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I have a couple of questions? I shoot a 300 Win. and a 270. I use them mainly for deer and hogs. I was thinking of changing from Sierra to Barnes but I hear that the X bullets do not kill quickly.  I hunt in in brush and semi open pine forrest. They have to drop quickly.  Does anyone have any experiences with Barnes bullets??
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Some of the fastest kills I have gotten have come from "X" bullets.  Hmmm.....?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->  That sounds awfully strange.

Should be great for tough animals like hogs.  I've gotten perfect results with animals as small as coyotes using my .30-06.  As far as I can tell they work as advertised.

How do the Sierras work on hogs?
 

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I've shot a few animals with the X.  They work quite well actually.  Least I thought they did...but then I tried some Win Fail Safe's.  If I had my druthers and my guns shoot 'em, I like the Fail Safes.  If not, the X is next.  Least wise for animals that don't bite back.  I don't intend on stoking my bear medicine with plain old copper.  I want some lead.  That way, if'n the old pigeon toe eats me, he's got a chance of dying of lead poisoning.

Shoot 'em if got 'em, you can't take 'em with ye.
 

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I shoot nothing but X bullets in all my rifles and most of my handguns.  With around 18 deer dropped with the 300 gr. X bullet out of my TC 45-70 I have yet to have a complaint.  They have always performed as if I had written the script for them to follow.
 

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Seems like several years ago there was a gun writer (I can't remember who) that had claimed since the X was solid copper you could use a lighter bullet and have the same effect as a heavier conventional bullet.  I read later that quite a few X bullets were failing their purpose.  These two incidents may be related.  Also I've noticed some extremely lightweight X bullets in the medium magnum range.  If I'm not mistaken I think I've seen some 175 or 180 grain 338 X bullets.  Could be some folks were trying to use too light of an X bullet for what they needed.  I've only used the X in 338 Win Mag, and matching the bullet weight to the game hunted, I've always had outstanding results.  Load some up and try 'em, I bet you'll like 'em.
 

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Interesting that you should start this topic, as I just purchased my first box of X-bullets last week. I've used primarily 165gr Nosler partitions and Hornady bullets in my 30 calibers but I thought I'd try something new. I got the 150 gr bullet because, like Alyeska said, I've heard you can drop back to a lighter bullet. In fact, in the Barnes manual I peeked at the 30 caliber 150 gr is recommended for elk sized animals. Anyway, if they shoot well in my 30-06 and 308 we'll try them out this fall. I also hope to hunt pronghorns at my step-father-in-law's this fall so that was another factor in choosing the 150. I'll let you know how things turn out!
Note- MikeG, the only hog I ever shot was killed with a 165gr Sierra boattail fired from my old Win 70 Featherweight 308. That bullet flew apart inside the animal after passing through the gristle, but it dropped it on the spot! Never actually found the bullet, just bits of copper but it was very destructive.               IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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ID, virtually the same experience using Ballistic Tips on hogs - massive entrance hole and looks like they swallowed a grenade.  So I stick with Partitions for the porkers.  One exception - I've read (Nosler's words) that the .338 BT's are more heavily constructed.  Nosler has a pretty good cutaway view of the .338 bullet in one of their manuals.  I've also just read that there is a new 260gr. .375 BT with a heavy jacket.

Anyway, I have some .338 200gr BT's that have a date with a hog.  Also some 210 Barnes .338's that would not shoot for sour crap in a friend's .338, but will give 3/4" groups in mine.  Will post the results.
 

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The only thing I've heard about the X's is that they can and do produce higher pressures with comparable powder charges and that caution should be used with substituting them in your top end handloads.

This is good practice when exchanging components in handloads anyway though, no matter what components are used.

Regards
 

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Contender,
I've heard the same thing about the X producing higher pressures.  I haven't had any experience with that, but it is something that is definitely worth considering when cooking up loads.  When I come up with a load that gives enough velocity with good accuracy I usually call it a day.  Like Mike G said in another post, I haven't graduated from the reloading stage to tinkering or gun crank stage.  One thing I have serious reservations with is that I'd just have a hard time throwing a 170 or 180 grain .338 dia. projectile at animal weighing 1000+ on the hoof, no matter what kind of velocity or accuracy I cook out of it.  Move up to 225 or + grain loads and I've been satisfied.  Dropping the animal in its tracks is a great thing, but pretty rare when you get animals near the half ton mark (unless the nervous system is taken out of commission).  I've seen moose shot with a lot of different loads, from 270 to 458's, hardly any of the mature bulls fall like they were poleaxed.  A lot of variables come into play and the element of surprise seems to be as important as anything.  If the animal knows something is up, it's probably not going to just tip over.  Funny the quickest expiration I've seen on a large animal was a pass through by an archer.  The moose never did suspect a thing and just stood there till it fell.  Never did take a step.  I've seen moose get hit on the train tracks by a coal train kick around till someone mercifully put them out of their misery with a 22 pistol.

