Barnes X Bullets


July 24, 2013, 01:36 PM
Anyone have any experience using these on deer or other critters

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July 24, 2013, 02:50 PM
I haven't shot any game yet, but am getting excellent results at the range with 130 gr TTSX's @ 3050 fps from my 308. I've talked to enough hunters online that have used them successfully to be confident of them working, if used properly. Lots of guys try to use the same bullet weight they would use with conventional bullets. This is my deer/black bear load for next FAll.

Forgive me if you already know this, but I've done a bit of research and this is the advice I have gotten about Barnes bullets.

The original X bullets do not expand as reliably in 30 cal and under. Shoot the TTSX unless you are shooting a larger caliber.

The TTSX bullets need speed at impact to work. At least 2000 fps when you hit game, or it may not expand. To do this drop down at least 1, maybe 2 bullet weights, you will get best results if you can have them leave the muzzle at around 3000 fps or more.

Don't worry about the light bullets penetrating. Even at ultra high speeds they maintain 98%-100% of their weight. A conventional 165 gr bullet @ 2700 fps would only weigh around 100-130 gr after impact. The 130 TTSX will give equal or better penetration @ close to 3100 fps.

The downside:

Because they need speed at impact, and light bullets slow faster at long range than heavy bullets, they are not a good choice for longer range shooting. My 308/130 gr load is still over 2000 fps out to 400 yards though. (

July 24, 2013, 04:02 PM
I don't want this to be taken as a rebuke of jmr40 but the expansion issues with the original TSX were resolved over 20 years ago. Needless to say, the rumor lives on.

The all copper construction does indeed create bullets long relative to their weight, so depending on rifle twist, you may have to go down in weight vs a lead core bullet and given their largely superior penetration, there is no penalty per se in doing so.

In any caliber delivering 1500 fps and above terminal velocity, I would be comfortable with the TSX. Below that, I would forego the risk and use the polymer tip TTSX.

I have had great success on hogs with 180 gr TSX from an 18.5" barrel M49 sporter in 8x57, so relatively low terminal velocities. Never had a recovery to view expansion, but the wound channels tell a story of effectiveness.

Good luck and happy hunting!

July 24, 2013, 05:38 PM
I have killed several deer, one bear, one antelope and one elk using 30-06 handloads with 165 gr TSX. Rifle was a Savage 110 with 22" barrel. All one shot kills. Great, deadly bullet.

July 24, 2013, 09:39 PM
140 gr tsx in 7mm rem mag killed two red stag in new Zealand this spring. complete pass through on one and angling shot bullet was recovered under skin, looked just like the pictures you have seen. I got load information from barnes, they even suggested a seating depth from lands. very accurate three touching at 100 yards

July 25, 2013, 12:09 AM
Thanks for the info guys

July 25, 2013, 10:15 PM
My best buck fell to a 120 gr X bullet out of a Swede. He never knew what hit him. Excellent bullets but not needed on deer sized game. If I had a chance to hunt something tough, I wouldn't hesitate to load some in my 257 Weatherby or my 300WSM.

July 25, 2013, 10:43 PM
My grandfather loaded one up years ago for a .35 Whelen...... The deer didn't run, it just fell over. And once we gutted the deer, we found the bullet, and by golly it was a picture perfect result.

July 25, 2013, 11:37 PM
I bought some of these bullets for .30 Carbine. Barnes makes them for Cor-Bon and they're not a catalog item, but they make large enough overruns to supply demand from handloaders. Item number is 30800, about $41.50 w/shipping. 100 gr.

Has anybody shot a deer with one of these? They said these bullets were made for deer hunting. I bought them for a possible deer hunt and for h/d loads. Loaded with 14.5 gr H110.

July 26, 2013, 01:04 AM
I'm hoping to use the 150 gr .311 bullets for my 7.62x54R this upcoming season. I'm not exactly sure where to start as a load? I was told to start at the min. load of the same weight and go from there. Is this correct?

July 26, 2013, 08:14 AM
Tricky, min charge for same bullet weight is a good place to start. In reality, the only key difference to other bullets is length to weight, impacting both COL and rifle twist. Increased pressure vs same bullet weight is reported and the .311 in yours may spike slightly but essentially just need to back off max charge for same bullet weight by +5% to be sure. It will be overkill in the 7.62x54 for deer, but nothing wrong with that ;-)

July 26, 2013, 08:27 AM
A few truck loads of African plains game, moose, elk, black bear as well as a few hogs and deer have left me more than pleased with the X, TSX and TTSX. This in 338-06 (TSX), 358 Win (TTSX), 35 Whelen (TSX) and the 9.3x62 (original X).

