August 3rd, 2017

7mm MatchKings for the F-Class World Championships

Sierra MatchKing 183gr 183 Grain Bullet BC Long Range F-Class

The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Canada are just one week away. This August 11-17, the world’s top F-Class shooters will gather at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. The vast majority of F-Open shooters will be running some kind of 7mm (.284 Caliber) cartridge, with the .284 Winchester, .284 Win Improveds, and 7mm RSAUMs being popular.

7mm .284 Winchester F-Class Bullet

For those of you who plan to compete but who haven’t loaded your ammo yet, you may want to consider a very good 7mm match bullet from Sierra, 183 grain MatchKing (item #1983). We have found the 183gr MK, which comes “pointed” from the factory, to be very consistent in weight and base-to ogive measurement. Top F-Open shooters have told us that these bullets shoot exceptionally well, with minimal vertical dispersion at 1000. “Holding waterline” at long range is a reliable indicator that the BC is very uniform from bullet to bullet.

Sierra’s popular 7mm 183 grain MatchKing boasts an impressive 0.707 G1 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) at 2300+ fps. These bullets also have very consistent bullet-to-bullet BC, thanks to very uniform jackets and the tips being “pointed” at the factory. Sierra explains: “A final meplat-reducing operation (pointing) provides an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention.”

Insight Into Sierra’s New 7mm MatchKing®
by Sierra Product Development Manager Mark Walker

In late 2015, Sierra introduced a new 7mm MatchKing® bullet with a different type of ogive. As part of the introduction, I had the opportunity to use them at the F-Class Nationals held in Phoenix with very good results. While at the match, several people had questions about what exactly was different about the ogive on this bullet as opposed to our tried and true blended tangent ogive. So with that in mind, hopefully this blog will answer those questions.

In the past, Sierra has typically used a tangent radius ogive design on our MatchKing® bullets. This is one of the most forgiving ogive designs due to its ability to shoot extremely accurately when jumped, as well as, jammed into the rifling. On rare occasions, some of our MatchKing® bullets have used a secant ogive due to design constraints. However, this ogive is much more sensitive to changes in seating depth than the tangent ogive so we tend to shy away from it. When we decided to work on this new bullet, we wanted to see if we could improve on the accuracy of even our best shooting tangent ogive bullets.

Sierra MatchKing 183gr 183 Grain Bullet BC Long Range F-Class

One of the main factors of what makes an accurate shooting bullet is how it aligns itself with the bore when fired. If a bullet is slightly crooked when entering the bore, it will cause inaccuracy on the target. We set out trying to think of ways to make sure that the bullet has no choice but to align itself with the bore perfectly.

The first part of the barrel to encounter the bullet is the leade in the chamber. The leade is an angle that is cut into the leading edge of the rifling which helps to guide the bullet into the bore. To illustrate how current bullets fit into the leade, picture a cone (leade) with a ball (bullet) sitting inside it. The ball can be rotated in all directions and the cone cannot force the ball to orientate itself in any particular direction. When a bullet with a radius encounters the leade, it behaves in a similar way. Now this of course is a very simple example and of course advanced shooters use tight necks and brass that is perfectly formed to the chamber to make sure the bullet is aligned as perfect as possible. However, there is always a small element of misalignment that is possible even with all this precise preparation.

This brings us to the ogive on the new 7mm MatchKing®. We thought instead of using the typical ogive radius that can allow slight misalignment, why not use the same straight angle that is used in the chamber leade on the bullet ogive to force itself to always align with the bore? Imagine the same cone as above (leade) with an identical cone (bullet) sitting inside of it. The cone inside has no choice but to align itself perfectly with the cone that it is sitting in every time. With that in mind, we designed the area of the bullet which contacts the leade in front of the bearing surface using a straight 1 1/2 degree angle instead of the typical radius. Once past that area, we use a traditional high caliber ogive radius to provide a very sleek, high BC bullet.

I hope that explains our thought process behind this new bullet. In our testing, it is one of the most forgiving high-BC bullets we have ever made.

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August 3rd, 2017

Rimfire AR-Style Rifles — Fun, Accurate, and Practical/Tactical

M&P Smith Wesson 15-22 Magpul cross training rimfire tactical

AR-Style .22 LR Rimfire Rifles

For affordable, low-recoil shooting fun it’s hard to beat a semi-auto .22 LR. While Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular semi-auto .22 LR rifle, manufacturers are now offering AR-style self-loading rimfire rifles. We like AR-style .22LR rigs for Rimfire Tactical Matches and 3-Gun cross-training. With an AR-style rimfire rifle you can train with low-cost ammunition while enjoying the same ergonomics, controls, and sighting systems found on your centerfire ARs.

Smith & Wesson has upgraded its M&P 15-22, a fun rifle that we’ve praised in the past. The new M&P 15-22 Sport MOE SL model (Magpul Original Equipment Slim Line) features a more comfortable handguard, an improved grip, and an adjustable Magpul buttstock. The dedicated .22 LR M&P rifle retains the look and features of the company’s popular M&P rifle line, with the enhanced ergonomics of Magpul furniture. It’s offered with Flat Dark Earth (tan) furniture or dressed in matte black.

M&P Smith Wesson 15-22 Magpul cross training rimfire tactical

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Smith Wesson M&P 15-22

These rimfire versions of the AR-15 are excellent training tools for 3-Gun and service rifle shooters. You can practice with less expensive rimfire ammo, and save wear and tear on your centerfire ARs. Rimfire AR clones also work great for Rimfire Tactical Matches.

Field Testing the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
Smith & Wesson’s 15-22 is a nice little rifle. The M&P 15-22 is designed and built as a true .22 LR semi-auto from the ground up, with ergonomics (and most controls) identical to a centerfire M&P 15 rifle. NRA reviewer Colon Noir tested the M&P 15-22 and was impressed: “This gun is unbelievably fun to shoot. There is virtually no recoil. The non-existent recoil makes shooting fast a breeze. Yeah, the magazine is a little quirky… but in the grand scheme of things, this gun feels like a full-out AR-15. The M&P 15-22 makes for a great training companion. I would place this gun in the ‘Fun Box’ — it’s reliable enough that you can have a fun time shooting. I’m picking one up, because it’s guns like these that make you truly realize how fun shooting is.”

Here’s a Video Review of the M&P 15-22 by the NRA’s Colin Noir

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