New reloader, first load: questions

dougduey

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San Antonio, TX
Great! I just purchased the Nosler 8th edition manual, arriving in just a few days so I can get to reading.
No question is dumb, so remember that. I had lots of questions, and a lot of very nice and knowledgeable people helped me out a ton when I got started. Just know that you are no going down a “rabbit hole” and reloading becomes a whole new obsession. It’s fun and rewarding, and can drive you a little mad at times. I’ve become good friends with a few guys from this site. We are all here to help.

Ok, to get you started, what bullet and weight are you looking to shoot?? I can get you on the right track once I know that. Start Googling places that carry reloading supplies in your area, so you can find out what components are readily available to you.
 

Dosh

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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.?
512, Rarely does someone's pet load perform as well in another rifle, too many variables and physics involved. i.e.... what works for him may shoot poorly in your rifle.
 

Brydawg512

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No question is dumb, so remember that. I had lots of questions, and a lot of very nice and knowledgeable people helped me out a ton when I got started. Just know that you are no going down a “rabbit hole” and reloading becomes a whole new obsession. It’s fun and rewarding, and can drive you a little mad at times. I’ve become good friends with a few guys from this site. We are all here to help.

Ok, to get you started, what bullet and weight are you looking to shoot?? I can get you on the right track once I know that. Start Googling places that carry reloading supplies in your area, so you can find out what components are readily available to you.
So, I am open to considering bullets, however I have been eyeing the Bergers and Nosler Partitions. I am unsure of what weight to shoot.. I have been told the 160s are suitable for the black bear, deer, and elk that I hunt, but again, open ears to recommendations! I appreciate your help.
 

Brydawg512

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512, Rarely does someone's pet load perform as well in another rifle, too many variables and physics involved. i.e.... what works for him may shoot poorly in your rifle.
Understood. Also, say I am planning to load a Berger 168 gr. VLD, and I am referring to the Nosler reloading manual for specifications. Do I follow the specifications as far as suitable powder types, primer, overall case length, etc. as if I was loading a 168 gr. Nosler bullet?

Thank you.
 

Brydawg512

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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!!!
Thank you very much!

For example, say I was planning to load a 168 gr. Nosler bullet and I have H1000, Retumbo and RL25. You are saying I start with the middle grain weight listed and then work up from there? If so, do I go up in 0.5 grain increments?

The thing I am confused on is this... Am I trying to load with the highest grain weight that allows me to still be accurate? For example say I had 68 grains loaded, max being 70. I would start with 68, shoots accurate. Next, bump it to 68.5, shoots accurate. Next, bump to 69, shoots accurate. Finally, I bump to 69.5 and the grouping expands and loses the accuracy seen before. Is my next step to find the highest grain count between 69 and 69.5 that allows accuracy?
 

dougduey

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So, I am open to considering bullets, however I have been eyeing the Bergers and Nosler Partitions. I am unsure of what weight to shoot.. I have been told the 160s are suitable for the black bear, deer, and elk that I hunt, but again, open ears to recommendations! I appreciate your help.
A 160 gr bullet is a perfect all around bummer weight in 7mm.
Berger’s can be finicky to find an accurate load since they tend to be effected by seating depth more than other bullets. I wouldn’t start with them as my first reloading venture. Partitions are great bullets and prefer to be seated long for best accuracy. Do you have a DBM or bottom metal? We need to know how long you can seat your bullets. The longer you can seat a bullet, the more you are able to take advantage of case capacity and, thus, have higher velocities.
 

dougduey

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Ugh!! I hate the autocorrect feature on my phone. Sorry for typos.
Not sure how a 7 mm is a perfect bummer weight!! Perfect bullet weight is what I meant
 

Brydawg512

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A 160 gr bullet is a perfect all around bummer weight in 7mm.
Berger’s can be finicky to find an accurate load since they tend to be effected by seating depth more than other bullets. I wouldn’t start with them as my first reloading venture. Partitions are great bullets and prefer to be seated long for best accuracy. Do you have a DBM or bottom metal? We need to know how long you can seat your bullets. The longer you can seat a bullet, the more you are able to take advantage of case capacity and, thus, have higher velocities.
Ok, good to know. By DMB or bottom metal I assume you are referring to how my rifle holds rounds? If so, no magazine, just push in from the top. Also reading, but will definitely need to hear some personal experience or tips/tricks to identifying loads that are too hot.. aka learning to understand pressure signs.
 

Dry Heat?

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IMR 4831 has always been very very nice to me in my 7mm RMs. I like many different Bullets but lean toward Barnes and Nosler. I’d try the Barnes 168 gr LR X Bullet or 160 gr Nosler Accubonds. Either one will kill any game suitable for the Cartridge and generally shoot real accurate in a quality rifle. There are many new powders out there now. Better powders. Great powders. It’s a great time to be a Reloader!
 

Mustang72

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That is pretty much how it works except you are supposed to start with the lowest charge listed. The Manuel will really explain most of your questions after you get it. I would stay away from the bergers and all copper bullets until after you've loaded with some gamekings or hornadys. The standard bullets are cheaper and less finicky to start out with.
 

Brydawg512

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IMR 4831 has always been very very nice to me in my 7mm RMs. I like many different Bullets but lean toward Barnes and Nosler. I’d try the Barnes 168 gr LR X Bullet or 160 gr Nosler Accubonds. Either one will kill any game suitable for the Cartridge and generally shoot real accurate in a quality rifle. There are many new powders out there now. Better powders. Great powders. It’s a great time to be a Reloader!
Great, thanks for the recommendations! As for now, the ol 80s model Winchester M70 will be getting the reloads... one day a quality rifle!
 

Brydawg512

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Washington
That is pretty much how it works except you are supposed to start with the lowest charge listed. The Manuel will really explain most of your questions after you get it. I would stay away from the bergers and all copper bullets until after you've loaded with some gamekings or hornadys. The standard bullets are cheaper and less finicky to start out with.
Thank you for the information. Ready to start reading the manual
 

dougduey

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San Antonio, TX
Look in the articles section on this site. There is an article called Load Tuning by Jerry Teo. Read it. It will help you understand how to work up a load properly and find a very accurate load.
Understanding pressure signs and what to look for is all explained in the Nosler reloading manual. Read it when you get it. You’ll know when you are pushing the envelope because it will get hard to lift the bolt and extract the brass. When the bolt or brass gets stuck, you are way over pressure and in the danger zone. Stop, don’t shoot any more of those rounds. You need to back down the powder charge.
 

Mustang72

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Don't sell your old 80s model 70 short. The pre 64 models are well known as some of the greatest rifles ever made.
 

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