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long range 7mm cartridges

 
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:51 PM
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long range 7mm cartridges

I've been looking into appropriate long range (1000 yd and under) calibers now for a while, trying to make up my mind for a new rifle. I saw on the sierra website that their advertised BC for a 7mm 180gr Matchking is 0.660 @ 1650 fps (!) compared to the .30 caliber 220gr SMK with a BC of 0.629 @ 2100 fps. This has certainly piked my interest and made me lean toward some sort of 7mm magnum for this build. The rifle will be almost entirely custom, with a lilja 3-groove barrel or schneider poly barrel if it's a barrel burner, so barrel seating and twist rates shouldn't be a problem for these heavy bullets. I also handload, so a lack of commercial loads shouldn't be a problem, though brass availability and price should be taken into consideration. This rifle will be used mostly for target shooting, but may also see informal competition and/or hunting use as well.

Anyway, now that we've gotten those things straightened out and a caliber specified, which cartridge will be most effective at pushing these suckers downrange? I've looked through my handy-dandy Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (8th edition) and discovered the 7mm Weatherby Magnum. It's based on a shortened 300 Weatherby case and has all the other traits associated with it. According to Hornady it will shoot a 175 grain bullet at 3000 fps with approximately 4-5 grains less powder than a 7mm Dakota and approximately 10 grains less than the 7mm STW all from a 26" barrel, a significant difference. Whats more, the Hornady data for the Weatherby includes muzzle velocities up to 3100 fps whereas the Dakota and STW are limited to 3000 fps from the same length test barrel.

Has anyone on this forum achieved the claimed velocities?
Any caveats I have failed to mention?
Does anyone have real-world feedback to share?
Are there any other options I should look into?

Since the weatherby burns less powder, it should prolong the barrel life over the other cartridges I mentioned, that's what attracted me in the beginning. Does anyone have feedback on this point?

On a side note, will the weatherby fit into a .300 Win Mag magazine? the dimensions that hornady specified put it only 0.02" longer and the same belt diameter as the win mag, is this a significant enough difference to complicate feeding or loading?

Also, I'm open to other ideas for in terms of calibers and cartridges if you make a good enough argument...

Thank you guys in advance. Your expertise has been very valuable in the past and hopefully will continue to be in the future.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:10 PM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

I have a few 7mm wby's and 7mm STW's. Have shot them extensively since the 70's at long range. Yes the 7mm wby will get the published velocity. It is right between the 7mm rem mag and the STW. I have extensive loading data on these three. It is an excellent cartridge that I couldn't figure why it didn't catch on big. The reason is it was only offered in the Mk5 for all those years and at that price they don't sell like a cheap remington, winchester or savage.

The 7mm STW will shoot faster than the 7mm wby. The 7mm STW is the one you want to build. It is an exceptional long range cartridge and I have used it's cousin the 7mm-300 wby to take animals up to elk beyond 1000 yards. Depending on which action you have the STW might need modification of the magazine to load long VLD bullets. The 7mm wby would fit just fine on your 300 winchester action and should feed well with the long bullets. Tell us which action you have and somebody on here can tell you how to modify for the long STW.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:24 PM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Time Long Ranger View Post
It is right between the 7mm rem mag and the STW.
Why do you place the Weatherby above the Remington? The cases I am currently using in my 7mm Rem are fire formed Weatherby cases. The Weatherby has a longer neck but the Remington has more capacity to the bottom of the neck.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:31 PM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

Quote:
Tell us which action you have and somebody on here can tell you how to modify for the long STW.
I have not actually started on this build yet. If I were to go with the STW, I would need a magnum length action, correct? I was planning on using a borden rimrock LSR (remington pattern, long action), but haven't really decided yet. Borden doesn't offer a magnum length repeater in their rimrock line. I could always go with another action if necessary, though.

The reason I'm hesitant on the STW is the barrel life. While none of the 7mm magnums are really exceptional in this area, I would like to prolong it as much as possible. If the Weatherby can reach 3000 fps with a 180 Grain bullet, I'm content. If it can do this with less powder than most anything else in its class, even better, no disrespect intended. I've also played with the idea of necking down and slightly shortening a .300 Win Mag, while lengthening the bearing surface on the bullet. Still hesitant about purchasing all the equipment necessary to do so however, and even more so on a design that has not been really tested before. What do you think?
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:39 PM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

If you do that you have a 7mm wby with the standard shoulder. The 7mm wby is easier on barrels and will shoot well at long range, mine do. However if you take care of your STW it is worth doing. Brass is available now from other suppliers for the wby so you don't have to buy the expensive wby brass. Either really will do well. A little over 100 fps difference. The wby feeds better with long vld bullets seated to the lands. The Dakota is good but brass is expensive.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:48 PM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

I dont own an 7mm's but from what you said why dont you just keep cost as low as you can since that seams to be a concern as well as barrel life. You dont need all that power for paper so why not just stick with the 7mmRM?
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:24 AM
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Re: long range 7mm cartridges

You stated "target shooting, but may also see informal competition and/or hunting use as well"

I would go with a 7 WSM guys are having good results at 1000 yard bench rest with the 7 WSM. For just hunting I would go 7mm Dakota.
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