April 7th, 2019

Sierra Secrets — How MatchKings Are Made

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs
All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.

A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.

The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.

Sierra Underground Tunnel test facility Sedalia, Missouri

Sierra bullet sale Clarus Corporation

After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 15th, 2018

Sierra Bullet Sale at Midsouth Through 3/18/2018

Sierra MatchKing Tipped Bullet sale midsouth varmint bullets

Need bullets for your 2018 High Power Campaign, F-Class Matches, PRS Comps, or Varmint Safaris? Check out this deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Now through March 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm, Midsouth has knocked ten percent (10%) off the price off all Sierra Bullets in stock. And Midsouth’s prices were already very competitive. The sale applies to all Sierra projectiles for rifles and pistols: match bullets, hunting bullets, varmint bullets, self-defense bullets.

This is your opportunity to grab some of Sierra’s great new generation MatchKing bullets. Many of these new SMKs come with the bullets “tipped” at the factory for more uniform BC. We have hear very positive comments from shooters running the tipped SMKs in .30 Caliber, 7mm, 6.5 mm, and 6mm. If you are shooting F-Open, you should definitely try the new 197gr MatchKing, with its stellar 0.780 G1 BC. Likewise if you shoot PRS or mid-range benchrest, you should check out the new 110gr SMK. It boasts an impressive 0.617 G1 BC.

More High-BC MatchKings in All Your Favorite Calibers
Sierra now offers very slippery, heavy-for-caliber MatchKings that have raised the BC Bar for their respective calibers. For example, the 150gr 6.5mm bullet really “pushes the envelope”. In past years, 140-142 grains was considered “high end” for a 6.5mm match projectile. Here are Sierra’s BC Leaders for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and .308 calibers. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

Heavy-for-Caliber, Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings

6mm (.243 Caliber)
110 grain MatchKing #1575
0.617 G1 BC

7mm (.284 Caliber)
197 grain MatchKing #1997
0.780 G1 BC

6.5 mm (.264 Caliber)
150 grain MatchKing #1755
0.713 G1 BC

7.62mm (.308 Caliber) NEW
230 grain MatchKing #2251
0.800 G1 BC

Sierra Bullets Midsouth Sale

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
January 14th, 2018

Sierra’s New 95gr .224 SMK and other Ultra-High-BC MatchKings

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22Looking for the highest ballistic performance for your benchrest, F-Class, or tactical rifle? Sierra now offers a wide selection of ultra-high-BC bullets in a wide range of popular calibers.

New Heavy .224 SMK – We just learned that Sierra will release a new-for-2018 95-grain MatchKing. This new .224 projectile, Sierra product #1396, has a claimed G1 BC of 0.600 — mighty impressive for a .22-caliber bullet. There are also two new .308-caliber MatchKings, a 200-grainer with 0.715 G1 BC, and a new 230-grainer with a stunning 0.800 G1 BC.

More High-BC MatchKings in All Your Favorite Calibers
Sierra previously released four other very slippery, heavy-for-caliber MatchKings that have raised the BC Bar for their respective calibers. For example, the 150gr 6.5mm bullet really “pushes the envelope”. In past years, 140-142 grains was considered “high end” for a 6.5mm match projectile. Here are Sierra’s BC Leaders for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and .308 calibers. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

Heavy-for-Caliber, Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings

6mm (.243 Caliber)
110 grain MatchKing #1575
0.617 G1 BC

7mm (.284 Caliber)
197 grain MatchKing #1997
0.780 G1 BC

6.5 mm (.264 Caliber)
150 grain MatchKing #1755
0.713 G1 BC

7.62mm (.308 Caliber) NEW
230 grain MatchKing #2251
0.800 G1 BC

SPY PHOTO Reveals New High-BC Sierra MatchKings
One of our Forum members captured a spy photo with all the new-generation High-BC Sierra MatchKings in a line-up. This includes the new 95gr .224 SMK right at the top. The new 200gr and 230gr 30-cal SMKs are near the bottom. NOTE: Sierra already had a 30-Cal 200 grainer, #2230, in its line-up. This is a NEW 200 grain MatchKing, #2231, with a much higher BC — 0.715 vs. 0.565 for the older 200gr bullet. That’s a huge difference in BC, a 26% improvement.

