Re: browningA-Bolt .7WSM
I've just finished working with a A-Bolt S/S 7mm WSM that the owner couldn't get to shoot.
Similar experience to JDJ, after a bedding and trigger job, and a good clean, it shot real good.( I hate that silly blued seperate steel plate under the rear tang of A-Bolts!)
Settled on 75gns of ADI 2225 (which is the same as Retumbo) with the 162gn A-Max seated to just touch, 3000fps even, for a medium range load(300 to 600 yards). Winchester brass, 215 primers.
Shooting .4's and .5's at 100 yards and finished off with a 3" group at 600 yards to confirm the drop chart. BC works out at .650 which is what I usually get out to 600 yards with this bullet. Drops to .635 or thereabouts out to 1000 yards.
This bullet is a great, quick deer killer at these ranges as JDJ says, just don't expect it to penetrate something big up close. Use the 160 AB for that, or something similar.
Also, this load doesn't fit in the magazine, so you just single load them in the top when you want to take a long shot. Most of the factory short mags have magazines too short for their throats unfortunately.
The owner had 4 packets of 140AB's and N165 powder, so I worked up to 71 gns seated to fit in the mag for 3175 fps. Grouped around .75" and will be ok on deer up close and out to 300 yards or so, although I would prefer the 160 AB for this.
Recoil wise, I agree this is a fairly sharp little beast. Other than the weight, I think the stock material has a bit to do with it. Still, other than while doing the bench work, you won't notice it in the field with game in your sights! Use a sissy bag or a rubber soled sandel, jandel, thong, flip flop or whatever you call them between the butt and your shoulder to spread the recoil and it'll make it much more pleasant off the bench. Spreads the load and gives you more eye relief which makes a big difference. Shooting it off a harris bipod with your front hand gripping the front of the bipod base and forend tip( I often find this the most accurate way to shoot the light plastic stocked rifles), its pleasant enough and shoots real good in the field. I wouldn't brake a spook and shoot/ medium range general purpose rifle like this, due to the noise factor on a quick shot when you don't have time to use hearing protection of some sort. This relatively short barrel braked would be very loud!
Hope this helps,