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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?

New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?

26 Jul 2014
@ 02:20 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

I recently purchased a Ruger Mk II in 7mm Rem Mag for stupid cheap, my fourth 7 mag I have owned over the years, but the first one I have owned since I started reloading. I went straight to the bench and tried the loads my manuals recommended with lackluster results, I could not get accuracy better then 1.5" @100 and my chrono has me well below listed speeds. Been trying 150gr BTs, 154gr SSTs, 160gr SGKs and Deep curls over 4350, H1000, and RL19 (out of RL22 and nobody has any locally) Pushing it's max loads I am barely hitting 3k fps with the 150gr class bullets, 2850 fps with 160s and as I said accuracy is unacceptable for a long range gun. I have been playing with seating between 0-20 thousandths off the lands mostly.
I had similar frustration when I started loading for the 7mm-08 but once I found what powders it liked it all became easy so I am not giving up hope yet, 7mms just seem a little more tricky then my various 6.5s 270s and 30 calibers.
I know there are a few 7 Mag fanatics here, where am I going wrong? Any tips for a frustrated handloader?

Replies

26 Jul 2014
@ 04:51 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Hi Jared, 1.5" is pretty good for an unbedded, non accurized Ruger. It is not uncommon for these rifles to group around 2.5" prior to accurizing. Your loads and velocities are also in line with the norm. I have put loads in my second book along with saftey warnings as I generally go well above maximum if the throat is of normal spec. I have put accurizing procedures in my third book. The rifle will need a god deal of work to it, then a good deal of load work before you can really draw any conclusions.

FYI (and for other readers): In my first book, I wrote that the pre 2011 Mk2 Ruger's often had very poor quality barrels and that the Hawkeye barrel was much better. One of our forum posters has just experienced a dud Hawkeye. It has been a very tough experience for him, he put a great deal of effort into the rifle. Of course, this changes nothing. The Hawkeye barrels are generally very good- but as I wrote in the first book, there is always the risk of a dud barrel with any brand of rifle. Hence why you need to purchase a rifle with an action of sound design, and one that you like. In this instance, the Ruger action has potential. If you like the Ruger action, the blow will be softer. Barrels come and go.

26 Jul 2014
@ 05:50 pm (GMT)

Kenney

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
1.5" from your ruger, I'd be stoked mate ;)

Nathan is correct in his books in saying that barrels come and go, if you start with this mindset itl be a whole lot easier when you discover the barrel is poked. In hindsight even though it's a frustrating expierience to go through, it's also a relief to know that when all the options are exhausted and you have done everything and it still won't shoot to know that all along the poor groups are not because you are a poor shooter. Now to complete the project so that I can prove that theory!

Bit of a sidetrack for this thread but you mentioned ruger and they don't get talked about much ;)

26 Jul 2014
@ 06:27 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Yeah 1.5 MOA is OK for a factory barrel but to date I have been able to stroke reliable 1MOA or better out of EVERY bolt gun I have loaded for including some older ones. Some were very hard such as my new Browning A-Bolt II 7mm-08 which took three months to iron out before I found Ramshot Big Game and H380, some were laughably easy, such as my friends old worn out Browning BBR 270 win and my Tikka T3 6.5x55 which were both so easy you would be hard pressed to find anything they did not shoot well.
The thing that makes me think I am missing something is that rifle shoots cheap Federal Blue box ammo and 150gr Corelokts around 1.5-2MOA in any case I would think I could improve on that.
I was hoping for a bit more speed, in my 7mm-08 I am pushing 140gr SGKs to 2953fps avg well below max pressures (@47.5gr Big Game, no sign of pressure until I pass 50gr using neck sized Rem Brass), I was hoping that the MUCH larger 7mag could do more then push only 10 more gr of lead to the same speed.
Would using slower burning powders help you think? I don't have anything slower then 270WSM burn rate stuff since that has been the most overbore thing I load for.
26 Jul 2014
@ 06:43 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Hi Jared
Sorry for wandering off the original subject. I'm interested in the velocity from your 7mm-08 I'm a good 100fps behind you with a 22" barrel using ADI 2209, is yours a longer barrel?
Bob
26 Jul 2014
@ 08:19 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Quote:
Hi Jared
Sorry for wandering off the original subject. I'm interested in the velocity from your 7mm-08 I'm a good 100fps behind you with a 22" barrel using ADI 2209, is yours a longer barrel?
Bob

Mine is 22" as well, a factory stock Browning A-Bolt II. I only get that speed with Big Game not with Varget or 4350. SGKs do fragment quite a bit at that speed so I don't push it up to max since I often hunt hogs in the brush with my "little gun" I have my best accuracy at 47.5gr too.
26 Jul 2014
@ 08:24 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Oh and don't try more then 48gr with Win Brass, I noticed a considerable difference in pressure between Rem and Win brass in the 7mm-08.
26 Jul 2014
@ 08:49 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
Hi Jared, yes you can achieve much higher velocities, but you will have to go past book max and find out what the actual maximum safe pressures are for your rifle. The reloading manuals are only a guide line with caution towards (in this instance) short throated rifles.

Your rifle is possibly capabple of half minute or better- but this will be as a result of the work you put into it. Fiddling with a million loads for months on end is one way of doing it- but this process is really about finding a load that produces a certain frequency that works with the existing fit of the action in the stock or perhaps the metal to metal fit of the magazine box (see book 3). A better method is to set the rifle up properly so that it is not so sensitive to harmonic vibrations. You can then set about load work without so many variables effecting accuracy.

There is so much to cover regarding your Ruger- enough to fill the pages of a book, hence the book series.
26 Jul 2014
@ 09:14 pm (GMT)

john feyereisn

Re: New to reloading 7mm Rem Mag....advice?
I dont have any first hand experiance with rugers, so I have no comments about what Nathan said about the barrels. I do, however, second his comments about checking into the bedding, so you may find it worthwhile to do it.
I have tried h4831, re22 and IMR 7828SSC with 150 grain ballistic tips. For me h4831 showed the least promise and I did not pursue it much, RE 22 worked decent, IMR 7828 SSC worked the best for me by far and it does it at a just below or at published max loads, I am using 67.5 grains of IMR 7828 SSC with cci mag primers, and in my rifle I get slight pressure signs on the primers if I shoot that load in the summer, for our northern MN november deer season that load is fine.
Good luck, and report back on your findings!
 

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