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Thread: My first handloads

  1. #1

    Default My first handloads

    After months of the new Lee press sitting and collecting dust Finally got a chance to load up some 7mm rounds. I used H-4831 on 2 different weight bullets and then shot a group of factory softpoints. Overall I am very satisfied with the results of the handloads compared to the factories.

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    The top left groups are 162 grain hornady's (with the red points) and 60grains of powder. Top right are 175 grain speer magtips with 55 grains and the bottom groups are factory PMC 175 grainers. I don't know if the inconsistency of the speer groups is because of the heat of the barrel or me flinching. I think the hornadies came out the best. Next time I think I will let the barrel cool more between groups.
    Last edited by senecanation; 06-09-2007 at 18:52. Reason: wrong powder

  2. #2

    Default groups

    The Hornady is nice, especially for starters. Personally I'd shoot the PMC again. Though it may not be the case, that group, being in a line like that is indicative of breathing, not keeping your respitory pause in the same place each time.
    RIDE TALL, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sarge View Post
    The Hornady is nice, especially for starters. Personally I'd shoot the PMC again. Though it may not be the case, that group, being in a line like that is indicative of breathing, not keeping your respitory pause in the same place each time.
    I shot while laying down and shot the PMC after walking 200yds the check the previous load so my breathing was a little sporadic. I plan on spending an afternoon at Birchwood or Rabbit Cric next time and taking my time between shots.

  4. #4

    Default Dandy!

    Looks like you are on the right track all right, both in your loading techniques and your assessment of the results. There are lots of other options, but I have soft spot for H-4831 in the 7 mag. With every bullet I have tried in a bunch of different rifles I have always found it produced superb accuracy, usually in the higher end of the velocity range where you want it to be with a mag. Can't say that about any other powder I have tried in the 7 mag.

    BTW- Before you get too far down the pike, have a look at the Hornady's 154 grain RN and 175 grain RN. No, they aren't super premium bullets, but they're outstanding performers for loads in about the same velocity range as the 7x57. They're great for turning a long range rifle into a "brush" gun at closer ranges, doing a super job on deer while not mushing meat like high velocity loads with any bullet. Best of all, they're easy to recognize in your pocket and usually hit the same POI as your fast loads inside 100 yards. When hunting mixed terrain for Sitka blacktail, it's kinda
    nice to switch to those when the terrain closes in.

    They're really fun to shoot at the range, too!

  5. #5

    Default

    One thing that I am very surprised at is the barrel fouling or lack thereof. After about 20 shots total the bore was still as shiny as before I shot it. Is this common with the H-4831

  6. #6

    Default Yup

    That's been my experience, but it's true with most other rifle powders at or near max. There's just not a lot left over.

    You might notice some copper fouling near the muzzle, but unless you're shooting a lot and especially heating up the barrel with fast shots, it shouldn't be much of an issue. There are a number of products out there to deal with it, but I don't bother until I notice accuracy degrading, or when testing new loads, or especially when switching from jacketed to cast bullets.

  7. #7

    Default 2nd round of shooting

    I have shot my 2nd round of handloads and compared them to a couple factory rounds. A am once again impressed by the tighter groups of the handloads. I am disappointed in the factory NP's that cost around $40 a box .

    So my goal here is to find the optimum hunting bullet for this year's moose season. It seems that my gun likes the heavier bullets based on grouping so I think I will stick with the 175's. My question is can I expect to get same performance if I were to handload 175g NP's or will they tighten up a bit? I am also considering trying the Barnes MRX or TSX. Has anyone had any experience shooting these bullets through the 7mag? I know this has been a contentious debate (see the "bullet construction" thread) on this forum so I don't want to start any arguments. I am just interested is everyone's personal experiences with the 7mag.



    Also, why is it that some of my groups are far right some are far left and dead center? Can I expect this when shooting different weight bullets with different powders?

  8. #8

    Default

    Could be some "luck of the draw" stuff going on with your group shapes, disregarding the NP load. 5-shot groups would tell you more about that than 3-shot groups. That vertical stringing in the NP is way out of whack with the others you have shown, so there's definitely an issue there.

    I'm more interested that your groups are so far apart on the same paper. Were you readjusting the scope between groups, or is that just the way they landed? I've owned quite a number of 7 mags over the years, and they all pretty much put everything into the same POI at 100 yards, and often 200 yards. Real differences don't show up till 300 yards and beyond, and that's usually vertical differences between group centers.

    I haven't tried the other premiums in 7 mag, simply because I'm so impressed with the performance of Nosler Partitions in both my current 7 mags, both on paper an passing through game. Why fix something that's not broken? The 175 is a certified moose stomper, and the 160's are my favorites for elk, both roosevelt and rocky mountain. Great for goat, sheep and all species of deer too.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Could be some "luck of the draw" stuff going on with your group shapes, disregarding the NP load. 5-shot groups would tell you more about that than 3-shot groups. That vertical stringing in the NP is way out of whack with the others you have shown, so there's definitely an issue there.

    I'm more interested that your groups are so far apart on the same paper. Were you readjusting the scope between groups, or is that just the way they landed? I've owned quite a number of 7 mags over the years, and they all pretty much put everything into the same POI at 100 yards, and often 200 yards. Real differences don't show up till 300 yards and beyond, and that's usually vertical differences between group centers.

    I haven't tried the other premiums in 7 mag, simply because I'm so impressed with the performance of Nosler Partitions in both my current 7 mags, both on paper an passing through game. Why fix something that's not broken? The 175 is a certified moose stomper, and the 160's are my favorites for elk, both roosevelt and rocky mountain. Great for goat, sheep and all species of deer too.
    I adjusted my scope slightly after the NP shots. I am not a real experienced rifle shooter and was never taught the proper way to shoot from the bench so there are a lot of variables at play which probably account for my inconsistent shooting.

  10. #10

    Default

    The small and generally regular groups say you have plenty going for you technique-wise. If your technique was at fault, I'd expect those groups to open up quite a bit, maybe becoming "patterns" rather than groups, using the shotgun reference.

    Technique might come into question if you are removing your rifle from the bench between groups, but not getting set up the same way from group to group, even if your technique is fine for each group. That would be most likely if you were shooting from a makeshift benchrest and using makeshift rifle rests. Solid benchrest and good rests might tighten up the groups a little, too, but that's speculation.

    I think you are onto something though, both in terms of your loading and shooting. Lots of shooters out there can't manage your group consistency with lighter calibers, much less a 7 mag. Sorting out the details like you're doing is all part of the fun, and I'll add attitude to the list of things you're doing right.

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