First off, thanks to Steve for letting me guest blog. It’s an honor to be here.
I just got back from an antelope hunt in Wyoming with Barnes, Weatherby and Zeiss (the best perk of working for an NRA publication). Weatherby supplied a very nice shooting Vanguard in .257 Wby. and ammo topped with 80-grain Barnes Tipped TSX bullets. As you might imagine, these lead-free projectiles simply scream out of the barrel-with a muzzle velocity of 3,870 fps.
Fortunately, Wyoming is overflowing with pronghorn, and finding one was not a problem. We also had a guide who knew how to judge wind, though he wasn’t 100 percent certain how the little 80-grain bullet would handle the roughly 25 mph gusting winds accompanying the lovely sleety snow falling as we came up on my goat. I ended up holding about 2 feet behind the vitals to compensate for the wind. At 230 yards with a .257 Wby., I didn’t need to worry about bullet drop. A single shot dropped the antelope, though the wind pushed the TTSX bullet to the critter’s neck. Still, it was about as humane a kill as possible-essentially koshering the animal.
We couldn’t find the bullet, which obviously passed through the animal, what with its solid-copper construction and a velocity of more than 3,000 fps at 230 yards, but I’d say it performed as advertised. The TTSX is hyper-accurate and even a lightweight model can do a ton of damage when you push it so darn fast.
We spent the next day of the hunt shooting prairie dogs to see if the TTSX would have a chance to expand in tiny varmints. I don’t recommend trying this with .257 Wby. simply because it’s on the expensive side, but when the ammo is free, knock yourself out. The velocity causes the TTSX to expand even in prairie dogs, which vaporized into a fine red mist to the delight of all spectators.
With the growing restrictions on lead ammo, Barnes has a bunch of all-copper bullets that perform as well or better than traditional lead. They tend to be a bit pricey, but the accuracy and terminal performance make them well worth the cost.