7mm WSM

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by kbillet, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. kbillet

    kbillet Member

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    Help wanted: 7MM WSM
    I am a newbie to LRH and reloading. I received my custom 7MM WSM in September. It has a Krieger #5 barrel finished to 22” on a 700 frame. Initially, I was shooting Winchester Extreme 160 gn. XP-3 ammo. The XP-3 ammo was off the lands about .200. Although the box indicated a muzzle velocity of 3050 I was getting 3100 but not the accuracy I was looking for. I have finally accumulated reloading equipment and have tested several loads. I’m starting with 162 gn Hornaday A-Max bullets, New Winchester brass neck turned and trimmed, Primer pockets cleaned and deburred based on information from this site and others. Using WLR primers and setting the OAL (2.985) for .003 off the lands. I thought I would start with this length and after arriving at the best powder configuration start working to shorten the OAL and see the effect. The outside neck diameter is .311 before loading and is .3125 with the bullet seated. After firing the neck diameter is .3175. These load components were based on R. Horst’s hunting load recommendations from the 6mmbr web site. With the 162 gn A-Max and 64.0 gn. Of H4831sc and WLR primers and a 1 in 9 barrel he was getting a muzzle velocity of 2950. I have no idea what his barrel length was. With 62 gn. I am getting a MV of 2650, 62.5 MV 2700, 63.0 MV 2740, 63.5 MV 2795 and 64 MV is similar to 63.5. I’m at a loss for why my rifle had higher velocities with the factory ammo and less than expected from the reloads. I had intended to find the combination for a MV of 2950. Where do I go from here?
     
  2. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    4831 tends to be the accuracy leader in some WSMs but with slower than possible velocity. How do your reloads shoot in comparison to the factory loads...group sizes at what distance?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010

  3. kbillet

    kbillet Member

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    Group sizes were slightly better and I was shooting under less than ideal conditions. My primary interest was MV and anything that stood out. After reading different post on load development, I am wondering if part of the problem is with 64 gn. of 4831 and the OAL set at 2.985", the case has to much air space.
    Should I will try 64 gn. with an OAL of 2.850? Is the 4831 to slow for the 22" barrel? Also I was shooting at 100 yds and have since read that the long boattails don't stabilize untill about 300 yds. so I should be doing load development at that range? I have ordered QuickLoad software to help. This site has an enormous amount of information and will take time to search the different forum post for valuable information. Thanks to anyone that is willing to mentor/help a newbie.
     
  4. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Factory ammo generally has specially formulated "secret" powder recipes that are not available to the rest of us (patent pending, ... intellectual property etc). This gives them the additional velocity etc. Duplicating these results can take a lot of trial and error and many different powder/primer/brass combos etc, but the end result should fit "your" rifle better than any factory ammo. This is why we choose to "handload", and not reload (yes there is a difference).

    I am a huge fan of H1000 in 7mm WSM w/ Fed magnum 215 match primers in this caliber. Dont get too hung up on MV. Focus on accuracy, repeatability, environment, scope alignment etc instead. Find your load with good ES/SD. Calculate ES/SD for the factory ammo. You might be surprised to find out that it can be pretty bad. Suddenly that "impressive" MV on factory ammo doesn't seem so important because it doesn't fit your rifle
     
  5. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the previous guys above. Sounds like you want a powder that will drive higher velocity. Try H1000 or Retumbo. Or, try Magpro. Just watch out for pressure spikes in hot weather - remember you're doing all your testing in winter temps. Don't toss out your H4831sc, you may end up going back to it in the end...

    Don't worry about 300 yards during development, the Amax is not that severely shaped like a berger VLD.

    I will tell you the berger 168 VLD in 7wsm kills like lightening, truly impressive results, even at longer ranges. My 542 yard antelope proved it for me last month.

    I've not used the 162 Amax but my hunting partner has the 140 Amax in his 6.5-06imp and it was phenomenal on antelope and deer. Mostly no exit, quick drops and not a bunch of bloodshot meat. The extra energy of the 7wsm will probably change some of that...
     
