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Old October 13, 2010, 07:20 PM   #1
Sarge
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Sierra’s 65 grain ‘GameKing’ BTSP in the .223

I’d finally depleted my supply of Winchester bulk 55 grain softpoints, and so was looking for a replacement for hunting game to the size of deer. Sierra’s 65 grain BTSP ‘Gameking’ #1395 bullet gets rave reviews. Luckily, I live about 25 miles from Sierra’s factory. I purchased a few and was soon ready to cook up a load.

Speaking of loads, there is little data available for this particular bullet. Sierra’s techs suggested using their 63 grain SMP data as a start point, since the two bullets share a similar bearing surface. Available data suggested that 25.0 grains of H4895, my ‘go to’ rifle powder, should be a safe load. I cranked out 30 rounds in Lake City brass, with Winchester Small Rifle primers as a spark plug. An OAL of 2.250” had been reported by other users and rounds so loaded fed through the magazine of the Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle they would be used in.



The BetaMaster showed the average velocity at 2805 fps, with standard deviation in the low teens. Fired brass show no over-pressure signs and like everything else I’ve fed it, the Ruger gobbled them like candy. Just for grins I turned one round on a line of four, 100 oz. water-filled laundry detergent jugs at point-blank range. The little 65 grain pill fragmented significantly in the second jug but the jacket still made it into the fourth jug, with a nub of the core inside. These plastic jugs are hard on bullets and I was pleasantly surprised by this bullet’s ability to punch through four of them.

The last thing was to see if it would shoot. To remove some human error, I mounted an old Stith "Bear Cub" made by the Kollmorgen Optical Company. These were good quality scopes made through the 1950’s and this one has fine crosshairs in comparison to current 4x scopes. I plinked through about 15 rounds of UMC 55 FMJ to get the POI centered enough to move back to 100 yards.

The first three rounds of the 65 grain Sierra load made this 3/4” group. I was certainly glad to see it, but suspected it might be a fluke…



I cranked the scope down a couple of graduations and fired another…



Hot damn… ¾” groups from a Mini are nothing to sneeze at. I do believe I’ve found a replacement ‘deer’ bullet for this little rifle. I used the last few rounds of this load at 200 yards, with 2 ½” three-shot groups being about the norm. I could tell I was ‘running out of scope’ because my crosshairs blacked out the 3” aiming point. I honestly think with a 9 or 12 power scope the 200 yard groups would have been better.

The other good news was that the Sierra load shoots within about 4 inches of the 200 yard POI for Remington UMC 55 grain FMJ. The long 65 grain boat-tail actually shot flatter, and grouped a couple of inches higher than the Remington load.

This is the second reloading effort, in two weeks, where the first load with a new bullet worked great. I don’t know when my luck is going to run out, but I’m sure enjoying it while it lasts!
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Old October 13, 2010, 10:44 PM   #2
Bamashooter
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i just loaded 3 diffrent groups of 5 with that bullet, one group with IMR-4895,2nd with W748 and last with Tac. i havent shot them yet but seeing your groups makes me think good things. all of sierra's bullets i have used i have gotten great accuracy with. my ruger shoots 60gr. varmiter bullets the best so far. nice shootin....
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Old October 13, 2010, 11:59 PM   #3
Sarge
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Thanks Bama, I agree on the accuracy of Sierra bullets. I've loaded them in several calibers myself and am impressed with the uniformly fine groups that resulted- except for the ones I screwed up myself.
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Old October 14, 2010, 10:12 PM   #4
hagar
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Other than using Winchester primers, you have a good load. WW primers are well known for slam firing in semi autos, I have personally seen at least 7 or 8 on the highpower firing lines. You can also try the 64 grain WW powerpoint bullets, I shot a LOT of coyotes, 2 deer and 2 javelina with it, and the bulllet always performed well, they do not explode and mushroom nicely. That bullet and 25 grains of Accurate 2520 shot groups smaller than an inch out of my Mini-14. Mini 14's have very fast twists and they do not shoot 55 grain surplus bullets very well.
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