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ncheser Fail Safe Bullets #15972619 04/07/21
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gunbug Offline OP
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Hi I looked through the post could not find where to list this so tried here.I have some .30 cal Winchester Fail Safe bullets [180gr] has anyone used these? I just acquired a German Weatherby MK5 and thought might try them out. Any experienced opinions would be appreciated. Dan

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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15972713 04/07/21
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Yes,they work good.Good luck finding any as they are out of production.


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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15972770 04/07/21
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Very good bullets! I shot a lot of game with them in my 300Win mag from their introduction until 2006 or so. Accuracy varies depending upon what a gun likes but I had good results in several rifles from 270 thru 375. They penetrate like a Barnes.

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15973303 04/07/21
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The first few years they were Lubalox coated--the thin, slightly lubricating black coating used on Ballistic Silvertips. It didn't prove to be enough to prevent sometimes heavy copper-fouling in some rifles. Eventually Fail Safes were moly-coated, which worked well, but often required several shots before the bore became moly-coated sufficiently for accuracy to improve. Once that happened, they were more consistently accurate than the pre-TSX Barnes bullets, and penetrated just as well. My wife and I used a LOT of them during the 1990s, in cartridges including the .270 Winchester, .270 WSM, 7mm Remington Magnum, .30-06 and .338 Winchester Magnum. But when Barnes brought out the TSX at a lower price than the Fail Safes, they faded away.

I eventually found the Fail Safes worked just as well, without any pressure problems, with most of the moly-coating removed. Is used I used Bore Tech's Moly Magic, designed to remove moly bore-fouling, but other techniques also work.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15973349 04/07/21
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The 180 grain 30s I believe came in a 30-06 and 300 Magnum version originally. For some reason Winchester decided this confused the Bubba's and made only a single version.

For heavier game I have had excellent results for deer the results can be mixed and I think I would shoot for bone or use another bullet.

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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15973497 04/07/21
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Mule Deer Offline
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"For some reason" is correct. The two different 180 .30s did confuse the average hunter.

In my experience they worked equally well, whether shooting deer or elk-size game--whether elk or blue wildebeest.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15974346 04/08/21
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gunbug Offline OP
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Thank You all these ones have the black coating. Dan

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15975792 04/08/21
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Originally Posted by gunbug
Hi I looked through the post could not find where to list this so tried here.I have some .30 cal Winchester Fail Safe bullets [180gr] has anyone used these? I just acquired a German Weatherby MK5 and thought might try them out. Any experienced opinions would be appreciated. Dan


I used them in both 7mm and .308 caliber when released on game from fallow bucks to brumbies. They were the first generation copies of the Barnes homogenous hollowed point with the rear section hollowed and filled with a steel sleeve and lead core base. The petals were also aligned with the Barnes at the time where the petals were likely to shear off and the shaft continue to penetrate. I have several examples I pulled from horses after full length shots and the petals fell off each of the retained samples.

The build was too complex with too many parts including a needless black coating to distinguish it from the Barnes design of the time, but they did shoot well and perform the same as the Barnes in the field. Just work up loads the same as you would be any other bullet. The coating is likely to strip off in your barrel but I ignored it and it didn't seem to harm the barrels in question although there was some industry resistance to it at the time.


Orwell's 1984, the only book in history to walk its own way from the Fiction to the Non Fiction section of your local library.
Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15980780 04/10/21
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Failsafes are my favorite. Used the 140s in a 270 wby. Used to line up several large hogs. The FS would shoot tru both of them. They are known for penetration. Hasbeen


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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15985556 04/11/21
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dennisinaz Offline
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I love them. Wish I had more


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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15985755 04/12/21
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I have two full boxes of Winchester supreme for my 280. One box 140 grain the other 160 grain. I’ve had them for years so apparently I’m saving them, For what I have no idea.

Last edited by KEVIN_JAY; 04/12/21.
Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15986593 04/12/21
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ghostrider272 Offline
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Have some in 270 cal, 140 gr that I am not using if anyone is looking for some. Have 4 boxes of 50.

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15986626 04/12/21
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colorado bob Offline
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They came in Winchester factory loads. My buddy swore by them. He killed quite a few bull elk with them---he recovered 1 bullet----100% retention and expansion just like the Winchester ad. I tried a box and couldn't get them to group in my rifle. I gave him the rest of the box and went back to "Power Points".

