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Thread: All this discussion of bullet performance, well read this!

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    Default All this discussion of bullet performance, well read this!

    Yesterday evening I finally saw a MT bear I wanted to shoot. He was very small, (maybe 150 lbs) but was yellow/buff colored on his back and sides and was cinamon on his legs. Add his color to the fact that I want a SMALL rug of that color, and I decided to take him. The closest I could get was 330 yards according to my range finder, which is not all that far a shot for that 338 Win Mag loaded with 225gr. TSX bullets @ 2850 fps. When shooting a light weight 338 with max loads, I cannot see bullet impact because I lose my target in recoil, so I always miss seeing bullet impact.

    Well, I fired and heard the bullet hit and by the time I could recover from recoil and see the bear again, the bear had spun around and was running up hill, although he did act hurt, so I fired a second shot and this time he appeared hit again, but did not go down and insted sat on his haunches like a dog facing me, so I shot him again hitting him with a frontal shot and at that point he went down hard and stayed down. Upon inspection, all three shots were fatal and had hit just where I wanted and passed through doing minimal damage, but at that range, those tough TSX bullets did not do as much damage as a good 270 Win. loaded with ballistic tips would have done...........

    The moral of this story is that premium bullets have thier place on very large game that need several feet of penetration, but this little bear would have PROBABLY gone down quicker with a softer/cheaper bullet.

  2. #2

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    Interesting post (and you did bag the bear!), but I bet you stir up both camps, the barnes lovers and barnes haters.... You might as well have drawn a line in the sand with your favorite brand of motor oil, or political party, or religion.... You get my point

    Your kind of experience is what keeps some (myself included) using bullets like the Nosler Partition, Swift A-frame types IF we are going to use a premium at all. I do see the Partition type crowd a little more comfortable experimenting with using the newer premium bonded type bullets like the Nosler Accubond or Hornady Interbond, etc. Assurance of expansion, but still penetrates. I am trying to get myself to start using Barnes bullets, but I have been a tough sell. I really want to though!

    I can't, and won't, argue with those who have had success with Barnes bullets with whatever game. Dead is dead, and what you are comfortable with drives the bus, that is for sure.

    Personally, I have never used a Barnes on game. Some day I will. I am slow to change, but have started punching paper with them. In fact, I bought two boxes of 338 TSX bullets today, one of 210 and one 225 grain. So many out there do swear by them, I feel I want to be a part of that, but then someone like you comes along and scares the fire out of me!!!

    Like most on this forum, we are deeply entrenched and in love with the shooting and hunting sport. On average, we are highly opinionated, slow to change and very defensive of anything we care about, and I'm not just talking rifle related either. We are all very similiar in passion and emotion, but most won't admit it. We'd rather argue and get in an internet debate to flex our ego I guess. Some recent threads reflect this, in my opinion at least!

    Anxious to see other responses and experiences. Someday I promise I will tell you how my Barnes bullet performed on my animal, just can't say when!

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    Interesting. Thanks Tim. Glad you had a good hunt.

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    Allow me to clarify that the TSX bullets appear to have expanded on that tiny bear, but not radically as the little bear was not big enough to take full advantage of the TSX design and especially at the reduced velocity of long range.

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    That is exactly why I do not like the TSX. I have had similar results which I have posted on this forum using the TSX in a 257Wby, 300Wby, 7mmSTW and a few others but these three most of the time. I do not use them anymore. Some like them and swear by them, I swear at them. Just so many variables to be definitive about any bullet and it's performance. That is why from "EXPERIENCE" I choose to use certain bullets after years of trial and error and my trial and error experience is not perfect nor definitive, but it is what I go with because it is working for me. Yes, I am a pragmatist when it comes to my rifle, cartridge and bullet choice when hunting game. But I became a pragmatist by experiencing certain results.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    That is exactly why I do not like the TSX. I have had similar results which I have posted on this forum using the TSX in a 257Wby, 300Wby, 7mmSTW and a few others but these three most of the time. I do not use them anymore. Some like them and swear by them, I swear at them. Just so many variables to be definitive about any bullet and it's performance. That is why from "EXPERIENCE" I choose to use certain bullets after years of trial and error and my trial and error experience is not perfect nor definitive, but it is what I go with because it is working for me. Yes, I am a pragmatist when it comes to my rifle, cartridge and bullet choice when hunting game. But I became a pragmatist by experiencing certain results.
    BT, I LIKE your signature line, that is a good one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozarks View Post
    BT, I LIKE your signature line, that is a good one!
    Thanks, I thought of it after being so tired of reading physic threads and decided to be existential for a change.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    Thanks, I thought of it after being so tired of reading physic threads and decided to be existential for a change.
    existential = the "Chuck Norris" factor. (energy+shot placement = RAGE)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    That is exactly why I do not like the TSX. I have had similar results which I have posted on this forum using the TSX in a 257Wby, 300Wby, 7mmSTW and a few others but these three most of the time. I do not use them anymore. Some like them and swear by them, I swear at them.
    I love TSX bullets and they did exactly what I expected them to do on such a tiny animal. I was carrying that rifle and those loads because I was black bear hunting in grizzly country and if I need to shoot a grizzly, I want those TSX bullets in 338 cal.

    That little bear was dead after the first shot, but I didnt give him time to die before I shot again and again. Still, a softer cheaper bullet would have probably dumped him faster.

