Review: Barnes VOR-TX Ammo

A shooter who doesn't handload is like the guy who is invited on a date by Ms. Elisha Cuthbert and says, "Thanks, but I'd planned to watch MMA reruns tonight." In other words, you're missing out on something, and one of the somethings was the opportunity to hunt with Barnes X-bullets, which are deadlier than anthrax, or Sarin, or tac nukes, and heretofore were loaded only in a limited number of calibers, and only by Federal, I believe.

For those of you who won't or can't handload, Barnes itself has stepped in to save your worthless selves with a line of ammo called VOR-TX, which is loaded with TSX, TSX Tipped, and TSX-FN bullets and comes in no fewer than 24 calibers from .243 through .45/70, and in a Safari line of 7 cartridges from .375 H&H through .500 Nitro Express.

I recently got a chance to see VOR-TX at work on a nilgai hunt in south Texas. The nilgai, or blue bull, is an imported Indian antelope that runs about 450-650 pounds, and is generally regarded as almost impossible to put down in its tracks even with a fatal shot. I've killed a bunch of them over the years, and even with a perfect shot from a big gun you can count on a tracking job of a couple of hundred yards to a quarter-mile or so.

However, on this hunt, I dropped one in its tracks with a 180-grain TSX Tipped bullet from a .300 RUM, saw one drop inside 10 yards from a 130-grain TSX from a .270 WSM, and saw a third flop where it was shot with a 165-grain TSX from a .300 WSM. The internal damage, to put it delicately, was horrific.

VOR-TX is also very accurate. I watched a bunch of it shot from McMillan rifles, more about which in a subsequent post, and it fires tiny groups. Is it cheap? No it is not. It is, however, worth the money.