Bad experience with Barnes Triple-Shok X Bullets


rock jock
May 6, 2006, 11:28 PM
Got in some large-game hunting recently using Federal 7MM Rem. Mag 160-gr Barnes Triple-Shok X bullets. Shots were fired from 20-320 yards on light skinned large deer-like creatures with hits on bone, through lungs, heart, and muscle. Results, none of the bullets expanded beyond estimated 25% of diameter, with half exhibiting almost zero expansion. Highly ineffective, very disappointing.

Just thought I would pass this info on. I selected these rounds based on recommendations from various websites and wanted to warn folks away from them so they don't make the same mistakes. I don't know if the 160-gr bullet is too heavy for the 7 Mag in factory loadings or what, I just know that these things were garbage. After the hunt, I tossed the remaining rounds in the trash. Good riddance.

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May 6, 2006, 11:46 PM
the triple shock is a good bullet, and 160 grains are great in the 7 mag. but, this is a case of 2 great tastes that don't go great together.

i would wager you would've had far more satisfactory performance if you had used a 140 (or lighter) tsx, or a 160 conventional bullet.

sorry for your disappointment - i hope it didn't destroy your hunting experience.

rock jock
May 7, 2006, 12:12 AM
Dakota, the bullet almost ruined the hunt, but repeated shots made at running animals salvaged the day. I'll do more research next time.

May 7, 2006, 01:24 AM
well... i don't know what to say! glad you went hunting, very sorry to hear of the downside.

the 7 mag is a favored cartridge of mine - i've done a ton of hunting and shooting w/ it, and am acutely aware of its abilities and limits (not many of those!).

this 'premium' bullet nonsense is spilling over, and it directly affected your hunt. w/ the 7 mag, you can safely run 3000 - 3150 f/s muzzle velocity w/ hornady interlocks and get stellar performance. that translates to 162's. if you want to up the velocity by using 120's or 140's, you do need to take precautions. 139/140's will work well most of the time at full honk - but once you close 50 yards you've got to be very careful to not hit the shoulder, but to slip the bullet in just behind the shoulder. if you run 120's, you'll be needing barnes xlc-type toughness.

sierra gameking 150's and 160's work well, also. same caveats w/ going lighter.

so... the tradeoff... run 160-class bullets and gain the bc advantage for long shots, or run 140's and get the velocity advantage...? from standard bullets in the 140-class, i have had mostly good results. note: mostly. thus, in my 7 mags, i now run 160's and take the bc and construction advantages. i don't like paying $30 for 50 component bullets, which is what i think is needed at 140 and lighter velocity/construction.

sorry to ramble. glad you went hunting, sorry you needed to test your moving target skills. glad you have those skills.

rock jock
May 7, 2006, 02:02 AM
Thanks for advice, dakota. I'll keep this thread saved for future reference.

Looking at the ballistic chart for the Federal 160-gr Barnes Triple Shok, the velocity at 100 yds. is only 2755 fps and 2578 at 200 yds. This seems too low to ensure reliable expansion. In retrospect, I should have paid a little more attention to these numbers before I hunted. Any opinions on that?

May 7, 2006, 02:43 AM
nope - you already have that one nailed. barnes need velocity, and lots of it, to expand reliably. 2500, 2600 isn't enough velocity to guarantee expansion.

also, all federal ammo i have chronied has come out pathetically slow. very likely it isn't even close to advertised claims, exacerbating the problem further.

if you like heavy bullets (i do), then run cup-n-core bullets. if you like velocity, then run barnes. the 7 mag is right at the cusp of needing premiums, but i don't think they're called for in the 7 mag. everything is a trade off... premium bullets rarely give optimal expansion, but they retain their weight. cup-and-core's are more likely to shed weight, but expand all the way.

my partner and i squeezed off near simultaneous shots at whitetail bucks this fall. they were a hair over 400 yards (mine dressed out at 215 pounds, his went 235). i was using a 300 win mag stoked w/ 165 xlc's, he was using a 308 w/ 165 hornady. at the shots, both deer staggered and fell. when we finally got to them, the bullet from my deer had exited, his was in the offside skin after going thru arm bone, cut across the sternum, caught a rib, and broke the offside arm bone. my bullet was in and out. point is, the old standards are a lot tougher than most would have you believe. his bullet had to break a lot of bone just to get to the chest, and it not only did that, but went on thru to the other side, breaking more bone. my bullet caused minimal damage, which was made up for by perfect shot placement. had i been a couple inches off, i'm sure we'd still be tracking that deer because there wasn't enough expansion to ensure maximum damage. his had expanded enough that even though his bullet struck much lower than desired, it did maximum damage.

i have a billion stories of shots taken w/ the 7 mag... some are good...

