Barnes 224 caliber TSX - bad groups

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by ELZWizz68, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. ELZWizz68

    ELZWizz68 Well-Known Member

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    I have a question for all: I see that a good bit of the members have used Barnes TSX Triple Shock bullets... I have heard that these can be finicky, so maybe this is my problem.... I have a Remington LVSF in 223, that usually averages about .6-.7 moa at 100 yds with Berger 52 gr HP Match (moly) bullets. I decided to try out the 53 gr. TSX bullet (hoping for good accuracy and same POI) but the groups look like more shotgun than varmit rifle groups. I mean 4"-6" groups at the same range, time/date as I shot a .66 inch group with the Bergers. I was just wondering what could have caused this.... the bullets where loaded off the lands as directed (by Barnes), I didn't see any bullet base shavings in my seater die, I don't have a RO gauge (I know, I gotta get one of these), the brass was the same as what I am using with my Berger loads and I varied the powder charge by .5 grains and did this in five steps - nothing smaller than 4". I am using Hornady FL dies with the expander / primer punch still in it, no crimp... I can't think of anything else that would affect these bullets this way. Barnes warns that the bullet may need an extra grain or two of powder (because of the reduced bearing surface due to the inset bands on the base of the bullet), I did also notice that the upper band (or band closest to the Ogive) was right about at the mouth of my case. Maybe not enough friction from the brass case mouth?

    Any thoughts on what went possibly wrong here? I can put good ammo together obviously.... so what gives, I have heard finicky, but this much difference? I should add that I have tried several different brands of bullets, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, etc. The worst was the Hornady V-Max's at 1.25 inches at 100, with the Nosler and Sierra right on top of each other at .75 inches at 100. The rifle averages .75 MOA with most of the loads I have thrown at it.

    Help me out here guys.... Thanks in advance.

    EZ
     
  2. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

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    When you started off shooting the Barnes bullets, you shouuld have started off working up a new load. I have had very good success with them in a 7 Rem mag with the 140's.
     

  3. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    EZ Shooter, How far off the lands did you start? Barnes bullets are long for weight. What twist is your barrel? Sounds like you might not be stabilizing. Usually I start at 50 thou off the lands. You can go down to 30, out to 100+! You need to find the sweet spot, but your kind of groups sound like another problem. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  4. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I tried the 100g XLC's out of my 25-06, I experienced the same thing. Shotgun patterns at 100 yards. I did all the cleaning and took the precautions as stated. This is why barnes will be getting no more business out of me. I say there bullets are worthless. I will never buy another box of barnes bullets.
     
  5. Waffen

    Waffen Well-Known Member

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    I too had pretty awful groups with 224 Barnes TSX'es out of my CZ 550 Varmint in 22-250. I had probably 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards. I tried mutiple different powders behind it, H380, Varget, BLC-2, 4895, Benchmark, IMR4350, Winchester 760, and Reloader 10x. None of them were able to shoot the TSX.

    I was hoping to be able to get the .224 up and running so my girlfriend could use it come deer.
     
  6. ELZWizz68

    ELZWizz68 Well-Known Member

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    Keithcandler,

    Thanks for the reply, I did start off working up a new load.

    I had bought at the same time a 1 lb. canister of H335 when I bought the Tsx bullets. I have a 8 lb. keg of H322 from my single shot Tc Contender days, and used the 322 on my initial loads for the 223 to get a baseline of accuracy for the rifle, but worked up one for the 335/Bergers at the same time I was working up the 335/TSX loads. I tried five different loads of 335/bergers and I tried five different 335/TSX loads in .5 grain increments (2.5 gr range, with the upper load 1.0 gr hotter than my loads I used for the Bergers - as I am generally pretty conservative, and Barnes says that you might go an extra grain or so because of the reduced bearing surface of the TSX). The Bergers are .6-.7 MOA with either powder, but I am pretty sure that I am getting better velocity with the H335.

    This is not a thorough ringing out of different loads/ powder by any means, but with my initial results, I figured I would ask some questions before loading anymore TSX rounds.

    Thanks again for the response.

    EZ
     
  7. ELZWizz68

    ELZWizz68 Well-Known Member

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    Wapiti

    4 of 5 - 5 round groups had the bullets at 35 thousands off the lands. The other 5 round group had them at 50 thousands - just to see what this would do. I didn't even look at group sizes, as I was pretty dismayed at the results, so I didn't analyze how good one was to the other.... I know that this can make a big difference, but after shooting these groups I figured I had something else going on...

    I am glad that I had other loads to test that day, otherwise I would have been thinking that the scope or mount had gone bad.

    Thanks for the reply, by all means, please tell me how and what your research / loads have shown as far as distance from lands affect accuracy.

    I am really thinking that there is something that I am missing in reloading these rounds, particularly in how they seat into the case. With the top band (or cannelure? these bands are two big to be cannelures...)right at the case mouth I am wondering if this could be messing up the release of the bullet from the case mouth? Or maybe letting gases get by and not letting the bullets get a good seal to the bore?? The groups did not have a vertical or horizontal pattern to them though...

    Thanks again,
    EZ
     
  8. ELZWizz68

    ELZWizz68 Well-Known Member

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    Waffen,

    Thank you for replying. I had the same thoughts for the 223 load, I have a 13 yr old daughter and wanted a super accurate / low recoil round for her to take her first deer with. Plus, the wife doesn't like even a 243 level boom/recoil.

    At least I am not the only one with bad groups, like I wrote in the original post, I have heard that these bullets are finicky, so I am not that surprised... just to see the variance though, that got my attention. I could probably live with 1.5" but 4" no bueno. My next thought is the Trophy bonded or Partition bullets.

    My barrel has a 1-12 twist, so 60 gr Partitions maybe pushing it.

    Please let me know what you settled on and what you might recommend.

    Remington 25-06 - thanks for your response. I have a 25-06 that shoots factory loaded 115 gr, CT B-Tips very well, so had not looked to the TSX with it. As mentioned above, it is reassuring to hear that I am not the only one that has had problems!

    EZ Shooter
     
  9. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    No problem. My 25-06 loves the 115g btips or ctbtips. Its my favorite bullet out of 25-06's. Very accurate out to 600 yards, and still packs a nice wallop for coyotes and mule deer.
     
  10. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    EZ Shooter, I usually start my loads .050 of the lands. I go as close as .030 (never closer), and out as much as .100+. There is usually a sweet spot somewhere in there. I've never had the huge groups that some are talking about. I question twist rate, velocity, etc. TSX bullets shoot best at max pressure. Good luck.