Author Topic: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?  (Read 16491 times)

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Offline Dixie Dude

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Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« on: May 16, 2008, 01:44:14 pm »
I know in larger calibers these bullets are good perpetrators.  In Alabama you can hunt deer with .223.  I have never done it and think the caliber is too small, but has anyone ever tested these for penetration and expansion in the .223 with a hot load?  Energy wise, it looks like a .44 mag, but hole size is the problem unless it penetrates deep enough and opens up well. 

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Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« on: May 16, 2008, 01:44:14 pm »
 

Offline chutesnreloads

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 05:00:34 pm »
First I would advise against a .223 for deer.Having said that....I've killed more deer with the .223 than all other cartridges combined.All but one were head or neck shots.Only one needed to be shot twice.This one turned her head just as the round touched off and was hit square in the chin instead of the base of her neck....NOT pretty.I wouldn't hesitate to use a .223 again if that were all I had.The only bullet I'd NOT use again is a Nosler ballistic tip or one of the other highly frangible bullets.Was pleased with the Nosler partition bullet performance and the old Barnes X bullet but when keeping to neck shots neither is needed.My .02 of a dollar.

Offline WyoStillhunter

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 06:38:45 am »
Obviously a .223 bullet will kill deer, and larger game also, but I wouldn't recommend it even where legal.  To be honest I have no experience with it on any size game, just paper punching.

A few years back some idiot/criminal shot up a whole band of elk in Grand Teton NP (IIRC).  I don't know for sure the weapon used but the cartridge was .223 Rem.  He shot something like 15 or 16 elk, mostly cows and calves.  When authorities arrived on the scene 11 or 12 were dead and they put down the ones that were wounded.  Certainly not to be recommended but deadly nonetheless.

In the book "The Last Frontiersman" we read about Heimo Korth who has lived in the Alaska Natl. Wildlife Refuge for almost 40 years.  Somewhere along the way he migrated from .300 WM to a .22-.250 as his go-to gun for harvesting caribou and moose to feed his family.  Of course he carries a RBH .44 mag. at all times and has taken caribou with the .22LR when conditions were just right.  But this is not a sport hunting situation or an average man going deer hunting for the weekend.

It's interesting to read about the "outliers" but probably not instructive.  Most of us are best served by NOT emulating the exception, but the rule.  The .223 isn't a choice I would consider favorably for deer regardless of the bullet used.
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Offline Coyote Hunter

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 07:23:18 am »
A lot depends on the size of the deer.  The first time I saw some of California's coastal deer I thought they were fawns until the next morning when I saw one with a nice rack.  I've owned bigger dogs and for deer that size a .223 TSX will do fine.

If you are talking larger deer, like midwest or northern whitetails or western mulies, I'd say go with a larger cartridge.  A .243"/6mm is the legal minimum here in Colorado and I admit a bias towards .25's as a better minimum.
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Offline Dixie Dude

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 06:53:58 pm »
Most Does I have or my friends have killed were in the 100 lb. range on the hoof.  Not that big.  Most of my friends use 243's or larger.  I just happen to run into a guy that was going to use his .223 and was trying to work up a good load.  I didn't say anything to him, but thought of the Barnes TSX for penetration and weight retention on larger calibers.  They make about 3 sizes of .223 bullets.  Just a thought. 

Offline NYSdeerslayer

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 11:56:21 am »
I am going to be loading 62 gr. TSX's with barnes pet load from their web sit to start with.
The 62 gr. TSX's should group really well out of any 1:9 twist or faster barrel.
I know I am going to make a stink here but the .223 will kill a deer of any size
as long as you can shoot and you know your limitations.  I shoot Hornaday 55 gr. V-Max's and any
head, neck, heart, or spine shot less than 200 yds.  Its gonna die!  If you hit the front shoulder
with a ballistic tip .223 you will NOT penetrate the bone all the energy will be lost on initial impact.
Breaking the front shoulder in most cases. Even with that said the animal will go down, a two shot kill.
Not Ideal, but very doable.

                                             NYSdeerslayer

Offline olsingleshot

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 04:20:54 am »
I have shot numerous deer with a .223 and some with  the TSX. I shoot lung, heart and quartering shots. It is not the round , it is the bullet placement. All deer were Texas deer, 75-150 lbs. The TSX will do the job.

Offline reelhook

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 12:06:03 pm »
Spend all the money you want on Barnes in .223 but don't forget the FMJ in 223-will work just the same-I've done it more that once

Offline tanoose

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 04:05:46 pm »
I hear the 60 grain nosler partition works well also

Offline Dixie Dude

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 09:46:45 pm »
FMJ ammo is illegal so that is why I asked about Barnes TSX since it has more penetration in larger calibers compared to other bullet types.  I don't intend to hunt with a .223, but have known friends who have. 

