What Is Caliber of Ogive?

Written by Sierra Bullets New Product Development Manager Mark Walker

During one of our recent product releases, we listed the “caliber of ogive” of the bullet in the product description. While some understood what that number meant, it appears that some are not aware of what the number is and why it is important. In a nutshell, the “caliber of ogive” number will tell you how sleek the front end of the bullet is. The higher the number is, the sleeker the bullet. It also makes it easy to compare the ogives of different caliber bullets. If you want to know if a certain 308 caliber bullet is sleeker than a 7mm bullet, simply compare their “caliber of ogive” numbers.

So exactly how do you figure “caliber of ogive”? If you look at the drawing of the 30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 (below), you will see that the actual radius of the ogive is 2.240. If you take that 2.240 ogive radius and divide by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you would get 7.27 “calibers of ogive” (2.240 ÷ .308 = 7.27).


Next let’s look at the print (bel0w) of our 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 bullet for comparison. The actual radius of the ogive is 2.756. Like with the 30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275, if you divide 2.756 by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you get 10.44 “calibers of ogive”. As most people know, it has been determined through testing that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher ballistic coefficient than the 30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275. However by simply comparing the “caliber of ogive” number of each bullet you can easily see that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 is significantly sleeker than the 30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 even without firing a shot.

base-to-ogive2Some people would say why not just compare the actual ogive radius dimensions instead of using the “caliber of ogive” figure. If we were comparing only bullets of the exact same diameter, then that would be a reasonable thought process. However, that idea falls apart when you start trying to compare the ogives of bullets of different diameters. As you can see with the two bullets presented above, if we compare the actual ogive radius dimensions of both bullets the difference is not much at all. However, once again, testing has shown that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher BC. The only way that this significant increase shows up, other than when we fire the bullets in testing, is by comparing the “caliber of ogive” measurement from both bullets.

Hopefully this will help explain what we mean when we talk about “caliber of ogive” and why it’s a handy number to use when comparing bullets. This information will help you to make an informed decision the next time you are in the market to buy bullets.

Posted in Reloading, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

So I Might Be A Redneck . . .

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

The other day I was flipping through channels and saw an old re-run of a Jeff Foxworthy standup comedy show.

Redneck wall.inddOne of his jokes was, “If you open up your Christmas gift and head to the shooting range, you might be a redneck.” Well I have to admit I am guilty as charged.

When I think of past Christmases, there has usually been something firearms related under the tree, and more than one Christmas has involved a trip to the shooting range.

One Christmas really came to mind. When I was 15 years old, I remember staring at a present with my name on it for several weeks. It was propped up against the wall behind all of the other presents. It sure looked like it could be a gun box, but I didn’t know for sure. I didn’t dare touch it or shake it and see if I could figure out what it was, because dad told me if I messed with it he would take it back to the store.

Finally after all the anticipation, Christmas morning arrived and it was time to open presents. My older brother Tim was in charge of passing out the presents as I patiently waited to shred the paper off of my mystery present. Of course I had to open up all the other presents first; you know the routine, a new shirt, a ten pack of socks, the five pack of underwear.

Then it was time, right there on my lap, I could tell by the weight and the feel of it that it was a gun. I remember trying not to look too childish as I slowly unwrapped it, fighting the temptation to shred the paper off at record speed. And there it was, my first rifle, a Marlin model 60, semi automatic 22 LR.

Within minutes I had my shoes and coat on and was headed out to an open field behind our house where I blasted every empty can I could dig out of the trash.

That old Marlin and I went on many adventures and I wish I had a nickel for every rabbit, squirrel and bullfrog I shot with it. For most of its life it ran on a steady diet of Winchester Wildcats because the little General Store down the street only carried the one brand at a whopping .89 cents a box.

I still have the rifle today and it is still a pretty good shooter, but I bet the micro grooved riflings are probably a little worn.

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope when you open up your presents this year you have a reason to throw on a coat and head straight to a shooting range!

Posted in Hunting Stories | 7 Comments

Sierra Introduces New 6mm 110 gr MatchKing Bullet

6mm-110-gr-matchkingSierra Bullets is proud to introduce a new addition to the legendary MatchKing® line.  Shooters around the world will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long range performance of our new 6mm 110 grain HPBT (#1575).  A sleek 27 caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention.  To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats.  This bullet requires a twist rate of 1:7” or faster to stabilize.

While they are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications. Although MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are commonly used for varmint hunting, their design will not provide the same reliable explosive expansion at equivalent velocities on varmints compared to their lightly jacketed Hornet, BlitzKing®, or Varminter counterparts.

