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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2014 World Championship Category Championship

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant


2014 IHMSA Internationals at the Oklahoma City Gun Club photo by Harry Alder



Carroll Pilant photo by Harry Alder

The IHMSA (International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association) Internationals were held July 18 – 25 at the Oklahoma City Gun Club near Edmond, Oklahoma. Hosting nearly 100 shooters from five different countries and Hawaii, over 50,000 rounds would have been put downrange. 77 perfect scores (80×80) were shot. Unusual weather for July, the first 3 mornings found nearly everyone wearing jackets with temperatures warming later in the week. Jim Fields, the match director has been putting on silhouette matches for years and is constantly striving to improve and speed up the match. He has added many improvements over the years, like auto reset targets, covered firing line, good line officers, and plenty of target setters to paint targets. The Internationals moves around to different states, with the 2013 match being held in Fort. Stockton, Texas and the 2015 match is going to be in California, I believe. If you are interested in finding out more about IHMSA, just go to www.IHMSA.org for more information.

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Know Your Target and What Is Beyond It

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin

Before we begin, let’s review the first three rules we have discussed:

So we have come to the ‘Know your target and what is beyond it’ part of the four rules. At least one of the examples in my last post would have fit in this category. Knowing what your game is before you take aim at it is paramount in the hunting fields. That is why I carry a pair of binoculars with me when I go out. The pair I have is light in weight and easy to handle. They can be as inexpensive or as high dollar as you want to spend, but they allow you to see further with both eyes open and that will help to find game easily. I have also found that they not only work in wide open spaces, but they work well in thicker woods also. They will fuzz out the timber that you don’t want your eyes to concentrate on and let you see any movement of intended game with ease. If ever I wanted to travel to where the shots will be long and I could see that quarry coming from an extreme distance, I would want something that had enough magnification and could attach to a tripod. It will help keep the view steady and relieve a lot of eye fatigue when viewing for an extended time.

Now that the game animal has been identified as the one being sought after, it is time to take into consideration what is beyond the target. In other words, if the bullet was to pass through or miss the animal, where would it go? A lot of whitetail hunters here in Missouri use tree stands because it puts us at a vantage point to see further and gets us out of the direct view of the animal. From this higher place, the bullet will easily travel into the ground even if it doesn’t connect with the intended animal. Myself personally, I have hunted my fair share in tree stands but I have never been able to keep warm enough by hunting this way. My preferred method is by still hunting and it does keep me warmer because I am in motion (albeit slow motion) but I am eye to eye with the intended game. Where will my bullet travel to, even if I connect and it goes through? What if I miss completely? Are there any other hunters around that I need to worry about? It is always a good idea to communicate well with other hunters in your party or even hunters on adjoining land to make sure they will not be in your line of fire as well as keep you out of theirs. Do your homework well before the hunting season and when it comes time to making the shot, you can plan for what direction you should be facing to keep all of the variables in check. This includes not shooting over a ridge line that you don’t know what is beyond it. A scenario could be something like this…

With your trusty 30-06 with our 165gr SBT GameKing shooting at 2,800fps, you’re walking the ravine where the creek used to be and you spook the largest racked whitetail you’ve ever seen. In your haste to get your gun in action, the deer took off for the top of the ridge and you fired as it reached the top. You get to the top only to find out that you missed and the deer is nowhere to be found. If the firearm was angled at 31 degrees upward, that bullet just went 5,175 yards or just short of 3 miles. What was 3 miles beyond your shooting point; a field full of cows or worse yet, a neighbor’s house or a sub-division with kids playing? Don’t take that chance that something could be damaged or someone could be killed from your negligence to maintain a proper backstop behind your intended game.

To be honest, this isn’t as farfetched as it seems to be. We do get a few calls (a lot more than we should) asking to run trajectories for just this type of scenario. The story usually goes that someone had a bullet travel through their roof or window/wall and made it into their room they were occupying at the time. How scary would that be; sitting on your couch with your sweetie eating popcorn and watching a movie when your TV gets a hole shot through it!?

It is crucial you know what your target is and even what is beyond it because there are no take backs in firing a weapon. Once that bullet leaves the muzzle, you are no longer in control of it, but you are still liable for it. This will conclude our four points of safety but they are a worthwhile subject, worthy enough to pass on to young shooters just beginning their shooting careers or life of hunting. Remember to pass them along whenever you can and don’t take any of them for granted.

Till next time, be safe and have fun shooting.

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Ask A Bulletsmith – If you could hunt anything, anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you hunt? ?

We asked a few handy Sierra Bullets bulletsmiths: “If you could hunt anything, anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you hunt?” Check out their answers below.  We would love to hear from you too, please share your response in the comments below.

Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered “Back to Africa for kudu and eland.”

Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz answered “African Cape Buffalo with my longtime friend Lloyd in Zimbabwee.”

Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered “Canadian Moose”

Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered “What? I can’t make a list! My next hunt that I dream about would be to go to Canada for a very large black bear.”

Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered “Alaska – Dall Sheep”

Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered “Free Range African plains game”

VP – Sales & Marketing Matt Reams answered “Probably a leopard.  Africa is cool to see and that is a pretty scary/dangerous hunt that would be very thrilling.”

Production Toolsetter Brad Vansell answered “Anything in Africa, or Australia.”

Process Engineer David Palm answered “Elk anywhere in the Rockies.”

Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered Doves in Argentina.”

Acting Production Manager Chris Hatfield answered Anything in Australia would be cool.”

Maintenance & Machine Shop Lead Craig Westermier answered “Dall Sheep in Alaska.”

Plant Engineer Darren Leskiw answered “I’ve been hunting one time near Douglas, WY and it was beautiful country.  I’d love to go back and spend more time there and tag another antelope.”

Production Resource Manager Dan Mahnken answered “Africa and the African lion. More exciting that way it’s a 50/50 chance for both of us.”

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How Far is That Groundhog?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

Many of you may remember the “strip” that my groundhog hunting buddy Jack and myself used to hunt so much. Just to refresh your memory, the strip was a three mile long gravel road that connected two paved highways. It wound its way thru a small river bottom and was groundhog paradise.

One individual summer Jack and myself took dozens and dozens of groundhogs from this area. A good thing about it, was the fact that when we took some chucks from the area, more would move back in to fill the vacant places we created.

This trip thru that area produced a little surprise for us. We took three chucks in the second field that we stopped at, then headed on down to check other fields. Rounding a slow curve in the road, we came to the largest field the strip had to offer. This field was huge and it had a back section to it that you could see from the road.

Jack stopped the truck because he thought he saw something in that back section. “It looks like three groundhogs chasing each other and playing,” Jack said. I already had my .243 on a sandbag and was looking thru the scope.

“It’s not three groundhogs, it’s two groundhogs and a red fox trying to make supper out of either one of those two groundhogs.” I said. Jack asked if I was going to try a shot and I told him of course.

“How far is that groundhog?” Jack asked.

“Well, if he was any farther, I’d need an out of state license!!” I joked.

“You have an idea how to hold?” Jack asked.

“Not a clue, I’ll just put the first shot out there and go from there.” I said.

Actually, I had guessed the distance at close to 750 yds., so I put one of the two chucks in the very bottom of my field of view and touched one off. That shot landed about 30 yds. short of that groundhog. Jack asked if I was going to try another shot? I told him, “I can’t. I’m out of my field of view!!”

That was the first time we’d ever had that happen!

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