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Reloading Berger Bullets


What first? Powder or seating depth?

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Unread 10-03-2011, 10:05 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
What first? Powder or seating depth?

Finally have most pieces together to start reloading for my7MM Rem Mag.
Its a model 700 SPS with detachable magazine.

I'm loading 168 Berger hunting VLD's with RL-22 powder and Federal 215 primers. It's going into once fired Federal brass.

Here is the load data Berger sent me.

Load data was generated using Quick Load a 26 inch barrel a COAL (cartridge over all length) of 3.290 inches and your COAL and velocity could be a little different.
Bullet----Powder-----Start Load--Approximate Start Velocity---MAX LOAD--Approximate Max Velocity -----Fill Ratio
168 Grain--RE-22---------58.5---------2701-----------------------------65.0----------2984----------------------------------96.2%

Here is were I am thinking of starting...

As long as the recomended 3.290 COAL fits into my magazine. I will use that as a COAL to start building up a load for my rifle.

Then if I want more acuracy out of it after that. I will start adjusting seating depth.

Am I going about this the correct way??
Any other recomendations?
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Unread 10-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Posts: 46
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

After finding a load for my rifel with a couple different bullets I have learned a few things that if I knew before hand I could have saved a bit of money in components.

1.) First I would find out where the lands are in my rifle. What I do is take a case, cut a slit in the neck and insert a bullet, chamber the round and then slowly unchamber it and measure the coal at least 10 times to get an average. I keep this particular bullet and mark on it the coal that gave me the distance to the lands. This particular bullet does not get loaded to be fired. I use it and the case with the slit to set up my bullet seating die when I am ready to load.

2.) Next I would load 3 rounds starting at 58.0 at the coal that I determined was touching the lands and go up in 1.0gn increments untill I saw pressure signs and stop.

3.) After firing the groups from step 3, I would get the most accurate of the 3 (lets say that was at 61.0gn) and load 3 shot strings using the same bullet and case used to find the coal in the rifle (the case with the slit in the neck) to set up the bullet seating die at .010, .020, .030, .040, .050, .060.... etc untill you find the most accurate of that.

4.) So by now I would know apx the best powder charge weight (somewhere around 61.0gn) and the best distance off the lands (lets say .030).

5.) Now I would start 1gn less and load in .3gn increments to 1gn above 61.0 at .030 off the lands to find the best powder charge to finish off load development.

6.) Once the load is found, load up a few five shot strings and go and shoot to confirm results.

Now if you have a coal guage then you can find out where your lands are without making a dummy cartridge.

This is what I would do, I in now way say it is the best, just my advice.

Edited to add:
By starting load development with the bullets touching the lands, that is where you will find pressure spikes first. If you get pressure signs at lets say 65.0gn and you back off the distance to the lands, the pressure should go down. Where as if you start with the bullet loaded off the lands and load up to 66.0gn that seemed ok pressure wise then decide to try that load with the bullet touching or jamed into the lands you my have excess pressure. Make sense?

Last edited by 80Maro; 10-03-2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 08:22 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 159
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

Check out this thread, good info.

Loads for 7 Rem Mag-7 WSM-7-08 - Sniper's Hide Forums
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Unread 10-04-2011, 09:31 AM
Edd Edd is online now
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 2,320
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

Originally Posted by Chris89lx View Post
Any other recommendations?
Use H1000 instead of RL-22.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 10:00 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

My method is similar to the other posts.

In a nutshell...

Start with good bullets (Berger) and brass (Norma for 7RM). Use good brass prep techniques.

Pick a powder that's known to work for the cartridge. RL22, H4831sc work for me. Others are good, but I had no need to try them in my 7RM Sendero.

Choose a seating depth that makes sense based on success that others have had. I usually start .010" off the lands.

Run a ladder test to find one or two nodes or sweet spots. A chrony is very helpful as part of the ladder test process.

If nothing looks promising, then check your rifle and perhaps start over with a different bullet or powder.

Fire some five shot groups for the chosen nodes to make sure it wasn't an accident.

Choose the best node and hold the powder constant while shooting groups with various seating depths.

Shoot your best load long range with at least 4x 5 shot groups.

Fine tune with smaller increments of powder and/or seating depths, primers, etc, if you think you need to. Don't forget that your throat will errode. So, periodically, you may need to adjust your seating depth.

-- richard
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Unread 10-04-2011, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sweet, Idaho
Posts: 1,135
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

Chris, I had never used berger bullets before this year. So what I did and it worked well for me is to figure out what the COL was so that the cartridge would fit in the magazine as that was important to me for the kind of hunting and shooting that I do. After that, I just started experimenting with different powders and grain weights. It didn't take too long for me to find out what it liked. I never once messed around with the seating depths--i just made sure that the bullet was off the lands and basically used SAMII specs.
I shoot a 300 win mag and am shooting 1/2 to 1/4 inch at 100 with a 190 grain berger. Like I said, I have not used the berger before and my season starts on the 10th of Oct, so i hope to see what they do.

"Every man has a purpose---------mine is to be behind a rifle.........."

"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than be in any city on earth." ---Steve McQueen
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Unread 10-10-2011, 04:00 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
Re: What first? Powder or seating depth?

Finally had a chance to experiment with an OAL that fits in my magazine.

Made up a dummy round and found that a 3.400" OAL fits in my magazine nicely with a little clearance and cycles through the gun just fine. (3.290" is book spec)

After that I wanted to know how far off the rifling the bullit was sitting.

I dropped a bullit into the chamber but when I tipped the barrol up the bullit would fall out. I dropped it in again and with a very light tap of the barrol on the carpeted floor. The bullit was stuck and would not fall out when I tipped the barrol up.
Then I used the rod from my cleaning kit and ran it up the barrol ever so slowly until I felt it touch the tip of the bullit. I then put a score mark with a utility knife blade on the rod. After that a slight tap with the rod and the bullit came out.
I then chambered in my dummy round. I took my cleaning rod again and slid it into the barrol untill it touched the tip of the dummy round. I once again scored a mark on the rod at the end of the barrol with a utility knife blade.

I know this method is not the most acurate for measuring this but I think it worked pretty good.
The measurement between the two score marks was approx .060"

I'm not sure if I will even play with the seating depth. But a least I know approximitly were it is.
Time to start loading and testing.

Thanks for the great info everyone.
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