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Understanding Unleaded Bullets

Shooting

Understanding Unleaded Bullets

The Barnes X Bullet entered the market about a quarter-century ago. It wasn’t exactly the first of its type, but it was definitely the first unleaded, homogenous alloy expanding bullet to gain acceptance among hunters. Mind you, it wasn’t universally accepted! Some praised it, others damned it. Either way, it worked. Absent a core that could be separated, the Barnes X was bound to retain the vast majority of its weight, and it was going to penetrate. The four petals were going to peel back from the nose cavity, creating the cross, or X, that gave the bullet its name. At high velocity, and depending on what was struck, it wasn’t impossible (or even unusual) for one or more petals to break off. If they all broke off, which was unusual, then the remainder of the bullet acted like a solid and continued to penetrate. At low velocity (i.e., at long range after the bullet has slowed) the petals opened less well, and the bullet still performed like a solid.

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