Hammer Bullets

Mule3006Elk

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Jul 3, 2013
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Is anyone using these bullets?
I currently shoot Barnes TTSX and LRX.

I'm very intrigued with this line of bullets. All copper. Sheds all 4 petals. Sounds like Barnes on steroids from a terminal performance perspective.
From reviews, their QC is phenomenal, accuracy is superb, and they are not picky with seating depth.

I'm really thinking about giving these a run.

Curious to others experience if any.

Thanks!!
 

JimP

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I haven't read anything about them but why would you want a all copper bullet to shed the pedals?

If it stays together it will have more frontal energy than it would if it shed them, plus shedding them will quite likely result in more meat damage due to bloodshot as they pass through the surrounding tissues.
 
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memtb

Active Member
Is anyone using these bullets?
I currently shoot Barnes TTSX and LRX.

I'm very intrigued with this line of bullets. All copper. Sheds all 4 petals. Sounds like Barnes on steroids from a terminal performance perspective.
From reviews, their QC is phenomenal, accuracy is superb, and they are not picky with seating depth.

I'm really thinking about giving these a run.

Curious to others experience if any.

Thanks!!

I too, use Barnes TTSX’s with complete satisfaction. There are two reasons I’ve “not” tried the Hammers. First, I have a bunch of TTSX’s and second, I will lose quite a bit of BC.....at least in my caliber. The Hammers have a fairly large following of very happy users! Go to the Long Range Hunting forum, for lots of conversation pertaining to the Hammers. I don’t think you can go wrong with them!....at least on “non” dangerous big game! JMO. memtb
 
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Mule3006Elk

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Jul 3, 2013
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Meat damage, yes, that is a potential concern. Trying to get some feedback from those who have used them.

Barnes has worked well for me but they need velocity to really open up. I did some testing, using TTSX, and between 2000-2100 fps the bullet had inconsistent opening, one didn't open at all which shocked me. Below 2000 fps, no expansion. > 2200 fps they all expanded.
Shooting thru multiple layers (denim jeans/piece of 2x4/denim jeans) into water jugs. There was definitely resistance up front on this test, more so, that I would get broadside double lung maybe hitting a rib.

Hammer bullet, on gel, 700 yards, just over 1900 fps, still shed it's pedals. So I don't have to worry about impact velocity being a limiting factor nor the bullet doing it's job. They also had a wider wound channel when compared to Nosler AB. Not my testing but some video I saw on youtube.

Information I have thus far I find this very intriguing. Not ready to switch, just yet, just gathering data at this point.
 
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JimP

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Where are you getting your info on the Barnes TTSX bullets?

I have read that they are good down to at least 1800 fps.
 

Mule3006Elk

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Jul 3, 2013
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I too, use Barnes TTSX’s with complete satisfaction. There are two reasons I’ve “not” tried the Hammers. First, I have a bunch of TTSX’s and second, I will lose quite a bit of BC.....at least in my caliber. The Hammers have a fairly large following of very happy users! Go to the Long Range Hunting forum, for lots of conversation pertaining to the Hammers. I don’t think you can go wrong with them!....at least on “non” dangerous big game! JMO. memtb
Shock hammers there is no bc advantage.
Hammer hunters have slightly better bc over Barnes (30 cal).

I'm in the same boat. I have a lot of barnes on my reloading shelf!
 
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Mule3006Elk

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Where are you getting your info on the Barnes TTSX bullets?

I have read that they are good down to at least 1800 fps.
Personal testing. I've read too many reports of "pencil" pass throughs or bullet not opening at distance.
So I did my own testing. I'm trying to sort out, objectively, what they really due a lower velocities.

Barnes will say they open up at 1800 fps (TTSX) and I believe the LRX down to 1600 fps. Their definition of opening is any pulling back of the petals not true full expansion. Barnes is correct they do open at 1800 fps but ever so slightly. I attached a few photos. > 2200 fps they opened nicely so I didn't attach those photos. Samples > 2200 fps appear similar to the 2073 fps sample.
 

