X-Ring Newsletter

The X-Ring

Technical Newsletter From Your Ballistic Technicians

Volume 2012, Issue Fall

Fall...My Favorite Time of the Year
Duane Siercks

Duane with Deer
The cooler days and nights, the occasional frosty morning, the warm afternoons, and then the color changes all around. This is the time to really be outside and there is so much to do.

This brings to mind the focal point of my favorite pastime, hunting. The preparation and scouting that helps us be our best at whatever type of hunting we choose. Now would be a great time to start checking over the equipment and to also get the reloading press going. Time to get the ammo loaded and/or loads worked up for that new firearm. Then to get the scope zeroed in and have time to practice. These things are often put off until the very last minute. This can quite often lead to some severe frustration when things just don't quite work as well as we had planned. Then we don't have time to get things fixed or a chance to work on that load to make the ol' gun shoot like it should. Just reminding you that this still needs to be done while you have time.

This is also an excellent time to get the new hunters out to the range and let them get some experience with their firearm of choice. I remember starting my daughter out with her first attempt at shooting the deer rifle to prepare for her first hunt. We still recall the many shooting sessions and time spent together. If I had it to do again, I would have a lot more pictures of the preparations as well as the results. The best experiences seem to happen when there is no camera, unfortunately. (Remember, we like to see your pictures also.)

There are many hunting opportunities that are actually taking place now, depending on your location. Such as antelope seasons in some of the western states, black bear seasons in many places this next month as well as elk and mule deer and then of course whitetail hunting practically everywhere. With the wide array of seasons and methods, one will stay busy just trying to decide which season and method will get their attention.

We here at Sierra will be pleased to help you with any of your reloading situations or problems. We can help you with those important trajectory questions that you may have. We can also help you to know where you should sight in to get the best zero for your situation. Feel free to call us at 1-800-223-8799 or e-mail us at sierra@sierrabullets.com with any questions you might have. We can provide you with load data and perhaps give some tips to help you with your reloading as well.

Remember to enjoy your time in the field and be safe.

Share Your Story

Have a great Sierra Bullets story from a match or hunt? Send your story and picture to sierra@sierrabullets.com. By submitting your images and stories, you are authorizing Sierra Bullets to use the image for the website and select marketing materials as deemed by the marketing department. Sierra Bullets reserves the right to edit submitted text. Phone numbers and email addresses will not be published, only used to contact you if we have questions or need clarification.

Great for Targets - Not for Hunting
By Philip Mahin

Shot Bullet
Fired Sierra 168 gr. HPBT MatchKing (#2200)
sent in by Joey M. of South Carolina
Although Sierra's MatchKing bullets are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, they are not recommended for hunting because of their definition as a nonexpanding bullet. Despite this, hunters from all walks have used our MatchKings on a wide variety of game animals.

Sierra customer Joey wrote, "The bullet was fired from a custom-built Lawton 7000 SA rife with a 22" barrel and 1-10 barrel twist, 308 caliber. The target was a 30-gallon plastic drum filled with water and plugged. It was set up at 850 yards. The bullet was on target (bottom 3rd of the drum), went through the front side of the drum, through the water, and lodged in the back side of the drum. The bullet did not deform and did not penetrate the back side of the drum."

We get a lot of calls from varmint hunters that are using MatchKings with satisfactory results. A fast bullet on a small target can make a big show, but water is a hard media, much harder than most game animals that we hunt for food or control, and proves why Sierra does not recommend MatchKing bullets for hunting.

Tour the Sierra Bullets Facility

Come and see how Sierra Bullets are made - from raw material through the industries strictest quality assurance processes. Visitors are welcome in our facility and advance reservations are not required for groups smaller than 10. Tours are available Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:40 pm. Large groups require one week notice, but for families or individuals, come on in and we'll make the delay as short as possible. The tour will take approximately 45 minutes. The Sierra Bullets facility is handicapped accessible. There is no cost for the tour.

Reloading Sierra's Two Newest MatchKings in
.308 Winchester - 125 & 135 Grainers

By Robert Treece

These newest target bullets aren't shown in the Sierra 5th edition reloading manual (our latest).

No specific data has been compiled as of yet - expect the 125 grainer (stock #2121) to be "lumped" in with the other 125 grain data and just play with your oal; around 2.800".

For the 135 grainer (stock #2123)-can use 150 grain data and expect to be able to bump max up from 1 to 1.5 grains for the lighter bullet, just work it up; oal with it having a boat tail, around 2.650".

Hope this helps-good shooting and thanks for using our products!

If you don't have the latest Sierra reloading manual but are interested in trying either or both projectiles-give us a call (800) 223-8799; we'll try to give you a place to start, even for another cartridge if feasible!

Should I Outside Neck Turn My Brass?
By Paul Box

Neck Turn
This is a question we get just about every week. Should I neck turn my brass? Well, the answer can be yes....and no. Let's look a little deeper into it.

Naturally, if we had our favorite gunsmith chamber a rifle with a "fitted" neck we'll have to neck turn in order for it to fit our chamber. But what about a standard SAAMI spec chamber? This all depends on the quality of your brass. Namely your case neck thickness variation. What I do is take a ball Mic and check the case neck thickness at "8:00 o'clock, 12:00 and 4:00 o'clock points. If my thickness variation is .001" or less, I wouldn't outside neck turn. Unless we're shooting 1,000 yd. benchrest I don't think you'll see any difference in accuracy if this thickness difference is any smaller than that.

Our main goal in outside neck turning is to give our seating die it's best chance to seat a bullet with good concentricity with as little of run out as possible. This puts our bullet in better alignment with the center of the case body and in a squared and trued action, more perfect alignment with the bore.

Brass that has a neck thickness difference that's more than .001"can be turned down to this spec and will shoot fine. They'll also have the advantage of not being too thin, which will give early case neck splits and short case life.

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