Originally Posted by BHR
It's funny you mention going to a heavier and slower bullet because I just told told my shooting partner today that I was strongly considering trying a box of the 180 grain Bergers when I finished up the amaxs I already have. The only reason I have not already tried them is because I'm concerned that my rifle may not be able to stabilize them with a 9-1/4 inch twist rate. Any thoughts?
The doe in my area average around 95 lbs with 80 lbs being on the small end and 130 lbs being unusually large. A 2-1/2 year old buck weighs in around 160 lbs with a trophy size animal weighing between 190 and 215 lbs.
We hunt huge bean fields with the average shot being around 300 yds but numerous opurtunities out to 600 yds. We have to really look hard to find a shot longer than about 650 yds.
Stability becomes an important item to consider when going to the longer VLD's. Berger recommends a 1:9 twist when running the 180 VLD's. The extra .25" twist that you have should not prove to be to noticeable in your shooting. I do not see any problems in running the 180's out of your 1:9.25 twist barrel. I personally do not think you will see any stability issues out to 650 yards with the 180 VLD's out of a 1:9.25 twist barrel. If you were to start shooting out to and past a grand, I would do some testing to see what the stability is like. Even then, I feel that you won't see any ill effects on stabilization.
Although the the smaller, 90lbs - 120lbs animals that you are telling me about are still on the small side for the 7mm Rem Mag and I would not attempt a shot on this size game under 200 - 250 yards.
Since most of your shots are beyond 300 yards I think you would be okay in terms of damage to edible meet on heavier game i.e 150+ lbs. With good bullet placement, a few inches behind the front shoulders, on game that you may want to have a trophy mount i.e. 150+ lbs, should prove to be the safer shot from 300 yards and further. Even with good bullet placement right behind the front shoulder, the 7mm Rem Mag on larger weight classed game, will create considerable damage to the heart/lung cavity as well as the gastrointestinal cavity as well.
On game such as the smaller white tails in your area with weights in the 85 lb - 120 lb weight range, where trophy mounts are not an issue, I would go for a neck shot or even a head shot. The weights of the smaller game are just to small for the 7mm Rem Mag to really consider a conventional "behind the front shoulder shot" at distances under 200 yards, the risk of damaging edible meet is just to high.
Again, shots under the 200 - 250 yard mark I would not take unless I could be certain that I could place the bullet in the neck or head region and even past those ranges I would still be cautious of my bullet placement. On small game in the 90 lb to 120 lb weight range I would not attempt to place a round behind the shoulder unless they were out around the 450 yard mark. Even with great bullet placement at these ranges on small game you are going to damage a lot of the internal organs. I think you'll find that the rounds ends up exploding the in entire heart/lung and gastrointestinal cavity.
I think going to the 175's and the 180's is the right direction when shooting the 7mm Rem Mag at the White Tail in your area. If it were me, I would want to see my muzzle velocity below 2900 fps. Ideally I would want it to be below 2850 fps to ensure less damage to the game and the edible meet.
Either way, you are not going to be trailing the animal to far with the 7mm Rem Mag.