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Thread: 7 Rem Mag questions

  1. #1
    3 YARD SNIPER awp_101's Avatar
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    7 Rem Mag questions

    Iíve always avoided heavy recoiling, large game calibers because Iím not a recoil junkie and I donít reload (yet). 99.995% of my shooting has been from a bench at paper or steel so Iíve never had a want/need for the 7 Rem Mag. If Iím thinking about a 7mm, itís the 7x57. However, when Iím looking in the used racks or online, I often see 7 Rem Mag rifles at a price Iím willing to pay for a .30-06, .243, etc.

    Now that Iím getting closer to being able to reload, does anyone have suggestions for an accurate, low(er) recoil load for bench shooting? Something that wonít beat me up out of a single shot would be nice. Accuracy is obviously rifle dependent to a certain degree but Iím not looking for BR levels, 1-2 MOA at 200 yards would be suitable.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Powder Potentate Borderland's Avatar
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    My personal opinion is there are a lot of used 7mm Mags out there for sale because people just don't like the recoil. I had one and gave it to my brother after several years of hunting with it. It's basically a 270 Win on steroids. My loading manual suggests it's advantage over a 270 is about 100 fps with a 150 bullet. Also it can handle heavier bullets. Still a very popular cartridge for hunting out west though. It was yugely popular in the 70's and 80's.

    If a good deal can be found on a rifle that's always a good thing. If you happen to be somewhat recoil sensitive, which I am, I'd look for something else.
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  3. #3
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Just going off Hodgdon's online data, 7RM gets ~175 fps over .270 Win for a 150gr bullet. For 180gr bullets, top loads in 7RM are ~370 fps over those in .270 Win. Bigger boiler room does make a difference in moving heavier steamships.

    If I was shopping for one now, I'd be looking at M77 and Howa, as high-quality, well-built actions that tend to be a little heavier. I also have LA variants of the Hogue full-bed stocks in groovy Ghillie Green for both of them sitting around taking up space.
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  4. #4
    Site Supporter gringop's Avatar
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    2 years ago, I tried to get my Ruger #1 in 7mm Mag set up as a precision rifle, After about 4 months of messing with it and the combination of old rifle, old scope and old eyes I gave up on me ever shooting MOA with it. Below are my loads using Hornady Interlock 139gr boat tail soft points, the lightest weight and most economical bullets I could find.

    gun cal load avg high low extreme spread SD
    Ruger #1 7mm mag 7mm mag 59.0gr IMR4831 Horn 139gr BTSP 2976 2997 2963 34 13
    Ruger #1 7mm mag 7mm mag 61.6gr IMR4831 Horn 139gr BTSP 3025 3037 3006 31 11
    Ruger #1 7mm mag 7mm mag 63.6gr IMR4831 Horn 139gr BTSP 3110 3116 3095 21 8


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  5. #5
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    I have experimented a bit with a Savage LA in 7mm Mag. My goal was an accurate hunting load since the barrel was lighter contour, and the action has been mated to a laminate Boydís stock. I have pretty extensive experience loading for the .300WM, so a lot of the little things (and bigger) that I stumbled upon loading for the winmag, I used for the 7mm.

    First, itís all about consistency. In EVERYTHING. From case type to how you seat the bullets...the more consistent you can be, the better the end results will be.

    First, be rather particular with your cases. I found there to be a big difference in end accuracy from this. Certainly sort per manufacturer, but sorting by weight (hence capacity) even within the same manufacturer) will add to consistency. Youíll find that a particular lot of cases will fall within a certain weight (hence capacity) range. Use of these grouped cases (especially in the beginning when youíre trying to find an accurate load) will eliminate a variable. Also pay attention to case prep. Trim them all to a nominal length (within the normal spec). This will in turn cause the bullet to be gripped for the same length sisnce the case necks will also be the same length. There are also neck uniformity mandrel dies that can be used to assure the inside diameter of the case neck is as close to spec and uniform as possible. Later on when your anal retentiveness really kicks in, look into those. Also look into a belt sizing die by a company called Innovative Products. Sizing belted cases is a discussion unto itself, but suffice to say they are a different animal and need to be treated as such. Youíll generally find that cases will become unusable (without belt sizing) in about 4 loadings due to swelling just forward of the belt. Iíll leave it at that. Research if you want, or Iíll discuss more if you have difficulty falling asleep at night. Lol

    OK...main stuff...

