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  #1  
Old 02-11-2017, 09:23 AM
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COAL for Barnes TSX Bullets


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What are your thoughts on the overall length/distance from lands for Barnes TSX or other solid copper bullets?

I'm shooting some solid copper bullets for the first time, and using my new Tikka in 260 Remington. With the bullet hard into the lands, I have calculated that my maximum COAL with the 130gr TSX is 2.850". In the Barnes load data for that bullet, their COAL is 2.705". That's a lot of room to play with. I have an email message in to Barnes, but probably won't hear back from them until Tuesday or later in the week.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:56 AM
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Hey Stretch, hard into the lands is asking for trouble. You need to determine where the rifling starts in your 260 chamber. Then load the TSX at least .050 off of the lands. Some times it requires seating deeper, some times shallower. Also I recommend using the 120gr TSX instead of the 130gr in the 260. I have taken numerous elk over the years & the 120gr has been a consistent performer with 100% penetration from a 260/6.5x55. If you want more info feel free to PM me. More than willing to help. Always remember that the TSX bullets require a long jump for best accuracy. You have to forget everything you know about C&C bullets when loading TSX's.
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Last edited by Dom; 02-11-2017 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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Thanks - 0.050" off the lands to start. That's sounds normal and would mean my COAL for that bullet would start at around 2.800" and less. But you see where Barnes is recommending the 2.705". I'm wondering if that's for general application or they want a certain distance for jump into the lands.

By the way, "hard into the lands" is just where I put the bullet for measurement. That means not just touching, but touching with authority in order to get the absolute maximum measurement from bolt face to tip of that bullet with ogive hard against the lands. No, I wouldn't load it that far out.

Also, I think I am going to try some 120gr. I've been doing a little load development with these 130gr bullets, and with some Sierra 120gr Pro Hunters. On my next order to get more Barnes, I think I'll get both 130 and 120.
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2017, 11:47 AM
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OK sounds good. In my 260's I am able to achieve an honest 3000FPS with 120gr bullets & Win 760/H-414 powder. Same powder different label. Having used the Sierra 120gr GK for many years with complete success on muley's. The 120gr TSX for elk. This weight bullet while giving success on game also allows for a mild recoil & very flat trajectory. Once you start shooting at various ranges you will better understand just how flat this bullet weight shoots. Understand every rifle has a different length of free bore that's why .050 off the lands. A recommended OAL can not be depended on for this because of rifle throat variations, brand to brand & rifle to rifle.
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Last edited by Dom; 02-11-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2017, 11:54 AM
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Stretch, I don't go on exact measurements but use my normal way of setting the bullet to the lands which I have used in all my rifles for 40yrs. I mark up a round with black marker pen then carefully feed it in and close the action or bolt, take it out and if it has marks of contact I keep easing the bullet in to the case until I don't see a mark.
I use the same with the Barnes TTSX I now am using in three of my rifles, 375JDJ, 8x57JRS and 257 Wildcat and all shoot more accurately than I can and perform admirably. I suppose you perfectionists will shudder at this but it has worked for me for a very long time.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:58 AM
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Thanks Sus. I thought I read somewhere that Barnes recommends a certain distance off the lands for their bullets. I can't recall what the measurement was, maybe minimum .050"? or maybe that's sticking because of Dom's post.
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:31 PM
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I am sure I have also read some reference to that. One never knows, my stone age method just might be around that figure. Certainly I am totally taken with the performance of all my rifles using TTSX so far and about to run a few 7-30 Waters up as well.

Just pulled their web site and sure enough they recommend that figure. Also settled my mind because in my 257 wildcat the cannelures are well out of the case mouth, but Barnes says this is not a problem as they were not designed to seat the bullet to.

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Old 02-11-2017, 01:08 PM
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I looked for that and did not find it on their website.

Probably most magazines for the 260 Remington are going to allow a maximum cartridge length of 2.800", with load data recommendations for COAL at something less than that. Knowing that, I wonder why Barnes has set the COAL of this 130gr TSX length at 2.705"? I'm just trying to figure that 1/10th of an inch there.

Anyway, in my case, having determined that my maximum COAL for my rifle with that bullet is 2.850"!!!! (which of course will not fit my mag), and if I subtract at least 0.050" from that, I'm still almost 1/10th" longer than their load data recommendation. (Yes, if I need it, 2.800 fits and feeds fine from my magazine in this rifle.)

