New loader needs setup/component help (25-06 & 7mm Rem)

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by freak007, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. freak007

    freak007 Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    A little story, then the questions ;)

    I am a left handed shooter, several years ago I decided I wanted a new rifle in 6.5x55 Swede. I could not afford a Tikka (the only manufacturer who made a LH Swede), and I had always been pleased with Savages in the past, so I set out to build a Savage. I ordered a SS 22" McGowen #5 barrel with 8" twist and then began searching for a long action Savage I could part out. What I found was a NIB Pre-accutrigger 112 FVLSS in 25-06 (1:10 twist), I snapped it up for $390. Since the barrel was not due to arrive until after hunting season, I decided I would try out the new quarter-bore before parting it out... I tested every off the shelf ammunition I could find, and discovered that my new rifle was quite a shooter, and decided not to part it out :D. I was able to get consistent .5 to .75 MOA groups out of the Winchester 110 Accubond and Hornady 117 loads (both SST and Interlock). I eventually decided to use the Accubond due to more consistent MV (I had a SD of 11 with 12 rounds tested), as well as higher BC and lower cost. I bought 10 boxes of the lot number I was testing.

    Fast forward 4 years, 15 whitetails and multiple target sessions - I am down to less than 2 boxes, and Winchester has discontinued the Accubond loading.

    I knew when I decided to build a 6.5 Swede that I would have to start loading to realize the full potential of this cartridge. Winchester discontinuing the Accubond loading, combined with RCBS's $50 rebate has pushed me to order a RCBS Rock Chucker Deluxe Kit (which I have not yet recieved).

    In the mean time, in continuing my quest for a donor action for my 6.5 barrel, I found another pre-accutrigger 112 FVLSS, this one chambered in 7mm Rem and also with a 26" barrel. Since I am planing a CO Elk hunt fall 2013 with a friend of mine, and this rifle is a twin to my 25-06 I decided I had to have it ($420), and I will not be parting it out unless I cannot get it to shoot OR I can find/afford a more suitable Elk rifle... The 6.5 quest continues, and now Savage is chambering 6.5x284... go figure

    Now for the questions:

    I would like to complete my reloading setup focusing on the 7mm and 25-06 for now, eventually I will be adding (in order?) 5.56mm, 6.5x55, .308, .243, 30-06, .270, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, and .9mm Luger.

    I am a automotive technician by trade, so I have several sets of calipers and micrometers. I know for the rifles I will need a case trimmer, obviously I will need dies and shell holders - But what else will I need to purchase? What should I look for in dies?

    Bullets - I have been satisfied with the performance of the Accubond in the 25-06. Fifteen shots have netted me fifteen dead deer from ranges of 10 to 417 yards. Every deer hit with this round has dropped in its tracks (even high lung shots), and always minimal meat damage (even when punching through a shoulder). If there was one thing I do not care for it would be the lack of external blood - If I was to ever need to track an animal hit with this round I would never find it because there is very little to no blood outside the chest cavity. Off the top of my head, other factory loads I have tested in this rifle are: 115 NBT, 100 TSX, 117 SGK, 115 Partition, 100 Core-lokt, 117 SST, and 117 Interlock. The only ones that I was satisfied with were the Hornadys and Accubond... I am concidering loading the Accubond, as well as Berger VLD and the Speer Deep Curl has caught my attention as well... I have not specified - But this has been my go to for Midwestern whitetails since I got it.

    I have not even shot the 7mm yet, so I am not sure where to start with it. But I suspect the 9.25 twist will stabilize whatever I decide to shoot. I would like to work up a single load for white-tails (if meat damage can be minimized) as well my pending Elk hunt... I am leaning toward the 168 VLD and 162 A-Max, but I am not sure how well these will perform on whitetails. If I cannot get a single bullet for both, then suggestions for each would be appriciated...

    Powder - If possible, I would like to try to find 1 powder that I can use for both rifles. I was thinking I would pick up a pound each of H4350, H4831SC, Retumbo and H1000 and seeing what I can come up with... I don't have my notes in front of me but the Accubonds are flying around 3100fps out of my 25-06, and based off of the load charts I have seen, any of these powders should get me there... Max velocity is not the goal, but I know the accubond is shooting well at 3100fps, so I figure that somewhere near there I will find my best accuracy...

    Primers - Clueless here... No idea where to start, but obviously I want something consistant and dependable.... Again, I would like to minimize compontents and use something that will work well for both rifles...

    Brass - I have a bunch of Winchester brass for the 25-06 (Any tricks to loading the nickle plated cases?), but nothing yet for the 7mm... Again, I am open to suggestions...

    Any advise will be very much appreciated.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    The powders you have chosen will all work well. For a one powder for both H-4831 or Retumbo would be my pick. I have used the 25-06 for 20 years for WT deer and it is one awesome killing machine. 99% of the time BANG FLOP. I use the 117 Sierra Pro Hunter and IMR 4350 but my rifle is picky and likes 4350 better than H-4831 and I can get the same velocity out of both. I have heard good things from others about Retumbo and the 110 AB in the 25-06 but never tried it. I do shoot the 130 Accubond in my 264 Win mag with Retumbo and it is a very good bullet. Best of both worlds, flies like the ballistic tip and starts to open up like one but holds together like the partition and keeps on tricking. Retumbo is THE POWDER for the 264 Win mag in my book. For the 7 mag I would give the 160 Accubond or Partition a long look as an elk bullet. Retumbo is where I would start with the powder for the 7 mag. When I used to shoot a 7 Rem mag it was before all these new powders came out and newer bullets. I was deer hunting with it and used AA-3100 or H-4831 and the 154 Hornady interlock was the best bullet I found. In my experience the 25-06 was a much better in their tracks deer killer than the 7 mag was. With a perfect shot on a deer with the 7 mag they seemed to want to run off a ways before they decided that they were dead. With the 25-06 you did not have to even look to see if they ran off, they were laying were I shot them. Funny how that happens. :D
  3. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    Can't help you with the 25-06, but my go to combo for the 7mm Mag is as follows:

    Norma Brass
    Nosler 160gr Accubond and/.or 162gr AMAX
    Powder RL-22
    Primers Remington 9 1/2 (not magnum)

    Load either of those bullets to 3000-3050 fps and you should have a great starting point.

    I've been shooting/reloading the 7RM for 30 years. The above combo has worked perfectly in the last 3 rifles I've tried it in. The Accubond and the Amax shoot to the same POI with the same powder amount (only difference is seating depth).

    Hope this helps,
  4. freak007

    freak007 Member

    Jul 24, 2011

    Interesting you would say that... I personally have shot many deer, with several calibers and differant bullets, as well as witnessed many more...

    5.56mm (<200yd) - 1 DRT 2 runners
    6mm Rem (170Yd) - 1 DRT
    25-06 - (10 - 417Yd) 15 DRT
    7mm-08 (30 - 160Yd) - 4 DRT 3 runners
    308 (20 - 270Yd) - 4 DRT 2 runners
    270 WIN (50 - 330 Yd) - 9 runners
    30-06 - (10 - 250 Yd) 9 DRT 2 runners
    300 WM (170Yd) 1 DRT
    7mm REM (50 & 120 Yd) - 2 runners

    I started at 12 with the 30-06, loved the performance, hated the meat damage... In my quest for the "perfect" deer rifle I think I may have found it in the 25-06. Light recoil, kills deer lightning fast, and minimal meat damage. My absolute least favorite is the 270, both my brother and I shot one for 2 seasons... 2 seasons, 2 rifles, 4 different ammos 9 dead deer and they all ran 100yds or more, kills like a .223, but damages meat like a 300 WM :rolleyes: My brother also tried the 7mm Rem (with factory 140gr Winchester Power Points) for 2 seasons, and mentioned the deer would always take off like they were never hit, but would find enough blood at the scene to track them down... I have always believed that bullet selection is far more important than caliber, and shot placement is by far the most important factor in quick, humane kills... The 25-06/Accubond combo is definatly deer poison. Like I said, the ONLY thing I do not like about this combo is the lack of external blood for tracking, it has never been an issue because every deer I have hit with it drops in its tracks... But there is always that "what if" factor... That is why I am concidering the Berger VLD. The Speer Deep Curl is another bonded bullet that caught my eye because it seems as if it would perform similar to the Accubond with a slightly better BC...

    As for the 7mm Bullet - I have been doing more reading, I guess I did not realize the A-Max was not designed as a hunting bullet... I would concider the 160 Accubond as I have been pleased with it in my 25-06, but I am a little concerned that it may be too tough for whitetails? I like the concept of the Berger, but since I am a meat hunter and I encounter deer at all ranges, I am a little concerned about meat damage from a 7RM at close range...

    I am now thinking try the VLD in the 25-06, and the AB for the 7mm...

    Any more advise?
  5. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    The 25-06 is a stone cold killer. I have more kills with it, Antelope, Mule Deer, Couse Deer, Desert Sheep, Stone Sheep, Exotics, than any other caliber. I have had great success with the 100 Grn Nosler BT and H4831sc. As the throat has opened up I recently switched to the 115 grn Berger (only one kill so far). I was given a ton of nickle brass in another very expensive caliber and honestly it is a PAIN to size and load, use lots of lube and lube the mouths for the expander. I use imperial wax and a light spray of Rooster to get in the mouths and let dry for an hour or so. I takes about three time the force to size and concentricity has been slightly higher with the Nickle but hey if you have it use it, just don't stick a case.
  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    The AB is a bit tough for little whitetails up close, but if you shoot them at the base of the ear, it works pretty well :D. Thats why I mentioned that in my rifle at least, the 162 AMAX shoots to the same POI as the 160AB. The AMAX is a nice thin jacket for thin skinned animals, if you intend to shoot the close ones in the front shoulder/heart-lung area.

    As far as DRT and "magic Calibers", it all depends on bullet construction, velocity, shot placement and how excited the animal is when it's shot. I've shot 2-3 dozen deer with the 7mm and most of them were DRT, the ones that weren't were my fault, not the guns.

  7. 6mm Remington

    6mm Remington Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2011
    My father uses H4831 in his 7mm Remington Magnum with 160 gr. Nosler Partitions with great success. That combination seems to be a winner.

    My wife's 25-06 uses the 120 gr. Partition and IMR4350. It seems to work great. I have not had a chance to play with the 110 gr. Accubond yet, but It should be a winner as well. The 115 Partiton would be another good one to try. By the way the 25-06 with the 120 has taken several deer and antelope and one spike bull elk.

    Good luck. Lots of good choices out there.
  8. theflyonthewall

    theflyonthewall Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    This is just my opinion....but since the OP asked for opinions, here's mine:

    The two things that I saw in your original post that haven't been directly addressed yet were primers and twist rate.

    Primers: Either Large Rifle Magnum Primers for the 7mm or Large Rifle (standard) primers. The 25/06 should work best with standard Large Rifle primers. You could easily just buy plenty of Large Rifle primers and work up loads for both rifles using the same primers.

    As for twist rate:

    The 7mm seems to stabilize the heavier bullets well as long as the twist rate in the rifle is above 1 in 9. Since you have a 1 in 9.25, you have lots of options. I WOULD however stay away from the really heavy bullets in the 190 gr+ range. Most of those seem to shoot best with a 1 in 9 twist or faster. I know on Berger's site they suggest the proper twists for their bullets, so you could use that as a general reference.

    What I have been reading here is that a lot of guys are seeing good groups with the 180's as the heaviest bullet that seems to shoot well in their rifles. But I read somewhere (?) that one MAY run into problems at impact if the bullet is barely stabilized. Meaning that if the bullet is on the ragged edge of what the twist rate will stabilize, the bullet may in fact "tip" at impact. One is not likely to notice this punching through paper, but if that bullet tips when it hits a rib or shoulder blade, penetration is instantly handicapped severely.

    So for me.......I won't be shooting anything heavier than the Berger 168 VLD's in my 7mm RM to give myself some room for error. That way whether the heavier bullets have the ability to tip at impact or not from my barrel, I won't have to worry about it.
  9. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    H-4350 or 4831, 160 grain AB or Partition, proven elk and deer load. Near max powder charge. I have 10 sets of RCBS dies, I would also consider a neck sizing die , very easy on the cases. They last longer and easy to work. I don't know what kit has in it but you will need case lube. Imperial sizing wax reloading manuals, light gun oil, (singer), a plastic spoon, and a multitude of small things that may or may not come with the kit. Loading is fun and relaxing and not terribly complicated. Once you learn the basics.
  10. 405win

    405win Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    I have no experience with the 7mag, but have some with the 25-06.
    I donated all my nickle brass to the garbage can, but thats just me. I could not get Acubonds to shoot well enough out of my Cooper, but Berger VLD's shot like crazy, but just as important as accuracy is game performance and Bergers have done a great job for me so far.
    I use std CCI200 primers and RL22 powder which some here balk at. As long as the temps that I'm hunting are reasonable (+20' or warmer) RL22 has done me good with 3130fps and .25 to .50 moa accuracy.
    I have used the 25-06 to take 2 elk at 60 and 468 yards and only one shot each was needed for both. The 25-06 is not an elk gun, but it'll do in a pinch.
    Thats about all I know, hope it helps.