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Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

 
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:48 AM
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Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

I normally shoot 130 AB but on the recommendation of a friend I am thinking about trying Barnes for a elk and deer load for my 260 rem. Barnes offers 4 choices in 6.5mm and they are so darn close that I am having a hard time picking one. I think I have it narrowed down to the 130gr TSX FB or the 120 TTSX BT. The 130gr TSX would be better for elk but I am worried about expansion on close range shoots on elk and long range shoots on deer. The 120 TTSX would solve the expansion problem, but seems a little light for elk if I have a shoot over 300 yards.

Anybody care to share their experience with these two bullets?
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:47 AM
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Re: Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

Keep in mind that the 130TSX is a flat base bullet & the 120TTSX is a boat tail with a polymer tip, the BC of the 120 is a good bit better than the 130TSX.
.365 compared to .443- which will equate to more down range energy especially for the extra velocity gain with the 120. I would pick the 120 and have fun, Barnes bullets are well known for great penetration & with the polymer tip expansion will be easily accomplished even at extended ranges.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:04 PM
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Re: Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

why deviate from the accubond? it sounds as though you have had good success with it.

If you want to try something new, how about the 140VLD? you get a BC of .617. You can push them at 2800fps. Run those numbers in your ballistic software....great combination.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:37 PM
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Re: Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

Well a couple of things:

since you mentioned elk, I'd go for the 130 TSX. I have a habit of telling lots of shooters that with the Barnes bullets you can go lighter because they flat out penetrate like crazy. That said, I'm referring to calibers a bit bigger than the 6.5mm. As an example, I'd take my 270/130 TTSX or TSX out for elk anytime anywhere. They both shoot so well in my 270 I'd take a 400 yard shot or under but not further. My personal opinion is that the Barnes bullets are good for certain calibers within certain ranges if you want them to perform at their best. I just have a feeling they won't open up like they should when you start pushing those longer distances, unless you can place that bullet in the scapula every time.

The 120 will certainly work, but it's my opinion that you will want to hit an elk with all you can with that bullet diameter. I've got quite a bit of experience with the TSX and TTSX in several calibers and rifles. Many of my bears/deer/pronghorn have fallen to the Barnes bullets for me and others I load for since 2003.

The other thing I really like about Barnes bullets is they seem to like those max loads really well. I've got a couple or more that are 2-3 grains over Barnes' tested max and they are still safe in my rifles. I have a 130 TTSX moving over 3150 in a 270. We've not clocked the 110 TSX or TTSX in 3 of the 270s we shoot but we just look at the trajectories on targets and say to ourselves, "the **** is moving fast."

I think most of mine, regardless of caliber, are seated right at .050 off the lands.

Good luck with your choice. I'm telling you, inside of 300-350 yards, bullet tip and base do not make a big difference. Someone may chime in and tell my I'm full of hooie but I could care less. I've got enough experience with flat based spitzers at game at those ranges and we're talking an inch or two off from boat tails.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:28 PM
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Re: Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek M. View Post
Well a couple of things:

since you mentioned elk, I'd go for the 130 TSX. I have a habit of telling lots of shooters that with the Barnes bullets you can go lighter because they flat out penetrate like crazy. That said, I'm referring to calibers a bit bigger than the 6.5mm. As an example, I'd take my 270/130 TTSX or TSX out for elk anytime anywhere. They both shoot so well in my 270 I'd take a 400 yard shot or under but not further. My personal opinion is that the Barnes bullets are good for certain calibers within certain ranges if you want them to perform at their best. I just have a feeling they won't open up like they should when you start pushing those longer distances, unless you can place that bullet in the scapula every time.

The 120 will certainly work, but it's my opinion that you will want to hit an elk with all you can with that bullet diameter. I've got quite a bit of experience with the TSX and TTSX in several calibers and rifles. Many of my bears/deer/pronghorn have fallen to the Barnes bullets for me and others I load for since 2003.

