Rifle FAQs

  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why don’t you make .221” diameter bullets for my 221 Fireball?

    Because the .221 Fireball doesn’t actually use .221” diameter bullets. The “221” in the cartridge title is merely a name,…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I want to use IMR 4350 but can only find Hodgdon and Accurate Arms 4350. Are they interchangeable?

    No, not exactly. While they may not be much different, they are different enough that you should reduce your load…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    What constitutes a hunting load in your manual?

    Pure accuracy without regard for energy and trajectory is not viable in the game fields. Our hunting loads are a…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How did you establish your accuracy load?

    These are loads that have a proven history of working well in many rifles. They generally provide a high level…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How much velocity do I gain or lose when comparing my 26” barrel to your 24” test barrel?

    Many factors influence the velocity of a given barrel. Normally you can expect a gain or loss of 30 to…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How do I establish the proper OAL for my rifle?

    Two factors limit OAL–magazine length and throat length. The heaviest spitzer bullet OAL as shown in your manual for your…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Your catalog lists a .224” diameter 69 grain MatchKing for use in 7”-10” twist barrels. How about my 22-250? Can I use this bullet in my Remington 700 Varmint rifle?

    A longer, heavier bullet in any diameter needs a faster twist to be properly stabilized. Most factory .22-250s are intended…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    A friend of mine shoots an M1 Garand in Highpower service rifle competition. He says I shouldn’t use 4831 powder in my Garand. Why? I told him I didn’t believe a load of 4831 powder that is listed in a manual would be unsafe. Who’s right?

    The problem here is not one of chamber pressure, but of port pressure. Port pressure is the amount of pressure…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Can I use a MatchKing bullet for deer hunting? They shoot just great in my rifle, so they should be just super for hunting use, right?

    No, it’s not recommended. The MatchKing bullets are designed for pinpoint accuracy; with no consideration given to what might happen…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Is ballistic coefficient a major consideration for hunting?

    It depends. If we’re talking about the differences between a Spitzer and a Spitzer Boat Tail, ballistic coefficient can be…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Is military brass interchangeable with commercial brass?

    Military cases such as the .308 Winchester (7.62mm NATO) and .30-06 military brass have thicker case walls, and therefore less…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    In my .270 Winchester, your top load for a 130 grain bullet and H4831 powder fills the case. If I’m compressing the powder slightly when I seat the bullet, can this load be safe?

    There are a number of extremely slow-burning powders that will create this same situation. In the case of these bulky…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Should I free float my rifle barrel?

    In general, most rifles that are properly bedded shoot best when the barrel is free-floated. It is important to understand…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why are Spitzer (pointed) bullets listed for use in my 30-30 T/C Contender, but not for my Model 94 Winchester Rifle?

    For reasons of safety. Think about the sharply pointed Spitzer nose of one cartridge in a tubular magazine, resting in…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I have a 30-06 Ackley Improved, but I can’t find any loading information for it.

    On most improved cartridges, you can start with a mid-range load of the parent cartridge (in this case a 30-06)…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I’ve heard you get better accuracy when your bullet touches the rifling. I want to do that on my deer rifle. Is there any problem?

    Yes, you usually get better accuracy when you barely touch the rifling, but not always. Loads touching the rifling will…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I worked up loads for my new rifle early this spring and everything was fine with no pressure signs. We went shooting the other day and my rifle really kicked and we can’t get the bolt open. What happened?

    This is an occurrence that usually happens when a near maximum load is worked up during cool weather, but when…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I have a semi-automatic rifle. I’m having problems with some of my handloads chambering. Someone said I need a small base sizing die. What are they talking about?

    A set of dies are generally one of three different types– full length, small base or neck sizing dies. Neck…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Are all hollow point bullets designed for rapid expansion?

    Absolutely not. Our hollow points vary in their jacket thickness, antimony content, distance the lead is away from the mouth,…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I keep blowing up bullets and causing a lot of meat damage on deer, sometimes needing more shots than should be necessary. What should I do?

    Such a situation calls for either lower velocities, less frangible bullets or both. This may be as simple as changing…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Will the maximum load that you show in your manual be OK in my rifle?

    Maybe, but perhaps not. Loads that are shown to be below “maximum” in our test rifles may prove to be…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why are boat tails better for long range shooting?

    Boat tails have a higher ballistic coefficient than flat base designs. This translates to more retained velocity and less wind…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    What is the difference between turning the outside of case necks and reaming the inside?

    Outside neck turning is done to match case necks to the tight tolerance of chambers with tight necks. Reaming the…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Do I need to weigh each charge?

    Not unless you are working at maximum loads for your rifle. Even coarse grain stick powders can be thrown close…

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    Sierra Bullets
  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I worked up a load for my rifle last winter. When I fired the same load this summer, it locked up my bolt. Why?

    Temperature affects the burning rate of powder. This load was apparently near maximum for this rifle at the colder temperatures.…

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    Sierra Bullets