The mythical Sierra handgun bullet lives!

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 7,346 Senior Member
It took about 7 months of waiting in backorder line, but the 240 JHC Sierra SportsMasters have FINALLY arrived. For anyone hoping to receive any Sierra handgun bullets in the near future, be prepared for a similar wait.
The background in my particular situation is that I had FINALLY found a super tack-driving load for my 8", scoped Colt Anaconda when I found out that the backorder on this particular bullet (one that I had laying around for years) was effectively indefinite. I placed an order anyway around late April/early May and without warning, a ring at the doorbell about 20 minutes ago brought with it a big box of goodness - 300 SportsMasters! In my case, that will likely last a decade or more:

SierraSportsmaster240grain.jpg

I'm am stoked and disappointed all at once. I'm stoked because I can once again make the incredibly accurate load I worked up for the Anaconda. I'm disappointed because had I received these bullets two weeks ago, they would've come with me to Nebraska. Considering that I normally keep the Anaconda close by for short shots like I had on the two deer that I took, I likely would've gotten my first deer kill with this particular gun. However, with only 8 shots left for this particular load and uncertainty about the zero, I didn't want to chance it. Oh, well. There WILL be a next time.

I normally don't get this excited over components, but this shortage has been a real bummer!
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

Replies

  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,272 Senior Member
    Glad you finally got what you needed. Had you tried any others? I have had very good luck with the Nosler 240gr jhp out of my Ruger SBH.


    Sako
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    I have tried quite a few other bullets, mostly by Hornady. I got great results with the Hornady XTPs in various weights, but absolutely nothing has touched these SportsMaster bullets. The 25 yard, 3-shot groups shot with a Burris 2x handgun scope grouped as low as the .3" range, all holes touching or even overlapping. I don't know if you remember the post - it's from way back on the old forum - but I posted the groups it put up at that indoor range (see below). Without exception, this bullet has given me the best accuracy results I've found and will penetrate 6 phone books with ease at 100 yards.

    ColtBurristarget2.jpg

    Can't wait to put it on a game critter.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,272 Senior Member
    Don't recall the specific post but do seem to recall putting a round or two down range at the Colorado shoot and being very impressed. Have wanted an Anaconda ever since.

    Sako
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,845 Senior Member
    Glad you got some of your preferred projectile :beer:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,853 Senior Member
    Looking at your picks I feel down right inadequate. I just go buy a couple boxes of Federals or Remingtons and go for it. I don't target shoot handguns too much. Mainly just shoot at club shoots with my 586 S&W with factory. I used to hand load 38s for it, but I'm a lazy reloader and the volume I can put through a hand gun is too much to keep up with. I'm a rifle and shotgun reloader although I don't currently reload shotgun because I don't do much shotgun shooting right now. Rifle is my perfered habit in that area. But it looks like you've got it all together here. Congrats on finding your Sierras. They're my favorite all around bullet.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • black mambablack mamba Member Posts: 158 Member
    Congrats. That is one tight wheelgun! My Custom Bullberry .44 mag Encore barrel is superbly accurate with the 300 gr Nosler HP over Accurate 4100, but not quite THAT good.

    What powder do you use?
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,691 Senior Member
    I've had good luck with that bullet also but lately I've stuck to my home brewed stuff for hunting. I definitely want to add an anaconda to my quiver of .44's though.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    Congrats. That is one tight wheelgun! My Custom Bullberry .44 mag Encore barrel is superbly accurate with the 300 gr Nosler HP over Accurate 4100, but not quite THAT good.

    What powder do you use?

    I'm using 22.7 gr. of IMR 4227 with this one. I've never chrono'd the load, but as I said above, it hits hard enough to blow through 6 phone books at 100 yards. I'm more than confident that it will smack a deer silly. On that note, I finally have enough to chrony them. Yay!
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    I've had good luck with that bullet also but lately I've stuck to my home brewed stuff for hunting. I definitely want to add an anaconda to my quiver of .44's though.
    The powder charge I posted above actually is my favorite homebrew recipe for this bullet. Hasn't taken any game yet, but it will.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,691 Senior Member
    By home brewed I meant bullet. I cast quite a few different bullets for my .44s and I have a 310gr pill that I favor for hunting. It casts at 308gr's in my alloy at a 22bnh and it runs at 1200fps out of my 6" 629. I haven't chrono'd it out of my 7-1/2" redhawk but I have shot deer with it out of the redhawk. I'm very happy with the results and have not yet found any portion of a deer that will stop this bullet.

