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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
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: West Texas
Posts: 590
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?
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

Last edited by mountainman56; 05-18-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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Unread 05-18-2014, 02:15 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,187
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.

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Unread 05-18-2014, 08:28 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central AZ
Posts: 1,148
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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