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Barnes bullets

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,426 Senior Member
Who here has used Barnes bullets and what are your thoughts on them?  I am in the process of looking at some options for a few cartridges and have no experience of how they perform.  Years ago I tried some Barnes X bullets in my .30-06 and had miserable performance out of them, but I am sure things have advanced quite a bit since then.

If Michigan ever ends up with a lead free requirement I would like to know what works in my guns.  I plan on trying out several options in my 6.5 Grendel (bolt gun), .358x1.71, and .458x1.8.  I have TSX and TTSX options for all three and LRX as an option for the 6.5.  Based on what Barnes told me for minimum impact velocities the 6.5 may or may not be able to generate enough muzzle velocity to be effective out past 125-150 yards, the .358 maybe 150 yards and the .458 around 200 yards (if memory recalls correctly for a couple of the TSX options).

I have on hand or have on the way the following options to try that may be able to achieve a usable MV to have down range terminal performance that is acceptable (Barnes stated minimum impact velocity after bullet).

6.5mm

100gr TTSX   1600 FPS
120gr TTSX   1700 FPS
127gr LRX     1600 FPS


.358

180gr TTSX    1900 FPS
225gr TSX      1600 FPS


.458

250gr TSX      1150 FPS
300gr TSX      1150 FPS
300gr TTSX    1100 FPS
350gr TSX      1600 FPS
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Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,850 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #2
    The 6.5 120 TTSX shoots good from both my 799 and AR.
     I loaded them with 28.0 of TAC in my Grendels
    Haven't taken any game with them
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    I have a 22" (Howa) and 24" (CZ) barrel and I am hoping that I can get enough extra bump in velocity to have some usable range from them.  The Howa has the longer throat/magazine and I can load the 127 LRX to 2.325" and the 120 TTSX to 2.278" (both 0.020" short of my maximum length possible in the Howa, which is about 0.040" longer than I can go in the CZ chamber).  
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Serious shooters (not just Bubba hunters) have had great terminal results with them. I personally have not used them, but there are a few here that have. I hope they chime in. 
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    I'm not to terribly worried about being able to push the .458 300gr TTSX fast enough since it's intended for use in the .458 SOCOM and I should have no problem going faster.  The 350gr would be more what I'm looking for as far as weight, but getting the needed velocity may not may not be a challange.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,822 Senior Member
    Only ones I've ever used were the old 300gr X bullets in a browning B-78 45-70. excellent accuracy on paper. Only use on game was a Wyoming Buffalo hunt my dad did. Don't recall the specifics but it was a one shot, drop on spot kill.
    I shot one at a steel plate at 100 yards once. It expanded to the size of a half dollar or so and still weighed in at 295gr.

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,822 Senior Member
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,535 Senior Member
    sakodude said:
    My dad had it made into a bolo tie.

    That's amazing. 
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,146 Senior Member
    Have killed three deer with the .308 168 grain TTSX leaving a .30-06 at 2975 fps.  One was a broadside heart perforation at 140 yards - down in five yards and ten seconds.  Two was 4:00 to 10:00 from back of rib cage to just behind shoulder - down in maybe 10-15 yards and about ten seconds; that one was lung soup..  Three I hit too far back 2:00 to 7:00 when it changed angles and I needed to follow it up - but it was still on the ground in less than 50 yards.

    My Dad's killed two with the 7mm 150 grain TTSX somewhere in the ballpark of 2900-3000 fps, both around 160-170 yards,  First was a broadside bang-flop that caught one shoulder.  Two was hit a little higher in the chest cavity and got about 35 yards as I recall.

    IME, they are match bullet accurate and they make for a good bleed.  I've said elsewhere they act like archery broadheads with some (but nothing crazy) tissue displacement.  If you're looking for kinetic impact, they are not for you, but they cut, release blood, and do not deviate off course.

    Due to the copper construction and the plastic nose, they are a bit lighter than a comparable lead slug, but since they do not slough off lead as they expand, they penetrate above their weight class.

    That's all with handloads, of course, but we never had a moment of "this slug sucks" while working them up.