Offline SingleShotShorty

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 05:24:44 pm »
60 grain Nolser Partitions will drop deer like a rock
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Offline petemi

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 05:31:46 pm »
Why not just use a "deer rifle".  The .223 certainly was not designed for that.  If I remember correctly, it was adopted by the military to WOUND the enemy...not necessarily kill, because a wounded man takes two to 3 others out of combat  Plus they can carry more rounds, etc. etc.  The .50 BMG rifle was not made to wound.  In between the two live the honest to God deer rifles.
Keep both eyes open and make the first shot good.
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Online JPShelton

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2008, 02:08:47 pm »
Why not just use a "deer rifle".  The .223 certainly was not designed for that.

Well, in some parts of the country, a rifle firing .223 Remington cartridges IS a "deer rifle" and is a mighty effective one, particularly when paired with component bullets like TSX and Partitions in .224 that offer controlled expansion.

I was born and raised in California and hunted coastal blacktails there for many, many years.  They are not particularly large deer, nor do they require a bunch more killing than the .223 can muster.  In the areas where I hunted them, a big blactail would go about 120 on the hoof.  If you got presented with a shot farther than 200 yards, that was rare, indeed.  In most cases, most of mine were taken at 100 yards or so or less.  Sometimes much less.

I started using a Mini-14 for this coastal blacktail hunting in 1988.  At the time, I owned a Griffin and Howe Springfield in .30-'06, a Remington M-700 Mountain Rifle in .280, a Ruger No. 1 in .270, and the .30-30 Marlin that my folks bought me when I was 12.

Why didn't I use one of those "deer rifles," instead?

I had used a couple of them to successfully take blacktails before trying the Mini-14.  The wimpiest of the lot, the lowly .30-30, made the biggest mess out of the deer I shot with it, making FIST SIZED exit holes through the off-side shoulder.  Beleive it or not.   I chalk that up to fairly thinly-jacketed bullets used in deference to the round's fairly low velocity.  The Springfield didn't screw up the off-side nearly as badly, but I used 180 grain Nosler Partitions in it exclusively.  I had also shot one with my S&W M-66 that I carried on duty at one point during my law enforcement career.  I shot the buck in the chest at over 50 yards and it was "DRT."

The stainless Ruger would shrug off the salt air and foggy, misty rain of the area where I hunted better than my blued steel rifles.  I figured that if the .357 mag revolver could do the deed, the .223 ought to, as well.  Plus, we were allowed to use Mini 14s on the department that I served on, provided that we supplied our own and qualified with it quarterly and used department-approved ammo while on duty.  So I had been brainwashed to believe that the combo would KILL a fully grown, adult homo sapien wearing heavy clothing at urban combat distances out to 100 yards or more.

18 deer later, along with a host of "ranchland exotica" like Spanish goats, mouflon and barbary sheep, and even feral hogs, have convinced me that with the right bullets, under the right circumstances, guided by the right hands, the .223 isn't just "enough gun" but is in fact the IDEAL gun.

I have taken proabably 30+ head of game with the .223 and have not recovered a single bullet from any of them except for 60 grain Patrition lodged into the off-side gristle plate of a 250 pound feral hog.  All have, so far, been one-shot kills.  Over half of the animals that I've shot with the .223 have been "DRT" on taking the hit.  Those that did keep on moving didn't move far -less than 25 yards or so.  I had that happen when packing .30 caliber rifles, too.

No, the .223 wasn't designed as a "deer hunting" cartridge.  Neither was the .30-'06.

But deer come in a variety of sizes and are shot under a variety of conditions.  For the class of deer we have here around Tahlequah, and the distances I shoot them at, the .223 is more than enough gun, assuming proper bullets are used and accurate shot placement is achieved.  The three deer I shot with my .223 last season were one-shot drops, right where they stood, and the bullets achieved through and through penetration.  They were 62 grain TSXs impacting at ranges of 55, 135, and 225 yards on deer that weighed in at 120 to 160 pounds on the hoof.

If I ever go hunt mule deer in Utah or do a combined deer/elk hunt in Colorado again, I quite obviously won't be using my little pea shooter.  But for the little pint-sized deer we have around here, which are shot at relatively close range, and often from tree stands, the .223 is plenty, in my experience.  No, it doesn't make the huge, gaping, off-side wounds that "deer calibers" do, but that is the reason why I like using it.  It isn't meat-wrecking overkill on the deer I shoot here at home.  It simply does what I want it to do -that is, it kills the size of deer that I use it on in its tracks.

My .30-'06 won't kill them any deader than that.

-JP


Offline Win 88

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2008, 11:21:41 pm »
I know in larger calibers these bullets are good perpetrators.  In Alabama you can hunt deer with .223.  I have never done it and think the caliber is too small, but has anyone ever tested these for penetration and expansion in the .223 with a hot load?  Energy wise, it looks like a .44 mag, but hole size is the problem unless it penetrates deep enough and opens up well. 
For small deer, as European roe deer (40-70 lbs), a 222Rem or a .223Rem is a quite adequate choice - I really agree with JP above. I have shot some roes with the old Barnes X 50 grs @3100 fps, and the bullet did still exit at 225 yards. None of those deers ran more than 15 yards after the hit, and there was no meat destroyed. Barnes' fine X and TSX bullets are a great improvement for fine caliber cartridges. In fact you get the same effect on small deer as with a standard load in .243W or 6.5x55, but out of a handier rifle.

BTW, some decades ago the .22Hornet was legal for roe deer, and it was considered adequate and sufficiently effective by hunters. It is still allowed for culling roe deer in towns. With a 45 grs TSX it would be a nice combo for small deer - if it were legal.

Pete

Offline Grumulkin

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2008, 02:57:42 am »
I've taken 3 deer with .224 caliber centerfire cartridges.  One was with a 22-250 at 360 yards, another with a 22-250 at about 80 yards and one with a 222 at about 100 yards.  All of them were lung shots.

If you put a good bullet in the right place, a 223 will kill any size deer just fine.

Offline clearanceman

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2012, 06:52:31 pm »
Been using these this year.  Get it in the front end, dead deer.

Offline bcraig

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2012, 10:37:47 pm »
Hi, I too thought about the barnes for deer out of the 223 but heard good things about the Nosler 60 grain partition so gave it a try.
Admittedly a case of one BUT I am very impressed.
I got a couple of pics up npw on my thread.
Craig

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 03:13:19 am »
we did some testing a few years back. Both penetration testing and actually shooting game and found the 60 grain partition was hands down the best .223 bullet for taking big game. The barnes didnt expand reliably and didnt give as good of a wound channel. Anyone that says a 223 using a partition wont cleanly kill deer out to 200 yards just hasnt done it.
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Offline D Fischer

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 09:44:51 am »
I am not a fan of TSX type bullet's, not even partitions. But the thing about TSX bullet's is weight retention and the expand giving off more energy. The weight retention will give penetration and I think Barnes has pretty much proven that. A 100gr 243 bullet that lose's 30% of it's weight only weight's 70gr. The 62 gr Barnes that doesn't lose weight still weights 62grs on exit. weight penetrates when driven a sufficient velocity to do so. But, I'm still going the avoid those premium bullet's as they cost to much and a well chosen cup and core will accomplish the same thing.

Offline bcraig

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 02:07:45 pm »
I am not a fan of TSX type bullet's, not even partitions. But the thing about TSX bullet's is weight retention and the expand giving off more energy. The weight retention will give penetration and I think Barnes has pretty much proven that. A 100gr 243 bullet that lose's 30% of it's weight only weight's 70gr. The 62 gr Barnes that doesn't lose weight still weights 62grs on exit. weight penetrates when driven a sufficient velocity to do so. But, I'm still going the avoid those premium bullet's as they cost to much and a well chosen cup and core will accomplish the same thing.
Hi,why are you not a fan of Partions (other than the cost)?
Weight does help penetration but also frontal diameter is key to penetration.
A person could have a bullet that retains most or all of its weight but if it is expanded to a half dollar size then it probably wont penetrate as far as a bullet that loses some of its weight but then retains a smaller diameter projectile . That is exactly what the partition was designed to do !
Easily expand and shed bullet weight for the front part of the Partion and damage and then the rear of the partition continues on for penetration.
Weight or mass is only part of the equation .
a balance must be struck between penetration and damage and the good ole Partition does a fine job of this.
Most cup and core bullets will suffice aas well on deer sized game.
In the case of the 223 I understand that the 55 grain softpoints will do a lot of damage but with shallow penetration. I wanted a lot of damage and penetration hence the Partition.
As far as cost i dont think I will ever kill enough big game for the cost of either a Barnes or a Nosler bullet to make one iota of difference to my financial status in life!
Now if I was a varmint shooter and shooting hundreds of times a day at a dollar a pop I could see it but for 2 or 3 Big game animals a year ? Dont think so .

