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Old February 13, 2018, 09:27 AM   #1
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308 Barnes TTSX 130

This is going to get to bullet performance on game, but background first.

I have been working up loads for my newly rebarreled Mauser .308 Win. So far, I have good groups from Speer flat base 150s (#2023) and Barnes TTSX 130s, both 1 1/2". I'll try to knuckle down and do better, but that's good enough for any range I will shoot at game. The Speer are going 2,850, about what you'd expect; the Barnes are going 3,050, actually a little slower than Barnes' testing.

They have about the same BC, and despite the velocity difference, Hornady's ballistic calculator says that only translates to 4" difference at 400. So, which is going to be a more reliable deerslayer at that range, a traditional cup-and-core or the copper wonder? How about up close, say 50?

Of course, Speer cost 1/3 as much as the Barnes, but Barnes is still a little cheaper than, say, Nosler Partitions. What would you shoot? And even better, what is your experience on game?
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Old February 13, 2018, 02:24 PM   #2
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Cup and Core are just dandy below 3000fps impact velocity. I've stayed away from the mono bullets because of the fouling. I would recommend you get a box of Hornady and Sierra to compare groups. I've gotten 1/2" from Varget in two rifles.
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Old February 13, 2018, 02:38 PM   #3
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Nosler Partition _ "Been King of all bullets in this neck of the woods since its market place appearance."
One reason I won't ever buy Barns. Barns over the years has refuse to design a copper bullet that can be used in tube fed lever actions. Current material used 100% (copper) is to soft to withstand a lowly 30-30s recoil cartridge back to front stacked. But that doesn't mean they can't design something that could. Another reason Barns won't. They got all U's bolt shooters hood winked into no lead use is best and that's all who they intended to persuade it surely appears to me.
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Old February 13, 2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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Ironically, Barnes does make a FP bullet, but it's not copper. I was shooting some yesterday from my 38-55, the Barnes "Original". Sierra ProHunters are on the way. I'll order some Partitions and Hornady as well.
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Old February 13, 2018, 03:22 PM   #5
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I used to shoot Speer bullets exclusively. They got hard to find locally. I tried some 150 gr Accubonds. Accuracy was very good at 2857 fps 10 shot average.

They shoot good at 300 yds.

Nailed 2 deer the first season with them and no problems as they were DRT.

Loaded with RL 15.

I used to shoot the originals in my 38-55 until I slugged the bore. Even the 0.377" bullet is too small.

Now I shoot them in my 375 H&H. I keep velocities below 2400 fps with them.
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Old February 13, 2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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I've been playing around with the 130 TTSX load for a while, but never taken any game with it. I'm getting 3050 fps with very good accuracy. But based on reports I've read from those who have used it on game it is a wicked good bullet as long as impact speeds are over 2200 fps. Below 2000 fps and you get very little if any expansion. At 2200 fps it will out penetrate most 180 gr loads fired from a 300 WM, and still give great expansion.

I don't use them very much simply because the point of impact is very different with this load. I like to shoot, not just hunt. I have several loads that I use in bullet weights from 150-200 gr in my 308. All of the others are close enough at 100 yards to not bother re-zeroing the rifle. But in order to hunt with the TTSX's would require me to re zero the rifle, for just that one bullet. I have no doubt it would be deadly, but for what I hunt and where so would many others. I still have 20-30 loaded rounds, when I shoot them up I probably won't buy any more.

At close to moderate ranges the TTSX is a great bullet, especially if hunting game normally considered borderline too big for the cartridge being used. It is a poor long range bullet however. Once impact speeds drop it doesn't expand reliably, and the 130 loses speed faster than heavier bullets.

For longer ranges I like a heavier, softer bullet. I've been loading 178gr Hornady ELD-X bullets at a little over 2600 fps in my 308. At 400 yards they are still over 1600 ft lbs energy compared to the 130 gr bullets 1200 ft lbs.

The biggest difference is impact velocity, the 130's will be near 2000 fps which is the minimum needed. The ELD-X bullets will still expand down to 1600-1800 fps. They'll do that out past 600 yards.

