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Bruce Potts test out some Sierra GameChanger bullets

Bruce Potts test out some Sierra GameChanger bullets

With all this talk and movement towards lead-free projectiles, we would be forgiven for thinking that conventional lead cored bullets are dead, but they are not. Thankfully, plenty of good traditional lead cored and copper jacketed bullets are still being tweaked for better performance. One noticeable type is the old Sierra GameKing, which has undergone a transformation from a soft-nosed spitzer-type bullet into a sleeker and more aerodynamic version called the Tipped Gameking (TGK) or ‘GameChanger’. As its name suggests, the older GameKing has been given a makeover with a new polymer tip or meplat section, which not only increases the Ballistic Coefficient (BC) but also aids in better expansion down range.


The bullets are available in .224, .243, .257, .264, .277, .284 and .30 cal, but sadly only a few weights at present for each calibre. I chose the 125- grain .30 cal bullets as I can use these in my .300 Blackout Legacy, 30-47L Predator and my venerable old Tikka LSA55. 165-grain and 180-grain TGKs in 0.30 cal are also available.

I also chose some mid-weight 150-grain bullets for my 7mm AK Imp rifle and again, I could have chosen 140 or 165-grain versions from the Sierra range. I also liked the look of the 64-grain .22 cal TGK for Scottish Roe, Muntjac and CWD, but sadly none were available.

TGK Spec

The GameChanger hunting bullet combines Sierra’s well-respected match accuracy with controlled expansion and predictable terminal ballistics. I love GameKings and use them a lot in my own reloads as they do offer excellent accuracy and expansion is not too explosive.

Sierra re-engineered their MatchKing bullet to have a hollow point design for expansion and also fitted a transparent green tip for ballistic superiority.

Internally, you have a special lead-alloy surrounded by a tough copper jacket that’s made from a special gilding-metal copper alloy (95% copper and 5% zinc). This achieves excellent penetration and more controlled expansion at a greater variety of ranges. Add to this the use of special tooling made in house that assures evenly drawn jackets for ultimate precision and thickness in a multi-step draw process with a tolerance of +/- 0.002”. The ogive section of the bullet is tuned too, which is why Sierra bullets fly true and are consistent. They can be depended on to work in a greater number of barrel types and rifling profiles than some other bullet makes.

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The 125-grain version shows a flat base, whilst the other weights feature a boat tail. I don’t mind this as most of my deer are well under 300 yards, thus negating the benefits of the higher BC achieved by the boat tail bullets. The BC is .318 at a velocity of 2700 FPS and above. It then reduces to .298 between 1400 and 2700 FPS, then .287 at 1400 FPS and below. Sectional density is quite low, which is as expected being a light bullet for its calibre, so 0.188 is perfectly fine for deer work.

The internal construction of the 150-grain 7mm TGKs is the same as the 125-grain .30 cal bullets, but externally they show a typical boat tail design, and as a result, the BC values are very healthy (0.545 at a velocity of 2200 FPS and above, .515 between 1700 and 2200 FPS and .465 at 1700 FPS and below). You also have a nice sectional density value of 0.266 for good penetration and terminal energy transfer down range on game.

Down range comparison and conclusion

If you look at the 125-grain TGK compared to the standard 125-grain soft point, the BC of the latter is 0.274 compared to the healthy 0.318 of the TGK version. The Tipped Match King (TMK) has a higher BC of 0.343 but the TGK is designed to expand and is thus deer legal.

Down range with a muzzle velocity of 2950 FPS from a .308 Win cartridge, you will still have 2372 FPS|1562 ft/lbs at 200 yards and 2100 FPS|1224 ft/lbs at 300 yards. If zeroed at 100 yards, then there will be -2.8” of drop at 200 yards, -11.9” at 300 yards and -28.25” at 400 yards.

By comparison, a standard 125-grain SP bullet at the same velocity shows 2295 FPS|1462 ft/lbs at 200 yards and a drop of -3.2”. At 300 yards this changes to 2002 FPS|1113 ft/lbs with a drop of -13.25”.

The 7mm AK Imp using those lovely aerodynamic, 150-grain TGK bullets with an average 2750 FPS muzzle velocity, still has shows 2422 FPS|1954 ft/lbs at 200 yards. At 300 yards this is down to 2263 FPS|1706 ft/lbs. Drop is equally good when zeroed at 100 yards. At 200 yards you drop -2.95”, at 300 yards it is -11.85” and at 400 yards it’s -27.75”. Like the 125-grain TGK version, the 7mm TGK has at least a 5% increase in efficiency over a soft point bullet of the same weight and style. I will take that advantage all day thank you.


Henry Kranks - www.henrykrank.com
Norman Clark Gunsmiths - www.normanclarkgunsmith.com
Hannams - www.hannamsreloading.com

  • Bruce Potts test out some Sierra GameChanger bullets - image {image:count}

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  • Bruce Potts test out some Sierra GameChanger bullets - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Bruce Potts test out some Sierra GameChanger bullets - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge