X-Ring Newsletter

The X-Ring

Technical Newsletter From Your Ballistic Technicians

Volume 2014, Issue Spring

Sierra The Bulletsmiths
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Sierra Bullets Inventory Update

By Vice-President of Sales Matt Reams

I have not heard the attendance numbers from the 2014 NRA show in Indianapolis yet, but they were expecting upwards of 70,000 attendees. From the crowds we experienced at the Sierra booth, I am not sure that expectation was not met.

The attendees were positive and upbeat and mostly had the same question – “when can we expect more product?” We spent a lot of the show explaining what has been happening the last 18 months and what we are doing about it. I am sure other exhibitors were doing the same.

The market has continued to move back towards “normal” levels, although the new “normal” is probably higher than the normal of 2011. For Sierra at least, the days of fax and email orders coming in at 700%-800% normal levels are over and the war on the backlog is what we focus on every day. As of this writing, we have reduced the backlog for 13 weeks straight. With new machinery still being brought online and new employees being trained to run it, we expect this to continue and accelerate as the year continues.

The next component after equipment and manpower is time. Understandably this is the one that causes us and our customers the most grief and irritation. Our customers have a need and want product today. There is little worse than your customers wanting what you make and not being able to provide it fast enough.

Our top sellers are getting closer to being caught up. This allows us to devote presses to running next tier products like 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, etc. which have been neglected while we concentrated on the highest backordered items. This will continue as we trickle down though the most backordered items down to the least backordered items.

Unfortunately that means the slower sellers like 30-30 bullets, handgun bullets, 8mm, 303, etc. are still going to be many months out. How far will depend on current demand, but getting all our products back in stock in 2014 is not something we expect to happen. Changing a press from one bullet to another (a “changeover”) is the costliest part of production. The more we change over the less we produce. As we move to smaller and smaller runs, the changeovers will become more frequent and erode our efficiency. We will combat that as best we can by running as many like calibers as we can to reduce the scale of the changeover (changeovers within the same caliber are easier than changing calibers), but the amount of bullets we produce will be hampered nonetheless.

This will be offset to some degree with the new equipment being brought in as it is ready, but even this will not be enough to clear the backlog entirely in 2014. We do expect our most popular bullets to have better availability and maybe even see some inventory building by our distributors on these items.

One thing is for certain, we will not slow down until the backlog is cleared and our shelves and our distributor’s shelves are again stocked to the levels we all enjoyed in early 2012. We are sorry for all the shortages and thank you all for your patience.

Please note our upcoming holiday schedule:

Sierra Bullets will be closed on Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day, Friday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day, and on Friday, August 8 for employees to attend the
Missouri State Fair.

Enter to Win Sierra Bullets Gear

NRA Target

We are looking for shooters who would be interested in winning a Sierra Bullet’s hat (1 of 10), shirt (1 of 5), (1 of 2) Sierra Bullets 5th Edition Reloading Manual.

To enter our honor system target competition, print the free target on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, take your best shots at it using Sierra Bullets (following the instructions on the target), and send us proof.

Targets (regardless of overall score) should be mailed to:
Sierra Bullets •
Attn: NRA Target • 1400 W Henry St. • Sedalia, MO 65301

or photograph/scan and email to web@sierrabullets.com.  Entries must be emailed or postmarked by 5 p.m., May 30, 2014.  Mailed targets will not be returned.

From all targets submitted, winners will be randomly drawn to win prizes.  Winners will be announced on June 6, 2014.  Only one target entry per person. Employees of Sierra Bullets and their immediate families are not eligible to win.

Please visit our blog to to download your target.

(If you have trouble downloading the target, email us at web@sierrabullets.com & we will email it to you.)

 300 AAC Blackout (Medium Length Gas Tube) Load Data

The 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK, or 7.62x35mm) was created by Advanced Armament Corp. and Remington in order to provide the military with a way to shoot .30 caliber bullets from the M4 platform with only a barrel change. It has since become popular for a wide range of uses including hunting and home defense.

Read more about the load data available for this cartridge at http://wp.me/p2MT85-k2.


Why Can't I Find .22 LR Ammunition?!?!?

By Sierra Bullets Vice President of Sales Matt Reams

Even though Sierra Bullet's does not make .22 LR ammo or projectiles, we are constantly asked "Why can't I find any .22 LR ammo anywhere?" Even the conspiracy theorists are at a loss on this one as they can't even blame it on the government. They toss around thoughts of warehouses full of .22 LR rotting away just to keep it out of their hands, but that does not seem very realistic - even to them.

So what is going on here? Why is it that 1.5 years later, the shelves are still empty and bricks of .22 LR can still be seen selling for upwards of $75-$100 at gun shows? I do not believe there is one answer, but rather a few. Here are my opinions on the matter, for what they are worth. Read more of Matt's response on our blog at http://wp.me/p2MT85-PC.


Sierra Responds: How Will the Closure of the Lead Smelting Plant Affect Sierra Bullets?

Doe Run

We asked Sierra Bullets Plant Engineer Darren Leskiw, "How will the closure of the lead smelting plant affect Sierra Bullets?"

We have had many customers contact us about the closing of the last primary lead smelting facility in the USA. This facility is operated by Doe Run and is located in Herculaneum, MO and is just about a 3 hour drive from our facility in Sedalia, MO. Read more about of Darren's response on our blog!  http://wp.me/p2MT85-qr

How to Decipher Sierra Bullets Barcodes

Sierra Bullets Bar CodesThe 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.







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