Does the X kill any faster than anything else?  I don't know, I've never shot like animals under exactly the same circumstances.  The X is a killer, no doubt about it, just match the weight to the game.  If you are using a ballistic tip of equal weight on a particular species of game, I'd suspect the X to penetrate better, with a little less explosive effect.  I've come to expect better accuracy with sane loads with the X than Partitions, but that's with my rifles, my friends have experienced just the opposite.  The X was made to penetrate, if you're having problems with penetration, but still want good expansion, the X is worth a try.
 

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I have used the 120 gr. X in a 264WM and my wife has used the 90 gr. X in a 6mm Rem for several years.  Between us we have killed around 25 deer with these bullets.  We hunt in rugged brushy country and I like them to fall where they stand.  They fall very nicely when hit properly with an X bullet.

I tend to agree with those who suggest using "normal" bullet weights.  The only time I saw an X-bullet do anything funny was a 125 gr X fired from a 308.  I took a friend hunting and was watching the shot with binoculars.  The deer was broad side to us and the bullet hit the deers shoulder blade.  It made about a 4" diameter flesh wound and did not penetrate the shoulder blade.  The deer went down but got back up and had to be shot again.  When we cut the deer up we found the bullet had turned nearly 90 degrees and angled back along the spine.

The only explanation I have for this is that the 125 gr 308 bullet is short and light for its caliber.  I have never seen the 120 gr .264 bullet or the 90 gr 6mm bullet do anything but penetrate straight ahead no matter what or where they hit.  They are both longer bullets.  I guess the 308 has a slower twist too and maybe that has something to do with it, but I think it is good old sectional density at work.

I have absolute faith in my combinations.  They have never let me down and I cannot say that about jacketed bullets.
 

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I have had a little instruction in the higher pressures of different bullets.  A fellow that flies helicopters for us at work is a former ballistics tech for an american gunpowder company, and i normally consult with him when i have difficulty with one of my listed combinations.

The word is that some bullets have higher degrees of "hardness" for lack of a better term, and they will cause higher pressures than other bullets that do not register so high.  The two that have been pointed out to me, are the barnes X, because of the homogenous material, and the speer hotcore/ grand slam, because of the hot-coring process.  I am sure there are more, but the point is, every bullet acts differently in front of a given powder charge, pressure wise.  In the old days, i used to figure, a bullet is a bullet is a bullet, and would use hornady data for speer, sierra data for hornady, etc. until that was explained to me.  Now, all of my starting loads, regardless, are taken right from the corresponding manual.  Horn to horn, sierra to sierra, etc.  I will modify and develop based upon expirence, but the data always starts with the home manual.

I don;t discount the viability of the X bullet, at all, i think in some situations it may be the ideal selection.  But, if pressures are such that bullet weight reduction is required for the same powder charge, or same weight bullets aren;t launched with the same velocity, this occurs to me as a special use item, for a specific situation.

I am eager to try them, and get some expirenece with them, and honestly, the only reason I haven;t is that i haven;t run across a Barnes Manual for a few months.

I have a few curiousities that you all may be able to help answer reagrading these bullets too.  Are similiar weight bullets longer than standard jacketed lead core bullets?  Is this to an extent that they have a powder space intrusion problem?  how to they compare, accuracy wize with other cartiridges you have fired?

You all take care,

Steve
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Good observation - always best to start with the bullet company's data.

Barnes recommends a minimum 'jump' to the rifling of 0.050".  A lot of reloaders will cut this down with standard bullets, which is fine, but since the manufacturer in this case recommends something different, that is what we need to start with.  I generally run my own reloads with lead-core jacketed bullets about 0.020" from the lands, but not with the Barnes.  Found 0.050" worked OK so stuck with that.
 

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X-bullets are longer than same weight jacketed bullets.  For example the 120gr .264 X is about the same length as the 140 gr Hornady.  The 90 gr 6mm X is about the same length as the 100 gr Hornady. Whether they cut into usable case capacity would depend on the case and the powder you use.  Its not a problem in my loads.  I think you can reduce bullet weights somewhat with X-bullets.  For example I would not have a problem with 120's in a .270 for deer or 165's in a 30 caliber for elk.  Jacketed bullets start shedding lead as soon as they start expanding so a 165 X may well end up heavier than a 180 gr Hornady.

When you get into accuracy and velocities I think you are really talking about individual rifles.  It is hard to generalize.  Both my rifles shoot X-bullets about as well as jacketed bullets.  Neither rifle is especially accurate with any bullet.

My testing with the .264 WM doesn't support the harder bullet equals higher pressure and lower velocity theory.  I tested 120 gr Sierras and 120 X-bullets with the same powders and I got about the same results with each.  Velocities were about the same at the same powder charges and maximum velocities were about the same at similar pressures as well as I can determine from case measurements and brass life.  This topic is more complex than it appears.  A softer jacketed bullet will obturate more and fill the bore tighter and that should also generate higher pressures.  Again I think it comes down to individual rifles.