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 5 Comments »
October 13th, 2017

NEW — Ultra-High BC 150-Grain 6.5mm MK from Sierra

Sierra Bullets MatchKing 150 grain 150gr high BC G1 G7 6.5 Creedmoor

Up until now, 147 grains was the high end of 6.5 mm (.264 diameter) match bullets offered by major bullet-makers. Now Sierra has “raised the bar” — releasing a 150-grainer with a killer 0.713 G1 Ballistic Coefficent (BC). You read that right — 0.713! Compare that to the 0.626 G1 BC for Sierra’s well-known 142gr MatchKing, 0.697 for the Hornady 147gr ELD Match, and 0.607 for the Berger 140gr Hybrid Target. To increase (and uniform) the BC, Sierra’s new 150-grainer is pointed at the factory. Recommended barrel twist rate is 1:7.5″.

Sierra Bullets MatchKing 150 grain 150gr high BC G1 G7 6.5 Creedmoor

CLICK HERE for 6.5 Creedmoor LOAD DATA for this new 150gr Matchking.

Sierras’ product announcement states: “Shooters … will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long range performance of our new 6.5 mm 150 grain HPBT (#1755). A sleek 27-caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for [reduced wind drift] and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet-to-bore alignment, a unique bearing surface-to-ogive junction uses the same 1.5-degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats. This bullet requires a twist rate of 1:7.5″ or faster to stabilize.”

Sierra’s new 6.5 mm 150 grain HPBT MatchKing bullet is available in 100-count boxes (#1755) for $50.98 MSRP, and 500-count boxes (#1755C) for $226.45 MSRP.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 10 Comments »
January 16th, 2017

Sierra Offers New Ultra-High-BC 197gr 7mm (.284) MatchKing

Sierra 197gr MatchKing High BC F-Open Closed Meplat

Get ready for a revolution in the F-Open, ELR, and Long-Range Benchrest games. Sierra just introduced a new 7mm bullet with a stunning 0.780 G1 BC. This new 197-grain HPBT MatchKing is one of the highest-BC, jacketed .284-caliber projectiles ever offered to the public. By comparison, Sierra’s own advanced 183-grain 7mm Matchking has a .707 G1 BC. That means the new 197-grainer has a 10% higher BC than the already slippery 183-grainer. That’s an impressive achievement by Sierra.

We expect top F-Open and long-range shooters will be trying the new 197-grainer as soon as they can get their hands on this new projectile. They may need new barrels however, as Sierra states: “This bullet requires a barrel twist rate of 1:7.5″ or faster”. Sierra expects to start shipping these slippery 7mm 197s very soon. You can order directly from Sierra’s website, stock code #1997, $54.20 for 100 bullets.

Sierra 197gr MatchKing

Factory Uniformed Bullet Tips
Sierra has officially announced that the 197gr SMK will come “pointed” from the factory. These impressive new 197s will have a “final meplat reducing operation” (pointing). This creates a higher BC (for less drag) and also makes the BC more uniform (reducing vertical spread at long range). Our tests of other factory-pointed Sierra MKs have demonstrated that Sierra does a very good job with this pointing operation. The “pointed” MatchKings we’ve shot recently had very nice tips, and did hold extremely “tight waterline” at 1000 yards, indicating that the pointing process does seem to enhance BC uniformity. Morever, radar-derived “real-world” BCs have been impressively uniform with the latest generation of pointed Sierra MKs (such as the new 110gr 6mm MatchKing).

Here is the statement from Sierra about the new bullets:

Shooters around the world will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long range performance of our new 7mm 197 grain HPBT (#1997). A sleek 27-caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats.

While they are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications. Although MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are commonly used for varmint hunting, their design will not provide the same reliable explosive expansion at equivalent velocities in varmints compared to their lightly jacketed Hornet, Blitz BlitzKing, or Varminter counterparts.

New product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 13 Comments »
December 27th, 2016

Sierra Bullets — How It All Started Nearly 70 Years Ago

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket
Here is the original Sierra manufacturing facility in Whittier, CA.

Sierra Bullets — How It Got Started

Report Based on Story by Carroll Pilant, Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager
What became Sierra Bullets started in the late 1940s in a Quonset hut in California. In 1947, three aircraft machinists, Frank Snow, Jim Spivey, and Loren Harbor, rented machine space to produce rivets for the aircraft industry along with fishing rod guides and rifle front sight ramps. In the post-WWII years, sport shooting was becoming hugely popular, but quality ammunition was in short supply. For shooting enthusiasts, reloading was the solution to the ammo supply shortage. Snow, Spivey, and Harbor recognized this, creating Sierra Bullets to help fill the void. Before long, they were selling a 53-grain match bullet to the Hollywood Gun Shop. These bullets are still in production today as the Sierra #1400 53-grain MatchKing.

