I have read on another Forum (24hourcampfire), that for the most part, the TSX requires higher velocities to expand. The TTSX has the polymer tip which increases the BC, and also initiates expansion. The cavity under the tip is larger, therefore the bullet expands better at a lower velocity.
There are over 200 replies to that post on that Forum, about half love the bullets, half hate the bullets. There are pictures of recovered bullets showing no expansion and the bullet nose bent instead of expanding in the TSX. Lots of stories relating to small entry and exit wounds, but as people reply that if you recover the animal to see the entrance and exit wound, did the bullet really fail??
I have never used the TSX, but I use the 168 grain TTSX in my 30/06, and have shot two whitetail deer with them, one ran about 10 yards, the other about 30 yards. No bullets were recovered, and exit wounds seemed small, about twice the size of the entry wounds. I will continue to use them. For Elk hunting, however, I use the 210 grain Nosler Partition in my .340 Weatherby.
I have taken probably 15 big game animals with the TTSX in .300 wsm and mag. I have been veri impressed with the bullets. Always expand nicley and expend energy inside the animal. I shot a bull nigai, a free range indian antelope tht was over 500 lb. 270 yards into the left shoulder. Animal ran 40 yards and piled up. I coiuld feel the bullet under the skin on the opposite shoulder.
Do a search for Barnes bullet test scroll down, and you can get an idea of what the ttsx will do after passing through bone. It also shows Nosler and Berger. After looking at these tests, I am more inclined to go with Berger. Wound channel is much larger with Berger.
I'd go with the TTSX or LRX for the reasons stated above. These are about the best thing going to minimize meat damage BUT you don't typically get DRT results. Had a small whitetail doe I shot with a 338 RUM (to test for meat damage) and it went about 20 yards after a double lung shot from 220 yards. A big 6X6 bull elk double lunged from 358 yards with the same rifle and bullet (210 grain TTSX) went about 20 yards and piled up. Zero meat damage on both animals and both bullets exited the animal. The nice thing about these bullets besides minimizing meat damage, since they usually pass through, is a bigger animal gets hit harder than a smaller one. Out past 500 yards I switch to Bergers for the better BC and DRT results.
I would ask also what are you going to shoot them out of. I use them in .308's, 35 wheelen and 30-378 wby mag. In the wheelen I use the flat base TSX and due to speed does not need the boat tail of the TTSX. The .308 and 30-378 get the TTSX because even though 308 speeds don't require a boat tail they like them and the 30-378 because of speed needs a boat tail. Hope that helps a little. As far as meat damage it can be massive if you hit a major bone. With the 30-378 most animals hit the ground imediately from the shock and never get back up.
I have taken about 20 animals with two different calibers and the results have been the same with both very little expansion out of the 20 only 2 were drt both were hit in the neck. It seems to me they bleed energy very fast because of low Bc.
I've used 140 TSX out of my STW for Antelope from 100 to 500 yards. I would not suggest a high shoulder/spine shot with that combination. Not a whole lot left. I have had the same results with 180 Bergers from the same rifle. I don't think it matters what bullet you use if you hit them there.
Shoot them in the chest, less meat damage but they go a few yards because their legs still work and their brain still has oxygen.
I have shot a bunch of deer (20 or more) with both styles, I switched to the ttsx for the same reasons already listed (LRX when I can find them). The main reason I stick with the Barnes is that for me, it gives me the most effective range of shot opportunity for the area that I hunt. It is heavily wooded and thick in most of the places I hunt and unlike the wide open west it is more likely than not I have a very small window of time to make the shot.
With the Barnes any acceptable shot angle and you are good to go knowing that if you have to shoot through a shoulder bone on a hard angle you WILL reach the vitals if your aim is true. I cant bring myself to trust the Berger type bullets in that situation. As far as meat damage goes the Barnes can be pretty destructive if you contact bone, but if its a broadside shot through the boiler room I have found that most often it will be a caliber size entrance and a slightly larger than caliber exit with a chunky red soup left from the vitals.
Having said that I have several boxes of Berger bullets for every rifle I own because they shoot great and dont seem to copper foul nearly as much as the Barnes. If Im shooting steel, coyotes, or even on the occassional doe hunt I shoot the Bergers.
When the Berger bullet hunting craze first started my buddy shot 3 whitetail doe with them with questionable results (he is very good shot). One was with a 7-08 (140vld) that he never recovered, and the other two were with a 7STW (168vld). The two he shot with the STW (one @ 40yds the other about 120) were recovered at about 60 and 100 yds respectively. In both instances there was no blood trail and we were able to recover the deer based on seeing where they went and being familiar with the area. When we got to them we found that neither bullet had exited but it looked like a grenade had gone off inside of the deer! Please dont take this as a Berger bashing but rather just my personal experience with them. The amazing results I read about the Bergers on this forum make me really want to try them out again but I just havent got there yet (lol)! I met Walt Berger at last years shot show and he was one of the kindest, most genuine guys you could imagine. I will continue to shoot Bergers at the range because of all the good things they do, as well as because of his kindness to take the time to talk with an average joe!
I for one am not impressed with the TTSX, my buddy shoots the 168 grain out of his 06. I have been on 3 of his elk kills and one lost elk, I was not impressed by the trauma or exit wound on the three dead elk nor the blood trail left by all four elk.
Two of the elk were shot high through the top of the shoulders, for hitting bone on the way in I would expect a way bigger exit hole then the size of the bullet after exiting the other shoulder bone.
One elk was double lung hit with an exit hole, both holes were so small that there was no blood trail in the snow. Found a medium drop of blood in the snow were the cow went down 30 yards from the initial shot site.
Cow that was lost I think got hit high probably above the shoulders and I assume the bullet didn't expand well from the other 3 I butchered.
I will stick with a lead core bullet that expands like it should.
Ttsx bullets work well on deer hunt near thick area's pass through is good For blood trail. They do good damage too. Other bullets that expand to quickly leave blood inside they work not problem if you have open woods.
I shot a mule deer in the chest at 30 yrds. 130gr ttsx from 270wsm 2250fps.
Made some jello foam inside, destroyed left front leg joint, and busted a bunch of ribs. Recovered only the blue tip in the front of the left shoulder. Exit hole was about the size of a quarter at the back of the left side ribs.
Unfortunately, that is the furthest I have used this load.