Barnes bullet failures?

Philip Glass

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hi there

i/we use barnes on nearly all our calibers both for plains game and dangerous game, great penetration every time
sure i have had a few(very few) that didnt open up perfectly but killed the animals none the less
we use around 1000-1500 every year
its great bullet!!!!
Good to know
 

BeeMaa

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Shot a moose cow yesterday with 150gr TTSX in 7mm RM.
Both bullets were found in the skin of the opposite side backwards.
One have pierced the skin and had the bottom of the bullet sticking out.
Weight was near 100%.
Don't know if it should be called a failure but it looked strange!
First time I have found these bullets in an animal.
Any pictures of the animal or bullets?
 

One Day...

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From a fair amount of experience with North Fork softs and much more limited A-Frames, this kind of happens. @IvW mentioned the trampoline effect somewhere recently. And this is what I attribute to why the NF's and A-Frames will fail to exit but are found underneath the off-side hide. That nice perfect mushroom hits that very flexible skin which can also pull away from the body. And just like a human jumping on a trampoline, the bullet doesn't go through but snaps back against the body of the animal.
.
Interesting interpretation Phil. I personally understood IvW's explanation as related to causing premature expansion of the bullet upon entry. He spoke about that in the thread on factory .375 H&H loads for buff, if memory serves. He is specific about the neck skin being the "trampoline."

I have never heard of, or read about this ever before and I am not really sure that I buy into this "trampoline effect." Sure, buff have loose skin on the brisket, but I am not convinced that this affects the penetration or opening of a bullet in any specific way. Loose or not, 1" skin will cause a bullet to start expanding.

I dunno, maybe I got it wrong, but I am pretty sure it did not relate about the skin keeping the bullet from exiting...
 
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PHOENIX PHIL

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Interesting interpretation Phil. I personally understood IvW's explanation as related to causing premature expansion of the bullet upon entry. He spoke about that in the thread on factory .375 H&H loads for buff, if memory serves. He is specific about the neck skin being the "trampoline."

I have never heard of, or read about this ever before and I am not really sure that I buy this "trampoline effect." Sure, buff have loose skin on the brisket, but I am not convinced its affect the penetration or opening of a bullet in any specific way. Loose or not, 1" skin will cause a bullet to start expanding.

I dunno, maybe I got it wrong, but I am pretty sure it did not relate about the skin keeping the bullet from exiting...

I'm only referring to this effect after the bullet has passed through the body of the animal and is now about to exit with what is of course much less velocity than when it impacted the animal.

The mushroom distributes the remaining energy/momentum over a larger surface area versus something not quite a mushroom. Most of the North Forks I've seen penetrate completely were on high shoulder or neck shots where the distance traveled inside the animal were short in comparison to square on the shoulder or a quartering shot.

The only broadside shoulder shot bullet that I've had pass through in fact was on an old blue wildebeest I killed this year. I attribute some of this to the fact he was deteriorating and a bit thin.
 

One Day...

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There is no question that a buff or wildebeest skin is tougher to penetrate than just meat, so I totally agree with you that it often proves enough to stop a bullet that is in the final fractions of its penetration momentum. I recovered a .470 slug that way, under the skin of a buff on the other side. THAT effect of skin, I agree with :)
 
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IvW

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Shot a moose cow yesterday with 150gr TTSX in 7mm RM.
Both bullets were found in the skin of the opposite side backwards.
One have pierced the skin and had the bottom of the bullet sticking out.
Weight was near 100%.
Don't know if it should be called a failure but it looked strange!
First time I have found these bullets in an animal.

Some do this and I believe is caused by the shape and design. They are rear weighted bullets and therefore depending on the situation, when they meet resistance and start expanding, they start can tumbling as the heavier rear section wants to overtake the lighter front part of the bullet.
 

Peter Larsson

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Any pictures of the animal or bullets?
IMG_20191026_103924.jpg
IMG_20191028_122918.jpg
 

WAB

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Kevin Robertson discusses the trampoline effect at length in his books. He presents it as an entry effect on buffalo and claims that lower velocities (2,300), reduce or eliminate it. I have only shot half a dozen buffalo so I’m not the right person to validate or refute it, but it is worth reading. His conclusion, use heavy for caliber bullets at 2300. Not a bad idea for buff regardless of your take on this theory.
 

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I've had mostly positive results with Barnes TSX bullets.
As a deer/medium game bullet, I've had nothing but positive results. At the velocities typical of most long range deer loads, and the smaller size of such animals, you will get great penetration and expansion.

As a larger game bullet, in 375 Caliber, I have had the following results.

