Anyone ever hear of a 7mm Apollo Mach IV?
It's the caliber of a rifle I recently inherited. It was made by Apollo Custom Rifles in the 70s on a Austrian Voere action and barrel. At the time, it was a competitor to Weatherby (and I guess we all know who won that competition) with its own line of wildcat cartridges. It was a premium rifle guaranteed to shoot 1" groups. Here are a couple of pics:
I luckily found an original 1970s owners manual and discovered that the impressive-sounding cartridge is a 300 Win Mag simply necked down to 7mm. Sounds a lot like the 7mm Practical!
I have several problems in trying to handload for this baby. The handbook makes a lot of the fact that the barrel has some freebore and as such, can be loaded hotter than without it. Still, the recommended max loads with a 139 gr bullet of 74 gr of 4350 (3380 fps) or 78 gr of 4831 (3500 fps) seem way too hot. I'm thinking of using near max 7mm Weatherby Magnum load data as a start.
It also says that the 7mm Apollo Mach IV has a case capacity of 89.2 gr of water. That's weird because this cartridge starts out as a 300 Win Mag, and that is listed as having a case capacity of 83.2 gr of water! How can squeezing the neck down to 7mm increase case size?
Now the real problem
: I bought an RCBS 7mm neck sizing die and some new Remington 300 Win Mag brass. When sizing, it was VERY difficult pulling the neck expander ball back through the case neck, so I removed it. Now I have 20 cases with an inside neck diameter of 0.262 inches and an outside neck diameter of 0.297 inches. And I when I put the expander ball back into the neck sizing die, I can't force it through the necks!
As you might have guessed, I'm a raw beginner when it comes to reloading, and this hassle may force me to just sell the rifle and go with something simpler.
Anyone have any advice?