A few years later, an accomplished competitive shooter named Martin Hull joined Sierra. Hull helped develop new bullet types and served as manager of Sierra’s ballistics laboratory for nearly 20 years. With Hull’s help, Sierra’s output grew rapidly. The California company outgrew several locations before it moved to a large facility in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 1963.

New Owners and New President in the Late Sixties
In 1968, the Leisure Group bought Sierra Bullets. Other Leisure Group companies included Lyman Reloading, High Standard Manufacturing Company, Yard Man, Thompson Sprinkler Systems, Flexible Flyer Sleds, and Dodge Trophies (Which made the Oscar and Rose Bowl Game trophies).

Soon after purchasing Sierra, the Leisure Group hired Robert Hayden as President and General Manager. Hayden was a mechanical engineer who had worked for Remington Arms. Hayden remained the president of Sierra for 42 years, retiring in 2012 when Pat Daly became president.

Sierra Moves to Missouri
In 1990, Sierra relocated to Sedalia, Missouri, where the company remains today. Sierra Bullets now employs over 100 people including five full-time ballistic technicians who answer daily reloading and firearms questions by both phone and e-mail.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs

All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.

The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.

Sierra Underground Tunnel test facility Sedalia, Missouri

After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
July 5th, 2015

RifleShooter.com Reviews New .30-Cal 175gr Tipped MatchKings

AccurateShooter Rifleshooter.com Tipped Matchkings Sierra Bullets

We know our readers are curious about the new Tipped MatchKings (TMKs) introduced by Sierra Bullets this year. Our friend Bill at Rifleshooter.com got hold of some of the .30-Cal 175-grain TMKs and tested them in his .308 Win rifle. He found the bullets were very consistent in weight. As for bearing surface, the SD was fairly low (.002″), but measurements varied from 0.400″ to 0.407″. Seven-thousandths extreme spread is more than we like to see, as it may affect accuracy. Therefore we recommend you sort by bearing surface length before loading these in match rounds.

READ Full Sierra 175gr TMK Bullet REVIEW in Rifleshooter.com »

AccurateShooter Rifleshooter.com Tipped Matchkings Sierra Bullets

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 5 Comments »
February 28th, 2015

Bullet Barcodes — Sierra’s Secrets Revealed

Ever wonders what the bar code (and all those numbers) mean on the side of a box of Sierra bullets? Well here’s the answer, thanks to something we uncovered in the archives of the Sierra Bullets Blog.

How to Decipher Sierra Bullets Barcodes
The Lot Number (indicated in green below) identifies a specific batch of bullets. The lot number remains the same for bullets made at the same time from the same material.

The Packaging Code (indicated in blue below) is an internal number representing the number assigned to the persons who inspected and packed the box of bullets.

The Serial Number (indicated in yellow below) is a computer generated number sequentially added to each box of bullets made.

Sierra Bullets Bar Codes

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
December 18th, 2014

NEW Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Bullets from Sierra

Sierra has announced a new line of plastic-tipped MatchKing bullets. “Say What!? — that can’t be right…” you may be thinking. MatchKings have always been jacketed, hollowpoint bullets. Until now, plastic tips have been reserved for other Sierra projectiles, such as BlitzKing varmint bullets. But that is changing with the introduction of Sierra’s line of Tipped MatchKing (TMK) bullets featuring green acetal resin tips.

.308 30 caliber Sierra bullets tipped matchking TMK SMK

Plastic Tips Offer Better BC
Sierra says the plastic tips on TMKs enhance the Ballistic Coefficient (BC): “The major advantage of adding a tip to the bullet is the reduction of drag, producing a more favorable ballistic coefficient.” Stated BCs for the new TMK bullets are listed below. These BC numbers look good, and they have been verified with real-world testing: “We shot [all the new TMKs] multiple times (we actually test our BC numbers instead of letting a computer tell us what it is) and those numbers are all proven out!”

