What is the TSX Bullet and what does it do?

Barnes' TSX Bullet offers all the deadly effectiveness of the time-proven X Bullet. Features include all-copper construction, no fragmentation, rapid expansion, 28% deeper penetration than lead-core bullets, and maximum weight retention. The TSX has proven to be one of the most accurate hunting bullets available–a fact countless shooters have confirmed. An exclusive feature of the TSX Bullet is multiple, precisely engineered rings cut into the bullet shank. These grooved rings act as relief valves as bullet metal flows under pressure while traveling down the bore. Instead of flowing from the front to the base of the bullet, the copper material expands into the grooves. This results in reduced pressures and less copper fouling. Reduced pressures mean the bullet can be safely loaded to higher velocities. The rings also alter barrel harmonics, greatly improving accuracy.

What is the difference between the TSX®, the TTSX® (Tipped TSX) and the LRX™ bullets?

Barnes TSX, TTSX, and LRX share the same all-copper design resulting in virtually 100% weight retention. Four razor-sharp cutting petals expand to double the bullet’s original diameter to create a very long and wide wound channel. Additionally, all three designs feature the Accu-groove™ technology which provides the shooter with decreased fouling and improved accuracy. The TTSX differs from the TSX in that it features a re-engineered nose cavity that accommodates a polymer tip. The addition of the polymer tip initiates rapid expansion and improves ballistics at extended distances. The LRX also features a polymer tip along with a longer nose profile and a boattail design that delivers match grade accuracy at long range with an incredibly high B.C. without sacrificing terminal performance. The LRX has a very wide range of functionality – terminal performance is unmatched on game at not only close, but extreme distances for long range hunters. The LRX’s combination of a high B.C. and wide range of functionality can really extend the shooters’ effective range resulting in quick, clean and ethical kills.

What load data should I use for TSX Bullets?

TSX loading data appears in the new Barnes Reloading Manual #4, and is also available on the Barnes website.

Is the 168-grain .30-caliber TSX the same as the 165-grain TSX? Is it really a match-grade hunting bullet?

These bullets have different ogive geometries. The 165-grain TSX incorporates a shorter tangent ogive in the nose profile. It’s designed for cartridges with short magazines such as the .300 WSM and .300 Win Mag. The 168-grain TSX BT has a secant ogive which lengthens the nose profile and has shown superb accuracy downrange. It offers the best of both worlds because it’s also a premium hunting bullet offering exceptional terminal performance. It is best suited for cartridges such as the .308 Winchester, .30-06 and .300 Weatherby.

How does Barnes determine ballistic coefficient values?

Whenever a new Barnes rifle bullet is introduced, its ballistic coefficient (BC) is determined by rigorous testing. Because accurate BC values are important, particularly for long-range shooting, Barnes fires each bullet under tightly controlled laboratory conditions. The muzzle velocity, time of flight to target and distance to target then goes to a computer programmed to use this and other variables including temperature, humidity, altitude and barometric pressure to determine the actual BC of the bullet. Some manufacturers compare their bullets only to existing size and shape models to determine a theoretical BC. This theoretical method fails to take into account rifling marks inscribed in the bullet, muzzle yaw, actual bullet velocity and other important variables.

Barnes now measures BC values over 300 yards (they were formerly measured over a distance of 100 yards). Dr. Ken Oehler, of Oehler Research, Inc., suggests that BC values will probably predict trajectories at twice the distance over which the BC value was originally measured. Barnes feels measuring the BC over 300 yards provides customers with data more useful for long-range shooting out to 600 yards or more.

Barnes has made slight changes to the geometry of many of its bullets, most notably in the shape of the ogive. Some fairly pronounced secant ogives have been changed to provide more tangent ogives. While slightly reducing BC values, this has significantly improved accuracy. BC values are also affected by multiple rings cut into the shanks of TSX Bullets.

Do I seat TSX bullets .030 inch to .070 inch from the lands, starting at .050 inch off the lands, as recommended with other X-style bullets?

Yes. All-copper TSX Bullets typically give better accuracy when seated off the lands and grooves (the rifling in the barrel).

Can I expect copper fouling when using TSX Bullets?

