Interesting chat with Steve from HAMMER bullets

Seems like alot of folks don't understand copper bullets and somehow think they are inferior to lead. Listen to this podcast, as it debunks all of the negative myths with fact based info.
I shoot them in 2 of my rifles well over a dozen kills now they work. The ease of loading is great and they are an accurate bullet with high BC for copper. The price point is a hard hurddle I dont think they kill any better than a Barnes but the BCs smoke the Barnes.

As for copper vs lead. I think the main issue is that whenver the Goverment forces hunters/outdoorsman to do something we inherintly dont like it. In general we enjoy our liberites and hate tyranny. I want to make the choice of which bullet I shoot not the government.
 
"No Solutions, only tradeoffs."

This year I used ELD Match ammo on one buck (CO) and the 124 hammer (CA) on another. Honestly, they both worked great despite being on opposite ends of the spectrum.
 
Great podcast...though I didn't realize I was a dork until @Stikbrandon called me out.

Almost all of my kills have been copper bullets, but after spending a ton of time digging into how bullets kill...they are just not as efficient as lead. Permanent wound cavity matters and a 4" to 6" wound cavity from good lead bullet bleeds out faster then a 1" to 1.5" wound cavity from a copper bullet.

That being said, a wound cavity through lungs, heart, liver, etc is going to kill an animal either way.

I posted the reference "Shooting Holes In Wounding Theory" that he quoted on this site a while ago...maybe last year? That breaks down the physics of making permanent wound cavities and shows how a flat nose of smaller diameter (aka hammer) can produce larger permanent wound cavities then a barnes rounded mushroom shape. I personally have seen golf ball size permanent wound cavities with hammers but only 3/4" to maybe 1" with barnes out of my 300 WM.

This is one of the reason's I love my 338 RUM with Hammer bullets, large wounds from copper without lead everywhere.

However, It has been proven many times that a 223 with a 77 gr TMK bullet can produce a larger permanent wound cavity then a 338 with copper...so my personal tradeoff is smaller caliber bullets I lean toward lead with larger caliber I lean towards copper.

I still really like hammer bullets, they stack on top of each other and I have had quicker kills with them than barnes TTSX's.

Honestly, the biggest key is to shoot with something you are comfortable with. If you know where that bullet is going going to impact, the odds are in your favor. I like the statement, "if you are not going to be pissed off that you missed the shot, do not take the shot".


The most important take away from those who are not really interested in the technical, twist rate absolutely matters. I put in an order for a 1-7" twist 300 WM barrel at carbon six a few months back. Faster twist rate improves terminal stability and BC!
 
Great podcast...though I didn't realize I was a dork until @Stikbrandon called me out.

Almost all of my kills have been copper bullets, but after spending a ton of time digging into how bullets kill...they are just not as efficient as lead. Permanent wound cavity matters and a 4" to 6" wound cavity from good lead bullet bleeds out faster then a 1" to 1.5" wound cavity from a copper bullet.

That being said, a wound cavity through lungs, heart, liver, etc is going to kill an animal either way.

I posted the reference "Shooting Holes In Wounding Theory" that he quoted on this site a while ago...maybe last year? That breaks down the physics of making permanent wound cavities and shows how a flat nose of smaller diameter (aka hammer) can produce larger permanent wound cavities then a barnes rounded mushroom shape. I personally have seen golf ball size permanent wound cavities with hammers but only 3/4" to maybe 1" with barnes out of my 300 WM.

This is one of the reason's I love my 338 RUM with Hammer bullets, large wounds from copper without lead everywhere.

However, It has been proven many times that a 223 with a 77 gr TMK bullet can produce a larger permanent wound cavity then a 338 with copper...so my personal tradeoff is smaller caliber bullets I lean toward lead with larger caliber I lean towards copper.

I still really like hammer bullets, they stack on top of each other and I have had quicker kills with them than barnes TTSX's.

Honestly, the biggest key is to shoot with something you are comfortable with. If you know where that bullet is going going to impact, the odds are in your favor. I like the statement, "if you are not going to be pissed off that you missed the shot, do not take the shot".


The most important take away from those who are not really interested in the technical, twist rate absolutely matters. I put in an order for a 1-7" twist 300 WM barrel at carbon six a few months back. Faster twist rate improves terminal stability and BC!

@JakeSCH Great explanation on the experiences you have had. Well said. These opinions and conversations are what will ad value to the copper/lead argument.
 
Great podcast...though I didn't realize I was a dork until @Stikbrandon called me out.

Almost all of my kills have been copper bullets, but after spending a ton of time digging into how bullets kill...they are just not as efficient as lead. Permanent wound cavity matters and a 4" to 6" wound cavity from good lead bullet bleeds out faster then a 1" to 1.5" wound cavity from a copper bullet.

That being said, a wound cavity through lungs, heart, liver, etc is going to kill an animal either way.

I posted the reference "Shooting Holes In Wounding Theory" that he quoted on this site a while ago...maybe last year? That breaks down the physics of making permanent wound cavities and shows how a flat nose of smaller diameter (aka hammer) can produce larger permanent wound cavities then a barnes rounded mushroom shape. I personally have seen golf ball size permanent wound cavities with hammers but only 3/4" to maybe 1" with barnes out of my 300 WM.

This is one of the reason's I love my 338 RUM with Hammer bullets, large wounds from copper without lead everywhere.

However, It has been proven many times that a 223 with a 77 gr TMK bullet can produce a larger permanent wound cavity then a 338 with copper...so my personal tradeoff is smaller caliber bullets I lean toward lead with larger caliber I lean towards copper.

I still really like hammer bullets, they stack on top of each other and I have had quicker kills with them than barnes TTSX's.

