New Sierra Mobile Hits The Highway

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Manager Carroll Pilant

New_Sierra_Mobile
The Sierra mobile, which has been such a familiar vehicle at an assortment of matches around the US, has been replaced with a new 2015 Chevy Traverse. The maiden voyage for it was to Rockcastle. When I pulled out of Sierra’s parking lot, it had a grand total of 10 miles on it.

The old Sierra mobile (a Chevy Equinox) has 215,000 miles on it and still runs very well. That vehicle and I have spent many hours on the road, lots of nights in motels, and several nights in rest areas, just snoozing for 2 or 3 hours and continuing on our way just to keep from having to spend another night in a motel.  (My boss says he didn’t know they still had $19.95 a night motels, since I preferred to stay in motels that a door opens out where I could back the vehicle up to the door.) I have to admit, I have stayed in some pretty sleazebag motels. I carry a bottle of aftershave in my suitcase just to douse the curtains over the AC with if the smell is very bad. At least it will get you thru the night. I had a motel in Ely, NV. that I put a poncho on the bed and laid on it and finally when the druggies started fighting in the parking lot about 3 AM, I got up and drove to a rest area and slept for a couple more hours and went on to Reno, NV. for the Multigun Nationals. That motel room had a piece of barn tin nailed up to keep the door closed because it had been kicked open so many times.

I have seen my share of wrecks all across the US.  Four or five years ago, returning from the Multigun Nationals in Las Vegas, I pulled into a rest area just outside Flagstaff, Az. (the rest area is now closed down) and pulled into the first parking spot and slept for a couple of hours. I got up, went to the restroom, came back to the vehicle and was setting there with my eyes closed debating on sleeping a little longer or driving on. There was a tremendous crash right outside my door. A large van had jumped the curb and plowed into a tree about 2 foot in diameter just about 5 foot from the drivers door. The tree was completely embedded in the front of the van and the driver was unconscious. The driver door wouldn’t open, but the passenger door would. The driver was alive, but was in and out of consciousness.

I called 911 and the operator said there was no rest area there. I told her there was, that I was standing in it. She argued there wasn’t and I argued back there was. She got mad and sent me to her supervisor who also told me there was no rest area there. I argued there was. Then she finally said,” Yes there is, I just found it.”

The first county patrol car blew by about 10 minutes later and overshot the entrance and about 5 minutes later, returned. Then 2 highway patrol, 2 ambulances, and 2 firetrucks showed up. There was a pickup 2 spots down from me and the driver was still asleep even with all the lights and sirens. When he woke up, I guess he thought he was under arrest or something because he jumped out of the truck and stuck his hands in the air in the surrender position. One of the highway patrol asked him if he would like to leave and he said yes, so they moved patrol cars and firetrucks and he left in a hurry.

It appeared to the highway patrol that the driver involved in the crash was on drugs and they told me they were going to take him to a hospital, have him checked out, and then probably on to jail. I was trying to keep the driver conscious while waiting for the patrol and ambulance. I asked him if he was drunk or on drugs and he replied, “I have been trying to quit,” and passed out again. Another time, he raised his head up and said, “What the hell are you doing in my front room?” and passed out again.  It made for an interesting night and now, if I park in a rest area, I always park farther down the line, not in the first spot!

Another time, I was coming thru Oklahoma and, as always, there was a lot of traffic and some road construction. As it narrowed down to a one lane road, a really hefty woman with a man passenger came zipping by me and the semi in front of me. The concrete wall made her have to jerk it over, barely missing the semi. She crossed the road went thru the ditch and up a long steep bank with sumac flying like she was running a brush hog thru it. At the top of the bank, she literally made a U-turn, came flying back down the bank with the same results on the sumac, crossed in front of the semi and hit the concrete wall and sort of wobbled back out into lane of traffic. No one was hurt, but as we all went around her, the man was cussing her out so loud I could hear him as I drove by.

