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Thread: 7mm Mag project

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    Default 7mm Mag project

    Ok,

    So I have a 300 WM that I have pretty much adopted as my go to gun for medium/large game. I plan on buying a pair of 7mm-08's for my son and I for blacktail/caribou.

    Sitting in my gun safe is a 7mm mag that no longer has a purpose and therefore not used much. I do not want to feed a 7mm mag and 7mm-08's, so I am contemplating have the mag rebarreled. I am thinking maybe going with a 338 barrel or possibly larger as a bear gun.

    What would you do? 338, 458? And why?

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Default .338 Win Mag

    Here's my theory on cartridges and game:

    1) 30 caliber cartridges meet their best level of cost/benefit in the 30-06. If I'm shooting a 30-anything, it's going to be an '06. Anything bigger is just needless muzzleflash, report and recoil making it more difficult to accurately engage the target. These items are even less important if I employ a bit of actual "hunting skill" and stalk to within an acceptable shooting range for the terrain, weather conditions and animal capabilities.
    (I've owned numerous .30's ranging from a .30 Herrett through a .300Wby)

    2) I don't consider the 30-06 to be an acceptable dangerous game cartridge. For me, 180gr or even 200gr is just not enough bullet when compared to the mass of muscle and bone presented by a grizzly bear. Even if I were shooting the latest, greatest .3000 Whizz-Bang Deluxe with 200gr bullets at 4000fps; it's still only a 30-caliber, 200gr bullet.

    3) Grizzly season and moose season overlap in many GMU. Furthermore, bear are often in the same area as moose and should I shoot a moose, the smell of blood and guts may act as a magnet drawing bears to my location. This theory is one of the reasons I get a bear tag every year.

    4) The .375 H&H is an ideal grizzly rifle. It throws a medium-diameter bullet of heavy weight with acceptable velocity to ensure adequate penetration. For most people though, the rifles tend to cost a bit more, ammunition is pricier, and the recoil may be above the comfort level desired for extended practice. It's also a bit excessive for other Alaskan game.
    (I love my .375 H&H, but readily admit they are not the end-all, be-all for everyone.)

    Take all my points and apply a little transitive property: The .30-06 is okay for moose but not bear. The .375 H&H is good for bear, but a little excessive for most other things. So...split the difference and get a "tweener".

    Enter the .338 Win Mag and .358 Norma. Not-quite the bear stopper the .375 H&H is, but plenty of options to drive heavy bullets fast enough to adequately penetrate through dense bone and muscle. Options that aren't available with the 30-bores. They're more effective (and forgiving) on moose than a .30-06 (bigger holes have to be better, right?) and not grossly excessive for smaller Alaskan game. Recoil is manageable for most, and a day of shooting won't necessarily put you in the poor house. Of these two choices, the .358 Norma is pretty much dead with a strong cult following. Reloading is mandatory for this cartridge as factory ammo is rare, and expensive when it's found.

    I guess I said all that to tell you this: If you don't want the aggravation of using a dead cartridge, and you don't think of your .300WM as a bear gun (I agree with you) it's hard to go wrong with a .338 Win Mag. I'd bet after you owned one for awhile, you'd find yourself reaching for that .300 a little less every year until one year you found yourself sitting down writing another thread titled "300 Win Mag Project"

  3. #3

    Default bear project

    If factory ammo is required I'd go for a 375 Ruger. If reloading is fine I might consider one of the .35 cal. cartridges like the big Norma or the 358 Nukalpiaq.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    Ok,

    So I have a 300 WM that I have pretty much adopted as my go to gun for medium/large game. I plan on buying a pair of 7mm-08's for my son and I for blacktail/caribou.

    Sitting in my gun safe is a 7mm mag that no longer has a purpose and therefore not used much. I do not want to feed a 7mm mag and 7mm-08's, so I am contemplating have the mag rebarreled. I am thinking maybe going with a 338 barrel or possibly larger as a bear gun.

    What would you do? 338, 458? And why?
    Well, if you're a handloader, and gonna have two 7mm-08s, the 7mm RM, uses the same bullets.

    When you think of rebarreling, you also need to think of Feeding. Some people seem to think that magazine length is the only consideration, but it's not.