6mm-110-gr-bcsThe new 6mm 110 grain HPBT bullets will be available in boxes of 500 bullets (#1575C) with a suggested retail of $208.75 per box and boxes of 100 bullet (#1575) with a suggested retail of $42.36 per box.

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Brush Busting Bullets

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

We have all read articles along these lines for years. Round nose bullets at moderate velocities busting thru brush better than spritzer shaped bullets would do. Is there any truth in this or is it just a myth?

Many years ago I got interested in this and decided to do some experimenting. I bought some of the archery deer targets that were very popular at that time. They were full color prints of actual deer printed on heavy paper. They weren’t life size, but plenty big enough for my purpose. I took these out into the woods and tacked them to trees. Next I would back up and get some brush in the way and try a shot at my deer target.

04I shot thru thin brush, thru heavy leaves that the frost had took, blackberry briars, young sumac about the size of a pencil, you name it, and I shot thru it. The main thing I learned was that the biggest difference came from how far it was from the brush to the deer target. If it was only five or six inches from the brush I was shooting thru to my deer target, a lot of calibers and bullet styles did reasonable well. Sometimes, if I was using a spritzer shaped bullet and hit a small oak sprout about the size of my little finger at just a little angle they would go into my deer target key holing. Larger bullets of both more diameter and weight wasn’t as prone to key hole on target.

I also learned that round nose as well as flat nose bullet styles cut thru blackberry briars and this brush very well, but the biggest difference was the distance from the brush to the target. If it was something like six feet, then nothing worked very well.

300-gr-prohunter-bulletsOut of all this experimenting, my favorite was the 45-70 with 300 gr. HP/FN Pro-Hunter bullets #8900. If the distance thru this brush was short to the deer target, it would plow thru an amazing amount of brush and still hit within a couple of inches of my aiming point.

Years later after all this experimenting I had a chance to put this to work. Just after daylight on the first day of deer season I had a buck stop just behind a tree top that had snapped on a young elm tree. This brushy top was hanging down still attached the main trunk. I could see thru my scope that this deer was standing tight against this brush. I put the crosshairs in the center of his lungs and touched off a shot. There was a shower of thin dead limbs hitting the ground, and the buck took three jumps and fell. It truly pays to experiment.

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Go East Ol’ Man, Go East…Deer Hunting in North Carolina

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks

dscn1961Well, it is hunting time again. This is the time that all hunters prepare for and work for. I certainly am proud to be part of this group of people. I have had many wonderful hunting experiences in the 50 some years that I have been a participant. Some very treasured memories of hunting with my wife and daughters and a few friends are often reflected upon. Many stories and experiences have been shared while enjoying a good cup of coffee on times spent with family and friends. These are as much a part of the hunting experience as the actual hunt itself. I would like to share a hunting trip with our readers that just took place.


dscn1914Sometime back, probably in late May or early June, I was visiting with a good friend of mine when I happened to mention that I had a considerable amount of vacation time that I needed to do something with. He promptly figured that I should accompany him on a few days of deer hunting. Of course he lives out-of-state. He also lives back east instead of west. Most of the time when anyone talks about going out-of-state to hunt, it is almost without question that they are going west. Well now…. I waited about as long as it took to write this sentence before I told him “YES!” Immediately plans were made and preparations started.


Wayne and his wife

My friend, Wayne, lives in North Carolina. He is a very devoted hunter with considerable experience. He also loves to experiment with his hunting firearms and is quite an avid reloader. As time grew closer to the anticipated hunt, we conversed numerous times about rifles, loads, expectations, and so forth. We might have even shared an old hunting story or two. He also kept whetting my desire to make the trip and get in the woods.

When the time arrived and the drive was made, I arrived at Wayne’s house. We visited for a good portion of that night before finally giving up and going to sleep. I want to express my “Thanks” to Wayne’s wife Kathy for all of her hospitality and all the wonderful meals she prepared for us.

Now for the hunt. We arrived in North Carolina on the very heels of Hurricane Matthew. The weather was very warm in the 70’s and 80’s for highs and 60’s for night time temperatures. We were also experiencing two other factors that make deer hunting very tough. We were under a full moon and the acorn crop was dropping profusely. Almost all deer seen were at very first hint of daylight or the last seconds before darkness. That means getting into your stands very early and staying very late.


Duane Siercks

There were five of us hunting out of the camp. Three were regulars including Wayne and his two partners, Jerry and Benny. There was another guest, Reggie, and then myself. We did enjoy a lot of visiting, and Reggie was quite an accomplished chef. He prepared a couple of meals from fresh venison that were very tasty.


L to R; Benny, Jerry, Reggie, and Wayne.

