Deer Season 2014

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks

Once this is posted on the blog, many of you will have already hunted a bow season or muzzle-loading season. Many youth seasons will be going on or just taken place. IT IS DEER SEASON!! The deer hunters National Holiday. Vacation time for many and a rite of passage for many youngsters. This is what most of us hunters have looked forward to all year.

I used to work for a farmer who could just not understand anyone wanting to take off work to deer hunt. He just was not interested. If you were successful, he sure liked the ideal of summer sausage or jerky. But he thought the “hunting” was a waste of time.

My Dad started me deer hunting very young. I didn’t carry a firearm, but I went hunting with him. He could climb about any tree that he came to, and when he found where he wanted to be, he would shinny up the tree and relax on a limb. He never considered building a stand. This usually meant that I would set on the ground at the base of a tree nearby. I don’t imagine he ever had to worry too much about dragging a deer out, because I was twisting and turning watching squirrels and whatever else that had caught my attention. But he took me and we shared many a memorable hour in the woods. As Dad got older and health issues prevented, he hunted less and less. He would always talk and listen to the story. He always wanted to see what you brought home. But the desire to go and the effort involved had just became too much. He is a great Dad.

I in turn had started my daughter hunting very early. She has always been my companion, or, in other words “my buddy.” She has always looked forward to our hunts and even more so as life got involved and she has missed a season or two due to college or work. She still tells me that she plans to be home to hunt each fall. I can’t wait to hear her car door slam and her feet come up the steps to the porch. Because I will know that we are going hunting. When she was much younger, more than once I had to wake her up as a deer approached so that she could fill her tag. I have always let her take the first shot, and a few times it has cost me the bigger deer. We are always reminding each other of some happening that took place on one of our hunts. At her High School Graduation, she was giving her Salutatorian speech and she told about what the deer hunts with Dad had meant to her and had taught her. Don’t think this Pop wasn’t proud!

If you hunt with a buddy or by yourself. Whether it be a large crew or just a few, remember that the best part is if everyone is being safe and the memories. Take the pictures and enjoy the hunt. If you are successful, send us a note (we love pictures) and share your story.

Now…….. where did I put those thermal socks after deer season last year?

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2014 Blue Ridge 3 Gun Match

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant

The Blue Ridge 3 Gun match was started by Andrew Horner. Andy is the father of Daniel Horner, who is a Army Marksmanship Unit Shooter and one of the top 3 gun shooters ever. I have known both Andy and Daniel for many years from the American Handgunner matches in Montrose, Colorado. Daniel was just a young kid then and already a upcoming shooter. The match originated in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia but moved to the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky a few years ago.

Blue Ridge 3 Gun match Sierra Bullets
Seemingly always plagued with rain, this year’s match was no different. The match was held October 16th – 18th with the ROs shooting in the rain the days before the match. As I left Missouri, just as I crossed into Indiana, it started raining on me and continued raining all the way to Park City (sometimes so hard you could barely see). Water was running down the ditches and the creeks were flooding. The forecast showed it was supposed to clear off for the match. Sure enough, the night before the match, it quit raining and turned off much cooler. Every stage was muddy, especially stage 8. The roads to some of the stages looked like a mud run had been held there and several vehicles got stuck.  The newly wrapped Sierra Mobile got covered in mud so it took a pretty thorough cleaning to get it back looking decent.

Blue Ridge 3 Gun match  MGM
Andy likes to have high round count and pretty physical stages with a variety of positions. Several stages you had to go prone on. With my replacement knee, I can’t go prone and get back up without having something to literally pull up on, so I just took several procedurals to shoot it standing. It made it much safer for both myself and the ROs, because trying to wallow around and get up with a loaded firearm was just a disaster looking to happen.

Blue Ridge 3 Gun match Sig Sauer(See more pictures on the Blue Ridge 3 Gun match Facebook page.)

Squadding was set up where you shot 3 stages per day and one day you would shoot early (7:30 start) and the next day late (9:30) and the next day early with other squads shooting late, early, late. The match went off very smoothly with almost 200 shooters. Tactical Iron had 16 shooters, heavy metal only had 4, open with 24 and of course, the big class was Tac optics with 153 shooters. Several shooters weren’t present due to preparing for the 3 Gun Nation shoot-offs the following weekend.

Hunting season is here now, so I am off to Texas hunting for Aoudad again. Hopefully my next post will have a larger Aoudad than last year. Have a safe hunting season.

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Ozark Shooters Ladies Charity Match

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant

Each fall, a group of ladies called the Women’s Recreational Shooting Association host a match at Ozark Shooters Sports Complex just north of Branson, Mo. This is a unique match with the proceeds going to the Shriners Childrens Hospital. A 2-day event, this year it was held October 11 – 12.

