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Thread: 168G Barnes TSX Question

  1. #1
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Default 168G Barnes TSX Question

    I am starting to do some loads for both my wifes and I's 30-06 for caribou. I have never used an 06 much since I have always hunted with a 300 WBY. My question is how effective is the 168g Barnes TSX on caribou or even moose if we stumble upond one? My though is that the Barnes is a tough bullet and coupled with some good velocity may make a good load out to 400 yards for caribou and maybe 200 yards on moose. Am I completly wrong or is this close to what to expect. I will move up to 180g if I need but wanted a very flat shooting round.
    Also, how is everyones experience with Varget loaded for 06? This is my favorite powder for my 22-250 and does real well in an 25-06 also. Thanks guys, I appreciate the help and love the feedback on this forum.

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    It is a fine bullet to use on all species. I shoot it out of my .300 wsm. I also use 180 grain TSX.

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Barnes TSX

    These bullets have different ogive geometries. The 165-grain TSX incorporates a shorter tangent ogive in the nose profile. Itís designed for cartridges with short magazines such as the .300 WSM and .300 Win Mag. The 168-grain TSX BT has a tangent ogive which lengthens the nose profile and has shown superb accuracy downrange. It offers the best of both worlds because itís also a premium hunting bullet offering exceptional terminal performance. It is best suited for cartridges such as the .308 Winchester, .30-06 and .300 Weatherby.

    In the 30-06 the IMR 4350 has always been the powder of choice for bolt action!

    Varget works well in the 308 Win. Faster Burning powder

    The good thing about the TSX it allows u to move down in bullet weight and get the same peformance as a 180gr Cup/core bullet.

    Don't shortchange yourself at 200 yards on moose 300 seems a better Max range..............zero 3" high at 100 yards with the 30-06.
    Alaska

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Thanks Bush man, that helps alot. I didn't want to go out in the woods with a lousy load. I will pick up some IMR 4350 and give it a whirl. How does the 168 TSX perform when sitting back on the lands? I am shooting a Tikka TS superlight so for my first time ever, dealing with a magazine. I have not tried any seating depths yet since I just bought the rifle but have heard that you have to seat them a bit from the lands to fit the magazine. Thanks

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    You'll do fine. A great bullet. Where you hunting caribou at? I'll be using the 120-grain TTSX in my 7mm WSM for caribou in August.

  6. #6

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    I shoot the 168 out of my tikka also. It is a longer bullet and is a bit longer than the 180 grain it seems. It fits in the clip well and have had no issues with them feeding.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    You'll do fine. A great bullet. Where you hunting caribou at? I'll be using the 120-grain TTSX in my 7mm WSM for caribou in August.
    I will be in unit 13, Tier II hunt. I kinda messed up since my work schedule changed and I won't be home for moose hunting but I will atleast be able to get a bou.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Not the same bullet exactly but I shot a moose with a 165 Xbt out a 308 winchester and would not hesitate to use that load again. range was 30-80 yards (three hits).

    Its not the same as shooting them with a 338 but effective non the less. I would expect it to work great on a caribou.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska bush man View Post
    These bullets have different ogive geometries. The 165-grain TSX incorporates a shorter tangent ogive in the nose profile. Itís designed for cartridges with short magazines such as the .300 WSM and .300 Win Mag. The 168-grain TSX BT has a tangent ogive which lengthens the nose profile and has shown superb accuracy downrange. It offers the best of both worlds because itís also a premium hunting bullet offering exceptional terminal performance. It is best suited for cartridges such as the .308 Winchester, .30-06 and .300 Weatherby.

    In the 30-06 the IMR 4350 has always been the powder of choice for bolt action!

    Varget works well in the 308 Win. Faster Burning powder

    The good thing about the TSX it allows u to move down in bullet weight and get the same peformance as a 180gr Cup/core bullet.

    Don't shortchange yourself at 200 yards on moose 300 seems a better Max range..............zero 3" high at 100 yards with the 30-06.
    Thanks Bush Man for explaining the difference between these two bullets. I'd often wondered why they would bother making two different bullets so close to the same weight...

    Marshall/Ak
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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    If you are looking for more range out of the bullet, maybe boosting the BC a bit with the TTSX would help. The ogive might be a bit further back from the lands making it a bit different. Could be better, could be worse. I have seen great things from the ttsx in 300 win and they have shot well in several guns.