  6. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    We run RL22 and fed215m primers with the 162 A-max in my buddies 7wsm for a little over 3100fps and sub moa @ 1000yds. You should have no trouble reaching 3000fps+ with the H4831sc or other slow burners like H1000. Keep increasing the powder charge until you find the max in your rifle. WSM brass is pretty durable, most of my working loads in the 270, 7mm, and 300wsm flatten the primer somewhat and exhibit a little cratering around the primer strike.
     
  7. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    There is a LOT of good info on the page below, helped me with my 7mm WSM. I ended up with 180 gr bullets and RL25.
    Dave


    7mm Cartridge Guide
     
  8. kbillet

    kbillet Member

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    Thanks Guys, for the input. I think I will repeat the same test but seat the bullet for an OAL of 2.850. I am still wondering what the case fill capacity was with the bullet OAL of 2.985 and and if that caused the lower than expected velocities. I have ordered QuickLoad and assume it will tell me what percentage of fill I will have with different amounts of powder and seating depths. I had the Pro Chrono set out about 15' and I missed about half of the readings. Sun was low an I was shooting into it. I'll change the battery and move it closer for a possible better alignment. Probably be this weekend till I can test. Will let you know how I make out. Again, Thanks
     
  9. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    Big mo, he's only got a 22" barrel, he's never going to get to those velocities.

    hornady max is 3000 with a 24" test barrel, and nosler shows only one powder max over 3000 with a 24" barrel, that's magpro.

    Most guys are running the 7wsm with 26" barrels, so its easy to meat and even beat the book data.

    Don't worry kbillet, it will still perform great at 2900 ish...

    Seating the bullets a bit long isn't going to retard velocity that much.
     
  10. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya Loaders loft, I have all the manuals, I probably shouldn't encourage anyone without experience to push it beyond book max.
     
  11. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    With the chronograph, you don't want it too close, the muzzle blast will cause errors.
     
  12. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem that I had with my load development with my 7 SAUM was paying too much attention to my Chrony. They simply aren't accurate enough to hang much weight on the numbers they spit out. The readings will vary from one day to another just due to weather conditions. Once I quit bringing it out I was able to concentrate on shooting and group size. IMO leave the Chrony at home and find the load your rifle likes and don't worry about the velocity. With the WSM and 162 Amax or 186 Berger will be plenty fast to kill out to 1k. Also don't be set on using one powder or bullet, if it doesn't group well try another one. I started with 168/180 Bergers with 4831sc and found my rifle loves 162 Amax with H1000. Good luck.
     
  13. kbillet

    kbillet Member

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    Didn't get to the range this weekend. Partly because after I pulled the bullets on the ammo I thought I wanted to test and dumped the powder, the neck size was to large (after pulling). It seams that every time I take a step forward I find there is a new piece of equipment or more information I need. So it is a slow process, but I am enjoying the learning. So currently I am waiting on the Lee Collet die setup. which I think I can neck size with a primer in. On a positive note I received the QuickLoad software today and it is pretty neat. I could play with all the variables, OAL, powder type, powder amount, case fill percentages, propellant burnt, max pressures and MV's. And doing this based on barrel length. Based on my playing with different powders, the H4831Sc and Accurate MagPro show the most promise for case fill and MV while retaining acceptable pressures. One question I would have though is powder stability over different temperatures. In reading different forum post, it would appear some are very radical with temperature change. When I get to test I will update this string. I can't get over the vast amount of information that is on this site. It's great and reflects the wonders of the computer age. Thanks again for all your input
     
  14. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    H4831sc at 64 with 160gr/168gr excellent with WW brass and WLRM primers very accurate load.

    RL 25 with 175 nosler part also makes a dandy heavy game load in the 7mm WSM

    With 160gr I like 64.0 of H4831SC

    With 168gr I like RL 22 at 62.2 with Bergers
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011