3300fps to fast for Barnes TTSX

Wesbrock

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Oct 2, 2021
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Illinois
Hopefully you've gotten some good information thus far.

For what it's worth, I shoot 120 TTSXs 3,350 fps at the muzzle in my 264 Win Mag. I've only shot two deer with that particular setup (although several with 140 TTSXs out of my 7 Rem Mag), but both deer dropped dead on the spot with shots through the shoulders/lungs. They were both shot at under 100 yards. I have yet to recover one of those bullets in a deer, so I can't speak to whether or not they came apart. I didn't find any pedals in the deer though.
 

lee31

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Mar 2, 2010
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Great state of Wisconsin
Not a bullet failure, a poor shot placement failure. The bullet expanded and dumped all/most of its energy and wound cavity damage in the himd quarter where the only kill organ was the femoral artery, which you didn’t hit. Next time oass on a shot like that and wait for a chest cavity shot. I’ll bet you had a hell of a mess in the hind quarters re meat.
It never hit the hind quarter l. Bullet went in front of hind quarter in what I call the flank.
 

300WSMGUY

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Sep 10, 2019
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North Texas
Yes I’m not saying your are. It’s hard to read what people are thinking over text. I have also heart shot deer and have had them run 300-400 yards. Actually heart shot a deer once and it ran all the way across the field. 350 yards wide then try to swim the river and die in said river.
As stated earlier I was expecting the Barnes to stay together for a better wound channel. I’ve never used monolithics before and probably won’t be using them again or at least not anytime soon.
Whatever bullet you shoot is certainly your business. However, I think using one "failed" bullet as definitive does not give a large enough representative sample of how monos are designed to work. They are designed for deep penetration above all else. I have had nothing but sterling performance from killing large critters with monos. I recovered few but those I have exhibited textbook mushrooms OR sheared their petals just like yours. I do not consider that as failed performance. No bull elk I've killed has ever been as tough as Nilgai, which I've also killed. All with 168 TTSX'S. I guess what my rambling is trying to convey is, you owe it to yourself to base your decision on accurate field data. Give monos a chance. I think you will be glad you did. Good luck in your endeavors and keep us posted.
 

Ga6570

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Jan 20, 2019
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305
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SW Montana - Bozeman Area
Try lining up multiple gallon jugs filled with water and shooting them in a line. At 100 yards you’ll get the same results as in your deer, except you may likely recover the petals in the milk jug. Put the jugs out at 200 or 300 yards and you will get the nice mushroom result as pictured when shot through ballistic gel.
I think it was 7 jugs all sitting in a line on the 2x8 that were penetrated by the 180 TTSX from the win mag.
From the Creedmoor with 127 gr LRX it got through 4 jugs and into the 5 jug… nice mushroom to sit on my loading bench shelf. I’ve collected also plenty of cylinders and petals in bags from higher velocity impacts as well. But for lead free they are great bullets.
 

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Radman

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Nov 23, 2019
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296
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TN
I recently bought some 100 grain Barnes TTSX for my 257 Roberts AI. I have heard how tough and indestructible these bullets are. Well I through a load together for the Wisconsin gun deer season. Load was 50 grains of RL17 and a CCI200 and I was getting 3294fps with a ES of 7 over 5 shots and just under 1MOA. I thought this would be a great load where my shots would range between 50-300 yards. Well I got my opportunity on a good buck on the last Saturday evening of the season.
The buck quartering away at 170 yards away in a cut cornfield just about to go into the woods. I ended up shooting him in the flank and was expecting bullet would come out either in front of the off side shoulder or would end up coming to rest right in his shoulder. The buck hunched up and took off into the woods. I waited 1 hour and went to look for blood. I found a little blood which was very spotty at best. After about 75 yards of tracking I reached our line fence and head something take off. I backed out and called the neighbors.
They said they’d be doing a deer drive in the morning and I was more than welcome to come along. Fast forward to the next day 16 hours later to be exact I caught up to the buck on the drive and had to finish him off. While I was cutting up the deer Tuesday night I found my bullet it had come to rest right under his off side shoulder blade. All the pedals had sheared off or the tip busted one or the other. I was astonished that this would happen. And now know why the deer was still alive as it had just left a 1/4 inch wound channel through the deer.
So I decided to email Barnes and their reply was that I’m probably shooting these bullets to fast and that they dont test bullets past 3000fps. They also told me my impact velocity was probably around 2950fps. And pretty much told me tough luck. I’ve shot Nosler accubonds outt my 25-06 at faster muzzle velocity than the Barnes and have never had a experience like this. So I’m just giving a heads up to some of you that are running big magnums at higher velocities than I’m running. You might run into this problem. Hopefully not but I will be switching back to accubonds if I can find them or Berger 133’s.
Though I haven't done the math on your bullet this seems a little fast. As you know, spin vs muzzle velocity vs bullet weight is everything. Today the common thread seems to be to spin everything as fast as possible, which just isn't always true. (Perhaps use your loads on longer shots?) JMO
 

