Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Discussion about rifles in 300 AAC BLACKOUT (7.62x35mm), hosted by the creator of the cartridge.

Moderators: gds, bakerjw, renegade

BrushyHillGuide
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:21 am

Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by BrushyHillGuide » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:55 am

After reading so many positive reviews of the Barnes VOR-TX 110gr (black tip) ammo, I bought a couple boxes to try in my new 8.3" SBR. It sighted in easily and I'm shooting .4 MOA, 5 shot groups with it. Tonight I shot a 75 pound hog with it, at only 40yds, and got ZERO expansion!! I intentionally shot it behind the shoulder to keep as much meat as possible. It looked like I shot her with a FMJ instead of a ballistic tipped supersonic factory load. I'm pretty disappointed right now. I was planning to use it for some deer this season, mainly for the kids to shoot; but I don't have a lot of confidence in the terminal performance right now. I'd be scared to neck shoot a deer with this ammo. If it won't expand in an animal at 40yds, how can I trust it at 125-150yds? Do I need to put it through a shoulder to force expansion? I'm more accustomed to shooting bolt rifles in the 6.5 Creedmoor to 300WM range. So this expansion issue has me spooked.

Is it possible this is a fluke? I sure could use some advice or a 'pep talk' from some of y'all that have had success and more experience with this round. Is there another factory load you've had success with out of a SBR? I expected issues of expansion from subs, but not from supers!

Any help/advice is sure appreciated!

BulletFlight for Android
BlogSarge
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by BlogSarge » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:07 am

Hi Brushy,

Did you recover the bullet? Inside the critter, how much tissue damage was there?

In my experience they always open up nicely but don't seem to leave gaping exits. Maybe due to lower velocity or something.

ncorry
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:17 pm
Location: Little Rock

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by ncorry » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:11 am

BlogSarge wrote:Hi Brushy,

Did you recover the bullet? Inside the critter, how much tissue damage was there?

In my experience they always open up nicely but don't seem to leave gaping exits. Maybe due to lower velocity or something.
The part in bold mirrors my experience. Put two through same hog (185lb), one exited and the other was just under the skin and looked JUST like the advertisements. If you reload them, you can get another 150fps over the factory loads.

KTMRacer
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:24 pm
Location: Alabama (RMFTR)

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by KTMRacer » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:12 am

Yeah same here as for what others saw.
It's been a few years since I used the black tips but had kinda the same results. My son killed a pile of whitetail and hogs with em. Most of the hogs were under 150lbs and were DRT with no exit. I was with him on 2 of the deer. Both were 80-90lb doe and both shot a lil under 100 yards. 16" barrel AR. Got exit holes on both but not very big. Neither ran very far. Maybe 60 yards. Good blood trails. Best I recall on the two I watched the bullet didn't catch a rib in or out. I've never recovered a bullet.
I've taken many deer with big magnums in the same manner and left pretty much the same hole. Big help to catch a rib.
My 8 yo nephew from TX is coming to hunt with me next month. I have my RARR set up for him with SSTs. Not because I don't trust the Barnes, it's because they shoot great in that gun. Maybe I get to have a successful report.

User avatar
A-Game
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1193
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:05 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by A-Game » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:12 am

Line up 4, 1 gallon water jugs and place a watermelon in front of it and shoot.
The bullet doesn't lie. It will expand. Expansion is between .50-.70 up to 300 yards with 18 inches of penetration. You can get partial expansion out to 400 yards if shot out of a 16" barrel.

How small was the hole exiting the animal? Did you take any cell phone photos we can see to document the non expansion? If so, contact Barnes, more than likely they will want the box of ammo to check it out and send you another.

I would call it a fluke if you got no expansion.
Industry Pro Staff for Dynamic Research Technologies When One Shot is All You Get www.drtammo.com https://www.facebook.com/drtammo/
Join the Revolution http://youtube.com/watch?v=3_Xnx3BFuLk

BrushyHillGuide
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:21 am

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by BrushyHillGuide » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:01 am

I spent some time on the phone today with Barnes' lead CS technician, Ty Herring. While we're still not sure if it expanded or not, I feel a lot better about continuing testing this ammo. I was expecting a more typical (large) exit hole but my experience with with these bullets and these lumbering velocities (SBR) is limited. So, it may have expanded after all but not given me the results I was expecting. Ty was pretty shocked that, given the shot placement, it was able to run as far as it did - he explained that that's not normal. I did hit a little higher than I liked - I aimed high thinking that I was going to be low because of the short range and the height of the scope on this rifle. I will say that I had a blood trail a blind man could follow and she was spraying blood, visibly, on both sides as she ran - I could see it spraying out. That said, I would have expected enough hydrostatic shock for a DRT experience. I definitely got both lungs. I shot at last light and I was in a hurry to get her cleaned out and cooled down (it's like 90 degrees here) so I wouldn't lose the meat. So, I didn't get a chance to examine the vitals as well as I would have liked.

