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Thread: 225 TSX in .338-06?

  1. #1

    Default 225 TSX in .338-06?

    I'm working up a load for my .338-06 for a black bear hunt in the spring, and I like the information I've seen on the Barnes TSX bullets.

    Accuracy with the 225 grain TSX bullets has been very good, but the muzzle velocities with the first loads I tried have been around 2400-2500 fps.

    What velocity is needed for expansion with this bullet, and what velocity can be safely achieved with a 225 grain bullet in a .338-06?

  2. #2

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    To offer more information, the hunt being planned for the spring is for the Prince William Sound area, and the powders I've used so far are IMR 4350 ( best velocity) and IMR 4064 ( most consistent grouping).

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I don't have first-hand information for the exact conditions you are asking for, but I've got some info you might find useful. Then again, maybe not.

    I shot my PWS black bear with my .338-06, loaded with a 250gr Grand Slam over a max charge of IMR 4064. The muzzle velocity is in the low 2400 fps range. While not a TSX, for direct comparison, the bullet did show signes of expansion during its journey. The exit wounds were notably larger than the entrace wounds. Both shots were pass throughs of the heart/lung area, and neither were recovered.

    I recently shot a brown bear with my .375 H&H, loaded with a 270 gr TSX. I never chrono'ed the load, but the loading manuals suggest that they should be flying about 2600 fps or so, maybe a little less given my 20" barrel. I recovered one of the bullets. The bullet expanded and performed perfectly, even with the moderate velocity, and retained 100% of its original weight.

    Personally, I would choose a 210 TSX out of my .338-06 before a 225 grainer. The high weight retention and cutting petals are "supposed" to make the TSX perform like heavier, conventionally constructed bullets. I have no first hand experience using the TSX in .338-06, but this is the route I would take. I would opt for the extra velocity.

    Whichever bullet you choose, I hope you find success and post the results here. Inquiring minds want to know.

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
    To offer more information, the hunt being planned for the spring is for the Prince William Sound area, and the powders I've used so far are IMR 4350 ( best velocity) and IMR 4064 ( most consistent grouping).
    I've also had really good accuracy and velocity with RL-15 in the .338-06. IMR 4064 impressed me enough that I bought an 8-pound can, but the limited shooting I did with RL-15 was very promising.

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    Bob on the norm I believe it has been thought that when shooting or reloading a Barnes TSX to go down a bullet weight - you should get equal performance. For example a 210 instead of a 225 TSX. Your curiosity about the penetration and expansion of the bullet is a good concern. Barnes have always penetrated very good if not excellent.

    I have used them plenty and have found them to be an ideal game round. For black bear a 210 would be better at expansion and a clean thru.

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    Well I don't want to sound as if I have any knowledge about this subject but here goes.

    I have two 338-06's now and one 338-06 AI. I've owned a dozen or so and loaded for at least two dozen other rifles in the caliber. IMR 4064 is a very good powder for this caliber/bullet combo. A max load would be a about 52.0 grains and should give a velocity of 2550-2600 fps. The TSX bullets are a little longer than a partition or standard spitzer and consideration should be given to the max overall length both for the chamber and the magazine and seat the bullet out as far as possible and stay within these limits. Another powder which will take up slightly less space in the case and also work very well is RL-15, with about 53.0 grains for a max load. This should give a velocity of about 2550-2600 with the TSX
    from 24" of barrel.

    I have found that a slightly slower powder powder such as RL-19 or H4350 is more closely matched to the 225-250 grain bullet weight, but a max load of 62.0 probably won't fit in the case with the TSX, depending on your seating depth. With the 225 partition I have a pet load of 62.0 grains of RL-19 which is 2610 fps from my 23" Walthar barrel.

    As for the 225 TSX bullet expansion I will say it will give more reliable expansion at the 338 Win mag velocity of 2750 to 2800 fps. Of course if you are a close in hunter where velocity is a little higher, that would be better. I did load that TSX for one Africa plains hunter this past summer and he did report good results with one bullet recovered and 8 animals taken in 8 shots so there is a slight chance it could kill something in coastal Alaska.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Thumbs up

    If you want to use the TSX I would second the suggestion of moving down to the 210 grain weight if they have a 210 flat base TSX. You could stay with the 4064 or RL-15 and up your velocity a bit. The 338-06 just seems to like this 200-225 grain bullets much better and the 210 grain weight is a great one.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 338-06

    IMR 4320 @ 56.0
    210 TSX
    Fed 210M Primer
    WW cases
    Alaska

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    When I was researching info before building my .338-06, a friend gave me an old copy of American Rifleman. Finn Aagaard wrote a pretty detailed article about the .338-06. In the artcile, he recommended using IMR 4320 for lighter bullets and IMR 4350 for heavier bullets. I never had any really good results with 4320, for some reason, but your load data jogged my memory, ABM. Finn spoke so highly of the .338-06, I just had to have one.

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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Dan

    I carried a custom 338-06 on a 700 action for many years, all I used were the 210 Nosler Part and 56.0 of IMR 4320 with Fed 210M primers in WW cases......harvested many elk and deer/bear with that load....moose would be no problem.......Finn was great man, sadly missed. Alot of new powders have enetered the market over the years. Due to case capacity the 250 gr I could not get the vel I wanted but the 210 gr was a perfect match. The 210 TSX should give the pentration of a 250 gr conventional. Reloader 15 and IMR 4320 would be my pick for the 210 or 225 bullets.
    The Weatherby Accumark in 338-06 would be a excellent choice!
    Alaska

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    Premium Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default 338-06 powder

    Although I usually shoot magnum calibers I have done a fair amount of reloading for a couple of 338-06's to be used by one of the son's. The first, one of Weatherby's Ultralights was somewhat finicky at first. Using TSX 210 almost exclusively, I first tried IMR 4320, moved on to RL 15, IMR 4064 and even IMR 4350 with out satisfactory accuracy or velocity. Varget has been the answer achieving my minimal criterion of consistent 5 shot MOA groups from the bench at 100 yds. Safe velocities have maxed out at 2700 fps with best accuracy at 2600 fps. Another 338-06 which is basically a sort of Gibbs 338-06 built on an old pre 64 Md 70 has provided good accuracy and max velocities of around 2900 fps with full up charges of IMR 4320. My recommendation would be to start with 210 TSX and Varget.....but guns are like women - every one is different.

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