7MM RM bullets for Plains game...

Velo Dog

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Not sure the exact temperature here in Anchorage but lately the daytime feels like about +40 Fnht and it rained last night.
 

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Velo Dog... Thanks. My rifle easily shoots MOA, that's not a concern. I tried 175 Corelokt bullets years ago and I had some of them keyhole through the target. I stepped back to 160s and have had no misses or terminal failures in the years since. I may try 175s again - maybe Swifts.

I can shoot this rifle very well, but have never shot from (or even seen) shooting sticks. I'll see if I can locate a pair and see how that goes. If I don't like them I'll just tell my PH. "Please don't give me anything more to think about while I am shooting!"

Bruce... that would be 160 gr. Nosler Partitions, I have used them for years.

Many thanks to all for your advice.

Hi again Mike,

Regarding your rifle keyholing / wobbling, maybe even tumbling those Remington 175 grain bullets, my best guess is that the rifling twist rate is too slow for heavy bullets.
This is pretty much unheard of in the 7mm magnum since the higher velocity would normally make up for a slightly slower than standard twist rate.

Furthermore, unless your barrel has been made with some custom, very much slower twist rate than factory standard (the Remington recommended standard, as they designed this cartridge), I’d guess some other internal rifling irregularity / damage / flaw is present.
However since yours shoots 160 grainers so well, I would bet a large pizza that there is no damage or flaw in there but that, the twist rate was probably made slow, specifically for light bullets.

Nonetheless, all is well with the remedy that you have already applied - using the 160 grainers instead.
The Nosler Partition is a very fine bullet for so called “plains game” IMO, as well as by reputation from other hunter’s accounts.
They can, like any lead core bullet, be driven fast enough to shatter against heavy bone, such as the shoulder or hip of eland, zebra, waterbuck, moose, bear and so forth.

One of my friends here in Alaska was finally cured of that famous and infamous American disease “Velocity Madness” when, he shot a moose at very close range, resulting in his light for caliber, fast moving bullet shattering against the brisket bones and failing to penetrate.

He was using a custom barreled Sako, .375 with a so called “improved” chamber and Nosler Partition, 260 grain, at about 3 trillion feet per second.
He eventually did catch up to the poor thing and finish it off but, lesson learned.
He soon sold the rifle and bought a .35 Whelen, that he has strictly dedicated for 250 grain bullets.

Anyway, the load you are already using for elk and such will likely work well enough in Namibia as it is.
But for the chance that you suddenly encounter a very stoutly built animal (zebra, etc) at close range, the A-Frame is much tougher than the Nosler.

You’re going to turn a double back flip when you see Africa.

Best regards,
Paul.
 

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Paul

My 7mm RM rifle has some history. It was originally made in 7 X 61 Sharpe and Hart with a 1-12" twist rate. I got tired of fussing with loading the double radius neck/shoulder case and had it re-barreled in 7mm RM by Bill Hobaugh and re-inletted by Gary Goudy. That was years ago and I have carried the rifle across Western Canada and the western U.S. since then. I expect that you are right - there is some variation from the norm in twist rate. I notice in Barnes' latest manual their 175 grn, TSX carries a note - "A 1 -9" or faster twist is recommended for the 175 grn, TSX" - in the 7mm RM section. For really long, high BC bullets this may be a problem when pushed at speeds of 3000 fps and above. I think my rifle is 1 - 9-1/2", but I am not sure. In any case, I am sticking with the 160 grainers.

Growing up and hunting in the Western US and reading way too many books/articles by luminaries of the arms world, I naturally developed a case of velocity myelitis. And, truthfully, reasonably high velocity provides a MPBR that is very helpful in the Western deserts and mountains. It can also, as you point out, be really tough on bullets (and game) at short range. I am planning on hunting desert country for Oryx and understand that the shooting may be much like some of the open country shooting I've done here.

I am trying to get over the 'velocity myelitis' and expect that the .404 Jeffery that I am having built will help a great deal. I was frankly surprised when I calculated the exterior ballistics on a 350 to 400 grain .423" bullet launched at 2350 fps. Better than I thought it would be.

Thanks much for taking time to provide a thoughtful response to my questions.


