New Model 70 7x57 need some recommendation!

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by frog stealer, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Hey guys, just purchased my second model 70 last weekend, a brand new model 70 featherweight in 7x57 mauser. For those of you who have used this caliber, what bullet weights do you recommend for plains game up to kudu in size? I just purchased a box of 160 gr. partitions for load development, but was wondering if the 140 gr. version would work just as good. I'll be brighing my other model 70, a 416 safari express for the larger species (eland). Thanks for your help in advance!
  2. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of 7x57 ownership.

    It really depends on what length your throat is and which weight your rifle shoots most accuracately. You can have the latest 'uranium depleted laser bomb' but it is useless if you don't hit the target. I have found that most USA sourced 7x57 rifles and reamers have a shorter throat than euro spec rifles. As a general rule, 140's will tend to shoot more accurately in these rifles. If it is euro throated then it may shoot more accurately with heavier projectiles.

    Kudu aren't that tough so the 140 and 160 weight Partition will work if accurate. A friend of mine has had good success with the 140 X-Bullet on small game. For plains game and conventional cup and core projectiles (which work very well at 7x57 velocities) I have used the guide that a projectile with an SD of .270 or greater is suitable. This means 154 grain + in the 7x57.

    For Kudu I would load the 154 Hornady Interlock RNSP which is the most accurate projectile in my rifle. If you want to take the 7x57 as a spare in case the .416 fails, load a 175.

    The 7x57 works because it penetrates well with conventional projectiles at conventional velocities.

    http://www.africahunting.com/huntin...-desert-hunting-camel-australian-outback.html

    http://www.africahunting.com/huntin...takes-new-zealand-14-point-7x57-red-stag.html
  3. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks code4 for your input. I'm not sure if my rifle has the long or short throat, so I'll try both weights, and choose the most accurate. I wasn't sure if a 140 gr bullet was sufficient for a large kudu, but it sounds like I would be fine in this case. I'll give your recommendation of the 154 gr. Hornady a shot as well. Those would be much cheaper to load and shoot if they are accurate in my rifle.

    Another question, what powders have you found to work the best? I've researched this a bit online, and it looks like imr-4350 is the go-to for quite a few people.
  4. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Of more importance than the throat is the barrel twist. Your model 70 will likely have a one in 10 twist which is better suited to the lighter bullets, say 150 and below. Ruger uses a 9 twist I believe, possibly 8.5, dont remember. My Ruger No 1 in this cal shoots just about any bullet well whereas a slower twist often wont shoot heavier bullets all that well. Better to have a quicker than slower twist when possible. Somewhere, perhaps the Win website it may list the twist or you can call them. Regardless all the hypotheticals, the only way to know for sure is try the different weights because individual guns break rules every day. My gun prefers Reloders 19, 22 and H4831 to all others. Great cartridge!
  5. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    That powder range is fine. I use the Aussie equivalent AR2209 which burns like the 4350's. Like Sestoppelman said (thankfully your on the ball mate :) ) check the twist rate. Mine is 1 in 8.7". A short RN will sometimes stabilise where a long spitzer of the same weight won't.

    Please let us know how you get on.
  6. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks sestoppelman and code4 for your comments. I looked on the winchester website and it says my 7x57 has a 1 in 9.5" twist. Hopefully that will be enough for the 160's I currently have loaded.

    I've got a fresh batch of winchester 7x57 brass coming in the mail shortly, and will post my results after testing. The only brass I have to work with are those from a factory box of remington's I bought with the rifle. After cleaning and inspection, I found two case neck spits after the first firing, which I'm not impressed with. Down to 18 pieces left.
  7. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    My 7x57 likes the 160gn Woodleigh at 2700fps with 46gn H4350 (ADI 2209) and this is just the ticket from my 9 inch twist x 25 inch barrel.

    Code 4 has a great vid of testing the bullet weight in wet cardboard. I will leave it for him to post them.
  8. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    No pressure Von Gruff !!!!

    Please excuse me taking myself way too seriously and the nasal Aussie accent. Lets see if this works .

    Test medium was shot 100 yards from the muzzle
    7x57 160 muzzle velocity (most accurate load) 2,361fps
    7x57 154 Hornady mv 2,405fps
    7mmRM 160 mv 2,908fps

    7mm Penetration Test


    7mm Expansion Test
    7x57 Hornady 175 mv 2,340fps+


    W-W 175 Factory Silvertip ammo chrono'd 2,351fps
    Using new Norma brass I can load a 140 Sierra SBT to 2,780fps however pressure signs occur.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The 9.5 twist should do fine for all weights, just have to try them. Good luck.
  10. Beau416

    Beau416 AH Veteran

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    In that cartridge I would use a good 140gr projectile. Great rifle choice. Despite what many say, the new Winchester Model 70s are their best yet by a considerable margin.
    sierraone likes this.
  11. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Beau416,

    I agree, Winchester did a fine job with the new M70's. I've only tried one recipe for the 140 grain partitions so far (46 grains of H414) and got great accuracy. Unfortunately, I didn't have my chronograph with me, so I don't know what velocity I was getting.

    Going to continue on and try different loads, I've got 140, 150, and 160 grain partions on hand, and would like to also try the 175 gr. hornady bullets (both round nose and spire points). People seem to have good luck with the heavy bullets as well. Not to menion, if for some reason I run into an eland and don't have my 416, I would have to think the 175's would give me a little extra penetration over the 140's.
  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Just bought the FW M70 in 7x57 this weekend. How about some more range reports?
  13. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Phil,

    I keep all my handloading data (good and bad) in an Excel spreadsheet. Here are a few of my better handloads for this rifle. I'm experimenting, and should be able to do a bit better as time goes on. All groups are an average of (6) - 3 shot groups at 100yds.

