Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data


sierra-bullets-6-5-creedmoor-diagramTest Specifications/

Firearm Used: Universal Receiver
Barrel Length: 24”
Twist: 1-8’’
Case: Hornady
Trim-to Length: 1.910’’
Primer: Winchester WLR


Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design.  This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines.  With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5mm.  Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17.  The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions.  Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.



2-sierra-bullets-6-5-creedmoor-dataINDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION


4a-sierra-bullets-6-5-creedmoor-dataINDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION







Posted in Reloading | Tagged , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Standard Deviation – How Valuable is it?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz

Okay, you and I are at the range testing loads. You have a new hunting rifle in a bolt action platform and I have my newly rebarreled IBS 1000 yard light gun. Our goals are the same, obtain the best possible accuracy. But because of the difference in platforms although our goals are the same our degrees of accuracy may be and probably should be different.

As we set up the chronograph and get our “stuff” laid out. You are setup and I haven’t even gotten my rest out of its case yet.


Since you aren’t concerned about the chronograph at this point your go ahead and start shooting as I finish setting up. You are shooting 3 shot groups and conclude your testing as I am getting the chronograph out. We get it set up and now it is my turn. Your target is at 100 yards and we take a peek at it and see a couple of sub-MOA groups. Looks pretty good.

My target is set at 200 yards and I am shooting 5 shot groups and am in the final testing phase of my OCW and ladder tests.


My goal is 1/2″ groups at 200 yards with single digit Extreme Spread (ES) numbers. But why are you so worried about ES when all the writers talk about is Standard Deviation (SD) you ask?

Well … I’m glad you asked.

Extreme Spread numbers give me immediate input as to where my bullet will land. The lower the Extreme Spread the less vertical dispersion my group will exhibit. At long range this is of paramount importance. Just 20 feet per second difference in velocity will be evident as vertical stringing on the target at 1000 yards. How much is dependent upon your initial velocity and the Ballistic Coefficient of your bullet but 2-4 inches is not at all uncommon and could well be more than that. Now that is on top of any aiming errors, scope parallax and other unseen gremlins lurking between you and the target.

Skipping forward, I finish my test and you sit down to shot across the chronograph screens. You finish your remaining rounds and we sit down to examine our results. We check your target and indeed you do have a couple of very nice sub-MOA groups and the corresponding Extreme Spreads are 30-45 fps but the Standard Deviation is 15 to 20.

My target shows the accuracy I was looking for as well but the Extreme Spreads under 20 fps and SDs are 8 to 10.

So you question why I go to all this trouble to get this uniformity when you went to half the trouble and got nearly as good a result.

The fact of the matter is both guns gave a good account of themselves but Standard Deviation is deceiving. It is a weighted average which tells you how much you deviated for average. Low deviation indicates that you are closer to the mid-point of your average velocity test while high deviation numbers show that the majority of your shots were more scattered throughout your velocity range.

On a large numerical sampling of 100 to 500 shots this is very useful information which will tell you how much you should shade your hold for consistent scores. This is a viable statement but is most useful for extreme range shooting. At normal hunting ranges you will probably never see the dispersion. Plus how many of us are willing to invest that much time, components and coveted barrel life to explore a load that yields only limited usefulness to us. Major ammunition manufacturers need this for consistency of their factory loads and you and I as consumers need them to do that. But you and I can also build very uniform ammo tailored specifically for our particular firearm.

When we do that our very best yardstick is Extreme Spread.

I have seen my 22 PPC shoot consistent 2/10ths groups at 100 yards with H322 and 52 grain HP BTs with 30 – 40 fps Extreme Spreads. At 200 yards it will shoot an inch and 300 is more like 3-4 inches. The SDs weren’t bad and ESs were okay. But what I see in a load that is constant in its inconsistency. It needs to shoot at 300 like it shoots at 150, about a 1/2 inch. Lower Standard Deviation as a result of much lower extreme spreads solved the problem and I get 1/2 inch accuracy at 300 if the wind co-operates and I do my job. Of course it is very easy to blow that up.

Where the real differences show up between the Extreme Spread value and Standard deviation is at long range. I am going to make a statement here – If your load offers more than 20 feet per second Extreme Spread it is not suitable for long range hunting. Your goal should be single digit Extreme Spreads, the lower the better. Then SD is meaningless.

To reiterate, Extreme Spread will tell you the vertical spread of your group. Standard Deviation will tell you whether you will hit more to the middle of your aiming point or on the edges.

(When I have to shoot I shoot Sierra, to shoot anything else would be just shooting.)

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300 gr Sports Master Bullet in My 45 Colt

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Phil Mahin

My testing continues with my Henry carbine in 45 Colt and I have found out that it likes the Sierra Bullets #8830 300gr Sports Master JSP. I was hoping to catch one and show what kind of expansion it gives and it took some doing but I finally did.

