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#6458967 - 09/19/16 03:16 PM Barnes Vortex TTSX
Erny Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 1583
Loc: Smith County
I recently started using Barnes Vortex (150 grain) ammunition in my 308. My rifle groups really well with it. I was just wondering if any one has used it much for hunting. I plan on using it for deer and nothing larger. I have been a nosler partion guy for years but wanted to change it up a little bit. Anyone used it on whitetail?


Edited by Erny (09/19/16 09:03 PM)

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#6459575 - 09/19/16 08:51 PM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
7six2 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 06/14/16
Posts: 33
Not hunting experience but I tried factory loaded rounds once, in a 30-06. On paper targets it didn't group anything special for me. But...now that I reload I'll probably give it another try because I hear that they are very effective hunting bullets; especially on hogs.

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#6460082 - 09/20/16 10:16 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
jmm Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 5
I am not a fan of the of the 150 grain TTSX for the 308. In my opinion, the velocity is not high enough for the bullet to expand properly in a whitetail. I have guided several hunters who used this combination and most often it resulted in a .308 hole going in/out which led to long tracking and minimal blood trail.

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#6460090 - 09/20/16 10:22 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
If I was you I would turn straight back to the partitions.

I have tried Barnes bullets off and on in 223, 270, and 300 wby. I have had mixed results with all of them. In my opinion 150 grain is too heavy for a mono metal 308 and if you don't hit bone you wont reliably get expansion. Its not a behind the shoulder bullet, its a straight through both shoulders bullet, needs a lot of resistance to perform.
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#6460111 - 09/20/16 10:39 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
If you use copper, you must always aim at bone, even on large animals. The Barnes bullets have advantages, but they can also be unforgiving if you use them incorrectly.
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#6460124 - 09/20/16 10:49 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The Barnes bullets are good for what they are- deep penetrating bullets. You will get an entrance, and you will get an exit. The negative of them is that they often do not open up all the way. Also, they do NOT have the hydrostatic shock that a typical lead bullet delivers, which is the temporary wound channel from the shock of the bullet. For the many years I have been loading custom ammo for rifles, I have had a lot of customers want to change back to lead bullets after having game animals run much longer distances than with a lead bullet. The Barnes bullets work, but IMO typical lead bullets work better. I'm a big fan of quality lead bullets, or a good bonded lead bullet for hunting. I'm really wanting to hear about the new Hornady ELD-X bullets. I' have been loading a lot of these, and they should be a huge hit for hunting bullets.
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#6460174 - 09/20/16 11:10 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: ChadTRG42]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
I'm really wanting to hear about the new Hornady ELD-X bullets. I' have been loading a lot of these, and they should be a huge hit for hunting bullets.


Me too. I like how they moved the interlock ring up to the middle area of the bullet, I think where it was located before was too little to late, once the bullet came apart that much it was a waste anyway.
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#6460186 - 09/20/16 11:15 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Here's my latest ammo with the new 212 ELD-X in a 300 Win Mag.

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#6460266 - 09/20/16 11:55 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
7six2 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 06/14/16
Posts: 33
Hmmm...good info here. Maybe I will continue to stay away from the Barnes.

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#6460512 - 09/20/16 01:54 PM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
TxHunter80 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/04/15
Posts: 215
I have used Barnes and Federal Trophy Copper(supposedly Nosler Etips). I shot a nilgai with the Barnes, with a full pass through. I used the Trophy Copper in Africa, axis, and a blackbuck hunt. They came highly recommended from 2 outfitters so I thought I would give them a shot. I personally like them but they are not for everybody or every situation. I would expect the 150s to be the best of the 308, as it should be the fastest. I don't think this is the bullet for that round if you are shooting extreme distances.

You will get an entrance/exit hole and there will be a blood trail. However, it is not the tennis ball sized hole you get from lead. If you want a DRT bullet, there are better options. These bullets expand to about double their original size, hold together, and drive deep. You can shoot through both shoulders and are still able to keep them both. I would recommend hitting bone on deer size game. I would expect Barnes to be not as forgiving on a marginal shot placement due to the high weight retention.

