Hello again. I am planning a sheep hunt (big horn) in Alberta this August. I am thinking to use my Ruger compact in 7mm-08. My current deer load for this short barrel gun (16.5") is 139 gr. Hornady SP Interlocks behind 45.0 gr. of IMR4350. My muzzle velocity is only 2422 fps. Meanwhile, my daughter's 7-08 shoots nearly the same load at a muzzle velocity of 2702 fps from a standard 22" barrel. Obviously the short barrel kicks the crap out of my velocity. I suppose I could borrow the kid's gun, but I'd really like to pack that little Ruger on the sheep hunt. Is this enough medecine for a ram? I expect I might get a shot out to 250 yds. Can I improve muzzle velocity with a faster powder significantly enough to warrant working up new loads or should I just bite the bullet and beg and borrow.
Time for load development. I just acquired a Remington 700 7mm-08 AI with a 20" barrel, and the previous owner claimed 2975 fps with exceptional accuracy. I haven't worked up my own loads for it, yet. Even subtracting the Ackley advantage, it still implies you should be able to find a powder that works.
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I've had two 7/08 with custom 20" barrels. My max velocity has been around 2900 fps with 140 weight bullets. I think the fellow is OVER pressure with the AI. The AI doesn't add much to a 7/08. It just allows more pressure to be run because of the straight case wall. I would follow the suggestion of trying the 120 TSX bullet and fire walling it if you want to keep the short barrel. Also, try Vit N550 powder. This powder has been my best for hotter loads. WW760 works great, but not as fast. Also, add barrel length and go to a LIGHT fiberglas stock and you can be just as light (or lighter) and have your velocity too. Ruger actions and stocks are not the lightest out there! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
Being a short barrel junky (XP's, Strikers, and T/C's)...I can tell you that even the slower powders will still work well. My 16" 7mm-08 Savage Striker loves H414 and 154gr Hornady SST's. Varget also works very well. I get reliable expansion on deer to nearly 300yards...longest range I have taken a deer w/ that particular combo. MV is near 2500fps.
I don't like faster powders that hit a high pressure spike right off the bat. I prefer a slower push of the bullet down the bore.
All input very well taken, I was actually thinking along the line of varminhunter's suggestion. Go with a lighter Barnes bullet like the Triple Shock. One question about the triple shock though...What happens if my bullet OAL lands the top of the neck right smack in the middle of one of those grooves? Does that make a difference or not?