May 7, 2006, 06:28 AM
So is barnes of any weight a 100 yd max bullet then?????
130-140 grainers are doing the same at 100 as 160's came out of the muzzle at. If this is the case,and I truly hope NOT,then why isn't barnes putting minimum impact fps literature in with their product..We also have the concern that if minimum fps is a consideration the literature I've mentioned should also disclude some cartidges..I tried their 458's in my lott,an expansion test is wet snow showed little expansion.After calling barnes tech,I was told it must be animal tissue..Animal tissue it will be then..Went to the butcher,got a 45 gal drum of densly packed scraps. I think all will agree that when I got that home and used a garden hose to add about a gallon of water I pretty much had the real thing. I think most will also agree that when I point blanked the drum at 2850 I pretty much tested that bullet as fast as it is apt to be driven. Max exp> 3/32" petal. Now all of this being said,a while back I got a bit of info from someone at barnes service who told me their bullets were no where near as consistant as other brands.....OOOOHHHH Now could we be onto something?????

May 7, 2006, 07:44 AM
OK, the bullets didn't expand much; did the animals die though? What is the big deal about bullet expansion? Thousands of buffalo were killed with solid lead bullets that weren't designed to expand. Elephants are routinely killed with bullets that aren't supposed to expand and if they do, it's considered poor performance.

If a bullet doesn't expand and goes through the heart or both lungs, it seems to me the animal is going to promptly die. If the bullet expands excessively and doesn't make it into vital structure, you may have a huge superficial wound and the animal may get away. I'll take penetration over expansion any day.

I don't generally use Barnes Triple-Shocks but not because of expansion issues; they just don't seem as accurate in guns I've tried them in as other choices.

Charles S
May 7, 2006, 09:22 AM
What is the big deal about bullet expansion?

I take it you don't have much hunting experience.

Yes, you can kill any animal with solids.

You can kill much more quickly with a better blood trail with an expanding bullet. Expanding bullets are prefered on all but the most dangerous game.

Reading about hunting and doing it are two different things.


May 7, 2006, 09:34 AM
i use triple shocks in 308 and 300wsm. my results are the exact opposite of yours on deer and hogs . great expansion dropping all animals with in feet of where they were hit

May 7, 2006, 09:44 AM
why isn't barnes putting minimum impact fps literature in with their product..

the same reason nosler ballistic tips don't come w/ a maximum velocity warning, i suppose.

grumulkin- dangerous game hunting, and hunting massive critters is a whole 'nuther world from antelope-type hunts. not comparable. and, even w/ elephants, there is typical an expandable bullet followed by a solid - not just solids.

May 7, 2006, 09:59 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again there is no need for "premium" bullets for deer size game.

May 7, 2006, 11:36 AM
What about slower velocities(giving the bullet more time to expand)? At in-line muzzleloader speeds, I've used both the hollow point and spitzers to take deer, and exit wounds show a high degree of expansion. I realize that there are probably slightly different bullets- between rifle and muzzleloader, but work on the same principals:evil:

May 7, 2006, 12:11 PM
Actually I do have a fair amount of hunting experience and of working with living tissue in general. The fact is, whether or not a bullet expands is a lot less important than where you put it. If you put it in the right place, you won't need much of a blood trail because the animal won't be far from where you plugged it.

Furthermore, whatever type of bullet you're shooting, the entry would will probably be rather small. If the bullet doesn't exit the animal, the only blood trail you will get is from the small entry wound.

I have never takien an animal with a Barnes bullet because, as I said previously, I haven't found them to be the most accurate. I have, however, seen several animals hit with them propelled by a 340 Weatherby Magnum. The Zebra had a through and through wound of not huge diameter and died promptly. The Gemsbok was put down with the first which would have been enough but a second bullet was used to end things sooner. One bullet was recovered beautifully expanded.

