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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never really been a premium bullet guy and I have killed all but two of my big game animals with standard cup and core ammo. I've been intrigued by the all copper bullets recently for a couple different reasons. One is the performance. When I first learned about all copper bullets my mind immediately thought about the inferiority of steel shot compared to lead shot. From all the research and reading I have done I now know that copper bullets are the real deal and offer some big advantages over lead core bullets! Another reason I'm looking into copper is I do most of my big game hunting on the Zion unit. Due to the condors in the area and all the incentives being offered to Zion unit hunters to make the switch I feel as if the writing is on the wall and non-lead ammunition may soon be a requirement rather than a friendly suggestion so I may as well make the change now.

I have been doing a lot of reading up on the monolithic bullet offerings we have now and I am trying to make my decision. I'm shooting a .30-06 not some whiz bang magnum cartridge so paramount in my decision is finding the bullet that will give the most reliable expansion at lower velocities. When comparing the TTSX to the GMX it looks like the TTSX wins this battle. The GMX isn't solid copper like the TTSX is, but rather a zinc/copper alloy which makes for a harder bullet. This article does a little comparison between the GMX and TTSX http://www.soarraptors.org/Documents/CopperBulletStudy.pdf: At high impact velocities there is no real winner, but when the velocity drops down to 1800 fps the TTSX still expands passably well and the GMX almost turns into a FMJ. The Hornady Superformance line that the GMX is loaded in boasts a 110 fps velocity advantage over the TTSX so maybe that might help offset the lesser expansion capabilities a little...but I dunno.

The copper bullet that has caught my attention most recently is the Federal Trophy Copper. There seems to be a lot less information about this bullet than the other two, but from what I have read people are saying that it is the Nosler E-tip bullet loaded by Federal in their vital shok line. The lightest bullet the E-tip comes in for the .30-06 is a 165 grain. I would prefer a 150 since the '06 really needs some good velocity to get these to open up but the 165 grain Trophy Copper has an awesome BC of .503 which helps it retain velocity better than the other two that have BCs of .415 for the GMX and .420 for the TTSX. I've been trying to find out what the recommended minimum velocity for the Trophy Copper bullet is for reliable expansion, but I haven't been able to find anything on this subject. I would appreciate any info anybody has if they can help me with an answer on this. The Trophy Copper also has a slight economy advantage at being $35 a box compared to $40 per box for the TTSX and the GMX in the places I have looked.
 

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You have been posting a bunch of threads lately on your copper bullet conquest and other gun stuff and that is cool. But I think it's time for you to go out and spend some time behind your rifle or out scouting for elk. I am not being rude--I scour the Internet for stuff I am interested in but ultimately it comes down to your skill set with your rifle, physical ability, and finding elk.

Don't sweat the small stuff and don't get caught up in the 'gear junky' clique. There are dudes out there that know everything and talk all day about this bullet or that rifle but that is not where the rubber meets the road--it's time behind the gun and time spent outdoors. Basically what I am getting at is any decent bullet shot through the chest of an elk within 350 yards is going to kill it, finding the elk and making the shot are the hard parts--sitting behind a computer going down the endless gear debates ain't gonna cut it. Good luck with your hunt and I really hope I am not coming off rude, just don't want you to lose sight of the forest for the trees type thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have been posting a bunch of threads lately on your copper bullet conquest and other gun stuff and that is cool. But I think it's time for you to go out and spend some time behind your rifle or out scouting for elk. I am not being rude--I scour the Internet for stuff I am interested in but ultimately it comes down to your skill set with your rifle, physical ability, and finding elk.

Don't sweat the small stuff and don't get caught up in the 'gear junky' clique. There are dudes out there that know everything and talk all day about this bullet or that rifle but that is not where the rubber meets the road--it's time behind the gun and time spent outdoors. Basically what I am getting at is any decent bullet shot through the chest of an elk within 350 yards is going to kill it, finding the elk and making the shot are the hard parts--sitting behind a computer going down the endless gear debates ain't gonna cut it. Good luck with your hunt and I really hope I am not coming off rude, just don't want you to lose sight of the forest for the trees type thing.
I understand what you mean and I totally agree. I have some issues that prevent me from doing what you suggested though. As of right now the scope for my hunting rifle has been shipped to the good folks at Leupold to fix a problem, so no shooting until it gets sent back. Another problem I have is that I'm working out of state and even when I'm home from work I'm currently living on the opposite side of the state from where I do my elk hunting at so scouting is something I don't get to do NEARLY as much now that I'm a city boy. Believe me I would much rather be out testing gear, finding animals and all the other "rubber meets the road" type stuff but when I can't do that talking about it on the interwebs is how I get my fix. It's a poor substitute but it's what I got to do for now. In a week and a half, though, my wife and I will get to spend at least a couple days chasing bucks with our bows on the Zion unit. Other than that it will be living vicariously through other folks experience on here. :sad:
 

