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Thread: new Barnes 6.5mm 127gr LRX bullet

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  1. #1
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    new Barnes 6.5mm 127gr LRX bullet

    In case this hasn't already been posted...

    In 2011, Barnes introduced a new LRX bullet designed to increase BC by altering ogive and boattail lengths (compared to their TTSX bullets) to improve long-range ballistic performance:

    http://www.barnesbullets.com/blog/20...nge-x-bullet®/

    For 2012, Barnes has added a 6.5mm / .264 version weighing 127 grains. BC is .468 and SD is .260:

    http://www.barnesbullets.com/product...ew-barnes-lrx/

    MidwayUSA website indicates that availability is expected later in March:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/392...tail-box-of-50


    My guess is that these bullets will be somewhat long and take up excessive case capacity in the Grendel, but perhaps the higher BC might offset lower velocity to some degree.


    Slightly off topic, but I'm still wishing for some premium 6.5mm hunting bullets in the 105gr to 115gr weight range with a good BC and reduced velocity needed for expansion (while still holding together for closer shots at higher impact velocities). Seems like this would be a sweet spot with the Grendel for medium game hunting, and a potential opportunity for bullet manufacturers.
    Drifter

  2. #2
    LRRPF52
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    I handled the 127gr LRX at SHOT, and had a lengthy discussion with one of the Barnes engineers. They're just down I-15 from us, so I asked him if we could do some testing on an LRX-type bullet in the 100-115gr range, since the LRX has a lower impact velocity expansion threshold. The LRX is in fact, more appropriate for a case like the .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .264 Winchester, and 6.5 Swede.

    I expressed to him how great it would be to support the Grendel with some Barnes products, as in a Grendel-specific solid. I need to follow-up with him, and about 50 other people to boot.

  3. #3
    crispy
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    That is exciting, I might have to go put that on my midway wish list now. I agree with you on the 105-115gr bullets, I think this is a good start though! I for one am very interested in knowing what you hear from Barnes LRRPF52.
    Last edited by crispy; 03-05-2012 at 07:25 PM.

  4. #4
    bobke
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    What Barnes bullet is loaded in the AA round with 115gr bullet that is loaded in Hornady brass showing in "what's new" section on AA website? Completely agree that would be a sweet spot, especially given predominance of 1-8.75 and 1-9 twist barrels in the market.

  5. #5
    Moderator bwaites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobke View Post
    What Barnes bullet is loaded in the AA round with 115gr bullet that is loaded in Hornady brass showing in "what's new" section on AA website? Completely agree that would be a sweet spot, especially given predominance of 1-8.75 and 1-9 twist barrels in the market.
    Its not a Barnes, its a Berger, specially run for Alexander Arms and that loading.
    ”You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  6. #6
    stokesrj
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    I really don't understand the desire for 105-115 grain bullets. The real beauty of the 6.5 caliber and it's secret to better than expected results on game lies with the heavy for caliber bullets. That is largely a dated opinion because it was from a time before premium bullets were available. Bullets of conventional design but heavy for caliber, fired at moderate velocitity really perform well. That is how the 6.5x54 got it's reputation in Africa, and the 6.5x55 got it's reputation in norther Europe on Elk (moose).
    If we decrease bulelt weight, length, BC and make them tougher, we can then enjoy higher impact velocity at close range and lower impact velocity at longer range. I would argue there is no better weight for the 6.5 Grendel than the 120-140 grain weights if the range is zero to 400 or 600 yards, if the range is zero to 300 yards then a case for lighter but more heavily constructed premium bullets could be made but why?
    Bob

  7. #7
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    stokesrj- I understand your viewpoint. I think those "old school" cartridges were successful in part due to penetration. Like the 6.5x55 that you mentioned, I also put the 7x57 in the same category. Long heavy-for-cartridge bullets at moderate speed will certainly do the job. And though they are no less effective now, modern bullet designs can likely perform even better, and possibly provide more DRT's and less tracking.

    Even the 120gr to 123gr weight range is somewhat lacking in premium hunting bullets for 6.5mm. The premium selection gets better at 129gr+, but those bullets are longer and seemingly better suited to cartridges with larger case capacity (like the .260). The 123gr A-max is arguably the most accurate bullet for the Grendel, and it will expand at lower velocities making it quite effective for taking game at longer range, but it can't be counted on for consistent penetration at shorter yardages. The 120gr Nosler BT isn't a bad choice for deer, but it needs ~1800+ fps for reliable expansion. The Barnes 120gr TTSX is somewhat long for its weight, and it also requires ~1800+ fps.

