More on Ballistic Coefficient (BC)

Written by Sierra Bullets Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd

Back in August Mr. Paul Box penned “How Much Difference Does Ballistic Coefficient Make” on ballistic coefficient (BC) and its use in the hunting world and the limited amount of bullet drop and wind drift that occurs with bullets that have a large difference in BC at ranges of 200 yards and less.

In that referenced situation, the differences in bullet impact will not cause major issues in a hunting environment. As an addition to this information, I would like to propose a scenario where the difference in BC definitely does come into play and where BC is considered first during bullet selection.

In the world of competitive match shooting, there are midrange matches (usually 300 to 600 yards distance) and long-range matches (1000 is most common with many up to 1200 yards), there are also ELR (Extreme Long Range) which are still evolving as to the distance they are being shot at. These matches are usually scored via group size, scoring rings, or a combination of both. In either scenario of group size or scoring rings the efficiency of the bullet (BC) is paramount to minimize the amount the wind affects the bullet impact. Shooters look towards the higher BC bullet for a given caliber and weight during their selection for this reason.

If a bullet with a lower BC is chosen, the competitor will find that when a wind switch or gust is not seen or is ignored the shot will land much farther from the group or X-ring than a shot that is taken with the same criteria but a higher BC bullet. When shooting at distance and the unforgiving scoring rings on a Hi-Power or F-Class target this difference amounts to points and with the level of competition that is out there you cannot afford to give up the BC.

In benchrest shooting group size is just as crucial. You will notice below two bullets that are similar that Sierra offers, one is our world renowned 30 caliber 168 grain MatchKing #2200, the other is a newer version of this bullet with some improvements to make it much more efficient. You will see this efficiency in the amount of wind drift and thus smaller groups and higher scores in matches.

Infinity 7 ballistics chart featuring 168 gr Tipped MatchKing #7768 and 168 gr MatchKing #2200 at 200 yards, 10 mph, full value, 2700 fps, zeroed at 100 yards.  ©Sierra Bullets

Infinity 7 ballistics chart featuring 168 gr Tipped MatchKing #7768 and 168 gr MatchKing #2200 at 600 yards, 10 mph, full value, 2700 fps, zeroed at 100 yards.  ©Sierra Bullets

If you notice bullet offerings from Sierra is much larger than in the past due to the need for choices by the shooters. Most of the newer selection of bullets have a higher BC than the old standby designs of similar weight for the caliber. Keep an eye on Sierra as we are constantly monitoring the needs of the shooters and developing new bullets for those needs.

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Sierra Introduces New 6.5mm 150 gr MatchKing Bullet


Sierra 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 6.5 mm 150 grain HPBT (#1755). 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 1:7.5” 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.

The new 6.5 mm 150 grain HPBT bullets is available in boxes of 500 bullets (#1755C) with a suggested retail of $250.94 per box and boxes of 100 bullet (#1755) with a suggested retail of $50.98 per box.

Click here for 6.5 Creedmoor load data available for this bullet!

Posted in Competitive Shooting, Reloading | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor Load Data

6mm-creedmoorTest Specifications/

Firearm Used: Universal Receiver
Barrel Length:
Trim-to Length:
Winchester WLR


As with almost all cartridge case designs, there is bound to be at least a few aspiring off-spring. The 30 T/C case was no exception. The first notable development was the extremely popular 6.5 Creedmoor.  As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned.  After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1,000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors.

The 6mm Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length requirement, while allowing long range bullets to be seated for maximize case capacity. The 30 degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well.

The 6mm Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights.  Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.

Click here to download the 6mm Creedmoor load data for your 5th Edition Reloading Manual.









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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.)

Posted in Competitive Shooting | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

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 , , | 27 Comments