Re: bullet choice for a 7 mm
I would go with the 162g SST myself. Better BC, cheaper, just as accurate, and will do the job just the same both close and out there a ways as the AB. Dont get me wrong, nothing wrong with the AB, but I would personally go with the SST for the above reasons.
I have used the 162g amax on deer at 800 yards from my 7 mag at 2875fps, and its a very explosive bullet is all I will say. I doubt I would use them again. It did kill my buck, but it didn't exit with a rib shot at 800 yards. Bloodshot to heck.
I have also used the 168g and 180g vld's on deer and experienced blow up with the 168 at 618 yards on the shoulder and pencil holes with the 180 at 100 yards behind the shoulder.
I would rather use the 162g SST and have some sort of controled expansion at close range, but still have the ability to open up at LR. Sure you give up some BC, but I'd rather have a bullet that will do whats its suppose to 99% of the time versus who knows what it will do.
I would never use the AMAX on bear or elk inside 600 yards. The amax is literally built like a varmint bullet. Very soft jacket, plastic tip, designed for rapid expansion, not a very good bigger game bullet like elk/bear IMO.
For varmints and deer, you dont need a bonded bullet. The SST will do wonders.