3300fps to fast for Barnes TTSX

Stk

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Nov 24, 2016
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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.

I have to agree. 3% of weight doesn't account for petals being shared off. It may just be the loss of the tip. If that's what happened, and the bullet never expanded but penciled through quickly, it explains the poor performance. I don't have the bullet in front of me so obviously I can't examine it as well as the OP, but I don't think it expanded.

It sounds like OP hit him more or less where he should of given the angle of shot he had. Maybe that wasn't an ideal angle, but it sounds like poor bullet performance led to a bad outcome in what should have been a quickly fatal shot.
 

Rob L.

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Wow, what an interesting thread! Before I continue, I'll add to what seattleman 1969 said. Your bullet may have been one where the copper bar they are made from had some inclusions, not detected during inspection. It could lead to an imperfect bullet. Things like that happen in real life and no blame to the shooter or manufacturer. No doubt evenperfect shots can lead to imperfect results...
I load and shoot Barnes TSX and TTSX. I've been able to push up velocity and improved accuracy to where my Weatherbys seem to like them. Over the years I've killed several animals with outstanding results, DRT, and some that left me scratching my head.
Two come to mind.
About 10 years ago I shot a 250lb hog in Texas that was a Texas heart shot. My mistake because it was the first time hunting at night and I thought the hog was facing me, but instead, its butthole was facing me. I shot it with a 168gr TTSX out of a 30-'06 from about 40 yards. I never recovered the bullet because it traveled all the way through lengthways and out the front shoulder. The inards were destroyed but this hog managed to run nearly 200 yards before dropping.
Then last year while elk hunting, I had an opportunity to take a nice Whitetail (season run together) . It was a 127 yard shot slightly quartering from right to left. I was using my .340 Weatherby Mag with a 225gr TTSX going nearly 3200fps. The animal was standing still, and the shot took out the heart and both lungs. It bolted and sprinted about 120 yards before keeling over and sliding to a stop close to me.
Animals are tough, and some are tougher than others. I couldn't believe it didn't just drop in its tracks! Here's a picture of his heart.
 

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Northkill

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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.
OP says it did not hit the hind quarter - entrance was in front of hind quarter. Surprises me a bit that it didn't perform better, but as I said before, inexplicable things happen in the deer woods.
 

vancewalker007

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Well you’d be wrong. It penciled through the liver and one lung. How the heck would you think it could it not hit any vitals on a quartering away shot when it enters the flank and comes to rest in the shoulder??? The bullet had to fall apart within the first couple inches of hitting the deer.
Its the classic penciling effect of very hard bullets. This was happening to the original Barnes bullets years ago and people lost a lot of game using them. They have improved the mushrooming effect with the larger deeper hollow point but obviously your impact velocity is exceeding the strength of the material in the bullet. In your rifle's case a bonded bullet might be a better choice that can emit a larger shockwave. Your bullet should have liquified that liver at that close range as liver is very soft tissue. What your bullet did was like shooting a deer with a field point using archery. A deer will not go far on a destroyed liver.
 

cabelasken

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I've taken over 35 animals with the ttsx and tsx bullets and have had two occasions where perfect performance didn't happen. One was a Montana buck taken at 40 yds broadside with a 7MM remington mag 150 gr TTSX bullet. Impact velocity was north of 2900 FPS and a shoulder was broken on the way in and on the way out. Bullet was lodged in the far side hide with no petals. Buck never took a step. Second occurance was stopping a wounded 6x6 bull at 200 yds shooting down a cliff going away. My bullet glanced off the spine in front of the near side ham and rotated 180 and settled in the far side front shoulder. This recovered bullet never expanded at all, but the bull never took another step. All other kills showed perfect expansion as evident by a recovered bullet or a petal shaped hole on the far side hide. I'm not sure if another bullet design would have performed better on these two animals, but seeing the performance of some factory loads in the field, I guess I'll stay with Barnes bullets for now, although I have been experimenting with Hammers and will adventually try one or more on game animals.
 

Tiny Tim

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I have to agree. 3% of weight doesn't account for petals being shared off. It may just be the loss of the tip. If that's what happened, and the bullet never expanded but penciled through quickly, it explains the poor performance. I don't have the bullet in front of me so obviously I can't examine it as well as the OP, but I don't think it expanded.

It sounds like OP hit him more or less where he should of given the angle of shot he had. Maybe that wasn't an ideal angle, but it sounds like poor bullet performance led to a bad outcome in what should have been a quickly fatal shot.
Great observation. I'd like to think at that point it would act like a fmj. If so, it's odd it wouldn't be a complete pass through.
 

tooth doc

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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.
is there any chance you hit something between you and the buck first? i shot a big black bear years ago with 165 tsx at 3260 from my 300 wsm, that we recovered a very simiar looking bullet from. when fiel dressinf we found a couple of very small perforations into the thoracic cavity around major wound channel just behind the shoulder. we figured something close to the bear was hit first, knocking off petals. looking around, sure enough i centered a 1 to 1.5 inch alder sapling. i figured this also accounted for a recovered slug under skin on off side after heart and lungs were punched. i never noticed the sapling in my sight picture. the alder was probably 30-35 yds from bear and the shot was about 200 yds. kept the sapling by the bear half mt for years.
 

1yotedog

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My experience with TSX and TTSX in 25-06, 30-06, and 35Wheelen has been DRT with high shoulder shots.... all pass through, minimal meat damage (offside not blown out), but DRT none the less. Of 4 hogs taken with the same 100gr TTSX as the OP's shot from his Roberts, ranges were from 25 yds to 160 yds fired from a 25-06 at chron'ed 3350 fps.... the bullets had done it's job! OP expressed that he believes an Accubond or Berger would have performed better on the same raking angle shot. I'd like to hear if any AB or Berger users have had to track down an animal after a similar shot?
 

jessej

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I’ve almost typed this several times today, but refrained. After crockets response, I’ll add it.

1st, if that projectile went in at 100 grains and was recovered at 97 grain, with no increase in diameter, it did not perform correctly. Period.

2nd. If I’m rifle hunting and get a shot at a trophy class buck, I’m taking whatever shot is presented. Of course I want the perfect broad side double shoulder, but if the Tx heart shot is all that’s presented, I’m taking it. Hind qtr, boom. Neck, boom. Even gut. Only shot I wouldn’t take on a trophy is a head shot.
So, because I know I may make a shot like that on an animal, I shoot a big enuff, fast enuff projectile that results in a bang flop.
 

A4W22CM

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Were these bullets manufactured by Barnes or Sierra after the buy-out. Only problem I ever had with Barnes was getting ahold of them.
Sierra and Barnes are owned by the same company but don’t have anything to do with each other as far as manufacturing
 

Harperdog

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Aug 31, 2021
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Ferriday, Louisiana
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.
 
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Harperdog

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Aug 31, 2021
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Ferriday, Louisiana
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 accubonds in my 257 Weatherby the 100 grain Barnes ttsx keyholed at 100 yards at 3700 fps so I threw about 2 boxes of them in trashcan and never bought another Barnes product since
 
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