What's Wrong With Barnes Bullets?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by rodneymoncrief, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. rodneymoncrief

    rodneymoncrief Well-Known Member

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    You hear a lot of talk these days about Berger bullets and also the new Nosler Accubond Long Range, but no one mentions anything about Barnes TTSX or new LRX. The original Barnes X weren't that accurate, for me in any of my rifles, but since they introduced the TSX, I have had extemely good luck. Accuracy and killing power is excellent on everything from coyotes to Alaskan Moose. All the rage these days are for heavy for the caliber bullets, I have had extremely good luck with slightly lighter bullets with flatter trajectory. Have shot them out of everything from a 30-378 Wby to 7mm-08 with excellent results in accuracy and killing power. I have tried Bergers in several rifles and to me they are very temperamental and haven't much luck with accuracy. May be I am missing something so any feed back would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    You are talking about two completely different bullets that work in different situations.

    In my opinion the solids work better in closer hunting scenarios where there will be adequate velocity to open them. But they are not as desirable for my long range work where I need higher BC's to retain the velocity, energy and have less wind drift. I like a high BC jackets bullet that will still open under slowed velocities.

    The other difference of these bullets is some prefer a bullet that does not fragment and some prefer the bullet that does. There are two schools of thought here. I have good luck with the explosive damage of a bullet that fragments off the first half while the back 1/2 carries on. But others prefer it to expand and pass through. Solids will have a better chance of a pass through where the fragmenting bullet may not on larger animals under 500 yards. But in most cases I will always get a pass through with a jacketed bullet past 600 yards.

    Just two different options and since this is a long range hunting site that is why you are seeing more using the heavy, high BC bullets for long range hunting.

    Jeff
     
  3. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    First of all a Barnes is NOT a solid. its a controlled expansion bullet. a solid would be a barnes Buster or the like.. Jeff is spot on with the higher BC bullets being better for getting on target at ELR. Now that being said Jeff has a lot more experience than I do at ELR but what ELR shooting I have done with 300SMK out of my Lapua the target bullets open very little. My area of expertise is around 1000 yards and under and here is what I have seen. My lapua with 300 smk has killed several animals in the 600-1000 range and sometimes they make a perfect mushroom sometimes they explode and sometimes they dont open at all. For this reason I have decided to switch to the inferior BC 280 grain LRX. I have not used it yet BUT I have used my 7mm, 2506 and 338 win with various tsx bullets our to 890 yards and they have performed flawlessly. the elk at 890 was with my 338 win and a 225ttsx it busted down her front shoulders and made a nice size exit wound. So for me there is nothing to date wrong with the TSX series bullets. I kill quite a few animals each year and I always know what my bullet is going to do.
    I have tried Bergers in my 338 lapua and my 7mmRM but couldnt get them to shoot as well as the barnes or in the case of my lapua the smk shot better. However the berger did shoot pretty good in my lapua. I think you need to decide what you want your bullet to do, how far are you going to be killing animals and make a decision based on that. the 2 are so far apart it should be easy to decide which is for you... If you want middle of the road performance between the two I think the NAB is a pretty good choice.
     
  4. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    The trend toward heavy for caliber bullets for Long Range Hunting began, and continues, with the production of affordable and accurate laser range finders. Heavy for caliber bullets start with slower muzzle velocity so they drop more over the early to mid portion of their trajectory - say the first 600 yards of travel with rifles used for LRH. Prior to the laser range finder, 6-800 yards was an unbelievably long shot, because of the guess work involved in estimating the range and the associated holdover required to hit at those long ranges. So it made a lot of sense to use lighter bullets in any given caliber to obtain the flattest trajectories and minimize the holdover guesstimation required to connect at 350 to 600 yards.

    With laser range finders, range estimation and corrections for holdover become the least of the concerns involving successful marksmanship at long distances. And for all the the other factors that play a role in the success or failure to hit targets at really long distances, heavy for caliber bullets with high BCs now provide LRHs with all the advantages. As bullet manufacturers realized this trend, they've begun to manufacture a much better selection of high BC heavy for caliber bullets. And this trend in bullet manufacturing for long range hunters continues today. Nosler only came out with their Accubond Long Range bullet in the past year. Berger only began production of their high BC .338 caliber bullets in the past 2-3 years.

    I'm showing my age with this comment. I used to use a .338-378 Weatherby Magnum in the early 1990s with 200 and 210 grain bullets for long range moose hunting. And it was effective for shots out to 6-700 yards, which was really Long Range Hunting back then. To the point that most hunters wouldn't believe me if I said I killed a moose at 700 yards. The ones that did believe, still shook their heads as if it were somehow inappropriate or unfair to the game animal. With the availability of laser range finders, 300 grain bullets in .338 caliber are the more commonly used LRH bullets today. These bullets didn't hardly exist in days gone by. The only demand then was for target competition.

    One reason for the migration toward thin-jacketed, highly frangible lead core bullets for Long Range Hunting is that it's easier and less expensive to mass produce highly concentric and accurate bullets with this bullet design, than with some of the more complex controlled expansion bullets. Bullets used in target competitions are of this design and manufacture because of their high inherent accuracy. Good accuracy is required for extreme long range hunting also, so they're a natural bullet to consider for hunting at some pretty extreme ranges.

    Plus, Long Range Hunters like to shoot and practice a lot to improve their abilities. So bullet cost and marketability is always a consideration.
     
  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Mike I didn't mean this in a bad way. But I got this right from the Barnes TTSX description.

    "The new Tipped TSX features the same 100-percent copper body with multiple rings cut into the shank."

    When I used the TSX's and TTSX's I referred to them as solid copper bullets. I say this because other than the plastic tip on the TTSX they are as Barnes states "100 % copper" Not a lead core and jacketed bullet. So I see this as a solid copper offering. Sorry for my misunderstanding here, but I don't see the difference?

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  6. rodneymoncrief

    rodneymoncrief Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys for the info, that explains a lot because most of my shots are with in 600 yards. With in 600 yards my Barnes TTSX perform flawlessly with their flat trajectory and controlled expansion. I would love to be able to shoot farther, but terrain here in Arkansas won't allow it. The guided hunts I go on most guides don't want you shooting 300 yards, so in my situation I like my Barnes.
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    There's really not other than the fact the tip guarantees at least some expansion at far lower velocities than their previous versions that were equipped just with the X Tip.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    In an effort to relay accurate info on the Barnes I did some more reading on the Barnes site and found this under the description of the "Buster"

    "The bullet features a thick copper jacket and a heavy lead core,"

    I guess I don't get it. I refer to 100% coppers bullets as solids copper compared to copper jacketed lead core bullets. I don't see how this is wrong but I do want to be accurate in description so please help me out here.

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  9. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    no harm done I was just correcting what I saw as misrepresentation. to Me a solid is a solid bullet that does not expand..ie no tip or hollow point. Just making sure everyone was on the same page. but yes solid copper is what they are
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Got it and thanks for bringing this out.

    Jeff
     
  11. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I believe the distinction here is between a bullet designed for non-expansion and deep penetration (such as the solids used on dangerous game in Africa) vs a mono metal bullet of homogenous construction that is still designed to expand.
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Exactly

    I don't think there is any hard and fast definition of these bullets, but I think the most common term used for expanding bullets made of a homogenous material is "monometal" and for non-expanding it is "solid" vs non-expanding cup and core known as FMJ.

    To the OP,

    Shoot what ever bullet works for you. As mentioned, since this is a Long Range site, you see a little more favoritism toward the high BC heavies which will give greater range over the lighter and lower BC bullets which give better velocity and flatter short range trajectory.

    That said, in the long range world, trajectory is of little to no consequence. If you know your range, then you know your drop and compensate for it. Wind is the biggest nemesis of the LR shooter and the heavier high BC bullets buck it better than the lighter low BC bullets.
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Well said.
     
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Proof of what I say about the vocabulary here. Even some of us that are old hands can get hung up on the language at times.