So my son and I did a little long range shooting today. He is shooting a lefthanded Rem 700 with a Rock barrel on it. Total weight with scope is about 8.25 pounds. The load it seems to like is a 180 berger and he has a 3.5-10 Leupold on it. 7mm remington magnum.
The JBM ballistics software seems to be spot on and come ups were perfect at our 8500 feet elevation. He put 3 into 7" which seems pretty good to me at 854 yards and off a bipod laying prone. They were about 4" right of bullseye. Fickle winds seem to be our biggest challenge with this long range stuff. In the hills they seem to go one way for 10 minutes, then twist around the other direction. I will say the 180 bergers minimize the movement but the wind is our enemy at this distance. We'll keep working on that however the vertical seems to be pretty easy to overcome with good clicks and good software.
Regardless, fun day and way better than shooting off a bench at 100 yards.
Do you know what kind of velocity you're getting with the 180gr? Surprisingly to me that the Hogden reloading guide shows the 7RM as driving a 175 only about 100 fps faster than a .308 Win., but I always thought it was significantly more powerful. Then I see people on forums talking about getting close to 3000fps with the 180s.
I'm vascillating between a 7mm RemMag and a 7mm WSM. I like the WSM because of the supposed increase in accuracy from the shorter fatter case, the efficiency of powder is greater, the short action is supposedly stiffer, the short bolt throw, etc. But the models chambered in WSM are limited compared to the 7RM so I may end up with the latter. Your listing of weight is helpful. I want something light enough to carry around, but heavy enough to be stable for accuracy and fun shooting (reduced recoil). I was considering a 10 lb. (naked) Browning but that may be a burden to carry in the mtns, up/down canyons, etc. So now falling back to something around 7 lbs. naked.
Agreed, shooting in the wilds is more fun than off a bench at a range, once you've got your gun and loads pretty much dialed in! Most ranges are a pain to deal with when have to wait for range breaks, esp. with paper @ 600, have the same problems with wind and most of the time the scenery is not very inspiring compared to hiking & shooting in the mountains. Target shooting in the wilds is about as close to hunting as you can get. 16 oz, quart, or gallon jugs of water at long distances are a gas too! Nothin like hittin a half filled 16 oz water bottle only half full at 300 or 400 yards and seein' em explode! Good training for the day you see a buck at that range and loads of fun.
That rig is built on a Mcmillan classic with fluted Rem Mag contour Rock 9 twist. The 180s are running at 2830 fps, which is slower than I can run them but has a great accuracy node there. For a packing around rig that you can stretch the legs on, this is a nice weight range to be in.
The 3.5-10 Leupold with an M1 added is tracking very true and so far is very repeatable. All in all, a very good rig backcountry rig.
Shane, A buddy of mine hunts a Sendero and they do seem pretty heavy to me. This Mcmillan classic rig balances great and at 8.25 pounds, it is not a bad load. My 6.5-06 goes 7 pounds and an ounce or two but I could hunt either one. That 6.5 has the CDS turret on it, but if I was to do it over I'd probably just run a M1 on it.
The M1 is simple enough and with the drops taped on, it is quite fast to dial up. I may try out an M2 on my 7mm that is getting built. Either that or another M1. Good luck.