The first morning started out as normal while waiting for daylight. Settle into the stand and acquaint yourself with the sounds and movements of the little critters around you as daylight slowly approaches. As you can start making out objects such as trees and bushes, you start expecting to see movement or deer as they magically appear. I was watching a powerline right-of-way. As I was intently keeping watch, I saw what almost looked look an apparition or ghost of an object on the hillside to my left. My first thought was “that object wasn’t there before.”  Easing my Savage 10 MLII up and acquiring the object in my scope, I saw not one, but three does easing across the powerline. I immediately settled the crosshairs upon the doe in the lead and touched off a shot. Knowing the deer was hit hard, I set about reloading my muzzle-loader. This was to be the only shot I fired on this trip. I was very happy to have harvested a fine North Carolina deer.


Duane Siercks



Others in the group also began to fill their tags as time passed. With each animal harvested, we would immediately skin and quarter them to get them into coolers loaded with ice. With the very warm temperatures, it was imperative to prevent spoiling.

Time passed very quickly. All too soon it was time to pack and head back to Missouri. It was a memorable time and a great bunch of fellows to hunt with. So, if ever again I get the opportunity to “Go East Ol’ Man,” I will certainly go east………..

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Elk Hunting with Sierra’s 30 Caliber 180 gr SBT GameKing

Written by Sierra Bullets Customer R.J.O.

I have been an avid highpower rifle hunter for many years.  I started reloading my own bullets nearly twenty years ago for accuracy and to make sure I had dependable performance that I could control.  The green Sierra bullet boxes soon began taking up most of my shelf space on my reloading bench.

The chances of pulling a bull elk tag in South Dakota are very low, but increase with each year you gain a preference point in a failed draw attempt.  I hit the jackpot in 2016 as my fourteen years of preference finally tilted the odds in my favor.  I believe the old saying “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while” definitely applied here.

I own several high power rifles, but decided that my go-to rifle in the .270 WIN caliber would sadly become a backup rifle in this hunt.  The ghost of Jack O’Connor will haunt me forever on my future hunts.  The bull elk in the Black Hills can be very large, so I grabbed my .300 Winchester Magnum as my primary rifle.

The next part is where Sierra contributed to the hunt.  What bullet do I use?  That answer came easy.  I have shot more deer along the open Missouri River breaks in South Dakota with my .270 WIN and the best performing bullet was always the Spitzer boat tail GameKings.  The 30 caliber 180 grain Spitzer boat tail GameKing #2160 was my choice.

bh-jasper-burnI hunted a total of four days with two days in the beginning of October and two days later in October.  The last two days were challenging to say the least.  There were plenty of stories over the years that shooting a bull elk in the Black Hills was easy, but 2015 statistics from the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks website indicated the average days hunted to bag a bruiser was six days.  The second two-day hunting trip we walked thirteen miles on the the first day and nearly five miles on the second day.  Finally, we found an ornery bull elk in a sizeable herd near the Jasper Burn area.  There were several spikes, rag horns, a four point and a five point bull in the same herd, but they did not go near this fella.  He was a fighter as evidenced by a few points that were broken off on his right side that I could not see prior to my shot.  Although there have been many bulls shot in the Black Hills whose antlers dwarf this elk, this elk was special because he was my first elk.

The bull finally cleared from a small group of adult cows and I had a narrow shot corridor between a few trees with a range estimated to be 150 to 200 yards.  My shot came quick and he was quartering away.  My bullet entered a few ribs back, went through the lungs and anchored itself in the off shoulder.  My guess is the length of travel through the elk was nearly thirty six inches.  This bull humped up after the shot and decided to take a short stroll in the woods one last time.  He tipped over within twenty yards of being hit and a follow up shot was unnecessary.  I have no idea how he absorbed all of that energy and did not even stumble.

Butchering your own game is another aspect of the hunt that is gratifying as well as educational.  If you pay attention during the process you can perform a mini-autopsy to see how your projectile functioned.  The Sierra Bullets projectile functioned reliably and as advertised.  I was not surprised, but was very impressed with what I found.  Below are several photos of your bullet that I believe is a nearly perfect mushroom.  It weighed 112 grains, so it maintained 62% of its original weight.


broadhead2The back quarter of this bull had a surprise.  I found a razor sharp broad-head buried in the center of his bottom round.  It did not slow him up in the least.  A word of advice to all hunters, “If you find a small hole in any part of your game while in the field, keep your fingers out of the hole!”  The natural instinct is to jam your finger in the hole and investigate.

Finally, below is a picture of the nastiest predator in the Black Hills.  We were constantly on our guard while hunting.  I doubt Sierra has any projectile that could anchor one of these monsters!

dangerThank you Sierra.

