Is the all copper Barnes X type Thor Bullet now legal for Oregon muzzleloader seasons? The Thor bullets are the rage in Colorado, where full bore conicals are also required (sabots are not allowed in CO). The Thor bullet has been reported as being excellent performers on elk.
This year the regulations for muzzleloader bullets in Oregon was changed to allow for non-lead full bore conicals to be used in muzzleloader seasons. On page 30 of the 2014 Oregon regulations, the regs state (this is in blue so it is a change for 2014):
Only conical bullets made of lead, lead alloy, or federally-approved nontoxic shot material, with a length that does not exceed twice the diameter, and round balls made of lead, lead alloy, or federally-approved nontoxic material, used with cloth, paper or felt patches are allowed during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only. It is illegal to hunt with non-lead bullets except for those made of federally-approved nontoxic shot material, jacketed bullets, sabots, and bullets with plastic or synthetic tips or bases during muzzleloader only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only.
I am seriously considering the all copper Thor bullet. These bullets DO NOT use a plastic base, or a sabot but instead have a copper "cup" integrated into the rear of the bullet to seat to the barrel.
The Thor bullet is an all copper Barnes "X" bullet manufactured for Thor. I believe it should now be legal in Oregon. The 247 grain hollow-point 50 caliber, Thor bullet (non plastic tipped and just under an inch long), meets the requirement of not having the length exceed twice the diameter. It also does not contain any plastic.
Here is the technicality..… the bullet is pure copper. I don't believe pure copper is on the list of "federally-approved nontoxic shot material", since pure copper is not typically used in bird shot. It does however meet the intent of the change in regulations, which is to move away from bullets containing lead, and copper is a proven performer in big game bullets.
The negatives are the price (about $1.50 per bullet, so not for target practice) and that you first have to get the sizing kit from Thor which contains four bullets (0.500", 0.501", 0.502" and 0.503") to find the bullet diameter that properly fits the bore of your specific rifle. I have typically heard very good reports about the accuracy of this bullet.
Sizing the bullet to your specific bore. In this video you can also see the hollow-point (non-plastic tipped) Thor.
The 247 grain, 50 caliber, "hollow-point" version (bore sized, 0.953" long, no plastic tip, solid copper):
Integrated copper "cup" to seal the gasses (no sabot or plastic base used):
The bullet expanded: