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X-citing Facts

Think Triple-Shock X Bullets are too tough to expand on thin-skinned game like whitetail deer? Think again! Check out this high-speed photography and the devastating wound channel created by the TSX. Other interesting facts and information are noted below.

Rapid Expansion

This shows a Barnes 150-grain Triple-Shock X Bullet fired from a Federal .308 Winchester factory load. The bullet is exiting a two-inch-thick slice of 10 percent 250A Ordnance gelatin. As this photo shows, very little resistance is needed to force the razor-sharp copper petals open.

Massive Tissue Destruction

This shows a Barnes 150-grain Triple-Shock X Bullet fired from a Federal .308 Winchester factory load. After traveling the full length of the gelatin block, then exiting, the bullet remains stable. Note the helical pattern being formed in the still growing temporary cavity. The cavity will continue to grow for at least another milli-second. Resistance is equivalent to 16 inches of muscle tissue.

Deeper Penetration

This shows the path of Barnes 150-grain Triple-Shock X Bullet from a Federal .308 Winchester factory load as it passes through 16 inches of ballistic gelatin. The bullet made more than five complete rotations during transit. Transferred energy split the block on three sides. The more rotations the bullet makes, the greater the odds of lacerating one or more vital organs.

How Quickly Does Your Bullet Expand?

Snapshot: .050 inch aluminum plate shows bullet expansion after penetrating a one-inch thickness of ballistic gelatin.

.308″ Bullet
Hole Diameter
Barnes 180 gr. MRX
Barnes 168 gr. TSX
Nosler 180 gr. AccuBond
Nosler 165 gr. Partition
Swift 165 gr. Scirocco
Sierra 168 gr. MatchKing
Hornady 165 gr. InterBond

* Instead of expanding, bullet yawed on impact.

  • Impact velocity was approximately 2000 fps, simulating a 500-plus-yard bullet strike from a .300 magnum rifle.
  • Lead-core bullets require substantial frontal resistance to expand. Barnes’ all-copper bullets rapidly expand once a small amount of fluid enters the specially engineered nose cavity.

  • Comparing Bullet Length

    How important is bullet length? Longer bullets have a higher ballistic coefficient (BC), which means more retained energy and flatter trajectories for long-range shooting. They also align better within the bore, promoting greater accuracy. These are some advantages long bullets offer.

    On the other hand, long bullets project farther into the cartridge case, limiting powder capacity. Extremely long bullets may compress powder charges, particularly in short-action cartridges loaded to standard overall length. Long bullets are more likely to promote fouling, and require a relatively fast rifling twist to properly stabilize en route to the target.

    Some have mistakenly thought Barnes’ all-copper Triple-Shock X Bullets were (a) longer than competing premium bullets, and (b) caused pressure and fouling problems because of the perceived greater surface area contacting the bore.

    Here are the facts:

    When a 160-grain 7mm Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet was measured against Speer Spitzer SP, Nosler Partition, Hornady SST and Nosler AccuBond bullets of the same weight and caliber*, the Triple-Shock was longer than the Speer Spitzer and Nosler Partition, but shorter than both the Hornady SST and Nosler AccuBond bullets.

    (* The Hornady SST weighed 162 grains.)

    When 180-grain .30-caliber projectiles were compared to a Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet of the same weight and diameter, the Triple-Shock bullet was longer than Sierra Pro-Hunter, Combined Technologies CT Fail Safe and Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets, but shorter than the AccuBond and considerably shorter than the Swift Scirocco.

    Longer than some, shorter than others, Triple-Shock bullets are of approximately average overall length.

    There’s more! “Bourrelet” describes the length of the bullet that actually comes in contact with the rifling. Multiplied by bullet circumference, it determines the surface area engraved by the lands and grooves as the bullet passes through the bore.

    Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullets have an average overall length, but less surface area contacting the bore. How is this possible?

    Multiple grooves machined into the shank of each Triple-Shock X Bullet reduce the bullet’s surface area that contacts the bore, while bourrelet length remains unchanged. The result? Triple-Shock X Bullets create less fouling and pressure buildup than almost all competing bullets. Their unique, one-piece design and generous bourrelet produce unsurpassed stability and exceptional accuracy. With no lead core to fragment or shear away, Triple-Shock X-Bullets retain virtually 100 percent of their original weight for deep, sure penetration.

    When loading Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullets, length is not a problem. Of average overall length, these 100-percent copper bullets feature a long bourrelet for superior accuracy. No other bullets can match their performance.