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15986671 04/12/21
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A friend and I were hunting elk/deer when he shot a whitetail doe with 180g Fail Safes from a .308 Win at about 20 yards. Shot her while she was facing him and the bullet exited her backend. She went straight down. I bought a bunch of factory loaded 150g 30-06 when they were discontinued. They are very accurate in my 30-06.

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: Just a Hunter] #15987539 04/12/21
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Mule Deer Offline
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Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
A friend and I were hunting elk/deer when he shot a whitetail doe with 180g Fail Safes from a .308 Win at about 20 yards. Shot her while she was facing him and the bullet exited her backend. She went straight down. I bought a bunch of factory loaded 150g 30-06 when they were discontinued. They are very accurate in my 30-06.


Far more bullets than many hunters would expect will exit on frontal shots, especially on smaller big game animals. This is because the "inside" area of a big game animal is pretty soft--though some of it depends on range, and hence retained velocity.

I once shot a pronghorn buck that was facing me at around 250 yards, with a .308 Winchester and a Federal factory load featuring 150-grain Nosler Ballistic Tips. The bullet exited the buck's right ham. Also rattled in a medium-sized whitetail buck near Seeley Lake for a friend of mine (who did not see the much bigger buck that came in behind some trees). The younger buck walked right into the open, maybe 75 yards from my friend, who shot it in the front of the chest with a 165 Fail Safe from a .30-06 factory load. When I took the buck apart a few days later I found the bullet under the rump-hide.

Can provide a bunch of other examples of bullets that went from one end to the other of similar-sized "big" game animals that would surprise people. Some exited, some didn't, but end-to-end isn't as big a deal as many hunters believe.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15987734 04/12/21
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44mc Offline
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MD you are right .in my op I think it is the game is what is the out come .I have seen deer run 200 yards that should not have and deer that fell over on a bad hit .so i don't think nothing is set in stone

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: Mule Deer] #15987918 04/12/21
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Just a Hunter Offline
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I agree but the OP specifically asked about the Fail Safe. I shot a whitetail buck at Seeley also with a 30-06 and 180 PT. Not at quite straight on and it exited after 3 ft. of penetration. Did the same thing there on a whitetail doe a few mile from the buck with 250g Winchester PP out of a .356 Winchester. Same angle and same amount of penetration...

Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15987929 04/12/21
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My only on-game experience is anecdotal. I bought some Fail Safes for my .308 Win years ago when it was my only large game rifle. They didn’t shoot for beans in that otherwise moa rifle, so I gave the rest away. One of my friends bemoaned the discontinuation of those miracle bullets but I seemed to recall several stories about how accurate they were in his Winchester.30-06 and other tales of game that got away after being shot at with FS..... LOL!


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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: gunbug] #15989192 04/13/21
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5sdad Offline
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Was the Winchester XP3 bullet ever offered as a component?


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Re: ncheser Fail Safe Bullets [Re: Mule Deer] #15989323 04/13/21
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
A friend and I were hunting elk/deer when he shot a whitetail doe with 180g Fail Safes from a .308 Win at about 20 yards. Shot her while she was facing him and the bullet exited her backend. She went straight down. I bought a bunch of factory loaded 150g 30-06 when they were discontinued. They are very accurate in my 30-06.


Far more bullets than many hunters would expect will exit on frontal shots, especially on smaller big game animals. This is because the "inside" area of a big game animal is pretty soft--though some of it depends on range, and hence retained velocity.

I once shot a pronghorn buck that was facing me at around 250 yards, with a .308 Winchester and a Federal factory load featuring 150-grain Nosler Ballistic Tips. The bullet exited the buck's right ham. Also rattled in a medium-sized whitetail buck near Seeley Lake for a friend of mine (who did not see the much bigger buck that came in behind some trees). The younger buck walked right into the open, maybe 75 yards from my friend, who shot it in the front of the chest with a 165 Fail Safe from a .30-06 factory load. When I took the buck apart a few days later I found the bullet under the rump-hide.

Can provide a bunch of other examples of bullets that went from one end to the other of similar-sized "big" game animals that would surprise people. Some exited, some didn't, but end-to-end isn't as big a deal as many hunters believe.


Very true. Here is an example of one of the very few TTSX’s that I’ve seen stopped..barely. This very stout MD was hit under the chin while facing me at about a 100 yds. Bullet was a 7mm 140-gr TTSX at a mv of 3050 (.284 Win) and was found just behind the scrotum, having traversed the length of the animal.

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