July 26, 2013, 09:43 PM
Anyone have any experience using these on deer or other critters

Not everyone will agree, but unless you are using a hot magnum, X Bullets really aren't needed on deer sized game. They are great if you need maximum penetration for larger, tougher game or maximum weight retention for ultra high velocity loads. Otherwise, a regular "cup-and-core" bullet should do just fine (at significantly less cost) for most deer hunters.

Sent from the Andromeda galaxy using Tachyon particles

July 27, 2013, 09:06 AM
They may not be needed but they do offer a step up in bullet performance if a not sp great angle is all that's offered .

I first used a original barnes X design not a the updated models back around 20 + years ago. Had a not so great angle on a big mule deer with 2 hour left before we had to leave to catch a flight home. Bullet went thru the top of the rear ham, hip joint, right loin and broke 4 vertibra, cross thru a couple ribs to the inside of the rib cage and took out most of a lung , went thru the front shoulder blade and was found under the skin at the chest. 52" of tissue in total. Bullet looks like a perfect mushroom. It was a 140gr 7mm rm at 85 yards .

I have since used a few tsx bullets on deer , elk and hogs and they were not found. All worked very well .

For normal deer hunting I like the SST from hornady but if traveling or haveing a shot at something special on a trip; a tsx or ttsx will be with me.

July 30, 2013, 12:01 AM
I'm working on a load for 308 with TTSX 150gr. First round of testing looks great. Now I have to zero scope and do an expansion test.

July 30, 2013, 01:41 AM
I have used 168gr Black hills Barnes TSX on hogs, and it does a number on them. ( 308Winchester with 18.5inch bbl)

I'm planning to use this load for hunting elk and hopefully moose in the future, but prefer to try them out on hogs beforehand to give me specific info on how the load/rifle/optic/caliber combination works all together.

I will probably use this load on whitetail to see how it does as well.

So far, 4 hogs have been dumped with this load, and no bullets recovered.

Compared to other loads I have used in the past, this specific load is a bit of overkill concerning the wallet, but worth it if the opportunity to hunt elk and/or moose presents itself in the future.

July 30, 2013, 04:12 AM
A buddy of mine hunted with them for a season here in Alabama. His gun was a 7mm-mag. It was about 6 years ago. He shot three deer hunting with me all of which we found. But despite hitting them all tight behind the shoulder they all ran a long ways with a very sparse blood trail. Entrance hole and exit hole were virtually the same size. Just didn't seem like they expanded much on our smaller Bama deer. It was about like hunting with a FMJ. He ditched them and now uses Federal Fusions with much better results.

That's the limit of my experience with them. Your results may vary.

Lloyd Smale
August 1, 2013, 01:59 PM
im on both sides of the argument. Ive had great luck with tssx bullets 7mm and bigger and crap luck with smaller. The 24s and 25s just dont seem to do enough damage and ive had them pencil right through doing about nothing but put a caliber sized hole through deer. I wont use them anymore unless its at least a 7mm and only in magnum calibers where i know there will be enough velocity to insure expansion and non mag guns of mine are for the most part deer or smaller and you sure dont need a barnes bullet to kill ANY deer.

August 4, 2013, 10:31 AM
Shot an elk at about 50 feet with one last fall, his legs just fell out from under him. Found the bullet under the hide when I skinned him. The bullet was a perfect mushroom, caliber was 300 win.
I don't know if I would use it for deer.

August 5, 2013, 11:59 PM
They work excellent on deer and bear. One shot kills so far.

jim in Anchorage
August 6, 2013, 01:28 AM
copper foul my bore horribly, do nothing my clean shooting Noslers can't.

August 13, 2013, 11:17 AM
The advise above, that Barnes need high velocity to open is spot on. Here in the peoples Republik of Kommifornia we are required to stay away from lead in "the condor zone", and soon in the whole state.

Here is a 200# plus sow that I took Saturday with a 130 grain Barnes, pushed by 65 grains of Varget (300 WSM) velocity is 3500fps. She was running full speed to my left and I did not lead her enough and popped her in the left butt cheek on the first shot...shoulder/heart/lung on the next finishing shot.

