Barnes X-bullets - Are they worth devoting
I am one of those shooters that absolutely LOVES the Barnes X. :-D
So far, I use Barnes X bullets exclusively in the following cartridges:
1) .30-06 in Remington BDL SS with PMC 165 grain Barnes X.
2) .300 Win. Mag. in Remington Sendero SF with PMC 180 grain Barnes X.
3) .338 Win. Mag. in Winchester Classic Stainless with PMC 225 X.
In ALL of the above rifles, groups are under 1" at 100 yards. In the .30-06, the bullets almost touch each other. :grin:
As for accuracy, I understand that some people do not get good accuracy, but mine is great. I have been told that, if you want better accuracy from X Bullets, you should not mix them with other types of bullets. Rather, clean your barrel VERY GOOD and shoot them exclusively. In the beginning, the groups in my .30-06 were about 1 to 1 1/4 inches. After I cleaned it thoroughly, and just used X bullets, my groups dropped well below 1 inch.
Another thing - if you want these bullets to expand, you HAVE to make sure that they hit at a velocity of over 2300 fps. Barnes may tell you otherwise, but my practice is that, the faster, the better expansion.
Related to this is that you should use LIGHTER bullets. Don't worry about SD - Sectional Density. These bullets will hold their weight.
I did have one petal break off when I shot a deer at about 50 yards, but other than that, I have never had a problem.
I shot a 250 lb boar this year with my 300 Win. Mag. The bullet hit the pig's spine, and got lodged somewhere in the shoulder or grisle plate. It expanded BEAUTIFULLY. It hit so hard that it didn't look like that picture perfect X design, but rather looked almost like a Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. And guess what - that 180 grain X bullet retained 178 grains!!! Find me any other bullet that will do that! (Not even TBs or Swift A-Frames will hold up that well)
If you shoot a deer through the ribs with a HEAVY X bullet, then it won't expand much. You MUST get a lighter bullet and drive it fast because there really isn't much mass to cause the X bullet to open up. I guess you could poke a pencil through a deer in the lungs and it wouldn't do much damage to the pencil. (Okay, I'm exagerating a bit, but you get my point - no pun intended.
These bullets are necessary for heavier game - hogs, elk, bear, etc. But you really don't need them on thinned skinned game like deer. Yes, I have shot numerous deer with them, but, at 100 yards, you don't need an X-Bullet to bring them down.