Because of mutiple grooves machined into the shanks of TSX bullets, less bullet area comes in contact with the bore. This reduces pressures and virtually eliminates copper fouling.

What rate of twist will stabilize TSX Bullets?

TSX bullets are designed for and tested in standard-twist barrels. If you’re using a slower twist, we recommend choosing a shorter (lighter) bullet for your rifle. (See General Reloading section for a list of our test barrel twists.)

When I use TSX Bullets, should I choose a lighter bullet than I’d normally use?

Because TSX Bullets retain nearly 100 percent of their original weight and penetrate so deeply, many shooters select a lighter-weight X-Bullet or TSX in place of a heavier conventional bullet. The lighter TSX Bullet delivers higher velocities and a flatter trajectory, and outperforms heavier bullets of conventional design. It also produces less recoil.

Will your TSX Bullets foul my barrel quicker than the other bullets I’ve been using?

When shot according to our recommendations, TSX Bullets virtually eliminate copper fouling.

Is it true TSX Bullets will wear out my barrel more quickly than jacketed bullets will?

As long as you clean your barrel frequently, there is no way TSX bullets will wear out your barrel any faster than other bullets. We have fired thousands of TSX Bullets through our barrels without seeing any unusual wear.

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.

What kind of penetration can I expect with the TSX Bullet?

Our tests have shown that TSX bullets can be expected to penetrate 28 percent deeper than lead-core bullets. This is attributed to the high weight retention and superior expansion design X- and TSX Bullets feature. While lead-core bullets expand into a relatively smooth mushroom shape, the frontal section of the TSX peels back to form four sharp-edged copper petals. These petals help these bullets slice their way through game contributing to superior penetration.

Do TSX Bullets always expand on game?

Because our TSX Bullets are solid copper and have a specially engineered nose cavity, it is nearly impossible for them not to expand. The cavity opens up as soon as hydraulic pressure is applied to the nose cavity. Once the bullet strikes flesh, it immediately opens, creating four razor-sharp petals that slice through tissue. Ballistic tests in gelatin show good bullet expansion within the first inch of penetration.

Will TSX Bullets always retain 100% of their weight?

Our TSX Bullets are solid copper, so they retain their weight better than any conventional bullet available today. In a worst-case scenario, even if all four petals detach because a close-range, high-velocity shot strikes very heavy bone, the bullet will retain at least 85% of it’s original weight. In the same situation, a lead-core bullet would likely disintegrate.

Will TSX Bullets shoot through deer-sized game?

Yes, in most instances TSX Bullets will completely penetrate deer-sized game. Hydraulic pressure causes TSX Bullets to open as soon as they strike tissue. TSX Bullets are known for their superb penetration. Even when they penetrate completely through game, these bullets create a very large wound channel and cause massive shock to the animal’s system. These amazing all-copper bullets live up their promise of “more one-shot kills”.


Are Spit-Fire and Spit-Fire TMZ bullets better than Expander MZs?

All three designs offer all-copper construction, double-diameter expansion, 100-percent weight retention, excellent penetration and superior accuracy. The advantages Spit-Fire and Spit-Fire TMZ bullets provide are higher BC values and flatter trajectories for shooting at longer ranges.

Does the TMZ’s polymer tip provide better expansion?

We see the same double-diameter expansion from all three MZ designs. The big advantage the Spit-Fire TMZ polymer tip provides is a higher BC value for flatter trajectories at extended range.

Why are your MZ bullets so hard to load?

Your rifle’s bore may be dirty. Run a solvent-soaked patch, followed by a dry patch, through the bore between shots to improve accuracy and make loading easier. The Spit-Fire design is slightly easier to load than the original Expander MZ bullet.

Historically, .50 caliber muzzleloading rifles have bore diameters ranging from .495″ to .504″. Firearm manufacturers are working on standardizing these dimensions. However, muzzleloading rifles do exist that aren’t suitable for our bullets. For example, our .50 caliber MZ bullet may be too tight for a .495″ bore, and fit too loosely in a .504″ bore. Our MZs are designed for standard bore dimensions. Bore butter or a bit of saliva can ease loading in snug-fitting bores.

