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Barnes Tipped TSX, nosler ballistic tip

22695 Views 28 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  beretzs
I am trying to get more user input of this bullet. It is one of the top choices for me to start reloading and have heard from a few friends that they dont maintain intact and have shattered in the animal. I am going to use this bullet for deer and elk and dont want to be picking fragments out. I understand that the likely hood of 100% maintained is not likely but from the people I have talked to that used them say they hated them because there were no major pieces of the bullet left. I have also heard very similar stories for the nosler ballistic tip. If the same comes back here what is a reccomended bullet for 140 gn .284. I might try the barnes TSX but will it have the same characteristics of the tipped or I might go with nosler partitions(factory loads) which I have used a bunch with good success. Thanks for the input.
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Bullets are the only component that I try everything that comes out because the bullet is what does all the work. I also listen closely to what people say when they report from the field. I was very unhappy with the Hornady SST when it came out. It just shredded meat in my opinion. Then Hornady made it better as the Interbond, but it still isn't ringing my bell all that loudly. Back in the day, I considered the Remington Kore-Lokt ammo to be the gold standard until bullet technology started bursting wide open sometime last decade. Hunters I know now rave about Winchester's XP2 / 3 ammo and liken it to the old Kore-Lokt in performance. My hands-down favorite bullet is the Nosler partition and has been since I first smacked a deer with one. A doctor friend of mine uses the Barnes bullet and says he likes it.
My uncles religously use the Barnes TSX, and have always been very happy with them. They report exit wounds on deer almost 100% of the time, and from moose and elk about 65% of the time. The odd time the bullet may be recovered from a hill or what not, they are usually in the 90% or better retention range.

No experience with the TTSX, however, and I suspect it could likely be a completely different creature. I just picked up some of the MRX's, just for curiosity sake. At $2/bullet, I won't be using them for coyotes, but I'd sure like to see what they do in moose this fall.

As for the ballistic tips, any of them that I have experience with I will only use in the varmint sized bullets. I've never had a ballistic tip that didn't simply explode inside an animal. They often seem to kill deer instantaneously, but the wasted meat simply isn't worth it to me...I'm willing to have an animal run a few yards before it hits the ground, if it means saving the off-side shoulder.
I . . . have heard from a few friends that they dont maintain intact and have shattered in the animal. . .
That's not the usual report I've noted on the TSX, though it is common on the BT's, but there is a caveat with TSX as with all expanding bullets: Most have a nominal range of impact velocities. Below that range they don't open up; above that range they come apart. So, the point here is tailoring the load a little. If you're going to run them in a fully stoked Weatherby magnum or a Lazzeroni Warbird, your game better be pretty far away. Smacking it at magnum velocities from 50 yards is not likely to help keep a bullet together?

So, first move, IHMO, is you call Barnes and ask what the nominal impact velocity range is for the bullet you are interested in, without breaking up on game? Be prepared that hitting bone at the high end of the range may cause break-up anyway, but you can ask about that, too. Then figure out the nearest and furthest ranges at which you expect to take shots? If it's someplace you haven't hunted before, ask folks who've hunted there what ranges they encounter?

Next, use the ballistic tables to design a load that will be at the upper limit of their impact velocity range at your closest shot range. See if it will stay above their minimum impact velocity out to the longest range you expect to shoot? If not, you may need to carry two loads. But if so, you are good to go.

We are happy to help you figure this out, as we like ballistic puzzles here. The first step is telling us:
What chambering, what barrel length, what barrel twist, and what bullet, if it is other than the 140 grain .284?
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7mm-08 with 20 inch barrel and 9.25 twist.
My brother in law swears by the TSX. He put two out of three hits through an elk last season at over 600 yards. He then shot the same load, (130 grains out of a .300 ultra) into the chest of a mule deer at about 175 yards. The bullet was recovered under the skin of the rump. All the petals were gone and even the pure copper shank was expanded noticeably. I am a fan of the Nosler partition, and have recovered only one from numerous elk shot with my .300 mag, (180 grain). I would only use the Barnes if I was worried about penetration at extreme range, but that's just my opinion. I used the ballistic tip once on deer and won't again.
The Barnes are great bullets, I don't see the need to spend that much when the Accubond, Partition, and E Tip perform at the same or better level and are much cheaper. Numerous other companies are making bonded, all copper GM, and segmented bullets that are just as competitive without all the hype and cost.
thanks for the tips. I went ahead and got the partitions because of what was said here and by others personally and the fact they have always worked. I should have posted this up earlier but never thought about weight and material retention before because they ad clames such a high ammount with the barnes. I needed to know today only because I had giftcards that I needed to use and got 20% off at sportsmans warehouse. so I got the bullets, dies new cleaning snake and bullet trays for my pistol stuff and walked out under $75( all gift cards!!). So it was all free for me. so now I gotta set the rockchucker up and dial in my dies and case trimmer and knock out 20 rounds prolly 5 lower charge then max and 5 at max charge with 4350 and 4895 powders and see how the gun likes them. then play with seating depth and what not.

