Sheep & 7mm-08

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by elkfirst, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. elkfirst

    elkfirst Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. guns_and_labs

    guns_and_labs Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    If you really like that short barrel then I'd consider working up a new max load with the 120gr Barnes TSX bullet. It should shoot very flat and would provide good penetration.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Each inch of barrel weighs about 1-1.5 ounces. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  5. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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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! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  6. Dan B

    Dan B Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. elkfirst

    elkfirst Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  8. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I have loaded Barnes TSX bullets with the case mouth on the bands, centered on the grooves and everywhere in between. I have yet to notice any difference. If given the choice, I prefer to have a band under the case mouth just to prevent the possibility of getting a dent in the case mouth.

    Look for the most accurate seating depth and go with it. Here are a few tips that have worked for me when using Barnes X bullets:

    1. Always strip your bore clean of all previous fouling before starting with Barnes bullets. I'd suggest using regular solvent followed by a good cleaning with JB compound. Wipe Out would also be a good choice for an over night soak.

    2. Follow Barnes's suggestion by starting with bullets .050" off the rifling. Some rifles shoot X bullets .100" off. Very few seem to shoot best with X bullets snuggled right up to the rifling.

    3. In my experience, X bullets seem to perform better with powders which are not the slowest within the recommended powders for a given cartrifde and bullet weight. A slightly faster powder often (not always) produces tighter groups with Barnes bullets.

    These are my personal observations after shooting many different X bullets over many years. Like everything else in the world of handloading, nothing is cast in stone.
     
  9. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    elkfirst, Like stated, be sure to start .050 off the lands, Never go closer then .030, and many find better accuracy at .100 or more. After you find a load, experiment with seating depth, but be aware that with X bullets pressure varies a lot with seating depth. Good luck. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  10. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    From one sheep hunter to another...

    If your longest shot is 250 yards dont mess with it. Sheep are very frail animals that dont need alot of energy to cleanly harvest. Go simple, go light. If shots are under 300 yards you dont need a laser trajectory. Use what rifle you are most comfortable with
     
  11. elkfirst

    elkfirst Well-Known Member

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    Seating the Barnes bullets starting at 50 thou off the lands, is this because of the higher pressures caused by an inherently longer bullet? I seat the Hornady's 15 thou off. But I will certainly take your advise for sure, a fellow hunter confirmed what you guys mention as also stated in the Barnes manual, I'd just like to know why?
     
  12. elkfirst

    elkfirst Well-Known Member

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    I've made up my mind. Here it is: picked up some Barnes 120 gr. TSX and am going to work up a load for the kid's 7-08 with the longer barrel. I'll mount a spare Burris 3-9 Fullfield II that I've got kicking around. But by the time season comes around, I've got my eyes on a 270 WSM in a Savage Hunter. However, we've elected a new conservative federal government here in Canada. The latest in the news is that they're gonna make good on their promise to skid the "gun control act - money pit" the liberals created. So if I wait just a bit longer, I won't have to register it. Piss off a Liberal, buy a gun eh!
     
  13. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    elkfirst, The initial start up pressure is higher with Barnes since they are harder than a conventional bullet. If you seat .015 off the lands as per your Hornady bullets, you'll see a tremendous pressure spike. Seating further off the lands (at least .030), gives you the same effect as a long throat on a Weatherby. The Barnes bullet is pure copper and harder than gilding metal on a more conventional bullet. Good luck on your sheep hunt. I think that you made a good decision on the bullet, rifle & scope combo. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  14. BLASERMAN

    BLASERMAN Well-Known Member

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    You all need to read the piece in January-Febuary issue od Safari. The magazine from SCI, a little girl shot a Marco polo sheep with a 7mm-08 Model 7 Remington at 435 yrds.
    If this is true Than not doughts on the 7mm-08 .
    The story starts on page 66 .Check it out.