    The 338 should feed from the same magazine as 7mm RM.

    I don't know about 458s and a 458 isn't nearly as useful, as a 338.

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    Default Thanks for the ideas guys

    I was thinking with the 7mm-08's and the 300WM, I wouldn't be pulling the 7mm mag out. If I'm going to reload the 7mm-08's I would rather use a smaller case and save the extra powder. If I need more than the 7/08' then I'd grab the 300 or something larger.

    I was thinking of turning the 7mag into a project versus trading it off. Considering the bolt and action, I was wanting to stay with something that was compatible. IE, something built on a shorted 375 H/H case to maintain the same rim diameter, cartridge OAL, and action length. From what I've seen the 338 win mag, 358 Norma mag, and 375 Ruger all use the same rim diameter of the 7mm mag. (.532), the case length of these are all 2.5 and 2.580, with OAL of these catridges are listed as 3.34,the 7mm mag rim dia is .532, case 2.5, oal 3.29. The .05 difference in OAL is acceptable in my rifle, there is nearly .20 of an inch space left in the magazine well when the rounds are loaded.

    So the only issue's I foresee with a barrel swap to any of these three calibers would be the feed ramp, as long as the ramp on my action could be widened to allow the larger diameter bullits to cycle properly it should be an easy job. The bolt should accept any of these rounds, possibly with some minor adjusting.

    I figure a improved recoil pad and muzzle break on any of these rounds would be a smart move since I'm changing the caliber. Not sure if I'd go with a scope or just plain iron sights. Kind of like iron sights on larger calibers. Or at the most go with a low powdered scope that allows a larger FOV and quicker target acquisition.

    The 338 is a fine round, with mild recoil. I shot one next to my 300 one day and found very little noticable difference between the recoil of the two. Of these three rounds I'm considering, the 338 seems to be the most common and popular. I will probably veer away from it for that reason. I have no experience with either the 358 Norma or the 375 Ruger. I would like to hear more on these two rounds and others personal experience with them.

    How does the 375 Ruger compare in power and capabilty to the 375 H/H it is based on, or with the 338 or 358?

    Thanks,
    Ralph

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    Default

    I have a 358Norma and a 338Win. My 358 will shoot 250grs to 2880 and 300grs to around 2650. The numbers are very close to the 375H&H. My 338 doesn't show that potential. It may be the long freebore in the 358 that makes the difference. I'm not to sure that any Alaskan critter could tell the difference between any of these three or the 375Ruger or any of a number of other mid bore large case rounds. The 338W or 358N should make an easy conversion probably with no other mods than a barrel swap. The 358N cases can be easily be made from 300Win Mag cases and bullets are available in 358 from about 110gr through 300 gr. I like things a little different than normal and the 358N fits my hunting needs and personality nicely.

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    rbuck,

    The 358 Norma is what I tend to be leaning towards at this time. You mentioned the 358N cases can be easily be made from 300Win Mag cases. What process and steps do you currently use for this? Are you fireforming your cases, or necking them up in steps? .058" of an inch seems a large step.

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    Glad to see you're leaning towards the .358 Norma. It's been a personal favorite cartridge of mine for years. I own and primarily use my .338 for everything simply because it's convenient and it works. Now that it looks like I'll be permitted to retire here (spousal approval is important, but I probably would have done it anyway ) I think a .358 Norma will be my next project gun. I'll just have to ensure I make it distinct enough from the .338 that it will fill a different purpose in my hunting needs (or maybe pass the .338 to the wife...).

    You can make .358 Norma brass pretty much from any of the standard WinMag cases, including necking down the .458, though that's a really long and troublesome process. You're right in that going from .308 to .358 can ruin cases, but you get around that by softening the neck and shoulder area a bit with annealing. I'd also recommend a pass through an intermediate-size expander, which could be as easy as replacing the expander ball of your .358 dies with a .325 or .338 expander ball. If I were to make my own cases I'd neck-up .338 WM brass and fire form to best match the chamber. The easiest and most reliable way is to spend the money up front and buy factory new Norma brass. Midway USA usually has it in-stock, and 100pcs will run about $140.

    Make sure you post pics and detail any issues you run into so we can all learn from your experience.

