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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figure there are a lot of reloaders here, so I would like to pose a question about hunting bullets. There are so may to choose from and all have distinct purposes. I have read a lot about Barnes and the x bullet and variations of the original. Does anyone here have experience with these bullets in game taking situations? How is the performance accuracy, so on and so forth?
Oops two questions.
 

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While I wasn't reloading when I still hunted, I have reloaded .30-06 for a couple of friends after elk and moose years ago. I loaded 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip for both of them using IMR 3031 and they reported good results.
 

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Barnes makes superior bullets but they are very expensive for anything but the most demanding hunting situation. I use Speer, Hornaday and Nosler and the game doesn't know the difference when I ice them.

RIKA
 

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My favorite is the Combined Tachnology Failsafe. Basically it's a moly-coated bullet that has a front hollowpoint like the X-bullet (i.e. no lead), a central partition like, well, the Nosler partition, and the rear lead core and boattail. They're one hell of a bullet, but very expensive, even as components.

If you're running these through a bolt gun, exposed lead at the tip isn't a problem, and the Nosler Partition, Swift A-frame, et al are excellent choices. They expand and retain most of the projectile weight, and cost a lot less than X-bullets or Failsafes.
I tend to refrain from ballistic tips for hunting simply because of their fast, nearly explosive expansion. From experience, if you hit something up close, or hit bone with them, they blow apart and you lose a LOT of meat. But then again, Garand's seemed to have had better luck, maybe he'll expound a bit?
 

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We are going back more than 12 years when I reloaded for friends. I don't do that anymore due to the liabilities involved. Both my friends were your average hunters, if the hit something, it died, they thought they were Daniel Boone. Both told me that they tagged out with one shot each and weren't really interested in the details or recovering their bullets.
 

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I just loaded up 50 rnds of .338 - 225gr barnes XLC's (purty blue bullet)

It turns out that my two ruger 77's, one in .280 and one in .338 like the Barnes alot.

I'm shooting 140 grainers out of the .280 and the 225's out of the .338. With the load I'm using, I'm getting the same point of aim / point of impact for both rounds to 325yds (close enough for hunting purposes - which is handy because I only have to know one set of bullet drops.)

I've never lost an animal shot with a barnes. (but shot placement was probably more of a factor than anything else.)

I like them, they are expensive, but perform well. My thoughts on premium bullets are that you can actually go to a lighter flatter shooting weight in a caliber and get as good or better results than using a heavier non-premium round.

But, in the end, it still comes down to where you put the bullet. It's doubtful that with a good hit from a non-premium round, that the animal will fail to respond the same.

:devil:
 

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Nosler patented the BEST idea,his "Partition" softpoint

so every body else is stuck with trying to make lame,less-effective means of bullet making do the same job. The Partitions are a bit less accurate, because of the difficulty of holding close tolerances with two lead cores and the "partition" copper wall in between the front and rear core, but they are plenty accurate enough for big game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hipster said:
I figure there are a lot of reloaders here, so I would like to pose a question about hunting bullets. There are so may to choose from and all have distinct purposes. I have read a lot about Barnes and the x bullet and variations of the original. Does anyone here have experience with these bullets in game taking situations? How is the performance accuracy, so on and so forth? Oops two questions.


Well Andy (or whoever you choose to be today) How does an answer on partitions give me any real information on x bullet usage? I have only heard of excellent reviews on the accuracy on nosler pt bullets (I would not doubt some rifles will "chuck em all over the place") And if memory serves me correctly when I was hunting back in the mid 90's The federal premium 180 grain loads That I was using in my 300 win mag were infact nosler partition (correct me if I am wrong) and I sure do remember the price $42.00 Canadian per 20. Those fed premium were sweet science in that model 70 groups were small and consistent.

Andy I would figure if you are having problems with partition accuracy stop firing them from a sling shot. Aslan what were the terminal ballistics like on game? How was the accuracy? Magnum I do hear and read good things about fail safes as well and although somewhat structurally different than the X, work the same so I would consider both of these bullets to be the same (personal opinion) The only determining factor is which bullet the rifle was most accurate with.

Aslan you got real smoking shoulder cannon there. I have never had the "joy" to fire a .338, but I have thrown quite a few slugs out of a twelve gauge from the bench at 50 and 75 yards and 5 rounds was all I could take at one time and the fifth one really hurt (3" 1-1/4 ounce.) I don't know if the two compare in recoil from the bench but what are your thoughts/ experiences on how much that 338 recoils?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry all I only quoted myself so as to clarify the question that was asked (Just so andy would know what I was asking)

Funny thing with questions is all answers are replys , but not all replys are answers.
 

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I don't know suat about reloading, but I read this stuff anyhow, never to late to learn. So in reading this one, I kind of thought Andy's comment (this time) was a round about way of saying that the Nosler was the best design, so why bother with the other?
How is the performance accuracy, so on and so forth?
In other words it kind of answered this question that you had posed in that it implied the ammo you show an interest in is not as good as the Nosler design.
 

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I found the Barnes' to be more accurate than the Noslers in my application. Took me a while to find a load for the .280 that I liked, and ended up buying a box of the XLC's at a gun show and found a load using IMR 4350 that the .280 really liked.

Then I started playing around on getting a good load worked up for the .338. After going through a few combinations, I took a bunch of Chrono data and put it in an excell spreadsheet and started to compare what I was seeing in .338 with what I saw in the .280. Ended up with a load I'm happy with for both now.

As far as terminal ballistics -

Smallish game: (yes)

Coyotes - The rounds from both guns appear to open up quite well, judging from exit wounds - I've never recovered a round from either the .280 or the .338 from a coyote.

Medium game:

Deer - beautiful performance from both rounds. Again, only judging from exit wounds. Even after punching through the shoulder of a deer, the .280 still exits the other side, pretty much destroying everything in between. Ditto for the .338

Big game:

Elk - I pretty much only use the .338, though I would not hesitate to use the .280. I have never recovered a bullet from an elk, even one that hit a rib then exited out through the shoulder bone on the opposite side.

Recoil - the .338 keeps you honest, but it is not as bad as the .338 lapua. I don't have any problem with the recoil. (but the .338 is in a McMillan stocked rifle - I cannot say enough good things about McMillan stocks. The .280 is in a bell & carlson. If I weren't so happy with the way it shoots, I'd put a McMillan stock on it.)

Kinda long winded, but I hope this was helpful.

:devil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks your experence with barnes bullets helps a lot and clears up my question quite nicely.
 
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