The area around Branson is beautiful to start out with and with the leaves changing into the fall colors, it just adds to the match. This year, the weather was a little more dreary with drizzle and fog, but tents were provided to help keep you dry. My wife and I have shot this match I believe since the first year it was held. It has grown each year and women that shoot it the first time are always already making plans to shoot it the following year.

There are 4 courses of fire (all handgun) and guns and ammo are furnished, so all you have to do is show up and shoot. The first day is ladies only. Ladies who have never even fired a handgun before show up to shoot it. One course is steel cut outs of a vacuum cleaner, bodice, iron, skillet, alarm clock, telephone and some other household items. You have 2 revolvers loaded with 38 Specials and when you shoot one dry, you pick up the second to finish up. If you clean all the targets and have any ammo left, you have a bonus target to shoot at. Some years it is a small explosive target but this year was a playing card.
The second stage is clay pigeons in a circle and again a bonus target. This is shot with a pair of .22s. The third stage is a falling plate rack, also with the bonus and it is also shot with a pair of .22s. The 4th stage is full pop cans setting on pedestals and this is shot with a pair of .38 Special revolvers.

The second day is the Couple Shoot.  Husbands, boyfriends, or just someone they borrowed compete with the women as a couple. Each of the couples has a handgun and you each shoot at the same time. Targets are the same as the ones shot the day before. Scores are broken down in Lewis classes according to score and consist of AA, A, B.

We have some good friends, Harry and Sharon Alder from here in Missouri who come up to shoot this match each year for the last few years. We have been good friends since the mid-70s when we started shooting handgun silhouettes together. There has been a pattern evolved. It seems that either they win AA and my wife and I take second or we win AA and they take second. Last year, we won, this year they won. It wasn’t without a fight though. During the initial match, we tied, even missing the same pop can targets. The first shoot-off, we flipped to see who had to shoot first, they lost, and had to shoot first. We tied again, missing exactly the same targets again. The next shoot-off, they managed to edge us out by 1 pop can. We couldn’t have lost to any better competitors than Harry and Sharon. Maybe next year it will be us again. (Remember, it should be our turn!)

The Women’s Recreational Shooting Association also hosts a shotgun charity match. Ozark shooters also has a variety of other events going on all the time. They have a Sportsman Team Challenge regional each spring plus assorted sporting clays, skeet and trap events. If you are interested in shooting one of the matches you can look them up at  The phone number is 417-443-3093.

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South Central IHMSA Championships

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant

The South Central IHMSA Championships (formerly IHMSA Region 4) was held at the Oklahoma City Gun Club in Arcadia, Oklahoma on October 3rd – 4th-and 5th. The wind was blowing severely on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday the weather was beautiful. Shooters were there from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota (I believe), and Minnesota. There may have been another state or two also.

All the IHMSA categories were shot there plus several unofficial side categories not sanctioned by the IHMSA. Unofficial categories were cowboy lever action guns in both centerfire rifle cartridges, centerfire handgun cartridges, and rimfire. There was also a 500 meter shoot and a Bordello shoot. The Bordello shoot is basically a concealed carry gun and if it has adjustable sights, you can’t adjust them. It is shot on the field pistol targets. I managed to win the Bordello class using a STI 2011 in .40 S&W using Sierras #8460 180 gr. JHP.

Jim Fields, the match director, has been running IHMSA matches at the gun club there for many years and pretty well has it down to an art. With auto reset targets, relays run smoothly and quickly. I would like to thank Jim and his help for putting on a great match.

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2014 IHMSA South Central Category Champion Winners

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Jason Goodwin Shoots 3 Trophies With 165 Gr. Sierra GameKings (#2140)

Submitted by Jason Goodwin of Wyoming

Little BoysJason shot this bull elk last year with a 20″ free floated 308 AR using 165 gr. GameKings (#2140) over 43.1 gr. of Varget in a R-P case set off by a CCI BR-2 primer.  Jason’s two sons, Bryce (9 at the time) and Kayden (5 at the time), did the final stalk with him by low crawling behind some sage brush.

Jason hadn’t been having much luck during their short season (14 days) last year, until  the last day of the season.  He found a few bucks hanging out and picked the biggest one in the group.  Jason estimated the buck to be a small 3 year old.  The buck was shot using 165 gr. GameKings (#2140).

Buck in Field
Jason dropped this Whitetail in his tracks with the 165 gr. GameKings (#2140).