Unclenick: I would still love to see what your ballistics stuff says about the info you asked for.
I have used the Barnes bullet quite a while now and have been impressed with their performance.All we can use in my part of California is lead free bullets.The reports I have heard from everyone has been 99 percent positive the last 2 years its been required.I would think that most all of the factory loads used were loaded with the Barnes TSX Bullet.I have a friend that uses the Nos;ler BT in his 300 Win Mag and has been thourly impressed with his load.So far that bullet had held together very well.The old BT Bullet was not so well made but Nosler has improved them to be an excellent hunting bullet if thats what you use.If you are loading the BT Varmint bullet than its not going to hold together in large game any better than any other varmint bullet.Some people hear things that are old news or not even true and have no experience with the subject and keep repeating it over and over instead of really finding out for themselves.I have had limited experience with the Remington Coreloct Ultra Bond bullet and have been really impressed with that bullet.My experience with the Barnes and what I have seen with my own eyes with friends use of the Ballistic Tip I camn highly recomend either bullet.
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I have had awesome results from B-tips on deer when used in deer calibers and deer weights. I still have some TSX's in the box but have found them a bit stiff for deer. If hunting elk with one of my .25's someday, I'd see the need for that stiffness. Both will work just fine.
Been using the Barnes tipped TSX 130gr .308 in my 20" barrel Mod 7. Nosign of shattering or breaking up. Excellent penetration and very little meat damage. Even when shooting directly in both shoulders. Am pleased with these bullets. see ya, Bill
The Barnes TSX abd TTSX bullets are excllent hunting bullets IMHO and experience
You should be doing fine with a 7mm-08 in that short barrel. I have an even shorter barrel (16.5") in my Ruger Compact 260 REM, and I get about 2550 fps with 140 gr Hornady Interlocks with near max load of IMR 4350. Your gun with the .284 bullet will not be pushing too fast for NBT.

A friend of mine shoots 15-20 deer yearly here in Tennessee, and many are shot with his 7mm-08 with 125 gr Nosler BT. He says that particular weight and caliber of BT has slightly heavier jacket and stays together better than most.

I've had first-hand experience with about a dozen deer kills with NBT in 270 WIN (130 gr) and 308 WIN (150 gr). Most were medium range shots that worked fine without TOO much meat damage and with nice exits. One buck shot at only 5 paces from the treestand and another inside of 40 yards were quite messy, though. So much that I'm looking for alternatives. In the meantime, I'm using my 260 when close range shots are expected. It's worked great so far on several kills between 10 and 70 yards.
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I am the father that likes 30-06 and 300 mags for Elk hunting, I do use Barnes bullets. My middle son using a nice 308 bolt gun with Barnes 165 grain TSX bullets in Lapua brass got his Elk last year.

I like the Barnes bullets I have tried many others, I am working on a load for my 300 RUM using Berger Bullets in the 200 to 210 grain area.

If you want to try some bullets with out buying a box here is the guy to go to:

I have been doing reloading for over 41 years and have been shooting for 53 years or so, if you include my BB rifle, it would 58 years.

I enjoy spreading the wealth as it may be. Many of you can probably out shoot me these days, but my knowledge may help you be better sportsmen.

Glad that helped.

well I decided to change my mind and go with the 150gr triple shock barnes bullets non tipped. I hope I didnt make a bad choice on the gr size. I debated on the 140 but figured the 150 would be a better bullet for deer and elk. A little heavy for deer and good for elk. Will my 7mm-08 push these well? still need some other reloading stuff before I start.
Oh,'re not planning on 1,000 yard shots on elk, I presume? I would have gone with the 150 TSX, myself. My uncle uses the 130 gr. TSX in his .270, and 150 gr. Trophy Bonded Bear Claw on elk and larger...though he still shoots a nice sized cow moose every few years with his 150 gr. TSX. If I were you I'd be giddy right about now, knowing how successful your hunt will be!
no way will I shoot at 1000 yds. Max of 450 and big MAX at that. I did get the tsx 150's just not the tipped ones. Well by that response I think I'm on to something.
I'd imagine you are! Of course, I'm not going to say the TSX is better than the partition, or this or that...but there IS a reason they are popular! Good luck!
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