X-Ring Newsletter

The X-Ring

Technical Newsletter From Your Ballistic Technicians

Volume 3, Issue 3

Bullet Seating Hangups
by Richard Machholz

Ever noticed a small curl of jacket material on the case mouth after seating the bullet? If so, the accuracy of that round should be suspect. It can happen!! Even if you carefully chamfer your case mouths. The next time you seat a bullet and it doesn't seat smoothly and feels like it hung up, check the case mouth for the dreaded curl of jacket material. The usual chamfer tools use a relatively flat angle cutting surface which may allow the bullet base to hang up, shaving a tiny but a significant amount of material from the base of the bullet.

That is all it takes to destroy the accuracy potential of that bullet. For years I have used a small rotary file from Hesston to supplement regular chamfering tools. Lyman has just introduced their VLD chamfer/reamer and K&M Services offers a taper case mouth reamer, both designed to eliminate this major hangup.

New For 1997!!


As a recipient of the Sierra X-Ring, you get many benefits besides the reloading tips and ballistic expertise of our staff. You receive advance notice on special offers (like the lower price for the bullet boards) and on new product introductions.

For 1997, we are offering five new bullets:
#1715, 6.5mm 107 grain HPBT MatchKing
#1742, 6.5mm 142 grain HPBT MatchKing
#1903, 7mm 130 grain HPBT MatchKing
#8125, 9mm, 125 grain JHP SportsMaster Power Jacket
#8805, .45 caliber, 230 grain JHP SportsMaster Power Jacket.

The 9mm, 125 grain is available now and the others will be delivered to our wholesale distributors in December for January 1997 introduction.

50th Anniversary Bullet Board
  Technicians, Zip Codes and Customer Numbers


When you call our Technical Service, your technician will ask if you're on our mailing list. If you are, you have a customer number; we can find you by your zip code, but customer numbers are quicker and more precise.

Ask your tech for your customer number and keep it handy for the next time you need to call. It sure helps us help you. It is made up of the first three letters of your last name and a three-digit number.

50th Anniversary Bullet Board Price Reduced


As we reach the end of our 50th year in business, we have reduced the price of our 50th Anniversary commemorative bullet boards to $199.95 (plus shipping). We only made 5000 pieces, so this impressive board has become a collector's item. Each plaque is handcrafted from the finest solid oak and features one of every bullet we made entering our anniversary year. Black background details bullet calibers and grain weights and is accented by engraved wood trim and framed by a Þ" select hemp rope.

Each board is hand-numbered and complete with a certificate of authenticity, verifying your limited edition number. No others will be made from this design.

This commemorative bullet board makes a perfect gift for your spouse, children, parents, boss, or anyone. Call today and order at 800-223-8799 or 888-223-3006.
Take Your Best Shot
by Rich Machholz

"What bullet should I use for...?" This is the standard beginning of many of the questions we field in the Technical department here at Sierra. This time of year it usually pertains to big game applications. Obviously there isn't one answer for all questions. Generally, however, if you're going to error, error on the big side. For instance, let's say you're shooting a 7mm Rem. Mag. for deer. Usually your shots are inside 100 yards but there are opportunities that may exist at 250 to 350 yards across a clear cut field or utility right of way. Popular writings suggest that a 140 grain SBT at high velocity to reduce drop would be appropriate. Not so - the high incidence of a close shot and the effects of wind on the long shots preclude the light bullet and favor the heavier 160 grain SBT. Close shots can require less than ideal placement and angles. This coupled with high impact velocities of the light bullet can produce premature expansion, lack of penetration, and lots of ruined meat.

At long range, wind is an unseen adversary that affects light bullets to a greater extent than heavier bullets, making shots difficult at best. By using a heavier bullet you get the best of both worlds. Great penetration and adequate expansion, coupled with enhanced wind resistance give the hunter an even better chance for success at all ranges. All this with very little real difference in trajectory under field conditions.
  Surfing Sierra III:
Zero Range and Increment Range
By Rich Machholz

If you own Sierra III, our Exterior Ballistic Computer Program, we want to share a little insight to working with the zero range and increment range. When exploring Zero Calculations, don't overlook (D) program defaults. (I) Increment Range must match up with (Z) Zero Range. Example: a 175 yard zero (Z) will not work with increments (I) of 50 or 100 yards but will perform perfectly with 25 yard (I) Increments. (Zero range must be evenly divisible by Increment range) The tip here is to use the longest increment practical when printing to conserve paper.



Bill Shehane (left) and his gunsmith Dave Tooley with Bill's 40X Remington 6-284 used to set both group and score records for 1000 yard Benchrest in the light gun class at Hawks Ridge Gun Club, Ferguson, NC. Bill's group was 3.1" and his score was a perfect 50. Bill used Sierra's #1570, 6mm 107 grain HPBT MatchKings in his 8" twist Hart barrel.

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