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#6461269 - 09/20/16 09:17 PM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
Erny Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 1583
Loc: Smith County
Thanks guys for the info. I am going to give them a try on some antelope does next week an see how they do. Its kinda odd how so many people speak very highly of them (Every PH I hunted with in Africa). But here in the US it's not so positive. I guess I will now soon enough.

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#6461597 - 09/21/16 07:29 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Erny
Thanks guys for the info. I am going to give them a try on some antelope does next week an see how they do. Its kinda odd how so many people speak very highly of them (Every PH I hunted with in Africa). But here in the US it's not so positive. I guess I will now soon enough.


I have never been to Africa, but here are my thoughts on it. In Africa I assume a lot of the hunting is spot and stalk with a limited shot opportunity you take what you have... quartering, broadside, head on etc. For me cup and core bullets are pretty erratic in performance. If you have the perfect broad side shot through the lungs no bone hit every time they do ok, but if you get into a shoulder or both shoulders or the spine etc. all bets are off, it may do exactly what it always did or it might come unglued and leave you with less than desirable penetration and an animal with one small hole to blood trail from. The barnes will typically always penetrate and will always give you 2 holes. I like something in the middle of cup and core and mono metal, ex: nosler partitions, accubonds, interbonds, swift sirrocos, swift a-frames etc. In my opinion they are the best of both worlds.

In calibers like 22-250, 220 swift, 25-06, 257 wby etc. light FAST bullets mono metal bullets become a much better option, but at 308 speeds I don't like them.
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#6462528 - 09/21/16 05:07 PM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
I just returned from a trip where I shot a number of animals with the 160 grain .284 TSX bullet, and the trip left me with very ambivalent feelings about the bullet. There were two occasions where I made marginal shots and I'm pretty sure that we recovered the animals only because of the great penetration. There were two occasions where I made low heart shots and the animals ran some considerable distance. My past experience with same shot placement make me think we'd have recovered both animals considerably sooner with a different bullet. Finally, I made one shot where I would have expected very little expansion, but the bullet behaved like a champ and worked wonderfully well.

The experiences left me scratching my head a bit about the bullet. Penetration is clearly great, but impact performance depends a great deal on what you hit. As I said earlier, if you use copper, always aim at bone.
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#6463354 - 09/22/16 09:48 AM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
jmm Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 5
I have been to Africa a few times and PHs recommend the Barnes bullet due to its penetration abilities. The typical response is " 2 holes thru the lungs and the animal dies" I have seen this in play and all I can say is that they are much better trackers than I am. I have seen impala shot behind the shoulder and run off. No blood trail but the trackers can find them in the tall grass 100 yards away. Shooting thru the shoulder does not work over there in many instances since the meat is used by local villages, camp staff, etc.. and they frown on busted up shoulders. I think the Barnes bullets work in a couple of different scenarios. In smaller game, the light TTSX driven at fast speed works great. I shoot 110 grain TTSX out of my '06 at 3500+ fps. Great hydrostatic shock and appears to be great expansion(never found one) and internal organ damage. I have never had a deer/impala run off from this bullet. The 168 grain TTSX works very well on zebra, kudu, tessabe, and wildebeest size game. Always good penetration, expansion and exit wound.

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#6466365 - 09/24/16 03:01 PM Re: Barnes Vortex [Re: Erny]
Cow_doc.308 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1589
Loc: Ellis Co.
I loaded a box of 168gr TSX for my .308. Grouped well and killed a couple deer and several pigs. I recoverd one bullet from a pig I shot. She was facing dead away, shot in hip and recovered near the shoulder. traveled a couple feet. 100% weight retention and pretty mushroom. I was at pretty close range though.

All that said, I'm changing to Sierra GK this year. Don't think I really need the amount of penetration that TSX has to kill WT. For the price, I'm going back to a lead core bullet.
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