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Old November 11, 2013, 10:55 PM   #1
Tex S
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Barnes TTSX too tough for Texas whitetail?

I've been loading a 130gr Barnes TTSX over 60gr of H4831SC in my 270win for about 5 years now. It is a fairly accurate load, and exits the muzzle at about 3000fps. (THIS LOAD IS AT, OR VERY NEAR MAX IN MOST RELOADING MANUALS!!! USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!)

I have killed 10 or so Texas whitetail and about the same amount of feral hogs with this load. Most wt deer in my area are 120lbs or smaller. I have killed 200+ pound hogs too, as well as some very small piglets.

One thing I have noticed about this particular bullet is the size of exit hole it leaves on game. The exit holes are small... almost FMJ size. On more than one occasion this has got me into a bit of trouble (I think).

Obviously there is no substitute for a well placed shot to the lungs or vitals. Any time I have scored a heart or lung shot with this load it has been a bang flop. However, on two separate occasions my shot placement was not as precise as I would have liked, and it resulted in an animal that ran.

The first was a gut shot on a 110lb doe. She ran about 140 yards and left no discernible blood trail. After a long search in the dark I finally found that animal. A bad spot for a hunter to be in for sure.

The second was on a piglet that probably weighed no more than 8 or 10 pounds. I scored a hit, but was never able to find it. This was amazing to me, as the little creature couldn't have been more than 12" long. The ground where it was hit was covered in blood, but it managed to dart into a thicket about 20 yards away never to be seen again. I feel like there was too much blood for it to be shot in the leg, but who knows. At any rate, that tiny little animal was able to run after being hit with a fast moving heavy bullet.

A buddy of mine and I were out hunting last week and he shot a doe with his 270. The load was Winchester factory... a 130gr power point I think. His shot was a bit high and missed the vitals, but clipped the bottom of the spine and paralyzed the animal. A quick follow up shot finished the job. What I thought to be very perplexing was the size of the exit wounds that ammunition made. Fist sized, bloody gaping holes were the norm here. It got me thinking of when I used to shoot non premium type bullets (core-lokt in my case). They too would produce very large exit wounds, albeit at the expense of excessive meat damage.

So I guess what I am asking is this... Have any of y'all experienced "premium" hunting bullets being less effective on shots that were out of the vital zone, when compared to "standard" hunting bullets? Since these bullets are designed for deep, bone crushing penetration, are they over engineered for lightweight wt deer?

Please don't assume that I am attempting to find a magic bullet that will make up for poor shooting, as this is certainly not the case. Instead, I am just an ethical hunter looking to increase my chances of a swift, clean kill in the event a shot doesn't make it's way into the vitals. Thoughts?
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Old November 12, 2013, 06:38 AM   #2
steve4102
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IMO you can't have a "quick clean kill" if the bullet (any bullet) doesn't make it to the vitals. Blowing a bigger hole may give you a better blood trail for a short distance, but that's about it.

I shoot Partitions in most of my hunting rifles. The front half is your standard "cup-n-core" soft point for rapid expansion while the back half stays in tact for bone crushing performance and complete pass through. Even with the dual performance of the Partition, a quick kill is not going to happen if it does not contact the vitals.
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Old November 12, 2013, 10:03 AM   #3
603Country
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Once the topic of bullets comes up, there will be many many opinions offered. As for my opinion, I think you may have diagnosed your problem. The bullet may be too tough for the game you are shooting. For many years I shot a 270 with almost the same load and same powder that you use, but with a Nosler Ballistic Tip. Now I shoot a 260 with a Ballistic Tip. No problem with that bullet failing to open up, so IF you have to trail something over 30 yards, there will be a big exit wound and blood trail. I think you'd get a bit less expansion and explosive impact with the Sierra GameKing, and the accuracy would be top notch with both bullets. I shoot em in the lungs, and I've shot hundreds of whitetail and I'm trying to remember ever losing one. Most certainly, if my brothers and cousins read this, they'll remember every bad shot I ever made and bring it to my (and your) attention, but the fact remains that the Ballistic Tip has worked great for me and will surely work great for you with these little Central Texas deer we shoot. Just don't shoot em in the parts that you plan to eat, and avoid quartering shots.

And there are plenty of other good bullets, like the Accubond or the Swift or plenty of others, but there's no real need to buy expensive bullets.
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Old November 12, 2013, 11:21 AM   #4
schmellba99
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I've not been impressed with them in my limited experience on white tail. They just don't seem to expand much, especially when compared to other projectiles on the market that are less expensive and have better terminal performance.

