Barnes bullet failures?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by njc110381, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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  2. Dirtdart

    Dirtdart SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Has anyone ever had the plastic or polymer tips on some of the bullets mentioned break off in the rifles magazine from shifting back and forth during recoil?
     
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  3. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    I doubt this thread will go 31 pages and over 600 posts....

    I have seen one "failure" if you can call it that from a Barnes TSX. It was a .30 cal (Not shot by me) that was at such a steep angle entering that the nose hole had a portion of petal close the hole up. It failed to expand and acted like a solid. It was recovered from a blue wildebeest and was slightly bent but otherwise looked nearly pristine. I have recovered so few Barnes from animals even larger plains game that I only have three and all of them look very typical mushroom and a base and weigh 93 to 99 percent of original.
     
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  4. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    You can buy all the lead bullets you want.
    Once they ban them in a hunting area, you can no longer use those bullets you have that contain lead for hunting in that area.
    It's not like the bullets are grandfathered in because you bought them before the ban.
    You are merely left with bullets you can't use and will have a hard time selling once banned.
     

  5. Rock375

    Rock375 AH Veteran

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    I have been using Barnes monolithic Bullets for over 25+ years and have not experienced one failure. I’ve used them on 2 African Safaris’s, on hunts in Alaska, Canada and many lower 48 states. I have also had many hunting buddies with me also using Barnes mono Bullets with no failures. Interesting mention is only 2 animals over all those years I’ve taken have required a follow up shot. I have also only recovered a total of 4 Bullets. one out of a tree after a complete pass through an impala All had all 4 peddles intact and weighted within 2 grams of original weight. I love them. I’ve also used many other bullets with good results but nothing like Barnes. They just seem to hit hard. I purchased several Aframes at last years DSC convention on a PH’s recommendation. I’m looking forward to trying them.
     

  6. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Never happened to me so far...

    Amen!

    It breaks my heart to finish my expensive Federal Premium Nosler Partition ammo ringing steel plates, but since I do not reload and I buy ammo 5 or even 10 boxes at a time from the same lot for consistency, and since after 40 years of rifle buying (and dang little selling) I have about every caliber in the safe: .223, .243, 6 mm Rem, .257 Wby, .270 Win, 7x64, 7x65R, 7 mm Rem mag, .308 Win, .300 Win, .300 Wby, .338 Win, .340 Wby, .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .458 Lott, .470 NE (Lord, what do I forget?) I end up with a fair amount of ammo I can no longer use on my home hunting grounds (n)

    Luckily I can still, for the time being, shoot this ammo on hunting trips, but to me it seems that the writing is on the wall (apparently the European Commission decided in August 2019 to move for a 100% ban in all Europe of lead-containing ammo and fishing weights; how long for the antis to jump on this bandwagon here in the US?), so, I do not restock on anything but lead free ammo :whistle:

    And since I am quite happy with the TSX and TTSX performance, and Barnes offers factory ammo, and Weatherby offers TTSX in their factory ammo, it was easy for me to become a Barnes customer... (y)

    Truth be told, if it was not for the lead-free thing, I would likely continue to be a 100% Nosler Partition guy, with the lone exception of A Frame (which is a bonded partition anyway) on buff, and Hornady solids & new bonded DGX in my .470 double because the Hornady ammo groups so well with them and because I am happy with the new bonded DGX

    DSC01289.JPG
    Hornady .470 new bonded DGX. One shot kill on buffalo at 30 meters. 88% weight retention.

    I have yet to try the Barnes factory ammo .470 NE 500 gr TSX, but I will soon, and if they group in my Kreighoff double, I will shift to them too...
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019

  7. Rem700stw

    Rem700stw New Member

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    I have been hunting big game for over 40 years. I have hunted multiple western states for elk, moose, deer, antelope, and sheep. I have hunted Alaska and Canada. I have shot shot 17 different species in Africa ranging from Springbok to Cape Buffalo. I am a practicing Veterinarian and I examine every wound channel in every animal I shoot and attempt to recover every bullet possible.

    Since 2005 I have hunted almost exclusively with Barnes TSX and to a lesser extent TTSX and LRX bullets. Nothing else compares in absolute lethality. When you read about the “failures” with Barnes bullets remember these were recovered from dead animals. At exactly what point in killing the intended animal did these bullets fail?