3- Australian Water Buffalo. 300 grain TSX bullets. Velocity 2450 FPS. Shot distance 50-100 yards. All full frontal shots, bullets penetrated to the vitals each time and the buffalo were dead on their feet. I, of course, kept shooting until they were down, but doubt it was needed.

1- Lioness. 270 Gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 30 yards.
Shot her 5 times before she quit. Three shots were broadside into rib cage. One shot into the shoulder from the front. One shot into front leg just below the shoulder, while she was jumping around.
Some of the bullets penetrated completely, but two bullets blew completely apart and lost all pedals.

1- Cape Buffalo. 300 gr TSX. Velocity 2540 FPS. Shot distance 40 yards. First shot was angling forward from the last rib. The bullet penetrated through the left lung and was never recovered in the front shoulders. Very good penetration. The left lung was damaged very badly. Unfortunately, one lung isn't enough to slow them down much. Tracked him over 5 miles before catching up to him. Shot him again in the brisket. Limb deflected the bullet, so not sure if it hit straight or not, but there was an oblong hole completely through the brisket and out the other side. PH then shot the bull in the head with a 470 Double. Read my hunt report "Buffalo Rodeo In The Kalahari for details.

1- Eland 270 gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 260 yards. Complete penetration through shoulder and out the ribcage on the opposite side. Bull ran 40 yards and collapsed.

TBC
 

MAdcox

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Hi chaps. I'm looking to change my rifles over to use Barnes bullets. In the UK there is talk, although I can't see it happening for a while, of ammunition becoming non toxic by law.

Generally speaking feedback on the Barnes is very good. It appears to be right up there with the Swift A-Frame for dangerous game use, and also gets good feedback for use on plains game in smaller calibres. But I have read a few accounts of them passing through like a FMJ bullet. In more than one account people have recovered bullets from the mud behind their target and have found the nose to be deformed slightly, flattened so that the cavity is crimped closed like a piece of pipe does if you bend it. It was said that they thought the bullet had hit a glancing blow on a large bone on entry, causing the bullet tip to seal up to the internal pressure required to open it? Of course this is something a soft nose simply will not do. It will deform, possibly not uniformly but it will deform and cause trauma none the less.

What I'm wondering is how likely it is? Any bullet can fail, even the best of them, so my opinion is that the likelihood of it happening is so small that it's not worth worrying about? Has anyone here encountered these issues personally? I myself have never experienced a Barnes bullet failing but given the sort of animals my fellow forum members are shooting and the level of experience a lot of you have, you may have done? As always I'd appreciate your thoughts.
I've shot Barnes for many years in my 270WIN and 300WSM. I am a huge fan and continue to use them. My 270 140 gr loads have taken many whitetail and 6 elk with shots from 65 to 350 yards. I had never had a "failure" until my Kudu on my first trip to Africa. It did exactly what you described. 85 yard, quartering too shot and I hit right on the point of the shoulder. It appears the nose cavity started to open on the hide them deformed on the bone and stopped expansion. I posted these pictures on the Bullet Performance Database here on AH. It was also pointed out to me then (I believe by @Ridgewalker ) that "failure" is relative. It was a one shot kill- the bull went 40 yards and piled up. The bullet broke the shoulder and penetrated the heart stopping in the off side hide behind the ribcage. I think the term failure came from older bullets that ruptured on the hide or bone and never penetrated the vitals. I've seen "failures" posted on this site form every bullet maker there is from Northfork, AFrame,etc. They are rare in good bullets and still usually penetrate, just don't end up with that pretty mushroom head like the picture on the box.
IMG_2096.JPG

Bullet on the left - "failure" from my Kudu. Bullet from on the right was recovered from my Blue Wildebeest on the same hunt- almost identical shot presentation and placement. Both one shot kills.
 

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My apologies, it was @fourfive8 that pointed the bullet “failure” topic.
I would recommend the OP review the thread Bullet Performance Database. Great info there from members a lot more experienced than I.
 

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I've had mostly positive results with Barnes TSX bullets.
As a deer/medium game bullet, I've had nothing but positive results. At the velocities typical of most long range deer loads, and the smaller size of such animals, you will get great penetration and expansion.

As a larger game bullet, in 375 Caliber, I have had the following results.

3- Australian Water Buffalo. 300 grain TSX bullets. Velocity 2450 FPS. Shot distance 50-100 yards. All full frontal shots, bullets penetrated to the vitals each time and the buffalo were dead on their feet. I, of course, kept shooting until they were down, but doubt it was needed.

1- Lioness. 270 Gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 30 yards.
Shot her 5 times before she quit. Three shots were broadside into rib cage. One shot into the shoulder from the front. One shot into front leg just below the shoulder, while she was jumping around.
Some of the bullets penetrated completely, but two bullets blew completely apart and lost all pedals.

