Feedback for 7mm-08 Load Development

SWAT Medic

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Jun 10, 2012
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I recently put together a great looking rifle...it is a Tikka T3 action in a Eliseo Tube Gun chassis, with a Proof Research bull barrel. I was super excited to get it to the range, but was very disappointing when it was a little inconsistent. I went through the barrel break in procedures from the manufacturer (Proof), and I am meticulous with cleaning my guns. A second trip to the range was not much better...long story short, I figured I needed to make my own match grade ammo for it (since there are no manufacturers producing match grade in 7mm-08).

I figured you get what you pay for, so here is what I developed so far:

Never fired Norma Brass
150gr Scenar-L Lapuas
Hodgdon H4350 in the following increments:

Started at 42.2gr and ended up at 44.9gr (increments of .3)

My question is, am I barking up the right tree? There was no data in Hodgdon for the 7mm-08 Lapua Scenar-L, so I had to guestimate a little. I am very new to reloading, so a friend helped me with the load. Question number the 2 should I be using H1000, or Varget instead???

I won't get out to shoot until this weekend.
 

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den

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Nov 25, 2007
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I have two sav 7-08 rifles one is a factory 22in barrel , other is a 26 in criterion and h 4350 has been my favorite powder 139-168 gr bullets both like cci primers for highest vel, also used a little rl 17 I never tried varget as I have never found it available , also sometimes the second firing on your brass can have pressure you didn't have when it was new I found this out breaking in a 7 wsm second firring showed pressure a couple grains under where I had no signs on the new brass probably wont happen at your charges but dosent hurt to watch for this
 

SWAT Medic

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I have two sav 7-08 rifles one is a factory 22in barrel , other is a 26 in criterion and h 4350 has been my favorite powder 139-168 gr bullets both like cci primers for highest vel, also used a little rl 17 I never tried varget as I have never found it available , also sometimes the second firing on your brass can have pressure you didn't have when it was new I found this out breaking in a 7 wsm second firring showed pressure a couple grains under where I had no signs on the new brass probably wont happen at your charges but dosent hurt to watch for this

AHA! Yes, this is the kind of information that makes my head spin about reloading. It's a little intimidating at first, but I am in too deep now!!!
 

den

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Lee modern reloading 2nd edition manual lists 7-08 Rem 150 gr bullet, Hodgdon 4350 powder start load @45 gr and 48.5 gr as max min oal 2.800 @ 59006 psi
 

SWAT Medic

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Lee modern reloading 2nd edition manual lists 7-08 Rem 150 gr bullet, Hodgdon 4350 powder start load @45 gr and 48.5 gr as max min oal 2.800 @ 59006 psi

I saw that...but I noticed that as I got closer to 45gr, the bullet was edging out little by little. So maybe the Scenar-L bullets won't allow anything close to 48gr.
 

den

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the scenars are probably on the long side compared to most 7mm 150s could be some of why they didnt list the data probably why varget is so popular I think it is just a little faster
 

frankinaustin

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Oct 2, 2013
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Varget is God's second proof that he loves us. Varget is magic in 7mm-08. I even get acceptable hunting groups with 160 gr speer hotcor over Varget.
 

pods8

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Aug 25, 2014
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I run Varget in my Tikka 7-08 (with 139gr hornady btsp for plinking and 145gr barnes LRX hunting). I did a little work with IMR4350 but varget worked better, took less powder, and is more temp stable.

H4350 was one I would have tried if I could have found it though.

What mag length do you have in that new setup, you could potentially seat those 150s out farther if you have room to do so to fit in more powder (if needed).
 

jsthntn247

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You started low on your powder charge. Work up to 47 with the 150's and if you don't hit on something that looks good, you have something wrong. Mine shoots the 162's at 45.4 of H4350.
 

rsnell

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Oct 24, 2014
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I have started to do some load development using and Remington 700. The rifle is stock but the action and barrel channel has been glass bedded and the barrel free floated. All loads are using new Remington brass that has been full length resized and Winchester WLS primers and Sierra Matchking 168 grain bullets seated 0.020 inches off the lands. The powder is Reloader 15. Preliminary results produced 3 shot groups with 38.0 grains giving a group of 0.18 inches and 38.5 grains producing a group of 0.43 inches. These are only preliminary results. Varget should also be a good choice.

Bob
 

SWAT Medic

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Thanks! I was wondering if you might have any other favorites for precision hand loads? I am not seeing a huge availability of Hodgdon/IMR powders out there.
 

rsnell

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I have also had good luck with Winchester 748 but it is temperature sensitive. You should also try magnum primers since ball powders are a little harder to ignite.

Bob
 

SWAT Medic

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You started low on your powder charge. Work up to 47 with the 150's and if you don't hit on something that looks good, you have something wrong. Mine shoots the 162's at 45.4 of H4350.

I remember now why we started so low. Granted, this is all very new to me so forgive me if I don't explain this quite right, but I was told that the Norma brass has thicker walls, and so pressures would be higher. Does that sound right???
 
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