester primers that flatten with only a starting charge. I believe this to be a function of the thickness and hardness of the primer cup. The other myth that seems common is primer “cratering”. Cratering of the primer can be caused by a hot load. But it can also be a result of a slightly large firing pin hole in the bolt or a firing pin that is a bit too long or excessive headspace. Split or cracked cases are another area where it’s assumed that high pressure is the cause. Again this is only myth. Although it can be a result of high pressure — split or cracked cases are more likely caused due to a flaw in the case, improper head space or just simply from being sized and fired repetitively.

[Editor’s Note: Flattened Primers, Primer Cratering, and Cracked Cases CAN DEFINITELY BE CAUSED by excessive pressure. Accordingly, you SHOULD be careful when you see any of these conditions. If you see very flat primers or deep cratering be alerted that you may have exceeded safe pressures. Ty Herring simply makes the point that these telltale pressure signs may sometimes occur even when pressure levels are “normal” or moderate — due to the presence of other problems. Hence these indicators may be misleading. Nonetheless — all these signs (flattened primers, cratered primers, split cases) CAN be valid warnings. If you see these conditions, exercise caution because you may, in fact, have excessively hot loads.]

Valid Pressure Signs You Should Understand
So what are valid pressure signs? I’d say the most common and repeatable pressure sign that one can visually see is the “ejector groove mark”. It shows itself on the bottom of the case [between the edge of the rim and] the primer. It is caused when the pressures within the chamber force the case against the bolt face. On most bolt faces there is a round spring loaded ejector pin. On others there is a rectangular groove to eject the spent round. Under very high pressure the brass case will flow into this groove thereby causing the “ejector groove mark”. If and when you see this mark, it is a sure sign of high pressure. Some of the new high pressure cartridges such as the WSMs are made to run at these higher pressures and some factory loads will manifest the ejector groove mark even though they are within their pressure specification.

Older-Generation Cartridges
Some cartridges have very low maximum pressure ratings such as the 45-70, 30-30, 416 Rigby along with many others that will never show an ejector groove mark. Or should I say, they should never show one. By the time you reach that high of pressure in one of these rifles, it is likely the gun will be in pieces and the bolt may become part of you.

Sticky Bolt Lift and Difficult Extraction
Another common and very real high pressure sign is heavy or sticky bolt lift or extraction. This is caused due to the brass flowing and swelling in the chamber under tremendous pressure. However heavy bolt lift is not always a sign of high pressure. It may be caused by a variety of other issues. Knowing your gun and how it usually extracts a cartridge will be a clue as to whether or not you are actually getting high pressure.

This article appears courtesy Barnes Bullets. The article originally appear in the June 2011 Barnes Bullet-N Newsletter. Story tip from Edlongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 7 Comments »