On heavier game (elk, moose, etc.) I would think they are a solid choice, but for the lighter game like Texas white tail, they don't perform as well as advertised.
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Old November 12, 2013, 11:40 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I've been VERY impressed with their performance on deer.

I normally disregard the results of poor shots. The results of GOOD shots are random enough, who could know what to expect from a bad shot and one type of bad shot might have been better with one bullet and worse with another. I'd rather worry about making good shots that try to imagine various scenarios for justifying what bullet to use for a bad shot.

Shots where an animal is not recovered count for exactly -ZIP-. No one knows where the animal was hit or at what angle. Memory of the shot is so often wrong that it's meaningless. Even on great shots, the angle and actual path of actual bullet are so often different than I expected that any story that includes "...I never found it..." is simply meaningless.

It's hard for me to imagine that anyone would claim that Barnes bullet don't expand well unless they're shooting them at low speeds. Google "Barnes TTSX" and look at the images and then pick your favorite bullet and start looking for stories of failures. Every bullet has failed but once the facts are in the TTSX seems to fail less than most bullets.

On deer that we've had exit wounds (virtually all) the TTSX produces about 1", about the width of my thumb. How big of a hole does blood need? The innards are mush, worse than any other bullet I've seen.

I think a lot of people use the TTSX for the wrong reasons though. The whole point of a monolithic bullet is that it handles high impact speeds. There's no sense (IMO) of using a monolithic bullet that is heavy for caliber, or even average, when you're shooting deer or hogs. The idea is SPEED because speed does nasty, nasty things to innards.

I would not be the least bit interested in using a 130gr TTSX in a .270Win on deer or hogs. It completely defeats the purpose of a monolithic bullet on thin-skinned, light-boned animals. I'd be loading the 95gr with a MV around 3,700fps.

Hit a few with that and get back to me.
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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Gut shot is gut shot, in most cases it doesn't matter if you make a bad shot the deer is gonna run.
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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I've never tried any of the Barnes bullets. The extra premium they charge over conventional soft point or polymer tipped hunting ammo/bullets does not seem worth it to me when every game animal I've shot with my go-to load (Hornady 150gr SST in .308), so long as it was a good shot placement, has gone down within 20-30yds of where they were shot.

I just shot a doe on Sat., maybe 100lbs at most, and the entry wound was pencil size, exit wound was literally 3-4 inch gaping hole. Shot her quartering away from me, entered behind right shoulder, exited left chest between breast plate and left shoulder. It turned the liver and lungs to mush and she still ran about 20 yards before crashing.

No matter what bullet you are using, even if your shot placement takes out all the vitals, you cannot predict how the animal will react every time.
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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+ 1 for the partition
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:39 PM   #9
Paul B.
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I haven't done a heck of a lot with the monometal bullets. I've taken two cow elk with the 225 gr. TSX in my .35 Whelen, both one shot kills, bang/flop/DRT.
I've started playing with the 100 gr. TSX in a .257 Robt. and the 120 and 140 gr. TSX in a 7x57 and the 140 gr. in a .280 Rem. Finally got a few usable groups rom the .257 and am still tweaking looking for a bit smaller groups but think that the best that rifle will do (1.1" Avg.) The 7x57 needs a lot more work and I've only just started with the .280. Reading comments by gun writer John Barsness.I'm a bit leery of that 100 gr. bullet in the .257 so if I use it, I'll probably try for the shoulder rather that a lung shot in hope that it will make the bullet open quicker. It is said that speed is the monometal bullet's best friend so I'm wondering if the 7x57 will push either bullet fast enough. The .280 probably will. Guess I'll have to find some of the TTSX and give them a try.
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Old November 12, 2013, 04:59 PM   #10
603Country
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I'm really not planning to try any of those Barnes bullets, but it isn't because I don't think they'll work. I'm sure they'll do just fine. Fact is that I have probably all the 130 grain 270 bullets I'll need in this lifetime. Nosler BT's and Sierra GK's. And honestly, if there's a hunting bullet more accurate than either of those (or the SST's), I don't know what it is. There's just no need that I see to buy a 60 cent bullet to shoot a small Texas whitetail, or even a Louisiana whitetail that's twice the size. And....like I said....I'm already stocked up anyway.
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Old November 12, 2013, 06:32 PM   #11
AllenJ
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Quote:
So I guess what I am asking is this... Have any of y'all experienced "premium" hunting bullets being less effective on shots that were out of the vital zone, when compared to "standard" hunting bullets?
I've shot 2 elk that I'm not proud of. Both I gut shot and one of those took me many hours to find. Both were shot with a 300 Winchester Mag using Nosler Partitions and neither was farther than 200 yards broadside. The first animal died within a couple hundred yards as the bullet did a number on her liver. The second animal was only hit in the stomach and she went for a long time before I finally was able to sneak up and dispatch her. She was dropping about a pin sized drop of blood every 8 to 10 yards, and many times I found myself tracking her by hoof print. To my surprise I recovered both bullets, leading me to believe that the abdomen of these animals has great stopping power. So to answer your question I'd say a bad shot is a bad shot, and not even Partitions make up for one.
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Old November 13, 2013, 01:55 PM   #12
schmellba99
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Quote:
Hit a few with that and get back to me.
55 grain in a .223 moving at well over 3000 fps - still did not perform all that great in my opinion. The shot was great - both lungs and heart, but exit hole was not much larger than the entrance hole and that left very little blood trail.