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What’s In Your Bug-Out-Bag?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin

img_7027It was asked of me what I kept in my ‘Grab Bag’ but there are different thoughts on what is appropriate, so we can discuss a few in this post. There are a lot of different books on this subject and even more on the proper technique to pack a backpack so I highly recommend exploring those for a new perspective. The purpose of a ‘Bug-Out-Bag’ (BOB) or ‘Grab-N-Go’ can be specific to the user but the results should always be the same. It should give the user the ability to survive for a length of time away and it should be handy to carry so an ideal bag is a backpack. There are three things that you cannot go without and they are water, food, and shelter. Depending on how long you are remaining away will determine how big a bag to uimg_7021se and how much you need in it. The general conscience is to make preparations for at least 72 hours. This much gear will not fit in my eXtreme Performance Series (XPS) (pictured above left) day pack that I use for hunting but may in something like my All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) (pictured left) military pack. The one you see here is the medium size version and it could come like mine did with a heavy aluminum external frame that is great to lash items onto that may not fit in the bag itself. There is also a large version that will attach to the same external frame as mine does and may be a better option. I’ve read the volume is 2,400 cubic inches for the medium and 3,800 cubic inches for the large.

img_7024My Outdoor Products Saturn (pictured left) pack runs about 4,800 cubic inches so it will hold everything and then some but it may be too bulky for this type of use. Remember, we are looking for something that will hold gear but won’t be too cumbersome if we need to do any ducking and dodging.

Water is the main item you cannot go without and there needs to be enough of it to last several days. With my hunting trips, there is usually an outside hydrant I can refill my canteens from but what if there is nothing like that available or the water you do find is questionable? You will need to carry your own water or have a way to purify the water you find. Purification can come from different methods and there are no shortages of companies that can sell you a tool but fire is another option. Pick a method that is appropriate for you and practice with it on a regular basis. That includes being strong enough to carry the weight of a few gallons of water for a couple of days if necessary.

Food is a personal subject. There are a lot of ideas in the books I mentioned earlier as well as online videos on how to preserve food for long term storage but remember weight is an issue. Plastic containers (and even Ziploc bags) are great to work with because they are generally air tight and light. I keep a lot of flavored oatmeal packages handy as well as MRE’s (Meal Ready Eat) because they last for years if kept cool. Just remember to change the food out every so often so you’re not grabbing a lot of outdated or spoiled food when you need it most. I would also recommend that, every so often, you eat what you pack so it won’t be such a culture shock to your system when you do need to.

Shelter is another personal subject. You can get by with just a minimum of it in the right environment but when the rain or snow comes, you better have enough to keep you warm and dry. A minimum to me is a set of warm clothes in a water tight bag but a rain suit is not a bad investment. A wool blanket is good idea as well. There have been plenty of hunting trips that I’ve been on that I’ve curled up under a wool blanket just to find out it snowed on me while I was asleep and never knew it. It has kept me warm even when wet but it gets heavy sometimes. A sleeping bag can be a great investment but it takes up a lot of room. Sometimes that isn’t a bad thing though because it holds everything in place as space filler. Another minimum would be some kind of tarp or at least painter’s plastic to keep moisture off from out of the air or through the ground or both. A couple of 20’ lengths of 3/8” utility rope are great items to keep in it as well. I wouldn’t recommend it as a life saving device, but it comes in handy when you want to hoist a whitetail up a tree. Eight or ten pieces of ¼”x10’ are good to hold down a tarp for shelter as well. If you have an external frame pack, you can lash a tent to it easily if you don’t mind the extra weight that comes with it.

Other items a person should keep in the bag are up to the individual. If a firearm is desired, make sure you carry spare ammunition. Another thing to keep in mind is how the backpack parts could interfere with your holster if you carry concealed. Some kind of first-aid kit is a necessity as well and that is a personal opinion item also. A compass is a good investment as well as a map of the surrounding area if you’re not familiar with it already. I keep a knife and utility tool set that I received from my mother and father in law for a Christmas present one year along with a flashlight or headband light of some kind with spare batteries. Some kind of fire starter (lighter, matches, flint & steel) is a good idea and tender to get a larger fire going. My tender in the photo below is a paper type egg carton filled with dryer lint and covered over with melted wax from the remains of an old candle. It will burn for about 6-10 minutes but if you put in too much wax, it will spill out and go to waste when the cup burns away. Another method I’ve used a lot is sawdust doused with lamp oil kept in a sealed container. A spoonful goes a long way but a plastic spoon, I guess because of the type of plastic it is, will become brittle and break over time if kept in the container with it. Any lightweight cooking container that can at least be used to boil water is handy and the piece de resistance is toilet paper. Don’t ever get caught out anywhere without at least one roll of toilet paper. Your socks cannot survive the abuse.

img_7031Self-preservation is a skill that is best learned by experience, so the more you practice in and eventually away from your comfort zones, the more natural it becomes.

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