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By Chris Dumm

As part of a new Barnes Bullets promotion, some of us here at TTAG have been blessed with some badass ballistic benevolence in the form of boxes of bullets.   Enough B’s for ya so far?  As Al Pacino says, I’m just gettin’ started here.

I’ve been tasked with finding some creative things to do with the pictured 225-grain .44 Magnum XPB, as well as some 130-grain .270 Triple-Shock X boattails (not pictured).   With the .270 bullets I’m hoping I can replicate a series of 300-yard groups I shot a few years ago, from my Remington 700 ADL, that measured a little over 0.5 inches center-to-center.  It might not be as creative as, say, lining up a dozen or more prairie dogs for a real-life penetration test, but it would still be pretty impressive and it (just) might give me a shot at some of the contest prizes.  I expect great things from Barnes Bullets.  I’ve handloaded them for my .270 with good results, but it’s the 225-grain XPB hollowpoints with the gaping ‘Portal Of Hell’ hollowpoint cavity that really light my fire, so to speak.

Just how big is that hollowpoint cavity?  It’s almost .30 inches across at the mouth, and it finally tapers out after exactly 0.50 inches.  The cavity is slightly deeper than the bullet’s actual width, and for the first half of the bullet’s length it’s comprised of more cavity than bullet. It’s so big it will almost completely swallow the bullet from a CCI Stinger .22 long rifle.

It’s the biggest and deepest hollowpoint I’ve ever seen, and it makes the bizarre-looking CCI 200-grain .45 ACP ‘Flying Ashtrays’ look positively conventional by comparison.

But what am I going to do with them?  Some expansion tests through old paperback law books will give the all-copper slugs a good workout, but I’m thinking we really ought to go ‘over the top’ if we’ve got a shot at the prizes.  We’ve got access to a high-speed video camera, but ordinary impact footage in ballistic gelatin is so, well, 2003.

I’d love to see how many iPads it will penetrate, and if I were a Mythbuster I’d make my own explosive dumdum bullets by filling the cavity with a stack of small and large pistol primers.  But only if Farago supplies the targets or the (probably single-use) .44 Magnum test pistol and a blast shield.  As if.

(Robert: Redhawks are exceptionally strong, and perfect for testing outrageously unsafe bootlegged dumdums.)

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    • Don’t worry: this was all in jest, even the bit about penetration tests on live prairie dogs.

      I have to admit I’m curious about the bullet resistance of densely laminated circuit boards, metal and high-strength glass from an iPad or smartphone, but to destroy a functional device like that is a bit, well, decadent.

  1. You mentioned the “CCI 200-grain .45 ACP ‘Flying Ashtrays”.

    I still have several boxes of light weight high velocity, early 1970’s vintage Jurras Super Vel .45ACP “flying trash cans”.

    At the time they were considered the “ultimate” .45 JHP. While higher velocity than standard .45, and being much lighter with a huge open hollow point, they had massive immediate energy transfer, but poor penetration, and quickly dropped from vogue.


    Now they are collector’s rounds that sell about $3 per round, or $100 per box.
    I am not planning on shooting any very soon.

  2. I have some 385 grain hollowpoints for my 500’s that make these look like 22’s, but I’ll be sure to buy some of these for my 44 mag.

  3. Barnes makes some fine products. I have been hand-loading their projectiles for more years than I care to admit….sorry slight MLC thingy going on….

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