I shot a a Blue Wildebeest with a 375 H&H Mag. using a Speer 270 gr. botailed spitzer. There was a small entry wound on the right shoulder that bled only a few drops of blood. The bullet stopped under the hide beautifully expanded on the far side of the chest. If I had been using Barnes Triple Shocks I have little doubt there would have been a through and through wound with a great blood trail and the animal would have died either way.

And I agree, you don't need premium bullets to hunt deer.

May 7, 2006, 01:17 PM
If the bullet doesn't exit the animal...

that is a mighty big if... of all the animals i've dumped, or been party to their demise, my partner's buck last year was the first time i have ever recovered a bullet.

May 7, 2006, 03:35 PM
I've killed well over 50 head of game with Barnes TSX and many many more with standard Barnes X.

I use the Barnes in .308 diameter 168gr (.308win) 180gr (.30-06 & various .300's) and 200gr .(300win or Weatherby)

I use the 225gr TSX in my .358 and it is an absoloute nightmare on hogs every one I've hit with it went down like it was brain shot. They were all shoulder shots. Extremely dramatic kills for a body shot hog.

In the .375H&H I use 270gr TSX @ 2700FPS fps and the solids @ the same velocity in.470 N.E. I use the 500gr X and will be using the 500Gr TSX and banded square nose solid in the future.

I've had nothing but impressive dramatic knock downs and many of those were impressive one shot kills with the TSX. My .308 my .300win and my .375H&H shoot TSX's incredibly tight. My .375H&H will regularly shoot three TSX's inside of a 1/2" at 100 yards in fact my sweetest group to date was with the 270gr TSX a .376"center to center group.

The highest velocity I shoot the TSX is out of the .300win and the .300 Weatherby with 180's @avg 3100 FPS. I've had perfect performance out of those with several explosive one shot kills. One on an elk at about 80 yards the other a hog at about 100 yards.

The slowest Barnes load I use is the 470NE with a 500Gr X @ 2150FPS The only big animals I've shot with it are cape buffalo. The performance is boringly perfect. I get perfect expansion and about 6 to 7' of penetration. I think it goes with out saying that it is a devistating hog round.:)

The only "bad" thing I've ever seen a Barnes do is blow the petals off at high velocity. I watched a buddy shoot a big bodied bull elk at about 260 yards with my old .300 weatherby. The elk took three steps and cratered. The bullet entered just at the last rib and exited the point of the off shoulder we did not recover the bullet but the exit wound indicated that the bullet had shed the petals. However at this point you have a square nosed solid ripping through the vitals which is a very deadly, damaging type of projectile.

I've had nothing but good luck with Barnes and the TSX has been a major step up in both accuracy and killing power.

I've heard bad things about barnes bullets. I have never personally seen any of them happen with my kills or the kills my buddies make with Barnes. I'll keep using them as they've never let me down. I've used Barnes X and TSX from Alaska to Africa without a hitch.

May 7, 2006, 06:15 PM
Do you use any special techniques to get good accuracy with Barnes bullets? What powder did you use for your 375 H&H Mag. load?

I've been impressed with Barnes bullets performance but haven't been particularly impressed with the accuracy I get from them (maybe my fault). I'm working on some TSX 22-250 loads that may be pretty accurate but I have to shoot it a bit more to be sure.

rock jock
May 7, 2006, 10:07 PM
I've had nothing but good luck with Barnes and the TSX has been a major step up in both accuracy and killing power.
That's interesting, because both the outfitter and guide I hunted with said they have seen the absolute worse performance with Barnes bullets over 18 years of guiding. But I guess any bullet is going to be somewhat of a mixed bag.

May 7, 2006, 11:33 PM
Do you use any special techniques to get good accuracy with Barnes bullets? What powder did you use for your 375 H&H Mag. load?

No special techniques. I use a max listed load of IMR4320 trim to suggested max OAL and seat .005 off the lans.

If you are going to use Barnes X bullets you need to make sure your barrel is PERFECTLY clean meaning no other jacket material what so ever. Barnes do not like barrels fouled with dissimilar jacket material.

Try using a product called Wipe Out to get your barrel really spotless.

And of course there are going to be some barrels that just won't shoot some bullets. My tack driving .375H&H will not shoot 270gr Hornandy spire points at all.

:confused: Just one of those things.