The bullet to the left weighs 288.84 grains and the fragments weigh in at 11.04 grains for a total of 299.88 grains from a 300gr start. This was made with an impact velocity of 1,604fps and it went through 54 inches of water just to bounce off of the large blue barrel I had placed behind everything, just in case (and thank goodness I did). With this kind of performance, it should break bones easily and still keep going. It could easily be put to other applications where maximum penetration is required. This velocity and likely more could be better obtained from a 454 Casull and Big Horn Armory just happens to make a Model 90A .

The accuracy from this bullet is fantastic as it gave me a 0.76” center to center group size with a lighter charge (slower velocity) from my firearm. One thing I noticed when crimping, it doesn’t give in as much as our 240gr does so the crimp looks and feels different between the two.

I’ll be the one at the range with the kids sporting large smiles screaming “Shoot another one!” when a refilled liter or 2 liter bottle blows up.

Till next time, enjoy your shooting and be safe.

Editor’s Note: Due to the fact that this is a rifle, this bullet had no difficulties traveling from the case to the end of the barrel. A revolver having a gap between the cylinder and forcing cone can be hard on this and our other bullet so a velocity cap is put on both. Keep our 300gr bullet under 1,550fps and our 240gr under 1,400fps from a revolver style firearm.

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Shooting Bench Plans and Inspiration

Looking to build a shooting bench?  Below please find some inspiration we have gathered through from our Facebook page.

Wooden Shooting Bench

Click to download Thomas Draper’s very helpful notes he added to the plans he found online for the bench pictured.

Concrete Shooting Bench

Click here for the plans to build this ultimate concrete shooting bench from

More Shooting Bench Inspiration:

Michael Shymchyk built this shooting bench without plans and says it doubles as a party deck.

Bruce McCraw added 4×4 skids for moving with 4 wheeler etc.

And here is Bruce McCraw’s bench finished with a top and bench seat attached.

Brad Peterson built this shooting bench to compliment his deck.

William Dell Barnes’ 25 year old bench with steel legs in concrete, 4 x 3/8″ steel bar stock welded across the two front legs and tied back to the rear leg, top fastened to the bar stock.

Scott Davis used the same plans as Thomas Draper above but modified a bit for his needs.

Juergen Schmakeit has his bench weighed down with several hundred pounds of bricks.

Andrew Astill made all 4 of these benches for less than $100 patterning them off a bench he bought at Cabelas!John Deere






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FAQ: New Sierra Bullets Ownership By Clarus

As many of you have recently learned, Sierra Bullets has been acquired by the Clarus Corporation (NASDAQ: CLAR). We are excited for this opportunity to expand the great service and top quality products we offer to you moving forward.

Prior owners, BHH Management, acquired Sierra Bullets in 1969 from the founding partners and owned the company for almost 50 years. In the twilight of their careers, BHH Management set out to find new owners who could be diligent stewards for another 50 years and beyond. Clarus Corporation’s matching organizational values and intense focus on quality made this an easy decision for them.

The leadership behind Clarus Corporation have a rich heritage in the sporting market, which is what attracted them to Sierra Bullets. Their other companies such as Safariland Group, Black Diamond, and Pieps demonstrate their commitment to the outdoor industry. Many of you will be very familiar with The Safariland Group and their long history of providing innovative holsters and protective equipment to consumers, military, and LE customers around the world.

We will be happy to answer all your questions about the transition.

  1. Will Sierra Bullets be moving?

    No – Clarus has committed to keeping Sedalia, MO home for all 140 Sierra employees and their families.  Unfortunately, our dreams of moving the plant to a private tropical island were quickly squashed. =(

  2. Will I will be able to get the same great bullets I have come to love?

    Yes! There are no planned changes to the existing product line, but watch for exciting new additions in the future! Perhaps our dream of making a self-propelled gravity defying gold core titanium bullet will finally be fulfilled! =)

  3.  Are there any changes to the staff?

    Nope – you are still stuck with all of us from the President on down.

  4. Can I invest in the company that now owns Sierra Bullets?

    Yes – Clarus Corporation is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol “CLAR”. Or you can continue investing in Sierra Bullets one little green box at a time! =)

Posted in Sierra Responds | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

How Accurate is the 7.62×39 Russian?

Written by Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

When someone mentions the 7.62×39 Russian cartridge, accurate isn’t usually a word that comes to mind.

The cartridge itself is capable of decent accuracy, the problem lies with the type of firearms usually chambered for the cartridge are not usually designed to be tack drivers.

We are all familiar with the SKS and AK rifles that are rugged and reliable, but we feel lucky when we can hold a 3 inch group at 100 yards.

Around ten years ago, I bought a CZ527M chambered in 7.62×39, just to see how accurate the little round can be.

I played with it some and the little carbine usually averaged around 1.5” groups at 100 yards.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to actually attempt to tune a load for my little CZ, and see what it was capable of.