Mike
 

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Paul

My 7mm RM rifle has some history. It was originally made in 7 X 61 Sharpe and Hart with a 1-12" twist rate. I got tired of fussing with loading the double radius neck/shoulder case and had it re-barreled in 7mm RM by Bill Hobaugh and re-inletted by Gary Goudy. That was years ago and I have carried the rifle across Western Canada and the western U.S. since then. I expect that you are right - there is some variation from the norm in twist rate. I notice in Barnes' latest manual their 175 grn, TSX carries a note - "A 1 -9" or faster twist is recommended for the 175 grn, TSX" - in the 7mm RM section. For really long, high BC bullets this may be a problem when pushed at speeds of 3000 fps and above. I think my rifle is 1 - 9-1/2", but I am not sure. In any case, I am sticking with the 160 grainers.

Growing up and hunting in the Western US and reading way too many books/articles by luminaries of the arms world, I naturally developed a case of velocity myelitis. And, truthfully, reasonably high velocity provides a MPBR that is very helpful in the Western deserts and mountains. It can also, as you point out, be really tough on bullets (and game) at short range. I am planning on hunting desert country for Oryx and understand that the shooting may be much like some of the open country shooting I've done here.

I am trying to get over the 'velocity myelitis' and expect that the .404 Jeffery that I am having built will help a great deal. I was frankly surprised when I calculated the exterior ballistics on a 350 to 400 grain .423" bullet launched at 2350 fps. Better than I thought it would be.

Thanks much for taking time to provide a thoughtful response to my questions.


Mike


No worries Mike,

Always glad to chit chat about rifles any day.
Likewise my earliest experiences in rifle type hunts were in the Wild West.
Plus I no doubt read the same authors as you did.
Reading Jack O’Conner’s articles caused me to eventually save up enough $ for a .270 that I used primarily with 130 grain bullets.
It worked well on coyotes, blacktail deer and eventually caribou.
But I finally accepted the fact that anything I could hit with a 130 gr .270 bullet, I could hit just as consistently with a 150 gr .30-06 bullet.
I don’t have a .27o now but do have a .30-06 FN Mauser.
Fast forward to now, even though Namibia does resemble northern Nevada, West Texas and some other western states, super long shots are not typical there.
There is so much game that if a stalk is blown and the critter bolts before a shot is fired, your PH will have you on another one well before time to fly back home.

Also, I do have a 7mm magnum (CZ 550) that they evidently only made for a short time.
I bought it used but in excellent condition.
When I hold my mouth just right, it will put 3 bullet holes touching from sand bags at 100 yds.
I’ve never taken it to Africa but, if I ever decide to do so, I expect it’d put many critters in the skinning shed.
The 7mm Remington magnum is my 2nd favorite long range hunting cartridge, right after the .300 H&H.
I’ve taken animals with both these cartridges in California, Idaho, Nevada and the .300 H&H in Namibia.
It’s extremely unlikely that anything I shot on that particular trip would have evaded their fate if instead I had been using the 7mm instead.
You will do well there with yours.

Cheers,
Paul.
 

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I was wondering around the local gun shop today and saw a absolutely stunning Winchester Model 70 super grade (CRF) and in immaculate new condition - caliber 300 H&H for $3000. However, I am never tempted by right handed bolt rifles. Also saw a very nice CZ 55o Safari model in .458 WM. It occurred to me that I could order a new Super Grade Model 70 in the caliber I have always wanted and never owned - .338 WM. The price is not scary at all, but I have become so accustomed to building and shooting custom rifles that I have not really stayed abreast of new commercial rifles in the past few years. So many rifles, so little time.

I think I'll just finish the .404J project and go hunting.
 

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I am planning a trip to Namibia and will include plains game. The outfitter says that my 7mm Remington Magnum will be fine for plains game.

I have always used 160 grn. Nosler partition and Bitteroot bullets for elk and they work fine. Bitteroot is not making them anymore, and I am wondering if there are better choices than Nosler Partitions... Swift? Woodleigh? Nosler Accubonds? Nortfork? Other?

What has worked well for you on plains game (gemsbok, sable, etc.) and what do you recommend I load for the trip?

I've had good luck with Barnes 168g TSX in my 7RM on everything from zebra and blue wildebeest down to springbok. 1 shot kills.
 

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I've had good luck with Barnes 168g TSX in my 7RM on everything from zebra and blue wildebeest down to springbok. 1 shot kills.


Correction on Barnes 168g TSX. It should be 160 g TSX. Barnes doesn't make a 168 in 7RM. 168TSX is a 308 bullet.
 

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