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One of the hunters that was with me on my African trip this year was shooting a 7mm Rem Mag shooting Federal ammo loaded with the 150 grain Trophy Copper. The round shot very well out of his rifle so most of his multiple shots at animal were his problem and not the ammo. I think that he took at the minimum 3 shots at each animal from kudu down to a warthog and the most that he took was 9 shots at a springbuck. But he usually only hit the animals either once or twice. On his blue wildebeest it was a one shot kill and the bullet penetrated completely through the animal and the tracking dog actually found the bullet where it had fallen to the ground a short ways past the dead animal. The expansion was perfect and at first I thought that he was shooting a Barnes but he pulled out the box and showed me what it was.

So if you decided to go with them I don't think that you will be disappointed.
 

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I've never had more frustrations in my life than trying to get Barnes bullets to shoot. I eventually gave up, went back to noslers and tried to sell off my remaining boxes of xbullets. I really almost couldn't give them away. Speeds were incredible with some of my loads... but you might as well be throwing them at the target for all the accuracy I'd get.


-DallanC
 

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ive been trying to find some factory ammo for the .338 federal loaded with 200 gr trophy copper. federal made/makes them but they are never in stock on any site. i agree with you on ttsx over gmx. gmx seem tougher but i wouldnt worry too much about it unless youre loading at lower velocity or taking longer shots. they opened up fine out of my .25-06 at fairly long range and did the job just fine. they were only 90 gr though.
 

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I think the Barnes ammo is pretty decent stuff - especially for the price you pay for a box of shells. When I had my 270 WSM, I put a box of Remington Core-lokts through it with less than exciting results. The next box I tried was the 140 Barnes TSX ammo and it shot extremely well. I even loaded the 130 TTSX with great results. No experience with the Federal or Nosler E-tip though. Your results could definitely be different though.

DallanC - Were the Barnes bullets the TSX, TTSX or the old blue XLC bullets?
 

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DallanC - Were the Barnes bullets the TSX, TTSX or the old blue XLC bullets?
*ALL* of the above. I think I finally sold my remaining lots, several boxes of different types for $18 total, and the guy made me bring them to his house -O,-

-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My only experience with copper bullets so far has been with the Barnes TTSX 180 grain in .30-06. I was able to pick up two free boxes with the vouchers the Zion hunters get to save the condors. I wasn't savvy on copper bullets back then and that is why I got the 180 grainers instead of some 165s or 150s that would be much better for a .30-06. I blew through a whole box of them before I just decided they wouldn't shoot worth poop! The target looked like somebody had shot it with buckshot. I was using a Remington 742 autoloader affectionately referred to by many who have owned them as Remington jamomatics or Remington sprayomatics. They aren't really known for their accuracy. Even then it groups other types of ammo faaaar better than it would the Barnes. I've been hoping that maybe the long 180 grain copper bullets were just too long for that particular rifle and 150s would shoot much better, especially out of my much more accurate bolt action. Only one way to find out I guess. I've tried to sell the remaining 180 grain Barnes TTSX for a fair price and nobody is interested. I might just end up doing some ******* penetration tests with them and see what they are fully capable of. If nothing else I have 3 boxes of 180 grain Winchester Power Points I already know will shoot well. I should probably save my money and keep things simple and go with those.
 

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My 264 win mag shoots 1/2 moa groups out to 600 yards 120ttsx bullets. I have not had any problem getting ttsx to shoot in 300rum, 264wm, 6.5-06, 300wsm, 243 handloads. It various from people and their experience.
I have been impressed with the animals we have killed so far with ttsx. I have no experience with gmx.
 

