Hammer hype?

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Winfwt338-06

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Having spent several years working in Barnes ballistics lab and fielding thousands of complaint calls in the early 2000's about no expansion ok'd the X bullet, bullet diameter entry and exit, yet they are telling me about they're dead animal. Back then people didn't realize the X was expanding, petals simply sheared off due to impact velocity, dead is dead right? To make the customers happy, copper composition was adjusted so the TSX would retain 100 percent weight at 25 yds from muzzle in gelatin. Problem solved. Just curious why 20 years later people are willing to pay premium prices for a product they may have tried, and condemned, for poor performance and the Hammer performs exactly like the much earlier X bullet's did, and the Hammer is such an amazing product. I have not used Hammer bullets, wondering if I can be swayed to try them. Thanks in advance
 

Skimbleshanks

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Probably marketing to an extent. Hammer most likely makes a fine bullet. Never used one, or a Barnes either. When I joined this site 10+ years ago the SMK was really popular and the Bergers were gaining popularity. I think it just comes down to marketing and timing working in conjunction with the expectations of the consumer. The old Barnes may have done the same thing that the Hammers do, but the collective wisdom of 20+ years of use plays to their favor where the Barnes were new and shiny. Zero experience with what a solid copper hunting bullet "should" do probably played a part in your fielding calls about failing bullets on dead animals.
 

Tidus56

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I never tried Barnes when the petals shed off. I would have liked them much better if that was still the case. I felt like using a Barnes TTSX was the equivalent of using a FMJ that was slightly larger than caliber size. So after seeing buddies use them with mixed results I dumped them. I will say they were accurate though.
I have had one experience with Hammer bullets and it was great. They shot very accurately and did a lot more damage than I had ever seen a mono do. I would be interested on seeing how Barnes bullets used to work. I live only 20 miles or so from Barnes and try to buy local. It will be interesting to see what others have to say on this thread.
 

HARPERC

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At least in my experience inconsistent material, producing differences different results on the same animal, or media from the same box. Unreceptive to consumer feedback, never saw consistent, much less stellar accuracy from Barnes.
 

Bravo 4

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Sorry but dead isn’t just dead. Sure the animal may have taken its last breath, but what happens from bullet impact to that point can very. My experience with Barnes has been a crap show. Not tons of kills with them, just consistent enough to draw my own conclusions. Early on bullets, shot two whitetail doe behind shoulder (one after another) at under 100 yards with 180 grain from .300WM. They ran...and ran...and ran. Thought I’d made bad shots, nope just didn’t expand and very little damage. Next was a newer bullet, the kind with rings on it😁: 7mm Rem mag, whitetail doe at spitting distance (as in feet). She took off running, I waited a few minutes to start tracking and found small spots of blood where she went into woods, jumped her after a short distance and hit her again with a hard angle (raking) shot, caught up to her several minutes later as she was laying off the side of a well used trail watching me walk by, shot her in the head and that ended that debacle. Swore off their bullets after that.
Some claim that Hammer bullets and Cutting Edge bullets act the same (terminal performance). They may on paper, as in theory, but not what I’ve seen. Both are supposed to have petals break off and shank continues to penetrates. No comparison in my experience. A buddy and I have several shot animals from deer to elk with high velocity .338s to a .408 Cheytac, near to far. And though exceptionally accurate/precise (whichever you want to call it) out to some really far ranges, the terminal performance was not what I’d call great. These were all with their MTH “hunting” bullet, I haven’t shot anything with the Lazer line...yet. Hopefully they have better terminal performance.
Up to this point I just have not been a fan of the mono’s performance on game. Sure they will kill, but not as dramatic as most of the cup-n-core bullets I’ve used. Now come the Hammers, I have been nothing but pleased with their performance (on paper and on game). Besides being consistently the easiest bullets I’ve ever loaded (in multiple caliber/cartridges, in multiple rifles), a couple buddies and I are nothing but pleased with their performance on game. We have shot several deer and elk with them and never been anything but satisfied with the results. Steve will tell you that he makes bullets for terminal performance first. Are they the magic be all-end all bullet? Nope, no such thing. They are not cheap, as you should expect. Plus their BC is going to be lower than a bullet of comparable weight and caliber, at least what most think of in terms of long range bullets. Steve will also answer a text, phone call, and message on this site in very short order. He will also listen to what you have to say, and buy back or swap bullets if they don’t work out in your rifle. Am I a fan so far? Yep! Are they the only bullet/company I use? Nope! I load and shoot bullets by Berger, Nosler, Sierra, Hornady, Speer, etc. Even have a case of core lokt ammo for one of my rifles. Hammer bullets are just a straight up solid option for hunting.
 