There will be six (6) new TMK bullets, two in .224 caliber, and four in .308 caliber. The six new tipped bullet types should be available in “early 2015″. Sorry, Sierra will not be offering 6mm, 6.5mm, or 7mm TMKs for the time being, although Sierra will introduce more TMK varieties in the future. Currently, Sierra is focusing on “the most popular calibers”. Notably, the new 22-Cal 77gr TMK has a 0.420 BC — identical to the BC of Sierra’s 80gr non-tipped HPBT MatchKing. So, you get the BC of a heavier bullet in a lighter projectile that can be pushed faster. That’s big news for .223 Rem and 22-250 shooters.

Bullet Name (Click for ballistic coefficients) Brand Item BC (G1)
.224 dia. 69 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .224 dia. 69 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7169 .375 @ 2700+ fps
.224 dia. 77 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .224 dia. 77 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7177 .420 @ 2400+ fps
.308 dia. 125 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .308 dia. 125 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7725 .343 @ 2580+ fps
.308 dia. 155 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .308 dia. 155 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7755 .519 @ 1900+ fps
.308 dia. 168 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .308 dia. 168 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7768 .535 @ 2050+ fps
.308 dia. 175 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) .308 dia. 175 gr. Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Tipped MatchKing 7775 .545 @ 2400+ fps

New Bullet Shapes Along with Plastic Tips
In addition to the bullet tip, some of these new TMK bullets have slightly modified shapes compared to previous-generation, non-tipped MatchKings (SMKs) of like caliber/weight. Sierra’s technicians reported: “The [plastic] point on the tip is smaller than the meplat on a SMK and if you look, you will also see the ogive on most of these [new TMKs] have been changed as well. Most of the big BC gains are from the reshaped ogives from the legacy SMK product.”

TMK 7169 69 gr
TMK 7177 77 gr
TMK 7725 125 grTMK 7755  155 gr
TMK 7768 168 gr
TMK 7775 175 gr

.308 30 caliber Sierra bullets tipped matchking TMK SMK

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 19 Comments »
August 3rd, 2013

Bargain Sierra 175gr MatchKings from Grafs.com

Need inexpensive .30-caliber major-brand bullets? Graf & Sons has you covered. Grafs.com just made available a large number of pull-down Sierra 175gr HPBT MatchKing bullets at a cost of just $21.99 per 100 bullets. This price includes shipping, but there is a single $6.95 handling fee per order. These .308 Sierra bullets are pulled down from Lake City LRM118 millitary ammo. Note, since these are pull-down bullets (taken from dismantled ammo), the bullets may exhibit scratches or pull marks. Still, if you are looking for a supply of .30-caliber bullets available right now at a great price, check out this current offer.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 30th, 2012

New 350gr .375-Caliber MatchKing from Sierra

Sierra MatchKing SMK .375 caliberSierra Bullets has just announced a new .375-caliber, 350 grain HPBT bullet — the latest in Sierra’s MatchKing line of projectile. Designed for custom long-range applications, this 350-grainer is the largest MatchKing Sierra produces, and it offers a jaw-dropping 0.805 G1 BC (at 2,200+ fps).

With that impressively high BC, the new .375-caliber MatchKing should “buck the wind” very well at long range. The new bullet features an 11-caliber ogive, and 9-degree boat tail. Sierra says the overall shape is “forgiving” to tune and should work well at a variety of seating depths. These bullets will be available in 50-count boxes (stock #9350T), or bulk boxes of 500 bullets (stock #9350).

Sierra MatchKing SMK .375 caliber

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »
January 19th, 2012

SHOT Show: New 125gr Flat-Based .30-Cal MatchKing from Sierra

Sierra Bullets rolled out few new products for SHOT Show 2012. The one new bullet is a .30-caliber flat-based bullet, the 125gr OTM (open-tip match HP) MatchKing, item #2121. This unique flat-based bullet was designed in conjunction with AAC (Advanced Armament Corporation) and Remington for the new .300 AAC Blackout (BLK) cartridge, a relatively small cartridge based on the .223 Rem necked up to .30 caliber. The bullet length is tailored to correctly fit and feed from AR-15 platform magazines. The relatively light weight of Sierra’s new 125gr MK allows it to reach fairly impressive velocities even with a modest powder charge. Of course it can also be used in subsonic mode, running at sub-Mach velocities. However, it is more typical for .300 BLK shooters to run a heavier bullet, such as the 240gr SMK, for subsonic applications (the heavier projectile delivers much more downrange energy at subsonic MVs).

