Everyone asks why they switch to copper. Why is it more prominent now than it has been in the past? Well, to understand copper today, you have to look at where we came from. I’ll keep this short, but we have to go way back to the beginning.
The first guns were black powder with a lead projectile. I’m not trying to find some weird definition of what a gun is, but for more modern thought, this is true. Lead is common and easy to shape. It could be slightly oversized and squeezed down the barrel to give some good accuracy. When we moved from smoothbores to rifled barrels, this improved even more. There are some very fine muzzleloaders with patch and ball that are staggeringly accurate. As time passed and technology grew we had invented smokeless powders.
Now, this is important because that forced a change in everything. Steel for chambers and barrels had to be better. The capacity of a brass case could become smaller due to needing less powder charge. One of the setbacks was that lead no longer worked. It was being pushed down the barrel too fast and was leading to undesirable results. The lead would now be left in the barrel and accuracy was lost.
So, they put a copper jacket around the lead to help prevent the fouling. This was a great solution, but after 140 some odd years of the same technology, there has to be a better way. The copper projectiles of today are not the same as the ones from the 1980s. The copper alloys have been improved to do things that weren’t thought possible before. Fouling is reduced. Accuracy is better. Bullets can be mass-produced with an amazing degree of accuracy. Today we can machine them, swedge them, and even skive parts to ensure expansion and performance They all have their advantages.
I hear all the time why don’t we just machine all the projectiles from copper. Well, it’s the most expensive and time-consuming process. It makes the most uniform projectiles, but everything has a cost. The more machining, the more expensive. That’s where Swedging the bullets come into play. That is basically drawing the copper through a series of dies to achieve the desired shape and function.
What does this mean in practical applications? Handgun bullets work great with a swedged-type bullet as well as a machined bullet. Typically, machining leads to higher B.C.s and lower velocities for expansion. Why? Because we can put the exact depth, groves, and shapes we want into the projectile. It has almost limitless applications for rifle projectiles. Do you want a subsonic that guarantees expansion at 600 fps? Machining allows us to achieve this. Do you want a bullet to fragment upon impact and have a disc drive through the target? Machining allows us to do that.
However, not every application needs a machined bullet. Do you want a self-defense round that stays together, defeats barriers and light body armor? I can get an amazing performance from swedged projectiles in pistols. Do you want a great bullet for hunting and ethical kills? Swedging allows us to achieve that. Unless my hunting is very specific for extreme long-range shots, past 500 yards, that is my go-to bullet. The DPX does all that and more. If I want subsonic at hogs, or shots beyond 500 yards, I go to a fully machined projectile. It’s purpose-driven. We now design the projectiles to function in specific applications. The person that says one projectile will do everything perfectly is just trying to sell you something. At the end of the day, physics control what we can do. At this time, there is no material, combination of materials, or design that will do everything.
So, think of your average hunting shot. I rarely shoot past 250 yards. The DPX is a fantastic round for anything to 500 yards. That’s why it’s my go-to. Does that mean that I can’t shoot further with that round? Absolutely not. I have taken animals at 600 yards with it in perfect conditions. But the rest, wind, terrain, and animal species all begin to play a factor. As a hunter and avid shooter, I want clean ethical kills. I want to put every odd I can in my favor. We owe that to the game we hunt. That’s why our focus is on the terminal effect and performance of every piece of ammunition we make.
But possibly more important than those aspects is the need to eliminate lead. So many states are moving to a lead-free hunting solution and we started our ammunition line with that thought. We strive to deliver the best ammunition for hunting and self-defense applications. We are constantly striving for better. Better tomorrow than we are today. Better products. Better terminal performance.