That's interesting, because both the outfitter and guide I hunted with said they have seen the absolute worse performance with Barnes bullets over 18 years of guiding. But I guess any bullet is going to be somewhat of a mixed bag.

As I've said I've killed hundreds of head of game from elephants to jack rabbits with Barnes and I've yet to see one fail to perform. And that goes for quite a few years of guiding and watching clients and friends kill critters with Barnes bullets as well.

I'd be willing to bet you that what we have here is a simple case of different definitions. I don't consider it a failure if a critter runs off after being hit in the vitals as long as that critter is leaving good blood and is found dead near by. I know that many people who hunt deer primarily think it's a disaster if the animal doesn't crumple to the shot.

My other question to you would be did you recover these .7MM bullets that only had 25% expansion or were you judging the expansion from the exit holes?

A Barnes will not leave a big exit hole even after hitting bone due to the fact that they stick together so well and cut through the critter like a broad head when compared to traditional bullet.

If you don't like Barnes TSX by all means you've got your reasons and I'm not suggesting you should use them. I'm just telling what my personal experience has been with them.;)

By the way what kind of "deer like" critters where you hunting?

30-06 lover
May 8, 2006, 02:03 AM
The all copper concept has been a flawed idea, to me, from the beginning. It just wont be as good as lead for expansion. With the new bonded bullets now available, there is no excuse to buy a bullet that works most of the time.

May 8, 2006, 02:44 AM
Woodleigh from Australia puts detailed min and max impact FPS information on all their bullet boxes, as well as SD and BC data. I have no idea why US bullet makers can't be bothered to do likewise. It's more than a minor technical point. It can cost game or worse. There are a lot of 8mm sp's that get loaded in 8x57JS cartridges when they were actually designed for the Rem Mag velocities, for example. No reason it should happen, the makers just want to sell more I suppose.

May 8, 2006, 10:40 AM
rock jock; You might want to check out some of the reviews on Midwayusa on the Nosler Partition for 7mm.

May 8, 2006, 11:38 AM
I have used the standard X-Bullet in 120 gr 7mm in a 14" 7/30 Waters T/C Contender for years and have been very happy with that bullet. I have gotten expansion out to 180 yds-marked with laser range finder. I don't come close to the velocity of a 7 mag. Obviously I not doing something right.

May 8, 2006, 11:39 AM
Woodleigh from Australia puts detailed min and max impact FPS information on all their bullet boxes, as well as SD and BC data. I have no idea why US bullet makers can't be bothered to do likewise. Agreed, but as a FYI most of 'em will tell you if you ask - they just don't print it all on the box. I've had many an email conversation with Speer, Hornady, Sierra, and Barnes tech support on this very subject.....

May 9, 2006, 07:50 PM
You didn't recover a bullet but can estimate expansion to within .07 inches?

pre'64 Dan
May 10, 2006, 09:02 PM
I've shot 168gr. xlc's, and had so so performance out of my '06. there is nothing like 180 gr. partitions for ANYTHING THAT WALKS. I agree that shot placement is what counts, and if you can't hit what you're aiming at, then don't shoot/hunt

May 12, 2006, 02:07 PM
I knew a guy who shot a devil dog with these things, TWICE, and the dog just grinned and walked away, crumpling grass as it went.......Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.:neener:

February 28, 2010, 03:32 PM
I have no experience with devil dogs, but I have shot quite a few deer. Last year I tried Barnes TSX 130's out of my 270 win for the first time. I shot two deer, both at 153 yards. The first was a broadside, high double lung hit. When I recovered from the recoil, the deer was gone. I quickly aimed at the second one that didn't know what just happened and again hit a bit high. The deer was quarting to me and the bullet entered high in the shoulder then hit the spine and traveled the entire length of the body and then turned down and broke the back leg inside the ham. That deer also dropped instantly. The bullet was recovered and showed full expansion just like the ad pictures. I wasn't too happy with how much good meat I destroyed, but I was very impressed with the amount of penetration. If the bullet hadn't hit the thigh bone, it would have blasted out the back. As for accuracy, they consitantly group in the 3/4" range out of that gun.

February 28, 2010, 05:02 PM
I've had real good results with the TSX.

I would like to know just how many of the bullets were recovered though (and love to see pics), because on deer sized animals...complete pass throughs are the rule for most calibers suitable for deer hunting.

