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Bullet construction, weight and penetration

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  • Bullet construction, weight and penetration

    Several threads have been asking about suggested bullet weights for various calibers, and differences in performance. On the 338-06 thread I'd recomended the 225 gr barnes TSX as likely to penetrate as well if not better than 250 gr bullets.

    Well, on another board someone tested various 250 gr cup/core conventional bullets vs the 225 gr TSX, out of a 35 whelen. Here is a link to the thread:
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  • #2
    I use 210 gr. partitions in my 338-06, and have had no penetration problems on elk. I'm sure they would do just fine on anything up there.


    • #3
      Pretty barnes

      Aside from penetration.... aren't those perfectly opened Barnes TSX? I recovered many during my load work up for Africa last year... even hitting the berm they usually opened well while the Woodleigh and Hornady were deformed beyond recognition. Now, animals are softer than ground... but the Barnes really hang in there. Since they retain so much weight and do not peel back as far, the shank retains good size and weight for penetration.

      Put one through a dead buff... shot into the shoulder at 15 feet with a Lott (450 grain)... bullet went through 4 feet of Cape and lost only one petal.


      • #4

        that is a very good test on those various bullets. Speer looked pretty good an I have used them in my .30-06 and held up good at 75 yds on one moose taken. The barnes TSX is with my use an excellent penetrator without question. I have used Barnes from my .243 on up to my .375 RUM and is an outstanding hammer. That pic. duplicates what I have experienced with a few exceptions where petals of the Barnes do bust off.

        The NorthForks with there renown reputation is something I wanted to really try out. I have Doug over at DownUnder doing the last peice of work I need someone else to do and that is to mount my NECG Classic rear on my barrel.

        I am going to use this rifle in the next few weeks and take pics of this bullet on either Moose and/or grizz and see what I can do to display the impacted bullet if any are retreived.

        Still wanting to see as of yet the velocities I can "safely" acheive with 225gr. NF in my .338-06, that will take place in the next week.

        Thanks Paul.



        • #5
          Bullet test

          Well when comparing the TSX to standard cup & core bullets, I would expect it to do well.

          A couple of points about that test.

          All bullets compared to the TSX'x, except the Grand Slam, were standard bullets.

          Wet newspaper aint bear muscle.

          What does it matter if a bullet retains 100 percent of 225 grains or 90 percent of 250 grains. Which is better?

          I have recovered dozens of Swift Aframe bullets and all, everyone retained over 90% of their original weight. If they were 250 grain at the start, that is equal to the 225 grain TSX's. Isn't it? I will say that any 250 grain in say a 338 WM, will kill faster than any 225 grain bullet in same caliber.

          Why do we not want a bullet to loose any weight? If that were the main criteria we would use solids.

          I know how effective the TSX's are when they expand as advertised. They are awesome! However, some of them, sometimes, in some situations fail to perform as claimed. Also, when some of them hit bones and they shed a petal they then veer off course and fail to penetrate well. I have a collection of the older X's that failed to expand at all, and that is not a pretty result.

          When you start using the North Forks, you'll see what a tough, high performance bullet can do. Good shootin'.

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