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7x61 Sharpe & Hart

History


Released in 1953 Americans, Phil Sharpe and Richard Hart designed the 7x61 S&H cartridge. Danish firm Shultz and Larson were contracted to build rifles while the Norma ammunition company produced loadings stamped 7x61 S&H. 
 
The 7x61 enjoyed a brief period of popularity until Remington released their 7mm Remington Magnum in 1962. After this, sales of 7x61 S&H rifles and ammunition gradually declined to a point in which Norma was forced to discontinue loadings, only producing the occasional run of loaded ammunition and brass for reloaders. During the early 1990’s, Norma cases were stamped 7x61 S&H ‘Super’. Norma’s last remaining load featured their 154 grain soft point at an advertised 3060fps however this has since been discontinued.  Norma continue to produce brass in small runs, as demand requires.
 
Having similar power to the 7mm Remington Magnum, the 7x61 was in its day, held in high regard as a powerful medium game cartridge. The Shultz and Larson rifles featured a rear locking bolt design and while this is usually regarded as counterproductive to optimum accuracy, these rifles were very carefully machined to close tolerances, resulting in excellent accuracy.
 
Today, the 7x61 is a classic cartridge and much like the muscle cars of the 1950’s, this cartridge and the original rifles are sought after by not only collectors, but by those who simply enjoy unique designs.
 

Performance 


Base diameter of the 7x61 S&H Super is identical to the 7mm Rem Mag however body dimensions are slightly smaller throughout. Shultz and Larson utilized 26” barrels which duplicate the velocities of a 24” barreled 7mm Remington Magnum. That said, during the 7x61’s heyday it was common for hunters to have their gun smith dock 2” off the 26” barrel resulting in a loss in velocity of around 70fps and a slight increase in recoil.

Twist rate for the Shultz and Larson rifles was 1:10” which in theory at least, dictates that best accuracy is achieved with 120 to 154 grain bullets. Using bullets weighing between 140 and 154 grains, the 7x61 is an excellent all around medium game cartridge, adequate for both woods hunting and long range shooting, doing its best work on game weighing up to, approximately, 320kg (700lb).
 

Factory Ammunition


Norma do not currently list a factory load for the 7x61. This cartridge must be hand loaded.
 

Hand Loading


From a 26” barrel using slow burning powders, especially H4831sc, hand loads achieve realistic velocities of 3200fps with 140 grain bullets, 3100fps with 150 grain bullets and 3000fps using 160-162 grain bullets. 24” barrels stand to lose 70fps. Brass must be sourced from a Norma distributor and is normally (at this time of writing) not difficult to obtain.

Due to the fact that this cartridge very closely matches the velocities of the 7mm Remington Magnum, bullet performance is discussed within the latter text. A few words of advice however, the 139 grain Hornady SST and InterBond bullets work extremely well on lighter medium game at 7x61 velocities while producing reasonably mild recoil. The 154 grain SST and InterBond combination is very effective on larger bodied medium game. A last mention must go to the 160 grain Nosler Partition, this projectile is generally a no fuss bullet during load development. Performance of the Partition on all game up to 320kg (700lb) is outstanding. The flat base design of the Partition aids stability when using a 1:10 twist barrel.
 

Closing Comments


The Shultz and Larson rifles that house the 7x61 are the same rifles that Roy Weatherby initially utilized when developing his magnums. With the ability to throw 160 grain bullets at a true 2900 to 3000fps, the 7x61 could have fulfilled the needs of most hunters worldwide, however hunters were looking for a standardized, commonly available cartridge from one of the major American companies. Convenience and economy are big issues to hunters and Remington answered these needs by producing the 7mm Remington Magnum. 
 
Suggested loads: 7x61 S & H Barrel length:26”
No ID   Sectional Density Ballistic Coefficient Observed  MV Fps ME
Ft-lb’s
1 HL 139gr SST/IB/AB .246 .486 3200 3160
2 HL 154gr SST/IB .273 .525 3050 3180
3 HL 160gr Partition .283 .475 3000 3197
 
 
Suggested sight settings and bullet paths           
1 Yards 100 175 300 342 375 400 425 450
  Bt. path +3 +3.9 0 -3 -6.1 -8.8 -11.9 -15.4
2 Yards 100 160 284 325 350 375 400 425
  Bt. path +3 +3.8 0 -3 -5.3 -8 -11 -14.4
3 Yards 100 150 275 315 350 375 400 425
  Bt. path +3 +3.7 0 -3 -6.4 -9.3 -12.6 -16.4
 
 
No At yards 10mphXwind Velocity Ft-lb’s
1 300 5.3 2613 2106
2 300 5.2 2521 2173
3 300 6 2425 2089
 
 7x61 Sharp and Hart Super Final.jpg

 
  Imperial Metric 
A .532 13.51
B .532 13.51
C 44 deg  
D .473 12.01
E .313 7.95
F 1.97 50.00
G .300 7.62
H 2.40 61.0
Max Case 2.40 61.0
Trim length 2.39 60.7

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