Made for a lot of fun cleaning when you have a chest cavity completely full of blood.

Again, this was Texas white tail - my opinion is that the bodies on our deer down here are just not substantial enough to promote the TTSX round doing what it is designed to do. You need a little bit more mass to get something better than "decent" performance out of the round.
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Old November 15, 2013, 04:07 PM   #13
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The TTSX is more bullet than you NEED for whitetail. But if it shoots well for you it isn't a disadvantage either. The main advantage of the Barnes bullets is 100% weight retention allowing very light bullets to penetrate as well as much heavier, larger caliber bullets. The disadvantage is that if they impact too slow you don't get good expansion. If you can get 3000 fps at the muzzle and 2000 fps at impact they are going to kill anything in NA.

The biggest mistake most make is using the same bullet weight they would use with standard bullets. Those 130's are more suitable for moose in a TTSX. I'm shooting 130's in my 308 at over 3050 fps and would use that bullet on anything short of coastal brown bear.

In a 270 I'd be shooting either 95 gr TTSX @ 3700 fps or 110's @3400 fps. for deer.

Remember, conventional bullets lose 20-50% of their weight at impact. That means a typical 130 gr bullet will only weigh around 65-100 gr after impact. About the same or less than a 95 gr TTSX.
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Old November 15, 2013, 04:22 PM   #14
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I've killed a bushel of deer of every size with Nosler B-Tips in 130 grn, having said that, I really like the effects that a 130 grn Accubond on deer. The TTSX bullet is designed to be Moving to reap the benefits. I won't waste Partitions on deer unless I'm lucky enough to hunt Canada where the fat boys are the norm. But tommorrow I give the 130 grn Barnes TTSX the nod first,,,, but am taking a shell belt loaded with the Accubond.
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Old November 15, 2013, 05:38 PM   #15
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TTSX

I use the Barnes TTSX in my 7 x 30 Waters for hog hunting. The oinkers weigh about 200- 275 pounds and do withstand a great deal of punishment.
With a head shot they drop in their tracks.
I've shoulder shot similar hogs with my 444 Marlin and they drop, get up and run like hell.
It's proper shot placement above all else.
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Old November 16, 2013, 08:34 PM   #16
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If you like the Barnes TTSX but want more expansion and velocity try loading the 110 gr TTSX. Should make a screamer of a load out of the .270 at 3300+ MV
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Old November 18, 2013, 05:49 AM   #17
Mike / Tx
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I have shot plenty of the Barnes bullets going back to when you could still get the original's with the copper tubing jackets. Are they tough you bet they are and if you read what they advise you will drop down in weight at least 10grs from the bullet weight you usually load.

That said I have shot plenty of decent whitetails as well as some of the smaller hill country 80# ones using both the standard Barnes X as well as the newer TSX and TTSX. What the folks above are saying is right they work best at top end velocities. Not saying that your 130 isn't running at the top end for your rifle, but if you drop down in weight to a 120gr you will see a marked difference in results.

Even so, I have shot plenty of deer and hogs where it looked as though nothing expanded what so ever only to find one or more of the petals which had broken off the core and strayed into another direction altogether. Yes I have recovered quite a few when I was using them in my .243 as well as some from a 25-06, and even a couple from a 30-06. Most were completely spread open to the point the petals were laid back against the main core of the bullet. I truly believe this is what gives many the impression that they simply pencil through even average weight animals.

