Barnes 416 TSX 350gr Bullet For Buffalo

PHOENIX PHIL

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IvW

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Here is the picture and background posted by Peter Larson for those who are interested.

One is perfect the other a complete failure. Same bullet, same rifle, same load, same buffalo. Exactly the reason I cannot stake my life on these bullets.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/bullet-performance-database.37971/page-4

DSC_0004.JPG


Had the same experience with 270gr TSXin 375HH when I shot my buff.
First bullet quartering frontal shot at six meter.
Worked perfect and blew the heart to pieces and broke the leg on the exit side.
Second shot quartering away hit in the rump did fail and was recovered under the skin in the front
of the buff.
I shot plainsgame with 250gr TTSX and had no exits.
Shot nyala,red hartebeest and waterbuck.
 
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sheephunterab

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Like I say, search the internet for any bullet and you can find "failures" I could offer up several likely scenarios for the bullet in question but fear I'd be wasting my time. Use what you have confidence in. I have confidence in mono metals and suspect have considerably more experience with them than most. They work. When they don't there's a logical explanation...as with all bullets.
 

IvW

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I don't base my claims on what is available on the internet but rather on what I have seen for myself in the field.

Have you now switched over to Barnes TSX or still using the Hornady GMX that also have a tendency to shed all their petals when used on DG as per your report from Tanzania?

"They all looked really similar...shed petals but base intact."

"On Vanessa's buff, we found the bullet in far side hide and it too had shed a few petals but the petals were right beside the bullet. Still trying to figure out the physics on that one. Have one theory but need to do a bit more research."

Not the type of bullet performance I like.

If they work for you, as I mentioned go ahead use them, but some day they will let you down.
 

sheephunterab

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I've used both the TSX and GMX extensively and honestly, the shed petals don't worry me at all. If you read the entire thread you'd see there was a likely explanation and truthfully, shedding petals does offer some advantages providing enough of the bullet remains intact to achieve sufficient penetration. Not sure how they are going to let me down. After a couple hundred real life test I'm pretty confident.
 

IvW

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GMX are crap.

They were never designed to shed petals(GMX and Barnes TSX). I would rather limit my shot taking possibilities and use a proper solid in that case.

A proper controlled expansion bullet should expand as designed, stay together and retain maximum weight which results in proper penetration and killing ability.

According to the manufacturer this bullet was designed to be a:

The tough alloy material routinely retains 95% or more of its original weight and expands up to 1.5 times its original diameter.

It clearly does not achieve this!!

TSX are not perfect but much better than GMX for sure.
 

sheephunterab

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Have a good day IvW!
 

IvW

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How come you decided on the Hornady bullets? They probably have the worse reputation for hunting DG in Africa! Furthermore you decided to use the GMX, why is that purely because they are monometal?

According to Hornady the GMX® is ideal for any sized game, from antelope to MOOSE.

Moose are often called swamp donkeys and to be quite honest do not require much bullet to kill.

Why did you not choose, if it had to be Hornady, the DGS, DGX or DGX Bonded? They are just as bad but at least designed for the task at hand.

Only reason has to be you or your hunting is somehow sponsored and you have to make them sound good. Are you or your hunting trips sponsored by Hornady? This would clear some things up.

"On Vanessa's buff, we found the bullet in far side hide and it too had shed a few petals but the petals were right beside the bullet. Still trying to figure out the physics on that one. Have one theory but need to do a bit more research."

Deciding to take a bullet designed for swamp donkeys to Africa for use on DG is a foolish thing to do.

No research needed, you chose the wrong bullet for use on Africa's DG.
 

sheephunterab

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We were actually talking about TSX IvW. It's manufactured by Barnes. You've shot quite a few moose have you? Have a good day IvW
 

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Guys, pardon me for saying this but this thread seems to be getting personal. IvW has stated previously that the client may use any bullet he feels comfortable with. Sounds fair enough to me. At the same time he said that he as a PH cannot use a bullet that he finds to be unreliable to stop a charge. As I stated previously there are good, better and best bullets for hunting Cape Buffalo. It's his neck and that of his client that is on the line. I wish that some of the other DG PH(s) would chime in on this topic. If there is a consensus of opinion it's game over as far as I'm concerned.
 

sheephunterab

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Guys, pardon me for saying this but this thread seems to be getting personal.

