October 20th, 2013

Sierra 7mm 180gr MatchKing — Yet Another Great F-Open Bullet

Among 7mm shooters at the F-Class World Championships (FCWC), Berger’s 180gr 7mm Match Hybrid Target bullet was probably the most popular projectile. And a fair percentage of shooters were running the older Berger 180gr 7mm Match VLD. However, there were some very good scores shot with another .284-caliber 180-grainer that you may not know about, namely Sierra’s 180gr MatchKing (item # 1980). When some FCWC competitors couldn’t find sufficient quantities of Berger Hybrids or VLDs, they sourced the Sierra 180s. We heard many positive reports about these Sierras. The guys who took the time to sort and tip the 180gr MatchKings seemed very happy with how these bullets shot. That is not surprising, given the 180gr MatchKing’s modern shape and high BC.

Sierra 180gr HPBT match king matchking secant boat tail bullet

This slippery new 180-grainer from Sierra has a claimed 0.660 G1 Ballistic Coefficient (at 1650 fps and above). That is virtually the same as the claimed 0.659 G1 BC for Berger’s 180gr VLD and it is very close to the 0.674 stated G1 BC for the Berger 180gr Hybrid bullet. (Sorry we don’t have a G7 BC value for Sierra’s 180gr MK).

Sierra says it developed this bullet expressly for long-range competition: “The 7mm 180 grain HPBT MatchKing was created in response to requests from top-level F-Class shooters. Sierra has designed this MatchKing to provide a higher weight/higher BC alternative in our 7mm line. This bullet’s 12-caliber secant ogive and lengthened boat-tail make it the perfect choice for the discerning 7mm long range shooter.” Sierra recommends a 1:8″ twist for this projectile.

Sierra 180gr HPBT match king matchking secant boat tail bulletOK, perhaps now we have your attention. But you may be thinking, “What good does this do me if I can’t find any 180gr SMKs to buy?” Well friends, take heart. These bullets ARE available right now from major vendors. Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) has the Sierra 180gr 7mm MatchKings in stock in 100-count boxes for $33.97. And Midsouth Shooters Supply has the 180gr SMKs in stock right now in 100-count boxes for $34.60. Based on part numbers, we believe Midsouth also has 500-count boxes of the 180gr SMKs for $171.03.

Note: On Midsouth’s website, the 500-count box is listed as “7mm 180gr HPBT Match Pro-Hunter 500 Count”, but we believe it is the same MatchKing bullet, NOT a Pro-Hunter. Sierra does not produce a 7mm (.284 diameter) 180gr Pro-Hunter. Midsouth’s listed part number, 1980C, is the Sierra stock code for the 500-count box of 180gr 7mm MatchKings. Before placing an order, have Midsouth check the label on the boxes to confirm the inventory is correct.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
October 20th, 2013

22-6.5×47 vs. 22-250 Standard and Improved

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an interesting discussion of the 6.5×47 Lapua case necked down to .22 caliber. Forum members discuss the pros and cons of a “22×47 Lapua” wildcat versus the classic 22-250 or a 22-250 AI.

Forum member SkeetLee asked: “I am considering a 22x47L or a 22-250 AI. I like the Lapua brass and I have heard some good accuracy reports from the 6.5×47 Lapua case whether it be chambered as a 6.5mm or necked down to 6mm or even 22 caliber. I don’t know too much about the 22-250 AI except that it’s pretty popular and it’s fast…. I don’t see much offered for reloading dies for the 22x47L. I know I can use a bushing die to neck size but what about full length sizing and seating dies? Does it make better sense to just go with the 22-250 AI?”

22-250 Ackley Improved

Respected Savage Gunsmith Fred Moreo, posting as “Medicineman”, offered this interesting advice: “Why not get the best of both worlds? I built a 22×47 Improved for my coyote gun. It is easy as just running the 22-250 AI reamer in .050″ short, and trimming the same amount off the dies. It is actually a little more efficient than the 22-250 AI. My best load for coyotes is a 65gr Sierra GameKing pushed by 39.4 grains of H4350 for 3750 fps. The Lapua brass will take more pressure than any 22-250 brass available, and last four times as long. The 65 Sierra GKs hit like a sledge-hammer, and were originally designed for shooting red kangaroos — they’re pretty tough from what I hear.”

22-250 Ackley ImprovedForum member Vic C. from Oklahoma has experience with the 22-250 AI, and has recently built a 22×47 Lapua. Comparing the 22-250 AI with the 22x47L, Vic tells us: “Accuracy should be very good from either caliber in custom barrels.” Vic continues: “I have two 22-250 AI barrels and a new 22X47 Lapua barrel that I’ve just started load testing. The 22X47 Lapua case capacity is slightly more than a standard 22-250 Rem and less than the 22-250 AI (fireformed). The advantage of the 22X47 L, of course, is the availability of Lapua brass. I have Remington, Winchester and Federal brass for the 22-250 AIs and prefer Remington which I’ve found to be quite good, but not up to Lapua standards of course.

Recently I’ve been shooting some reformed Norma 6XC brass in the 22-250 AI and find it to be of excellent quality. [Editor’s Note: Lapua also now makes 22-250 brass though it is currently hard to find.] Dies for the 22-250 AI are much easier to come by than for the 22X47 Lapua. For a coyote rifle, if you’re not saving the hides, I think either caliber would be a great choice. For a PD rifle I would go with the 22-250 AI because of much less work prepping the hundreds of cases needed.”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 5 Comments »