I was sitting next to Rich Machholz from Sierra at the last Iowa 1K match when he said they would be production bullets in the future.
There are real ones in shooters hands for testing as we speak. Of the shooters that know who have them for testing, I haven't heard back any details of QC, BC, or actual accuracy test results.
I am currently having built a long range target/varmint rifle in Win 7mm WSM. I will certainly give those rounds a try when they become generally available. My 6.5 rifles really like the SMK bullets at 120 and 140.
We contacted Mr. Lilja, and his recommendation for the 176 and 180 7mm both with BC pushing .700, was for his 1/10 twist barrel.
Here are some of the specifics for that weapon:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> Model 70 WSM Controlled Feed Action
7mm WSM - SHORT/FAT case technology
Barnes or Cartarucio Heavy VLD Bullets
Lilja Three Groove Rifle Barrel with 1/10 twist
New McMillan A5 Tactical Stock for M70 Winchester short action.
Jewel Match trigger with 1 pound kit.
Winchester cases w/F215M and WLR Primers and initially at least VV N165 Powder.
and for optics:
The USO SN-3 ERGO 3.2-17x44/58 with 30mm tube and with the Horus H-25 reticle.
Additional equipment includes:
PALM w/Atrag Software, Weather station, and Leica 1000 yard Range finder.
The 7mm WSM is capable of hurling the 176 Cartarucio VLD or the 180 Barnes VLD bullet (both with BC. roughly .700) at velocities approaching (or possibly exceeding) 2900fps.
My PC based ATRAG1S5 software predicts that when sighted in at 100 yards, this round at 2850fps 176 Cartarucio VLD ) should reach 1000 yards with 25.3 moa of come up or 7.4 MILS. This would be line 7.4 on the Horus reticle.
Interestingly, a 10mph cross wind would require a in-wind hold of 1.5 mils at this range or a total of 5.2moa.
Switching to 600 yard range, these holds would be at line 3.3 with .8 mils of wind hold. This translates into 11.3 and 2.9 moa respectively. This last result means that the rifle can get to 600 yards in just under 1 turn of the .25 moa knob. With these parameters, line 14 gets us to 1460 yards with a wind hold of just 2.5 mils.
I wonder if they will be as good as the JLK or Berger 7mm 180 Gr bullets?
Time will tell.
I asked Sierra for many years to make 180 gr bullets in a Match king 7MM. Why did they only jump to 175grs when they already have a real good 168 gr MK?
They could have competed with the 180 gr bullets from the other two mentioned bullet makers?
7 grs don't seem to be worth the move up?
I have some 186 gr 7mm custom bullets (not made any longer) that did real well in my 7/300 Weatherby. They had Sierra jackets to.
Think of the dfference 7 grains makes in a .30! There's a good bit of better in a 175 Sierra as opposed to a 168 in .30 at LR, so there should be a more pronounced improvement in a slimmer .284 projectile. I wonder if they've adjusted the boattail dimensions too???
I'll be ordering a box to try in the 7RUM images/icons/grin.gif