28 Years Hunting With Barnes X Bullets

Video barnes lrx vs ttsx

Over the years Barnes went to considerable length to demonstrate how easily and quickly its bullets expanded. Search You Tube and you should find videos showing various X Bullets hitting ballistic gelatin and even apples and emerging fully expanded. At least one independent study revealed a 130-grain TTSX .277 at impact velocity of 1,800 fps exited a 1.5” thick slab of ballistic wax and punched through a 1/4” aluminum plate. The hole in the plate was .445”, indicating the bullet had expanded 0.168” in diameter or a little more than 1.5X. And this was at what Barnes calls its minimum impact velocity, something the 270 Win. carries to at least 600 yards.

My personal observations while afield taking everything from 30-pound coyotes and 12-pound Damara dik dik to 1,300-pound Cape buffalo and 1,800-pound eland corroborate those tests.

Don’t They Shoot Through and Waste Energy?

Barnes bullets usually shoot through broadside. Do not flock shoot. Be sure there is nothing you don’t want to hit beyond your target animal.

There is a common misperception that the more energy a bullet “dumps” in an animal, the faster and more thoroughly it will be killed. This “theory” has been disproven many times in various ways. The easiest thought experiment to help understand the “energy kills” myth is colliding football players. At speed and weighing 225-pounds or so, two humans coming together at 10 mph make for a dramatic crash equal to the energy in a 130-grain .270 bullet at 100 yards. But as proven every Sunday in November, this energy is absorbed and shrugged off by the football players.

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Another example: consider launching a resilient, two-pound bag of gelatin at 100 fps. That yields about the same energy as a 22 Win. Mag. launching a 40-grain bullet. While you’ll absorb all 310 f-p of energy from the gel bag, I doubt it will kill you. The 40-grain bullet with about 320 f-p? I wouldn’t want to get hit by it. But it’s not the energy that’s dangerous. It’s the physical work done by the projectile carrying the energy. Ripping, tearing, cutting.

So how does this apply to Barnes X Bullets zipping right through? While passing through — regardless how much energy its carrying — the bullet rips and tears tissue to break vital organs and create massive hemorrhaging. Whether it emerges to bury 3 f-p or 3,000 f-p in the dirt doesn’t matter. It’s already done its work! But if you need more evidence…

We tested the “wasted bullet energy” theory in Barnes’ labs in Utah, driving 180-grain .308 bullets into 24-inch blocks of ballistic gelatin to emerge out the back. Chronographs front and back measured entry and exit speeds. We did the math and discovered the emerging bullets “wasted” less than the 140 f-p energy of a 22 long rifle. One measurement was 24 f-p, as I recall. I also remember the bullets putting dents into a pine board behind the gelatin. Just dents.