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







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Super Clean Brass Without Breaking The Bank

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

I recently purchased 1,000 rounds of once fired 5.56 LC brass that was fully processed and ready to load. The brass had been wet tumbled, using stainless steel pins and looked great inside and out, including the primer pockets.

I had always used a vibrating tumbler with either corn cob or walnut media and I always thought my brass looked pretty good until I saw what the wet tumbling and pin combination did.

Being the budget minded reloader that I am, I started looking for a cheap way to wet tumble my brass using stainless steel pins. Harbor Freight had recently opened a store nearby and I had received coupons in the mail, one of the coupons was 20% off any one item.

So I headed for the Harbor Freight store and after roaming around for 20 minutes or so I found a dual drum rotary rock tumbler for $55.00 and thought it would do just fine for what I was planning. The drums are rather small and only have a 3 pound maximum load limit each, but I figured that was big enough for around 150 .223 cases or maybe 300 9MM cases at a time.

I pulled the wrinkled up coupon out of my pocket, paid, and walked out with my new $47.00 brass cleaning machine. I didn’t have any stainless steel pins and couldn’t find any locally.  At our local hardware store I picked up some brass plated ½” finishing brads that I thought might work until I could get some pins ordered.

I bought two small packages of the finishing brads(1.75 oz.), for $1.69 each then headed to my local Walmart to pick up some Dawn dish soap (.99 cents) and a bottle of Lemi Shine ($3.27).  I had read online that is what a lot of people use for cleaning their brass.

When I got home, I started depriming .223 brass for my new toy, I mean brass tumbler. I deprimed 100 cases, put 50 in each drum, dropped a package of brads in each one, filled them ¾ of the way with water, gave each drum a small squirt of Dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of Lemi Shine. I sealed up the drums and fired up the tumbler.

After an hour and a half, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and had to see the results. The water was filthy but the cases were super clean, I couldn’t be happier. For a total investment of around $55.00, I can now get my cases looking almost new.

Here are the before and after pictures of my first run of brass.

I have since ordered two pounds of stainless steel pins, I put one pound in each drum. To be honest the brass really doesn’t look any better, but the pins don’t seem to get stuck inside of the cases near as bad as the brass plated brads did.

Tip: Make sure to inspect your cases and look inside each case to ensure all of the brads/pins are removed.

Just lay the brass and brads/pins out on a towel and let them dry. Mine were dry after about 12 hours.

If you want your cases to look like new without breaking the bank, give it a try. You can’t clean 1000 at a time like the $200.00 tumbling machines that are made for specifically for brass, but this is a much cheaper alternative and the results speak for themselves.

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The M118 LR Chamber: The .223 Wylde of the .308 AR World

Guest blog from our friends at Criterion Barrels, Inc.

A typical AR-10 or other .308 AR pattern rifle will normally come standard with a SAAMI specified .308 Win chamber. While this configuration is designed to accommodate a wide range of different ammunition options effectively, it is less than ideal for a precision .308 AR rifle build. A wider throat diameter (.310) and shorter freebore length (.090) will allow the rifle to accommodate chamber pressures typically found with factory loads, but the wider inside diameter of the throat can cause complications with bullet and bore alignment during feeding, limiting accuracy potential with high performance ammunition.

Criterion Barrels Inc. typically utilizes a .223 Wylde design on their AR-15 barrel models. The benefit to this design involves a slightly tighter throat angle than its 5.56 NATO counterpart, with a longer freebore (when compared to the .223 Remington) to counteract the additional chamber pressure introduced by the modification to the throat design.


Applying this principle to the .308 AR rifle platform, Criterion elected to use the .308 Win M118 Tactical (308 M118 LR) chamber as a basis for their reamer design. This configuration offers a slightly thinner throat (.3085 diameter) with a longer .117 freebore to effectively regulate chamber pressure and account for variance in bullet design.

While this chamber design can safely and reliably function with any number of standard factory ammunition options, by slightly modifying the traditional throat dimensions this chamber can very effectively accommodate the ogive of the Sierra 168 HPBT #2200 and 175 gr. HPBT #2275 MatchKing bullets loaded near or at magazine length.

By tailoring their chamber to optimally function with some of the most prevalent match bullets on the market, Criterion Barrels Inc. is able to offer a .308 AR barrel design that offers consistent sub-MOA performance.

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Sectional Density, What Value Does it Have Today?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

All of us who have been in reloading and shooting for any period of time have read how sectional density has been regarded as a bullet’s ability to penetrate.  Back before high velocity came along and modern bullet design, the easiest way to get more “power” and penetration was by increasing the diameter and mass. After all, a bowling ball will hurt more than a golf ball, right?

Let’s take a closer look at sectional density.

The formula for calculating sectional density is pretty simple and straight forward.  Take the bullet weight and divide by 7000. This number is then divided by the bullet diameter squared. Two bullets of equal weight and the same diameter will have equal sectional sectional density. No regard is given to the bullet construction. This is where the fly hits the soup in considering sectional density as far as penetration is concerned.

