Barnes 168gn TSX NOT XLC?


Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2003
Aussie in Italy
has anyone had any experiences with the 168gn TSX in .30cal?

I just ordered a box and am curious as I've heard good things about them, but nothing specific.

[ 02-08-2004: Message edited by: EXPRESS ]
The XLC is the first Barnes bullet manufactured to match tolerances, this was to meet a military contract I believe. I happened to have been on one of the first Long Range shooting tests of the new bullet with the owners of Barnes a few years back. Story is in their manual.

We have killed several animals with the bullet and it performs very well. You will be able to use slightly more powder than a standard "X" bullet load, and you can also get slightly faster velocities. In a .308 the mushrooming capability is very good out to 500 yards, but the bullet starts to poop out at 600 as far as opening up goes.

We went with an almost case full of Varget, work up from 45 gr.
I could not get the xlc bullets to shoot good. I have .3 to .4 inch groups with the standard X and the tripple shocks, but I can't get good accuracy with the xlc. They group about 1.5 inches at 100 yards. I tried them in a 300 Win Mag, 300 WSM, and a Remingron 700P in 308.
We find that the Triple Shock bullets require even a bit more powder than the XLC's in the rifle that we tested with. One consideration is that you need lots of neck tension, we were shooting compressed loads and the bullets were slipping outward a bit.
Accuracy is excellent, right at or under 0.5" in the Mike Rock barrel we use. Velocities are just a bit higher than standard X bullets. We killed several deer and did not recover any bullets but the exits were significant (2-3") and lots of internal damage. Longest kill was 710 yards on a mulie doe.

Here are some actual drops - there are a couple of wonkie numbers but this is what we got when we fired the bullets previous to a hunt.

First numbers are distance, second is actual drop, third is inches of drop from the previous distance. We rounded this off a bit and made a MOA drop chart and he killed deer very nicely with this info. Can't explain the 575 number, guess the bullet floats upward a bit at that distance

Accuracy was exceptional during this test, we shot three-shot groups and the rifle stayed right at 1/2 moa, except at 625 where the group was under 1.5". Charge was Varget, BHA brass, Win. primers, O.L. 2.830"

100 0 0
200 2.25 2.25
250 7.75 5.50
300 12.5 4.75
350 19.5 7.00
375 24.5 5.00
400 28.25 3.75
425 33.25 5.00
450 39.5 6.25
475 45.25 5.75
500 51.5 6.25
525 60.5 9.00
550 71.75 11.25
575 75.75 4.00
600 83.25 7.50
625 91.5 7.75
650 108.00 16.50
Unfortunately, my experience with those bullets was poor. In my Gibbs which routinely shoots 1/3 MOA at 180yds, the Barnes triple shock had a tough time staying in a 6" group.

This is one rifle which those bullets definitely did not like.

I would like the thank IanM again for generously giving me some to test. I wished the results had been better.

On the flip side, the Nosler Accubonds in 200gr and Hornady 165gr Interbond both shot spectacular groups in my Gibbs and RUM. I can certainly recommend both bullets for LR hunting.

In my tests with the 168gr Barnes Triple Shock I had groups under 1/2.
Excellent velocity and accuracy.
I have been using the xlc 168 x bullet in my m-14 for long range hunting here in texas. 100 yard groups are barely bigger than bullet diameter. I have gotten prairie dogs easily out to 500 and occasionaly out to 7 or 8 hundred. One turkey at 200 and a hog at 700. The turkey and hog never knew what hit them. They are extremely OAL sensitive. Barnes knew what they were talking about in recommending to start .050 off the lands. I ended up.055. anywhere else and groups were terrible. I have been thinging about trying the tripple shocks and am greatly interested in hearing any more success stories or troubles people have been having with them. Are they even different enough to bother with the switch or should I just stick with what works?
If the xlc is working that well there is no reason to switch. Terminal performance is supposed to be the same as the x (per Barnes).
Theoretically the xlc will give you a little more velocity and more shots between cleaning than the Triple Shocks.
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