    Probably best testament was when I sent Zee some 5.56 loads to try on pig.  To say the planets aligned is a bit of an understatement. https://forums.gunsandammo.com/discussion/32550/62gr-barnes-tsx-field-report/p1 
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 567 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    Who here has used Barnes bullets and what are your thoughts on them?  I am in the process of looking at some options for a few cartridges and have no experience of how they perform.  Years ago I tried some Barnes X bullets in my .30-06 and had miserable performance out of them, but I am sure things have advanced quite a bit since then.

    If Michigan ever ends up with a lead free requirement I would like to know what works in my guns.  I plan on trying out several options in my 6.5 Grendel (bolt gun), .358x1.71, and .458x1.8.  I have TSX and TTSX options for all three and LRX as an option for the 6.5.  Based on what Barnes told me for minimum impact velocities the 6.5 may or may not be able to generate enough muzzle velocity to be effective out past 125-150 yards, the .358 maybe 150 yards and the .458 around 200 yards (if memory recalls correctly for a couple of the TSX options).

    I have on hand or have on the way the following options to try that may be able to achieve a usable MV to have down range terminal performance that is acceptable (Barnes stated minimum impact velocity after bullet).

    6.5mm

    100gr TTSX   1600 FPS
    120gr TTSX   1700 FPS
    127gr LRX     1600 FPS


    .358

    180gr TTSX    1900 FPS
    225gr TSX      1600 FPS


    .458

    250gr TSX      1150 FPS
    300gr TSX      1150 FPS
    300gr TTSX    1100 FPS
    350gr TSX      1600 FPS
    Barnes TSX are a good bullet. Something to remember when using TSX bulets is that they like to be seated off the lands and grooves. How much will depend on each rifle but you could start at 0.50 and adjust from there. If you want to   mess around with some solid copper bullets try some of the CEB brand. Something else to keep in mind. If shooting a solid copper bullets is that you can go down in weight compared to a lead core bullet. With copper being lighter and less dense than lead. 
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    Back in the 90s I tried some Barnes in 25, 27, 28, & 30 caliber never shot anything with them because I was never able to get comparable accuracy to other bullets.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,030 Senior Member
    I shot the 85 gr TSX in my .243 win.  Deadly accurate and deadly on animals.  One of the best bullets I've ever shot. Zero complaints from me.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,535 Senior Member
    Never put their terminal effects to use. In my Ruger GSR, FN PBR and the sporter 1903 I had they didn't group under 1.75" at 100 yards.  I scrapped the testing. They were the 168gr TTSX.


    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    I am hoping that I dont see the same results I saw years ago with accuracy.  They are far more expensive than traditional bullets and once I find something that works I may or may not buy more to load up.  This is more an experiment right now to see if I can even get them to group i my guns and produce enough MV to have a usable range.  I know the 80 GR GMX I tried in my .243 was not a huge success on paper.  Acceptable group that I still need to chronograph.  I mostly want to do what I can to be ready for if we end up with something like CA has done with banning the use of lead in bullets for hunting.  
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,146 Senior Member


    That's out of a rifle that the bullets are seated deeper into the case than I'd like because of magazine length.  The .30-06 does not have that issue, and it's been a half-MOA performer to 200 yards every year when I've checked the zero.  Pop's .280 has been equally spooky.

    Maybe the TSX isn't quite the grouper as the tipped version?
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,417 Senior Member
    My .338 Fed liked the 185 TTSX the best out of my hand loads, my reloading mentor shoots TSX out of his .340 Wtby to good effect, like through a 10-12" poplar and then through an adult doe good effect.






    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    There seems to be some promise for good results in this thread. 

    The .35 caliber bullets are way too long to use in my .350 Legend (sized down to .356") but should be just fine in my .358x1.71 when its done.  The .350 is limited by magazine length where the .358 will be on a R700-AAC with the spacer removed from the magazine.  

    The 6.5mm 100gr TTSX can be loaded as long as the 127 LRX in my Howa so that will be my velocity winner for sure with the Grendel.  Might be able to get that one up to 2900 FPS with the 22" barrel on the Howa.

