Bullet Weight Retention and Performance .270

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by BRICKBURN, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I thought I would share some of my experience with my bullets from the great African hunting trip.
    I used my .270 winchester on all the plains game I hunted in Pongola Kwazulu Natal at Leeukop Safaris.
    I hunted Impala, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck and Common Reedbuck using the .270.
    With the suggestion of my experienced friend's that had been to Africa telling me to get high end bullets and having the same reiterated on AH and also by my PH adding use heavy for caliber bullets I would go ahead and take the .270 along to South Africa and hunt plains game with it.

    I reloaded with two refined recipes (test shots, etc.:
    Number 1:
    Bullet: 130 grain Barnes Tipped TSX BT
    Powder: H4350 54 grains
    Casing: Remington
    Primer: CCI

    I got under 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards without much effort.

    Number 2:
    Bullet: 150 grain Barnes MRX BT
    Powder: RL19 55 grains
    Casing: Remington
    Primer: CCI

    I got 1 inch groups at 100 yards with this one.

    It turned out that I only used the 130 grain bullets on everything.
    I'll wait to use the 150's on some Elk and Deer here at home.



    Cover and bullet deflection:
    At HOME we NEVER shoot through cover: grass, sticks, branches, etc.
    In Africa it was the norm that something would be in the way. Grass or branches of something.
    These bullets deflected somewhat when they hit brush. The soft points are a guaranteed miss if this happens at home.
    The entrance holes on the Impala, Kudu (two deflections still hit him), Nyala and Bushbuck were huge. It was obvious that the bullets had expanded on the way to the animals after hitting some cover and still performed and stayed on course.
    At long range this would not have turned out so well I think.
    When a bullet did not strike cover they left a tiny caliber size hole and still did not do a pass through.
    Accuracy was excellent.

    Performance:
    Impala dropped in his tracks.
    Kudu, when a bullet finally made it to the boiler room he moved off a few yards and dropped.
    Nyala, dropped in his tracks.
    Bushbuck, dropped in his tracks
    Common Reedbuck, moved away 20 yards and dropped with a peripheral lung shot.

    None of the bullets passed through the animals. The skinners and butchers were just not able to find the other bullets.

    Weight Retention:
    Here is the picture of two bullets that were retrieved from animals I harvested at Leeukop.
    One is from the Impala and the other from the Common Reedbuck.


    These two bullets hit bone and heavy muscle before they came to rest and nearly traveled the length of the animal.
    93.9 % and 99.4% weight retention. Both animals were taken under 100 yards. Now the typical soft point bullets we use at home explode on impact at that range. There is usually a very flat mushroom recovered, if at all, even when rib shots are taken.

    Anyway, if you are concerned about dragging your .270 along to hunt plains game. Load some good bullets and go hunting. Good Luck.

    BULLET WEIGHT RETENTION.jpg
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the information.:)
     
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing your experience BRICKBURN.
     
  4. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    Great Report. Terminal performance is a favourite subject of mine.

    (Offer the skinners R5 per bullet and they'll find them :eek:).
     
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I could not get very good accuracy from the TSX bullets in my .300WM. But for hunting in the Limpopo, the accuracy was plenty fine.

    My results differ only from yours in that all but one of my bullets passed through. The length of the retrieval was the same.
     
  6. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    Those bullets really didn't open up much, but if you dug them out of dead critters I guess they worked well enough. If they didn't pass through, I'd guess the velocity at impact was on the low end. My experience with Barnes TTSX is that they are fantastic, but work better at higher velocities (2500+ fps at impact). I use them in my .300 Wby, .257 Wby, and 7mm-08. I've had fabulous performance from the .300 and the .257. The 7mm-08 load is newer and I haven't tried it on game yet.

    On african game I had complete pass-thru on most shots. A facing quartering shot on a kudu didn't exit and a facing quartering shot on a red hartebeest didn't exit. Everything else did (blesbok, gemsbok x 2, blue wildebeest x2, cull kudu, and of course impala, springbok, and duiker). Complete pass thru on cow moose last year. Two years ago I shot a bull elk at 40 yards. The exit wound was around 3/4" and went thru both shoulders and two ribs. Exit wounds on the african game were pretty small compared to my experience with nosler partitions. The animals didn't seem to care though. 11 of my 12 critters dropped within 10 yards. The one that didn't was my fault. Most were DRT. The elk dropped in his tracks. The cow moose made it maybe 40 or 50 yards.

    In my .300, TTSX group consistently around 0.600" at 100. The .257 shoots about 0.800 when I'm doing my part. I don't see any reason to ever change.
     
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    TSX did not shoot worth beans out of my rifle either. But the TTSX BT were a dream.

     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    3133 fps in the table for the load I made up. Did not chronograph them though.
    I hope they did not drop that much in under 100 yards. Just opened as much as they can.

    They opened as much as the bullet design allows.
    They are sure built for penetration though. Considering they were face on and quartering shots and took out large bone.

    The guys with the .300 win mag and the .338 had pass throughs of course with the same style bullet in the prescribed weight for caliber. Also the same performance with brush, branches etc. Blew right through and kept on going.

    Your experience sounds like its as good as mine. More proof in the pudding.

    I am glad they did not go through. Saved me from buying spare animals. :)

    The experiment just proved for me that good bullets in the .270 are certainly sufficient for African hunting.
    Hope others can find the same result.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    LOL I found the opposite, the old XLCs shot good in my .257 Weatherby but my .338 Lapua hated them. TTSX is hated by my .257 (they are much longer than TSXs, maybe too long to stabilize in this caliber?) I have not tried them in any other caliber. TSX are loved by my .257 and .338. My .270 is still shooting original XBTs into tiny groups but as I run out I will have to switch since thay are no longer available.