    Edited to add that my powder of choice is H110. I love that stuff.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    Oh, I got ya now. I thought you were referencing factory vs. handloaded rounds. While IMR 4227 is my powder of choice for this hunting load, I agree on H110 for power loads. The stuff really gets my .44 and .357 rocking.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Very nice groups. Looks like you found that Snakes sweet spot with them Sierra bullets.

    Any explanation as to why it took so long to get them?
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    For anyone hoping to receive any Sierra handgun bullets in the near future, be prepared for a similar wait.

    http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=496&dir=278|281|1080|1114
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    For anyone hoping to receive any Sierra handgun bullets in the near future, be prepared for a similar wait.

    http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=496&dir=278|281|1080|1114

    Yep. That's exactly how it looked when I placed an order for them through Sierra. It showed "in-stock." By the time I got to checkout, Sierra had already sent me a backorder notice. 7 months later, I got my bullets. :bang:
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Your search foo is week....LOL
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Those are indeed great bullets and very accurate, I am glad you got some. They always preformed in an outstanding way in my loads. Yes, really cool.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    Your search foo is week....LOL

    What's crazy is the last time I checked for those bullets and Sierra finally showed them in stock, nobody outside of Sierra would even take a back order anymore. They weren't available on any retailer shelves/e-tailer sites shortly after I confirmed production through Sierra (literally, the entire lot went to fulfilling everyone's backorders.) Sierra told me they wouldn't kick out any more of that stock number until "the Fall." Well, it's November, so technically, the estimate was right on. Of course, NOW it seems that they're finally caught up on **this** bullet enough where the retailers have them for more than 5 seconds. Double-:bang:

    I should add that if you happen to need one of the of the bullets that is **presently** out of stock (like the 180 grain JHC SportsMaster), you could very well be screwed like I was. Sierra only seems to be manufacturing one or two model numbers of handgun bullets at a time. When it runs out, it's taking months for them to start a new lot.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I used some Sierra 170 grain (?) JHC in my .357s years ago and they were very good and accurate.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • black mambablack mamba Member Posts: 158 Member
    I used to shoot the 170 JHC in my 4" model 57 at about 1250 fps. Great load and very controllable.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    Without a doubt, the #1 attractant to this bullet is its the potential to bring in superb accuracy like you guys have also seen using them. I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I know how it will perform terminally on game, but the fact that it will get to the target without question if I do my part is a real cause to rejoice for a handgun. I've seen good results rom other handgun bullets, but nothing like this. I would never be this excited over a component if that wasn't the case. However, I really, really wish Sierra could get caught up on their orders. Looking at their site over the past 7 months, they only have one or two handgun bullets available at any given time. That ripples over to the retailers and really tempts me to get another 200 just because of how badly it hurts when these become unavailable. Then again, that kind of thinking is what's causing these insane backorders.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • black mambablack mamba Member Posts: 158 Member
    I hear ya, Six-Gun. The last three times I've been to the store for reloading components, I haven't come away with a third of what I went in there for. It's not just Sierra, it's across the board. I'm starting to think that when your stuff comes in, you NEED to stock up . . . MAJORLY!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,346 Senior Member
    It's an epidemic that started when Obama came into to office and it just hasn't let up. I know exactly what you mean about walking in and out of the gunshops well short of what you hoped to find. It's even more painful when I find boxes of components from 6 or 7 years ago that cost half of what they do right now. Worse is that we'll never see those prices go back to where they could be if not for the demand-driven shortage. That's what makes it a catch-22 to stock up hardcore. You get what you need, but you help contribute to the artificial price increase. I guess it's a case of "how bad do I need this parts?" When you have a bullet that will shoot like these do, this is a case of "I need them badly!"
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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