A Tradition of Precision

Sierra’s people drive performance and keep the company at the pinnacle of accuracy.

A Tradition of Precision

Sierra Bullets has been in business for more than 70 years, establishing a tradition of precision that has sustained the brand over decades.

The company began in California in 1947 and eventually moved its operations to Missouri in 1990. There, Sierra gathers its own raw materials and designs and tests its products in an underground shooting range and bullet testing facility — the largest in the world. 

On Aug. 17, 2020, Sierra welcomed new company President Keith Enlow, a 25-year veteran of the outdoors industry with experience serving roles in the commercial, military and LE markets. Prior to joining Sierra, Enlow was most recently the president for Steiner eOptics and has also served as CEO for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Shooting teams. 

Shooting Sports Retailer recently had the opportunity to speak with Enlow about the company’s history, the Sierra process and what to expect in the future.

SSR: How has Sierra handled the turbulence of 2020? Has it been a challenge to meet product demand?

Enlow: Our team has continued to ramp up production. We are investing not only in new equipment, we are investing in our number one resource, our people. The key to Sierra’s success is our bulletsmiths, and that is what sets Sierra aside from other ammunition manufacturers.


SSR: Can you give us a big-picture view of the Sierra process? How does a bullet go from concept to production?

Enlow: Very simply, Sierra’s research and development team utilizes a gated development process that our entire team has input into. We start with a product concept proposal based on market needs, then we go through three basic steps: proof of concept, design verification and then a full experimental run to prove out the product in production.  


SSR: Tell us about the three stringent bullet requirements. What sets the quality standard apart from other manufacturers? 

Enlow: For Sierra, this is all about accuracy, accuracy, and accuracy. It starts with our raw material specifications, and a heavy emphasis on the precision deep drawn jacket, and finally, and most importantly, the product performance. Our typical projectiles in process and daily accuracy checks require our performance for 10 shot groups to be less than 1.25 inches at 200 yards. This is day in and day out so that our consumers know they are getting the most accurate projectiles on the planet.   


SSR: Is your range still the largest underground bullet testing facility in the world?

Enlow: I do believe our underground bullet testing facility is one of the largest underground bullet testing facilities in the world. 


SSR: How has the growth of precision shooting impacted your business?

Enlow: The growth in precision shooting has definitely impacted Sierra in regard to our “Greenbox” component sales. This area continues to grow for reloaders and those who compete in precision shooting. We are proud that these individuals continue to utilize Sierra as their brand of choice.


SSR: What’s the key to producing accurate bullets that perform consistently at long range? 

Enlow: The primary key is our people. It has to do with having the best bulletsmiths in the world. We manage not only our raw material. We are doing constant quality checks tied to bullet jacket thickness variation along with a projectile that already is designed with a high ballistic coefficient. This combined with constant monitoring of projectile accuracy performance right off the bullet assembly presses assures consumers they are receiving one of the most accurate projectiles on the planet.   


SSR: Bullet design and technology has evolved significantly. Do you think that will continue or are we close to the apex?

Enlow: I believe that bullet design and technology will continue to evolve. The combination of lead-free materials along with the market trend of ramping up chamber pressures and velocities will continue to challenge product design developments. I do not believe we have achieved the apex.


SSR: How has the move into loaded ammo gone in the year and a half since the launch of the Sierra Ammunition line?

Enlow: Sierra’s loaded ammunition lines have been received extremely well in the market. Once these products hit retailer shelves, they were immediately sold out.   


SSR: Will ammunition become a larger part of the company’s focus moving forward?

Enlow: Short answer here is definitely. Our Sierra customer is looking for Sierra quality in a loaded ammunition product and our plan is to continue to deliver here and expand our offerings. 


SSR: What new products can we expect in 2021?

Enlow: From Sierra, I would expect to continue to see line extensions in popular calibers and the company continuing to focus on ammunition growth. 


SSR: What else should retailers know about Sierra? What sets the company apart?

Enlow: Since 1947, Sierra Bullets has been dedicated to manufacturing the most accurate bullets in the world. This commitment to performance has established a “Tradition of Precision” for which Sierra is known throughout the world. Our industry and the marketplace have changed over the years, but Sierra’s focus remains making the most accurate bullets available.


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