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JimP

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I have been shooting Barnes bullets now for close to 30 years with zero problems with ranges from 30 yards out to a little over 700. Looking at the exit wounds of the animals it appears to me that all have had great expansion. The only Barnes bullet that I have recovered myself was a muzzle loader bullet that had a classic mushrooming of the pedals and a .338 bullet out of a bull elk that had hit him in the head at 570 yards, another classic mushroom.

On a African hunting forum that I am on there was a discussion about problems with Barnes X bullets and the theory was that the nose cavity would fill up with hair or skin which then prevented the hydro static opening of the petals of those bullets. But even when I shot the X bullet I had no problem with one shot kills on animals out to 600 or so yards.

For a good test you need to get some ballistic geliton and set it up at different ranges and then place your chronograph in front of it so that you get a true velocity of the bullets as they hit the material. Then compare the bullets. One problem with comparing bullets that have been shot into animals is that there is no real control. One bullet might hit a rib and open up a lot more than the other bullet that just passes through between the ribs. It all would depend on just what they hit.

Here is a picture of a exit hole on a coues deer that was at 420 yards shot with a .25-06 100 grain TTSX bullet at 3300 fps at the muzzle. According to the charts it was around 2400 fps when it hit the deer, the deer dropped when he was hit. I have never been too worried about the bullet performance as long as it does what it is suppose to do which is kill the animal that I am shooting at.

 

Mule3006Elk

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Jul 3, 2013
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TTSX is a great bullet. My current setup is Barnes. I've been using them for the past 8-9 years.
I shoot a slower velocity 150 grain TTSX (30-06) handloads when compared to a 25-06. I won't have the downrange velocity as a 25-06.

I'm always tinkering and for this reason the Hammer bullets caught my interest.

All the said velocities in my testing are spot on no guessing. I used a magnetospeed and adjusted for distance to target (7 yards) using JBM ballistics. I used reduced velocity loads to get into the lower velocity ranges instead of trying to shoot them at range. I'm comfortable with impact velocity > 2200 fps but not less than that. I wasn't really impressed with one bullet opening and one barely opening between 2000-2100 fps. No change in controls. I'll set my max range around that data and call it good. That still gets me out to 450 yards which is plenty for most scenarios. My testing was only to determine if at the minimum opening velocity, as stated by Barnes, can one expect full expansion. If not, at what velocity can one expect to see full expansion. I was able to get the information I was looking for.

Barnes shoots into a massive water tank to determine minimum opening velocity. At least that what I last heard directly form the horse's mouth and there is a youtube video which collaborates their story even though the video is 8 years old. . Quick video, from Barnes, but good to know how they conduct their testing.
 

memtb

Active Member
Shock hammers there is no bc advantage.
Hammer hunters have slightly better bc over Barnes (30 cal).

I'm in the same boat. I have a lot of barnes on my reloading shelf!

Mule3006Elk, I just went to the Hammer site, and looked again. I should have “broadened my horizons”. In my preferred bullet weight ( wanting to shoot heavier bullets).....the BC wasn’t anything to write home about. Stepping down to a bullet of similar weight to that offered by Barnes in the LRX.....the Hammer is very comparable to the Barnes! When I had burned-up my present inventory of TTSX’s, I was gonna go with the somewhat heavier LRX. With the high BC Hammer heavier than my future LRX.....I may have to reconsider! A 277 grain Hammer @ approx 3050 to 3100 FPS....should be pretty formidable! 😉

You do realize that you will be severely admonished by those that see “water testing” of potential bullet performance as “unreliable” sorcery! While it may not replicate bone, it does give an indication of what it’s performance would be on soft tissue! I do know that my testing of bullets that have a reputation of being somewhat fragile, tend to “come from untogether” on a gallon water jug test.....while premium, controlled expansion bullets hold together and penetrate many more water jugs. A recent test of mine with a 6.5 Creed (not mine!), showed one of the very popular factory bullets completely coming apart, with only a very small fragment hitting the 3rd gallon jug. A a Barnes of similar weight, penetrated 7, and gave the typical, expected Barnes expansion!

I’ve had nothing but great performance from Barnes Bullets since 1991, from coyotes to moose.....all from the same rifle! memtb
 
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Mule3006Elk

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Jul 3, 2013
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Mule3006Elk, I just went to the Hammer site, and looked again. I should have “broadened my horizons”. In my preferred bullet weight ( wanting to shoot heavier bullets).....the BC wasn’t anything to write home about. Stepping down to a bullet of similar weight to that offered by Barnes in the LRX.....the Hammer is very comparable to the Barnes! When I had burned-up my present inventory of TTSX’s, I was gonna go with the somewhat heavier LRX. With the high BC Hammer heavier than my future LRX.....I may have to reconsider! A 277 grain Hammer @ approx 3050 to 3100 FPS....should be pretty formidable! 😉

You do realize that you will be severely admonished by those that see “water testing” of potential bullet performance as “unreliable” sorcery! While it may not replicate bone, it does give an indication of what it’s performance would be on soft tissue! I do know that my testing of bullets that have a reputation of being somewhat fragile, tend to “come from untogether” on a gallon water jug test.....while premium, controlled expansion bullets hold together and penetrate many more water jugs. A recent test of mine with a 6.5 Creed (not mine!), showed one of the very popular factory bullets completely coming apart, with only a very small fragment hitting the 3rd gallon jug. A a Barnes of similar weight, penetrated 7, and gave the typical, expected Barnes expansion!

I’ve had nothing but great performance from Barnes Bullets since 1991, from coyotes to moose.....all from the same rifle! memtb
For sure. Water test was from Barnes. Unless they changed something this is how they determine minimum impact velocity. Interesting right! I haven't call them to reverify & I'm not sure it's worth my time.

My test, not ballistic gel, nor strictly water media, went through 4 layers of denim then a 2x4 then another 4 layers of denim before entering the jugs. The point is the initial impact really should have expanded the bullet. This is why I was surprised, between 2000-2100 fps, one of the bullets barely opened and the other one opened nicely. I understand it's only one bullet but that one bullet could have been an animal. The initial impact, on my test, would be much greater than a bullet going through skin/lung w/o hitting a rib. Ethically, I'm just trying to objectively find out my max range for full expansion. Full expansion gives me the best chance of a clean, ethical harvest, and not losing an animal.

We shot an elk 166 yards, 150 grains TTSX, 2650 fps at impact, double lung, waited 15-20 minutes, walked up on the animal and she got up and ran. Disappeared over some hills. We were in thick brush/desert scape. It took us 4-5 hours to find her. We had to create grids and walk back-n-forth. Blood at impact site but we completely lost the trail. Until I walked on top of her you couldn't see her. You could walk 10 yards from her, look in her direction, and not even see her. We were about to leave due to light when we found her. That experience has really stuck with me. Same scenario, Hammer bullet, 4 additional projectiles, I don't think that would have happened. IMO.

I agree. I'll need to check out the long range form to see what others have experienced. I noticed on the Hammer website they have a forum as well.
 
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memtb

Active Member
Mule3006Elk, I once read, cannot prove it’s validity, that Barnes’ do not give good/proper expansion on a dry test median such as dirt, wood, etc.. They expand properly when contacting something with liquid (flesh, organs, etc.).....needing hydraulics to begin the expansion process! Don’t know if true....just what I read! Perhaps, “if” you had some water first, to initiate expansion, and then wood, or other test material .....your result may be different! memtb
 