    As for performance on African game I experienced deflection on 2 shots at one animal (Nyala) with the .257. The .257 passed through everything it shot from 40-250yds. The .270 passed through everything with the exception of the Wildebeest which broke the point of the shoulder on the way in and penetrated to the rest on the far skin after at least 30" of penetration. The only animal I lost (Hartebeest) was with the .270 but that was my fault (poor shot). Shots with the .270 were 50-100yds

    As in all my experience with Barnes they killed quickly. Animals dropped in their tracks - Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Nyala x2 (1 was spined and finished with a second shot). Animals dead within 30yds Blesbok, Wildebeest, Impala, 2nd Bushbuck, Gemsbok. My Warthog was hit in the liver and travelled less than 100yds (great blood trail).
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just goes to show, that you should work up the load for your rifle with a good bullet that is accurate for your gun.
    But don't be scared to use that slightly smaller caliber on your hunt, as long as you are comfortable with it.
     
  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    The 300gr TSX shoot very well out of my .375, but nothing I tried could get either the TSX or TTSX to shoot out of my .300WM Tikka. Powder, seating depth, crimp/no crimp, primers....notta. Disappointed me as I wanted them to be available for longer range hunting. Every animal but one had a pass through with a very clean hole about the size of a quarter.
     
  12. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Absolutely, I love Nosler partitions but none of my current guns agree with me. I could argue but would always lose. It makes no matter anyway since Barnes is my #1 choice anyway.

    As for the smaller caliber, the gun you are most familiar with and most proficeint with is best, along with responsible shot selection for that caliber of course. Ideally I would have taken my .257 and my .338 but with Christine along it was important to have 2 guns that she could shoot "just in case". When I take to the EC that is exactly what I will have. The .257 and bipod for sniping wary Springbok and the Lapua for Kudu, Wildebeest and Eland. With a good shot I would be confident in the .257 on these animals too but on a less than perfect shot (big bone) it may prove to be a pea shooter and why take that chance.
     
  13. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Too bad, they are excellent long range performers when you can use them. That is the one beef I had with my .338, the TSX max loads fire 200fps slower than my old XLC max loads. Of course the 3/4" groups I get now beat the hell out of the 2" groups the XLCs got me.
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I sighted in my brothers 270 Win. with 130 gr. TTSX bullets this last Sunday...in the wind and rain. He has a Remington 700 SPS Stainless steel 270 Win that I bought for him to trade for a old 30-30 Winchestor Cowboy rifle he had + cash. He had a 40 mm Leupold 3.5X10 power scope mounted on the gun...it's a rifle for his wife to hunt with. He wanted to buy the best bullets possible so I mentioned the TTSX. He doesn't like to shoot guns...so I sighted it in for him.

    I have a cardboard target with a dirt bank background. There are heavy steel posts that hold the target up. Well the gun was initially off 2 feet to the left and 16 inches down from the target zero. and I blew one of 2 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick steel posts in two....and the bullet kept on going. That was at 100 yds. So, yes I was pretty impressed with the TTSX performance. Accuracy in the gun was good about 2 inches in the elements...not shooting off a bench...just shooting off sticks.
     
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just more proof they are tough bullets E.
    If they work in my guns I will be using them.
    We'll see shortly how they work on deer soon enough.
     
  16. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    I have a Tika T-3 in a .300WSM. I was able to get great groups [ 1/2 inch] by going to the 150 gr TTSX. So I'll ask did you try different weights in your .300WM? The T-3 has a clip and limits how much I can change the seating depth. The 150 gr. TTSX shoots far better for me than any other bullet. My only beef is that the copper fouling in the barrel reduces my accuracy noticeably after only 10 shots. Just have to keep it clean.
    I also use the TTSX in my .270 WSM in the T-3. A little under 1 inch groups. Has done a good job on the deer that I've used it on. I don't recover many of the bullets. Most are pass throughs. Bruce
     
  17. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Its funny how each rifle likes things a little different, even with the same bullets. My guns (esp. my .257 WBY) prefer a well fouled bore. I always fire 5-6 rounds before I even think of shooting for accuracy. First 3 out of the .257 in particular group maybe 2 1/2", once fouled 3/4" groups are common.
     
  18. .416 Rigby

    .416 Rigby AH Member

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    Can't comment on Barnes TSX in the .270, as I do not own a .270. However, on my last safari (a 31 day Big Four hunt in Zim during May, 2011), it was necessary to shoot a lot of bait animals as we were concentrating on cats. I was running low on ammunition for my .416 Rigby, so my PH loaned me his Winchester 70 Classic in .30/06. He had Barnes 180 TSX ammunition loaded by Federal. We never recovered a bullet (most exited), but the load was the proverbial death ray on impalas and kudu cows. It killed them just as dead just as quickly as my .416 did, causing lots of internal damage along the way. My previous load of choice was the Swift A-Frame. I am now a TSX convert.
     
  19. 300 Wby

    300 Wby New Member

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    I too am a fan of Barnes TSX. They shoot excellent (200 gr) in my 300 Wby, 416 Rem Mag and 257 Wby. On my 2011 african hunt a zebra (chest) and warthog quartering away were the only two animals that I did not exit the animal. I did however have a TSX from a 257 Wby shatter upon hitting a big mule deer buck though, Only trouble I have ever had with barnes.
     
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The experiment at home.
    38 inch wound tract. Front to back into the pelvis.
    125.4 grains left.
    (130 grn TTSX .270)
    Five inches from a complete pass through end for end on a white tail deer.
    Just about a reverse Texas Heart Shot.

    [​IMG]
     

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