    There are more failures who shoot Barnes bullets than Barnes bullets failures. If I could own only one gun and shoot only one bullet I will put my CZ 550 9.3x62 with a 286 Barnes TSX up against anything out there. And whatever I shoot will be Dead Right There.
     

  8. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’ve had great success with Barnes. Last year rhino quartering on with my .470 went through the shoulder and exited (no need for solids ever except for ele!). My .223 on small cats, small antelopes, bushpig, and 12 springbok all excellent in that the Barnes didn’t do too much damage on the small animals but slammed the larger ones. My son with the 7mm Mag put down a mtn zebra and red hartebeest in June each with one devastating shot. Not to mention many deer here in Texas as well. I just took 2 ibex and one gazelle in Mongolia with great success. I am now having Safari Arms load .375 Ruger 270gr for my Cameroon Safari.
    I am not sure you can do better with anything else. I in no way discount the value of Swift A frame or Nosler Accubond as I have done well with them too.
    Until I see something different I am married to Barnes.
    Regards,
    Philip
     

  9. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’ve had a terrible time with a .300RUM in finding an accurate load for it. The Barnes 180gr turned out to be the most accurate of 7 different factory loads. I’ve not had accuracy issues in the other calibers but I know it can be aggravating when you can’t get a load to work for you.
    What calibers were you having trouble with?
    Philip
     

  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    When they happen to pass through vital organ(s) while failing to perform as intended/designed. A roughly 0.3-0.4" hole or so in the heart of an animal will kill an animal for sure. But unless we're shooting solids, a hole that size in the vitals isn't what was intended.

    Many years ago I had a Sierra boattail fail in a miserable way, breaking up on the rib of a mule deer. It resulted in two holes on the same side of the deer despite being shot once. The larger bullet fragment skipped down the onside of the deer and exited roughly midway.

    The much smaller fragment penetrated the onside lung and the top of the heart. The hole in the heart was about the size of a pencil eraser. But that deer died and not far from where it was shot, maybe 20 yards. I still say say the bullet failed.

    I'm not going to bash the Barnes all copper bullets. But I've seen enough pictures of bullets that didn't perform as expected that I'm not their biggest fan. Overall however it seems most hunters get very good performance with them. If they work for you, so be it. On my 2010 hunt in South Africa they in fact worked very well for me.

    That doesn't change the results of others. And an animal that ends up dead is not the be all / end all of terminal bullet performance. Especially if we're talking about DG.
     
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  11. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

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    True enough, but your original question / post didn't include any designs other than Barnes monometal lead free, and Swift A-Frame. No Hornady GMX, Nosler E-Tip etc. - but no noting those weren't included in the original question either. I have purchased some Hornady GMX ammo but haven't shot any, thus far there's no timetable on when, if ever, lead-free rifle projectiles will be required to legally hunt in Texas. Back to lurkin' for me . . .
     

  12. perttime

    perttime AH Enthusiast

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    EU Commission has "asked" the European Chemicals Agency to prepare a proposal for banning lead in bullets, shot, and fishing sinkers. UK is close enough to be affected.
    They are asking for evidence and comments:
    https://echa.europa.eu/-/call-for-e...on-of-lead-in-shot-bullets-and-fishing-tackle
     

  13. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I've only tried them up to 6.5 mm. in a centerfire and only in custom rifles with premium barrels. I hunt varmints and game at longer ranges than most that are using the Barnes and for that mission Barnes accuracy/performance is abysmal. From this chair, in a rifle with the proper twist at short ranges going the required velocity, they'll sometimes work in a six to twelve inch kill zone. A lot of reports with Barnes are "He ran XX or XXX amount of yards before dropping dead". Depending on the area and game hunted, that could make for alot more work, time or even a lost animal. Everyone's MMV.
     
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  14. Rum Runner

    Rum Runner AH Veteran

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    Here is a pic of .270 140gr TSX on an impala; 100 yards, one shot kill...perfect expansion (2700 fps). Yes, lead bullets are on their way out, which is a shame. I took 8 animals on my safari, 6 of which I shot with Swift A-Frames on my .416, most a one shot kill.

    I like the Barnes bullets, but ran into pressure problems when reloading (my .270 brass went to hell). To compensate, I had to come down on the powder charge...soooo, ended up with a slower bullet.

    Wondering if anyone else has had pressure problems with Barnes bullets? 20190823_083248.jpg They have served me well, but I don't like the pressure restrictions.
     