  11. #11

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    Looking for maximum external ballistics I loaded up bunch of 168gr boat-tails about 20 mil off the lands of my W70 All-Terrain .30-06. I started our with Barnes recommended HR 4064 in increments from 46.5gr to 50gr. My plan was to find which load had the least velocity spread and then tune my BOSS for accuracy. That plan went out the window when at a random BOSS setting I got universally low velocity standard deviations, minimal pressure signs at the max load/velocity, and only one middle group went into more than one inch at 100 yards. It was about 1.25. I didn't feel like I was even shooting very well that day. I've loaded a pile more 50gr and will play around with the BOSS but would feel pretty confident taking them out to the field just as they are now. By their reputation I'm not much worried about internal ballistics.Any heavier alloy bullet, BTW, would be *really* long and Barnes recommends their use only in faster twist barrels.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I just loaded up some rounds to test when I get home. I used Varget and H4895, since that's what I had on the bench and picked up a pound of H4350 to try out. From all my research the H4350 and IMR4350 is the cats meow with the 06 and 168 grain TSX bullets. I have always knew that all rifles are different but it never prepared me for how much of a difference it can be. My Tikka has a very tight chamber, where the honeys Marlin is not. Big difference in COAL tolerances. I'm gonna seat for my rifle and test in hers with hopes it will be accurate, if not, I'm gonna have to carry two boxes of ammo and be sure they are marked Very good. My wife made me proud yesterday when she picked up my poweder for me, She asked if I wanted her to load some rounds with the new powder while i'm at work... I had a tear in my eye... I love a woman that can load her own bullets... We use reloading as a family hobby and the kids love doing it to

  13. #13
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 168gr TSX

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Thanks Bush man, that helps alot. I didn't want to go out in the woods with a lousy load. I will pick up some IMR 4350 and give it a whirl. How does the 168 TSX perform when sitting back on the lands? I am shooting a Tikka TS superlight so for my first time ever, dealing with a magazine. I have not tried any seating depths yet since I just bought the rifle but have heard that you have to seat them a bit from the lands to fit the magazine. Thanks
    168 TSX is 3.218" in 30-06
    in the 30-06 you should great accuracy around 57.0 to 57.5 of IMR 4350

    i also like this bullet 168 TSX in my 308 win with CFE 223 powder
    Alaska

  14. #14

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    I have been loading ammo for the 30-06 since the 60's with IMR 4350 and Nosler Partitions. Since I only hunt Alaska in the mid 70's the 200 grain Partition was used and the load was a good performer. Factory loads used were the 150 and 220 grain Winchester Silvertips and they also worked ok.

    In the late 80's I embraced the Barnes X bullet and that is all I have loaded for our 30-06 and .338 Win. caliber rifles. I also used the "traditional" weights when I started with the Barnes X bullets, 180 grain for the 30-06 and 250 for the .338 Winny. I never recovered a bullet other then one 225 grain .338 bullet years ago.

    I left IMR 4350 and the "traditional" bullet weights as I believe for me there are better choices. I now use 168 grain Barnes TTSX bullets in the 30-06 and 225 grain TTSX bullets in the 338 Winny. I know IMR 4350 is a "go to" 30-06 powder, I just believe there are "more better" powders that give similar velocities, meter through a loading scale better and give more consistent velocities in a wider temperature range.

    My "go to" 30-06 load after all these years is Norma brass, Federal 210 Match Primers, H4350 and the 168 grain TTSX 30-06 load. Hodgdon Varget and a couple other powders in their temperature resistant "Extreme" series of powders also work well depending on bullet weight. Westerns Ramshot Big Game and Hunter are also good powders and if I was using 180 grain bullets I would start with Ramshot's Hunter powder.

    That 168 grain TTSX bullet going over 2,800 fps mv from a 30-06 will penetrate like a 200 grain Nosler Partition, offers less recoil and flatter trajectory, which is not that much of a big deal considering the under 200 yard range most Alaskan animals are shot at. I doubt I will ever change my 30-06 load as it will do any thing I would ask a 30-06 to do.

    Look up John Barsness and his article on the 30-06. It is informative and is also a short cut for those searching for 30-06 load information. H4350 can be hard to find due to it's popularity with the long range precision rifle crowd. Westerns Ramshot powders are usually available.

    Once I find what I consider the "right load" for a certain caliber and rifle I by a bunch of the components with the same lot number in order to stay consistent. I mean a couple hundred pieces of brass, a couple thousand primers, several hundred bullets and at least 8 pounds of powder. I doubt any critter I shoot appreciates all the effort and expense I put into it.

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    I use the 168g TTSX in most every 30 caliber rifle I have. 308 win, 300 WSM and I have a load for my 300 RUM. I bet the 165TSX would be just fine and maybe load better with a shorter ogive, but I have a ton of the 168g TTSX and the animals don't care very much that the velocity is a little less. Accuracy is always good. I used RL 19 in my Brother's 30-06 with the 168g. Sub MOA load. The 308 has taken a bear and a caribou. The caribou had a weird bullet failure, that really wasn't. Long story, but in all other cases, the bullet did exactly what it was supposed to do. Smashed bones, made a big mess of the lungs and flew true. I have only found one rifle that would not shoot the 168g TTSX well. That is a 30-06 Remington autoloading POS that really only likes corloks. The preferred powders for Barnes bullets are not always the same tried and true powders for that caliber using lead bullets. The data is different.

    My tikka super light in 308 is tight chambered too. The SAMMI COL for my rifle is about .07 inches off the lands. I loaded them to .05 and have a 1MOA load. Done and done.

    No need really for the 180 or heavier TTSX bullets. The 168 will for sure get all the penetration that any other cup and core would give you. If you really want a big heavy bullet, the 220 Partition is hard to beat.

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