X-Ring Newsletter

The X-Ring

Technical Newsletter From Your Ballistic Technicians

Volume 9, Issue 1

New Product Announcement
#2415 8mm, 200 grain HPBT MatchKing
Sierra Bullets is proud to announce a new addition to our MatchKing line of bullets. The 8mm (.323" dia.) 200 grain HPBT MatchKing combines optimum bullet design with the tightest quality control specs in the industry.
        Designed for the 8x57 Mauser, this bullet will also prove to be a superb long-range match bullet for the larger 8mm's. Featuring the same jackets as the .30 caliber MatchKings, this bullet has a 13-degree boattail, 7.28 ogive, minimum meplat diameter, and a bearing surface of nearly .400". This bullet has previously been offered only in Europe. Now available in boxes of 100 bullets.
Bullet Name
8mm, 200 gr. HPBT
.323 200 .274  .520 @ 2300fps and above
 .505 between 2300 and 1700 fps
 .461 @ 1700 fps and below

That First Gun
by Duane Siercks

     We are often asked for loads for lighter rifle cartridges that will be used by either young or smaller hunters. The main concern is the recoil that will be experienced by the these shooters, and the affect that it will have on their shooting ability.

     We can all remember our first deer or large game animal and can attest to the fact that we were anything but steady or settled. Because of this we could be putting these new hunters at a disadvantage by using a marginal caliber rifle. Even though the smaller caliber cartridges are fully capable of harvesting deer sized game in the hands of an experienced hunter, in a situation where perfect shot placement may be found wanting, a marginal wound with a smaller diameter bullet is normally not as lethal as with a larger diameter bullet.

     What about the recoil? While recoil is a vital concern, working the hunter up to a larger diameter cartridge by starting with lighter loads by utilizing lighter weight bullets and powder charges resulting in less recoil. This will enable the smaller shooter to practice, becoming more familiar with the firearm as well as become accustomed to some recoil. Then begin using the bullet weight desired for hunting and slowly work up the powder charge to the desired velocity level, allowing the shooter to shoot as you go so that there won't be any big surprises.

     With the extra practice from the lower velocity shooting and the load development we have a situation where accuracy potential will be much better, plus during that moment of excitement, shot placement will be better and a bullet of sufficient caliber and weight will cleanly harvest a very important game animal. Helping a new hunter harvest their first game is very important and also helping them to have a very memorable moment that will encourage them to be a hunting partner for many more memorable experiences.
Florida State Junior High Power Rifle Team

Last Hunt - Marvin Boyd
Camp Perry Winners!
We here at Sierra Bullets were saddened to hear that Marvin Boyd of Chariton, Iowa passed away on October 18, 2001. Marvin and his son Ron always seemed to be in the winner's circle at the Varmint Hunter Jamboree in Pierre, South Dakota. One of Marvin's passions was hunting prairie dogs; making the trip from Iowa to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota several times each year. One of his latest conquests was to take a prairie dog at over 1000 yards. Marvin was always searching for the ultimate rifle/cartridge combination for both the Jamboree and prairie dogs. When Marvin was near Sierra, he would always stop by to say hello and visit. We were blessed to have spent many hours with Marvin shooting prairie dogs and just talking about that ultimate rifle. Marvin touched many hearts and left with many friends who will miss him dearly, including us at Sierra Bullets.

From the 1999 Varmint Hunter Jamboree in Pierre, SD: Factory Rifle Champion Ron Boyd (left) and Open Class Runner-Up Marvin Boyd (right) are shown with Varmint Hunter Jamboree Range Master Gordy Gitters (center).
    Congratulations to all who participated in the 2001 NRA National HiPower Rifle Championships at Camp Perry. Below is a partial listing of Trophy/Match winners who were shooting Sierra Bullets.

Edward D. Andrus Memorial Trophy Match Raymond Gross (2 years in a row)
The Roumanian Trophy Team Match Arizona Tompkins Family
Farr Trophy Match Larry Walraven
Herb "Doc" Aitken Memorial Trophy Match Daniel Altman
Herrick Trophy Team Match Arizona Family, Middle Tompkins
Sierra Bullets Trophy Award Raymond Gross
Palma Rifle Aggregate Raymond Gross
Tompkins Trophy Match Michelle Gallagher (2 years in a row)
National Trophy Individual Rifle Match Jay Williams
National Trophy Rifle Team Match USMC Reserve, Doyle Jackson
National Trophy Infantry Team Match USAMU Coffey, Kyle Ward
Enlisted Men's Trophy Team Match USAMU Coffey, Kyle Ward
Rumbold Trophy Team Match Winnequa Gold, Scott Liebetrau
Army Cup Match Michelle Gallagher
Appreciation Cup Match John Harrison III
Air Force Cup Match Robin Maly
Crescent Cup Match Jon Howell
Crowell Trophy Match Roger Westberg
Erdman Trophy Match Norman Houle
McCann Trophy Match James O'Connell
Centenary Trophy Aggregate David Tubb
Vandenberg Cup Match David Tubb
Clarke Trophy Match David Tubb
National NRA Match Rifle Championship David Tubb
NRA National High Power Rifle Champion David Tubb