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    Default bear

    Tim glad you got your bear.... Im still hunting I have seen the same thing a few times with Barnes, once on a caribou I shot with a 358 at over 200 yards... not enough velocity to open up. I have seen it happen with other bullets as well in 458s and 416s on Yukon black and grizzly, I think most of the bullets made for those calibers are for game 1000lbs or better and they just dont work well when velocity drops off or the game is smaller... I do however love Barnes and use them at times. Still hard to beat a hardcast at 1200 fps.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I shot a little black bear like than with a 375H&H at less than 25 yards with a Winchester Silvertip. I got about 1/2" of penetration and the bear died on the spot. The side I hit him on was all silver under the hide from his neck to his tail (Shoulder Shot). Failure at two extremes

    Tim can you mail ammo to the islands yet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Sundles View Post
    Yesterday evening I finally saw a MT bear I wanted to shoot. He was very small, (maybe 150 lbs) but was yellow/buff colored on his back and sides and was cinamon on his legs. Add his color to the fact that I want a SMALL rug of that color, and I decided to take him. The closest I could get was 330 yards according to my range finder, which is not all that far a shot for that 338 Win Mag loaded with 225gr. TSX bullets @ 2850 fps. When shooting a light weight 338 with max loads, I cannot see bullet impact because I lose my target in recoil, so I always miss seeing bullet impact.

    Well, I fired and heard the bullet hit and by the time I could recover from recoil and see the bear again, the bear had spun around and was running up hill, although he did act hurt, so I fired a second shot and this time he appeared hit again, but did not go down and insted sat on his haunches like a dog facing me, so I shot him again hitting him with a frontal shot and at that point he went down hard and stayed down. Upon inspection, all three shots were fatal and had hit just where I wanted and passed through doing minimal damage, but at that range, those tough TSX bullets did not do as much damage as a good 270 Win. loaded with ballistic tips would have done...........

    The moral of this story is that premium bullets have thier place on very large game that need several feet of penetration, but this little bear would have PROBABLY gone down quicker with a softer/cheaper bullet.
    Interesting results.

    Was that TSX the tipped or regular version Tim?

    Funny you mention the .270 Winchester...

    Last year my dad shot about a 250lb. black bear while deer hunting. It was a 110gr. Tipped TSX with a .205 S.D. for you ballistic types. Conventional wisdom would say that this is a terrible penetrator, but that little .277 caliber bullet went in under the chin took out 8" of spine between the shoulders and exited in the rear hip.

    Needless to say it was an instant kill, but goes to show that these bullets are almost TOO TOUGH if there is such a thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theONE73 View Post
    Last year my dad shot about a 250lb. black bear while deer hunting. It was a 110gr. Tipped TSX with a .205 S.D. for you ballistic types. Conventional wisdom would say that this is a terrible penetrator, but that little .277 caliber bullet went in under the chin took out 8" of spine between the shoulders and exited in the rear hip.

    Needless to say it was an instant kill, but goes to show that these bullets are almost TOO TOUGH if there is such a thing.
    But, with dangerous game I'm told it IS better to lean toward the "penetration" side of the house.

    I shot a little black bear like that with a 375H&H at less than 25 yards with a Winchester Silvertip. I got about 1/2" of penetration and the bear died on the spot. The side I hit him on was all silver under the hide from his neck to his tail (Shoulder Shot). Failure at two extremes
    That's an interesting experience with Silvertips you had too, Will.
    It sure goes to show you that with Animals and Ballistics...nothing is ever 100% predictable. It reminds me of the old joke about the "worst case of lead poisening" the detective had ever seen.

    I guess that's what makes life interesting.

  14. #14

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    If penetration is your game grab the rifle of your choice and stoke it with some Barnes TSX and you will have the Energizer Bunny of bullets...they keep going and going and going.

    By conventional wisdom that bullet out of the .270 would be a terrible choice for that particular situation yet produced COMPLETE penetration even after encountering substantial bone.

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    Tim can you mail ammo to the islands yet[/QUOTE]

    A month ago we were shipping via air to AK and HI, but the ups cost calculator kept screwing up and we were losing money on very shipment, so we cancelled it for now untill we can get the UPS system to properly interface with our shopping cart..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by theONE73 View Post
    Interesting results.

    Was that TSX the tipped or regular version Tim?
    IT was the regular version that I bought gillions of before the tipped version existed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Sundles View Post
    Tim can you mail ammo to the islands yet
    A month ago we were shipping via air to AK and HI, but the ups cost calculator kept screwing up and we were losing money on very shipment, so we cancelled it for now untill we can get the UPS system to properly interface with our shopping cart..........[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the info. I have passed out most of the flyers and a few folks keep asking when

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    Thumbs down Barnes

    I have NO use for a barnes bullet.. As far as I'm concerned it is greatly over- rated ........

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    I have had similar experiences with the TSX but I think they just work better when the velocity is up near 2800 (impact velocity). If they showed signs of expansion and exited I suppose that is what it was meant to do. I'm not a big fan of the TSX as an all around, do all bullet but I do see much better performance when they are really smoking. At the velocities where the partition will not do so well, over expand, if there is such a thing, the TSX's seem to do great. Vice versa, the partition would be a quicker killer when the velocity drops. In any case, nice shooting for sure, on the bear, and congrats on a nice rug.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    My nosler partitions ALWAYS work on tough game. For deer hunting i shoot balistic tips and they work well too. I hunted deer for years with my 30-06 and 150grn Noslers Partitions with great results as well.

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