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Thread: Barnes 110-grain TSX for the .308 Win. - Seating Depth?

  1. #1
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Barnes 110-grain TSX for the .308 Win. - Seating Depth?

    I thought I'd give some non-lead bullets a whirl in the .308, so acquired a box of Barnes TXSs.

    These are obviously quite short (1.047"), but not much more so than the Nosler 125-grain BTs (1.060").

    What I have found, however, is that my RCBS dies can't seat them deep enough in the case (and the cases -Remington- are FL resized and trimmed to the correct OAL), to make Barnes' recommended OAL of 2.700". The shortest OAL I can get is 2.739".

    If I wind the die down closer to the shell-holder, I can get 2.720" but this deforms the case mouth into the forward cannelure, effectively creating a crimp. Backing off the die to the point where this doesn't happen brings me to my previously-mentioned 2.739" OAL, which leaves about half the forward cannelure clear of the case mouth.

    I should say that I've not shot any of these loads yet, and that my dissatisfaction with this state of affairs is both mild and primarily aesthetic in origin (the lack of a smooth transition from case to curve is irksomely graceless). But I'm intrigued as to whether other makes/models of seating die are more accommodating when it comes to loading short bullets. Does anyone have any experience of similar problems, or recommendations for dies that don't present them?

    As it happens, albeit more predictably, I had the same problem with Speer's 100-grain round-nose Plinkers the last time I tried to load something small/light for the .308: even with the die all the way down to just before the crimping point they only just seated deep enough in the case to stay put.

    A final note about the TSXs is that I found I needed to chamfer the case mouth more than usual -even with a flat-base bullet- to achieve smooth seating. Not a problem this one, just an observation.

    Oh, and before I receive what I agree would in other circumstances be justified ridicule for not using better-quality dies or brass, may I say in my defence that we're not talking precision or long-range shooting here, just a bit of hand-loading fun? Of course, if one of the permutations proves to be a pearl, I'll no doubt take it more seriously!
    Last edited by Mr. Gain; 05-07-2014 at 07:35.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  2. #2
    I have not tried these bullets but can say that it is not advisable to crimp into the groves. These are not cannelures, they may look like it but they are to reduce the bullet contact area in the barrel and are deep. Crimping into these grooves will increase pressures.
    I have found that the seating depth for heavier TTSX is better if deeper as this gives a greater jump to the rifling required by these non-lead bullets. Try seating then as deep as you can without crimping into the groove if they are accurate then ok. I use the same dies as you.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    I have not tried these bullets but can say that it is not advisable to crimp into the groves. These are not cannelures, they may look like it but they are to reduce the bullet contact area in the barrel and are deep. Crimping into these grooves will increase pressures.
    I have found that the seating depth for heavier TTSX is better if deeper as this gives a greater jump to the rifling required by these non-lead bullets. Try seating then as deep as you can without crimping into the groove if they are accurate then ok. I use the same dies as you.
    I beg your pardon?? Is this your personal opinion? Barnes says to crimp is you wish with the TSX bullets and says it's all but essential when you hit the larger bores. I mean, they make this bullet for the 475 Jeffery: I'm thinking I'd like that one crimped. ~Muir

  4. #4
    Muir, You can have your opinion if you like. My opinion is as stated.
    This is the Barnes Q&A for TSX bullets:

    Do you recommend crimping your bullets?
    We usually don’t recommend crimping our smaller-caliber bullets. However, if you choose to do so, a light crimp is best. Heavy caliber bullets (.375 and up) for large game require a heavy crimp, as do most revolver and lever-rifle loads.
    Last edited by billh; 05-07-2014 at 17:02.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    Muir, You can have your opinion if you like. My opinion is as stated.
    I won't try to talk you out of it. A man is entitled to his opinion.~Muir

  6. #6
    Muir, Thank you.

  7. #7
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    The crimping, in my case, was entirely inadvertent, but having done two before I noticed -my attention being focussed on reducing the COL-, I thought I'd make 3 more the same to give myself 5 to play with, and do another 5 with the die backed off so their necks remained un-crimped. I shot both sets -as well as some other loads- today, and the chronos indicated that the "crimped" rounds (with the more deeply-seated bullets) had an extra 40 FPS or so on the non-crimped rounds (with the consequently longer COL).

    Overall, I was pretty happy with the way all the loads shot, the best being produced by 43.5 grains of RL7 for an MV of just under 3,300 FPS.