    The 350gr TSX looks almost comical in my .458x1.8.  The 300gr TTSX looks right at home though.  Going to have to find some time to sit down with QL and see what I can come up with.
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,828 Senior Member
    The only Barnes bullet I use is their 190 grain, spitzer tip boattail for my 300 win mag.
    No good deed goes unpunished...
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,780 Senior Member
    I love Barnes bullets!   When I went on SA safari in 2007, I shot 180 TSX's on top of IMR 4831.  Never a problem!  Very accurate and all animals dropped quickly.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,762 Senior Member
    Years ago I tried factory Barnes XLC 130 grainers in my .270 A-Bolt, which will group darned near everything in 3/4", and usually well under that. I shot 2 3-shot groups and the best was a bit over 2". I still have 14 of those rounds left.

    It may have been the Lub-Aloy coating, later experience showed even moly coated bullets fired from a clean barrel took about a dozen shots before they really settled down. That said, I've not revisited Barnes since. In big game chamberings, a dozen shots to foul the barrel becomes prohibitively expensive.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,120 Senior Member
    I have taken numerous game animals with a 7mm-08 loaded with 140 gr. Barnes TTSX bullets and have zero complaints.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,850 Senior Member
    Mike, my understanding of the reason they discontinued those was because they didn't figure the thickness of the coating into the diameter of the actual bullet and most of them were actually over sized. I still have some of the 52/55gr XLC 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,762 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Mike, my understanding of the reason they discontinued those was because they didn't figure the thickness of the coating into the diameter of the actual bullet and most of them were actually over sized. I still have some of the 52/55gr XLC 
    Not sure I'm biting on that one, Paul. The Lubaloy coating is only microns thick, well less than the dimensional tolerances on both bores and bullets. Plus, at one time I was treating my bullets with moly, PLUS coating my bore with moly paste. I promise those two coatings was well beyond the thickness of the Lubloy Barnes used. Accuracy didn't suffer as a result.

    I think they were discontinued simply because they shot like musket balls in a goodly percentage of factory rifles.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,850 Senior Member
    That may be.
    I seem to recall reading that somewhere, but never checked.
    I guess I could always measure a couple of the ones that I still have (IF I can find them)
    Also, when you say Lubloy, I think of the black stuff Winchester uses which IS thin.
    The XLCs I have have a MUCH thicker blue coating
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    QL numbers look promising for the .458x1.8 and 6.5 Grendel.  Both should be good to ranges further than I would ever anticipate being able to use them at in this state.  I have not had a chance to load any up yet, but hopefully soon.  Work has been crazy and I have parents cars to fix getting in the way.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,850 Senior Member
    In my first post, I said I hadn't taken any game with one. I completely forgot about a STUPID doe that I neck shot with one (120gr TTSX), as she was laying in the edge of a greenfield and let me walk to within 30 yards. 

    Being neck a shot, not much damage to examine
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,822 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    That may be.
    I seem to recall reading that somewhere, but never checked.
    I guess I could always measure a couple of the ones that I still have (IF I can find them)
    Also, when you say Lubloy, I think of the black stuff Winchester uses which IS thin.
    The XLCs I have have a MUCH thicker blue coating
    I have some 6mm 95gr Barnes "blue" bullets and they measure right on the money.
    For what that's worth.

    Sako
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,850 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #28
    Thanks Sako,
    Either I mis-remembered reading that, or what I read was incorrect.
    In either case, seems I was wrong.
     Edited to add: PLUS, I don't have to go digging around in "the cave" to try and find mine to measure :)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Finally getting around to making some dummies and getting measurements to be about 0.050" off the lands.  Looking like the 300 TTSX has the most promise.  Should be able to safely get it to 2200 FPS.  The 350 might be a no go due to a theoretical safe load at about 2000 FPS.  I might be able to push the 250gr to 2500 and the 300 TSX to around 2150.

    Expensive little buggers, so load development might be a costly endeavour.  




    I already know I can drive a Speer 350gr to 2250 FPS, but that is the low end of load data for anything using that bullet.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,745 Senior Member
    If memory servers, I tried 200 grain Barnes <something> in my 338x284, but didn't care for the accuracy (or lack thereof).  Also, as I recall, they're a bit on the pricey side.

    Perhaps I gave up on them too soon, but I found something else my rifle likes so I don't see a lot of reason to revisit.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Pricey is an understatement.   Past experience has me doubting accuracy, but that was years ago the last time I tried Barnes bullets.  

    One of the reasons I want to see if I can get them to work is that it seems more states are looking into the lead free hunting bullet idea.  I'm not a fan of it, but if it happens I want to know that I have options.
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