The projectile’s Open Tip is pinched for greater uniformity in the same manner as Sierra’s Palma Competition bullets. The G1 BC is surprisingly high for a relatively short, flat-based bullet: 0.310 (below 1600 fps), 0.330 (1,600-2,000 fps), 0.338 (2000 – 2650 fps), and 0.349 (above 2650 fps). Though it will perform well at low velocities in the .300 BLK, this bullet can handle the higher velocities produced by common .30 cal mid-sized cartridges, such as the .30-30.

Sierra 125 gr Matchking

The new 125gr Matchking is now being loaded in factory ammo, including Remington’s Premier Match, which retails for $34.00 for a 20rd box. These 125gr bullets are available now from MidwayUSA for $34.99 per hundred.

Sierra Bullets 125 grain match king 308

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »
November 13th, 2011

New 125 GR Flat-Based MatchKing from Sierra Bullets

Sierra has introduced a new .30-caliber flat-based bullet, the 125 grain OTM (open-tip match HP) MatchKing, item #2121. This unique flat-based bullet was designed in conjunction with AAC (Advanced Armament Corporation) and Remington for the new .300 AAC Blackout (BLK) cartridge. The bullet length is tailored to correctly fit and feed from AR-15 platform magazines. The projectile’s Open Tip is pinched for greater uniformity in the same manner as Sierra’s Palma Competition bullets. The G1 BC is surprisingly high for a relatively short, flat-based bullet: 0.310 (below 1600 fps), 0.330 (1,600-2,000 fps), 0.338 (2000 – 2650 fps), and 0.349 (above 2650 fps). Though it will perform well at low velocities in the .300 BLK, this bullet can handle the higher velocities produced by common .30 cal mid-sized cartridges, such as the .30-30.

Sierra 125 gr Matchking

Sierra 125 gr MatchkingThe new 125gr Matchking is now being loaded in factory ammo, including Remington’s Premier Match, which retails for $34.00 for a 20rd box. These 125gr bullets are available now from MidwayUSA for $34.99 per hundred. Sierra offers five other bullets in the same general weight range that may work well in the .300 Whisper or .300 AAC Blackout:

  • .308 dia. 110 gr. FMJ Pro-Hunter Item 2105
  • .308 dia. 110 gr. HP Varminter Item 2110
  • .308 dia. 110 gr. RN Pro-Hunter Item 2100
  • .308 dia. 125 gr. SPT Pro-Hunter Item 2120
  • .308 dia. 135 gr. HPBT MatchKing Item 2123
  • Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »
    October 6th, 2010

    6mm 90s & 95s — Lighter Bullets May Be Better for Mid-Range

    Many shooters using the 6mmBR case or a 6BR Improved (6 BRX, Dasher), automatically assume they should be shooting the heavier 105-108gr bullet designs because these offer the “best” ballistic coefficient attainable with a bullet that can work in an 8-twist barrel.

    95 grain Sierra MatchKingHowever, if you are shooting a 6BR at medium ranges, say 250 to 400 yards, you should seriously consider trying the 90-95 grain class of bullets, which includes the Berger 90gr Match Target BT, the Lapua 90gr Scenar, the Berger 95gr Match Target VLD, and the Sierra 95gr MatchKing.

    First, you may find that, in your barrel, the 90-95 grainers are easier to tune in terms of seating depth, and they may offer somewhat better raw accuracy — yielding smaller groups than the heavier bullets. But remember — each gun/barrel is different.

    Second, another advantage of the 90-95s is that you can fill the case fuller with the Varget/RL-15 class of powders (with appropriate throats). You can use more powder and therefore get closer to an optimal 100% case fill. With a 95gr VLD seated long we were able to get virtually 100% fill with a slow lot of Varget. Don’t try that with your 105s!

    Lighter Bullets Offer More Speed in a 6BR
    You’ll find that, in a standard 6mmBR rifle, you can drive the 90-95 grainers considerably faster than the 105-108 grain bullets at equivalent pressures. In an Eliseo R5 Tubegun, with Broughton 27.5″ 5C barrel, we were able to push the 95gr VLDs a full 160 fps faster than the 108s. This means that the true ballistics of the 90-95s rival that of the heavy bullets — at medium ranges.

    We were able to drive the 90-grainers and the 95gr VLDs comfortably and very accurately at 3050 fps, whereas we maxed out at about 2890 fps with the 105gr and 108gr Bergers. At 300 yards, the 95gr bullet’s speed advantage compensates, in large part, for any BC shortfall compared to heavier bullets. In fact, in our rifle, the 95gr VLD actually shows less wind drift at 300 yards than either the Berger 105 Match Target BT or the Berger 108 Match Target BT. See chart.