February 28, 2010, 05:07 PM
JMHO, but that's a lot of bullet for a piddlin' deer. It's more of a moose hunting bullet. I shoot 150 Nosler BT in .308 and go to 140 (as long as a lead bullet of 160 grains) in a Barnes for controlled expansion. I think this might have been your problem and like another poster says, I think you'd been better off with a 140 Barnes.

BTW, on hogs, that .30 caliber 140 expands even at .30-30 pistol velocities. I have used it out of my Contender.

February 28, 2010, 05:10 PM
Highly ineffective, very disappointing.SO, did they kill the deer sized animals so you could look at the holes exit and estimate the expanded bullets size?

If so, the dead "deer size" animals indicate to me the bullets worked exactly as intended.


Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 28, 2010, 05:36 PM
Barnes DOES state in several places to check which weight bullet you would ORDINARILY use (like a lead soft point) and then drop to the next lower weight in a Triple Shock.

When I hear 7MM and 160 grain X bullets (TSX), what I understand of TSX's is that is way too heavy for what you were shooting. Perhaps you should have shot an elephant (or a rhino). :rolleyes:

From what I have researched, these X bullets will literally go LENGTHWISE through the animal!

March 1, 2010, 12:13 AM
As I've mentioned elsewhere on THR I've also had 100% DRT experiences with the (180) TSX in deer & elk with my 300 WSM at ranges from 50 yds out to about 300 yds. Well, ok, one cow was trotting at the time and made it about 50 feet.. :D I wish I could recover one to see how it opened up, but so far all I've recovered was tasty meat with no lead in it.

The only TSX I've ever seen recovered was a factory Federal 140gr 7mm-08 load my friend put in a cow elk at about 100 yds with her Remington model 788 (18"bbl). We found the picture perfect mushroom in the off-side hide. The other 2 cows I've seen her anchor with the same combination were pass throughs.

March 1, 2010, 08:45 AM
I can't comment on performance on game because in my only experience with Barnes bullets (Original X Bullets) they were highly inaccurate and fouled my barrel so bad that I would never ever buy another Barnes product again. I'll stick with my Partitions.

Tom Held
March 1, 2010, 09:14 AM
I think some of the earlier threads were right on about the velocity needed with that bullet. This past year I had the opportunity to hunt plains game in Namibia and used the 180 grain Barnes TSX in a 300 Weatherby. Shooting off sticks I was fortunate to take 9 plains game animals including a 54" Kudu. Every animal with the exception of the Kudu was dropped in it's tracks (first shot on the Kukdu was too far back at 300 yards). I'm a BGE rifle shot (barely good enough). But the bullets performed very well. I recovered two bullets and they had picture perfect expansion. My PH and another hunter were very impressed with the bullet. That bullet in the Weatherby will print about 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards off a bench which I find acceptable for that caliber of rifle anc certainly good enough for a hunting rifle.

I suspect in a rifle with lower velocities that expansion might be a problem. My son took the same rifle to the Northwest Territories later and killed two nice caribou with the 160 grain TSX.

You should contact Randy Barnes or his daughter Jessica Brooks about the problem. They would want to know about it. I've found them to always be incredibly helpful and always willing to talk to hunters about their bullets.

I've also had very good luck with Nosler Partitions but they perform better in the Weatherby at distances beyond 200 yards when they start to lose velocity.

I've also used the Barnes TSX in a Wincheter 30:06 with very good results. Just my experience for what it's worth.

March 1, 2010, 09:35 AM
Accuracy is a gun to gun thing. My 7 mag is picky. It likes 150 game kings and for controlled expansion, it likes the 160 partitions. I tried 140 barnes in it and couldn't get decent groups. So, for controlled expansion, I'll stick with the Noslers. However, in my Remington M7 .308, the 140 barnes X (I think they've been discontinued) shot 1 MOA. I like the Nosler 150 BT for deer and thin skinned stuff, shoots 3/4 MOA, but the Barnes 140 has taken quite a few hogs for me in that rifle and they were all shoot through bang flops. The biggest I've taken was a tad over 200, though, nothing huge. But, I have confidence that rifle with the 140 would be up to the biggest hog I'll ever run across.

