Handgun FAQs

  • Sep052019
    faqs

    My semi-auto jams now and then, especially with hollow points. What can I do to improve reliability?

    A quick trip to a competent pistolsmith will put matters straight. Polishing the feed ramp and adjusting the magazine lips…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    How many firings can be expected from a case?

    Case life will vary from one firing to a point where you realize they are never going to expire. At…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Do I need to be concerned about the air space between the bullet and powder when using powders like Bullseye?

    No, not when using propellants fast burning powders such as Bullseye, 231, or Unique. This is especially true when using…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    My fixed sights do not allow me to hit point of aim in elevation. What can I do?

    If your handgun is shooting high, either the velocity needs to be increased, the bullet’s weight decreased or both. This…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    I have a .357 Magnum revolver. Is it always necessary to use magnum primers in my gun?

    No. Just because the gun is chambered for a magnum cartridge doesn’t mean that you have to use a magnum…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    My cases extract hard from my revolver even with a mild load. What causes this?

    First, clean each chamber thoroughly. It could be erosion or residue from shooting short cases and then switching to longer…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Why do you recommend to seat the bullet and then crimp in a separate stage?

    Most seating dies will also crimp if the die is adjusted lower. Before the bullet is completely seated, the die…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Why are there small copper shavings each time I seat my pistol bullets?

    You may not be belling the case mouth quite enough to get the bullet started smoothly. Try belling it slightly…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Does my 9mm Makarov use the same bullets as a regular 9mm Luger? I recently purchased a Makarov, but on attempting to load it, found that my reloading dies weren’t sizing the cases down far enough to hold standard 9mm bullets.

    No. The 9mm Makarov is actually a 9.22mm. It uses .363” diameter bullets, while the more widely known 9mm Luger…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Can I use 10mm bullets in my .40 S&W?

    Yes. The 10mm Auto and the .40 S&W use exactly the same bullet diameter.

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    What advantage is there in using carbide pistol dies?

    Carbide dies require no lube because they contain a tungsten or titanium carbide insert. Since this is highly polished, it…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Are short barreled pistols less accurate than longer ones?

    No. They have a shorter sight radius than longer barrels that, in general, makes them harder to shoot accurately. If…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    I want to use my six inch .357 with 158 grain JHC bullets for deer. Will this bullet expand at the longer handgun ranges?

    Yes, assuming of course that your load develops enough velocity at the muzzle. Although this is usually no problem with…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    My handgun cases have a split in the mouth. What causes this?

    To begin with, it’s time to scrap any case when it develops neck splits, regardless of the number of firings…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Why do I have excessive muzzle flash in my pistol?

    Some powders are more inclined to give a bright muzzle flash than others. There are some powders that are given…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    I go on fishing trips each year in Alaska, and want to carry my .44 Magnum in case of an encounter with a bear. What load do you recommend?

    In the 44 magnum, 21.6 grains of Win 296 with the 300 gr. JSP point makes good defense against a…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Do I have to trim my pistol brass?

    Not as a general rule. However, keeping your brass all the same length will keep your crimp uniform. This will…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Why can’t I shoot all your listed .45 Colt loads in my Colt SAA and replicas?

    For one reason, the metal used in the old guns isn’t up to the standards of that used in modern…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    How much taper crimp is enough?

    No more than necessary to remove all signs of any belling and to lay the case mouth flat against the…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    My revolver spits particles out from in front of the cylinder.

    The cylinder is out of time. The chambers aren’t in line with the barrel and it shaves particles of the…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    Can I interchange small pistol primers with small rifle primers?

    No. Pistol and rifle primers have different cup hardness and are made to operate at different pressure levels. Switching them…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep052019
    faqs

    In my handgun, if I seat my bullets deeper, will it raise my pressure?

    Seating a bullet deeper will reduce the capacity of the case. Burning the same amount of powder in a slightly…

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    Sierra Bullets