The name Barnes is renowned in the firearms industry. It has been since its founding in 1932 by Fred Barnes. In 1965, the company was sold and renamed the Colorado Bullet Company. Then in 1974, Randy and Coni Brooks purchased the company. After getting consult from Fred Barnes, they acquired the right to change the name back to Barnes Bullets. To date, Barnes has been known for producing solid copper projectile for hunting, law enforcement and military applications. They also load cartridges with OTM (Open Tip Match) projectiles.
The projectiles in all forms are loaded by most all of the major ammunition manufactures throughout the country including Black Hills, Corbon, International Cartridge Company, Norma, Weatherby, Sellier & Bellot, Double Tap, Pierce Ammunition, ASYM Precision Ammunition, Federal and Silver State Armory to name just a few. However, in 2010, Barnes began loading their own ammunition for its VOR-TX line. This would include pistol, rifle as well as safari calibers. This is a solid copper projectile with a polymer tip inserted to give better ballistic performance and to assist in speeding up the mushrooming process when the projectile strikes tissue. These are primarily hunting loads.
Later Barnes would go on to load their most popular of all projectiles, the TAC-TX law enforcement and military ammunition. This would spawn the most popular loads Barnes produces, the .223 Rem 55grain TAC-TX, .338 Lapua OTM and the 300 Blackout 110grain TAC-TX. These projectiles were designed to inflict more tissue damage at optimal depths for human targets. Also offered in 5.56mm loads, the TAC-TX has been mainly used by police departments such as the West Valley SWAT in West Valley City, Utah.
The 5.56 NATO 55gr TAC-TX is loaded with an all copper TTSX projectile with a blue polymer tip. The primer pocket is sealed and the case mouth is optional to have a sealant. During loading there is 100% propellant detection including mechanical, electrical and electro-mechanical detection of proper propellant level within the cartridge. There is a final 100% visual and/or vision system inspection of finished cartridges prior to final inspection. The average muzzle velocity of this load is 3,000 ± 35 feet per second measured at 15 inches with a 20 inch barrel. The maximum pressure is 60,000 psi and tested with a NATO compliant barrel. The load has average muzzle energy of 1,099 ft-lb and a ballistic coefficient of 0.272 (G1). When tested at the factory, the accuracy extreme spread of three 5-round groups is less than 1.5 inches at 100 yards when fired in a SAAMI-compliant 24 inch test barrel. One more round was fired during the testing which is the 70 grain Barnes TSX. This cartridge was loaded by Pierce Ammunition. This round was fired into auto glass at 25 yards. The projectile penetrated the glass and traveled 10.5 inches into the ordnance gel. When the bullet was recovered, 59.7 out of the original 70 grain projectile were retained.
The 300 Blackout 110gr TAC-TX cartridge contains an all copper TSX flat base projectile with a black polymer tip. They are loaded in factory Remington cartridge cases with a crimped and sealed primer. Like the 5.56mm TAC-TX, there is a final 100% visual and/or vision system inspection of finished cartridges prior to final inspection. The average muzzle velocity of this load is 2,300 ± 35 feet per second measured at 15 feet with a 20 inch barrel. The maximum pressure is 55,000 psi and tested with a SAAMI compliant barrel. The load has average muzzle energy of 1,292 ft-lb and a ballistic coefficient of 0.289 (G1). When tested at the factory, the accuracy extreme spread of three 5-round groups is less than 1.5 inches at 100 yards when fired in a SAAMI-compliant 16-inch test barrel mounted in a RTB rest. This author has tested many different loads in the 300 Blackout cartridge. Of all tested this was found to be the best all-round load for this caliber. From self defense to hunting the TAC-TX has you covered. The terminal ballistics is optimal for self defense/LE use. The barrier blind characteristics are excellent and the accuracy is exceptional. The load functioned reliably in every weapon it was tested in both semi-auto as well as fully automatic. This round has been featured in a majority of the tests conducted on this caliber. This projectile is loaded by other OEM’s as well.
In FBI testing protocol conducted by Barnes, the 300 Blackout 110 grain TAC-TX was fired in a 9-inch barrel with an average muzzle velocity of 2,186 feet per second. For each category three shots were fired. For firing at bare gel, the projectile penetrated 20.5 inches. The projectile expanded from .308 to .585 inches and retained 98% of its original weight. When fired at gel through heavy clothing, the projectile penetrated 21.1 inches. The projectile expanded from .308 to .594 inches and retained 98.7% of its original weight. When fired into steel (car door) the projectile penetrated 18 inches and retained 98% of its weight. The projectile expanded from .308 to .663 inches. When fired into wall board the projectile penetrated 19 inches. The projectile expanded from .308 to .586 inches and retained 93.4% of its original weight. When fired into plywood the projectile penetrated 18.6 inches into the gel. The projectile expanded from .308 to .595 inches and retained 86.9% of its original weight. When fired into glass (windshield) the projectile penetrated 16.6 inches into the gel and retained 77.5% of its original weight. The projectile expanded from .308 to .498 inches.
On March 7, 2013 the award was made by SOCOM to Remington for a directorate of procurement for solicitation H92222-12-R-0011 for the Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) Contract award number H92222-13-D-003. This would include 5,150 Remington MSR rifles chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum caliber and 4,696,800 rounds of ammunition. The ammunition contract was for the Barnes manufactured .338 Lapua Magnum cartridges. The .338 Lapua 300 grain OTM load was adopted by U.S. SOCOM as the Mk330 Mod0 cartridge (NSN 1305-01-618-1846) for use in their Remington MSR rifles. The accuracy requirements stated, “Precision – A vendor representative can assist in the set up and firing of the PSR product submission(s). The PSR when fired without suppressor shall provide a confidence factor of 80% that the weapon and ammunition combination is capable of holding 1.0 MOA extreme vertical spread. All accuracy will be taken at the 1,000 meter point. Precision data collected may be further used for source selection purposes.” Any U.S. Government contract is a well coveted achievement.
The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge contains a 300 grain OTM projectile and are loaded in Lapua cartridge cases. Like the 5.56mm TAC-TX, there is a final 100% visual and/or vision system inspection of finished cartridges prior to final inspection. The average muzzle velocity of this load is 2,640 ± 35 feet per second measured at 15 feet. The maximum pressure is 63,500 psi and tested with a SAAMI compliant barrel. The load has average muzzle energy of 4,644 ft-lb and a ballistic coefficient of 0.768 (G1). When tested at the factory, the accuracy extreme spread of three 5-round groups is less than 0.8 inches at 100 yards when fired in a SAAMI-compliant 24 inch test barrel mounted in a Universal Receiver.
The TSX/TAC-TX family of projectiles is extremely versatile. Pay attention to the word extreme. When hunting dangerous game, penetration is key. That penetration includes going the shoulder bone of a hog or a large animal. These solid copper projectiles do an incredible job of retaining weight and driving through. For law enforcement and military applications the barrier blind penetration issues is handled by these projectiles. Entry is less than two inches and the depth of maximum cavity are 5 to 5 1/2 inches of both tested rounds in 5.56mm and 300 Blackout. The 300 Blackout delivered and incredible maximum temporary cavity damage at ideal depth. The Barnes projectiles offer the versatility required by the law enforcement and military communities. With Barnes now in the ammunition manufacturing business, the industry can expect to see more load offerings to the LE and military communities.