I am a strong believer in the Barnes X bullets and have used them extensively in my .223,30-06 , .416 Rigby and my .458 , all recovered bullets showed good expansion.
When Barnes launched their X Bullet in 9.3mm I bought some immediately as there were not good bullets available at the time for the 9.3 . I load them with 52g of Somchem S335 for 2270ft per second.
No 1 on the pic , I shot a Bushbuck in the Eastern Cape , distance about 15m , ( I was having a leak against a tree and when I looked up the bushbuck was staring at me ), the bullet entered just below the neck and was found on the inside of the hind leg.
No 2 on the pic, Kudu bull in Alldays, distance about 30m, the bullet entered on the left shoulder and was found just under the skin on the stomach on the right side.
No 3 on the pic, My oldest son, Julius borrowed the rifle and shot a young kudu bull with it, do not know the distance , the bullet entered just below the neck and was found just under the skin on the left back leg. The bullet did not expand and one can clearly see the bullet had tumbled. Julius assures me that there were no obstacles in the way that could have caused the tumbling.
I then went hunting in Mozambique with brother Etienne in 2008 and shot a buffalo bull , distance about 80 m , the buffalo was at an angle and I tried to just miss the sweep of the horn and shoot on the shoulder for the bullet to hit one lung , liver and maybe break the back leg . (In hind sight I should have broken his left front leg) . We followed the bull for about 4 hours , he then rejoined the herd ( which I did not know ) and as I was coming over a rise I saw a huge buffalo standing under a bush and shot him with a .458 solid, he ran for about 50m , when I got to him he had only one hole in him ! Etienne thought it very funny and said I had just shot myself into a debit! The wounded bull had stood about 5 m behind the bull I had shot. We then had to recover the shot buffalo, that night it rained and although we went back the next day the wounded buffalo was never found.
In 2010 my son Jacques shot a wildebeest at about 50m right in the chest, we found a bit of blood but the wildebeest was gone and we never found it. Jacques assures me that his shot was good.
No 4 pic , I shot a bushpig running away from me , distance about 30m,the bullet broke the left hind leg and was found just under the skin on the right front leg.
My theory is that the Barnes X in 9.3 is unstable and hence give varying expansion results and also tumbles inside the animal. I have contacted Barnes in the US, but probably scared that I will sue for a lost Buffalo and wildebeest, they refuse to comment or express an opinion! My Barnes X bullets were probably the first batch they ever made.
I now use the Rhino 286g, have not recovered a bullet yet.
By: Maurits Rood