What is the purpose of your Aligner Tool?

Our MZ Aligner Tool is designed to seat the bullet in proper alignment with the axis of the bore.

One end of the aligner tool is the same diameter as the nose of our MZ bullet, and the other end is threaded to fit the tip of your ramrod. A different tool is recommended for each bullet style (Expander MZ, Spit-Fire and Spit-Fire TMZ).

Will the Expander MZ work in my smokeless-powder muzzleloader?

Barnes tested the Savage 110 ML-II smokeless powder muzzleloader using Barnes 250-grain MZ bullets, with excellent results. Savage recommends fast-burning powders such as XMP 5744, IMR 4227, and VV N110, all of which develop considerably higher pressures than are produced by black powder or Pyrodex. Although the Savage rifle can safely handle the higher pressures, most of the sabots we tested cannot. Excessive pressures cause the sabot to fail, which results in inconsistent velocities and poor accuracy—even bullet tumbling. When Barnes tested several slower-burning powders such as H4198, and RL-7, these two powders gave pressures similar to those produced by black powder and Pyrodex. Accuracy was sub-MOA, and velocity was excellent.

Why do Expander MZ and Knight Red Hot Bullets have different shapes?

The larger hollow point on our .50 caliber 250 grain MZ bullet has an advantage during low-velocity expansion. However, the smaller hollowpoint on the .50 caliber 220 grain Knight Red Hot has a better BC because of the bullet’s streamlined design. This contributes to better retained velocity downrange.

What twist rates work best with your muzzleloading bullets?

Recommended twist rates are as follows:
.45 195 Up to 1:30"
.50 250 Up to 1:32"
.50 300 Up to 1:28" * Occasionally, a 1:28″ twist won’t be fast enough.
.54 275 Up to 1:34"
.54 325 Up to 1:34"


Will your .44-caliber pistol bullets perform well at the higher velocities produced by .444 Marlin and .44 Magnum rifles? Also, will the .45 bullet stand up to .454 Casull velocities in both

Yes, they will. These are all-copper X Bullets. XPB loading data can be found in the Barnes Reloading Manual #4 or on the Barnes website.

How do these all-copper bullets perform on hogs?

Our quick-expanding XPB pistol bullets perform exceptionally well on even the largest hogs. Customers report they hit hard and create huge wound channels, anchoring the animals quickly.

Will your .50-caliber XPB bullets work in a semi-auto .50 AE pistol?

The ogive of the .50-caliber XPB is too long to allow this bullet to feed and function in a semi-auto pistol.

Can XPB pistol bullets be used in my muzzleloading rifle?

Yes. Many customers are purchasing sabots from MMP (phone1-870-741-5019) and using them to load XPB bullets in muzzleloading rifles and getting great results.


Which .50 BMG should I choose — Bore Rider or Standard?

Bore Rider bullets are intended only for custom-throated .50 BMG Rifles. If you have a custom-throated barrel, you should be aware of it. A Bore Rider may be used safely in a standard-throated barrel; however, accuracy may suffer.

What are Barnes Solids intended for?

Our Solids do not expand. Therefore, they are usually recommended when you want to save pelts, hides or expect to take a follow-up shot on dangerous game. However, because these bullets do not expand, shot placement is vitally important. When they strike large game, they track very straight and deliver maximum penetration.

Why are Barnes Solids offered in a spitzer configuration?

Some shooters use Solids on coyotes or foxes to save pelts. Also, the spitzer design has a higher B.C. for target and competition shooters.

How do your Banded Solids differ from other Barnes Solids?

Barnes new Banded Solids are designed for stopping dangerous African big game. Like the highly successful TSX-Bullets, Barnes' new Banded Solids feature multiple bands, or rings, which are cut into the shank of the most dependable solid bullets on the market. These bands relieve pressure as the bullet passes through the bore, eliminating concerns about high pressures in fine double rifles. The relief bands also virtually eliminate fouling.

Banded Solids have a wider meplat, which insures deep, straight-line penetration. These machined homogeneous copper/zinc-alloy bullets will not disintegrate or deflect when impacting heavy bone. They resist deformation so well some hunters have actually retrieved these bullets from game and reused them on later hunts.