The new Traverse will see a lot of the same happenings in its future, I am sure. If you see me on the road, be sure and wave because I am either on my way to or from a match.

See you on the range!

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Ballistician Job Available at Sierra Bullets

Must Love Guns
Have you (or someone you know) always dreamed of working at Sierra Bullets in Sedalia, Missouri?

We are currently accepting applications for a second shift Ballistician. For more information, please visit http://goo.gl/rQqae

Read our tips on applying.

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2014 Brownell’s Rockcastle Pro Am 3-Gun Championship

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant

The Brownell’s Rockcastle Pro Am 3-Gun Championship is actually 2 matches in one. The matches will take place August 22 – 24, 2014, at the Rockcastle Shooting Center at Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, Kentucky. There was the Amateur Division, which was shot on Friday, August 22 and Saturday, August 23, with the awards on Saturday night. This division had about 250 shooters. Some of the top 3-gun shooters in the nation put on clinics for the amateur (Am) shooters at the end of each day providing them with a wealth of knowledge on how the Pros shoot. The amateur (Am) shooters shot similar, but less complicated stages than the Pro shooters.

The Professional Division was shot on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the awards on Sunday afternoon. The Pro division also had about 250 shooters. The temperature was very warm with very high humidity. Within minutes you were soaked, with sweat running in your eyes while you were trying to shoot. This match had a 100 second time out, which means if you do not have all your targets engaged at the end of 100 seconds, you are penalized with a failure to engage and neutralize for each target remaining. Several of the top shooters even managed to time out on some stages. The stages were interesting in that you had a choice of which firearms you could use. There were a lot of steel targets that you could use your choice of either a handgun or shotgun on with some of the paper targets that you could use rifle or handgun on. There was even a plate rack that you could use rifle, pistol or shotgun on. Every shooter had his own preference and you would see a large variance of the ways it was shot just in one squad. Open shooters seemed to opt for the shotgun in a lot of places where tactical shooters would opt for either a shotgun for the first 9 rounds (what they were allowed to start with in the shotgun) and then transfer to the handgun, so they wouldn’t have to load the shotgun. With the 100 second timeout, every second counted.

Photo Courtesy of Adams Arms shooter, Becky Yackley

Team ArmaLite shooter, Greg Jordan.  Photo courtesy of Adams Arms shooter, Becky Yackley.

Despite the heat and humidity, Greg Jordan, with ArmaLite was the top shooter in the Tactical Scope Division of the Pro Side. Congratulations to Greg on his win there and here’s to many future wins with the 77 grain MatchKing #9377G.

See you all at the Generation 3 Match here in Missouri. Hopefully the weather will be somewhat cooler. If you see any of us Sierra people there, be sure and say “hello.”

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Was Anything Wrong With The .244?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 and Remington counter-punched with the .244. The .243 was based off the time proven .308 case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1-10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1-12″ for their .244. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester choice could handle 100 gr. bullets, and Remington‘s factory offering was a 95 gr. bullet.

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100 gr. was better suited for deer- sized game and the 1-12″ wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100 gr. is a deer bullet and a 95 gr. isn’t, has been drinking to much kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the 95’s with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100 gr. SMP and Hornady offered a 100 gr. RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist.

Another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

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Taking Time Out

Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks

It has been a busy summer around the place. Lots of projects that have taken far too long to complete and lots of “honey do’s” that actually maybe had to be done. I missed most of the spring fishing and turkey hunting this year, and now I’m starting to feel that fall “itch.”

It all got started while I was finishing up a project around the house and noticed that the squirrels had moved in on the hickory trees in the yard. I could hear the constant gnawing as they devoured the abundance of hickory nuts. I kept thinking that I would get out one evening and harvest a mess of squirrel for the skillet. The next thing I knew, they had destroyed the nut crop and moved on. Well now, that just isn’t right.