I agree the X-bullet is a special use bullet.  I use them at those special times when I want to put a deer on the ground right where he stands, with the least fuss and bother.  I don't use them for target shooting or plinking.  Try 'em, you might like 'em.  The Fail Safe, while not homogeneous has similar construction and I am sure will work as well.
 

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Very interesting. I can see that Barnes has thought on the pressure question as well, as the distance from the lands will decrease pressure somewhat. Additionally, if the data is similiar from the manuals, one could expect that this distnace cures the variances.  I look forward to seeing the numbers.

I expect that it may be better suited for long action rifles more than short action rifles, and would be great for rifles that are deep throated, like my own 6.5mm.  

I am eager to try them out.

take care,

Steve
 

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Just wanted to add a quick note;
      In my previous post on this thread I stated that the Barnes manual recommends the 30 cal 150gr bullet for elk sized game. I remembered that from looking at an older Barnes manual at the store.
      Well, in looking over the new manual the other day I see that the 150 gr bullet IS NOT recommended for elk. Either I remembered incorrectly or they have changed their recommendations. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has the older manual to see if my memory is faulty (it's getting FULL, dang it&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo--> or if they have indeed backed off on the claims that you can use a lighter-than-common bullet.
        By the way, the 150's are grouping at 1/2 MOA at 200 yds and left no detectable fouling in my 30-06. The Barnes cleaner didn't turn the patches blue at all! I was very impressed.     ID
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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My Barnes #1 manual shows .30 cal 165's as the lightest bullet recommended for elk.  You were close.

Still, that's probably a little lighter than what the average lead-core bullet recommendation would be.  I would have to think with conventional jacketed bullets you'd be better off starting with at least 180gr.
 

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MikeG,
   OK, so my memory isn't what it used to be. Yes, the 180's are pretty much standard for lead core 30 caliber bullets, though we've used the 165 partition with good success. It doesn't usually exit, but then very few 30 caliber bullets exit elk all the time, at least typical cup and core bullets. That was part of my reason for wanting to try the X-bullet -  getting an exit wound while still using a light enough bullet for decent velocity in the .308.             IDShooter
 

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This has turned into a most interesting thread.

I've used the Barnes X rather extensively in the .30-06 and Ackley Improved versions.  Always had stellar accurracy with them in the .30 calibers, with a minimum of load development.

For the most part, I've experienced exeptional terminal performance using these bullets, but with experience came a sad lesson.

I've primarily used 180's in the X bullet for the '06 when I've not been shooting one of the bigger bores stuffed with cast pills.  One day I shot a 135-140 lb. white-tail at about 60 yards.  I didn't have a clear shot at the head or neck, and the season was nearly over, so popped the critter right behind the front shoulder in the boiler works.... turned out to be one of three deer I haven't recovered in my days hunting afield... my son and I looked for five hours straight in the fresh snow for blood, trying to sort out it's tracks from the multitudes in the timber where it ran.  Tracked that critter nearly two miles (slowly) and jumped it once off a bed but didn't get a shot.... no blood in the snow where it layed down.  The neighbor who accompanied Alex and I on that hunt found the deer four days later when he was hunting the same area, it was covered over with ravens.  The bullet made a pinhole in and out, and since it didn't hit bone, slipping between ribs, didn't expand.  It acted like a full patch bullet!   As a result, I've never used the 180 grain X on deer since, nor will I again.... I have too many other excellent choices for collecting venison.  Had I been shooting my lowly .357 levergun loaded with my pet load of .358"-185g FNGC/160.g H110/WSPP that deer would have folded right there on the spot!

However, the X bullet, where penetration counts.... it's the answer to many situations.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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my 2 cents worth;
I use "X" bullets in .348 WCF & .270 Weatherby.
Also used them in 25\06. Only thing I did not like about them was they copper fouled the bore more than I cared for. ( no accuracy problem just too lazy to want to do the extra cleaning). Moly coated them & problem solved with more velocity & a slight improvement in accuracy.
Best shot with 25\06= running coyote at 335 yds.( laser measure) 1 shot 1 kill.
nuthin with 348 yet. Working up loads for 270 WBY using 1 gal. milk jugs for test media 140 "X" penetrate 6 jugs + cardboard box filled with folded canvas trousers retained weight almost 90%. compared to 140 nosler ballistic tip= 3 jugs but totally vaporized in either 2 or 3, (lead & copper "dust" found in both jugs). range = 100 yds.
If your rifle likes 'em & you can afford them, I would go for it.
IMHO
 

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Mr Marshall makes a most excellent point.  

Most every system has some form of limitation, and is rarely ideal for every situation.  Tayloring of  equipment to the type of hunting, the animal to be hunted, and the place that the hunt is to be conducted, is a reasonable way to select the necessary tools.  

The trick then is to do a good mental recon, and anticipate situations that a fellow may find himself, and equip oneself as such.

I am so looking forward to trying these out.  I expect that they have enormous utility, when used in the proper venue.

take care,

Steve
 
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