orifdoc

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Idaho
There is no bullet that is perfect for every situation. Funny things that happen once should not be used as the basis for future decisions!!! Monolithics in general, and Barnes in particular, like to be driven fast. I shoot 100 gr TTSX bullets out of my WBY 257 and 180 TTSX out of my 300 Wby. They're probably better suited to heavier game than whitetails. If you're going to be taking raking shots at whitetail, you're probalby better off with a soft bullet that will dump most of its energy quickly. For that sort of thing an accubond, partition, or whatever else would have dropped that particular buck better. I've killed plenty of mulies, elk, kudu, moose, eland, duiker, and just about everything in between with Barnes bullets. I've only ever recovered one, from the eland. I've failed to recover one waterbuck during since I started using them. On that one I have no idea what happened. No bullet will perform perfectly from every aspect in every situation. For the big, heavy stuff (gemsbok, zebra, eland, bear, elk) give the mono every day of the week. For light-frame, thin-skin critters, other bullets work just fine. I'm now hunting with Bergers, mostly because they're predictable at long range. They seem to work, but they also have their limitations. They all do.
 

beretzs

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Jan 26, 2009
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Northern Virginia
We use that same bullet at 3550. While the petals may come off our deer rarely every move. I suspect if you’d drilled the lungs or even the liver your results would’ve been much different. Just because the petals broke off doesn’t exactly mean you drilled a 1/4” hole. That speed caused plenty of trauma just not to life ending organs.

Partitions aren’t much if any better honestly at those speeds since it’ll expand and you’ll be left with barely over caliber shank but they still kill well.

Congrats on your buck and as others mentioned, things happen but that bullet is incredible in a 257 Wby. Seen it work too many times now to question it. That’s a hammer of a deer. Glad you were able to get him on the pole.
 

seattleman1969

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Oct 3, 2014
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337
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Missoula, Mt
I recently bought some 100 grain Barnes TTSX for my 257 Roberts AI. I have heard how tough and indestructible these bullets are. Well I through a load together for the Wisconsin gun deer season. Load was 50 grains of RL17 and a CCI200 and I was getting 3294fps with a ES of 7 over 5 shots and just under 1MOA. I thought this would be a great load where my shots would range between 50-300 yards. Well I got my opportunity on a good buck on the last Saturday evening of the season.
The buck quartering away at 170 yards away in a cut cornfield just about to go into the woods. I ended up shooting him in the flank and was expecting bullet would come out either in front of the off side shoulder or would end up coming to rest right in his shoulder. The buck hunched up and took off into the woods. I waited 1 hour and went to look for blood. I found a little blood which was very spotty at best. After about 75 yards of tracking I reached our line fence and head something take off. I backed out and called the neighbors.
They said they’d be doing a deer drive in the morning and I was more than welcome to come along. Fast forward to the next day 16 hours later to be exact I caught up to the buck on the drive and had to finish him off. While I was cutting up the deer Tuesday night I found my bullet it had come to rest right under his off side shoulder blade. All the pedals had sheared off or the tip busted one or the other. I was astonished that this would happen. And now know why the deer was still alive as it had just left a 1/4 inch wound channel through the deer.
So I decided to email Barnes and their reply was that I’m probably shooting these bullets to fast and that they dont test bullets past 3000fps. They also told me my impact velocity was probably around 2950fps. And pretty much told me tough luck. I’ve shot Nosler accubonds outt my 25-06 at faster muzzle velocity than the Barnes and have never had a experience like this. So I’m just giving a heads up to some of you that are running big magnums at higher velocities than I’m running. You might run into this problem. Hopefully not but I will be switching back to accubonds if I can find them or Berger 133’s.

I use the same projectile exclusively for my .25-06 at around 3230FPS and I have never had a deer, prongy, or coyote live more than about 90 seconds (and 90 seconds was only because of a high lung hit). Most have been DRT. Barnes loads their Vor-TX load with the same at 3225. You might have just had a one off with that particular round, or circumstances that were just unpredictable. It happens. It can happen with ANY projectile.
 

Snowboy

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Sep 30, 2015
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98
Location
Ontario Canada
Deer hunting is so varied. Some seasons are longer than others so more opportunity. Some areas just have more deer to choose from due to large herds. Some hunt open fields some thick bush. Trying to find one gun bullet combo is endless. Find what you can shoot well under the hunting circumstances you have and shoot accordingly. There is no perfect scenario. Here in my deer and moose woods in Ontario I get brief seconds for quick calculated shot placement usually once during the hunt. I don't always get the ideal shot but have been very fortunate with all my different .308 caliber bullets over the last 45 years.
Thank you to all the quality bullets manufacturers.
Thanks for sharing but I believe the bullet did it's job. I am not convinced that smaller high velocity rounds are the equal of the old standard .308 bullets for these shots.
 

rbTanzan

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Sep 11, 2012
Messages
175
I'm concerned about a detail that has been skipped in this thread. The writer says that the recovered weight was 97grains from a 100grain bullet. That means that the NOSE CLOSED UP. the petals did not expand or detach. It is exactly the kind of scenario that the Tipped Barnes are supposed to prevent. Could this have been a non-tipped TSX? For this post I will assume 'not', and assume a tipped TTSX.

If the bullet closed up, then it was not a blunt cylinder going through the animal, but a more "aerodynamic" slug. Such a slug is able to slip through material more easily and does not create the disruptive damage that a blunt cylinder will cause.

This brings us to the perfect storm of diameter. Smaller calibers are able to slip through some animals without doing fatal damage if they manage to pass through without disrupting medium to major blood vessels. Such ballistic trajectories are relatively rare, but they do happen with smaller calibers. That is why older guides and professionals have come up with certain standards on larger and dangerous game. A 30-caliber bullet will kill a Cape buffalo and many have. But enough of the smaller-caliber-on-buffalo apparently led to stories like the deer in this thread. Only be increasing diameter did the professionals begin to see a significant diminishing of animals escaping. Most African countries now require a .375" minimum, though some used to call for 0.4". Have I hunted and killed buffalo with less? Sure. The 338 is a great caliber. But diameter counts, and somewhere between .338" and .4" the "escape curve" turns downward.
Personally, I think that 25 caliber is too thin for a deer if the petals close up and dive through. Yes, in most cases it wouldn't matter, but there will be instances like in this thread. Penetration is probably factor number one after bullet placement, but wound channel follows as the next factor. What one needs is more of a guaranteed blunt cylinder (totally different from a rounded nose) smashing through or else more diameter if one wants to lower the 1% to 5% of irregular terminal results.
 

crocket

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Joined
Jul 26, 2015
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9
Location
Wyoming, 100%
I'm surprised. I would expect a Barnes to perform better than that. I thought magnum speeds are when they excelled. If you have a way to weigh the bullet I think that might tell whether petals sheared off or it was a failure to open. Glad you found your deer, but definitely not the way you wanted to get him I'm sure.
I've never had a problem with the ttsx barnes I shoot a .300 win mag, barnes 155 grain @3466, for elk and deer, they have never let our crew of 10 down ever, they are the most accurate round made. Thanks, have a nice day.
 

Pheasanthunter

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Feb 5, 2013
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240
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Michigan
I used to shoot them in a 257 bee they left the muzzle at 3680. I’ve never recovered one but the better part of 30 animals have fallen to that combo. I shoot the 90 grain hammer now at 4K but that’s neither here nor there.
Is that chronograph or book numbers
 

257WTBY

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Oct 27, 2012
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397
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WA STATE
#1 congrats on a nice buck. #2 **** happens. Quartering shots are tough. Especially tough without good bullet performance and would channel.

Not a deer but I shot a big bull elk in Wyoming 4-5 years ago. He was 470 yards quartering a little. I was shooting 225 Nosler Partitions out of my 340 WTBY. I was super solid resting on a root ball of a blow down. Pulled the trigger no reaction at all. Initially I was like WTH I know I was dead solid on him. I range him again still 470 yards. I rack another round and get back on him and he is just standing there with his cows that were looking for source of the big crack. I start to touch trigger and he just tipped over. The bullet went in the last rib on the right side and was under the hide in front of left front shoulder. Still have the bullet perfect mushroom and took out both lungs and heart but showed ZERO reaction to the bullet for at least 20-30 seconds. I often thought with no reaction and him traveling for 20-30 seconds he would have been well out of sight with no evidence of hit. I'm sure with as much blood s he leaked out standing there the blood trail would have been easy to follow to him. Just not the reaction I assumed would happen from shooting previous elk with the same round that crumpled at the shot.

I shoot 25 cal on deer and antelope. I run primarily 257WTBY and occasionally my 25-06. I run 99 gr shock hammer in my WTBY and 90 gr Shock hammers in 06. I shot a big whitetail buck a few years ago at 150 +/- completely broadside with my WTBY. At the shot he almost dropped, he got his feet back under him and ran close to 500 yards before he tipped over. While field dressing both lungs were jello and literally the top half of his heart was gone. Craziest thing Ive seen happen with that round/bullet. Lots and lots other deer and antelope from 50-450 yards dropped so fast it was amazing over past 30+ years using my WTBY.

Bullet performance did travel at least 20 inches probably more. I would think the petals should have created separate wound channels as well. Weird but not unheard of. I will say this thou since I switched to hammers Ive never shot anything twice its been one and done. I know people love barnes bullets and ive shot them and Im not saying they dont work or are bad I just prefer hammers now days. Plus switching to 212 gr hammers in my 340 are even more accurate then my 225 gr partitions...

Congrats again on a nice buck and like you said hes meat in the freezer now...
 
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