No interest in going there! As for PH recommendations, having hunted with quite a number, I'd say they all have their favourites and consensus on that would be like getting consensus on blondes vs brunettes. If anything, the lack of consensus speaks to the number of quality bullets out there today. Absolutely, use what you have confidence in but don't be so blind as to realize there are many good options out there. The TSX being one of them.
 

Ridgewalker

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That is the plan!
Good for you! You’re going to like the concession. Pretty rugged terrain. A rough mountain ridge between two valleys. Very nice, but can be tough hunting if they’re on the mountain.
Enjoy!
 

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400 to 430 gr bullets perform much better than lighter bullets.

The 450 gr weight mentioned are not freely available in 416 caliber but rather in 404 Jeff.

A 400gr .416 caliber bullet has the exceptional SD of .330 which is part of the reason it has been so successful in Africa on DG. Therefore 400-430 gr bullets would be the best choice.

As mentioned by others above when loading the heavier for caliber bullets(more than 400gr in .416) the Rigby is the best platform for this, due to ample case capacity and the ability to keep pressures low.

Controlled expansion, forward weighted bullets are the way to go. These include Rhino solid shank, Trophy bonded bear claws, North Fork and Swift A-frame.
Woodleighs are not controlled expansion bullets.

Weights for these range from 400 gr to 430 gr bullets. Rhino made a 450 at some stage but then backed the weight off to 430 gr.

450gr bullets are the prefered weight in .404 Jeff as they have a bigger diameter than .416.

When hunting DG, especially Cape Buffalo the more bullet you have to work with the better they perform (weight retention, expansion, straight line penetration). Ideal killing speed is 2200-2400 fps.

Here is my post from the other thread regarding, which was about the 404 Jeff and why I do not like Barnes X or Woodleigh bullets for DG hunting, especially Cape Buffalo:

Here is the link to the entire thread which you may find interesting.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/what-bullet-for-my-404-jeffery.39935/

To start with I am an old school hunter and have always been an advocate of heavy for caliber bullets irrespective of caliber used. They just perform better. They stay on course better(through brush and after hitting the buff), they penetrate better, they expand to a bigger diameter after impact as there is more bullet to do so). Typically 2.5 x diameter with the Rhino bullet.

You typically get two thoughts on this. Lighter higher velocity bullets and then slower heavy bullets at reasonable velocity(2200-2400 fps).

Firstly I would only recommend clients to use premium grade soft/controlled expansion bullets and no solids on buffalo.

I also prefer non monometal softs and also do not like the new "fragmenting" types.

Availability of bullets will obviously be an issue as all bullets are not available in all countries.

My recommendation in order of preference for bolt actions would be:

Rhino controlled expansion soft, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, North Fork or Swift A-frame.

Bullet weights:

375 H&H-Min 300gr @ 2400 fps better 350gr @ 2300 fps or even the 380gr @ 2200 if it stabilizes and you have no pressure signs in your rifle.

416 Rigby- 400gr @ 2400, better 450gr @ 2250-2300 fps.

404 Jeff- min 400gr @ 2300, better 450gr @ 2200-2300 fps.

458-min 500gr @ 2300, better 550gr @ 2200-2300 fps. (Have to add here that I do not like the 458 Win and also not the other 458 calibers that have straight wall cases and belts). In this group I only like the 450 Rigby or the 458 Sabi.

505 Gibbs- 550-600grn @ 2300 fps.

500 JEFF- 570 grn @ 2350 fps-this is what I use for hard skin DG hunting.

Double rifles:

If your double regulates and is safe to shoot with above mentioned bullets I would go with the same. They rarely do and the best bullet to use in a double would be a Woodleigh bonded one.

The lower velocities of the big NE cartridges compliment the softer design of the Woodleigh very well and they therefore perform as designed @ these lower velocities.

Let me elaborate on why Barnes TSX would not be my first choice (for DG) hunting.