March 1, 2010, 09:56 AM
Another thing to consider, that I've noticed in testing TSX in both 30 cal and .277 cal, is that the light-for-caliber bullets open up easier at any given velocity than the heavy-for-caliber ones do. Your 160gr 284 cal bullets are as big as they come for that cal, so it would fall within my experience that they're the hardest to open up.

As I mentioned earlier the 140gr 284 cal TSX opens up at 18" 7-08 velocities no problem, so I'd maybe try that or the 150gr (is there a 150?) in your 7 mag before giving up on them. Assuming they'll shoot, of course.

March 1, 2010, 10:31 AM
Here is a report on TSX type bullets by John Barsness.

"To everybody who has shared their experiences with TSX's, thanks very much. Most of the time they will kill deer-sized game very well, especially in larger diameters like 7mm and .30. I was specificaly addressing my experience with the .25 caliber 100-grain TSX--which is considerable, both in the .257 Roberts and .257 Weatherby.

I have seen it do very well, in fact once saw it drop a 3x3 mule deer buck right now with a high lung shot at about 150 yards. But I have also seen some animals not drop so fast with similar shot placement.

The reason for our "disagreements" probably lies in the fact that I have seen a whole lot of game taken with TSX's. Most of the time they kill very well, but sometimes they do not, and when they don't the animal is likely to go a ways, in my experience further than with any other type of bullet.

I have been pacing off how far animals have gone after a solid double-lung hit for many years. Animals hit with Barnes X's (whether the old-style or TSX), Fail Safes, E-Tips or whatever "petal" type bullet have gone an average of just over 50 yards. Those hit with bullets that expand wider, or lose some weight, haven't gone as far.

The bullet that had dropped animals the quickest with lung shots has been the Berger VLD, at around 20 yards. Those averages include lung hits that drop animals instantly--and the highest percentage of instant drops also goes to the VLD, a bullet that normally comes completely apart, but only after penetrating a couple of inches.

I am primarily a meat hunter and do not deliberately aim for the shoulder/spine unless there is some real reason to drop it right there. But I have used that shot on a bunch of animals, and it doesn't take a TSX or other super-bullet to do the trick. I've done it with a bunch of bullets, including such "ordinary" bullets as the Hornady Interlock to the round-nosed Remington Core-Lokt.

All I am doing here is relate my experiences with various bullets. I've seen around 150 animals taken with TSX's, and my statements that it sometimes doesn't kill as quickly as wider-expanding lead cores are based on that experience.

If you are a TSX true believer, who's convinced that exit holes in the hide somehow kill quicker than massive destruction of the lungs, then you are also welcome to your opinion. You're also welcome to shoot shoulder-shoot all the deer you want. But I happen to disagree on both counts, and my disagreement is based on quite a bit of experience.

Please note that I NEVER said TSX's are bad bullets, anwyhere in this thread. They are very fine bullets, and paricularly good for certain jobs, especially on really big game. But I have not found them ideal on deer."

March 1, 2010, 10:35 PM
TSX's on light skinned game, out of a 7 mag, and you recovered them to measure expansion?!?!?

All my TSX kills have been a tiny entrance, tiny exit, and a jellied path in between thicker than my arm. Never found a bullet to look at.

Definitely a bullet for the "light and fast" crowd.

March 2, 2010, 12:42 AM
There seems to be a consensus on the fast-and-light theory for small- and medium-bore rifles, but what about big-bore? Has anybody played with the TSX in .45-70? Fantastic hog caliber, but we're dropping from the 2700 FPS class to the 1700 FPS class. Any thoughts?

March 2, 2010, 10:11 AM
What is the big deal about bullet expansion?

Well most states consider it a fairly big deal, which is why FMJ bullets are illegal in almost all of them.

If you are going to shoot animals with a large calibers like a .375 and up then yes, expansion might not be as important because even a caliber size hole all the way through with those big bullets is a pretty big hole. But if your bullet is starting off at 27, 28 or 30 caliber in size then it needs to expand to put animals on the ground quicker.

If you put it in the right place, you won't need much of a blood trail because the animal won't be far from where you plugged it.

The only shot that will drop an animal on the spot every time is a brain or spinal cord hit.

One of my best friends used Barnes TSX's one season out of his 7mm Mag. (Sorry I do not remember what weight bullet) I helped him recover some of the deer he shot. I have never seen deer hit more perfectly right behind the shoulder run so far.