    Bullets recovered from the berm downrange showed the front part of had opened out into petals, most of which had sheared off, whilst the shank had remained comparatively undamaged. The petals were both surprisingly rigid and sharp. All this suggests that these bullets may be effective killers, but are likely to prove a bit messy. So I think I'll shoot a couple of foxes with them first before considering them for roe/muntjac (if at all).
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  8. #8
    Unlikely to be messy unless you hit the rumen. On roe yearlings I do however aim to break a shoulder (ie a bit further forward than I usually do) with the 130ttsx as I have had the diaphragm and rumen rupture with chest shots that did not pass through the diaphragm. I suspect as a result of massive temporary cavitation. You can however expect them to drop exceptionally quickly!

  9. #9
    Hi MrGain ---- What was the berm made of? Soft sand, soil, stony stuff or what? I ask as I'm surprised that you managed to smash the petals off the bullets.
    I shoot the 130 grain TTSX in my 308 and 30-06 & crimp using a Lee Factory Crimp Die - I always crimp onto the lands between the canulars - I give enough pinch to firmly secure the bullet in the case without excessive bullet deformation. My Lee bullet seating die pushes the 130 grainers plenty deep enough for what I want.
    They do kill deer very effectively if driven quickly usually going straight through with good expansion, ripping a good bleed channel as they go. Especially good when driven fast & as Barnes say they like a good long jump to the lands.

    Any 30 cal bullet travelling at 3K plus f/sec will be devastating on a fox sized animal. I don't see what you expect to learn/construe by shooting fox rather than deer with them ?? - The 110 TTSX certainly won't bounce off a munty! - It will penetrate, expand & do it's job! Probably knocking the munty flat on the spot. (I've shot a few munties with 125 grain Sierra soft points in 308 & they do just that. The TTSX won't be too different!
    Have fun!

    Ian

    p.s. Srvet - I expect any bullet that holds together & hitting a small deer at the speeds which we get with 130 grainers out of 308 would cause enough cavitation to smash the rumen - not every time but often enough. I don't see it as a TTSX specific symptom. --- More one of bullet velocity.
    Last edited by Yorric; 05-07-2014 at 22:41.

  10. #10
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Hi Ian,

    thanks for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    What was the berm made of? Soft sand, soil, stony stuff or what? I ask as I'm surprised that you managed to smash the petals off the bullets.
    Compacted soil with a component of clay. It is, as you surmise, pretty dense stuff. Not all the recovered bullets had lost all their petals, and a couple still looked recognisably like the full flower. I have a .270 bullet showing text-book expansion that was given to me by a Barnes rep when the TXS came out for comparison. The hardness of the bullet material certainly suggests they'll hold together on deer, but the velocity obtained and the width of the expanded bullet led me to suspect that they will also make quite a mess. Incidentally, I was thinking only of scrambled and bloodshot meat and organs rather than rumen ruptures, which are messy by definition).

    This sounds good though:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    They do kill deer very effectively if driven quickly usually going straight through with good expansion, ripping a good bleed channel as they go. Especially good when driven fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    I shoot the 130 grain TTSX in my 308 and 30-06 & crimp using a Lee Factory Crimp Die - I always crimp onto the lands between the canulars - I give enough pinch to firmly secure the bullet in the case without excessive bullet deformation. My Lee bullet seating die pushes the 130 grainers plenty deep enough for what I want.
    Your mention of the Lee Crimp die had me rooting about in the bottom drawer of my loading bench, where I suspected I might have one tucked away, from a time when crimping seemed an interesting thing to try. So maybe I should try it again. The unintentionally "crimped" ("pinched"?) loads were a bit faster, no less accurate and the five rounds fired only showed a 5 FPS spread - the best of the day.

    My understanding, though, was that the cannelures were intended for regulating friction in the barrel than for providing a crimp hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    Barnes say they like a good long jump to the lands.
    That's just as well as there's no question of getting them even close. I'd need a COL of 2.922" to get to the lands with this bullet, which would only leave about half a calibre's worth in the neck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    Any 30 cal bullet travelling at 3K plus f/sec will be devastating on a fox sized animal. I don't see what you expect to learn/construe by shooting fox rather than deer with them ?? - The 110 TTSX certainly won't bounce off a munty! - It will penetrate, expand & do it's job! Probably knocking the munty flat on the spot. (I've shot a few munties with 125 grain Sierra soft points in 308 & they do just that. The TTSX won't be too different!
    Basically, I'm not shooting a fox to eat it, just to stop it eating other things, so meat damage becomes simply a matter of interest rather than regret. If I skin back and open up a fox and find massive damage, I'll think twice about using the bullet on small deer, as I want as much of the tasty stuff left as possible. (Oh dear, now 'll get asked why I'm even thinking of shooting them with a bullet like this in the first place!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    Have fun!
    Thankyou - that's a large part of the point (pace Offroad Gary) - you too!
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

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