Written by New Product Development Manager Mark Walker
While looking at one of the online shooting forums the other day, I ran across a discussion about whether or not pointing degrades the accuracy of the original unpointed bullet. Sierra has been pointing many of its long range target bullets for a while now and our proprietary pointing method was developed specifically to make sure that the process does not affect bullet accuracy negatively while providing an increase in overall B.C. Since all of our match bullets must meet our standard MatchKing® accuracy specifications before they can be packaged, I can say without a doubt that our pointed bullets shoot as good as our original unpointed bullets otherwise they would not be on the shelves.
MatchKing® bullets currently shipping pointed:
To prove this point, I visited with the press operator who was running our #1570 6mm 107gr HPBT bullets and obtained twenty finished bullets that had been pointed (right) and twenty more bullets that were unpointed (left). These bullets came right off of the press in sequential order using the same jackets, dies, and punch settings. The only difference between the two bullet samples was the fact that the last twenty had not been pointed.
I took these bullets to our 300 meter underground range and grabbed one of our return to battery test rifles to see what we could learn. The rifle was a fairly well-worn 6BR that had around 2000 rounds on the barrel. It was still shooting decent and was not finicky about seating depth or powder charge. I loaded all forty rounds with the same charge of Accurate 4064 powder thrown from one of our Redding Competition powder measures. They were then seated using a Redding Competition seater to a depth that did not touching rifling. I made no effort to see how far the bullets were jumping, we found a seating depth that didn’t mark the bullet and went with it.
For the actual test I fired four five-round groups of unpointed bullets at 200 yards and then let the rifle cool. Next I fired four five-round groups of pointed bullets and then averaged the group sizes to see if there was a measurable difference in the two bullets. If you look at the first picture, you can see the first groups fired with the unpointed bullets.
I realize that this is a very small sample and statistically insignificant. However, it does show that for these forty bullets, a change in accuracy was nonexistent. As an aside, many people logically ask, “Why don’t you point all your MatchKing® bullets?” The answer to this is that not all bullet shapes are right for pointing. Bullets with a conventional non-low drag ogive do not show the typical B.C. increase that comes with pointing. Pointing them can actually decrease the B.C. instead of increasing it. That being said, we evaluate each bullet and test the process before we officially make the change to point it to ensure the process is beneficial to the bullets primary use. Whether we point a bullet or not, one thing I can say with certainty is that all of our MatchKing® bullets must meet the same accuracy standards or we will not sell them!