    Just as Barnes can redesign a bullet for better BC and lower expansion threshold without it coming to pieces at close range (such as the LRX), perhaps other bullet makers can too. The right design in the 105gr to 115gr range might be better suited to the Grendel case. Hornady SST supposedly expands reliably down to ~1500 fps, but it will also hold together at higher impact velocities with its interlock design. Hornady makes a 120gr SST specifically for the 6.8 SPC, and indication is that it has been highly successful for taking medium game. Something similar designed for the Grendel would be nice. Or maybe the Nosler Partition could be updated for better BC and a plastic-tipped nose in the appropriate weight range.

    I think bullet makers can design whatever they put their minds to. But on the business side of the equation, there has to be a recognizable opportunity to make it a profitable venture for them.

    When Barnes designed the 95gr TTSX specifically for the 6.8 SPC, I think a couple of parties (including Wilson Combat) had to commit to purchase ~20,000 bullets before production could start. It might take something similar for a Grendel-specific bullet.

    When considering the AR-15 platform for hunting, I tend to think the Grendel's advantage over the 6.8 SPC is long range performance. But if you run the ballistics of the 95gr TTSX and 120gr SST in 6.8 against appropriate 6.5 counterparts at realistic velocities from hunting-length barrels, keeping in mind bullet expansion thresholds (~1600 fps for 6.8 95gr TTSX and ~1500 fps for 6.8 120gr SST, versus ~1800+ fps for 6.5), there's really not much difference in effective range. Putting ethics aside regarding how far away game should be taken, I think the Grendel in a hunting application is held back somewhat due to a lack of bullets tailored for it.

    I don't expect everyone to see it my way, but that's my take.
    Last edited by Drifter; 03-05-2012 at 10:43 PM.
    Drifter

  8. #8
    Chieftain sneaky one's Avatar
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    Bob, from a, (close- inside of 50 yds.) deer hunter like myself-the lighter mono metal, or bonded units are fine. I've used the GMX-100gr. with awesome results at 40 yds., the 120 Nos bt. came apart miserabily at 15 yds., the tsx is fine too. I'm turning down some Horn. Interbonds , into the 110-115 gr. range. I want to use them in close, and to 200yd. A while back- toolsofthetrade- posted a recovered 129 I.bond thru h2o jugs. I have that bullet, it only lost 6gr.-thru a few layers of med.-heavy density plastic, and h2o. Perfect mushroom, a tough well made bullet. They hold together, even at a higher impact velocity than he achieved , albeit at a lighter wt. The thick woods I hunt in only afford me a reaction shot most of the time. Speed helps. ( I used to lug around a- 26" 7 rem mag. so I could get the shot close in-speeeed!). Tough bullets finish the job. You have hunted in Africa, I have not- you know tough bullets save you from cape buff.! As we all know, the Grr. is a med. size game getter. Some have used it for elk. I wouldn't-but that's a personal choice. Hopefully big red=Hornady = reads some of these threads. I'm pushing their great lineup, I don't work for them, I am only trying to help give ideas-sway them to make a few more Grendel sized units for us all to enjoy. Drifter, Im with you all the way on lighter bullets., That's why I tweak some of them, with excellent results. Dan.

  9. #9
    StoneTower
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    How about a 110-115 gr Nosler Partition bullet with a plastic tip (for better feeding and less bullet damage in the AR15) rather than the soft lead tip. It could be a really good bullet.

    I would like to see a 110-115 gr Barnes TTSX made specifically for Grendel velocities. The number of medium game bullets an average person uses in the field makes them affordable enough.

  10. #10
    hm2 clark
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    Sounds like the new offering from Barnes will be perfect -in my 6.5x55. And great in my 6.5 06. For my 6.5 Grendel (on paper @least) I fail to see how it will be superior to my 130gr Swift Scirrocos-and it will cost more.

  11. #11
    Chieftain sneaky one's Avatar
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    Stone T. The Interbond is a better bullet than the Nos. Part. ( I used to use them in my 7-mag.,, with only good results) - Someone on here has a few of my 105 TTSX units., to try... he'll let me know.. . The 110TTSX = too long for the case. 2 yrs. ago I made a 110 tsx=no tip.,, and that was a beauty to shoot at 100 yds. Less is more, on certain bullet styles, w'ts. & ranges.,,, for deer sized game. I'm soon to get some more- Horn. Interbonds , and some Trophy bonded., to tweak, try. I have a few 117 SST's out there too. Bergers explode. Lead in every bite is unhealthy.
    Last edited by sneaky one; 03-06-2012 at 01:53 AM.

  12. #12
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    For hunting applications using the Grendel, we have bullet choices ranging from ~85 grains to ~160 grains. Somewhere in there is an optimum weight range where the Grendel will be most efficient and effective (and this will be somewhat dependent upon bullet design as well). No doubt that bullets from both ends of the spectrum can work, but neither end of the spectrum would be ideal for use in the Grendel case.