Do you need to crimp Banded Solids?

Barnes' Banded Solids feature deep crimping grooves that prevent bullet movement under the heaviest recoil, yet allow sure feeding in bolt-action rifles.

Should you adjust your sights when switching from TSX bullets to Banded Solids?

Banded Solids are matched weight-for-weight with TSX Bullets of the same caliber, allowing use of either solid or expanding bullets without changing point of impact.


Which .38/55 bullet should I use — .375″ or .377″?

Every rifle is different. In this case, the best way for you to know whether your rifle needs a .375″ or .377″ diameter bullet is to check with the rifle manufacturer or slug the bore.

At what velocity will Originals expand?

Flat-nosed Originals will begin expanding at approximately 1600 fps; other Barnes Originals expand at 1900 fps.

Can I use the .375″ Winchester 220 grain Original in my .38/55?

No. The .375 200-grain Original bullet is intended for the .375 Winchester; the cannelure ring would be in the wrong place to properly seat the bullet in a .38/55 rifle.


What is the difference between the VARMIN-A-TOR™ and the Varmint Grenade®?

The major differences are in the cores. The VARMIN-A-TOR™ and the Varmint Grenade® are both hollow point guilding-metal jacketed bullets. However, the VARMIN-A-TOR features a thin tapered jacket with scored nose, wrapped around the highly explosive DETON-A-TOR™ lead core. The VARMIN-A-TOR™ has all the accurate and explosive tendencies sought after by varmint shooters and vaporizes anything in its path. The Varmint Grenade® is based on a lead-free projectile design developed for military applications. The hollow point, flat base bullet features a copper-tin composite core surrounded by a thin, tapered jacket with a scored nose. The Varmint Grenade is highly frangible, expending its energy early, seldom showing exit wounds on larger predators such as bobcats and coyotes. The result is considerably less damage to valuable pelts.

How far off the lands and grooves should I seat Varmint Grenades?

Because of the Varmint Grenade's gilding metal jacket and copper-tin composite core construction, this bullet produces the best accuracy results when seated off the lands and grooves .020".

What kind of accuracy can I expect with the Varmint Grenades?

Excellent accuracy has been reported with the Varmint Grenade. Originally developed for military applications, the bullet delivers sniper-like accuracy for dependable long-range kills.


How does your data compare to other manufacturers’ data?

Because our bullets feature completely different construction (solid copper), they build pressures differently. TSX Bullets normally reach maximum pressure and velocity with lower powder charges. Therefore, we always recommend using our data.

Why are the loads in your manual compressed? Particularly for the .300 WSM?

Some of our loads may be compressed, and not necessarily be listed that way. However, even these compressed loads create no more than max SAAMI pressure and remain safe. If you feel uncomfortable shooting a compressed load, we would suggest choosing a faster-burning powder on the list.


Why are my patches blue when they come out of the bore?

The ammonia in CR-10 will react with the copper in your barrel to create a blue residue. We recommend running CR-10 soaked patches through your barrel until they come out white. Run a dry patch on a jag or nylon brush down the bore when finished to ensure any excess CR-10 is wiped out.

Can I soak my barrel overnight in CR-10?

No. CR-10 is a very aggressive copper remover and is too strong to be allowed to remain in the bore overnight. Pitting or etching in your barrel may occur if you do let it soak over a long period of time. Remember to follow the directions, which advise not leaving CR-10 in the bore for more than 15 minutes.

What is the shelf-life of CR-10?

If CR-10 is kept in a tightly closed container, it really doesn’t have a shelf-life limit. If it has been sitting for a while, you may shake it up and use it without any problems.

Non-Corrosive CR-10

We have had some technical calls asking if CR-10 will damage a rifle bore. The answer is, of course, No. CR-10, along with most other copper-cleaning solvents, contains ammonia to remove the copper. Ammonia attracts moisture, which in turn causes the clean steel to rust very quickly. We have tested barrels submerged in CR-10 for 18 months without any damage to the barrel. Corrosion begins only when a bore coated with CR-10 is left exposed to air. Following up with an oiled patch is also recommended after cleaning to deter the rust process.