7x57 bullet choices

Jeff Garcia

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Mar 17, 2015
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What do the people that have used a 7x57 on plains game or PH's think is the best route to go on this. Heavy cup and core or mid weight bonded and last long for caliber like a gmx
I'll follow this with interest.
In this thread http://www.africahunting.com/thread...justins-trip-to-hartzview-safaris-2015.22610/ Phil's son Justin used 140gr North fork with good success.
It might depend on the throat and twist of your barrel as to what works best. I have a Brno ZKK 600 in 7x57 and it has a long throat and fast twist, so I will probably have to go 160-175gr for best results. I've loaded up some 140gr corelokts (because that' what I had on hand), but they are 200fps slower than the reloading manual velocities.
Working with 2 guns model 700 7 x57 and prewar model 70 7x57 improved. First time with this caliber looking for a place to start
The Czech rifles use the 7x57 military twist rate of 1 in 220mm (8.66 in.) for all the Continental 7mm chamberings. The Smith and Wesson rifles (built on Howa actions) can be as slow as 1 in 11 in. and most others seem to be 1 in 9.5 in. or 1 in 10 in. according to my understanding.
My best results have been with a 170gr Rhino bullet.

The 7x57 is a well known and common caliber in SA and I have used it on most of the African plains game as well as some of the dangerous game species.
My first time hunting with this caliber has just come to an end. I loaded the M70 FW with 140gr North Fork Bonded Cores. I wanted the lighter weight to keep recoil down as my 12 year old would be hunting with this rifle too.

However I do believe these 140gr bullets outperform any of the old style non-bonded bullets due the high weight retention. Yet you get flatter trajectories with the higher velocity and less recoil.

With one shot kills with no tracking required, including on Zebra, I can't imagine using a different bullet unless it was an A-Frame for TSX.
I would recommend that one first decides on the game to be hunted as well as the terrain it is to be hunted in. Then based on those parameters a load can be developed that suits the specific rifle of the hunter. Some rifles will prefer heavier/lighter bullet weights.

Of my 7x57's my "Plezier Mauser" prefers 175 gr bullets, my Fn 98 also likes the heavy weight pills while my Ruger RSI likes the middle weight offerings such as Norma Oryx 156 gr. These rifles are only used in the bushveld at moderate range.

It is always an advantage to use a properly constructed bullet offering.
Pics of two bullets recovered. The top bullet in both pics came out of Justin's zebra. I think the other came out of his nyala but not absolutely certain. Both bullets weighed 134gr plus with a starting weight of 140gr.

Whatever you use will work. If hunting in the bush such as limpopo where shots will be 40-120m use a 160g+ and if you do a caroo or such hunt you should lean towards a 140g. I personally use the 175g and it puts a kudu dead in its tracks every time.
Whatever shoots best and holds together reasonably well. We used 140gr TSX bullets in my boys .284 at just over 3000fps with great success last summer in RSA. You wont be able to quite drive them that fast in the 7x57 but you should be able to get around 2800 or so which would certainly do the job. Funny thing about rifles and bullets. This .284 is a rifle of my late dads that I actually took my first 2 deer with in the 60's in Alaska. It is a rebarreled pre 64 M70 Win Featherweight with 22 inch Douglas bbl. It was always a very accurate rifle with any number of bullets. Dad gave it to my boy to grow up with a few years ago so we started shooting it again. It was all over the place! I found a crack in the web area of the stock, fixed that, seemed a little better but not much. I had remembered it as already being glass bedded but it wasn't, so I did that and floated the barrel. Got a little better. Than had a local smith recrown it, that didn't go very well but it seemed a little better still. Then took it to a world class smith who laughed heartily at the first crown job and re did it to perfection. Still wasn't shooting like I remembered it would. Gave up on all the standby bullets and tried a new powder and bullet combo. Win 760 and Barnes 140gr Triple Shocks. A bright light shown down thru the clouds from the Heavens and I could hear trumpets and angels in song! Not really just being dramatic! But truth is, it just came alive. Almost any charge would shoot super. I finally settled on 55.5 grs of 760 with that bullet and it goes just over 3k and shoots under an inch at 100 and is lights out on game if properly hit, even wildebeest, which are notoriously tough. New life for Dads favorite old rifle in my boys hands, that got me my first deer. Doesn't get much better than that.
I have been very happy with the 150gr TSX at 2600 fps the last couple of years. Previously used 160gr Nosler Partitions at 2740fps. TSX at lower velocity more comfortable to shoot but results very much the same. See what bullet shoots best in your specific rifle. kind regards

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