Hi welcome to the Reloading Podcast, I’m your host Mike and today we are talking about bullets. Today I’m going to explain what all those letters mean that are attached to each bullet weight, and also how to figure out what bullet you may have just laying around. All the bullets used in todays episode were provided by Sierra, the Bulletsmiths.
Bullets predate firearms by quite a few centuries, as that was the ammunition used in slings. most were cast from lead also, and had some different shapes depending on who cast them. Most were oblong in general shape though. With the advent of firearms, bullets became round to be cast easier and to be forced down the barrel.
Real bullet innovation didn't start until the 1820’s with Captain John Norton of the British army and his conical shape with a hollow base so it would expand out to the rifling upon firing. His bullet was rejected however, mainly due to the thought that spherical bullet was still good enough.
There were a couple more innovators, but no one had real success until Frenchman Claude- Etienne Minie created his spherical bullet with an iron plug to fill up the cavity in the base to create expansion sealing the bullet to the rifling in 1847. This was adopted by the British in 1855, and saw its first widespread use during the American Civil War.
Starting in 1852 there were experiments by various people in smaller diameter longer bullets and it was found they would increase accuracy once matched with hardened bullets, but was not with any real success until 1888 with the Lee-Metford rifle.
The next major improvement in bullet design came in 1882, when Major Eduard Rubin invented the copper Jacketed bullet.
Sierra started making bullets in 1947 in California as the post war shooting boom continued to grow and people really started to get into reloading. They remained in California until 1990 when they moved to their current home in Missouri.
Now that we have covered some history, lets talk about modern bullets, and what those letters mean on the description.
What does twist rate mean, and why is it important?
I have a bullet I found laying around, how can I tell what its for?
First 10 emails I get to firstname.lastname@example.org will get some Sierra swag. I will contact you for your snail mail address if you are one of the 10.
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