So, as an update on progress, I loaded up 20 rounds to finish breaking in the barrel on my 7mmRM. This was my load:
168 Gr. Berger hunting VLD
58.5 gr. RE-22 (min. load)
OAL at SAAMI listed in Berger reloading manual
Book list velocity at 2701 fps
I saved the last three shells and shot for a group at 100 yards and this is what I got. What do you guys think? I wasn't really testing a load, just trying to finish working on the barrel, but this load is awfully darn tough to walk away from. Weirdest part is that I didn't do anything to ensure consistency between rounds other than accurately measure powder and using fireformed cases.
My issue is that I would really like to get a higher velocity, but it is really difficult to walk away from results like that. What would you guys do?
Go ahead and check out the upper limits, I've gotten loads that gave similar results at the upper end. You can always go back to this load if you don't care for what you see.
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.