Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Alchemist, Apr 21, 2017.
Sorry,bad typing. TSX bullets. Not tipped.
I haven't but I know others have. The pic of the bullet on the left is similar to a number I've seen. I don't think it's that common, particularly in the big bores, but it does happen. One reason I keep returning to my favorite North Fork bullets.
Reports of monometal expanding bullets that fail to expand is apparently not a very popular topic among those who use them and so, not often discussed?.
In defense of these lately very popular bullets, failures to expand hopefully is nothing more than a very rare occurrence and so perhaps, not many folks have seen it happen, thereby leaving not many folks who can report much except success with them (and that of course would be a good thing).
On the other hand, I notice this is sort of a touchy subject, (with not all but with some folks) and perhaps discussions get abrasive and end before any real conclusions are reached? (not unlike school boys arguing over who is the best sports hero, etc).
Clearly, Barnes has changed this type of bullet more than once, bringing out "new and improved" versions of same from time to time.
Either way, I have heard one particular PH (Hannes Swanepoel) speak of this only occasional but, very undesirable performance from Barnes monometal / expanding bullets.
So, evidentially there are one or two earthlings who are not sold on them yet (myself included).
That being said, my only personal experiences with them were with the early versions of same and not the TSX that gave you that surprise, (as shown in your photo).
For me, they did not group well at all in a .300 H&H Mauser that I once owned.
And, I watched a caribou take the original "Barnes-X," 180 grain through both lungs, from a friend's .30-06.
The bull ran off and when finally recovered, the entrance and exit wounds looked alike (as if from a military, armor piercing type spitzer).
Since those early days of the "Barnes X-Bullet", that company has according to themselves, resolved the problem.
Be that as it may, I generally do not trust any sort of hollow point bullets, monometal or otherwise (typical grumpy old man).
Most of what I have used in N. America and Africa as well, other than for pest control, are round nose (or flat nose in lever action / tubular magazine rifles), good old fashioned and much dreaded "cup & core" designed bullets, with plenty of lead showing on the striking end of these.
The "secret to success" with such old fashioned lead core bullets is, to always use a bit larger caliber than you might otherwise use with the mono metal bullets and never be tempted to load lead core bullets too fast (In regards to hunting game animals, not rodent control).
The old Hornady RNSP is one favorite of mine for hunting shots close in and out to around 300 paces, if shooting typical "bottle necked" cartridges.
I only select straight walled cartridges, of course if planning to hunt in thick bush conditions / close range shooting (here in N. America or Africa either one).
Anyway, my next big adventure (run for your lives, it's a geezer on safari) will be in Namibia, where the open desert there often calls for longish shots.
And so in this instance, I will be using a reasonably flat shooting cartridge (.375 H&H is slightly bottle necked and therefore shoots flat enough for my purposes this time).
I'm using it with spitzers and a scope but as usual, with plenty of beautiful soft lead exposed at the tip of said spitzers (Sierra brand this time, as that is what the PH loads for this rifle I'm to rent).
If there are any bullet failures, I will throw myself, (along with my old fashioned bullets) under the nearest bus and describe any such failure/s in great detail.
My Parting Shot as it were is that the Swift A-Frame is the most reliable expanding bullet available today IMO.
Furthermore, the old Nosler Partition is a very fine bullet, if you use it in appropriate calibers and weights for the animals that you intend to hunt with it.
As mentioned, I am also quite fond of the old design of Hornady round nose soft (sadly loosing popularity fast these days).
This is not to be confused with the Hornady DGX, as I believe the nose portion of the jacket material (mild steel) is made way too thin.
I have a photo of these DGX bullets, recovered from a couple animals I shot, indicating that they worked well enough to put said animals in the salt.
But, these bullets left my muzzles at only 2050 fps and so, adequate caliber, bullet weight and low velocity was again the key to them not flying apart, as they have for several other members within the world's greatest forum here.
If Hornady quits drawing their jackets thin at the nose of the DGX, it'd be capable of withstanding higher velocity impacts (great if they'd also bond jackets to core as well, such as Woodleigh does with their excellent bullets).
Anyway, bullet rant over.
