In 1932 the company started by making pure copper jacketed bullets with a lead core for hunting large game. The bullets worked very well as the design principal is sound. Pure lead and copper are more malleable then harder and more brittle alloys. They gave great penetration and killing powder as they also expanded reliably. Some of the harder alloys might shatter on large bones rather then penetrate and break the bones. I have some that are no longer made and I will hoard them my favorite is the 30 caliber 250 grain. I have some 600 grain in 45 caliber that I will never fire as I don’t want the abuse. Anyway I have shot various weights and calibers of these bullets with complete satisfaction.
About two decades ago Barnes started designing and producing pure copper bullets. They felt and correctly so that pure copper bullets will give superior penetration and killing power even with lighter weight bullets. They have established a world wide reputation for a great hunting bullet and also an accurate slug. I have shot quite a few from the 6mm to the 454 Casull. Without exception they have performed quite well. My favorite is the 8mm 200 grain which is very accurate in my 8mm Remington Magnum. I plan on an elk hunt with this bullet.Another thing to think about is lead bullets are banned in some California areas so a hunter is obligated to use a copper or some other non lead alloy in that area. Never mind the stupidly of such a law it’s a reality and may spread to other areas. The pure copper Barnes bullets will pass the legal requirements in those areas. Barnes makes some copper bullets with hard alloy cores also.
Honesty would compel me to state that there are a lot of good bullets on the market today, some very sophisticated. No one makes a “bad” bullet but using an incorrect bullet for the game hunted can make any bullet look bad. The Barnes lines of bullets are among the best and they deserve consideration on any serious hunting trip. Like any premium bullet they are not inexpensive but you get what you pay for. If you are going on a high dollar hunting trip it would be the height of folly not to have premium bullets.