Tag Archives: Barnes

Barnes TSX test ( 70 gr) PART 2

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.

Barnes TSX ( triple shock X ) 55 grains Test Part 1 in a series

This is the first in a series ( I hope ) of test i will be doing on some of the barnes TSX bullets in a variety of weights ( my wallet allowing) and through a variety of barrier. These first rounds were fired from a  16 inch barrel carbine   through a car front window and  into a IDPA target then into a stack of 5 large phone books.  Rain destroyed the target and almost my camera before I could get pictures. But here is a few pics of how well the  TSX bullets performed.

The target was 50 yards away and I faced the window head on. After passing through the glass the round stayed on course and went trough the exact spot I was aiming at into the IDPA target that was about two feet behind the inside of the glass. There was no key holes or any signs that the round did anything other then what it was meant to do. The bullets then went into the phone books and traveled  through 4 before stopping. The books were about three and and a half inches thick each.  I dug them out to find that they  had shed no weight that I could measure and had not shed any “pedals”.  I also did not find that any of the points had sheared off or collapsed in on itself causing the bullet to fail like has been claimed can happen.  The ammo was factory corbon brand.

The next test will be handloads since factory ammo is cost more then a hooker made of gold.

Next up I will try the 62 gr followed by 50s, 70s,and 53s.  Last year I should note, I killed a deer from 150 yards away with the same gun, using the 70 grain TSX. It dropped with one shot to the left side shoulder. The round went all the through  and I could find no bullet to examine. Exit wound was the size of a quarter. I have been a admirer of the TSX bullets for many years but last year was the first time I used any one meat.

Hopefully the future tests will give and idea of how they perform around vehicles. I hope to get an idea how useful the bullet would be for police officers in a situation that involves  shooting around cars like on a traffic stop gone bad. Of course police spend a lot of time around vehicles so it makes since to have a round to  go through most barriers of cars and still have what it takes. Hopefully I can dig up an old engine block to see try them on just to see what happens.

Testing the 5.56mm MK318 MOD 0 / 5.56 SOST ammo

The 5.56 SOST  is the ammo currently being used by the USMC and other troops in the GWOT,  it has not been available for the public to buy for very long so I, like a lot of other people have been curious about how it performs. The round was designed to  have better terminal performance and accuracy from short barreled rifles with a muzzle velocity of 2925 fps from the 14.5 inch M4 barrel.  The round is a OTM,  this is important to remember as it is not the same as a hollow point.  It does however, offer up better performance and is barrier blind. The bullet itself has a thick copper base and a lead front end with the usual open tip that results from the process of making the bullet.  Also present are the rings seen around the bullet much like a barnes triple shock X.  A lot of people assumed and still do that the SOST is a barnes solid copper TSX, but it is not.

After getting my hands on some of the ammo I decided to test it for accuracy first. Since the ammo is intended for combat weapons, I chose to use my Colt 6940  with milspec barrel with 1/7 twist. I did put a Leupold 18x target scope on the carbine though so i could get all the accuracy out of it I could.  I fired 2 strings of 5 shots at 1 inch dots and one string of 10 shots of M855 to compare it to the common military load all at 100 yards. It was around 1100 AM , sunny with a  2 oclock 18 MPH wind.

Other then the normal 1st round flyer you usually get from hand cycling the action as opposed to letting the recoil operate and chamber  the next few rounds, the ammo showed some  great potential. The group on the left  was a little worse due to my own bad trigger work and lost concentration on one shot, but still pretty good considering. Now I know some claim  5 shot groups tell nothing, but if you over lay to  strings you get a pretty good idea  and you keep barrel heat down and mirage off the barrel messing with the scope.

After shooting the groups I decided to test out how the round matched the trajectory of the M855 since that is one of the things the SOST round was meant to have in common with the green tip. Out to 300and 400 yards  the SOST did match the BDC of my TA31F  ACOG and zero of other scopes and Aimpoint RDS I had on hand zeroed for the green tip. Also when comparing the position of the groups in relation to the aiming points, you can see on paper that the zero held very close for both rounds.

Now, the real surprise for me, was how good the lot of M855 I shot turned out to be!  Many gun board expurts and gun magazine expurtitions will gladly tell you how terrible green tip is in the accuracy department along with its many other flaws , makes it  slightly more useful then tits on a boar hog. After getting the carbine hot  after some drills using the SOST and playing around, I fired off 10 rounds fairly quickly  with the Colt/18x combo.  The results left me a little surprised, rarely have I seen green tip shot for accuracy  with sand bags, a table and a target scope further then 50 yards. And I do not recall having seen any pictures of it doing as well in a true 100 distance group.  I shot the green tip with all seriousness and the same concentrated effort I did with the SOST and the results were pleasing and a little surprising to me.  I have never taken the green tip seriously  enough for my own needs in the accuracy department so this will indeed lead to more testing of the M855 if for no other reason  then to see if this was a fluke.

Now I do not mean to sound like I think green tip is crap, I have seen some  good performance out of it at longer ranges on coyote size targets and even man sized targets. But on the other hand, I have seen some terrible accuracy from it too. Of course lots and different MGGs have as much to do with it as anything, not to metion the different shoots and the quality or lack of  in the guns used.

Back to the SOST, I think its a pretty good round from what I can tell. It is not MK 262 or TAP 75 gr. But for general issue to everyone, it is an iprovement in my humble opinion.  I have not shot anything living with it yet, but I will. Also, in the next few weeks I will test it though a few “barriers” like auto glass, wood, and wall paneling. Hopefully I will get to shoot through some auto doors as well.  I would not use it in my own house if over shooting is a issue, but I would use it for anything else at this point if you can find enough for SHTF bulk storing. And you have the benefit of practicing/training with M855 and still being able to shoot the SOST without a zero change. At this point I can not say it is better then any MK 262 top load in accuracy, but it is not meant to be, but, it is better then M193 by a long ways and it shows the ability to shoot a lot better the M855 and even if it just matches it in accuracy you still have the benefits of better terminal performance and barrier penetration while still holding together to hit the target behind if power point presentations can be believed. Hopefully my future testing will offer at least a tiny sample to help prove or disprove the new round.