Barns over the years has refuse to design a copper bullet that can be used in tube fed lever actions. Current material used 100% (copper) is to soft to withstand a lowly 30-30s recoil cartridge back to front stacked.
Don't know how long they've been making them, but they have been listed in their website for a while. Copper is much tougher than lead. I don't understand the problem. Except that I don't see copper being an advantage in a 30-30.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

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Old February 13, 2018, 10:48 PM   #7
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I like the TTSX in 130/.30 and 120/7mm. I like pass thrus and good blood trails.
My shots are usually 250 max, and more likely to be under 100 than over it.
I have not recovered any of the TTSX but I have recovered a TSX and it was picture perfect expansion and looked like almost full weight retention.
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Old February 14, 2018, 01:02 AM   #8
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but they have been listed in their website for a while
Oops-A-Dazy. I guess I made a another mistake. Only one copper FP bullet made for those venerable 30-30 lever rifles verses the hundreds of others made. The only'est bullet made weighting (150 gr.) isn't at all preferred in my Winchester 94s shooting accuracy. Although. "One made is 100% better than non made." Maybe if Barns were to market a 170 gr FP for my 30-30 I might think better of em.
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Old February 14, 2018, 12:05 PM   #9
Don Fischer
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Only bullet's I've shot a big game for 50 yrs have been cup and core, Hornady and Speer Hot Core. never had a failure when I chosen a bullet well. Premium bullet's are expensive and un-necessary. I might add, well placed shot's make a lot of difference. For the most part it's been Hornady sprie point/inter lock. If your gonna shoot at a game animal with a 130gr 30 cal bullet, expect 130gr performance. Of course unless your shooting something like a monolithic bullet which cost a lot more to shoot.

With cup and core bullet's you can practice with the same bullet you'll hunt with and not break the bank. I have at time's been tempted to try Hornady bonded bullet's but the cost brings me up short. I'd prefer Speer Hot Core's but haven't been able to get them to shoot in the rifle I've tried them in.

I can see no reason to walk away from a bullet that has been working close to 50 yrs without failure for a more expensive bullet that cost two the three time's as much and perform's no better.
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Old February 16, 2018, 05:10 AM   #10
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I've gotten good results, both in accuracy, and kills, with the 150 gr Sierra Pro Hunter in two .308 hunting rifles. The ProHunter remains reasonably affordable too. One rifle is twisted 1-12 and will not shoot anything heavier than 150 very well. The other is a a lightweight, short barreled, twisted 1-10, and the 150's help keep down recoil. I can only talk about whitetails, but I see no need for a .30 caliber controlled expansion, premium bullet on deer under 200 lbs, which is every whitetail I've ever shot. I'll add that I've only killed three whitetails in the 200 yd range, and none any further, so I'll hold off on long range expansion comments.

I have a third .308 hunter that has an affinity for the older "soft", .30 caliber Nosler ballistic-tip. It shoots them lights out tight, and the older b-tip expands very well on our deer. I read that the newer .30 b-tip is tougher, suitable for elk and such, and I doubt if that is the case if they will expand as well on our average whitetails. A few years back, I had a chance to buy 3 boxes of the old, 100 count .30/180 b-tips, but the price was high and I only had the cash for one box I figured. I regret that decision regularly.
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Old February 27, 2018, 09:57 PM   #11
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The 130 gr TTSX is a great bullet and if you're getting 1 1/2" groups, I have some tips to dial it in.

First, clean your barrel like you've never cleaned it before. No copper fouling in the barrel. Barnes instructions. The copper that Barnes uses is different than the copper used for jacketed bullets.

Second and most importantly, play with your seating depth. You will most likely want to seat your TTSX's a bit deeper. Again, Barnes instructions. If I remember, 30 to 70 thousandth from touching the lands.

Don't be surprised if you don't shrink that group size to about a quarter or less. Good luck.

Also, to address your ultimate question, I use Barnes TEZ's in my muzzle loader, Barnes FPB's in my 500 S&W rifle, and 120 gr TTSX's in my Rem 280. All 3 put Mr Whitetail down with the quickness.
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Deer are amazing please don't burn the sauteed onions and I'll pass on the steak sauce, thank you.

Last edited by .284; February 28, 2018 at 08:59 AM.
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Old March 10, 2018, 09:26 PM   #12
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For me the Barnes makes sense in magnum calibers when there is a chance of close range shots. A cup and core bullet could come apart under those circumstances. I have been using a 308 for many years on deer and I am convinced the newer 180gr nosler ballistic tip bullets are absolute deer hammers. My handloads push them at 2600fps from my 20" tube. Killed deer from 30-300yds with them and they have performed excellent.
Kill em all and let God sort em out! USAF
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