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    Default Diesel

    This project is in the conception stages for now, and will be for the next few months until I return to Alaska. Once I get started with the actual work I will definately post pictures.

    The rifle is currently configured with a factory black synthetic stock. That will go with the barrel. I was thinking a Mcmillian stock would be a nice upgrade.

    Last night I was reading an older thread on here that several people had done just what i am intending, converting a 7mm to a 358 Norma. Three barrel options stood out to me. A 24" Bennett, a 23" Douglas, and a 21" Shilen. I'm tending to lean toward a shorter barrel on this project, max of 23", preferably a 22 for quick handling.

    One thing that did draw my attention, were the twist rates on these barrels. The douglas website offered twist rates of 10, 12 and 14. My experience says use faster twist rates with heaveier bullets to help stabilize the round. BUt, from the posts I have read the most effective and widley used rounds for the 358N are the 250's, which should stabilize quite well in the 12/1 barrel.

    Anyone have thoughts or experience with the 250's in the 12/1 barels?

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    Default Experience w/ .358 Barrels

    I just noticed this thread due to the 7mm title (being a 7 fan). Through the years I have owned a few different custom rifles chambered in .358 cal., magnums to include 350 RM, 358 Norma, and 358 STA. The 358 NM was built on a Rem 721 with a 22" Lilja barrel (if my memory serves me). This made for a lightweight easily handling rig, that was my bear gun for a while. It wore a wood handle, as this was back in the dark ages prior to the emergence of the synthetic stock. Anyways, I always found 12 twist to work fairly well with bullets from 200 to 300gr. I believe it is the optimal twist rate for launching 250gr. TS


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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't remember reading what brand of rifle your 7-mag is. Maybe I missed it. I your rifle is a Remington 700, there's enough room to go with a full-length H&H case.

    I rebarreled a Rem 700, from 7-mag to .375 H&H. The only gunsmithing required was the re-barreling work. The feed rails work just fine they way they are, and I would suspect this would be true for all the belted magnums, based off the .375 H&H case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    TI was thinking a Mcmillian stock would be a nice upgrade.
    I have a few, and yes, they are a VERY nice upgrade to the factory synthetic stocks. Their "classic" model is my favorite for hunting rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    I'm tending to lean toward a shorter barrel on this project, max of 23", preferably a 22 for quick handling.
    One of the merits of the .375 H&H chambering is the ability to perform well in a shorter barrel. I have a 21" barrel on my current .375 H&H, and its predecessor wore a 20" tube. Both rifles handle very well.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experience with converting a Rem model 700 from 7mm Rem Mag to probably a 358 Norma. I am researching the various barrel makers, and might go ahead and order the barrel this month, that way it will be there when I get home.

    I found a site last night called stocky's, they have some very nice stocks. Not sure if I want to go will a complete synthetic, or one of the very nice walnut laminates they had advertised. Sure was some pretty walnut. Two pieces, plit down the middle and reenforced with fiberglass/ carbon mesh.
    I know the synthetic stocks are the most durable all weather stocks made, but a rifle fitted with fine wood has a special appeal.

    Ralph

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    Default The project has been started!

    I was going to wait until I returned from Afghanistan before I started this project. But since I have access to search the items I want to change on the 7mm Mag, I have started the ordering process.

    After thinking about what I like in a rifle, and reading the "wood/blue vs stainless/synthetic" and "what is a rifle to you" threads. I deceided to go with a wooden lamenate stock. I found a very nice walnut remington replacement lamenate stock at stocky's dot com. It has a layer of fiberglass mess snadwiched between two layers of walnut. I had my wife order that last night, it should be at the house in a couple weeks.

    I have also decided on what barrel I want. I am ordering a Douglas Remington Magnum Sporter 005 barrel. It will arrive at the house finished, turned and polished (FT) premium grade with a 12/1 twist. It will be a 35 caliber barrel. I was going to order it threaded and chamber for 358 Norma, but an email reply from Steve at Alaska Custom Firearms said he would rather do the threading and chambering himself. He quoted me a very reasonable price in his reply. Sounds good to me.