Trust me when I say, when you stoke them up those 4 radiating petals aren't going to look like the pretty little pictures in the magazine adds. They will roll straight back against the shank, and they will split off, and in the meantime they usually cause all sorts of havoc to the internals of what they were put through. I have shot a 90 deer through the ribs with a 90gr X and had exits in the top of the back, the shoulder and the opposite side rib cage. All from one bullet. Those were only running around 2900fps as well.

Also If I can use the 130TTSX loaded down to only 2300fps out of my .308 with excellent results on both deer and hogs with a kid of only 5-6yrs old behind the trigger, you should have no issues what so ever with the 100-130gr bullets in your .270. Put the shot where it needs to go and don't think they are magic and will shoot from rear to ear and get the same results.

I hunted in Wisconsin during their handgun only season one year and in speaking with Barnes about using their bullets exclusively for a 14" barreled TC in 7x30 Waters or 30-30 Win that I knew right up front the top end velocities were going to only be MAYBEE 2300fps if i pushed them. They said their bullets would open up to at least double caliber down to 1800fps. Well your running upwards of that and a half so I would say it might be a safe bet they are opening up. Probably to the point like I mentioned above where the petals are folded back against the shank.

I also however agree with most here who put the Barnes up in the might be a bit much category. I used them for a while in everything because I thought they were something special. That was some 25 years ago or more, and I still have plenty on the shelf for special occasions like the lighter loads for the grandkids. But even then we're only running them to around 2500fps tops. Most bullets on my shelf now are simply cup and core, in fact that makes up 90% of what I shoot. Even in the 25-06AI where I can easily hit 3350fps with a 120gr bullet, I am using Remington CL's. Why, because they work, over and over, they drop things in their tracks, but you have to put them where they need to go.
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Old November 18, 2013, 08:27 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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Barnes TTSX too tough for Texas whitetail?

I've never seen a photo of a modern T/TSX with it petals flat against the shank. I don't doubt the old ones did it but I certainly don't think the new ones do.
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Old November 18, 2013, 08:57 AM   #19
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The old non tipped bullets had lots of failures in .30 caliber and smaller guns. Newer bullets with the plastic tip work much better, at least in smaller calibers. I wouldn't use one unless I could get at least 3000 fps at the muzzle and the faster the better. I'd drop down in bullet weight until I could break 3000 fps. Even bullets weighing under 100 gr will give complete pass throughs on most North American game. You just don't need the bullet weight with these like you do with conventional bullets that often lose 50% or more of their weight on impact.

Almost all problems with any of the copper bullets can be traced back to using too heavy a bullet and shooting it too slow. They expand very little, and punch through causing little damage. The lighter bullets running well over 3000 fps expand violently and still give complete pass throughs. For years conventionsl wisdom has said small bullets at hyper velocity explode with little or no penetration . Not so with copper bullets, the rules are different.
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Old November 19, 2013, 05:39 PM   #20
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Jimro, thats exactly why my Barnes TTSX's stayed in the truck this season and the Accubond got the nod, I haven't chronoed my TTSX load, so to give it a fair examination in the field I got to know how fast my load is...
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Old November 20, 2013, 12:18 PM   #21
Tex S
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Anybody have any powder recommendations or load data using 95g or 110g TTSX in a 270win? Data for theses bullets seems scarce.

I ran some numbers in JBM and the 110g load at 3500 has an MPBR of about 330yds if the vitals are a 3" radius. The 95gr will shoot flat to 337yds if loaded to 3700. I think I am leaning towards the 95g if I can find some. I wonder if they will be as accurate as the 110's???
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:15 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Rl-17 is listed by Barnes as best accuracy. I have that so I might start there. I'll run QuickLoad later and see what it says.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:44 PM   #23
Tex S
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That would be great Pete. Thanks!
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Old November 21, 2013, 09:31 AM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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QuickLoad thinks Rl-17 will get you the best velocity.

I'd have to know your case capacity. It thinks that Barnes data is rather "optimistic", shall we say. It agrees with their fill ratio and is within about 50fps of their speed but puts the pressure at 72,000psi. Oops. I'd use a max of 59.0gr

Other top choices (based on fps and burn %) would be Win748, BL-C2, H4895, IMR 3031, IMR 4320.
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Old November 21, 2013, 11:08 AM   #25
Tex S
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Is the above listed calculation based on a 95g or 110g pill?
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