I have always hunted squirrels as this is one of my favorite past times. I started hunting them when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Every fall I would hunt them with great fervor for I love the meat. I have always said that if you could take your .22 rifle and harvest a limit of gray squirrels, you would not have any problem getting a deer when the season came around. There isn’t anything more alert or crafty as a squirrel. There are times when it seems that they are not paying any attention and then the next time you can’t even bat an eye without getting busted.

Well, I guess I should sight the rifle in and pull out the camo. I can just about taste a mess of fried squirrel with biscuits and squirrel gravy with some fresh garden tomatoes and a big glass of iced tea. They increased our bag limit on squirrels from 6 per day to 10 per day in Missouri.  Now I have to work even harder to “get my limit.”

Take a youngster and introduce them to small game hunting. They can have plenty to keep them interested and they will never forget. My dad kept me and my brothers out of a lot of trouble with a box of .22 shells. I recall so many hunts that we had together and all the great times that I would love to have again. My daughters have hunted with me every since they were big enough to tag along. I recall the Thanksgiving Day that the girls and I went squirrel hunting while mom was fixing dinner. Both girls took their first squirrel that morning.

For me, this means that the new fall hunting season has arrived and I’ve got to get started. You can find me in the woods……..

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Circa 1970: Sierra 7MM Hollowpoint Boat Tail MatchKing Bullet Wins Wimbledon Cup

1970-NRA_MatchThe Sierra 7mm MatchKing bullet became the first 7mm bullet to win a Wimbledon Cup Match, a high power match shot from the 1000-yd. line, at the 1970 National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio held July 29-Aug. 24.

The 7mm bullet is the smallest caliber bullet ever to win the Wimbledon crown.  Traditionally, winners have used .30 caliber ammunition.  However, all ammunition used to win the Wimbledon Cup since 1955 has been manufactured by Sierra Bullets, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

Using cartridges loaded by Martin J. Hull, Sierra Ballistics Engineer, Petty Officer Thomas Treinen, USN, Offit Field, Calif., (born four years after Wolters’ epochal performance) shot a perfect score of 100 points with 32 consecutive rounds in the 20″ v-ring to win the Wimbledon title.  Treinen then went on to shoot 12 more v’s, setting a new national match record.

The former record of 100 points with 20 v’s plus 7 additional v’s was established in 1939 by PFC A. J. Wolters, USMC.  The Wolters record was the oldest national record in the field of competitive shooting.  Treinen’s record breaking score was fired under early morning poor light conditions.  Gusty winds, which changed directions as much as 40 degrees during the match, ranged from 5 to 15 mph.

The rifle used by Treinen was specifically designed and built by Hull.  The rifle was made from a Winchester Model 70 rifle action to which was added a 29″-long Hart stainless steel barrel chambered for the 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge.  The gun took a year to design.

Ammunition for the gun consisted of Winchester cases, loaded with 66.5 gr. of 4831 powder and the relatively new 7mm, 168 gr. Sierra MatchKing bullet.  The primer used was a Remington 9-1/2 magnum.  This combination produced a muzzle velocity of approximately 3100 f.p.s.

Treinen’s only shots outside the v ring were his two sighting shots and his 33rd and final shot.  All these shots were scored as 5 on the old military target.

*This bullet is still produced and sold by Sierra Bullets today as the #1930 – 7mm – 168 gr.

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Kelly Bachand Reports from the Fullbore Nationals

Kelly Bachand chatting with a US Team coach

Kelly Bachand (right) chatting with a US Team coach

Kelly Bachand joined over 170 other shooters in 2014 National Fullbore Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio, August 4 – 10, 2014.  Kelly won a bronze metal for placing 5th place in target rifle shooting Sierra 155 gr. Hollow Point Boat Tail PALMA® MatchKing #2156 bullets.

Check out his day by day reports at the links below.

Day 1 Range Report

Day 2 Range Report

Day 3 Range Report

Day 4 Range Report

Day 5 Range Report

Day 6 Range Report

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