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Thread: Barnes 210 grain in a 338 Win Mag

  1. #1

    Default Barnes 210 grain in a 338 Win Mag

    For quite some time I've been shooting 225 grain bullets in my 338 Win Mag. This year I switched to 250 grain Sierra's. Right now I'm debating on what is better a heavy Sierra or a light weight Barnes TSX. I've started using Barnes bullets in my 270 Winchester and really like them. What are the thoughts on a 210 grain TSX in a 338 Win Mag? I would like a bullet to handle Black Bear, Grizzly, Caribou, Moose and maybe a large Brown Bear if I decide to chase one or get chased by one. My main concern with the Sierra is the soft bullet not penetrating very deep on a heavy animal. I also wouldn't mind less recoil from the smaller bullet (if there is a difference). Let me know the thoughts on the 210 grain TSX.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default done about the same thing...

    shot 225 partitions until I came up here, switched to the 250's and the sierras shot better than the partitions. Never got to put one into an animal as I spent the first several years up here packin stick and string.

    Have gone back to the 225 partitions because I found a load that gives me more energy than the 250's, is super fast (for a 225g 338) and kicks less than the 250's.

    Your 210 barnes should be pretty close to my 225's in length. A bit different shaped, but you'll pick up a bit of speed over a normal 338 load. Probably not mine, but I got lucky for some reason. IMR 4350 with Fed 215's seated to book max OAL is giving me 1.5MOA groups and 2997 to 2999 fps. That's with the max book load from Nosler book 6. I backed off 1/2 grain and am sitting at 2887 to 2889 fps and sub MOA groups to 200 yards. Haven't done any longer work with them yet. 50 rounds at this loading have averaged 13/16ths of an inch @ 200 yards so far.

    15 grains of bullet weight gonna make that much difference in speed or recoil? Doubt it. Dropping back to the 225's from the 250's sure will though, and if you do a little playing around you'll find a load that out performs the 250's.

    FWIW... I'll have no problem shooting the 250 Sierra's into anything you want to put in front of me. Sierra bullets get a bit of a bad rap as hunting bullets.... however if you're NOT shooting them at magnum velocities, they'll perform as good as the rest. That's the beauty of the 338WM IMHO. Magnum performance out of "standard" velocities.

    I ran the 250's between 2670 and 2715 based on powder charge. Best groups came below 2685ish but weren't bad at 2700+. 1 3/8" consistently at 2700+ and between 3/4 and 1" at 2680. Only reason I went back to the 225's is the 250's just kick too d@mn hard. My busted up neck just won't take it anymore.

    Short story = sure the 210's will work. Personally, I'm not a fan of the TSX performance reports. Haven't shot them though, so it's purely a hearsay opinion. Have no need to change, so probably won't.

  3. #3
    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Southeast, Alaska


    I am a huge fan in Sierra Gamekings. I was raised that that was the bullet to shoot at Deer and they worked very well for many years. My Favorite was a 180gr BT out of a 300 WM and they hammered the deer in AZ. After moving to AK I continued to use them on Moose and brown bear and black. They worked but not as well as they did on the Mule deer. I decided to move up to a 338 win mag and also changed to the 210gr TTSX because I was actually shooting at animals that were hard on bullets. I went with the 210 because I was still looking for a flat shooter. I have taken 3 bulls with the 210 and all were 1 shot kills (tipped in there tracks) I recovered 2 of the 3 bullets. Both were under the hide on the opposite side, which is where I like em to end up, and the 3rd was a pass through the ribs. The 2 that I recovered expanded perfectly and after cleaning with peroxide I weighed them and one was 3 gr lighter and the other was 2gr lighter. I went with the TTSX over the TSX because it gave a 3/4 group and TSX gave 1". The 225 TSX gave 1.25" and alittle more drop.

  4. #4


    I would look at the 210 gr. Tipped TSX as well. It has a B.C. of .482 and can be driven to over 2900fps. in your .338. With it sighted in 2.2" high at 100 you are down 18.3" at 400 where said bullet is still packing 2200ft.lbs of KE. I am not a big energy fan as it relates to killing power but it is useful for illustration and comparison purposes.

    The tipped version will ensure expansion and aids in the B.C. the TSX is certainly tough enough to punch through most anything you shoot with it.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the info. One thing I have surely noticed is the difference in recoil with the 250 grain bullets vs. the 225s (worried I might be getting weak in my old age). After a range session my neck and shoulder get sore and I usually wake up with a headache the next day if I shoot to much. I really enjoy shooting and the reduced recoil is a big reason I'm thinking of the lighter weight bullets. I never put a 250 grain Sierra through an animal so am basing the terminal performance off what I've noticed with much smaller caliber Sierra's.

  6. #6


    One other thing people often overlook when comparing conventional jacketed bullets to Barnes or other homogeneous bullets like Hornady GMX or Nosler E-Tips is that after striking the first few inches of the animal the conventional 250gr. Sierra or any other similar bullet no longer weighs 250gr. and no longer has that S.D. of .313, conversely the Barnes TSX are seldom recovered from game because the retain almost all of their weight and penetrate like no tomorrow, regardless of bullet weight.

    I think you will be very happy with the 210gr. TTSX and it is the very bullet I plan on using when I reload for my .340 Weatherby Magnum...right now I have 3 boxes of CorBon 225gr. TTSX @3100fps that I got too good a deal on to pass up. Once exhausted though I plan working up a load for the 210gr. TTSX.

    Best of luck to you in your efforts and I for one would be interested in hearing your results.

  7. #7


    I bought a 100 210 grain Barnes Tipped bullets tonight. I need to replace the scope on my 338 (came apart last night at the range) and then I can start working up some loads.

  8. #8


    So how'd the 210's work out for you?

  9. #9
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    Anybody have some more input on the 210gr vs 225? I'm looking around and can only find 210s and 250s locally.

  10. #10
    Member winibezold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    i've used the 225 tsx hp before, and they shot wonderfully out of my tikka. i kind of phased them out due to high cost per round, i like to shoot alot. they have a good balance between power and weight, but if you use the ttsx you may lose case capacity due to seating depth. i know the tip can cause length issues with magazine length. i now use hornady 250 psp, and they shoot even better. i know to use a lead sled or recoil pad when shooting very much, but they are worth it for the impact they put down. i put 2 of those through a bull caribou this year and anchored him on the spot with very little meat damage due to the lower velocity of the heavy bullet.


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