Many speak highly of the Barnes TSX and as seen here many report good results with them over a large range of calibers and species hunted. Yes they work and they work better at higher velocities on softer game. They do not work so well on hard skinned game at slower velocities.

Issues and below par performance I have seen or experienced with them are:

1. Being of monometal design they are typically longer than conventional/lead containing bullets of the same weight. This is fine if you use a rifle and caliber with a long enough magazine and action. Bullets can then be seated forward to not reduce case capacity and keep pressures down. This problem is compounded when using them in Magnum cartridges built on standard length actions. High pressures are the main cause of stuck cases/rifle jams while hunting in higher temperature areas.

2. Monometal bullets cause more friction in the barrel and also create more pressure than conventional bullets. Moly Coating helps but TSX are not coated.

3. Monometal bullets(especially copper cause more fouling in the barrel again increasing operating pressures.

4. They are spitzer shape with a slight boat tail, great for long range shooting but not great for close up work in heavy cover. Spitzer designs deflect much easier than more conventional designs. All shots taken will not always be "the perfect shot".

5. The spitzer shape is more prone to deflecting and veering off course after hitting the target.

6. The overall design is of rear weight design(the back is heavier than the front). If the bullet only partially expands(seen this on a few occasions), the rear being heavier and carrying more momentum than the front of the bullet wants to overtake the front and the bullet has no option but to tumble. This severely affects the bullet performance and straight line penetration.

7. Unreliable expansion. They often do not expand or do not expand properly. This again severely affects the performance of the bullet. If it does not expand it tends to over penetrate and exit which can lead to problems if you wound another buff behind the one being shot at.

8. I know the main animal discussed is buff but they are too soft for some applications and too hard for others. They are too hard for cats and too soft when hitting hard shoulder bones eg. shoulder on buff. This again causes either insufficient expansion(vital when hunting cats) or they loose petals when encountering hard bone which defeats the object. I need a soft to punch through, retain the petals and destroy the vitals behind the heavy bone and then settle under the skin on the opposite side.

9. A proper expanding bullet will typically expand to 2.5 x diameter and retain it's petals. The monometal expanders do not achieve this, if they expand as designed you are lucky to get 2 x expansion, most times much less.

For DG back-up you need a bullet that will perform as designed every time you need it to, the ones I have mentioned do so and the one that has been most consistent and devastating for me has been the Rhino.
If you had a choice between a 416 Ruger, and a 416 Rem, which would you prefer as a cartridge?
 

geoff rath

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Just by chance, I was (re)reading Mr MacDonald's manual today, in particular his experience (not thoughts!) on his/Woodleigh Hydrostatic solids. He alleges/states that the driving bands are set at barrel groove diameter, and the body of the bullets slightly less than land diameter.He also states that seating depth should be set to reliably/consistently feed . I asked him (email) about using Hydros in a 458 Win Mag; 420 grain, not 480s. his statement on bolt-fed rifles/calibers for DG with conventional bullets; go heavy. i.e. 350 grain in 375H&H, 450 grain in 416 Rigby, and 550 in the 450 bigger calibers. One of his comments relates to Norma's choice of bullet weight for real DG ammo; heavies as above. Almost all his "testing" was on Water buff culling, thousands of animals, and when he hunted Africa (elephant), they didn't just shoot the animal, they shot it multiple times, various angles and so on. Bullets were recovered, and studies, as were penetration/deviation. Combine that level of research with IvW's experience we're getting close to an understanding of the science. I'll NEVER get that sort of practical knowledge. . .
 

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Personally I haven't found the 400 gr 416 bullet to be wanting in mass or ballistics or performance- no matter the metal or design if within the premium category. This thread started out about opinions on the 350 Barnes TSX on buffalo and ended up about other things like pressure (as if everyone has a pressure testing equipment :)) and 450 gr bullets. Huh? I can't imagine needing the potential extra penetration afforded by a 450 grain 416 bullet on buffalo. Maybe if the bullet is of questionable design and strength to begin with?? Or if the intended use is for maximum potential penetration on something like an elephant- maybe.

