barnes bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by zkovach, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    Has anyone used barnes bullets for deer hunting. I have used nosler these last couple years but i thought about using some different guns with some barnes bullets. Let me know your thoughts and what bullet type.

    Thanks!!
  2. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    I've not used them, but people at the range I go to have. They love them but say it's hard to find the right load for them. The one guy in particular I'm thinking of, all he uses is Barnes, he swears by 'em.

    The biggest issue I've heard about them is they are longer due to the no lead. That means that the amount of bullet in the case will increase for the same C.O.L. as a lead core bullet. This can play with your pressures.
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I've had mixed results with getting good groups with the Barnes X and TSX bullets. Many rifles will group very well with em, but some just plain don't like em.
    Example...
    I've used the .257 100gr flat-base X-bullet in my M77MkII .25-06 for many years. I just stumbled onto a superbly accurate load with that bullet in that particular rifle. Disappointed me when they discontinued that bullet. They still carry the boat-tail version in that size diameter...but this rifle doesn't group very well with any boat-tail bullets that I've tried so I'm still searching for a suitable replacement for that bullet since my stock is nearly depleted. I've had pretty good luck moving up to the 115gr flat-base X-bullet, but haven't found the magic load yet to get it grouping as tight as those 100s would.

    As for how they work on deer...
    That 100gr .257 X and the 130gr .264 X bullet have worked very nicely on whitetails for me. I've only recovered two bullets from deer taken with the .257 100gr, but both of them crushed through a lot of bone and held together pretty well...about 80% retained weight and good expansion. One lodged inside the offside shoulder bone and the other punched through both shoulder blades and stuck under the hide on the offside.
    The other shots were all complete pass-through shots in the vitals (and one gut shot) sometimes breaking a rib or two. These other shots left a large enough wound channel that enough damage was done to quickly dispatch the deer and/or allow a good blood trail.

    I've also used that 100gr .257 Xbullet on many coyotes in the years that I didn't have a smaller caliber dedicated 'yote rifle. In a thin-skinned critter like the coyote, it would always pass through but since there was less body mass to punch through the exit holes were smaller than on deer. It still made for a nasty hole to sew up though, but not as bad as other .257 bullets that I've tried on the dogs.


    I haven't tried any of the tipped Barnes bullets yet. I suspect they'll act about like their solid copper-alloy bullets though....they might be a bit finicky to find a "magic" load but the terminal performance should be just as good.



    As for the length difference that gearhead mentioned...
    Yup, they're a bit longer than a traditional jacketed lead-core bullet. Between that and the alloy used for the bullet, it's best to stick with data from the Barnes manual for both powder charges and COAL specs. (Don't substitute a Barnes for another "traditional" bullet using some other manual's data...)

    What Nosler bullets have you been using? Ballistic Tips or Partitions? And what caliber are you loading?
  4. griffshrek

    griffshrek New Member

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    i have used the 85gr tsx to shoot fallow deer over here, some up to nearly 200lbs ,of the 12 deer i have shot with the 85gr tsx i have only recovered 1 that was was from a big buck shot at 160m . broard side shot bullet passed through front shoulder clipped spine smashed offside shoulder bullet turned 90 deg (i have never seen that before)then broke 4 ribs them came to rest by the liver.

    the bullet when recovered was excactly the same as barnes pic and retained 100% weight .

    these are good little bullets and worth a try i have loaded mine 50thou from lands and can get 1/4" @ 200m with them
  5. Horsky1911

    Horsky1911 New Member

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    I have personally not used barnes yet. I am looking at getting some of the .338 160 gr. TSX to use in my .338 win mag. I am looking to do this because my custom Sako L57 7mm-08 is to nice for rainy days ( nice wood) and my new Ruger Hawkeye in .338 is the all weather model. So it is more of a way to cover another base of the hunting season and have an excuse to bring out the win mag for deer. ;)
  6. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    i have been hunting with my .308 with 165gr. silver ballistic tip. ammo. I am so happy with it i would never change. However i would like to get some of my other guns in the field i have a 45-70 marlin guide gun that i would like to hunt with. i noticed some of the barnes bullets in that caliber had some good f.p.s. i Have been shooting the hornady leverevolution and those kick ass but i believe you cant reload them yet and they are to expensive.
  7. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  8. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    res 45

    1. yeah thats it
    2. yes
    3. ftx looks the exact same
    The reason i wanted to go to a barnes bullet was because a guy at the gun shop said they hornady hasnt made the tools yet to reloading those leverevolution bullets and you cant use a regular 45-70 die set. Looking at your link i am starting not to believe him. Does this sound right to anyone??
  9. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Special tool? don't know of any special tool other than a adjustable case trimmer because some cases need to be cut .010 shorter because of the new FTX bullets ogive. Been in the reloading game 25+ years never used a Hornady bullet yet that I had to use a special tool to load,plus Hornady has no mention in the manual or reloading data online about any special tool need to load there FTX bullets.

    No offense to the gun shop guy but I think he is confused,you get lots of that at most gun shops.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  10. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    the only thing you'd need to load those leverevolution bullets would be a seater plug for round-nose or conical bullets instead of a flat-nose seater plug. You could probably use a flat-nose but it will deform that polymer tip a bit when you're seating.

    I don't have any 45-70 dies so I'm not sure what they come with. My .45ACP/LC dies have two seater plugs, one for round-nose and another for flat-nose bullets.
  11. res45

    res45 New Member

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    All my rifle dies come with the generic spritzer style seater plug I think you should be fine on the seater plug,most hundgun dies with the exception of the Lee 9mm dies have two or three different styles of seater plugs. If you want to check for yourself give Hornady a call they have good tech service as do most component Mfgs.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  12. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    i will thanks!
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