Tiny Tim

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I can't say I've had a bad experience with Barnes, although I never used any of their old style or anything but the tipped version. But statistically, it seems that there is enough dissatisfaction with current mono offerings from all manufacturers that there is becoming a dedicated following willing to pay 2-2.5 times as much for a perceived better bullet. I myself just bought a box to see if they live up to their reputation. As Bravo stated, Hammers are designed for one thing, hunting terminal performance.
From a customer service standpoint, I have absolutely nothing good to say about Barnes (no offense meant to you), whereas Steve was quick to answer and help me with load development before I even became a customer! That goes a long way with me!
 

Buddro

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I have to say I have noticed this in the past, when a barnes sheds petals it's a failure and they are garbage, when a hammer sheds petals its wonderful and they are magical.

To be clear I have no problem with either. TSX's do great on coyotes and Bobcats for me and I want to give the hammers a shot at bigger game but out here in nm I just cant get any rifle tags. I just think its interesting that the same phenomenon is percieved as the opposite for each.
 

ButterBean

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Having spent several years working in Barnes ballistics lab and fielding thousands of complaint calls in the early 2000's about no expansion ok'd the X bullet, bullet diameter entry and exit, yet they are telling me about they're dead animal. Back then people didn't realize the X was expanding, petals simply sheared off due to impact velocity, dead is dead right? To make the customers happy, copper composition was adjusted so the TSX would retain 100 percent weight at 25 yds from muzzle in gelatin. Problem solved. Just curious why 20 years later people are willing to pay premium prices for a product they may have tried, and condemned, for poor performance and the Hammer performs exactly like the much earlier X bullet's did, and the Hammer is such an amazing product. I have not used Hammer bullets, wondering if I can be swayed to try them. Thanks in advance
I shot Barnes for years and they are a fine Bullet but I prefer the Hammers, If you decide to try them tell Steve that I sent you, Their customer service and their bullet is exemplary, Second to none IMHO
 

flyguy1

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My hunting buddy, a butcher by trade and his sons and friends shoot nothing but Barnes (he reloads for everyone), and they shoot several elk a year with good results. I've shot a few elk, 2 caribou, and many deer with Barnes with no problems. I'm sure Hammer bullets are wonderful, and the owner sounds like a great guy. We are in the golden age of good bullets.
 

Bravo 4

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We are in the golden age of good bullets.
We are sure getting there. If I ever get those .375 A-tips in, I’ll let you know if we hit the pinnacle.😁 Or if Berger ever makes something cup-n-core that can compete.

We all have different experiences, but about the only folks I see bashing Hammer bullets seem to be those that haven’t used them. If you say they are too expensive to practice all year with, then trust me when I say I’m in the same boat. I could afford it if I had to feed one rifle. Normally I’m a one load per rifle and go shoot the crap out of it kinda of guy. However with one of my rifles I found a bullet of similar weight and BC and practice with it. If the BC and velocity between two loads are the same or very similar, guess what happens to their drop and wind deflection...🤔
Yeah-yeah I know, that’s not for you either right? Can’t please everyone, good luck in your endeavors.
I also get why guys go on here and talk trash because of all the “fanboys”. I’m the same way with the 6.5 Creedmoor. Good cartridge for certain applications but I got so tired of hearing about it that I don’t own one. I just quit reading the weekly threads asking about it’s prowess. My suggestion would be for some of y’all to do the same. Life is too short to mess with a-holes, at least on here I can hit a button and make them go away.👎
 
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