As to the 416 Rug or 416 Rem being "unsafe" compared to the Rigby? Hah!! Maybe using 128 year old reloading techniques with Cordite powder in 120 F degree temps :) Modern pressure data and modern temperature insensitive powders simply don't support the much quoted "Rigby" 'round the campfire, keyboard or coffee shop theory. Hot rod or use the wrong load or powder in any cartridge including the Rigby and see what happens in high temps!

Example of published pressure data: 416 Rem. 400 gr old style smooth shank Barnes X RN solid mono metal (if there is a bullet that can cause high pressure this is it!). 70 gr Varget- 2131 fps- 37,700 CUP pressure. 77 gr (compressed load) Varget- 2359 fps- 49,400 CUP. Two points 1) 37 kcup to 49 kcup pressure is by no definition I'm aware of high and 2) Varget is a temperature insensitive powder. I use a chronograph for all my load development. I build in pressure and reliability margin by setting a conservative muzzle velocity goal, using published data and temp insensitive powders. In the case of the 416 Rem. and 400 grain jacketed or monumental I set 2350 fps as the MV goal. In my gun, I reach the 2350 fps goal with several type of jacketed and mono metal bullets goal with just 73 gr Varget. By interpolating pressure data I would guess my load pressure is somewhere in the 45 kcup range. If that 416 Rem load is high pressure or unsafe or will be unsafe compared to the Rigby in hot climates... someone please explain it to me! That load, with several types of bullets including 400 gr A Frames, North Fork CP Solids and Barnes TSXs, has proved to be accurate, reliable and effective in the field for everything up to and including buffalo.
 

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Personally I haven't found the 400 gr 416 bullet to be wanting in mass or ballistics or performance- no matter the metal or design if within the premium category. This thread started out about opinions on the 350 Barnes TSX on buffalo and ended up about other things like pressure (as if everyone has a pressure testing equipment :)) and 450 gr bullets. Huh? I can't imagine needing the potential extra penetration afforded by a 450 grain 416 bullet on buffalo. Maybe if the bullet is of questionable design and strength to begin with?? Or if the intended use is for maximum potential penetration on something like an elephant- maybe.

As to the 416 Rug or 416 Rem being "unsafe" compared to the Rigby? Hah!! Maybe using 128 year old reloading techniques with Cordite powder in 120 F degree temps :) Modern pressure data and modern temperature insensitive powders simply don't support the much quoted "Rigby" 'round the campfire, keyboard or coffee shop theory. Hot rod or use the wrong load or powder in any cartridge including the Rigby and see what happens in high temps!

Example of published pressure data: 416 Rem. 400 gr old style smooth shank Barnes X RN solid mono metal (if there is a bullet that can cause high pressure this is it!). 70 gr Varget- 2131 fps- 37,700 CUP pressure. 77 gr (compressed load) Varget- 2359 fps- 49,400 CUP. Two points 1) 37 kcup to 49 kcup pressure is by no definition I'm aware of high and 2) Varget is a temperature insensitive powder. I use a chronograph for all my load development. I build in pressure and reliability margin by setting a conservative muzzle velocity goal, using published data and temp insensitive powders. In the case of the 416 Rem. and 400 grain jacketed or monumental I set 2350 fps as the MV goal. In my gun, I reach the 2350 fps goal with several type of jacketed and mono metal bullets goal with just 73 gr Varget. By interpolating pressure data I would guess my load pressure is somewhere in the 45 kcup range. If that 416 Rem load is high pressure or unsafe or will be unsafe compared to the Rigby in hot climates... someone please explain it to me! That load, with several types of bullets including 400 gr A Frames, North Fork CP Solids and Barnes TSXs, has proved to be accurate, reliable and effective in the field for everything up to and including buffalo.
I was kind of thinking the same thing. I believe the pressure issue is a moot point with today's powder and rifles. Like you said, if loads are kept reasonable that is.
I see no need to load to maximum with regards to a 416 of any sort. Once 2200-2300 fps is reached, why would you need more?
 

IvW

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If you had a choice between a 416 Ruger, and a 416 Rem, which would you prefer as a cartridge?

Neither.

If I had to have a .416 Caliber rifle it would be a .416 Rigby.

If the choice was only the two you mention and a Rigby was absolutely not available it would reluctantly have to be the .416 Ruger.
 

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