Best of the Big Game Bullets, Part 2 of 4: Barnes Triple Shock


The Barnes Triple Shock bullet is unique because it is made from solid copper. It has no core to separate, and its expansion is instantaneous. If you’re looking for a big game bullet that will penetrate deep, look no further. I’ve had a good deal of experience with the Barnes Triple Shock bullet. What I’ve learned might be of some help to you.

When it comes to expanding bullets, everything is a tradeoff. The bullets that penetrate the deepest generally damage less tissue. This is because they use their energy to penetrate. For example, a Barnes Triple Shock will deposit only about 50 percent of its energy in the first 8 inches of penetration. You’ll almost always get an exit with a Barnes Triple Shock, but if you like that “bang, flop” when you shoot an animal, then you need to push these bullets fast. It’s been my experience that Triple Shock bullets will put animals down faster when they impact at velocities higher than 2,600 fps.

This ragged African buffalo was no match for a Triple Shock fired from a 375 H&H.

Don’t mistake this to mean that these bullets will not kill; they are deadly. My good friend Jim Wilson and I were hunting buffalo in Mozambique, and he was using a 375 H&H loaded with Barnes Triple Shocks. He shot his buffalo at a very close range, and it went only 50 yards.

Where the Triple Shock bullets might be the most appreciated is for smaller caliber cartridges that generally lack in penetration. They can turn fast-stepping 22 centerfire rifles into true big game guns. This is, of course, why Remington loads Triple Shocks for the 223 Remington in their Hog Hammer line of ammunition.

Triple Shocks turn small-caliber cartridges such as the 223 Remington into true big game getters.

Hunters like different bullets for different reasons. I like Barnes Triples Shock bullets in small caliber cartridges that can push the bullets fast. I also like them anytime penetration is what matters most. I also like them because they are generally very accurate, and in some of my rifles they shoot like a match bullet. Just remember, all-cooper bullets such as the Triple Shock need to impact at about 2,000 fps to fully expand, so be careful of the distances you shoot.

Editor’s note: Click here to read part 1 of Richard Mann’s four-part series on best of the big game bullets.

This pronghorn was taken at about 300 yards with an 80-grain Tipped Triple Shock from a 234 Winchester. Impact velocity was high, and the buck dropped in his tracks.
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