New reloader, first load: questions

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Brydawg512, Mar 21, 2019.


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  1. Brydawg512

    Brydawg512 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm preparing for all of my reloading equipment to arrive so I can start reloading for my 7mm rem mag. I use this rifle for elk, deer, bear and cougar so would like some recommendations.

    I am still learning of course, but my understanding is only certain gunpowders can be used in conjunction with a 7mm rem mag (or is it the bullet that determines gunpowder type?)? I am starting all from scratch so need to order primers, gunpowder, bullets and brass.

    Is any primer suitable, or does the gunpowder type determine primer type?

    So, if in my position, which gunpowders, bullets, primers and brass should I order to start working up a good load?

    For example, if I have 3 different powders, do I keep the bullet and primer constant across the 3 different loads for initial testing (assuming I start at the lowest end of grainage for each powder)? How would you recommend going about working up a good hunting load capable of taking the intended game.

    Sorry for 3 million questions!

    Thanks!
     
    CO_Guy and Lunger like this.
  2. bpcrshooter

    bpcrshooter Well-Known Member

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    reloader 22, IMR 4831 works well for the 130/140gr bullets. IMR7828, H1000, Retumbo work well for the heavies 175 an up. In MY rifle I use H1000 for the 160 Nosler AB's and it prints .364 @100 an thats good enuf for me. You will be using magnum primers in just about any load for the 7mmRM slower loads and lighter bullets may not require it. I prefer the FED215m primers. Brass......if you dont have a preference, and are using it for hunting I like the Winchester, Nosler and Federal. They all seem to print really close to one another when loaded the same . I like Nosler bullets for hunting elk, (hornady are really good too) ,but get their reloading book and work up loads for there bullets and as you learn what to look for (pressure signs) you can experiment more.

    What twist is your rifle?? that will tell you what bullet size you can run. If I had 3 powders I would start in the middle of the range and do a ladder test up to max, find a good group, then start playing with seating depth. all 3 of my 7's like the .040 off the lands range. one is .035.

    A 160gr partition, AB, hornady Interlock serria game king, etc is more than capable of dropping elk, deer, bear, etc!! ya might want to go a lil smaller for the cats I cant even tell ya how many whitetails my father, brother, cousin an I have dropped with a 139gr hornady interlock.

    reading will be your savior!!!!! good luck and have fun!!!
     
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  3. Brydawg512

    Brydawg512 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for the info! I need to test, but people have told me it's most likely a 1:9.25. Where am I able to find what grain bullets I can run with my twist?

    Also, what do you mean by "middle of the range" powder? Do I just choose 3 random powders to start loading or is it something in the manual? How to I identify a high vs. medium vs. low load?

    Also, as far as seating depth, should I start loading it so the round is at the maximum overall length listed in the manual? And then from there do I start seating it shorter or longer.. how do I know what to do?
     
  4. dougduey

    dougduey Well-Known Member

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    PM me and I'll go through all this stuff with you.
    Go to the Reloading thread lower on the Forum page. At the top of that is a post by Len on Bullet seating and Berger bullets. Read the whole thing......it will answer a lot of you questions.
    Do you have a Nosler reloading manual? Get one if you don't. There is a lot of info and it goes through the reloading process step by step. So much to go over, we won't do it right now.

    Doug
     
  5. bpcrshooter

    bpcrshooter Well-Known Member

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    After you read the article by Len come back and we can help you!!!! if you want PM me and we too can talk....over the phone if needed, but I think you will have most of your answers by then!!!
     
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  6. cross

    cross Well-Known Member

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    I collect reloading manuals like my mom collects cook books. Buy them and read the sections up front on how everything works and how to do everything. Ive been reloading for 30 years and, while my first reloads worked great, I’m still learning. Stick with what’s listed in the reloading manuals and keep asking questions. It’s not rocket science but it does need to be done right and it’s very enjoyable.

    Cross
     
  7. Brydawg512

    Brydawg512 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the offer. I do not yet have a manual, however after much consideration I think I will be pulling the trigger on the RCBS kit that comes with the Nosler manual. You say it has step-by-step reloading instructions in it?
     
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  8. BoomFlop

    BoomFlop Well-Known Member

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    Simply look up 7mm reloading data and Nosler will come up with a page that looks like the book. It will give you case, primer, barrel used, oal for different bullets and bullet weights and a bunch of different charges (min and max), estimated velocity and case full percentage. It will even give you the most accurate powder tested for there barrel/rifle.

    From there you can choose your components.
     
    Lunger likes this.
  9. dougduey

    dougduey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it goes through the reloading process step by step in the actual manual. You can get the load data from the manual on Nosler's website, but you need to read the manual to understand how to go about the whole reloading process. It's how I learned. You can also find a bunch of videos on YouTube which show the process step by step. The Nosler manual also has a bunch of other pertinent info like powder burn rates, how to find the distance to the lands, etc. It's a good read and is a must so you understand as much as you can before you start the reloading process.
     
    Mustang72 likes this.
  10. entoptics

    entoptics Well-Known Member

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    The Nosler website is a good resource for choosing where to start.

    https://load-data.nosler.com

    Choose a weight of bullet, and then look at the suggested charges. An ideal powder is one that gets high velocity (further down the list), and has a load density of around 95-100% (right hand column). For example, I just looked at the 160-168 bullet page for 7mm Mag, and see that Magpro, Retumbo, H1000, and RL25 all would fit this bill for the 168 gr bullet.

    This is by no means a perfect predictor of what will work best in your rifle, but it's a good way to narrow down your choices. You can even make a flow chart, or excel spreadsheet, which covers a wide variety of bullet weights, and if you find a powder that achieves the high velocity/density formula with a wide range of bullets, that's probably a good choice for experimenting.

    I also suggest comparing the information from Nosler.com with that at Hodgden and Alliant. If you see a powder getting similar results across the board with a variety of bullets, you know it's probably a good choice.

    http://www.hodgdonreloading.com

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx?page=/reloaders/index.aspx&

    It's been awhile since I ran a 7mm, but if I recall, Retumbo was my go-to powder for 160 gr bullets.
     
  11. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    512, perhaps look at Berger's website. There is a ton of info there. They explain why loads work and will answer your e-mail questions. Good advice reading up on the process and reasoning prior to starting so you don't waste time and valuable components. Good luck
     
  12. birdiemc

    birdiemc Well-Known Member

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    Brydawg, lots of good info here, and it is definitely good to learn how all the different powders perform. However, that is not necessary IMO to just start out with basic reloading, loading up your first 10 rounds and going to shoot. If you look at your manual when you get it, pick a bullet weight, then go down the list of powders and find one you can readily get at your local favorite place to shop. Then work within the parameters listed you will be ok. Obviously after reading the manual and having a very good understanding of the steps and safe practices. As many others have said PM any of us offering advice and ask all the questions you want. Many of these guys have been loading longer than I have been alive. I have only been at it for a couple years or so, and I remember how overwhelming it was. And how stupid the folks made me feel in other forums for asking basic questions. You wont get that here except for the occasional moron, but they are far outnumbered by the people who genuinely want to help and want to see you succeed.
     
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  13. Brydawg512

    Brydawg512 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, great. Now, how do you recommend going about choosing which powders to test? Is it just a trial and error game, smart to start with their best load info, etc.?
     
  14. Brydawg512

    Brydawg512 Well-Known Member

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    Great! I just purchased the Nosler 8th edition manual, arriving in just a few days so I can get to reading.