Honestly, the biggest key is to shoot with something you are comfortable with. If you know where that bullet is going going to impact, the odds are in your favor. I like the statement, "if you are not going to be pissed off that you missed the shot, do not take the shot".


The most important take away from those who are not really interested in the technical, twist rate absolutely matters. I put in an order for a 1-7" twist 300 WM barrel at carbon six a few months back. Faster twist rate improves terminal stability and BC!

Given we're western hunters, assuming we're shooting Hammers, are you taking a 6.5 @ 3200 or 308 @ 2900?

I guess put differently, when are you giving up frontal area for sectional density and speed or visa versa?
 
Given we're western hunters, assuming we're shooting Hammers, are you taking a 6.5 @ 3200 or 308 @ 2900?

I guess put differently, when are you giving up frontal area for sectional density and speed or visa versa?

Assuming those are impact velocities, that is a very even choice and would likely produce similar results, but I would lean to bigger diameter bullet because that is what I have more first hand experience with.

The guys who are "testing" hammers in Australia came up with velocity brackets. Basically the extra velocity creates more cavitation aka larger permanent wound cavity. I like to use the velocity brackets below (from hammer own forum). Within the same bracket, I will use the larger diameter bullet. That said, a 308 @ 2900 does not need anything extra in North America.

VELOCITY BRACKETS
1800-2100
2100-2400
2400-2750
2750-3200
3200 PLUS
 
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Assuming those are impact velocities, that is a very even choice and would likely produce similar results, but I would lean to bigger diameter bullet because that is what I have more first hand experience with.

The guys who are "testing" hammers in Australia came up with velocity brackets. Basically the extra velocity creates more cavitation aka larger permanent wound cavity. I like to use the velocity brackets below (from hammer own forum). Within the same bracket, I will use the larger diameter bullet. That said, a 308 @ 2900 does not need anything extra in North America.

VELOCITY BRACKETS
1800-2100
2100-2400
2400-2750
2750-3200
3200 PLUS

Awesome.

What bullet are you going to push in the 300?
 
Awesome.

What bullet are you going to push in the 300?

It depends on my expected maximum target range. If I am likely to shoot 400y and in, I would load up something like the 150 gr hammer going 3500 fps. Zero at 100 yards and then dial to your MPBR zero at your altitude hunting (going to be 290y at sea level for this case). All shots within 340 yards will hit a 6" plate, no dialing or holding over. And it takes only 3" hold at 400y to still hit the same plate.

I had my buddy hammer an elk with that combo this year at 250 yards. Double lunged followed by a neck shot, did not go far.

If I have a high likelihood of shooting past 400 yards, wind takes over and I need a high BC so I will go with heavy copper or more likely a lead bullet (berger, ELDM, TMK). I have had great success with the 181 gr hammer, but wind gets exponential.

That is why I am building a 7 PRC around the 180 ELDM for my future "long range" hunting rig. My 338 RUM is a hammer, but it is not easy to shoot in field positions and quick follow up shots are difficult.
 
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John (NBK) talked me into trying 124 grain Hammer Hunters a couple of years ago. I worked up a load with my 308 using 46.2 grains of Varget. I got a speed of 2996 f/s out of that and a 5-shot group measuring 1/4" at 100 yards. I went to Northern Kali two years ago and got a perfect broadside double-lung shot on a fair size Blacktail at 60 yards. It ran 60 yards downhill and did a triple summersault. The lungs were blown to hell!
That said, my hunting partner got his deer with more of a shoulder shot and it ruined a LOT of meat, more that I had expected. Another friend got an antelope using Hammers at around 400 yards and it also ruined a bunch of meat. I am now re-thinking the Hammers as being too destructive. A perfect double-lung shot seems to be OK, but any marginal shot seems to ruin a lot of meat. I am now going back to a Barnes 130 grain TTSX to see how they do. My "heavy" load for the 308 is the 168 TTSX and it does a great job. I want to use the 130 as a "light" bullet for the smaller NoKal deer like the Blacktails up north and Axis and hogs down in Texas. I've been really happy with the Barnes bullets. Every one I have recovered has been a perfect mushroom. Can't ask for more than that.
 
John (NBK) talked me into trying 124 grain Hammer Hunters a couple of years ago. I worked up a load with my 308 using 46.2 grains of Varget. I got a speed of 2996 f/s out of that and a 5-shot group measuring 1/4" at 100 yards. I went to Northern Kali two years ago and got a perfect broadside double-lung shot on a fair size Blacktail at 60 yards. It ran 60 yards downhill and did a triple summersault. The lungs were blown to hell!
That said, my hunting partner got his deer with more of a shoulder shot and it ruined a LOT of meat, more that I had expected. Another friend got an antelope using Hammers at around 400 yards and it also ruined a bunch of meat. I am now re-thinking the Hammers as being too destructive. A perfect double-lung shot seems to be OK, but any marginal shot seems to ruin a lot of meat. I am now going back to a Barnes 130 grain TTSX to see how they do. My "heavy" load for the 308 is the 168 TTSX and it does a great job. I want to use the 130 as a "light" bullet for the smaller NoKal deer like the Blacktails up north and Axis and hogs down in Texas. I've been really happy with the Barnes bullets. Every one I have recovered has been a perfect mushroom. Can't ask for more than that.

Do you have pictures to share? How was the meat ruined? Did he break the knuckle and send bone fragments everywhere?

I am also impressed if a hammer ruined a bunch of meat at 400 yards...would love to see pictures of that too.
 
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From the preliminary testing the R2R crew has done, hammers are no joke and the velocity's are insane.
 
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