Today I tested some more of the barnes triple shock X bullets ( TSX ). I have wanted to see how the 70 grain bullet would do for a long time now so I put up a windshield and a stack of soaking wet phone books. I wanted to test for penetration, expansion and for any point of aim point of impact changes after the round went through the auto glass.
I fired several rounds through the glass and into the books but was not able to recover many of the fired shots. Most of the rounds went through the glass and did in fact stay on track with not noticeable deflection. But, a lot of the bullets went through the glass and all of the books. One was found in the next to last book turned sideways. I am not sure it if tumbled through the book but I believe it did. The other I found in the last book setting just as it should have been.
One thing I found impressive was the damage done to the books as the bullets passed through.
As can be seen in the photo, the path of the bullets created wound channels bigger then the bullet diameter. Of course this is desired. One thing to note is the bullets did not deflect hardly at all even while traveling through glass, then the books.
Even though there was several feet between the glass and my target behind the glass, the round traveled as I had hoped. So it can be assumed that if you intended to hit something ( someone) behind auto glass, that you could hold on the target and reasonably expect to hit it. I did angle the glass to imitate glass in a car/truck. Even though, the round did not follow the curve of the glass to any amount I could detect with a dowel rod inserted into the holes.
Now the kind of bad news. If you know anything about the tests done on the TSX and the 70 grain version in particular, you have heard that the tips have been known to collapse inward and then act as a ball round. Well, this happened to me as well. I figure this is why I was not able to recover many of them. Although they did not open up the way intended they still preformed very well. I expected them to act in this way and would have been surprised to see a perfect mushroomed TSX after going trough glass. Remember that glass is not muscle,skin,blood and bone. So do not be afraid to use this bullet for self defense or hunting. Nothing in a body will act like auto glass. The fact that they did expand slightly is a good thing, but even better is they stayed on track, did not explode or frag into tiny pieces and not penetrate much. They did the opposite of that, and I would want them to work this way if I needed to shoot something inside a vehicle.
Here you can see how they did slightly expand. You can also see how they tucked in to render them a ball round slightly bigger then its original size. You may notice how much longer they are then 75 or 77 grain OTM. The rounds fired are setting they way they would be in a case. The 70 grain TSX absolutely requires a 1/7 twist. I am not sure if a 1/8 twist would work because I am too lazy to check right now.
Here are two more fired bullets to show how they behave with regularity when shot trough the glass.
All of the ammo was handloaded to 556 pressure to try to match the “brown tip” load the military has been supposedly issuing to special forces troops. I have no idea about muzzle velocities or pressure of the “Brown tip” So I played it by ear. I do know the bullet is the same used so that will just have to do. This load and bullet combo is my current favorite for hunting and other use. I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea about this round/bullet from the pics above and not seeing a perfect mushroom. So I want to point out again that any round fired through glass will never act the same as it will when fired in tissue especially something meant for meat. If you want to see how it does on game, the hog hunting forum on ar15.com is the place to go. Members there take 250 to 300 pound wild hogs using this bullet regularly and with ease. So don’t mark this bullet of the list of game or self defense use based on barrier performance. But try to keep in mind this is what you want when shooting through a car window. The round acts exactly they way it is intended when hitting living tissue and is very, very impressive.