  15. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    TTSX accuracy? So far ~1 MOA from the sticks for me...

    As previously noted I am in the process of finishing my Federal Premium Nosler Partition ammo stockpile and transitioning to TTSX, so I do not have accuracy results for too many loads yet, but so far, here is what I have...

    Please note that these are sighting groups shot from a field shooting position, NOT groups shot for ultimate accuracy from a benchrest. I always sight my rifles from field shooting positions (standing or sitting with the sticks) so that the field recoil dynamic is integrated in the sighting. I am confident that the groups would shrink significantly if I shot these rifles from a benchrest, or lying prone on a bipod.

    upload_2019-10-22_10-59-25.png
    Factory Weatherby ammo .257 Wby 100 gr TTSX from a factory Mark V

    upload_2019-10-22_10-58-41.png
    Factory Weatherby ammo .340 Wby 225 gr TTSX from a factory Mark V

    In term of hunting accuracy, I deliberately choose not to "snipe" game at 600, 700, 800 yds etc. because I personally would rather hunt closer than shoot farther (I shoot steel at 1,000 meters all year long, so I do not need to do it on game). Therefore, my hunting experience with TTSX is limited to in general 250 to 350 yds, and occasionally 400 yds. As mentioned earlier, I experienced so far 100% one-shot-kill, dead-in-its-track, reliability on 16 animals, from Vaal Rhebok to Roan, so I guess they are landing where aimed...

    I know Hogpatrol is not making things up, but I am at a loss as to how TTSX could barely shoot 6" to 12" groups at short range, unless "short range" means 600 yds (?) in which case a 6" group at 600 yds is still a 1 MOA group, which, to me, is fully acceptable from a hunting rifle from field shooting positions.

    Next to be tested will be Hendershot "Extreme Custom Ammo" .300 Wby 130 gr TTSX and Weatherby factory ammo .300 Wby 180 gr TTSX from a custom CZ 550 with all the bells & whistles that Triple River Gunsmithing is currently putting together for me... The idea here is to replace both the .257 and .340 with only one PG rifle for airline travels. The 130 gr TTSX .300 Wby shoots actually flatter than the 100 gr TTSX .257 Wby (can you imagine that!) for small/medium PG, and the 180 gr TTSX .300 Wby will not hit quite exactly as hard as the 225 gr .340 Wby, but it still delivers 95% of the striking energy, which is plenty enough for any large PG, including Eland with proper shooting...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  16. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Short answer- no. But then again I don't load to max anyway. And, have never had a TSX fail to perform properly even at reduced vels. I generally follow their (Barnes) recommendations on seating depth allowing for about a .030-.050" jump to lands. I really haven't noticed any significant difference between loading for cup and core and loading for Barnes or other monolithic bullets AS LONG AS THEY HAVE PROPERLY DESIGNED DRIVE BANDS. I remember trying some original Barnes Xs when they first came out, the ones with a smooth shank. What a miserable bullet that was. Never did try them on game because the pressures were all over the place and unpredictable and the accuracy terrible.

    The drive band design of the TSX changed all that (why it took Barnes so long to address the issues as many reloaders reported for years, I don't know?). That goes for other manufactures' designs of monolithic copper and brass bullets as well, IMO. If it doesn't have a drive band design I don't even bother with trying them. There are plenty that do incorporate proper drive band design, so choices and options are fully adequate.

    The only issue I've ever had with monolithic copper or brass bullets is their length per weight compared to cup and lead core bullets- specifically the nose length in front of crimp groove. I really have to pay attention to cartridge OAL when near max length for magazine dimension. That requires careful selection of bullet design. Especially important for DG and/or heavier recoiling rifles when it is imperative to impart a secure crimp into the crimp groove and end up with correct OAL. The up side to the less dense monolithics is that because of the nature of the bullet, with nearly 100 weight retention, you can reduce weight by "some increment" and still have penetration potential (momentum) comparable to a "heavier" cup and core which loses "some increment" from ablation during penetration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019

  17. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    When loading Barnes bullets be sure to use only the Barnes manual
    I started using Barnes original bullets, 130 grain in a .264 win mag. And have used them ever since. Though all the X bullet changes and can't say l have ever had one fail.
    I fact l really liked that original Barnes in the .264. Took everything from Antelope to Elk with that load
     
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  18. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    As has been mentioned, an all copper bullet will be longer than a lead bullet of the same weight in the same caliber. Thus more case space will be occupied if also set to the same length. So if you try to load to the same powder weight in the mono-metals as you do with lead bullets, you're asking for trouble in the form of a high pressure event.