    I simply would like to see a better selection of bullets that will maximize Grendel performance in hunting applications. That's not to say that current offerings are ineffective, but it seems that most were designed with larger 6.5 cartridges in mind (including the new Barnes 127gr LRX). I'm not looking to jump ship, but rather to enhance a cartridge that could likely perform even better.
    Drifter

  13. #13
    LRRPF52
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    There are way more projectiles available for the Grendel, than say the 6.8 or even .257 calibers, which are on both ends of the .264" bores. Stokes makes a very compelling case for the existing projectile selection, based on years of experience that I simply can't argue with, and wouldn't try, because it makes a lot of sense.

    His assertion that the Grendel doesn't need a lot of velocity, and actually does well without it fits right in with the high sectional density advantage that is not only good for trajectory, but for behavior in tissue. I'd rather hit a tough animal with a decently-thrown spear than a fast football.

  14. #14
    Ullr
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    The 120 gr bullet is the Grendel's sweet spot. Highest energy of any, better BC than lighter bullets, more mass than lighter bullets, higher SD than lighter bullets, more velocity than heavier, lower recoil than heavier ...

  15. #15
    Schwag173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ullr View Post
    The 120 gr bullet is the Grendel's sweet spot. Highest energy of any, better BC than lighter bullets, more mass than lighter bullets, higher SD than lighter bullets, more velocity than heavier, lower recoil than heavier ...
    For 2 & 4 -legged wolves, I agree.

  16. #16
    bobke
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    Having to seat both Hornady 100 and 120gr Amax at approx 2.165" to avoid stuffing them into the lands, I'd like to see them adapt both profiles to the Grendel specific 123gr setup and drop the 120's weight back 8-12gr to sit right in between the two and would offer a price and theoretically performance competitive challenge to Sierra and Lapua offerings. And thinking a little further, perhaps more usable powder capacity with more of the weight forward than current designs. A win/win, in my mind.
    Last edited by bobke; 03-06-2012 at 02:47 PM.

  17. #17
    Chieftain txgunner00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobke View Post
    Having to seat both Hornady 100 an 120gr Amax at approx 2.165" to avoid stuffing them into the lands, I'd like to see them adapt both profiles to the Grendel specific 123gr setup and drop the 120's weight back 8-12gr to sit right in between the two and would offer a price and theoretically performance competitive challenge to Sierra and Lapua offerings.
    I agree with this. I was disappointed that the 100s came out with the same profile as the 120s. I'm seating them at 2.200" myself.

  18. #18
    JASmith
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    I have explored lighter bullets for military applications and can find arguments for lighter bullets in an infantry carbine for the "average" infantryman.

    Even for hunting, a lot of folks rarely shoot past 300 yards, so the lighter bullet option may be attractive. I ran the 100 and 123 gr Scenars in 16 and 24 inch barrels. The Scenars were used to keep load and drag data more consistent. I looked at drop both at 300 yd and at 400 yd, but am showing only the 400 yd numbers because they are consistent with the 200 yd and better capture the longest reach the "average hunter" should even dream about. (Definitely not a typical hordite!)

    24 " 100 gr -22.2"
    24: 123 gr -24.0

    16" 100 gr -25.9
    16" 123 gr -28.0

    We see that, within a specified barrel length, we get about 2" difference in drop at 400 yards. How many of us can hold better than about .5 MOA (2") at 400 yards? Some of us can, but for those who can will almost certainly get a hit in the right spot regardless of the bullet they choose to hunt with. The remainder of us likely could not tell the difference in drop even at 400 yards. The differences are much smaller as we move closer in to the nominal 250-300 maximum range for most shooters because the 200 yard zero is used.

    Given the closeness of drop data, we now ask about effectiveness given that we hit the right spot. A good rule of thumb that works as long as the bullet opens adequately is that the heavier bullet is always better! We already know that several bullets in the 120-123 gr class work well out to past 400 yards. One could announce that the technical argument is complete -- and it likely is.

    There is still room for the lighter bullets because they will work within these ranges, but the heavier bullet is probably the better choice for folks who want to be able to be effective at the longer distances.

  19. #19
    stokesrj
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    I would not argue that bullets in the lighter weight range will work, and I won't argue against stoutly constructed hunting bullets they work and work well. My only point is that the mid range weights are well suited for the Grendel and perform really well without having to go to premium bullets.
    For the record, when I use my 6.5 STW I do use premium bullets, standard bullets of cup and lead core design or very fragile bullets like the Nosler BT will splash on heavy muscle and fail to penetrate. Or, I also use 140 Berger VLD it destroys a lot of meat but drops them right there.
    Bob

  20. #20
    vendetta333
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    just my 2 cents: a 120gr sierra gameking in their hollow point version (with the tough jacket) would be perfect for everything inside 300-325 yards. except elk i'd say, for that i'd go with an xbullet or partition. but most wont hunt elk with their grendels.

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