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Thread: Loading Barnes TSX with Alliant powder?

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    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Default Loading Barnes TSX with Alliant powder?

    Hey folks-

    I am trying to work up some loads for my 338 Win Mag with 225gr and 250gr Barnes TSX and R19 or R22 powder, but data seems to be non-existent. Barnes doesn't list Alliant powders, and Alliant did all their testing with conventional jacketed bullets. Ty at Barnes sent me what he had, but he had no data for Alliant, and when I emailed Alliant I got no response.

    I know copper bullets require less powder to build pressure, so I am a little nervous on what to use for data. I did some comparisons of Hodgdon powder charges for conventional bullets vs copper bullets using other data, and in some cases the starting charge for the jacketed bullet was higher than the max load listed by Barnes for the same weight copper bullet.

    Has anyone seen the data I am looking for? Or, has anyone developed any loads with these bullets and powders that is safe in their rifles?

    Jeff

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    When data for a specific bullet/powder combination isn't available, which isn't uncommon, I use the powder charge data for similar bullet weights. If you start low and work your way up cautiously, you'll be fine.

    Having access to a chronograph to keep an eye on velocities is helpful, as well.

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    I agree--just start lower and work up. The most important thing I think to keep in mind about the TSX bullets is that because they're all copper, they are longer than lead-core bullets of equal weight. This results in two things: 1) they have more bearing surface, and 2) they extend deeper into the case for a given OAL, resulting in reduced powder volume

    The greater bearing surface would normally mean higher pressures because of more resistance in the bore. However, most jacket material is harder than the pure copper that makes up the TSX bullets, so the greater bearing surface would tend to be mitigated by the softer copper.

    Another helpful thing is to use your calipers or micrometer and measure the TSX bullet's diameter. This is best if you have another bullet style of the same weight which you also have load data for. You can compare the actual diameter of the TSX bullet to that of the other one. That'll also tell you if you can expect higher or lower pressure than the load using your comparison bullet.

    Good luck,
    Mike

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Are you looking at Barnes #3 or #4? I'll have to check my #3, but I think it has Alliant data in it.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    When data for a specific bullet/powder combination isn't available, which isn't uncommon, I use the powder charge data for similar bullet weights. If you start low and work your way up cautiously, you'll be fine.
    Not necessarily. If I was using IMR4831, Barnes lists the max charge for a 250gr TSX as 64.5 gr. Hodgdon lists the starting charge as 67.0 grains for a 250gr SP. So, if I was to start and the low end as suggested, I'd already be 2.5 gr above the max charge for the TSX bullet.

    Are you looking at Barnes #3 or #4? I'll have to check my #3, but I think it has Alliant data in it.
    Neither. I emailed Barnes and Ty sent me all the data he had. They list Alliant powders for the 160gr TSX, but not for the 225gr or 250gr.

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    Ripper,

    RL-22 falls in between IMR4831 and MagPro on the reloader bench burn rate chart. I would think that a starting load of 60gr RL-22 would be a safe start for your 250gr TSX data.

    RL-19 falls in between IMR4350 and IMR4831. I think that 61.5gr would be a safe starting load for your 225gr TSX data.

    The powder that I listed above for comparison is listed in the 338WM data in the #4 Barnes manual.

    You of course need to look for all classic signs and a chronograph would be nice so you can plot velocity increases as you go up in charge. I usually go up .3gr at a time until max pressure signs or velocity increases start to go flat.

    I have used data in the Barnes manual for several rifles and their data continues to be faster than my results show. In some cases I have not been able to reach their max load safely in my opinion.

    I can not accept any responsibility for my suggestions

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    Default ???

    Ripper...I'm probably missing something or misunderstanding. Are you saying that you are interested in loading 225gr and 250 grn TSX's for a 338WM using RL-19 or RL-22? Is that it? If so, there IS data in Barnes #3 for the 338WM, RL-19 and the XFB (225 & 250), and you could easily use that data for TSX starting points and reference.

    I have safely loaded LOTS of TSX's in various calibers using X bullet data. You probably already know that the TSX came out before Barnes #4 was published, so those of us who were trying out the new TSX used X bullet data from Barnes #3. Back then the Barnes website told us to use X bullet data (not XLC) and progressively work up with the TSX...they also said that the TSX could go 1 or 2 grains higher than the X for max loads (although I never really saw the need to push them that high).

    If I'm misunderstanding, sorry...if not, PM me if you want the X bullet data. I wouldn't hesitate at all to use it as a starter.

    Doc

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    Doc-

    That is exactly what I am looking for, and X-Bullet data would be fine. I am surprised that Barnes didn't give me that when I emailed them. I feel comfortable working up a load using the X bullet data as a starter, I just didn't want to use jacketed bullet data because of the large discrepancies of charge weights, especially in the heavier bullets.

  9. #9

    Thumbs up 73 grains...

    I have used 73 grains of RL 19 in a .338 Win. Mag. with both the 225 and 250 grain X bullet. Both shoot good out of my rifle. RL 22 will work but RL 19 is better. Each rifle is different so start low and go slow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I have used 73 grains of RL 19 in a .338 Win. Mag. with both the 225 and 250 grain X bullet. Both shoot good out of my rifle. RL 22 will work but RL 19 is better. Each rifle is different so start low and go slow.
    My brothers 225gr Partition load is 73gr of RL-19 at a COL of 3.362 which is .022 longer than SAAMI spec for overall length. It's measured velocity is 2749fps and it was a compressed load. I can't imagine that a longer 250gr TSX could be seated over that load.

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    I looked at the new Barne's book today. I was shocked how few powders they listed for the .338

  12. #12

    Smile yup, 73 grs

    Hi Marshall, I have been shooting 73 grs. of RL 19 and the original 250 gr. Barnes X bullet out of my custom Mod. 70 for many years. It is a compressed load that I have measured to make sure it did not push the bullet out. It functions very well out of my rifle and shoots great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    Hi Marshall, I have been shooting 73 grs. of RL 19 and the original 250 gr. Barnes X bullet out of my custom Mod. 70 for many years. It is a compressed load that I have measured to make sure it did not push the bullet out. It functions very well out of my rifle and shoots great.
    That's good information. I was looking in my notes and couldn't imagine a longer bullet working. I have no personal knowledge loading a 338WM with your combination.

    Thanks for the accurate data that a loader can use.

  14. #14
    Unbridled Beast
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    Numerous misnomers here.

    To cut to the chase,TSX's DO obturate in cup/core accords. Their bearing surface is usually modest,due both to profile and the grooves.

    '19 is tough to beat in the chambering cited,with 225's.

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    Here is what I do when the bullet maker does not list the powder I want with there bullet. As an example I will use the 200 gr Partition I want to load.

    I went to the Nosler page and wrote down there start and max loads for the 3 powders they offer, which are IMR 4350, H414, RL-22. Then I opened my reloading manual and looked up those same powders with 200 gr bullet. For IMR 4350 the manual says 1 grain more start and Max, for H414 and RL-22 it says the exact same start and Max. So now I know that the Partition more or less tracks with my manuals loads, so I will use the manuals start loads for the powder I want and work up.

    If I had found that the manual was constently higher by say 3 grains I would reduce my start load by 3 grains and work up. If I found that the manual was low I would still start with the manuals start load. I figure this lets me be conservative with out over doing it and wasteing powder and bullets.

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