    For powder I have settled on H1000 for all belted mags and large capacity .30cal-ish loading. I have found it to be the most consistent and temperature UNsensitive. Your mileage may vary. Some of the Reloader series powders have a good rep too, although they TEND to be a bit more temp sensitive. Moral of that story (if you donít already know) is to NOT develop a load in the middle of winter, or the heat of summer. They wonít act the same at the other end of the extreme.

    Primers. I have found that NORMAL LARGE RIFLE PRIMERS provide a more consistent ignition than magnum primers. Most all of my .300wm loads (with the exception of the 230gr loads) ALL use standard Large Rifle primers. I found my velocities, SDs and all the other ďnerd numbersĒ were much more consistent using standard primers. Others have found this too, reserving the magnum primers for say...extremely cold temps and hunting loads. I have never found this to be the case, and have used standard primers in temps below 0*F with no issues. Everyone has their pet brand. For accuracy, I like Federal. Someone else will scoff and swear by CCI. No shortage of old farts to share their expert opinion.

    Bullets. My particular gun likes heavier bullets. Rifles in particular seem to ďlikeĒ a particular weight and manufacturer...even considering rifling twist and profile. I have had VERY good results with the Hornady ELD series in both .30cal and 7mm. The Savage seems to particularly like the 162gr ELDm. Again, experiment. High end bullets are not cheap. When you get to that point, give me a shout. Iíd be happy to send you a dozen or so of what I have on the shelf to try. Usually, itís pretty apparent after about a dozen whether your gun likes them and itís worth the investment of a few boxes to develop ďthe loadĒ.

    Components are pretty much unobtainable right now, but keep your eyes peeled. I wonít publish rifle loads I use, but the 7mm falls around 60+gr. The .300 around 75gr. The reason I mention is that when you do find powder, itís going to be a tough call of getting a 1lb bottle or a 5lb jug. You burn thru it pretty quick at 60 or 75 grains a toss. By the time youíve nailed a good load down, youíve prolly burned up a pound. BUT...how do you know your gun likes it when faced with $200+ for a jug of H100? Nobody said this was gonna be cheap!

    Good luck, feel free to ask more or dismiss me out of hand....

    Edit to add:

    It kinda goes without saying that the reason you see 7mm mag rifles used is the same reason you see .44mag pistols or lightweight .357mag snubbies. Everyone is a tough guy for the first dozen rounds. They then ďmove onĒ to something ďelseĒ for unclear reasons they never really articulate. I tend to avoid shooting hard recoiling rifles off a bench. For me, laying prone with a mat, and letting my horizontal body absorb that force gives me better results that sitting scrunched behind a scope sitting on a chair. I can shoot my .300 all day prone. However, Iím only good for about a box or two with a .303brit or a 8mm Mauser sitting at a bench.
    Last edited by entropy; 06-07-2021 at 09:40 AM.
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  6. #6
    Iíve worked a bit with the 7mm Remington Magnum, mostly comparing it to the 30-06 and 270 as a general-purpose hunting rifle.

    Iíd be wary of a used 7RM, especially an older one thatís been shot a lot. Demand was high when the 7RM first came out. Factories rushed to meet it, so bore and chamber dimensions vary more than they should in older rifles. The 7RM is also rough on throats, so dimensions vary even more as these rifles get shot. As a result, load data is all over the map and each 7RM rifle really is a law unto itself. A good rule of thumb is to know the standard velocity for a given bullet weight and load to that.