I ended up settling on a load using a Sierra 125 grain Pro-Hunter #2305 and 24.5 grains of Accurate 1680.*

This past weekend I shot three groups at 100 yards, all were 5 shot groups using sandbags for a rest. The results are as follows:

Group #1= .990”

Group#2= .829”

Group#3= 1.083”

The three group average was .967”, not too bad for a factory carbine.

*While this load was safe in this rifle, it may not be safe in all firearms.

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How Much Difference Does Ballistic Coefficient Make?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

Judging by the calls I’ve had through the years, I think some shooters might be placing too much importance on ballistic coefficient. The best example of this comes from a call I had one day. This shooter called wanting the ballistic coefficient (BC) of one of our bullets. After I told him he seemed a little disappointed, so I ask him what his application was. Long range target, deer hunting in the woods? Talk to me.

As it turned out, he hunted deer in open timber. Very rarely shot beyond 100 yds. I pointed out to him that under 200 yds. B.C. has little impact. Let’s compare a couple of bullets.

Let’s look at the trajectory of a couple of bullets and see how they compare. The .30 caliber 180 gr. round nose #2170 and the 180 gr. Spitzer boat tail #2160. The round nose has a B.C. of .240, the SBT is .501. Starting both bullets out of the muzzle at 2700 FPS and zeroed at 100 yards, at 200 yards the #2170 RN impacts 4.46” low and the #2160 SBT impacts 3.88” low.  A difference of only .58” in spite of a huge difference in B.C. If we compare out at 500 yds., then we have a huge difference of 14.27” between these two bullets.

In a hunting situation, under 200 yds, having a difference of only .58” isn’t going to make or break us. But elk hunting in wide open spaces it could mean everything.

The next time you’re choosing a bullet, give some thought about the distances you will be shooting. Sometimes B.C. isn’t everything.  If you have any questions, please give the Sierra Bullets technicians a call at 800-233-8799.

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Throwback Thursday: Sierra Bullet Boards Over the Years

Sierra Bullets has created seven bullet boards to display the bullet line over the years. Do you have one in your reloading room?  Let us know in the comments.

Sierra Bullet Board4
Sold from 1965 to 1969 – $8.50
Product Description: This attractive display board of all bullets manufactured by Sierra Bullets, Inc. The display is pleasantly arranged within a 16 x 16 inch portrait type frame made of lightweight, durable plastic.  Each of the 52 actual bullets are identified for caliber, style, and weight.  Each is mounted in a fitted depression and fastened with a special adhesive compound.  The acetate cover is printed on the inside to prevent defacing.  It will not fade and it is easily cleaned.  While the attractive display is primarily intended for dealer wall or counter display, it would ornament the will of any shooter’s den or gun room, while providing a ready reference to the entire Sierra bullet line.   

Sierra_Bullet_BoardSold from 1970 – 1972

Sold from 1973 – 1974 for $15.00


Sold from 1975 – 1977 for $25.00
Product Description: This attractively designed Bullet Board provides a rich wood-grained oval background for Sierra’s complete line of 79 precision bullets.  An ideal decoration for either office or den, the Bullet Board also doubles as a convenient reference source by showing bullet caliber, diameter, grain weight and design.


First sold in 1977 for $30.00
Sold from 1977 – 1980

Product Description: This attractively designed Bullet Board provides a rich wood-tone background for Sierra’s complete line of precision bullets.  An ideal decoration for either office or den, the Bullet Board also doubles as a convenient reference source by showing bullet caliber, diameter, grain weight and design.  The board features the two latest additions to the Sierra line the .45 Long Colt (240 gr.) and the .375 Big Game Hunting Bullet (300 gr.).  The board is a handy reference source giving the caliber, diameter, grain weight and design of each of the 84 precision-made Sierra bullets.
Approximately 22″ wide X 15″.

BulletBoardCaliforniaWoodFirst sold in 1980 for $38.50
Sold from 1980 – 1995

Product Description: The Sierra Bullet Board is made of everything rich and real.  Rich real California Redwood.  A complete selection of genuine Sierra Bullets.  Classic cooper metallic printing.  One of limited collection. *Company records indicate these boards were offered in Redwood, Oak, Cedar, and Zebrawood
(approximately 25 specially made pictured below)

WestTexasWholesale_Letter Click to read a letter dated February 11, 1982 about the Zebrawood bullet board. BulletBoard_Zebrawood

SierraBullets50thAnniversaryBulletBoardFirst sold in 1996 for $299.95
Product Description: Created to celebrate Sierra Bullet’s 50th anniversary.  We only made 5000 pieces, so this impressive board is sure to be a collector’s item.  Each plaque is handcrafted from the finest solid oak and features one of all 158 bullets made at the time.  Leather-look background details bullet calibers and grain weights and is accented by engraved wood trim and framed by a 1/2″ select hemp rope.  Key hole cut back for easy hanging. Bullet boards are numbered in the lower right hand corner.

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