ROOKIE needs advice. 7mm


Sep 25, 2012
My "do all" rifle is a factory model 700 bdl 7mm rem mag with a 24" barrel. Im going to hand load for the first time with a lee classic. For starters besides that kit and a digital scale what else should buy? Next ive been pouring over load data and am just overwhelmed. Id like bullet, powder and charge recomendations for a good all purpose load. Im looking for a good 160 grain bullet that will work well for my 50 yard white tail shot, my 500+ yard plinking and be able to drop a moose, elk or bear. Does that bullet exist and what should i push it with r22 set off with 215 primer? Point me in the right dirrection guys.
I also shoot a Rem 700 7mag as my all-around rifle.
If the kit does not already have it, a good set of calipers are a must to adjust seating depth, and a million other things. Also a powder trickler, if not included is another tool to make life simpler when you're weighing every charge.

I push the 168gr Berger VLD with 60 grs of RL-22 and a CCI 250, which isn't terribly hot (many on here would push it alot harder than that, which is ok too) but still has plenty of stomp for big critters out to 500 yards, which is all i ask of it. In practice i shoot much farther than that, but feel like generally while hunting i can usually get within 550 unless its a really bad spot. I have not shot anything big with it inside of 150 yards, i would expect it to work well at 50 yards, but with a good bit of meat damage possible.

While i have never shot Nosler bullets in my 7mag, i would also think an Accubond, or the old standby Partion would both be great choices as well for all around bullets, especially if you don't buy the VLD's style of expansion and weight retention. I believe the Berger and Nosler bullets are close in price, based on what my brother pays for his Nosler bullets compared to my Bergers, with the Bergers being slightly cheaper. Good luck to you!
I shoot the 160 gr Accubond out of my 7mm, with 65 gr of RL-22 and Noma cases (they are larger volume, so back off this charge if you are using other cases), and non magnum primers, like the Remington 9.5. People have found non magnum primers work better with this powder/cartridge, and I agree.

Get a reloading manual (sierra or hornady), and start there. Once you work up with published loads, you can start with a little more experimentation.
for deer I use 150 grn etip cci mag primer and 67.0 grns of imr 7828
for plinking 139 grn sp std primer and 47.0 grns of imr 3031
I have a couple hundred 175 grn speer out in the barn that I have not as yet got around to trying, I think that I will put that off untill I get a chance to get some rl22 or h1000
Untill you get some experiance under your reloading stick with published loads and oal, confirm your data with another sourse, start with sudjested start and work up to max loads.
You will get hooked on loading.
this is what I use
lee changer press
lee safty scale and I also have a digital scale (rcbs)
auto prime
layman 45th edition plus, I use the prowley slide rule and the web pages for Nosler - Bullets, Ammunition, Rifles, Brass, Reloading Data, Hunting, Shooting, Reloading, Load Data and and Alliant Powder - Home just to confirm new loads
case trimmer, primer pocket cleaner, deburring tool and brass tumbler (cabelas)
rcbs powder trickler (a must)
full length and neck only siseing dies
vernier calipper
I load 160g Sierra's in the 7mm mag for other people for a do-all bullet.

I usually use 4350 powder but RL-22 is good also.

The Hornady Interbonds are good too and cheaper than the other bonded bullets.

If you want to try a Berger they just came out with one called the Classic Hunter which is a hybrid hunting bullet that doesn't have the bullet depth sensitivity of the regular Berger VLD. You won't find them on Bergers site yet but Midwayusa has them.

Berger Classic Hunter Hybrid Hunting Bullets 284 Cal 7mm (284

Lee stuff is cheaper at FS Reloading.
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+1 on the calipers (don't get the cheap ones though they just suck), also a hornady bullet comparator to go with the calipers

+1 on the manuals the more the better

A better chamfer debur tool, Rcbs primer pocket cleaner, and a flash hole deburing tool.

A vibratory case cleaner

As for bullets and loads, 175gr Partition 62.5gr RL22 and a CCI250 will do everything your looking for, but it's a bit spendy for plinking, Bergers drive tacks and are a lot more reasonable price wise. Other wise H1000 will fill all your needs, I've personally never had much luck with standard large rifle primers in my 7mag, CCI250, 215M, and Rem 9 1/2M have given me the best results.
Almost forgot! You will need a way to trim your brass, I am still using the Lee system which works great for loading 20-40 rounds at a time. It is the lowest cost to get set up as well as one of the most "foolproof" methods, once you have the guage in you are set.
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