Barnes Bullets introduced several new bullets at the 2008 SHOT show. In the company’s very popular Varmint Grenade line, Barnes was showing the .204 caliber, 26 grain bullet for the .204 Ruger cartridge and a .224 caliber bullet in 50 grains for .223 Remington/5.56 NATO cartridges.
The .204 bullets and the 50 grain .224 were both developed specifically due to customer demand said Jessica Brooks of Barnes Bullets. Â Barnes will continue to produce the existing bullets. Â The new offerings are additions to the line – not replacements.
The Varmint Grenade line was developed for specialized military applications but has also proved to be excellent for varmint hunting in the civilian market. The bullet has a powdered copper and tin core with a gilded metal jacket. This bullet is able to be driven to high speeds, yet instantly fragments upon impact. Â This is a very difficult engineering feat that Barnes seems to have perfected in this line. Â Many compressed powder core bullets will literally spin apart when driven to high speeds. Â In small caliber cartridges like the 204 and 223, it is very easy in attain high velocities.
Barnes has some spectacular videos of these bullets hitting and fragmenting in a seedless grape. Woodchucks and prairie dogs beware! Â This is the most recent video:
This video is the original one that Barnes published when the bullets were introduced:
Rumor was the second video had been pulled due to the graphic nature of theÂ prairieÂ dogs being eradicated. Â Truth be known, the scenes in the more recent video are about the same as far as I’m concerned. Â It’s not for the little kids, but it isn’t anything glorifying killing.
Both bullets are available immediately through Barnes’ website.Â If you don’t load your own ammunition, fear not. Black Hills currently loads the .223 and .22-250 cartridges using the Varmint Grenade bullets, and I suspect they will start loading with these new calibers as well.