As I said, I have an email in to them. Maybe they'll shed some light. Meanwhile, I want to hear what you and the others think about this.
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Last edited by StretchNM; 02-11-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2017, 12:59 AM
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No good asking me Stretch. I don't deal in microns. If it feels right, looks right and most importantly shoots right, that's the way I go. My favourite tool in the workshop is my 'Birmingham Screwdriver' translates to 'Large Hammer'
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:20 AM
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The way I see it is that the away from the lands advice by Barnes is not too much regarding accuracy - it is because of the higher friction coefficient of the solid copper bullets.

Right onto the lands causes a pressure rise rate that may reach peak pressure before the bullet has moved the required 1-2 inches for the following gas expansion volume:expanding bore volume behind the departing bullet.

While Peregrine and GRC bullets have lesser friction than Barnes they both advise the same. In fact Peregrine advises actual seating depths for every bullet in every calibre they sell.

Nice to have that magazine length, Stretch - you could probably shoot a 140gr Peregrine VRG-4 or GRC from that rifle if your twist rate is 1:9". Simply for comparison: For the 132gr Peregrine VRG-4 (similar to the TTSX in length) a seating depth of 0.51" is advised for pressure giving 2,800+ ft/sec, and for the 125gr a seating depth of 0.42" and 2,850+ ft/sec.
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:26 AM
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Right, if you don't give the solid copper bullets a 'running start' then pressures can get out of hand, ESPECIALLY for folks who think the only good load is a MAX load.

If someone is in the middle-of-the-road as far as the data - it seems to me that such things aren't necessarily going to cause a catastrophe. I also do wonder if the TSX type of bullet, with the relief grooves, might not be quite so sensitive to starting close to the lands? That is merely my own conjecture. Don't take it as fact.

Anyway, for those who are looking for a good accuracy load and don't worship at the altar of the last foot-second, it is probably less of a concern. But our sporting press has for years beat the drum of high velocity, even when it is less effective... so instinctively the U.S. handloader expects max velocity, or hang their head in shame if they can't achieve that.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:19 PM
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I agree on accuracy versus velocity. I opt for the former in all cases. This particular load I'm using is set up just the way Barnes data suggests - max of 41.8 grains of RL17, Fed210 primers, with coal of 2.705 has yielded some pretty fair groups at the upper end approaching maximum (41.5gr at last range session). I have loaded but not shot some at the maximum. I'm waiting to hear from Barnes about my COAL questions, so I have the bullets set out at 2.800" ready to seat deeper depending on their advice.

I'm thinking too that MusgraveMan is right. These are the first solid bullets I've shot and I expect some differences in the loads and overall length. But you see my concern, right? As measured again early this morning, my rifle will accept a cartridge loaded to 2.850" against the rifling. Now, just to play with the mathematics of it all, assume the recommendation is to deduct 0.050" off the lands as a minimum jump. That will leave me with a COAL of 2.800", which is the maximum length of the fit of the magazine. IF.... If that were the case, the current Barnes COAL of 2.705" is 1/10th" less, leaving a jump to the rifling of .145" (2.850 minus 2.705).

Bear with me, men. I'm just trying to figure this out.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:45 PM
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Barnes is going to recommend a COAL that will generally work in about anything, and still not crowd the lands. So if you can run a little longer than that, so much the better. Just one more option. At a minimum, you can test the bullets at both 2.8" and also at their recommended COAL and see which one performs better. And maybe a few other lengths in between.

But that might eat up more bullets than you want to send downrange testing. Me, I'd just start working up powder charges at the 2.8" length, till I found one that the accuracy was suitable. Up to you.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:03 PM
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Yes, but I don't want to try the 2.800" yet because of Barnes recommendation at 2.705". I'm going to have to wait on them. I mean - they know about the 2.8" "standard" on these rifles. They are a full .1" shorter at 2.705, and I want to see if they're just covering all bases like you said, or if there's a pressure concern like Musgrave said. If they tell me they think 2.8" is fine (based on my max coal in rifle), then I'll probably try some at that length. I'm ready to burn some more bullets!
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Last edited by StretchNM; 02-12-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:26 PM
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Hey Stretch if you click on the contact button on there website and then frequently asked questions or FAQ it is the sixth question on the list. They say to seat .030 - .070 off the lands starting at .050 off lands. Hope this helps.

Bill
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:32 PM
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My wife always says "Aren't you going to read the instructions?" and I say "Nope. I know how to do this."

But then later........
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