The other thing I really like about Barnes bullets is they seem to like those max loads really well. I've got a couple or more that are 2-3 grains over Barnes' tested max and they are still safe in my rifles. I have a 130 TTSX moving over 3150 in a 270. We've not clocked the 110 TSX or TTSX in 3 of the 270s we shoot but we just look at the trajectories on targets and say to ourselves, "the **** is moving fast."

I think most of mine, regardless of caliber, are seated right at .050 off the lands.

Good luck with your choice. I'm telling you, inside of 300-350 yards, bullet tip and base do not make a big difference. Someone may chime in and tell my I'm full of hooie but I could care less. I've got enough experience with flat based spitzers at game at those ranges and we're talking an inch or two off from boat tails.
I appreciate the input, but I think you are underestimating the .264 bullets, especially when comparing them to .277 bullets. If you run the numbers you will find that, while the 270 out performs the 260 until about 300 yards, the performance gain is not significant. 264 bullets of the same weight as the .277 have a bit higher BC that allows them to retain more energy and velocity downrange. Basically, I would be just as confident with a 260 as a 270 on elk at the same ranges and bullet weights.

I like the idea of a 130gr TTSX...wish they made one in 6.5mm....
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:53 PM
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Re: Which 6.5mm Barnes for elk and deer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireroad View Post
I appreciate the input, but I think you are underestimating the .264 bullets, especially when comparing them to .277 bullets. If you run the numbers you will find that, while the 270 out performs the 260 until about 300 yards, the performance gain is not significant. 264 bullets of the same weight as the .277 have a bit higher BC that allows them to retain more energy and velocity downrange. Basically, I would be just as confident with a 260 as a 270 on elk at the same ranges and bullet weights.

I like the idea of a 130gr TTSX...wish they made one in 6.5mm....
No I'm not. You said yourself you are looking at the 130TSX or the 120 TTSX and went on to say you thought the 130 TSX would be better on elk. I threw in 270 bullets because I know what they do for conversation only. The elk nor deer would know any difference between your 260 or my 270 inside of 400 yards with the 130 TSX in either or your 120 TTSX as far as I'm concerned.

Debating on what little energy and trajectory differences exist is like trying to solve the puzzle of why 2 car occupants are subjected to the same crash energy but one walks away while the other dies on impact. Inside of a few hundred yards, it is really a toss up. But if I were the one buying the box of Barnes bullets to try and both were sitting on the shelf, I'm buying the 130 TSX flat base.

If they made a 130 TTSX boat tail, it would be my top choice in the caliber you have.

There is a video on youtube where a fellow killed a good size moose with his 7-08 and a 120 TSX. Pass through and DRT.

I don't know the velocity numbers on a 130 TSX from a 260. But I have a 270 with a 25.5" Hart bbl that pushes 130 TSX bullets between 3150 and 3180 according to my notes. Looking at the Barnes website, my bullet: 130 TSX has a BC of .431. Your 6.5mm 130 TSX FB has a BC of .365. Even if you are pushing the same velocity, the .277 bullet wins. So from what I can tell, your comment:

Quote:
264 bullets of the same weight as the .277 have a bit higher BC
...is inaccurate in this case.

I'll take my combo over yours. The numbers so far as I can tell are in favor of the .277 (same bullet wt, same bullet type). Still, good luck with whichever you choose. I don't think the Barnes bullet will disappoint you. I'm not sure why you are worried about expansion up close. That is where I've seen these bullets really shine.

I'd love a shot at a big bull elk with my combo less than 50 yards. But I prefer archery on elk hunts. Just my thing.

The reason the .277 130 TSX has a higher BC than the 130 TTSX is the ogive difference. Same is true for the 6.5mm 130 flat base TSX. The .277 130 TSX has a secant ogive.
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Last edited by Derek M.; 10-06-2010 at 11:56 AM.
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