I'm going to continue testing this ammo on hogs but I'm not sure about the wisdom of using on soft flesh shots. I'm thinking high shoulder shots, where there's some cartilage and bone to aid in expansion and help anchor the animal there, may be a better idea. We'll see. I'm definitely going to try a couple more shots behind the shoulder but lower down, which is better vital placement on a hog anyway. Last night I was concerned I was not going to be able to make this ammo work for me; but now I think things will work out once I get a little more experience with it and determine optimal shot placement.

Just like hunting LR has its challenges with terminal performance and the right placement to maximize that performance, I'm finding that a 300BLK SBR has it's own challenges when it comes to hunting. Particularly for a guy used to knocking stuff down with calibers like a .260 Remington, .223 or 300WM.

Thanks for the input y'all!

BrushyHillGuide
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:21 am

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by BrushyHillGuide » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:07 am

A-Game wrote:Line up 4, 1 gallon water jugs and place a watermelon in front of it and shoot.
The bullet doesn't lie. It will expand. Expansion is between .50-.70 up to 300 yards with 18 inches of penetration. You can get partial expansion out to 400 yards if shot out of a 16" barrel.

How small was the hole exiting the animal? Did you take any cell phone photos we can see to document the non expansion? If so, contact Barnes, more than likely they will want the box of ammo to check it out and send you another.

I would call it a fluke if you got no expansion.

The holes were just about the same size. The exit was slightly larger but certainly not what I've come to expect from an expanded bullet. I took a couple pictures of the rib jokes, from the inside; but I don't have a way to upload them. I wish that Tapatalk worked on this forum! It's so easy to post pix with Tapatalk.

DoubleJ
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:51 pm

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by DoubleJ » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:04 am

That load is advertised at 2350fps, assuming a 50 state barrel length of 16". From an ~8" barrel at 40 yds, I wouldn't expect enough velocity for there to be any hydrostatic shock.
I do not reply to posts with horrific grammar errors.

I do not reply to posts concerning the case mouth dent.

User avatar
bangbangping
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 2608
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by bangbangping » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:59 am

DoubleJ wrote:That load is advertised at 2350fps, assuming a 50 state barrel length of 16". From an ~8" barrel at 40 yds, I wouldn't expect enough velocity for there to be any hydrostatic shock.
I wouldn't say none, but certainly wouldn't expect enough shock to plant an animal without a CNS hit. There is a huge difference between a 110 grain bullet @ 1950 fps and, say, a 140 grain bullet @ 2800 fps from a Creedmoor. If one expects a DRT with a behind the shoulder shot, a 300BLK SBR is not the firearm to use, regardless of bullet.

I've killed several deer with behind the shoulder shot with the Barnes bullet from my 8" SBR. It has always expanded and punched through, with serious heart/lung damage. The deer always run a bit, so I retrieve them from where they fell instead of where they were standing when I shot. No biggie. Dead is dead.

BlogSarge
Silent But Deadly
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Re: Barnes VOR-TX 110gr - failure to expand

Post by BlogSarge » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:51 pm

bangbangping wrote: I've killed several deer with behind the shoulder shot with the Barnes bullet from my 8" SBR. It has always expanded and punched through, with serious heart/lung damage. The deer always run a bit, so I retrieve them from where they fell instead of where they were standing when I shot. No biggie. Dead is dead.

This has been my experience. Mine have gone anywhere from 10 to 60 yards. Blood trail is fair but the lung area is like jelly once I dress them out. I'm going to try a few high neck shots. A CNS shot will drop them immediately.

I've never recovered a bullet either. I do behind the shoulder shots and the bullets go right through regardless if I hit any ribs.

Post Reply