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I have zero experience with GMX or the Etips, but lots of experience with the TTSX, my favorite bullet that I have loaded in 223, 243, 7mm-08, 30-06, 270 wsm, 300wsm and 6.5x47. Results have varied just like with all bullets, but in the field experience has been excellent. Two different experiences with great results; any other bullet and both may have ended poorly. My most accurate round was the 308 bullet in the 175 grain, actually LRX, not the TTSX, nearly identical. The improved BC certainly is an advantage and one more thing to consider with copper is that 96% weight retention feature, such that a 150 hits like a 165 since lead rounds usually only retain around 60% of their weight. Lots of folks go down one step in weight when using copper, but that is at the cost of a lower BC. Hopefully you get your scope back soon and everything else falls in place such that you can scratch that itch; it is in the air....
 

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Bob L..... 1/2 moa @ 600yrds......... That statement puts anything you say under suspicion.
Great way to introduce yourself. MOA is a measurement of angle right? so 1/2 MOA at 600 yards is a 3" group. Easily done with good skills and a great rifle.

The 600 yard worlds record is one tenth that size, .349"

There's a guy here with the name of Karl... you two should meet.

-DallanC
 

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I've had a heck of a time trying to get the Barnes TTSX 100gr to group out of a .25-06 that I've been trying to work up a load for... haven't been overly impressed. The Hornady Interlock 117gr group fantastic though.

I don't have any experience with the E-tips or GMXs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great way to introduce yourself. MOA is a measurement of angle right? so 1/2 MOA at 600 yards is a 3" group. Easily done with good skills and a great rifle.

The 600 yard worlds record is one tenth that size, .349"

There's a guy here with the name of Karl... you two should meet.

-DallanC
Can you imagine if preyingmathis and Karl met each other and then Karl laid eggs? The UWN as we know it would be doomed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've had a heck of a time trying to get the Barnes TTSX 100gr to group out of a .25-06 that I've been trying to work up a load for... haven't been overly impressed. The Hornady Interlock 117gr group fantastic though.

I don't have any experience with the E-tips or GMXs.
Some rifles seem to love the Barnes and some rifles seem to puke them out. My .30-06 is one of the rifles that loves them. That gun with some 150 grain Barnes TTSX is a deadly combo!
 

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Some rifles seem to love the Barnes and some rifles seem to puke them out. My .30-06 is one of the rifles that loves them. That gun with some 150 grain Barnes TTSX is a deadly combo!
Is that what you settled on? I've shot those out of my 30.06 as well. I don't shoot my 30.06 all that well, so I don't use it much. But that setup killed my deer last year.

My .338 win mag loves both the 210 and 225 grain TTSX in factory VOR-TEX ammo. I think the 210 does ever so slightly better at the range, but the difference is not enough for me to care, I buy what is available.

Between me and my two brothers, and about 6 different guns in various cartridges and calibers, I've yet to see one that did not shoot the TTSX well. I'm sure they are out there as has been cited by others, I just haven't seen it.

I did see my first TSX or TTSX lose some of the bullet/petals in an animal. The couple of bullets I've recovered has been perfectly expanded and totally intact and I've never seen fragments in the animal/meat before this one. I didn't recover the bullet this time, but it left behind some fragments in the shoulder of the cow elk I killed a couple weeks ago. It completely destroyed the front shoulder, and passed through on its way out between two ribs on the back side. There were two petal fragments as we were cutting her up.

I love jumping in on year-old threads!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Is that what you settled on? I've shot those out of my 30.06 as well. I don't shoot my 30.06 all that well, so I don't use it much. But that setup killed my deer last year.

My .338 win mag loves both the 210 and 225 grain TTSX in factory VOR-TEX ammo. I think the 210 does ever so slightly better at the range, but the difference is not enough for me to care, I buy what is available.

Between me and my two brothers, and about 6 different guns in various cartridges and calibers, I've yet to see one that did not shoot the TTSX well. I'm sure they are out there as has been cited by others, I just haven't seen it.

I did see my first TSX or TTSX lose some of the bullet/petals in an animal. The couple of bullets I've recovered has been perfectly expanded and totally intact and I've never seen fragments in the animal/meat before this one. I didn't recover the bullet this time, but it left behind some fragments in the shoulder of the cow elk I killed a couple weeks ago. It completely destroyed the front shoulder, and passed through on its way out between two ribs on the back side. There were two petal fragments as we were cutting her up.

I love jumping in on year-old threads!
Yep. Shot some at the range and the group was about an inch at 100 yards. Nothing to write home about, but very capable big game accuracy. Got a chance to try them out on a spike bull during the 2015 rifle elk hunt. I took a tough angle shot and the Barnes passed the test with flying colors. Haven't even felt the need to try anything else since. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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