Then, while hunting in Alaska, Randy
thought of a way to make a bullet that would be even more deadly and
reliable. Instead of marrying a copper jacket to a soft lead core, he
would make his new bullet from solid copper. The bullet would be heat
treated to give it special toughness. A deep, slender cavity in the
forward section would allow the nose of the bullet to peel back on
The unique one-piece design would
completely eliminate separation of the jacket from the lead core-long
the bugaboo of conventional bullets. Because the new bullet could be
counted on to hold together, it should retain nearly all its original
weight and penetrate much deeper than conventional designs. Instead of
mushrooming like a conventional jacketed bullet, the nose of the new
bullet would evenly peel back into four separate petals. Viewed
head-on, these petals would form an "X," giving the X-Bullet its name.
The new bullet sounded good in theory,
but theories must be proven. When Randy returned home from his hunt,
he made the first prototypes by hand. Different weights and
configurations were tested, and the new bullet was gradually improved
and refined. Finally, Randy was ready to try the X-Bullet in the
field--the ultimate proving ground. An Alaskan brown bear was taken
with a 270-grain solid copper X-Bullet fired from a .375 H&H Magnum
rifle. The new bullet performed perfectly.
After additional testing an refinement,
the X-Bullet was ready to market. Introduced in 1989 the Barnes
X-Bullet represented a radically different approach to hunting bullet
At first, shooters were skeptical--but
as more and more experienced hunters began using the new bullet afield,
skepticism quickly changed to wide-eyed enthusiasm. It has become the
most talked-about hunting bullet design in recent history.
In the thirteen years it has been in
production, the X-Bullet has taken thousands of head of game.
Everything from 20-pound Dik Dik to rhino and African elephant have
fallen to the solid copper bullet with the deadly banana-peel nose.
The vast majority of hunters using the Barnes X-Bullet report almost
instantaneous one-shot kills.