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RICMIC

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DSCN0395.JPGDSCN0398.JPG
Sorry, didn't mean to scare anyone with that first photo. This was the result from a 480 yard shot on a 6x6 bull elk using a .338 WM. 185 gr, Barnes TSX, muzzle velocity 3034 fps (handloads). It completely shattered both shoulders and I found the intact bullet under the far side hide. DRT
 

memtb

Active Member
RICMIC, That’s “ugly”! :eek: We’ve never seen quite that much “damage” from my wife’s little .338 WM, nor have we ever recovered a bullet....yet! But, she’s running 225’s at a launch speed of only 2950 FPS. Though, I don’t recall her ever “punching-through” both shoulders. I’m gonna “go out on a limb” here and suggest that I know why you didn’t have to track him very far!;) memtb
 
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graybird

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Feb 22, 2011
388
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Colorado
I haven't personally used Hammer bullets, but I have used a similar designed bullet with the CEB Raptor. This includes both game here in the US and in South Africa from .223 to .308 cal bullets.

I've found these type of bullets seem to work well when pushed fast similar to Barnes bullets. When evaluating bullet performance, I've often found the "blades" of the bullet having penetrated the ribs on the opposite side of the animal, some were recovered, some passed through the hide on the opposite side. Internal heart/lung damage has been severe. I shot a doe whitetail at roughly 140 yards with a 145 gr CEB Raptor in the heart and I literally pulled 4 pieces of heart tissue from the cavity when gutting with only a slight portion of the upper heart still attached to the major veins and arteries. She ran about 35-40 yards after the shot.

Overall, I've been impressed with the bullets. Even my son's using .223 cal bullets to take 10-12 whitetails with their single shot 223's. Few blood trails longer than about 50 yards with about half of the shots DRT.

The toughest animal I've taken with the CEBs would be a blue wildebeest in RSA using a 300 Win Mag, 145 gr Raptor. Shot was at about 125 yards and dead within 30 yards. I wasn't present when the trackers opened him up, but I asked them later what the damage was like. His response, "too bloody inside". The solid shank passed through both front shoulders with the bullet entering the center of the onside shoulder.

Any way, I know my above description of the CEB bullets doesn't necessarily answer your questions regarding Hammer bullets, but they are designed to act similarly.

Also for the record, I mainly shoot Barnes TTSX or LRX out of many of my rifles, but have used CEB bullets with fantastic results. The one draw back I see with these bullets is the BC is to be desired with the possibility of longer shots, but can be overcome with limitations and knowing bullet trajectory at distance. Another draw back ... cost.

Good luck!
 

RyanWhaley

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Jan 20, 2022
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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why do you want the bullet to shed petals (Hammer Hunters) rather than mushroom and maintain all its mass (like the Barnes TTSX/LRX)? Do these petals ever end up in your meat grinder?

I've taken game with the Barnes LRX and very happy with the performance. I've got some 143 Hammer Hunters loaded up in my 7 SAUM, but wasn't able to harvest an animal during rifle season, so I don't know how they perform.
 

memtb

Active Member
I believe that the thought is that you get additional tissue damage with these petals as they spread out, giving a much larger initial wound chanel....while the shank portion continues on, often giving an exit wound!

I am a devout user of Barnes mono bullets since the early ‘90’s, I think that there is some merit to the Hammer philosophy! I can see where they may be more effective with faster kills on smaller big game as compared to the Barnes Bullets. I considered trying them, but I have a lot of Barnes Bullets in my inventory and they’ve done very good for me!

Another thing attributed to the Hammer bullets is their outstanding accuracy, and the minimal number of rounds to develope a good load! This is not from personal experience, I’m merely repeating the many posts on the Long Range Hunting site. Perhaps the only negative I can find, at least in my caliber, is the BC’s are lower than my Barnes Bullets! memtb
 
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jwp475

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Jan 28, 2022
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The 30 cal TSX needs one velocity to open than the .338 cal TTSX which will open down to 1400 FPS according the Barnes. They all do not open at the same minimum velocity.
I'm using the 220 HHthis year in my 35 Whelen at 2911 FPS they are very accurate and leave larger wound channels than does the 225TSX on deer up to 200 yards.
My longest kill with a TSX was 777 yards with the 180 TSX out of my 300 win
 
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