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2013, 02:59:02 am »
I too am not a big fan of barnes bullets. Ive shot alot of deer with them and ive had my share of failures with them. Anymore i draw the line with them at .30 cal. In the 30s they seem to have enough diameter that there marginal expansion still kills pretty well. As to partitions ill go this way. Ive used them in about every caliber and have NEVER lost a deer shot by one and usually they kill as quickly as a bt or sierra. Are they needed? Nope not usually. A cup and core bullet will kill any deer. My expection to this rule is the .22s. Most bullets for the .22s are just a bit fragile for hunting big game. I wont sit here and claim they wont kill a deer. Ive done it myself but to me the cost of a partition when using a 22 is well worth it. It makes a marginal caliber into a adequate caliber. I dont shoot enough deer with the 22s to worry about a couple more bucks in the price of a box of bullets. Ive been so impressed with the way partitions work in the 223 that i now load them for self defense rounds in the 223. Ive got a pretty good stash of .223 loaded and even i cant justify loading all of my 223 ammo with them but i like to keep 500 of them loaded up and my ars are sighted in with that ammo. I still use alot of ball bullets for general purpose and plinking but if shtf id have clips loaded with partitions. Ive seen them knock the cork out of deer and pigs and even a couple black bear and trust my familys lives to there performance.
I am not a fan of TSX type bullet's, not even partitions. But the thing about TSX bullet's is weight retention and the expand giving off more energy. The weight retention will give penetration and I think Barnes has pretty much proven that. A 100gr 243 bullet that lose's 30% of it's weight only weight's 70gr. The 62 gr Barnes that doesn't lose weight still weights 62grs on exit. weight penetrates when driven a sufficient velocity to do so. But, I'm still going the avoid those premium bullet's as they cost to much and a well chosen cup and core will accomplish the same thing.
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Offline crash87

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 12:26:19 pm »
Why not just use a "deer rifle".  The .223 certainly was not designed for that.  If I remember correctly, it was adopted by the military to WOUND the enemy...not necessarily kill, because a wounded man takes two to 3 others out of combat  Plus they can carry more rounds, etc. etc.  The .50 BMG rifle was not made to wound.  In between the two live the honest to God deer rifles.

It is a cartridge chambered in and for, a "deer rifle". It became a deer rifle when the bullet/ammo companies started making bullets for them them
to "humanely" (whatever the heck that means) kill a deer.
I own a 223 simply because of what I was missing. I once was like some of the nay sayers, yet I had no practical experience using it, sound familiar.
I have a friend who uses it quite extensively and he is on the Barnes advisory board. I heard the stories, but a witnessed shot at a rather large Texas hog with a Barnes triple shock changed my mind to start using it myself. 1 shot, the hog basically shuddered, took 1 step and fell over, dead now, ya it'll kill a deer.
crash87

Offline Cuts Crooked

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2013, 07:19:49 pm »
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Offline pastorp

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 03:30:56 am »
That's a good point crash, a lot of decisions are arrived at by reading not experience.  :o I've killed a lot of hogs with everything from 22lr on up. They all work if you can shoot.  ;)

Now listen up.....a gut shot hog is a gut shot hog. No matter what you shot him with. But a brain shot hog is a dead hog. No matter what you shot him with.  ;) same with a deer but a 22lr is not legal for deer in my current state of residence. But a 22 center fire is.

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Offline corbanzo

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2013, 10:14:59 am »
Give the tipped TSX a try and see what it does for you.  The reason they started tipping them was to aid in expansion at long range with lower velocities/energies.  Could help with those smaller bullets. 
 
I've never loaded them in something that small so I couldn't tell you, but with .308/.338 they have done very well as far as accuracy and penetration are concerned.   
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Offline Dixie Dude

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2013, 04:51:30 pm »
I use a 308 for deer hunting.  I just wanted a back up if SHTF.  223 would be my primary go to rifle in a SHTF.  I wanted to try some 62gr TSX's on deer to see if it would be viable alternative in a bad situation.  Most dangerous critter around here is a rabid dog or coyote besides man.  Deer are plentiful.  One can carry lots more 223 ammo in a SHTF situation than 308.  22LR is back up rifle in a SHTF situation.  Also, again 223 is legal for deer here. 

Offline JimP.

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Re: Barnes TSX Bullets in .223 for deer?
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2013, 09:16:52 am »
yes the 223 is a good rifle for deer, very flat shooting and very effective.  I have used the 55 gr TSX and the 62 gr TSX in my AR. I have not seen any difference in the two killing deer, both work just fine, i have also used the 64 gr WW Power Point bullet and find that it also is a good deer killer. Remember, shot placement is the key for terminal results, same for any rifle. JimP.

 

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