Bullet construction is the biggest factor in how it is able to penetrate. The best example I can think of here is to look at the Sierra .224 55 Gr. FMJBT GameKing #1355 compared to the 55 Gr. BlitzKing #1455. Both are .224 and weigh 55 grs. Both have a sectional density of .157. But there is a huge difference in their construction. The FMJ has a thick jacket and is designed to penetrate. The BlitzKing is designed for fast and rapid expansion with little concern for how deep they will penetrate.

The next time you’re choosing a bullet, look at the construction and less at the sectional density number. It’s all about the construction anyway.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss sectional density or bullet penetration further, please give us a call at 800-223-8799 or shoot us an email at

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Long Range Load Development

Written by Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager Mark Walker
[First published July 3, 2014]  

Since I just put a new barrel on my F-class rifle this spring, I figured it might be a good time to discuss load tuning for long range shooting. Getting the most accuracy out of your rifle is one of the most important aspects of load tuning. For long range shooting in particular, using a load that produces the least amount of vertical variation is vital. There are several steps to the process that I use, so I will go through the basics of each.

When I first get a new barrel installed, I like to determine what the loaded cartridge “jam” length is. I do this by taking an empty case (no powder or primer) that has been neck sized with the proper bushing (I like to shoot for 0.002 smaller than the loaded cartridge neck diameter) and seat a bullet long in it so that the throat of the rifle will move the bullet back into the case when I close the bolt. I close the bolt several times until the bullet stops moving back into the case at which point I use a comparator with my calipers and get a length measurement on the cartridge. This is what I consider to be the “jam length” for this barrel and chamber. I came up with 3.477 as the “jam length” for this particular barrel.

Next, I will fire form some brass using a starting load of powder and bullets seated to “jam” while breaking in the barrel. My barrel break in process is not very technical; it’s mostly just to get the brass formed and the rifle sighted in. I do clean every 5 rounds or so just because I feel like I have to.

Once I have the brass formed, I use them to load for a “ladder “ test to see what powder charge the rifle likes. With a ladder test, you take your starting load and load one round each with a slightly increasing amount of powder until you reach your max load for that cartridge. You then fire each round using the same aiming point to see where the bullets start to form a group. For this barrel and cartridge, I started at 53.3 grains of H4831SC powder and increased the load by 0.3 grains until I reached 55.7 grains. I always seat my bullets to “jam” when doing a ladder test. We will determine the final seating depth in another test later. It’s usually best to shoot this test at a minimum of 200 yards because at closer ranges the bullets will impact too close together making it hard to determine which load works best. I shot this test at 300 yards.

Walker2072 copyAs you can see from the target, the lightest load #1 had the lowest velocity and impacted lowest on the target. Shots #2 and #3 were a little higher and in the same hole. Shots #4 thru #6 were slightly higher yet and all had the same elevation. Shots #7 and #8 were the highest on the target however pressure signs were starting to show. For some reason shot #9 went back into the group and the chronograph didn’t get a reading so I ignored that shot.

When picking a load, I am looking for the most shots at the same vertical location on the target. As you can see that would be shots #4 through #6 so I would pick a powder charge from those shots which would be 54.2 grains to 54.8 grains. As a side note, shots #2 and #3 are only 0.851 lower so I wouldn’t be afraid of using one of those loads either. I settled on 54.5 grains as the load I wanted to use. It’s right in the middle of the group so if the velocity goes up or down slightly, the bullet should still hit in the same place on the target.

Now that we’ve settled on a powder charge, I want to find the seating depth the rifle likes. I usually start at jam length and move the depth in 0.003 until I get to 0.015 deeper than jam.  I load 3 rounds at each depth using the 54.5 grain powder charge and shoot a group with each depth at 150 yards. As you can see from the target, the first two groups are not good at all. Next one looks good and is the smallest group on the target.  The next three are not quite as small but the vertical location on the target is almost the same which indicates a sweet spot which will help keep the vertical stringing to a minimum on target. I went with 3.470 which is right in the middle once again and should give some flexibility with the seating depth.

Walker3074ASo after all of that, my load is 54.5 grains of H4831SC and a cartridge length of 3.470. I plan on loading up enough ammo to shoot five groups of five shots and see exactly how this load works on target as well as what the extreme velocity spreads are over several groups.

I sincerely hope some of this information helps you to get the best accuracy out of your rifle. I do not take credit for coming up with any of this, a whole lot of good shooters use this same method or a variant of it when working up their loads.

For more information about load development, please contact the Sierra Bullets technical support team at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at

Disclaimer: Load data represented here may not be safe in your rifle.

Posted in Competitive Shooting, Reloading | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Hog Hunt 2017

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks

Duane Siercks at Stasney’s Ranch

On May 15, four Sierra employees were given the opportunity to travel to Albany, Texas to enjoy a couple days of hog hunting. They departed the Sierra Plant in Sedalia, Mo. early on the 15th, arriving at the Stasney’s Ranch in the late afternoon. The employees were Nathan Vanderlinden, Chris Franklin, Brandon Harris, and myself, Duane Siercks.