    Here’s data from JBM Ballistics, using G7 Coefficients (500′ alt, 70° temp):

    LESSON: Don’t always assume that the heavier bullet has superior ballistics. You have to test, find the accuracy nodes for each bullet in your gun, and run the ballistics for the velocities you can actually achieve with good accuracy. As above, you may be surprised. In our Eliseo Tubegun, the 90-grainers shot tighter than 105s and we gave up little, if anything, in wind drift at 300 yards.

    Great Accuracy from 90s and 95s in 6mmBR Tubeguns
    In our Broughton-barreled Tubegun, the most accurate bullet so far has been the 90gr Lapua Scenar. In a Savage 6BR with 3-groove PacNor Barrel the Berger 95gr VLD has been ultra-accurate. But we really want to try the 95gr Sierra MK as well. Forum member Randy (aka “InfantryTrophy”) has been shooting the 95gr SMK with great success, and impressive accuracy. Here is his report: “The 95 SMK shoots great. I have not had the opportunity to shoot the 95s at 200 or 300 yards, but I can’t think of anything better to use. This is my first 5-round group fired after about 15 break-in rounds. The load is 29.5 grains of Reloder 15 with SMK 95. The gun is an Eliseo R5 with Pierce action and Broughton 27″ barrel. Shown below is a 5-shot, 100-yard group shot at 100 yards on MR31 target with iron sights, from rest.” Randy measured his group at 0.214″. It looks a bit bigger than that to us, but it is still impressive:

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 2 Comments »
    July 22nd, 2010

    Williamsport Winner Reveals 6.5×284 Reloading Secrets

    John Hoover of Accuracy One Shooting Supplies is the 2010 Williamsport World Open Two-gun Overall Champion. Shooting a 6.5×284 in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes, John shot consistently, placing 3rd in Light Gun class, and 6th in Heavy Gun to win the overall Two-Gun with 34 rank points. It was a solid win. The next closest shooter was Paul Chackan with 59 rank points.

    John Hoover Accuracy One

    John Hoover Accuracy OneHoover’s Reloading Tips
    We interviewed John after his World Open victory, and he shared his World Open-winning load, and some of the reloading secrets that allow him to craft ultra-accurate long range ammo. For his 6.5x284s, John loaded was Sierra 142gr MatchKings pushed by 48.0 grains of Hodgdon H4350, in “white box” Winchester .284 brass. Both rifles used exactly the same load. John revealed: “I have 9 match rifles, and they all shoot 48.00 grains of H4350.” John pointed his 142gr SMKs, using his own Accuracy One bullet-pointing tool: “I don’t shoot anything that isn’t pointed. All the loads we shoot use pointed bullets. I find that bullet pointing, combined with meplat trimming, reduces vertical dispersion at 1000 yards.”

    Hoover’s Secret Ingredient? RWS Primers
    Hoover lit his loads with RWS primers — the “Holy Grail” of rifle primers. Where did John get these superior German-made RWS primers, which are virtually unobtainable in the USA these days? John explained: “I bought those primers a long time ago, as a stocking dealer. I had about 100,000 at one time before they quit importing them, I kept a fair amount for us to use. I’m down to about 8000. When they’re gone I’ll have to change to something else.”

    Hoover Now Anneals Brass “Early and Often”
    Recently Hoover has changed his brass annealing procedure; he now anneals his Winchester brass earlier and more frequently: “I anneal more often now. I used to shoot my cases five to six times before annealing. Now before I shoot a case the very first time, I anneal it. That has help keep the ES and SD down. I anneal before I shoot the first time, and then every third firing. I use the Ken Light annealing machine.”

    Ace Smiths Built Hoover’s Winning Rifles
    John’s heavy gun was chambered by Al Warner of Warner Tools, while the light gun was chambered by 8-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. Both light and heavy guns had Bartlein 1:8.5″ twist 5R barrels. All the stock work was done by Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks. John credited these smiths: “I had good equipment from top to bottom, I had good smithing help from Alan, Carl, and Alex, who all did excellent work. When you’re walking to the firing line you get peace of mind from having the best equipment.”

    READ MORE: To learn more about John Hoover’s successful 6.5-284s, read this Gun of the Week article.

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »