Handloading for CA Ridgeline


Jun 30, 2017
Hey, I'm new here but was hoping others might have experience with the CA ridgeline rifles and handloading for them. I've only been handloading for a year or so, but load for a few different rifles and realize they are all different. However, this Ridgeline has me a bit baffled.

I have one in 7mm RM and this rifle craters primers quite emphatically, both on factory ammo and in my handloads. Every round I've put through it (125 or so) shows this. I took that as being just the way this gun is. Primers otherwise look fine. No issues with extraction/ejection.

What is really bothering me is markings on the casehead from the ejector(s). I get them even at starting book loads in some cases, although they are very slight and require magnification to see - but they are there. I've also noticed light markings on some factory ammo, but not all the brands I've tried and they are likewise very slight.

If I work up a grain or two from minimum (using Berger load data), they become more apparent and I will start to see a mark from the second ejector (this bolt has dual ejectors). I still usually need magnification to see them, but in the right light you can begin to make them out without it, albeit barely. I have been shooting over a magnetospeed for all these loads and it shows velocities are below book approximations.

I've been trying Berger 168VLDs and 175 Elite Hunters, Fed215M (tried CCI250s too), Nosler brass (got marks on virgin and fireformed), and working with Re26 and Re33. Max velocities I've seen is around 2900fps with both bullets before stopping because of these marks.

Running both bullets .02 off lands from ogive.

Sorry for the length here, but anyone run into this in their Ridgeline? I'm not greedy for speed, but it seems I'm hitting pressure nearly right away in load work up.