Upon their arrival they noticed immediately the abundance of bobwhite quail. Having been raised in Missouri during a time when quail were quite abundant, I have always missed the early morning/late evening quail calls. This was certainly a welcome sight to literally see hundreds of quail pairs wherever upon the ranch you went. Game such as deer, turkey, and hogs were in abundance also. Also quite prevalent are the cactus and mesquite.

This area was recovering from a major drought during which a lot of the cattle were shipped out to other states. A lot of the “tanks,” or what we call ponds in our area were completely dry. There was no grass to speak of and the wildlife suffered as well. In the last couple of years, the rains returned and the vegetation has prospered  abundantly supporting a very rich magnitude of wildlife.



Once we made our way down the lengthy road to the Ranch Headquarters, we were met by Ranch Manager, Billy Hill. Mr. Hill showed us around the Headquarters and showed us some very comfortable sleeping quarters. I can tell you that the bed I slept in was just as comfortable as could be. The 50 acre lake in front of the Headquarters was very appealing to the eye, and according to the pictures of Mr. Hill and his daughter, the fishing would have been quite good also.

The following morning was the kick-off to our hog hunt. We were paired up with two hunters per guide. Brandon and myself were given the pleasure of hunting with Mr. Hill. He is extremely knowledgeable in the varied ways and means of pursuing the quarry. He had us in the midst of a group of hogs within minutes. All the while, the quail were calling, turkeys were seen strutting and could be heard gobbling. Deer were very much around at all times. The other Sierra employees were paired up with Chris. I could tell from the minute I met Chris that he was no stranger to hunting. He was only able to hunt with us for one day. The second day, we had another knowledgeable guide helping us. His name was Les Bowman. Anytime we were not out hunting, Les was keeping us well entertained. In fact, we could not remember laughing so hard in a very long time.

There were many hunting stories shared. Also to be viewed were many trophy game mounts displayed throughout the many buildings. Trophy racks and sheds included one that scores in excess of 240″ from a whitetail still running on the ranch. Longhorn cattle and steers displayed very impressive headgear. Roadrunners, horned lizards, and, yes, even the rattlers were seen.  (Thanks to Billy and Les for helping me to get my trophy!)

The meals were outstanding. The chicken fried steak, the soup, the Mexican dishes, the steaks, and the desserts were quite a treat. Thanks Mrs. Shanna for the home cooked meals.

Mrs. Hill also shared with us quite a pictorial history lesson about the Ranch. We also learned about the vast wind farm in operation there. Huge wind turbines were viewed close at hand. These having a total overall height of about 450 feet. We were informed that the blade tips even in a light wind were traveling often times in excess of 125 MPH. Standing close underneath them, the blades coming past sounded very similar to a plane at take-off. There were also oil pumps in operation.

So much to do, so little time. It was time to head home before we even got started it seemed. This will certainly be a trip of many memories.

Brandon Harris with hog he shot.

The trip was quite enjoyable. We were blessed to be able to harvest several hogs. Mr Hill, his wife Shanna, Chris, and Les were the best hosts I have had the pleasure of being with. Thanks for the great time and experience.

Nathan Vanderlinden with coyote with mange


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A Pistol Bullet for Deer Season

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Phil Mahin

I have always wanted a lever action rifle chambered in 45 Colt.  I finally got my chance to purchase one last summer that I could use for deer season.  What I found was accurate, but I was able to get velocities that were a lot faster than what is normal for the cartridge. In fact, I was getting 1,700fps from the muzzle and that was verified with our industrial Oehler here at work. There is a good reason for the velocity.  It comes from a combination of a hot magnum primer, a lot of slow burning powder, and a case that is built well enough to hold the high pressure repeatedly. I know you may have a lot of questions about this and I’ll finish this story in my next blog, but for now, I wanted to show you what I found for expansion.

I’ve been shooting Sierra Bullets’ #8820 240gr JHC Sports Master and here are the results.

At a 1,086fps impact, it expanded very well, in fact, I would call it perfect. This one kept 235 grains of weight and is 0.780” at its widest point. From what I remember, it went through three jugs and dented the forth.


The next one impacted at 1,278fps and retained 219 grains while expanding out to a 0.850” diameter.

The next one in sequence to velocity was done here at Sierra Bullets into a gel block to see if I could get an accurate representation for penetration. It retained 147 grains and it penetrated a whopping 12 ½ to 13 inches at a 1,442fps impact velocity.

Back at home, the last few impacted at 1,700fps and there wasn’t enough of it left to talk about. In fact, the remains of two didn’t even add up to the same weight as the one above, but it still took out two jugs a piece and sent them 20 feet into every direction.

If I were to evaluate the test, I would say it was a success in the development of the bullet to the cartridge it was built for. The cartridge has a low pressure and doesn’t create a significant velocity from revolvers. At the impact velocities usually associated with it, the Sierra Bullets 240gr bullet will perform extremely well on varmints to whitetail sized animals and possibly bigger if shot placement and impact velocity are kept in mind. Next time, I’ll show the accuracy I’ve seen from this cartridge and firearm combination.

Till then, be safe shooting.

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Should I Outside Neck Turn My Brass?

Written by Ballistic Technician Paul Box

ImageThis 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 its 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 shorten case life.

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