    Reading through the Alaska Custom Firearms thread I seen a discription of a nitrite finish, "it is a salt bath nitriding themochemical treatment process that provides corrosion and wear resistance, and better lubricity." I will go with this finish, it it comes out smooth with a dull black finish. I prefer a deep blued gloss, but considering weather I will try this.

    The rifle is currently in an ADL configuration, the stock ordered is BDL. I will order the Cabela's Kwik Kilp system to convert this rifle to use the box magazines. Now all I have to do is decide on a scope. I have a nice old redfiled 3X9 at the house I may use. At this time it is without a rifle.

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    Good project Ralph:

    Your choices sound good to me, including the 358 Norma.

    It'll be a special gun, fer shore.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale White Cracker View Post
    Why a .35,why lose the ADL and why the Kwik Klip?
    Reasons? Hmm, I chose the 358 Norma, because I like the ballistic information I found online for the round. It has punch, I know many do, but this one is a simple barrel replacement. Plus, I like the 35 caliber rounds. It is not as common as the 338. Didn't feel the need for the 375 or 458.

    I have never liked the ADL, seems like the base line, cheapest version of the model 700. Plus, unloading has always seemed improper, one round at a time . The BDL has the drop hinge which I like and BDL the rifles look more complete and finished to me. Just my opinion.

    The Kwik Klip, because I like the clips. I can carry an extra and be able to reload faster. Not that I think I'll ever encounter a situation with a 358 where a fast reload in required, but I like having the option. I grew up on an old mossberg bolt action with a clip, still like them. Also, since I decided to convert the ADL to BDL, I would have to buy parts, figured I'd go with the drop in kit.

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    Default Thanks Smitty

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Good project Ralph:

    Your choices sound good to me, including the 358 Norma.

    It'll be a special gun, fer shore.

    Smitty of the North
    Thanks Smitty

    I am looking forward to getting aquainted with this rifle all over again once she gets the make over. The stock has been ordered and should arrive at the house any day, the Kwik Klip arrived yesterday, the brass and dies are enroute and the barrel is on the way as well.

    Speaking of which, when I get home fom Afghanistan, I owe Dougals barrels a call to say thank you. I had my wife call and order the barrel from them. During the call she mentioned I was over here, which is why she was placing the order for me. At the end of the order, the guy at Dougals wouldn't accept payment. He said the barrel was on him and his boss, both of whom were prior service, as a thank you for us being over here.

    When my wife told me that I was truely shocked and grateful, I never expected them to do that. Obviously, they are a very patriotic company, I appreciate that in a business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale White Cracker View Post
    If being second fiddle is "fun",your prescribed blueprint will be lots of it.

    Congratulations?
    PWC,

    Wow, so you must have some nice rifles that you have customized. Why don't you start your own thread and post a few pictures for us to see. While you're at it provide the detailed description of the wrk you've put into them. Maybe then I'll take you advice to count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale White Cracker View Post
    In most circles,it would be considered as being rather mean on my part,to embarrass you in such a manner.

    As an aside,YOU were the one asking questions(and rightfully so).
    True I asked questions and requested the opinions of those who had something of value to add. From your trolling I see nothing that has been substantiated or of value. Looking over the forum it appears you are surfing thread to thread trying to entice others into a game of internet dual.

    If that is your purpose have fun. Those of us that frequent this forum do so not to banter but to enjoy each others valued input. The key work, valued, something your posts do not reflect.

    I have never professed to being the "Best" shot, marksman, ballistician or otherwise. I do hold my own, and have killed many animals over the years. But take the time to read through my previous posts, the hunt is NOT about the kill to me. It maybe for you, hopefully someday you evolve beyond that.

    As for shooting, I've been doing that since 1977 and have lost count of the thousands of rounds I have fired and the many different firearms used. One thing I do know, most hunting kills are at less than 300 yards. And within that range I can kill anything walking two legged or four.

    Thank you for attempting to join this thread and offer your advice, even if it comes across negatively, but I also thank you for no longer doing so. Your advice is neither needed nor wanted.

    Enjoy yourself,
    Ralph

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale White Cracker View Post
    You've been led to water.
    Whatever that means, I'm sure it makes you feel all manly about yourself. Enjoy that and don't forget to wash your hands when your done.

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