    Your answer solution to avoid this is in @Mike Van Horn's post below. Use the Barnes manual and only the Barnes manual for loading recipes. The fact that a like weight Barnes will likely have a lower velocity than a lead counterpart is one reason why many move down a weight in the mono's.

     
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  19. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Two reasons to use lighter mono-metal slugs...

    +1 on Phil. Actually +2 because he said it twice, and I believe that he was right to repeat it ;)
    I would also add that since the mono-metal bullets (X, TSX, TTSX, LRX, GMX, E-Tip, North Fork, Peregrine, etc.) typically retain over 95% of their weight, they do not NEED to be as heavy as traditional cup & core, or even Nosler Partition (NP) bullets, that typically shed 40% to 60% of their weight during the first couple inches of penetration. By the way, the same logic applies to the A Frame since it too retains most of its weight.

    As well documented on AH, my own journey toward mon0-metal slugs started with the question Can plains game A Frames or TSX bullets be 30% lighter see https://www.africahunting.com/threads/can-plains-game-a-frames-or-tsx-bullets-be-30-lighter.45537/

    The full-scale test of my theory was for me to use a .257 Wby with 100 gr TTSX in 2019 in Africa, after having used a .340 Wby with 250 gr Nosler Partition in 2018 in Africa. Both were widely successful on 16 animals and 18 animals (if memory serves?) respectively, from Vaal Rhebok to Roan with the .257 Wby, and from Steenbok to Eland with the.340 Wby. To my immense surprise I must admit, the .257 Wby produced a lot more instant dead-right-there kills than the .340 Wby did !?!?!?

    The .257 Wby 100 gr and .340 Wby 250 gr are the two extremes, obviously, but I meant to prove a point to myself. In simplistic terms, a NP that starts at 250 gr and looses half its weight within a few inches of penetration actually performs most of its penetration with only 125 gr. Comparatively, a 100 gr TTSX that retains almost all its weight performs all its penetration with close to 100 gr. The difference is not all that big (25 gr) and the higher velocity of the .257 Wby clearly contributes to further erase the difference. NO, speed alone and energy alone do not kill, but it is just mind boggling what that .257 Wby does. Apparently I am not the only one to have observed that...

    I shall also freely admit that the .257 Wby is A LOT easier to shoot than the .340 Wby and I credit it freely for helping me make better shots.

    This is why I now fully expect a 130 gr TTSX .300 Wby to achieve exactly the same results, or better, as I have experienced for years with the 180 NP .300 Wby in my old faithful Win 70 Stainless Classic .300 Wby in North America. After all, a 180 gr NP that looses its front core (~40%) weighs 108 gr for most of its wounding channel, while a 130 gr TTSX that retains 95% of its weight will be pushing 123 gr all along...

    On the other end of the paradigm, a 180 gr TTSX from a .300 Wby that retains 95% of its weight and plows through with 171 gr is firmly in .375 H&H territory where a 300 gr NP that looses 40% of its weight only plows through with 180 gr.

    So, no, I do not feel foolish saying that my 2020 safari will use 130 gr TTSX from a .300 mag, despite loud clamoring from traditionalists arguing that shooting anything lighter than 180 gr in a .300 is the height of foolishness. Truth be told, having done it all with the 100 gr TTSX .257 Wby, I feel that the 130 gr TTSX .300 Wby will give me an incredible safety margin... while still shooting as flat... but at the price of slightly increased recoil - 18 ft/lbs instead of 13 ft/lbs in 10.5 lbs rifles, although still well with the comfort zone (exactly half of the .340 Wby 250 gr 36 ft/lbs to be specific).

    So, yes, go down on the weight with the TTSX to make room for the powder, BUT also keep in mind that you are not sacrificing terminal performance when you do so (y)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  20. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    At how many feet per second does a Barnes TSX or TTSX need to be traveling to expand reliably?
    Would this speed equation vary based on caliber or is it relatively constant?
    I mean to say that all of the Weatherby cartridges are known speed demons, so how far can you really take game?

    Been a "heavy for caliber" guy my whole life.
    Just trying to wrap my head around a lighter bullet going faster...maybe.
     
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