    Like any belted cartridge, it burns powder by the shovel full, so there are better candidates for downloading. There are also a few things to bear in mind when reloading belted magnum cases, like setting the sizing die to headspace on the shoulder instead of the belt, but you can pick those up as you go.

    On the range and in the field, I found that 7RM recoil was slightly sharper than a similarly-designed 30-06 for a slightly flatter trajectory that mostly pays off beyond about 300 yards, and I'm unlikely to shoot at game that far away. Wind drift definitely favors the 7RM, though. It shoots a bit flatter than the 270, but at the cost of more recoil and noise. Also, the 270 and 30-06 run well in a 22Ē barrel but the 7RM needs 24Ē if not more, so 7RM rifles tend to be heavier.

    The 7RM is and always has been a world-class hunting cartridge. If I planned to hunt a variety of medium game all over the world with one rifle and factory ammo, then it would be a strong contender. Accurate, effective ammo was widely available and relatively inexpensive before COVID and probably will be again. It was never a military cartridge, so you can use it in places that ban them. Flat trajectory and low wind drift are never a disadvantage, and the 7RM has proven effective on game up to 1k pounds so many times that thereís no point in discussing it.

    But Iíd get a factory new rifle, not an older one with possibly questionable dimensions that may have been abused by lack of cleaning, shooting too fast, etc. (Older rifles are good donors if youíre looking to build a custom.) Iíd also expect to replace the barrel or have it set back every 2-3k rounds as a cost of doing business.

    I recently inherited a Remington 700 in 7RM from the first or second year of production. It belonged to my uncle, who hunted everything in south Texas with it. He shot it a LOT and Iím not sure how often he cleaned it. The bore was badly eroded when I got it, so I had the barrel replaced. Itís a 7RM out of respect to him, and I may hunt Texas again with it one day. But had it not been his rifle, then it would not be a 7RM today.

    For everything youíre talking about, Iíd get a 308 or a 7-08. Up-front costs are about the same but everything else about it will be less expensive and more enjoyable over the long run.


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  7. #7
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    I agree with OJ on getting a .308. Simply put, you canít go wrong on ANY issue with it...reloading component variety, aftermarket support, tried and true recipes, performance up to 1000yds. It has no peer. You asked about the 7mm mag tho so...

    One other thing to add... Savage rifles are easy peesy to accomplish do-it-yourself barrel swaps and head spacing etc. OJ is correct that generally speaking, they burn out barrels faster than some other calibers. Most of the magnums do however, including some other non-magnum calibers such as the 300 Norma.

    Iíll wait for further comment until you reply to get a direction, or to just shut my pie hole...

    Edit to add: I have two serious target and distance rifles. Both can do double duty to hunt as neither are chassis-burdened spaceships. One is a .308, the other is a .300. The 7mm is a sportier weight work-in-progress. I devote time to it when I can. Iím about ď75% ďthereĒ with it.
    Last edited by entropy; 06-07-2021 at 11:58 AM.
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  8. #8
    3 YARD SNIPER awp_101's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the info so far.

    Just to clarify, Iím not actively looking for one and if I ever do buy one the odds of it being hunted are extremely slim. This is more about if I ran across something like a No1 or Brownchesteroku single shot at a nice price, is there a load to look at thatís low recoil and reasonably accurate just for having a good time shooting from the bench.

    I didnít think about loads being 60+ grains of powder. A good deal really isnít if rolling my own in a new caliber is going to run more than just buying more of a caliber I already keep on hand (in normal times of course). I also wasnít aware they could be throat eaters. That and their appetite pretty much kills my interest.
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  9. #9
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    Well....in that case...

    NEXT!

    lol
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  10. #10
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awp_101 View Post
    This is more about if I ran across something like a No1 or Brownchesteroku single shot at a nice price, is there a load to look at thatís low recoil and reasonably accurate just for having a good time shooting from the bench.
    So you mean like a Browning 1885 in 6mm Remington? Yeah, I get that. In 7mm, I'd definitely go with the classic x57 over an RM.
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