Old Barnes 'X' Bullets for .270 Winchester... Any good?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by JTofGPD, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. JTofGPD

    JTofGPD New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    My father in law gave my wife his Remington 700 chambered in 270 Winchester. He got the gun from his dad in 1967 I believe. He gave me some old brass casings, RCBS DIES, and LOTSA bullets. Among these are the old Barnes 'x' bullets in 100 and 120 grain. I got reload data from Barnes and am wondering if it's worth my time to work up a loax. I have about a hundred of each weight. Any one have load data on these or experience with them? I heard that their pressures really push the limits and I am not sure I want to mess with them When I could do better with modern sierra or noslers. Any info would be great.
  2. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    I still prefer the original (ungrooved) Barnes X design over the newer grooved bullets.
    My 25-06's favorite bullet was their 100gr flatbase X, but it was discontinued a few years back.

    I would go ahead and use them. Those weights in the .277 size are great bullets for deer/elk sized game.
    Make sure you are using Barnes data for the original X bullets though, not the new grooved TSX ones. I can probably dig up some data for you from an older Barnes manual too in the next day or two.

    Also, be aware that if these are discontinued as well (like my 100gr FB .257") you will have to work up the load again if you switch to the new TSX design.

    Pressures aren't any worse than with any other bullet...but they do react differently and that's why Barnes load data is usually quite a bit different than a traditional jacketed bullet design.

    Some rifles like Barnes, some just plain don't regardless how long you spend tuning a load. I still think they are worth a try though, their terminal performance is superb.

    I've got a 120gr TSX load worked up for my dad's Rem700 .270 that we use on whitetails. Never tried the original X in that rifle though,

  3. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    The old X bullets were notorious for severe copper fouling and poor performance in animals. Numerous reports of a failure to expand and just zipping through animals. Not in every instance but enough to be a bit leery about hunting with them. I've never shot them so could add nothing that isn't anecdotal to the responses.
  4. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    Never used any old ones but I did try some 140 grn triple shocks in my Rem 700 BDL chambered in 7 mag. I loaded up 20 and went to the range. When I was done, it looked like someone had shot a load of buckshot at the target. I gave the rest away and went back to my Core-lokts and Noslers.
  5. JTofGPD

    JTofGPD New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    I was worried about the fouling and not being able to get more when i load what I have. I was also worried about the increased contact with the rifling over the modern grooved design. I will likely find a home for the barnes and stick with my noslers and sierras.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Since they are solid copper they do foul more than normal jacketed bullets. the old style Xs are worse. Accuracy usually isnt as good. I personally would try to trade them for something you know works.
  7. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lompoc California
    Believe me; the X bullets are NOT TSX's. I love them. They work up well on the bench and favor being driven right at the upper edge of the performance envelope, they hit hard and have a good b.c. When you hit something like a big hog it usually puts 'em down in their tracks--D.R.T.!

    I would use them over any other bullet made except for the Nosler Accubond and I think it even has the edge over the Nosler. I would suggest to try again and work up HOT with slow powders to get the accuracy where you want it. Typically my groups are 3 rounds touching at 100 from a cold bore shot clean. You REALLY have to clean the barrel--no using Hoppe's No. 9--I like the CR10 bore cleaner but be warned it's pretty nasty.
  8. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    If you don't want them, I'll take them:D
  9. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Both of those "old wive's tales" are true about the original X-bullet design...to a certain extent.

    Yup, they do foul more than a regular gilding metal jacket and somewhat more that the TSX design. I wouldn't say severe though and I've been using the original X design since the early 90s. That comes from the guys that started using them without reading the manuals that clearly state that they do foul more due to the softer pure copper material...or even if they read it, they didn't realize that good ole Hoppe's 9 won't cut the mustard, erm, copper fouling. :)

    And yes, the failure to expand reports were common for much the same reason. Reloaders failing to follow Barnes' recommendations.
    As a general rule, when using any of the Barnes X designs (original, TSX, or TTSX) you should choose a lighter bullet weight than you would normally select due to the "tougher" construction of the design.
    In the case of my .257s, the 80gr is an equivalent of a 100gr jacketed lead-core design. The 100gr is equivalent to a 115/120gr, etc. (I use 100gr X or TSX in my .25-06 for whitetail, but it works on elk too. Hits like a 120gr Winchester PP and hold together real well when breaking shoulder blades.)
    In the .277s, the 110gr is equivalent to a 130gr jacketed and the 130gr is equivalent to a 150gr.

    You are correct that the original X bullets like running on the ragged edge and that some rifles just plain don't like em.
    My best groups out of several rifles with either X or TSX/TTSX are after a couple fouling shots. I've always got a couple flyers on the first two or three shots off of a clean bore, after that, they'll settle into nice groups for at least 50 rounds.

    Back to the OP though....
    If you decide not to use those old X bullets, be sure to post them up in the buy/sell/trade forum here. Someone might be interested in them.
    If they were .257s, I'd be interested but we've only got one .270 here and it doesn't get many rounds put through it.
    (gotta correct my earlier post. I'm using the 130gr TSX in dad's .270, not 120gr)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  10. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    Yea me.:D
  11. gary0529

    gary0529 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Northwestern Va.
    I have had great success with the original Barnes on whitetails.
    Used in a Browning A-Bolt and routinely get 1 shot DRT. I still have perhaps a box left of reloaded 110 gr. and have no problem recommending them. If they go on the block I will bid on them too.

  12. langenc

    langenc Active Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Montmorency Co, MI
    Get ahold of Barnes and Josh will send you loads for those bullets. Make certain that you advise him of the type bullets, perhaps there is a prod # on the boxes..
  13. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    I've heard one of my huntin buddies, more than a few times cry the blues about not being able to get the original X bullets anymore; he claimed they were the best in his 30-378, no joke.
  14. JTofGPD

    JTofGPD New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    I found someone local to buy them. Got a good price and bought some more boolits and powder :)
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