I had the first trials on Barnes x bullets many years ago in this country by some American clients.
MY ADVICE FOR DEER IN THE UK. DONT USE THEM !!
As its Christmas day I have family staying, just escaped for a few moments. I will fill you in on the history of Barnes X bullets in the near future. But I personally wouldnt touch them with a barge pole. Neither would the culling team of Jura either, or at least they didnt a few years back.
The early Barnes fodder shot "problematicaly" to say the least and were difficult to find an accurate load for.
I have recently bought some of the "new" TSX line and found them to be rather different from my first experiences with this brand (several years ago)
I followed the manufactures instructions re seat depth and started at .050" off the lands. Using a variety of different powder weights I settled on a load that shot .5 moa (1/2 inch) and then using that load started to alter the seat depth in .005" increments.
I settled on .040" off the lands and accuracy tightened to .4" at 100 yards.
That was with a 6.5mm, I have done the same with a 30cal and found that seat depth is best set to .040" off (in my rifle anyway)
A few things I have found with these bullets:
They perform as they are designed to on Deer.
They are expensive to develop loads for.
Despite checking all bullets for defects / weight variations - I do get the odd flyer - (the odd bullet an inch to one side of the main group every now and then) maybe 1 / 20 rounds.
Now that could be down to my barrel (but it happens with both rifles that I know are good) so I think it is the bullet (it isnt my loading techique)
Despite this anomaly, I am quite happy and confident to use them on deer within normal stalking ranges - sub 300 yards.
My experiance of Barnes X bullets is the following.
Some years ago I had a group of Americans hunting with me, one of whom worked for BarnesX and had loaded all the rounds for the hunt for the other 4 men. We were stalking Red Stags and Sika north of Inverness during the rut.
From my memory two clients hunted the first day, and the first stag although in easy range when shot at, re acted without showing a strike, although it ran down hill away from the hinds, which they very rarely do in the rut. Put down as a miss although suspicions were raised they went onto another stag, and after several hits managed to retrieve the beast. The exit wounds were tiny and once back in the larder it became apparent that the expansion was negligable and that in all likely hood the first stag had been hit.
This proved to be the point the next day we found it about a mile away, as luck would have it we could see the Ravens and crows feeding on it. Although the carcase was useless.
I then stopped the group using BarnesX and went over to Noslers. This proved succesful, until on an early morning stalk with one client using a 300 win mag left hooker, he put BarnesX in the mag. A Sika Stag was spotted by myself coming off the hill as the light came up. We were lying on a large rock against an old deer fence. Range about 130yds broadside. He hit the stag, and throught the binos I saw a strike in what I thought was over the top, but in fact was a direct hit. The stag ran as if unhurt and appeared OK, the client jumped up and I pushed him back down as the Stag had no idea where we were. The client sprung up again and discharged the rifle which had a muzzle brake on it right next to my head. This blew me off the rock, and onto the ground. As I got back up I watched the beast as it fell over, having covered a distance of over 300 yds. Only then did the client realise what he had done.
Needless to say my impressions of BarnesX bullets and the client were to say the least unfavourable. It all happened in a split second and it took me a considerable time to regain my hearing and a certain amount of vision.
Some years after this episode in my life as a professional guide, I was approached by a very professional stalker who was culling Reds, on I think Isla, or Jura ( the place where Simon King Films and Bill Odd ball) SNH or who ever it was insisted on using BarnesX to stop LEAD polution The stalker in question asked me about my experiance with BarnesX and he had encounterd the same issues. Shortly after they changed to ordinary Noslers, no more wounded deer.
On refelection I thinkl they are too hard for soft skinned game over here, but in Africa they work a treat, so I have been told. Having hunted Africa 6 times and taken dangerous game, I have always used Noslers and Hornaday Solids.
That is my story gentlemen, I know some on here swear by solid copper bullets, and will now probably tear me to pieces: so be it. But this is my experiance of BarnesX bullets.
There is still a lot of controversy over Barnes TSX bullets expanding/fragmenting properly. Accuracy seems to be good.
the concept is sound but quality control is poor with the hollowpoint being inconsistent in diameter and depth. Sometimes the bullet acts just like an FMJ.
Heres and interesting link
You can order them by post you just have to have them sent to an rfd, your local gunshop is a good place to start. All they have to do is fax Midway to say they will accept reciept of the item for you. I have a friend who using varmint grenades in his 22-250 ackley for vermin. There leaving the barrel at 4800 fps, the key to getting these bullets to work appears to be velocity. From what I have heard it is similar to what sikamalc has said on tough beast they work very well, I would think I am probably wrong but they would be good for boar. Dont however use varmint grenades on deer, they actually physically disintergrate on leaves, its pretty spectacular. Not to mention what they are like on vermin. The x bullet is their stalking load and as I have already said it appears to work best on tough game.