1- Cape Buffalo. 300 gr TSX. Velocity 2540 FPS. Shot distance 40 yards. First shot was angling forward from the last rib. The bullet penetrated through the left lung and was never recovered in the front shoulders. Very good penetration. The left lung was damaged very badly. Unfortunately, one lung isn't enough to slow them down much. Tracked him over 5 miles before catching up to him. Shot him again in the brisket. Limb deflected the bullet, so not sure if it hit straight or not, but there was an oblong hole completely through the brisket and out the other side. PH then shot the bull in the head with a 470 Double. Read my hunt report "Buffalo Rodeo In The Kalahari for details.

1- Eland 270 gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 260 yards. Complete penetration through shoulder and out the ribcage on the opposite side. Bull ran 40 yards and collapsed.

TBC

Will you use the same bullets on lioness and Cape Buffalo again?
 

Mike Van Horn

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I've had mostly positive results with Barnes TSX bullets.
As a deer/medium game bullet, I've had nothing but positive results. At the velocities typical of most long range deer loads, and the smaller size of such animals, you will get great penetration and expansion.

As a larger game bullet, in 375 Caliber, I have had the following results.

3- Australian Water Buffalo. 300 grain TSX bullets. Velocity 2450 FPS. Shot distance 50-100 yards. All full frontal shots, bullets penetrated to the vitals each time and the buffalo were dead on their feet. I, of course, kept shooting until they were down, but doubt it was needed.

1- Lioness. 270 Gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 30 yards.
Shot her 5 times before she quit. Three shots were broadside into rib cage. One shot into the shoulder from the front. One shot into front leg just below the shoulder, while she was jumping around.
Some of the bullets penetrated completely, but two bullets blew completely apart and lost all pedals.

1- Cape Buffalo. 300 gr TSX. Velocity 2540 FPS. Shot distance 40 yards. First shot was angling forward from the last rib. The bullet penetrated through the left lung and was never recovered in the front shoulders. Very good penetration. The left lung was damaged very badly. Unfortunately, one lung isn't enough to slow them down much. Tracked him over 5 miles before catching up to him. Shot him again in the brisket. Limb deflected the bullet, so not sure if it hit straight or not, but there was an oblong hole completely through the brisket and out the other side. PH then shot the bull in the head with a 470 Double. Read my hunt report "Buffalo Rodeo In The Kalahari for details.

1- Eland 270 gr TSX. Velocity 2750 FPS. Shot distance 260 yards. Complete penetration through shoulder and out the ribcage on the opposite side. Bull ran 40 yards and collapsed.

TBC

Reading this. Seems the only one in question is the lioness. That must have been an intense couple minutes.
There must have been extensive damage to the cat.
 

TOBY458

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Will you use the same bullets on lioness and Cape Buffalo again?
Definitely will never use 270 gr bullets of any sort on Lion again. As for the 300 gr. TSX on the buffalo, I really can't blame the bullet on the results. With only one lung taken out, I'm not sure another bullet would have made a difference. The 300 gr TSX did a perfect job on the Australian buffalo. If I hunt another lion, I would probably use a 300 gr Swift A Frame. And since I would be hunting buffalo as well, I'd probably just use the A Frame on everything.
 

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I put the matter of Barnes copper bullets on a local sport shooters' forum, and immediately got a response quoting pretty strange ricochets after penetrating through smaller game animals like roe deer and whitetail. One had a bullet killing a small deer, and then another after ricocheting about 45 degrees to one side.
 

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We had wolves in the area so the moose didn´t stop for any of our dogs.
This one was shot after two hours.I think most of the hunters saw here
but couldn't shoot. Then she came to me!:whistle:
 

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Hi chaps. I'm looking to change my rifles over to use Barnes bullets. In the UK there is talk, although I can't see it happening for a while, of ammunition becoming non toxic by law.
and

If they get that through hey will want us to use Non-Lethal Bullets next.

What I learned when I asked about Woodleigh Bullets was that they work best at the recommended velocity. That’s a game changer if the manufacturer says these work best between a given range of velocities.

There are many more experienced people here. But I do research a lot of written material believing the general consensus or well founded claims.

I suggested my brother try 110g Barnes in a little .308 that recoils sharply irritating his neck problems.The specs say projectiles will expand at a lower given velocity. Yet to be confirmed.

I believe in premium projectiles but soft points work and have for years.

I like stuff to drop when it’s hit . Preferably dead on its feet. I mostly shoot pests but no animal needs to suffer and the hunt is the chase before the shot, not the chase of an injured animal.
 

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