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Thread: .338 210 griain TSX thoughts

  1. #1
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default .338 210 griain TSX thoughts

    Seems like most people in Alaska prefer to shoot 225 or 250 grain bullets out of their .338 caliber rifles. I'm wondering why that is?

    I recently acquired my first .338 caliber rifle in a custom Winchester Model 70 chambered in 330 Dakota. When researching what bullets to try in it I came across the 210 grain TSX. It's sectional density is very close to that of a 180 grain .308 bullet, and premium 180 grain .308 bullets are considered by some to be sufficient for even big bears. Since I have personally seen a .308 180 grain TSX go clean through a brown bear's shoulders, I assume a .338 210 grain TSX is capable of the same if pushed to a similar velocity.

    I understand that more bullet weight is better, but in this case I'm wondering if the extra 40 grains is unnecessary. At least in the TSX, the difference between the 210 and 225 is the absence of a boat tail in the 225. I'm thinking the benefit of the boat tail for long shooting, such as for sheep, carbiou, and goat, outweighs the extra 15 or 40 grains.

    Is there something I'm missing that makes the 225 or 250 more desirable?
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  2. #2

    Question bullet weight..

    I think the X bullets and other "super premium" bullets allow us to use lighter bullets then we used to in a given caliber and get results similar to what we got with the heavier bullets. The 210 Nosler Partition has a wonderful reputation amongst .338 Win. Mag. users, so the 210 X bullet should be even better. Less recoil and flatter trajectory appeal to many. I have been shooting the 250 X bullet since they first came out. Here is how I look at it. If these "super premium" bullets are so good we can use a bullet that is lighter in weight then we used to then how much better is it if we don't drop the weight down? I am sure a 210 X bullet will kill any thing in North America. But, did you buy a .338 caliber rifle to shoot light or heavy bullets?

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I think the X bullets and other "super premium" bullets allow us to use lighter bullets then we used to in a given caliber and get results similar to what we got with the heavier bullets.
    Lets assume a 250gr Nosler Partition sheds 20% - 30% of its weight as it's front section sheds it's mass, it would only weigh 175gr - 200gr when recovered. The 210gr TSX mainting 98% of it's weight would seem to be a better choice. The lighter TSX would also shoot faster and flatter.

    Sounds reasonable but I'm not sure it really works that way. There are formulas to show how weight affects penatration. Perhaps someone with more kowledge will clear this up.

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    I can't give you an iron clad argument one way or the other. I settled on the 225 grain bullets in the late 90s and have been happy with their performance so I don't have a need to switch to 210s.

    I opted for the 225 grain bullets vs the 250s after talking with a gentleman who worked in the ballistics lab at Barnes bullets. I asked him what I would lose by shooting 225 grain X bullets vs 250 grain X bullets. He said about 100 foot pounds of energy and 2 inches of penetration. I figured I could live with that.

    In light of that, I assume the 225 will slightly outpenetrate the 210...although I've never tested that or even asked Barnes that question. Last May, I shot a 6 foot black bear at about 80 yards with a 225 grain Barnes X bullet (not TSX or TTSX). The bullet broke the near side shoulder and he dropped like he had been hit with an axle handle over the head. The bullet lodged in the far side shoulder and did not exit. That was the first time I can recall an X bullet not completely penetrating something at relatively close range. I was shooting a new rifle with some mild handloads clocking in under 2700 fps so maybe a bit more speed would have allowed the bullet to exit.

    Regardless, I'm of the belief the heavier the bullet the better. I don't see a big trajectory advantage shootin 210s as most of my shots are well inside 300 yards so something radical would have to happen to make me switch to the lighter bullets in the 338 WM.

    Maybe Barnes could shed some light on the performance differences between the 210 and 225?

  5. #5
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    The 210 TSX is my first choice for any .338 chambering. That being said, I picked up a few boxes of 225 TSX's on the cheap, so I've been shooting them. When they run out, I'll pick up some more 210's.

    As a hunting bullet, I don't see a down side to using the 210 TSX over anything else offered in the .338.

  6. #6

    Default .338 wm

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    Seems like most people in Alaska prefer to shoot 225 or 250 grain bullets out of their .338 caliber rifles. I'm wondering why that is?

    I recently acquired my first .338 caliber rifle in a custom Winchester Model 70 chambered in 330 Dakota. When researching what bullets to try in it I came across the 210 grain TSX. It's sectional density is very close to that of a 180 grain .308 bullet, and premium 180 grain .308 bullets are considered by some to be sufficient for even big bears. Since I have personally seen a .308 180 grain TSX go clean through a brown bear's shoulders, I assume a .338 210 grain TSX is capable of the same if pushed to a similar velocity.

    I understand that more bullet weight is better, but in this case I'm wondering if the extra 40 grains is unnecessary. At least in the TSX, the difference between the 210 and 225 is the absence of a boat tail in the 225. I'm thinking the benefit of the boat tail for long shooting, such as for sheep, carbiou, and goat, outweighs the extra 15 or 40 grains.

    Is there something I'm missing that makes the 225 or 250 more desirable?


    Reply:

    If you have not read Nosler's 5th Edition, regarding the .338 WM and shared field experiences, I would highly recommend you do so! The thought of a 210 grain bullet hitting a tree of 5" in diameter, and then penetrating a bull elk lengthwise and then exciting the front chest cavity tells me that a bullet of similar construction would be able to accomplish the same feat - not to mention the fact that the distance was over 300 yards.

    So, in short order, and I believe you would share the same opinion, I would have serious reservations that a penetration issue would ever enter in any animal under 200 yards. Barnes Bullet makes a tough bullet, and see no reason why it would not shoot through an animal even the size of a grizzly.

    Joe

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