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7mm mag /ELD-X

06 Feb 2017
@ 03:05 am (GMT)

Po

Nathan,
I shoot a Browning 1885 7mm mag, and am about to start loading some 162 gr ELD-X's. I was all excited until I just read in your Second Edition to be very cautious with freebore/pressures. Obviously, in this rifle I am not limited by mag length, and it has an extremely strong action. I was hoping to push things a bit, but now you have me nervous. I will be shooting this weapon out to 600 or so (deer-elk).
Also, while I have you, I am going Moose/Grizzly hunting this fall and will be shooting a .325WSM in the same 1885 design (Winchester). I'm trying to decide between the 200 gr partition and 220 Weldcore. Assuming similar accuracy, what's your pick from 50-350 yds?
Thanks,
Po Lutken

Replies

06 Feb 2017
@ 03:12 am (GMT)

Po

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Ah, one more question related to both rifles...as I am dealing with 28 inch barrels, any special considerations as to powder/primers?
06 Feb 2017
@ 03:56 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Personally for moose and grizzly bear hunts, I would stick to a barrel length of 260 inches or less. For grizzly I would not be taking shots out to beyond 300 yards either in case a bear was wounded...you would not want to follow up and the consequences of an error can be bad.

The nosler partitions would be my choice for either rifle for shots out to 450 to 500 yards. The 175 grain ELD-X in the 7mm would be the one of my choice if you are hunting moose with it and are capable of shooting longer ranges as well, it would be a good choice but you and your rifle must be accurate enough for any range you take a shot at, and that means SUB 1/2 moa. This means actuall shooting at those ranges to confirm this.

For either rifle you should just start under the maximum load shown in the reloading manual and gradually work up in powder weight until you find where pressure signs are evident, then back off a bit to the powder weight where you got the best / smallest group sizes. I usually do this in 0.2 grain increments, loading three rounds for each load to be tested with full length sized brass.

My 7mm Remington Magnum has a 1:9 twist rate 5R barrel and is 25inches long, so you may wish to refer to Nathan's sweet spots as potential targets in your load workup, but do not just jump to those levels but use them for reference.
06 Feb 2017
@ 03:58 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
that should read barrel length of 26 inches or less. Damned spelling checkers.
06 Feb 2017
@ 08:17 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Hi Po, it is as Bryan said. You can still reach the same typical velocities with the ELD-X as you would with other pills, but you may use less powder to reach these velocities / pressures. But if you start high in an attempt to duplicate a past pet load (say the rifle liked 72.5gr H1000 with the A-MAX or Interlock), you run the risk of locking up the action with velocities up around 3200fps.

In the 8mm, the Woodleigh is a very good pill but I don't favor the tough bonding out at 350 yards unless the animals are truly large and offer plenty of resistance with great emphasis on shoulder shots as a means to aid bullet expansion. You may find that the Partition is better suited to ridge to ridge shots. The lightly bonded 200gr Speer Hotcor also has merit. When I hunt with a Woodleigh, I like to get reasonably close.
06 Feb 2017
@ 03:54 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Sorry I should mention, if you come up short by 50fps, its not the end of the world. Its a difference of 30 yards effective kill range. Small differences like this should not put you off and have no impact on visible results at 600 yards or even 900 yards. My apologies again, I should have been clearer.
07 Feb 2017
@ 11:13 am (GMT)

[email protected]

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Thanks for the replies/info. I'm curious though Bryan...why your aversion to the 28 inch barrel? Portability/handling? I own 5 of these rifles, from .270 to .405 (a bit obsessive perhaps?) and have hunted with my pet 7 for close to 25 years...mountains, horseback, good ol' flat-land deer hunting and I'm quite used to them...though they are a bit front heavy. And I find I get a reliable 75 fps or so boost over stated velocities in factory rounds. Plus, at least to a straight hunter (as opposed to shooter), I find them all to be tack drivers. Overall length of the weapon is no worse than a 26" bolt, as it is basically just barrel and stock.
My other question, which would be answered by experimentation, relates to Nathan and bullet seating with ELD-X. My 7, in the past, has favored the bullet kissing the lands. Should I back off?...I just don't get the physics of why a bullet design, supposedly the slickest around, would generate more pressure...this is why I consult experts! Thanks!
07 Feb 2017
@ 02:39 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Unless Nathan or others chime in, from what I remember about the ELD-X is that the jacket is of a tougher/harder jacket. The ELD-M being rather soft. So my guess is that the tougher jacket would resist engaging the lands and in doing so would generate a higher pressure. Like I said, this is a guess from a failing memory, it's in the forums here somewhere.
07 Feb 2017
@ 03:04 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
Thats correct Paul.

Po, start close as you normally would but start low.

Yes, that has been the advantage of the single shots- a free lunch with the long barrel. With luck you will find a sweet spot somewhere between 3070 to 3120fps.
07 Feb 2017
@ 05:34 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 7mm mag /ELD-X
I did not want to barge in on this thread but eps was curious...
Why no 28 to 30 inch barrels on a hunting rifle? Well I guess I have nothing against those who do use them all right. Their choice.

That being said, if I were six foot 5 or better with long arms, they would be more manageable from an all around hunting rifle. Not for me however, I found the one long bbl rifle I had that was being used mostly for target shooting and was just fine in that situation but I ended up shooting shorter barreled rifles with 50 to 100 fps less velocity and could put the bullet right where I wanted as long as the darned wind did not foul things up with little difference, and better balance/comfort to carry and shoot. Those rifles though a bit heavier got to go hunting with me as well.

My hunting rifles have mostly been 22 to 24 inch barrels and I have taken long shots but by far prefer to stalk closer. Often enough through heavy bush where I do not prefer longish barrels.

My latest 7mm Remington Magnum sports a 25 inch barrel only because the caliber is a bit hard on barrels and it gives me a bit of room to redo the barrel if the throat wears faster than I want it to....which will turn it into about a 24 inch barrel I would guess. This rifle too, as well as many of my rifles do bughole groups and perform well enough for any longer shots at game i may want to take.
 

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