The Sierra 155 gr. Palma Match 30 Caliber Bullet (#2156) – Hot!
Most long-range shooters want to get the most downrange bullet performance possible out of what they shoot, and Sierra Bullets has “stepped up to the plate” with a new offering of a 30 caliber 155 gr. Palma Match long-range bullet. This new bullet is designed to be about as slippery as a bullet can be in the wind. It has a sleek and pointy front end and a fairly long boat tail section with a net result that it also has a rather short bearing surface, although that does not seem to affect it’s “shootability” (according to most reports).
The new Sierra 155 gr. Match Palma (#2156) bullet (right) looks somewhat similar to Sierra's renowned Sierra 168 gr. MatchKing (center) and the popular Sierra 175 gr. MatchKing (left), however, the design of the new 155 gr. bullet was tweaked a little to get its ballistic coefficient up.
Compared to the prior Sierra 155 gr. Palma Match bullet (#2155), the new bullet is longer and has a more aerodynamic appearance. In addition, the ballistic coefficient (b.c.) of the new Sierra #2156 bullet reflects the newer aerodynamic design (i.e. the b.c. has been calculated to be .447 for the new #2156 bullet, as opposed to .417 for the older #2155 bullet).
One unique feature of this bullet is that it comes with the bullet tip factory pointed from Sierra. The pointing of bullet tips essentially closes the front end of the hollow point of the bullet to be tighter and smaller than it usually would be without pointing and makes it so there is less wind resistance as the tip of the bullet pushes through the air.
This new Sierra has received excellent reviews from a number of Palma long-range shooters and it has been tried and proven in competition, but there are a couple caveats. First, this author has noticed that this bullet is not ideal for chambers with a long throat or free bore because the bearing surface of the bullet is very short. The net result of this very short bearing surface is that there is very little of the bullet held by the neck of the case (almost none in some cases) when the bullet makes contact with the lands in a medium to long throated chamber. Because of this, the bullet is really ideal with a chamber having a shorter free bore, such as that provided by the new JGS 2010 Match .308 reamer discussed below. In addition, this author found that there was enough bullet variation in a box of 500 bullets that the sorting of the bullets might be in order to assure the best long-range results. Especially for long-range shooting, this author has found that bullet-to-bullet consistency is important.
This new bullet offering is a great addition to the Sierra lineup of bullets that works well with the .308 Winchester and other 30 caliber cartridges.
The Berger 155.5 gr. FULLBORE 30 Caliber Bullet – Great!
Not to be outdone by Sierra’s new Palma Match bullet offering, Berger has also “stepped up to the plate” and has come forward with a great new aerodynamic designed Palma type bullet as well. Berger calls this new bullet their “155.5 gr. FULLBORE” bullet to differentiate it from two other 30 caliber bullets it offers that are close in weight (i.e. their 155 gr. BT bullet and their 155 VLD bullet). This new Berger bullet is a little bit different in design than the new Sierra bullet and it boasts a higher ballistic coefficient (.464 b.c. for the new Berger versus .447 b.c. for the new Sierra). The Berger bullet has a longer and more sleek front end than the Sierra but a shorter boattail, and the bearing surface of the bullet is a bit longer as well (although still relatively short). Comparing the new Berger and Sierra bullets side by side makes one realize the truth in the statement that there can be “more than one way to skin a cat” when it comes to designing a slippery bullet to cut through the air.
This new Berger bullet also employs Berger’s “thick jacket” construction that makes the bullet very durable, and capable of withstanding high pressure and high velocities with no resulting issues.
As is typical with most Palma type bullets in this weight range, a 1:13" twist barrel (or faster) will properly and adequately stabilize this bullet. In addition, the only caveat is that this Berger bullet (like the new Sierra) also has a rather short bearing surface, and is better suited to a chamber having a free bore on the shorter side, such as that provided by the new JGS 2010 Match .308 reamer discussed below.
After examining and measuring bullets from different boxes of these bullets, this author is impressed by the design, the quality, and the bullet to bullet uniformity of the Berger 155.5 gr. FULLBORE bullets, and it is obvious that Berger has worked hard to make this offering as good as it can be.
The New “2010 JGS .308 Match Reamer”
Coupled with the release of the new .308 Winchester “Palma” brass and the new 30 caliber bullets noted above, JGS Precision Tool Mfg., LLC. is releasing a new .308 Winchester match reamer that is ideal for use with Lapua’s new brass and the new Sierra and Berger long-range Palma type bullets noted above.
When you look at a JGS reamer, it is beautiful in all respects, and as reamers go, JGS makes some of the highest quality chamber reamers in the industry.
This reamer is a “no neck turn” reamer that has the body design and dimensions of the well known and respected Palma 95 reamer (originally designed by Alan Warner), but the throat of this new reamer is set up to be more compatible with the new shorter bearing surface 30 caliber bullets. This reamer also has a “plug and play” design that works well with the various .308 Winchester commercial reloading dies that are commercially available.
The JGS Winchester match reamer is a "no neck turn" reamer for use with the new Sierra 155 gr. Palma Match bullets and the new Berger Bullets 155.5 gr. FULLBORE match bullets.
On a side note, this author has owned a lot of reamers over time and is impressed by the overall quality, dimensional exactness and finish of the JGS reamers. If you take a 12x jewelers loupe and look at the cutting surfaces of JGS reamers under higher magnification, they are very clean and sharp. This fact alone is very important.
This new JGS .308 Winchester match reamer is “just the ticket” for shooting the new Lapua .308 Winchester Palma small primer brass (or any other .308 Winchester brass for that matter), as well as the new Sierra and Berger 30 caliber bullets discussed above.