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June 16th, 2014

How Barnes Bullets Are Made — Views from Inside the Factory

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.
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July 8th, 2011

Good Deals on Barnes Bullets at E. Arthur Brown (EABC0)

barnes bulletsE. Arthur Brown has just started stocking Barnes Bullets. To promote this new line of projectiles, EABCO is offering “Lowest Introductory Internet Prices” on some of Barnes’ most popular bullets: Triple Shock (TSX), Tipped Triple Shock (TTSX), and Varmint Grenade. The folks at EABCO explained: “We figured the best way to launch our Barnes Bullet Line would be to offer the most popular bullets at the lowest prices. The good people at Barnes gave us a ranking by sales volume, so we picked the top 20 (and added three personal favorites), to come up with the listing you see on the right”.

Ship Up to 20 Boxes of Bullets for Just $8.00
To sweeten the deal, EABCO is offering flat-rate USPS shipping. EABCO will charge just $8.00 to ship up to 20 boxes of bullets. Mix and match bullet types and bullet brands if you want. The $8.00 shipping offer applies to Berger, Hornady, and Lapua bullets also. But you need to select “$8 Bullets Only Shipping” during check-out. If you buy a large quantity of bullets, you can save a bundle with that shipping offer.

Qualities of Barnes Bullets
TSX bullets are widely known for their accuracy, consistent expansion on impact, and solid, weight retention. The “Triple Shock” name refers to the three grooves formed into the bearing surface. The Tipped Triple Shock is an enhanced-BC version of the Triple Shock with a polymer tip instead. Barnes claims that the higher BC of the TTSX tipped bullets provides a flatter trajectory for long-range shots. The popular lead-free Varmint Grenade bullets combine a composite (lead/tin) frangible core with a hollow cavity and copper jacket. These are designed to virtually disintegrate inside predators, minimizing pelt damage. Watch the video below for a dramatic demonstration of how Varmint Grenades perform when launched a very high velocities.

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