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solid copper bullet performance

 
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  #1  
Old 10-01-2013, 02:34 AM
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solid copper bullet performance

Does anyone have expertise on solid copper bullets like Barnes TSX and federal trophy copper? Do they retain the same energy down range? Are they good for long range hunting on deer, elk in 300wm? Shooting them at metal at 800 yards they seem to not have as much punch as the lead core. Do they have a lower sectional density? I know there accuracy is good.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:08 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

If a copper bullet is used it will be longer than a lead bullet of the same weight due to density differences what effects would this have on:

1. bullet interception on approach to the barrel rifling?
2. since the bullet is longer does it will have a better ballistic coefficient ?
-will this better BC make up for the lack of density?
-how do the two compare to downrange terminal velocity at , let's say 800 yards seeing both weigh the same
3.how would the two compare with a cross wind? copper has more surface area to be affected
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:21 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

I would look at the minimum impact velocity needed to make it function. Not sure what Barnes has posted now. I think you would be fine for hunting at those ranges, but because the solid requires higher velocity to function properly, I don't think they are necessarily a "long range bullet" unless they will open below 1500 FPS.

Shane
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:45 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

I have used three diff monometal bullets. None of yours. GS Custom HV, Nosler E-Tip, and Cutting Edge. I was not so happy with the Cutting Edge terminal performance. Nosler and GS both work very well. I don't think I shot anything past 500 with the Nosler. The GS has been exceptional out to 900 so far for me. I have also shot under 100 with very good results. Terminal performance is perfect and never have an animal that looks like it was hit by a hand grenade.

Steve
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:25 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevotary View Post
Does anyone have expertise on solid copper bullets like Barnes TSX and federal trophy copper? Do they retain the same energy down range? Are they good for long range hunting on deer, elk in 300wm? Shooting them at metal at 800 yards they seem to not have as much punch as the lead core. Do they have a lower sectional density? I know there accuracy is good.
In recent years solids have improved a bunch, like most all bullet designs from top manufacturers. We are lucky to have so many great choices today.

There are 2 schools of thought involved when you talk about solids, "mono metal" bullets compared to lead core copper jacketed bullets. Most shooters have strong feelings as to what and why they choose. If they like one, they usually do not like the other. These two types of bullets simply work very differently. And none of them are perfect at all distances or impact velocities.

Since I have used both, and I am an avid shooter of a 300 win, I will answer your questions directly as truthful as I can.

1: Do they retain the same energy down range? Yes, and no. the same weight bullet at the same velocity will have the same energy at point of impact. The bullet with the higher BC will retain velocity longer and will it will have the most energy at target. At closer distances the mono bullets are more likely to pass through. This is due to the fact they expand less. So it is believed that a highly expandable bullet will deliver more energy into the animal as it stops there and the animal takes it all. At longer distances, lets say 500 yards, it is likely both bullets will pass through. In this case the bullet that expands most will do the most damage. At vey long distances 1000 plus, where velocity is slowed it is more difficult to get the solid to expand and this is the main reason I have switched to lead core , high BC bullets.

2:Are they good for long range hunting on deer, elk in 300wm? Again yes and no. It depends on what you call long range. At 500 yards, yes in most cases, 300 and below the solid will do a fine job. 600 plus I much prefer the accuracy and expansion of the lead core bullets.

3:Shooting them at metal at 800 yards they seem to not have as much punch as the lead core. Do they have a lower sectional density? This is an observation and I can not answer it truthfully without more data. I would look at the BC of both bullets you are comparing. If they start at the same velocity, and sometimes even if the higher BC starts out a bit slower, BC will determine which bullet arrives with the most velocity and energy. If they are of equal weight.

Since you are asking about a long range bullet for the 300 win. I will offer you my testing thread from last season. In it you will find many big game animal kills from many distances. Also impact velocities and terminal damage photos of the bullets performance. I suggest you give it a good look and then decide if you like the performance you see.

Comparing the Berger 210 VLD to the 215 Hybrid

I will add that meat damage in any animal I have shot was directly related to bullet placement. Way more so than bullet type. If you shoot the animal in the shoulder or the hams with any type bullet expect meat loss. Place the bullet in the vital area through the ribs and meat loss will be kept to a minimum.

The thread above is long, but there is good solid real world data there as it happened. I hope it helps you understand a little more about how bullets work.

Jeff
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:40 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

I load copper for hunting in California. Though not that experience I have come to believe:

1. Old rifles need to use lighter copper bullets to maintain accuracy.
Data: My 270 WBy 12 twist was fine with 130 lead. Copper 130s go sideways. I worked up a load with 95grn copper and it's sub moa.
Data: My 243 M70 Featherweight will shoot up to 100grn lead but copper must be below 85grns.
2. Copper does not have the sectional density so it won't carry as far.
This is just pure physics. No getting around it. Go faster.
3. Long range is possible with copper. Go faster.
Data: I load for a friend as we shoot the several of the same calibers. He has taken large feral pigs at over 1000yrds.
Notes: The rifle was specifically built with a twist for Barnes 180 TTSX and is very sub moa.

To me it is easier to get a copper bullet with the same aspect ration length to diameter as the lead bullet to shoot well but you will need to go faster for down range energy.
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2013, 10:57 AM
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Re: solid copper bullet performance

To elaborate on jfseaman's post, the necessary twist rate for sufficient stabilization of a bullet is a function of bullet length. The longer the bullet, the shorter the twist rate, required to stabilize the bullet.
Since copper and brass are less dense (lb/in³) than lead, the same mass of copper requires more volume than lead. Thus monolithic copper bullets have to be longer than their respectively heavy lead core counterparts. Longer bullets require a shorter twist rate to stabilize properly. Thus a 130gr monolithic copper bullet might need a shorter twist than a 130gr lead core bullet, ss long as Bullet design is similar. Meaning, we aren't comparing flat base, round nose copper bullets to 15cal secant ogive, boat tail lead core bullets.
A 100gr .243cal monolithic copper bullet has the same sectional density as a 100gr .243cal lead core bullet.

sd=m(gr)/7000*cal(in)²

Ballistic coefficient is not a function of bullet lenght, but of ogive and boattail design. An aerodynamically very efficent design is, due to its long ogive and boattail, usually a long bullet, but not all long bullets are of this design and thus not all long bullets are aerodynamically efficient (have a high bc).
Since monolithic copper bullets are naturally longer than lead core bullets, you can create round nose copper bullets nearly as long as lead core VLD type bullets of the same mass and caliber. The former, of course, have a much higher form factor and thus lower bc.
ps: even better example:
The .284"cal 175gr TSX is .06" longer than the .284"cal 175gr SMK, the formers formfactor (i7) is .577 lb/in² higher(worse).

bc=sd/i

Just making sure those new to ballistics understand too.
If you are interested in ballistics stevotary, then I can highly recommend Bryan Litz' "Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting". It will explain everything you need for longrange hunting and gives good suggestions for further study.

Last edited by Beng; 10-01-2013 at 11:57 AM. Reason: better example & some editing of grammar
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