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Thread: 7mm - 08 powder questions

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Default 7mm - 08 powder questions

    Last year I got my hands on a sweet little kimber Montana 7mm - 08 I got one of the ones that shoot really good and it loves the factory federal premium with the 140grn barns tsx bullets. With those it'll shoot 1" groups all day. Gotta love a moa gun that weighs 6lb 1oz with 5 rounds and a scope mounted. The problem is that I can't hardly find any at any of the stores so I need to hand load for it and I'm sure I can get it to shoot a little better than it does now. I plan to stay with the tsx or the ttsx 140's since it seems to like those. I shot factory rounds with Hornady bullets and it wouldn't hold better than a 3" group. For those of you that reload for this rifle what is your favorite powder to use with it.
    Thanks

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    My go to powder for the 7mm, .308, .35 Whelen is HMR 4064.

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    I use H414--W760 or IMR 4350, in my 7x57s.

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    I think Daveinthebush wanted to say "I"MR 4064.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    I think Daveinthebush wanted to say "I"MR 4064.
    Yes he did. Thanks. I even use it in the 30/30 and the .243 before I sold it.

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    Varget in the lighter bullets and 760 in the heavier bullets

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    Try BLC-2 or 4350 both will work well. Your problem may not be with powders but could be bullet related, either seating depth or composition.
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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    My favorite in the 7mm-08 is RL-15.

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    mine is also RL-15

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    Mine does best with CFE223 for all bullets. It shoots real good groups with IMR4320 and a 120 grain Hornady @ around 3000fps.

  11. #11

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    Ram Shot Big Game with 120 thru 140 gr

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    I've been using 40 grains of IMR 4064 with good results. I also recently found some Varget and RL15 that I am going to try in 7mm-08 this year.

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    My favorite in the 7mm-08 is RL-15.
    I agree with Dan. My wife shoots a 7mm-08 and this is my favorite powder for her rifle.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    My Kimber Montana 7-08 is apparently an outlier. I tried all the usual powders expected to work best in 7-08 but none worked nearly as well as Reloader 19. My load is 52.0 gr RL19 with 140 gr Barnes TTSX. This is the maximum charge listed in the Lyman 49th Reloading Handbook but with a Hornady 139 gr bullet. Nosler's manual listed 49.0 gr RL 19 as max with Nosler bullets.

    This load shoots sub-MOA in my Kimber Montana as well as in a friend's Kimber Montana. I worked up loads separately for him but this one turned out to be a winner in his rifle as well as mine.

    Lyman lists a velocity of 2875 from a 24" barrel. I have not chronoed mine but I have killed several elk with it.

    I would not have expected a powder this slow to be the best load in a 7-08 but I love being pleasantly surprised.

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    While at the range today I was able to chrono three IMR 4064 loads using 140gr Sierra BTSP in both my 7m-08's. ( Marlin XS-7 and Ruger American). Today was around 49 degrees when we started at 10am, and we had a left to right 15-20 mph cross wind all day.


    I used IMR 4064 gr weights of 39, 40, and 41 in both rifles. The cases were all trimmed to 2.025 with a COAL of 2.797. Primers were Remington LR (9 1/2). Strings were 5 shot groups for a total of 15 rounds per weapon, and a total of 30 rounds.

    Marlin XS-7

    39gr IMR4064, Hi: 2649, Lo: 2630, Av 2637, ES 19
    40gr IMR4064, Hi: 2731, Lo: 2697, Av 2717, ES 34
    41gr IMR4064, Hi: 2806, Lo: 2697, Av 2766, ES 109

    Ruger American

    39gr IMR4064, Hi: 2671, Lo: 2611, Av 2648, ES 60
    40gr IMR4064, Hi: 2751, Lo: 2709, Av 2721, ES 42
    41gr IMR4064, Hi: 2809, Lo: 2745, Av 2780, ES 64

    Average between the two rifles:

    39gr, Hi: 2660, Lo: 2620, Av 2640, ES 40
    40gr, Hi: 2741, Lo: 2703, Av 2722, ES 38
    41gr, Hi: 2807, Lo: 2721, Av 2764, ES 86

    The shooter for all the 7mm-08 rounds today was my 18 year old son. His best 5 shot group center to center(CTC) was 1.2" with other shot groups between 1.5 and 2.0 ctc. His largest shot group today was a called 3.5 ctc. Not counting the one flier that shot group was 2.o ctc.

    I'd like to get an average of 2850fps, I am going to work with the 41gr load in .1 gr increments up to 41.5 to see where it gets me.

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    This is a load worked up with some Varget and Nosler 140's (in a Tikka). I believe it was a 4 shot group. This was safe in MY gun with RESIZED 308 brass. You might find different pressures with ordinary 7mm08 brass, not sure. Chrono said these were right around 2790fps on a cold day.

    I was also shooting off homemade bags, may be even more accurate on a Lead Sled. Tikkas are so light they can be a little tough to hold steady!


    Mark

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    Ralph,

    How do you like the Marlin XS-7? I have one in .308 and that thing is a shooter. I paid $250 for it at Academy Sports when we lived in AR. My son has claimed that and my Ruger American .270 as his own, and both of them are accurate. I've been thinking about picking up a 7mm-08 again in the near future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hudge View Post
    Ralph, How do you like the Marlin XS-7?
    Hudge,

    It is one of the best guns I have ever bought, and the best new rifle I've bought for the money.

    The Ruger American is a close second, but I haven't had it as long or shot it as much, time will tell. Both are great economy rifles that are durable and hold up to the hunts we have taken them on.

    I purchased the Marlin XS-7 have back in 2010 for my son when he was 13. I have seen him shoot a black bear, hog, and 10 point whitetail deer with it. At the range he often shoots 4-8 inch balloons on the range from 100-300 yards with it. It has held the initial zero we put on the Redfield 3-9x40 with no issues.

    The rifle has held up to a few rough spells in the woods as well. For instance, my son was crossing a log when he slipped and fell, landing on his back, where his rifle was slung diagonally. We checked the rifle for damage, none. Didn't even knock the scope out of alignment. From the way he fell and landed I am sure a wooden stock would have been split at a minimum. My son was a little sore for a few days after that fall.

    A few things about the Marlin XS-7 I like over the Ruger American (RA) are:

    1. The blind magazine in the Marlin. Although the RA magazine has not failed me yet, it seems cheap and likely to fall out if I wasn't paying attention. If I was on a longer hunt, I would definitely duct tape the RA magazine in place. Not an issue for the Marlin.

    2. The bolt on the Marlin has a sharper drop than the RA. This makes it easier to lift the RA bolt with a gloved hand, but it also makes it easier for the bolt to accidentally lift from being carried, which it has on me. I am planning on taking the RA to a local gunsmith and have them heat and bend the bolt to better match the contour of the stock. As it is it jaunts outward from the stock at about a 45 degree angle. Easy to catch on things.

    3. The Marlin has more throat than the RA. My reloads that I have been making for the Marlin are 2.795 in length. When loading these in the Ruger, the bolt gets hard to close. The factory ammo I have is as long as 2.768 (a difference of .027) and does not have the same issue. So, for the Ruger loads, I will have to adjust my seating depth. Not that big of an issue, just something I noticed.

    4. Not my personal experience, but.
    The RA ejector has a fine steel ballbearing in it. If you are not paying attention and play around with the bolt, you can easily loose that little ball. I was in a gun store when a guy came in looking for one. He explained that he was cleaning his rifle and wanted to clean the ejector. He "gently" pushed the ejector open and the ballbearing went flying out, never to be seen again. The shop did have another bearing in stock, it was about the size of #2 steel shot. After hearing that, I looked at both bolt faces on the RA and the Marlin. It appears the Marlin bolt of built on a pivoting bar with the spring towards the rear of the ejector claw. While the RA has the spring and bearing forward. But I cannot tell for certain since I have not disassembled either.

    5. Both rifles have the Savage accu-trigger, which I really like.

    I do not foresee either rifle failing me for what I need them for. If I take care of them, I think they will outlast and outshoot me.

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    Ralph:

    Good info there. I thank you for your evaluation/comparison of those two rifles.

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    I picked up a Ruger American in 7mm-08 for my daughter. Looking for a reduced recoil load I loaded with 40 gr of H4895 and Rem 9 1/2 primers and Sierra #1900 120 gr bullets, it shoots .56" at 100 yds. Chrono was 2617 fps and 1800 ft lbs of energy.

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