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The Forgotten .41 Mag

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

The year was 1964 that the handgun world saw the introduction of a new magnum cartridge that to this day still sparks a lot of controversy. Overshadowed by the .44 mag that had a nine year head start, many of the .44 fans just considered it second best. The .357 crowd considered it to have too much recoil.

The main push for this cartridge came from Elmer Keith, Bill Jordon, and Skeeter Skelton. Anybody that has followed handgunning for any period of time will recognize these men as the whos’ who of the American handgunning.

I have worked with this cartridge for many years and I’ve found it to be extremely accurate. I’ve also found that most people who have seriously worked with the .41 to be very loyal to it as well. It combines good power and milder recoil than the .44’s. I don’t have any exact way of measuring recoil in ft. lbs. or otherwise, but to me the felt difference between the .44 and the .41 in equal weight handguns feels close to 10%. Naturally this is with equal bullet weights as well. The difference coming solely from differences in powder charge weights.

I’ve found the .41 to be an excellent whitetail cartridge and I’ve taken several with different flavors of .41’s. To me the .41 was just like a piece of apple pie, one was never enough. Over time I wound up with three that have all proven to be excellent hunting handguns. My favorite would have to be the Smith model 657 stainless with an unfluted cylinder and  7.5″ full underlug barrel.

Do yourself a favor and give the .41 mag a try. Spend some serious time behind it and see if you don’t agree. The .41 deserves to be far more popular than what it is.

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The 1956 National Bench Rest Championships

From Precision Shooting magazine August 1956, page 9.

The roomy covered firing line at San Angelo, Texas from which the 1956 National Bench Rest Championship Matches were fired October 11- 13, 1956.

The roomy covered firing line at San Angelo, Texas from which the 1956 National Bench Rest Championship Matches were fired October 11- 13, 1956.

This spacious modern, steel covered firing line is 250 feet long by 18 feet wide and will have 36 benches. Since this range, owned by the San Angelo Gun Club which with the Texas Bench Rest Shooters Association will sponsor the matches, is used for other types of shooting, the benches are built to be moved on and off the firing line.  As you will note in the photo, the benches are of very solid construction and they have proven very satisfactory in several Texas State bench rest matches. There will be solid loading benches behind the firing points under the firing line cover and there will be provision for shooters to back their cars up to the firing line and load from the back of their car.

There will be a commercial row where it is expected that loading components and shooting accessories will be on sale to competitors.

The range is located on Lake Nasworthy and is approximately 4 1/2 miles from the center of San Angelo and about 3 miles from the south edge of the city. There will be some camp sites available at the range and there are excellent camping facility at the County Park nearby. There are over 1,000 first class rooms at moderate prices available at hotels and motels in and around the city of San Angelo.

Mr. Otis Stewart, manager, Cactus Hotel, San Angelo, Texas, will handle reservations, whether at his hotel or any other hotel or motel the visitors desire. Write to Mr. Stewart in regard to reservations for the type of accommodations you desire.

Weather-wise, according to the U.S. Weather Bureau the normal temperature range at San Angelo in October averages a minimum high of 83 degrees the first part of the month to 73 degrees the last part of the month. Normal minimum averages from 62 to 51 degrees. The over-all average being about 70 degrees. October is provably the most beautiful and comfortable month of the year – usually bright and sunny days, very little change for rain and very little chance for the West Texas bug-a-boo dust storms.

The “Top Twenty” Winners From the 1956 National Bench Rest Championship From Precision Shooting magazine January 1957, page 8.


The 1956 National Bench Rest Championship “TOP TWENTY” shooters. Left to right in order of their ranking in the championship aggregate are: Front row kneeling – C.C. Hankins, Buffalo, Wyoming*; Brunon V. Boroszewski, Buffalo, New York; Robert W. Smith, Dallas, Texas; George McMullen, Minerva, Ohio; Ed McNally, Fayetteville, New York; L. F. Carden, Kansas City, Kansas; H. Shipley, Dell City, Texas; H. W. Barton, Wichita, Kansas; Dr. James G. Smith, Wauchula, Florida. Back row standing – Paul Gottschall, Salem, Ohio; W. S. Coleman, Burleson, Texas; John M. Rives, Corpus Christi, Texas; Mary Wilson, Cashmere, Washington was absent for the photo; Wallace Hart, Nescopeck, Pennsylvania; Bernice McMullen, Minerva, Ohio; Coleman Brown, Corpus Christi, Texas; Lawrence Rucker, Akron, Ohio; W. M. Brown, Augusta, Ohio; E. L. Beecher, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; and Raymond G. Speer, Lewistown, Idaho.

C.C. Hankins, Buffalo, Wyoming was the overall match winner.

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