Now my only question is how many grains of Hodgdon Retumbo and what would be the best bullet seating depth? I've heard anywhere from .015 to .030? I've got my dad as a teacher but he hasn't done this for awhile. This is the load.
Weatherby 7mm Rem Mag
CCI LRM Primers
73 gr Hodgdon Retumbo, not sure how much with the Nosler Brass?
Berger 168 VLD .284
I think I will need to test a few differnet loads to see what the gun shoots best but does around 73 sound accurate?
One guys load dont mean a thing in another guys rifle. No 2 rifles are alike, and may not even like the same combo. Sure 73g sounds accurate, so does 71, or 72, or 71.7g. Same with seating depth. VLD"s like to be seated to touch or be in the lands .005"-.010", not .015-.030" off.
I suggest starting at 69-70g of Retumbo and working your way up, looking for pressure signs and accuracy. You may very well find that your rifle likes different amount of powder, and different seating depth. Only way to tell is to get out and shoot a few loads.
I went out and shot today. I tried a few different loads from 68 to 72 grains. At 100 yards 71 was the best group. I am going to check 71, 72 and 73 at 200 and 300 yards. I am seating the bullet pretty close to the lands the over all length is 3" does that sound way off?
I'm shooting the 7mm 168 gr Berger VLDs in my Tikka T3 7mm Rem Mag using 74.9 gr Retumbo, Federal GM210M primers, with the bullets seated 0.006" into the lands. My overall cartridge length from case head to tip of the bullet measures approximately 3.452".
Muzzle velocity is 3080 fps. My barrel is 24 3/8" long. My gun shoots this load to about 0.3 to 0.4 moa at 300 to 600 yds. The last two shots I fired at 600 yds were 2.2" apart horizontally and about 1/2" apart vertically, so a slight wind may have contributed to the horizontal spread. Hope this information is helpful.
Don't start at 75 grains powder charge. I started at 73.0 grains and worked up to 76 grains. Then I settled in on 74.9 grains of Retumbo as an optimum load in my rifle.
My son shot a bull caribou with this bullet and load at 75 yards through the lungs behind the shoulders this past Monday. Perfect placement to minimize meat damage. I don't consider it to be a good close range bullet. I only use it for long range shots. It killed the caribou cleanly but the bullet is explosive at high velocities and the bloodshot meat caused by these bullets is excessive at close range high velocity hits in my opinion. The caribou surprised him at close range and he chose not to switch out the load to the 160 grain Barnes TSX or Nosler Accubonds. I think the bullet is a great long range bullet though, and it sounds like that's what you're looking for.
Thanks again for all the great info. it has helped. I think I have found the best load in the 68 to 73 grain range for this rifle which is 71. I am still not getting very good groups. At 100 yards they can very from 2 1/2 inches in any direction except down. It also seemed like the more I shot the worse the groups got. There was a slight breeze today but, I'm not very impressed so far. I have PACT scale that is dead on so I know I am loading everything correctly. The over all bullet length is 3" 4cm. Does it matter how hard the primers are being seated? Any other suggestions on how to improve the groups? I know the burgers arn't a very accurate bullet at close range but even at three hundred yards the groups ranged from 6 to 8 inches and this rifle is really heavy and steady.