Sierra 4th Edition Rifle Manual Sold Out!
We have sold out of the 50th Anniversary/4th Edition Rifle manuals and we will not be producing additional copies. There is a limited supply of Handgun reloading manuals still available. At this time, we are developing new information for the 5th Edition Sierra Reloading Manual. This new book is scheduled for introduction in January 2003. Got Any Good Pictures?? We are always looking for good photos from your latest hunt, a recovered bullet you want to share, or targets you are particularly proud of. Who knows, they may end up in an issue of the X-Ring, or in a future Sierra reloading manual. Please remember to include your name, the cartridge/bullet combination and some of the details about the shot. Send these items to Sierra Bullets, Attn. AB, 1400 West Henry, Sedalia, MO 65301. You may e-mail .tiff or .jpeg photos to sierra@sierrabullets.com, but make sure you include a description in the subject line. I don't open e-mail with attachments from blind locations.

Questions From You
When is Sierra going to make a premium bullet?
All Sierra bullets are premium bullets or they wouldn't shoot as well as they do. But the answer to your question is no, we don't intend to offer an enhanced construction bullet. The key to proper bullet performance for conventionally constructed bullets is to select the proper bullet in the first place. It makes absolutely no sense to use a rifle capable of clean kills at 600 yards to harvest animals at 75 to 150 yards. Furthermore to expect a bullet to perform well at 100 yards and the accompanying high impact velocity then ask that same bullet to exactly duplicate that performance at 600 yards and the drastically reduced impact velocities is asking way too much. There is a point there where the shooter has to stop and think about what he is trying to accomplish. And as is so often the case, it is far too easy to over-specialize and become woefully ineffective in one or the other phase of performance criteria.   Rich

What is the best way to focus my scope?
I focus all my scopes on the highest power first. My experience indicates any other method will give unreliable results. If a crisp focus is achieved at high power it will be extra crisp at lesser magnification. Then you can adjust the parallax for the range you are shooting at the moment. Note that the parallax may change significantly with a change in range and the numbers on the objective bell may not correspond exactly with the range. If the image is blurry in an adjustable objective scope simply adjust the objective for a clear image, and be sure to make certain point-of-impact doesn't shift with a power change.   Rich
Do the lead points on spitzer bullets melt in flight?
No, that is a figment of someone's imagination. Bullet tips do not melt in flight.
To prove that, light your propane torch and get a good hot blue flame. Then take a lead tipped bullet held in the jaws of a pair of pliers and pass the bullet through the flame fast the first time, then slow the speed until the tip does melt slightly. You will have to hold the bullet in the flame for a short period of time. Now think of the time it takes a bullet to cover 300 yards, less than 1/2 of a second. A bullet isn't in the air long enough to melt. Not even if it is going a thousand yards which takes over a second. As you can see it just doesn't happen the way people think. Good question though.   Rich

    I have always heard 30 cal 168s aren't accurate at 1000 yards because they go sub-sonic before they get there but the black powder guys shoot 45-70s that far with accuracy and they start out below the speed of sound. How can that be?
A bullet is most unstable immediately upon emergence from the barrel and during the trans-sonic portion of its flight down range. Even though individual bullets look identical they really aren't. Because of that, BCs are an average of many shots. Any one individual shot may vary considerably from that average. Due to that variation one bullet may tumble when others don't. Twist must be considered and is very important also. Too little and there isn't enough gyroscopic stability to resist yaw. When yaw is present BCs fall very quickly and if impact isn't very soon a tumbling condition will result. Sub-sonic cartridges are much less effected than super sonic projectiles so the old 45-70s are really much more effective than us modern shooters first imagine. This is because of the static balance points of the very dense short (in comparison to pointed bullets) bullets. In this regard visualize of leverage and balance point differences between short 45-70, normal pointed jacketed bullets and the extremely long pointy VLD style bullets. Think of a toy top and how fast one must spin a long narrow top in comparison to a short fat top to gain stability. Although the short (in comparison) 45-70 bullets are buffeted they are better balanced and withstand the buffeting better so are effected less than the longer more susceptible spitzer or especially VLD bullets.   Rich

I am starting some new reloading with a new 308 that I had built. I have purchased a 3rd gen. Scope from Springfield. It is pre-calibrated for the 308 with a 168 match bullet at 2550 fps. I plan to hunt deer with this gun at long range. So here's the question, can I hunt with Yall"s match bullet? I did this one time with another company's match bullets and wounded a deer and I still feel bad about it so could you please give me some info on this question?
The short answer is NO. The real answer is still no but I suggest you use our 165 grain Spitzer Boattail bullet #2145. This bullet is very close to the same shape as the 168 MatchKing so it will follow the scope well and it does perform very well in hunting situations. I'm sorry you lost your deer and there is nothing I can do to soothe your conscience but we can avoid this in the future and you have taken the first step. Congratulations and welcome to the world of responsible hunting.   Rich

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