Forget that 50 yard average mentioned by John Barnes in a post above. In our experience it was more like over a 100. Why is that a big deal? Maybe it isn't if you are hunting on open plains. But you shoot a deer just before dark, that turns and runs back into one of our finest Alabama briar thickets where visibility is about 3 feet. Then you plunge into that thicket after him, in the dark, with a flashlight, trying to follow a blood trail leaking out of only a caliber size hole. When you find him after an hour search, then drag him back 100 plus yards through that same thicket, you will, as you stand there bleeding from 50 places you used to have skin, come to understand the "Big Deal" about putting animals on the ground a bit quicker.

After two such experiences I offered him 30 bucks to throw all of them he had left away. Fortunately he was way ahead of me and ditched them without need of a bribe.

I've said it before and I'll say it again there is no need for "premium" bullets for deer size game.

Amen. Standard cup and core lead bullets are more than enough for the biggest whitetail to ever draw breath on Gods green earth. Many of these premium bullets are just too tough for whitetails.

March 2, 2010, 01:16 PM
I like the X bullets for what they are made for ,takeing down tough game buy makeing shots at bone. Shoot at the shoulders of any thing with a barnes and it will act like it should but shoot at the heart lung area and expect it to do as several other new copy cat bullets will do ,punch a real nice hole and exit. Use a quick opening bullet of some type of deer and keep the X for elk, moose, bear. caribou, hogs. Some thing you want to drop now by breaking the shoulders. I still use them in a 150gr x 308 for hog and have no problems and I have shot one mule deer in the rear ham and found the bullet under the skin in the frount shoulder with my 7mm 140gr rem mag That was 52" of damage done. Broke ribs back bone and one fine back strap but that deer went not one step . So much for changeing my elk bullet for a deer load. I shoot 140 gr sst for deer or a BT and deer drop with in several feet and never have to look for them.

March 2, 2010, 01:19 PM
Flyboy wrote:

There seems to be a consensus on the fast-and-light theory for small- and medium-bore rifles, but what about big-bore? Has anybody played with the TSX in .45-70? Fantastic hog caliber, but we're dropping from the 2700 FPS class to the 1700 FPS class. Any thoughts?

If you reload…this might work well for you:

WARNING: Not for lever guns! It has a hard polymer tip.

It was developed for the .458 SOCOM (that is what I use it for), but should work well in the .45/70 as well (it expands reliably at velocities as low as 1,000 fps).

March 2, 2010, 01:20 PM
+1 Pumpkinheaver. Nothing wrong with elcheapo Core-lokts. You dont need fused and bonded, welded and guilded, epoxy and posion tipped super bullets for deer.

March 2, 2010, 08:44 PM
Call me crazy, but maybe some of the issue is people using magnum rifles with CXP3 class bullets on CXP2 class game. It goes through the deer to fast to open up. If all you have is a magnum rifle (say in 7mm), try a load using the 120 grain TSX and don't push it to warp speed. I bet the same CXP2 class critters will fall over. It's all about the right tool for the job, fellas.

March 5, 2010, 01:38 PM
Well I can only speak from actual results so I offer this.

A BC moose taken at 180 yards with a 225 gr TSX from my 35 Whelen. Muzzle velocity 2700 fps with the bullet recovered after passing through just behind the near and off shoulders, just under the hide. Same load took a bull elk straight on facing me, never found the bullet.

A bull elk taken at 280 yards with a 185 gr TSX from my 338-06. Muzzle velocity was 2900 fps with the bullet recovered after passing just behind the near shoulder and centering the off one. Just under the hide.

The following are the 250 gr X from my 9.3x62 at 2650 fps. Critters, left to right, a gemsbuck at 75 yards, a "Texas heart shot" on a bushbuck at 130 yards, two kudu, a bull and the unfortunate cow that ran by behind him at 150 yards and an eland at 40 yards.

Some of the critters mentioned above.

March 5, 2010, 10:56 PM
you gotta consider at the velocities of the 7mm, the bullet, especially a solid copper bullet, is not going to have much of a chance to expand. If you are going to use a 7mag, use a ballistic tip, jacketed lead bullet to ensure that you will get expansion. Plus, I believe Barnes TSX's are marketed toward animals like Elk.

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