Though I am a fan of the TTSX, I had an odd thing happen too, with a shot on a caribou. I swear it was broadside facing right at around 175 yards, my 168 grain bullet from a 30-06 hit something going into the vitals, broke two petals and took a right turn into it's neck where I found it. It went maybe 10 feet before dropping. I have shot two other caribou and eight plains game in Namibia with the same load, all one shot kills dropping in sight. The only recovered bullets besides the caribou was my zebra, which hit a front shoulder bone quartering towards me, travelling to the far rear hide and still looked like the perfectly mushroomed bullets in an ad. Sometimes bullets do funny things.
Embarrassed to say I had never heard of North Fork bullets and I've been reloading most of my life. Checked out their website and I will be ordering a box soon. Looks like a very impressive bullet. It falls in with Velo Dog's post as well (may not have enough exposed lead for him though. haha) Thanks for the info guys.
To me it the NF bonded cores represent the best of the old and new. Like Velo Dog, I like lead up front. It's time tested and proven that lead tips will expand. But the lead is bonded. And while it makes for a somewhat longer bullet in comparison to a Partition (a bullet I still have affection for), it's pretty difficult with the all copper back to not have near perfect mushrooms. Furthermore the driving band design typically results in my loads to require less powder for the same velocity in comparison to bullet that don't have this design.
There are two drawbacks to the North Forks, price being the first. But develop your load and only use them for hunting. This is not a practice bullet.
The second is that with that driving band design, the bullets are just a bit larger in diameter than other bullets of the same caliber. This makes accuracy susceptible to variation in neck thickness of your brass. Either turn your necks or use better brass. I chose the latter and use Normal and/or Lapua brass depending on the caliber. This again adds cost to your rounds, but again use them for hunting not practice.
One way to reduce that cost a little bit is to use more standard brass such as Remington during load development. You'll find about every 3 to 4 shots is a flyer. No problem, just eliminate that shot and use the others to let you know when you're close to a good load. This will tell you what powder and approximately the weight you need when you switch to better brass. When you switch back off a couple of grains of powder and work back to that load you believe will work.
It's a great hunting bullet and I don't think you'll ever be disappointed.
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.
Just my thoughts on the mono- metals that fail to open. From what I have seen they have a small hollow point and are scribed to create the weeker points that the petals form along. 1) Any fine hollow point can fail to open if all the conditions do not align. 2) If the scribes are not deep enough - a manufacturing fault - then the bullet will not open up. Manufacturing faults can and will happen. Hopefully they are rare.
I pulled this 7mm Rem Mag Swift A Frame (160gr) out of a Blue Wildebeest I recently shot.
It was a 200m frontal shot.
I haven't weighed it, but it appears to have retained almost all its weight.
Very impressed with the performance.
Don't you think that if you use a more heavily constructed bullet for sheep it will just exit without doing enough damage? This is my concern as I look for options specifically for mountain hunting with my .300 RUM. I have Nosler Accubonds loaded for it and the two Aoudad I shot this year both were pass throughs with small exit holes. By the way many congrats on a bighorn! Wow!
They are simply too hard, in my opinion, for PG. this is not what I want a bullet to do.
Yes, that's always the million dollar question isn't it? And you never really know, 'til ya know!
I'm really surprised to hear your experience on Aoudad with the Accubonds. I would have guessed the AB's might even come apart at close range out of that RUM.
Is that a possibility that your exit hole was just the bottom 1/3 of the bullet and the rest came apart?
My experience has always been pretty favorable, with quick initial expansion, but not over expansion and pretty good weight retention.
Just out of curiosity, how far were the shots and what grain bullets are you shooting?
And thank you for the kind words. Sheep and sheep hunting is always special. He's a lifesize mount in my living room and I occasionally feel the need to just go put my hands on his horns again. Yup, he's real, I'm not dreaming
Interesting this bullet failure subject is... In all my experiences since about 1968 when I first started trying to analyze best or optimal bullet terminal performance by studying my own bullets/animals and those of others, IMO, I would rather have a "failure" (by subjective definition) where the bullet didn't expand as much as predicted rather than expand too much too soon. The current trend toward animal sniping really exacerbates the bullet designers/makers dilemma where a bullet needs to perform to expectations (in a market where those expectations may vary to extremes and spread at lighting speed via social media ) from point blank impact vels of over 3000 fps out to sniping distances where the bullet is barely breaking 1000 fps.
