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... on bullet selection.
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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al_in_cedar
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

Okay, I'm getting closer to the ponit of actually buying a box of bullets.

Im not sure I know the answer to my question, so I'd like to take an informal poll.

Here are the story problem for you: You are shooting a 7mm remMag, Ruger MK77 II and you will be using it on Muley and possibly Elk. You are a first time reloader and want to limit the variables to learn.

Question: what bullet weight, make and powder will you buy to kick off this campaign?

I'm just faced with so many choices and options... Although it's fun, I'm shaking my head thinkng "someone just tell me where to start!"

My good friend swears by the Barnes tripple x, but before I go buy me a box and matching recipes, I need more opinions. I couldn't tell you what my rifle likes and doesn't like, so I just want someone with a similar set up to share their expericence.

thanks fella's
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

Odds are you'll get enough answers to confuse you even more! Considering the possibility of elk (which I haven't hunted) I'd stick with a heavy for caliber bullet like a 160 or 175. Any of the "premium" bullets from Barnes, Nosler, Speer or Hornady would work. I know we have some elk hunters who also reload here so I'm sure they can give you more complete info.

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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

I haven't reloaded for the 7mag but if it were me. I would start with Hodgdon Retumbo it has exellent velocitys, it's one of Hodgdons Extreme powders and changes in temp has very little efect on pressures. I would get a box of 160 grain Nosler Accubonds ( it's not made in 175 gr ) and a box of 175 grain Partitions and I would start load development. Both are well known and respected performers on deer and elk. I would find the best loads for both and use the 160 for deer and 175 for elk.
Joe

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

Barnes changed the relationship between bullet weight and penetration. With conventional bullets, a higher sectional density (heavier bullet) aided penetration, then along came Nosler Partitions that offered deeper penetration by having a heavier jacket and a partition that resulted in added retained weight. And, they have been superb. More recently, bonded core bullets became more available that kept the core and the jacket from separating and they, too, represented an improvement over conventional bullets. Then came Barnes with a homogenous bullet and things changed again. For the better.

With the TSX, lighter bullets can be used and still give better penetration and weight retention than conventional bullets or even the much admired Nosler partitions. Lighter bullets can be driven faster with flatter trajectories. Instead of the old school 160 and 175gr in the 7RM for elk, the same or better results can be had with the TSX in 140gr. Afterall, it isn't the bullet's weight that kills game, its pentrating to the vitals, sometimes after smashing through bone. The disadvantage is higher cost.

The anti gunners next attack may be on lead useage in any ammo. Effectively, this is a back door approach to firearms control -- OTOH, Nosler's new eBullets and the TSX gives us a better bullet that is leadfree.
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wncchester
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

"My good friend swears by the Barnes tripple x,..."

Your friend is not wrong but he is perhaps under rating the 7 mag with more conventional, and much less expensive, bullets. Any common 160-175 gr. hunting bullet from Sierra, Hornady, Remington, etc. will easily be sufficent for mulies and elk, IMHO.

The heavier built premium bullets would come into play with, maybe, moose and certainly for big bear.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

We often think of the premium bullets in terms of performance, especially, at longer ranges. One of the major advantages, however, of bullets like the TSX is at shorter ranges where the bullet is still closer to muzzle velocity. When conventional bullets strike game at close distances the impact often causes core/jacket separations, whereas, the premium bullet is more likely to survive and perform well.

Guiding an elk hunt in Idaho several years ago, I had a hunter shoot a big bodied bull at less than 30 yards. His 300 Win Mag with 180gr conventional bullet, badly wounded the bull after encountering the right front shoulder. The bull disappeared into the dark timber, but, we closed for a follow up shot a short while later. That shoulder was a mess with bone driven into the body cavity. IMO a premium bullet would have avoided this problem given the same velocity and point of impact.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
Afterall, it isn't the bullet's weight that kills game, its pentrating to the vitals, sometimes after smashing through bone.

Handloader hits the nail on the head. For example, a match bullet and a "solid" can both weigh the same but the match bullet generally isn't designed or constructed to penetrate anything more than a sheet of paper while the solid is designed to punch through whatever it encounters. (Note: Berger match bullets seem to be the exception to this.)

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sendin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

I will have to dig out the exact info, but if I remember correctly, I used a 160g boat-tail bullet from Hornady or Sierra that gave me great and consistent performance for hunting pig - long shots on some big pigs. I reloaded these in the early 90's and I suppose there are some better bullets now as noted in these posts. I will get the info later today if I can and reply with the rifle info and powder/quantity used and it might help you. I switched from a 308 to the 7mag and was really impressed with the new capabilities although there was nothing wrong with the 308. My experience was that once the basics were covered most problems were with the shooter when it came to hunting!

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

My formula for success with my 7mm Rem. Mag. is RL-22, Fed. 210M primers (these are large rifle and not magnum primers) and 140 or 160 gr. bullets.

As for bullet brands, there are several good ones. For my 7mm Rem. Mag. I use Hornady 160 gr. or Barnes 140 gr. bullets. They both do better than 1 MOA.

Match bullets are very misunderstood. Ones like the Sierra Match King actually perform more like solid bullets than to many expanding hunting bullets.

As for Berger VLD match bullets; I've used them to take 4 pronghorn antelope and a whitetail deer. On antelope, they were all blow throughs (out of a 300 Weatherby Mag.) including one shot at 292 yards. I used a VLD to take the whitetail deer at a bit over 200 yards with a 25/06. The bullet hit the rear of the left leg and angled to the right to the vitals; pretty impressive penetration if you ask me.
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whittling
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

A heavy , Expanding bullet like the Nosler.

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Grant
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

I use in my 7mm Rem mag for the last 10 years...175 grain Speer Grand Slams with 63.5 grains of IMR4831 driving them. I've taken Black Bear, Mule Deer and Moose with mine out to 400+ yards. My last Mule deer with it was taken at a hair over 50 yards. The Grand Slams seem to penetrate well at range and still expand well in close. I'm happy with this load and don't care to try any of the newer bullets with the performance I get from these.

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bradking1
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

I think shrpshtrjoe's advice is really good. I have loaded a similar combo with retumbo and an accubond. If you don't want to spend the extra money on the accubonds i would shoot Sierras. I did a load up for a buddy with 73 or 74 grs retumbo and a 160 gr Sierra HPBT Gameking (don't let the hollow point thing fool you...these are designed for hunting big game and are the toughest bullets Sierra makes) and they shot like gangbusters out of a stock remington sps...1/2" to 3/4" groups consistently. I loaded these up for him because he'd drawn an elk tag in a very coveted area. They worked perfectly for him...big bodied bull and dropped with one shot through the shoulders (bone).

Hard to beat these bullets and if you can afford the more "premium" bullets then go for it but I think the bullets that Sierra makes are just as good for what you will be using them for. They are tough and very, very accurate...I went to South Africa several years back and took Sierra bullets with me and had no problems and they performed exactly as expected, wonderfully, on a big kudu bull and a "tough as they get" gemsbok...one shot through the shoulders and went down like they'd been struck by lightning

Hope this helps

Brad
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al_in_cedar
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: ... on bullet selection. Reply with quote

Thanks for all of your help!! I will publish my first load recipe and let you know my results... just waiting for my buddy to send me the dial calipers so I can get started!!
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