Sierra Tipped MatchKing

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Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby MarshallDodge » Mon 02 Mar 2015 8:41 pm

I really enjoy shooting the 223/5.56. It is a very popular cartridge that offers a ton of options in both rifles, ammunition, and reloading components. Recoil is low and relatively speaking, so is cost.

While it offers good velocity, one of the shortcomings of the cartridge is the ballistic coefficient of the bullets available. An improved BC means reaching out further at the same velocity, and less wind drift. For those that shoot inside a couple hundred yards, a good old 55 FMJ bullet will do fine but some of us want to stretch the legs a little more. :D

Last year I had a chance to play with the 69 grain Barnes Match Burners which are a traditional lead core bullet. One evening I was shooting at a reduced torso target, moving out with every shot, and made it all the way out to 440 yards. The next day I tried the same shot but with a 10-20 MPH gusting crosswind and things got tough. This left me a couple choices- Do better at calling the wind, increase the velocity of the bullet, or find a bullet with a better BC.

Barnes claims a BC of .339 which isn't bad considering the 69 grain Sierra MatchKing is .302 but I was introduced to a new Sierra bullet at SHOT this year, the Tipped Matchking. This bullet has a claimed .375 BC while the 77 SMK is 372. What this means is I get a bullet that I can push faster than the 77 but will give me the same BC. Faster means a flatter trajectory making it easier to range, and will be in the air for a shorter amount of time thereby reducing the affect that wind has on it.

So I decided to give it a try on paper. The rifle I used is the Tikka Sporter with 1:8 twist, 24 inch barrel on a bipod and rear bag.

Image

First group of the day.
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As a warmup I used Hornady 68 BTHP in processed and annealed Lake City brass. 22.5 IMR 8208 XBR, CCI BR4, average velocity was 2731 FPS with no signs of pressure. Overall Length was basically seating into the rifle lands and single feeding the rounds. All loaded on my new Co-Ax press (thank you Patty!) with Redding dies.

Upper right is shot #3 that I pulled.
Group size without shot #3 is .652 - .224 = .428" Not too bad for a bullet that costs 18 cents a piece.

Next string was shot with Lapua brass and Sierra Tipped Match King bullets. These bullets were seated to magazine length- 2.240" Spread is 1.43 - .224 = 1.206"
I am not sure why the shot dispersion was so bad. Maybe I was getting out of the groove and pushing the gun around. It was a little windy but I don't think it would affect the trajectory that much.
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Next group was better but not by much
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Another group shot with the 68 BTHP and the best group of the day at .386" Not bad with annealed range pickup LC brass! Left to right is still probably me and wind.
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Last group with the TMK's. This one, without my yanked #2 shot came in at .456" and is starting to give me hope for this bullet.
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I definitely need to spend some more time on the bench with this round. While I think it holds promise, I need to decide if the extra cost is worth it. The Hornady 68 BTHP is 18 cents each, Barnes 69 MB is 20 cents, and for just a little better BC the Sierra 69 TMK is 27 cents each. More to come...
Kirk
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby dewittdj » Mon 02 Mar 2015 8:56 pm

The weather Friday afternoon was a mixture of wind, rain, snow, sun, snow, and more wind.

Several of the shooters were remarking about the way the gusts off the hill would affect the targets and trajectories differently than the crosswind and downwind gusts did. One idea that was mentioned was to place a streamer or rag at each of the marked ranges (12.5, 25, 50, 75, 100), either mid range or one on each side.

There were a couple of instances when the wind at one of the range was blowing very different from the wind at the other end.

A couple of gust lifted targets up while blowing others down.

Judging wind on the range under those conditions can be very challenging indeed. To the extent that one of the regulars, after just a couple of shots, packed up and left, not wanting to second guess his loads.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby MarshallDodge » Tue 03 Mar 2015 7:39 am

I was shooting up there on Sunday and the wind was fairly constant but without any flags, it is really hard to tell. Patty bought me a Kestrel with Bluetooth last year but I am not about to place that out on the range with public shooters. It will die an early death due to poor marksmanship. :roll:

I have brought surveyor's tape to staple to the stand it it works fairly well. We could build a couple uprights to place at 25, 50, and 100 but as you know, if they are left out there, they will be shot.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby dewittdj » Wed 04 Mar 2015 8:08 pm

That's a good idea! Surveyor tape stapled on a 10' 2X2 sunked into the berm at each end of the major yard lines, perhaps at or slightly above the height of a target stand. :thumbsup:

It would be very easy to spot someone deliberately angling their firearm to shoot into the sides of the berms.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby Doctor Jenks » Sat 14 Mar 2015 3:43 pm

Hey Marshall, what chronograph do you use?
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby MarshallDodge » Mon 16 Mar 2015 5:03 pm

Doctor Jenks wrote:Hey Marshall, what chronograph do you use?


It is the blue Shooting Chrony with the remote display and I don't recall the exact model but will look when I get home.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby Photocell » Mon 16 Mar 2015 7:19 pm

MarshallDodge wrote:
Doctor Jenks wrote:Hey Marshall, what chronograph do you use?


It is the blue Shooting Chrony with the remote display and I don't recall the exact model but will look when I get home.


I believe they call it the "Beta" model. My dad has the same one he used a lot with his air rifles. I tried it out Sunday with a small batch of 9mm's I worked up. Its nice and compact, it's smarter than I am I had never used it before and didn't know how to set strings at the time (or anything about it for that matter) . I turned it on and put a shot over it and it gave me a reading. Being new to reloading it made me even more curious about load data. Like why a lighter plated bullet is quite slower over the same amount of powder as a heavier moly coated bullet? Question for a different thread.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby Doctor Jenks » Mon 16 Mar 2015 8:40 pm

Nice. Been trying to decide If I need a chronograph as I start reloading more.
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby Luv10mm » Tue 17 Mar 2015 10:01 am

Doctor Jenks wrote:Nice. Been trying to decide If I need a chronograph as I start reloading more.


I would say not needed, but very desirable. It can be really nice when you are working up loads to see the ball park velocities, and how consistent those velocities are. It's also necessary if you want to calculate energy somewhat accurately. And it's just plain fun to see how fast things are going! :D
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Re: Sierra Tipped MatchKing

Postby MarshallDodge » Thu 19 Mar 2015 12:56 pm

MarshallDodge wrote:
Doctor Jenks wrote:Hey Marshall, what chronograph do you use?


It is the blue Shooting Chrony with the remote display and I don't recall the exact model but will look when I get home.


I confirmed that it is the Beta model.
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