Good point. The bullet I consider a "fail" on the Kudu still put him down in 30 yards or less. Through the heart works even if it didn't expand like the picture on the box. Bullet punched through the point of the shoulder, took the heart and ended up in the skin behind the offside ribs. Just stayed the same diameter the whole way through.
Phil, When you shoot groups do you spot each shot and if a shot is a flyer, remove that case from your testing batch?
If so, when reshooting a batch of brass that has had flyer brass removed, do you see a reduction in flyers?
I didn't take it quite that far, but now that you mention it, that would be an effective way to keep cost down. Use less expensive brass and weed out the ones that show to be a flyer.
What I know is that when I first started working with the North Forks, I didn't quite see this issue. It was after I had settled in on a load and built up more to show repeatability that I started to see the flyers. This was with my .300WM and I could see every 3-4 shots there'd be a flyer. I talked to NF about it and they figured it was the brass.
So I tried one more proving session with the .300WM and it was there. Then I moved on to my son's .308 Win and sure enough it showed the same. I then bought some Norma brass for the .300WM and the issue went away. I then bought Lapua brass for the .308 and again the issue went away. From there I've only loaded the NF's with better brass. I'm quite horrible about keeping track of how many shots I've taken with a piece of brass. Just too many calibers now in the armory to be bothered. I shoot it until I see signs the brass is about to let go and throw it away at that point. As such, for hunting trips I only load up new brass.
But you could do what you're getting at. I'll bet it would work, worth a try in either case.
The 180gr Nosler Accubonds went through both Aoudad at about 90-110 yards. It's a great bullet but I think I need something like a Swift Sirocco II for more expansion.
Huh, I never woulda thunk it. I wonder what results would be like with a 165 AB?
I really like the Scirocco, I think it would be a great choice too. Swift just makes great stuff!
Man if you have Scirocco loads that you're willing to share, please do! The best I could hope for when I worked with them was that I could be certain to hit Arizona.
Ha ha ha, that made me chuckle.
I have had the same experience before. Some guns just don't seem to like them. I tried the 7mm 150's in my STW. I think some of them actually may have hit Arizona Terrible.
My .280 shoots them OK. Not as well as Nosler's but not bad. I was running 53.0 gr of H4350x (2800 fps) and I found that a little more jump to the lands helped accuracy in my rifle. I was loading to 3.310 OAL which is about .040 off lands.
My .300 WSM loves 'em. It's a beater, box stock Savage stainless synthetic, but it will shoot 180 Scirocco's 3/4" all day long. I use it as my roll in the mud, don't care if it gets beat up and scratched go anywhere rifle.
I bought 10 boxes of Remington Premier ammo on a close out sale many years ago, so these are factory loads I'm shooting in this case.
@PHOENIX PHIL I'm probably telling Noah about the flood, but here's my take on Scirocco's. In order to get them to shoot "decent" to "good" I've had to scrub the bore completely clean and 100% free of other copper. I use Bore-Tech copper remover. That stuff is amazing. Best I've used, hands down.
I don't mix any other bullet type with them. The copper in the Scirocco's doesn't mix well with other alloyed jacket material. Same experience with Barnes, generally speaking.
Also, it seems like it takes more than just a few rounds down the tube before Scirocco's shoot best, at least in the guns I've used them in. Pretty common to need to lay down some fouling for best accuracy, but it seems like it just takes a little more shooting before accuracy really comes in with the Swift's. That probably varies rifle to rifle. Down side, accuracy also seems to fall off rapidly when it starts to go.
My experience has been that Scirocco's don't shoot well at all in rifles with rough or inconsistent bores. Surprisingly, my Savage has a really good barrel on it. It's really smooth and has never collected much copper.
Anyhow, Scirocco's arent my first choice because they can be finicky. But I think they perform very well on game. In the guns that like them, I think they are a great choice.
Last thing, use a bench rest seater die and check runout. For whatever reason Scirocco's seem to be more sensitive to runout than some other bullets Might just be me, I dunno.
Would love to hear other folks thoughts and experiences.
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