    1. Nosler 160 gr. Partition, 45 gr. IMR4350, 2544 fps, 1.45"
    2. Nosler 140 gr. Partition, 46 gr. H414, 2779 fps, 1.5"
    3. Nosler 150 gr. Partition, 40 gr. H4350, (forgot my chronograph this time), 1.68"
    4. Remington 140 gr. CoreLokt factory load, 2600 fps, 1.5"

    As you can see, I'm having a rough time getting averages closer to an inch, where I'd like them to be...these are my best loads, I've tried several others using different powder charges.

    I've got some Nosler ballistic tips, accubonds, and Sierra gamekings coming this week, hopefully these will perform a bit better in the accuracy department. Nosler ballistic tips have historically shot very for me in about every firearm, so hopefully I see some better performance.

    The featherweight has a thin profile barrel, and is relatively lightweight, so maybe I'm expecting to much out of this rifle. 1.5" groups are plenty fine for hunting, I guess...but it bugs me a bit not being able to get to that magic one inch. I'll post results of the next three bullets sometime in the next few weeks.
  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    A few comments, apologies if you've already thought about these:

    1. Check your action screws, it wouldn't be the first time I've opened the box to a new rifle and they've backed out since leaving the factory.

    2. As much as I love the Partition, some rifles like them better. It may be this rifle doesn't like them that much.

    3. Bedding? As much as I love my M70's even if this rifle comes bedded from the factory, the bedding job will most likely not be all that great. I'm not sure if they bed the FW's or not. My Super Grade was bedded, but poorly. This may help.

    4. OAL. Determine what the maximum OAL is for your rifle. I know on my SG, the bullet could be seated in excess of an extra 0.1" longer than SAAMI length of 3.34" for a .300WM. The magazine limited me to 3.38". That extra 0.04" makes a huge difference in accuracy in every bullet I load for that rifle. At 3.34" my accuracy is in the 1-1.5" range, at 3.38" sub 1" is routine.

    I'm not sure when I'll actually start load development on the new rifle, but when I do I'll keep you appraised on what I find.
  15. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Phil, I did check the action screws, and they were good and tight. However, I agree with your point #2 and #4. This is not the first rifle I've had that didn't shoot well with partitions, so that is why I'm trying the ballistic tips. I've yet to start screwing with the OAL, but I think that may help out as well.

    What is your standard routine for measuring max OAL?

    Looking forward to hearing how your own load development goes.
  16. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Just getting time now with the "little" 7 after it went to the gunsmith for some bedding and trigger work. I thought I'd stripped the threads in the receiver holes when putting on the bases, turned out I had the wrong bases sent to me.

    Have worked a little with the copper raptors from CEB, but nothing worth reporting there.

    I went to the range today with some 140gr North Fork bonded core soft points. I'm on to something here. From 45.5gr to 47gr of IMR4350, groups were in the 1 to 1.25 inch range. This was with the bullets seated to SAAMI OAL. Next step will be to set these longer.

    My process for this is to take a spent case and dent the neck a little. Put a bullet in roughly 0.15" longer than SAAMI. Use a match to soot up the bullet from the rear to just in front of the ogive. Drop it into the mag and close the bolt. Open the bolt slowly and make sure you catch the round as it ejects.

    Now sometimes the bullet may actually be still in the chamber, use a cleaning rod to gently tap it out. Usually the bullet just pulls out a little. This is where sooting up the bullet comes into play. Look for a shiny mark where the dented part of the neck "cleaned" the soot off the bullet. Push the bullet back into the case to where the forward end of the clean mark is right at the edge of the case neck.

    Measure the OAL. This now tells you for this particular bullet what the OAL is for the bullet just touching the LANs. You should back off of this according to what I read a minimum of 0.02", I usually go 0.03".

    I then seat a bullet to this length and see if it will fit in the magazine. What I have found in my rifles is it won't. Thus my mag becomes the limiting factor. At that point I figure out the max length I can seat too and get a round in the mag all the way down and back off 0.01" from there to allow some clearance.

    I usually repeat the procedure with the sooted up bullet 2 more times just to be certain. You must to this of course for each and every bullet, each has its own unique ogive design.

    Also sometimes the bullet does not pull out on extraction. It gets pushed into the case a little and just stays there when you open the bolt. If this happens you obviously won't see a shiny mark, pull the bullet out a little and you will, do this to confirm the situation. Then push it back again and measure per above.
  17. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info Phil. I actually just received a hornady modified case a few weeks ago for use with their OAL case gauge. It was on backorder for at least a few months. I'll probably start tinkering with OAL's after my trip to South Africa this May. I've already got a decent load, and don't want to change anything. My two best loads so far are accubonds and barnes tsx, both 140 grains and getting less than an inch at 100 yds off the bench. However, my MOST accurate load so far has been with the regular nosler ballistic tips. Those things hover around .5 inches at 100 yds all day long, but from what I've read, don't do so well with larger animals.
  18. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Yeah the BTs usually fly well and easy to get a load for. But I only use them on our diminutive Coues deer here in AZ. I even recovered one out of a buck I shot at 250 yards on a quartering away shot. They're awesome Coues killers usually dropping them in their tracks. But I wouldn't use them on anything much bigger than a whitetail myself.

    Let me know when you measure the max OAL, would be interesting to compare notes.
  19. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    I've heard the same...nothing over the size of a whitetail for the b-tips. If Michigan ever allows rifles for deer hunting, I'll be using those.

    I'll for sure keep you posted when I start playing with OAL's. I've got a brand new box of sierra game kings that will be the first bullets I'll try when varying OAL.
  20. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Ballistic tips were originally designed as a fragmenting varmint bullet. Demand from big game hunters prompted Nosler to beef up the jacket in a hunting version but they do not handle speed or big bone well.

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