Here is the exit wound from the first shot. The hole at first was 1 1/2", and the bullet blew apart the femur, ischium/ilium and destroyed 1/3 of the ham ... and essentially did much of the gutting for me as it exited. They are very destructive bullets, so long as you give them plenty of speed. The wide cavity of the 150 grain 30-30 bullets are the only Barnes that expand at slower rifle velocities.

August 13, 2013, 09:00 PM
Yikes. I wouldn't want to be hit with that bullet

August 19, 2013, 11:24 AM
Taken many, many Alabama deer with the 100 gr. .25 caliber bullets with my .250 Savage. All were one shot kills, and have had many never take a step after getting shot. Used them to take 2 big Kansas bucks that were one-shot kills that took out several inches of vertebra. Both were around 200 yard shots. I recovered one of the bullets and it showed picture perfect expansion. They are the only bullets I use for hunting.

August 19, 2013, 01:32 PM
Any opinions about using these on whitetails? This is Cor-Bon ammo, but has Barnes bullets in it. These are the same bullets I asked about up in post #9, I loaded them just under max with H110, about 14.3gr.

August 19, 2013, 10:16 PM
My first deer was with a 90gr Barnes X back in the early 90's. worked well.

When my father was at Aberdeen Proving Grounds he shot lots of deer with the local game warden for testing after eating grass from the practice ranges on the depleted uranium testing grounds. He harvested countless with that 243. Farthest was way too far and barly messed up the tip of it and severed the spine. It was recovered and reloadable. That particular rifle did well with them.

Some have a history of poor accuracy, but that's been fixed with the newer designed X bullets.

August 19, 2013, 10:49 PM
I've done some wildcatting with the Barnes .40 caliber 195 grain MZ bullet that's used in a .45 caliber sabot for muzzleloading. In both rifle and handgun cartridges of the same wildcat, it does a great job on whitetail at moderate ranges. Have never recovered a bullet. But have never lost a deer and haven't had to track a shot one either. I find the bullets accurate and easy to load, but I don't have any experience in non-wildcats with Barnes X's.

November 3, 2013, 05:17 PM
I killed a nice buck last evening using the Barnes X bullet in my 7mm magnum at 240 yards. The buck jumped into the brush. We found him thirty yards from where I initially hit him. Put a nice entrance and exit hole in him. I am using the older style that look like a hollow point. Great bullet for what I am using it for

November 3, 2013, 08:01 PM
Both my loaner rifles for clients shoot the TSX and TTSX bullets. The 30/06 shoots 165gr, and the 375HH shoots 270 grain

The 30/06 with the 165's has killed well in excess of 1000 big game now for us, and the 375HH is probably shy of that by a few hundred.

The 30/06 has killed everything from Steenbok and duiker to Eland and Giraffe. It does seem, and I think the success had proven this out. That the faster 165's work better then the more standard or common weight of 180grain bullets.

There is no doubt or argument possible that the TSX and the TTSX are the best hunting bullet made today by a wide margin. Sure the Noslers of old were in their day. But they are a very distant second or more accurately third now to the TSX and then bonded core bullets like the Aframe. The Partition does nothing as well as a TSX. They are nowhere near as accurate in a gun that shoots them well. Which is every gun now that the design changes with the bands have been introduced along the shank. The 165 grain bullet in a 30/06 today will greatly outperform the 300 mag with a 180 grain cup and core bullet when that cartridge was introduced.

When you recover that 165gr TSX it is still 165 grains. Shoot a 180 Gr up and core or partition and it will be very lucky to retain 1/2 it's weight. Lower weight less penetration. Not to mention that the Partition will fold the jacket back and as velocity diminishes it will be hooked onto tissue and end up backward quite frequently. Where the TSX will drive through like a spear blasting through any bone, or internal tissue it encounters.

Since we switched all bullets to the TSX we have lost exactly one Blue wildebeest with a poorly placed accidental shot by the hunter. On some culling operations 30-50 animals are shot in 2-3 days for meat.

Anyone can see a bullet perform fantastic and assume it's the greatest bullet ever. Or see something they don't like or understand and feel the bullet is a horrible design. I think for us, we see hundreds of animals shot at many different ranges, and sizes under lots of conditions. We cannot see anything better to use then the TSX or the TTSX today.

By the way, the TTSX is the one with the plastic tip. The performance is no different then the TSX. I think they added the tip as some kind of Placebo for the naysayers of the TSX that may feel it does not open up or perform well. I'm here to tell you, the TSX driven as fast as you can make it go in your rifle will work like magic. Don't be afraid to drop a bullet weight and get it to max velocity. It will surprise you!

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