I just spoke with a very nice gentleman that has been reloading for 35-40 years, and hunting even longer. I thought I'd pass on his opinion on some bullets to all.
I've only been reloading for 12 years so I am nowhere near as experienced. Anyway, I was picking his brain because I like to learn. He stated that one of his new found "loves" is the Barnes triple shock bullet. He is also a big fan of the Fail Safe but we discussed the triple shock in depth.
His experience, though just as limited as many of us since the TSX has only recently come about, is very good. He has had a handful of range experiences where he's put the TSX into one ragged hole, and this was with seating the bullet exactly as Barnes recommends.
Terminal performance, in his opinion, is excellent, even when he bear hunts in his home state and takes shots at only a few yards. He stated to me that when he hunts "it's not the rifle that matters, it's what the bullet does when it hits your target, and where it hits the animal." "Barnes has made a marginal elk rifle, if you want to call it that (ie, .270), a moderate or even good elk gun." Of course this is derived from the decades of controversy on what is a "good elk rifle caliber."...a nonstop hot topic. He further stated that the Barnes and Fail safe have penetrated better than any other bullet in HIS experience.
I concur with his experiences. I have had nothing but exceptional accuracy with the .270 130 grain TSX using Re 19. In fact, they grouped far better than the good old ballistic tip in my rifles. My mulie died quick in Colorado last season at only 65 yards or so. Even if the petals peeled off at such a close range from my .270, it still left a bucket of blood on the ground. The deer turned all the way around and fell after the hit. Never walked or ran anywhere. My buddy used my gun to take his mulie also at 254 yards. Perfect hit, deer went ten yards. Blood trail so evident that you'd think someone dumped it on the ground. I believe that when those petals peel back, it's like a blender spinning and that they are razor sharp. The lungs on both deer appeared as if someone had taken a razor and carved out a perfect 3-4" diameter hole.
I wish I could shoot them. However, they cause tremendous pressure spikes in my 30/338 Lapua chambered Douglas barrel. I would have to slow them down too much for them to benefit me. I have ordered some GS Custom bullets and some Grooves to see if I can shoot them close to the velocity of the Nosler Ballistic Tips.
Thanks for the post! I really enjoyed it. Barnes must be doing something right; to get the price they ask for their bullets! I've been using Barnes for a short time, but have been pleased by their performance. I've found that their factory recommended seating off the lands is pretty close to accurate in what I shoot. One must consider that performance does not always improve with more powder & pushing closer to the lands.
light varmint,i'm sure you will be pleasantly surprized with either the gs or groove bullets.they are deffinitely superior to the barnes.the grooves will probably shoot faster than the ballistics but the gs customs will outdo them all.they are the best short to medium range bullet made!