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Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR) Over 1,000 Yds.


7 mag dilemma

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Unread 05-18-2014, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: West Texas
Posts: 582
7 mag dilemma

I inherited a 30 plus year old 700bdl with a 24” sporter barrel in 7mag from my father-in-law when he passed. He got it after he had pretty much stopped hunting and I have all the brass it has ever fired, less than 50 rounds. Old Bill always bragged to me how accurate it was, but you know how that is, I never heard anyone brag how accurate their rifle wasn’t. Anyhow I’ve been playing around with it. I re-stocked it with a good thumbhole laminate and started working on some loads. I wasn't getting too serious as my intention was to re-barrel it with a good quality 28” pipe and accurize the action.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot it to 1200 yards with a load a friend of mine has for his 7mag. I suspected a great deal of luck was involved but I managed to get several shots into a 10” group with his 168 Berger loads. Naturally I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Last week I found one load that shot exceptionally well so I loaded up 20 rounds and got to test it out yesterday. Letting the rifle cool between I got three different 3 shot groups that averaged .512” (.753, .842 and .794 outside to outside). I was working on loads for my recently acquired Sendero in 300 rum at the same time. I ain’t going to brag on any of those loads (got a lot of work left to do there). Next we ran a target out to 1200 yards. We used a 4x4 sheet of plywood with a 10” aiming spot. First two shots went clear over (I lent my chronograph out a while back and it hasn’t come home yet).

This is getting kinda long winded so I will cut to the chase. Final result once I got it dialed in was of 3 shots into slightly over 8” at 1200 with 22 1/2 minutes of elevation (300 rum was the same elevation. I thought that was pretty interesting except that group looked like someone was trying to pattern their shotgun. I know that doesn’t seem too impressive alongside of some of the groups I’ve seen on this forum but based on my shooting over the years I figure this is just about as good as I can expect.

My question is how big a fool would I be to even mess with this rifle? Seems to me anybody with a 3 digit IQ would leave it alone, put it into a lighter stock and keep it for a hunting rifle. On the other hand it will obviously be a good base for a custom build and I ain't really lacking for hunting rifles.

What do you guys think?
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

Last edited by mountainman56; 05-18-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 05-18-2014, 02:15 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Jul 2004
    Location: Texas
    Posts: 7,001
    Re: 7 mag dilemma

    In my opinion, Leave it alone.

    The best rifles to build a custom are the ones that don't shoot well.

    Find yourself a used rifle that has accuracy problems and do the full Monty to it. (Blue print the action, install a premium barrel, a good stock and a good trigger.

    I look for donors that cost $350.00 to $400.00 dollars that have good actions.

    "PRESS ON"
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    Unread 05-18-2014, 08:28 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Central AZ
    Posts: 1,140
    Re: 7 mag dilemma

    You could spend a lot of money on a custom and still not see much improvement over your current results. Leave well enough alone and use your money for lots of practice. it will serve you better than a custom.
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