Sierra Introduces MatchKing Competition Ammunition Line

Competition participation is becoming increasingly popular over the year and with that increased popularity has come to a much higher demand for competition-grade products. Sierra has been a well-respected name in the reloading community for its high quality and consistent projectiles for reloaders who like to roll their own competition loads. Sierra is now offering a new line of MatchKing Competition ammunition for those that are looking to eliminate variances in components performance for competitions.

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NEW: Sierra Bullets Load Data for .224 Valkyrie

Sierra Bullets is a favorite brand of projectiles for lots of shooters. Whether its simple plinking or if you have more audacious goals, SIerra Bullets has tips that can reach out and touch it. Now, they have load data for the increasingly popular .224 Valkyrie which has taken the shooting industry by storm.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 008: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 007: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 006: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later).

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 005: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 002: IMI 77gr Razor Core 5.56x45mm, 16″ and 20″ Barrels

The first round up of the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is IMI’s take on the Black Hill’s classic heavy precision load, Mk. 262. Branded as “77gr Razor Core”, IMI’s version sports annealed 5.56mm NATO cases, neck and primer sealant, and of course 77gr Open Tip Match projectiles. Continuing on from the first installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 16.1″ and 20″ barrels. The test procedure was as follows:

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.224 Valkyrie AR-15 Introduced by Savage

The .224 Valkyrie may be the most interesting AR-15 round to come out in years, but the question many have been asking in my comments section is: Cool, but where are the rifles? Approaching the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Nevada, we are already starting to get answers, and one of them is the Savage MSR-15 Valkyrie. As the name suggests, this marks Savages first offering in the .224 Valkyrie round, and one of the first factory guns of this caliber.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 001: IMI 77gr Razor Core 5.56x45mm, 14.5″ Barrel, and Accuracy

The first round up for the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is IMI’s take on the Black Hill’s classic heavy precision load, Mk. 262. Branded as “77gr Razor Core”, IMI’s version sports annealed 5.56mm NATO cases, neck and primer sealant, and of course 77gr Open Tip Match projectiles. Based on reputation alone, I expected the best accuracy and relatively high muzzle velocities from this ammunition. The test procedure was as follows:

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.224 VALKYRIE Barrels Released by JP Enterprises

Those eagerly awaiting the market for the new .224 Valkyrie round have something to celebrate. Gunmaker JP Enterprises recently announced that they are now offering three different barrels for the new cartridge, in 20″ light, 20″ medium, and 22″ medium contours. All three barrels use the somewhat unusual “extra long” gas system, which is two inches longer than the standard “rifle length” gas system normally used with 20″ barrels. The longer gas system coupled with large diameter port settings reportedly increase dwell time while reducing the port pressure. More details on the barrels are available via a review from Recoil.

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Sierra Bullets 6.5 Grendel Load Data Now Available

With the development of wildcat calibers that eventually become more common and less wildcat over time it is difficult for reloading companies to keep up with published, verified data. Nobody knew 10 years ago that the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor or 6.5 Grendel would be as popular as they are today, but here we are.

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The Home Team Advantage: Ammunition, Compatibility, and Why Change Is Bad

If we can make a round that is significantly better than the existing 5.56mm or 7.62mm ammunition, shouldn’t the military just bite the bullet and switch, to the benefit of the servicemen and women in harm’s way? What’s stopping the powers that be from making the incremental improvements that everyone knows are possible?

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9x39mm: AR-15 for Moose? [Modern Intermediate Calibers 026.2]

Previously, we compared the Russian 9x39mm subsonic sniper round to its Western counterparts, including the .300 AAC Blackout and the .45 ACP. As it stands now, the 9x39mm is a subsonic round only – no supersonic loads exist for it currently. But… What if they did?

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.300 Blackout vs. 9x39mm: Russia's Subsonic Brute [Modern Intermediate Calibers 026.1]

Today’s Modern Intermediate Calibers will handle something a little different. While virtually all rounds we have looked at so far were designed primarily for supersonic use, today we will be taking a gander at the Russian 9x39mm round – a dedicated suppressed caliber designed exclusively for the subsonic flight regime, with no supersonic option (yet) available. This begets a question, then: Is the 9x39mm truly an intermediate caliber? To answer this, we should consider a few facts about the 9×39: First, it was designed for carbines and rifles with cartridge overall lengths comparable to common intermediate calibers, like 5.56mm or 7.62×39. Second, it was designed to give substantially better performance than is possible with pistol rounds, including armor piercing effect above that which is normally possible with handgun rounds. Third, it is used more like an intermediate caliber than a pistol caliber, being issued with a whole host of sniper rifles, assault rifles, and other weapons comparable to any other intermediate caliber. Therefore, I would argue that it is an intermediate, albeit possibly the strangest one in common use.

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.224 Valkyrie Will Get a 100gr Bullet – Federal Premium Releases Official Data and Loads

Ammunition maker Federal Premium recently released its full bundle of press info on their new .224 Valkyrie round, coming on the heels of teasers released at Big 3 East. The .224 Valkyrie is a high performance .22 caliber round for the AR-15, which uses heavy, low drag bullets to dramatically improve the long range performance of the platform versus the .223 Remington and other rounds. This is the same principle that has been used in rounds like the .260 Remington and 6.5 Grendel for years, now finally applied to a factory .22 caliber round.

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