Reloading for Rolling Block


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ranger
May 15, 2003, 01:47 PM
Recently acquired a 7x57 Remington Rolling Block rifle.

Want to load some "lighter" loads, with cast bullets.

Heaviest I can find (pre-made) is 140 gr. bullets, but haven't bought them yet. They also have 130, and 115.

I already have IMR-4198 powder, and the Remington cases.

Can anyone recommend a safe, light, load with this powder?

I wanted to use cast bullets because the gun is 102 years old, and I've read they're 'easier' on the bore.

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sandy4570
May 15, 2003, 09:24 PM
I have Lyman cast bullet reload hand book and they list 7 mm Mauser load in there but I didn't see the load data for IMR4198 ,I think if I remember correctly the IMR 4198 is slow burning powder .The Lyman data for cast bullet are use fast burning pistol or shot gun powder but very light charge like 10-15 grain of Unique that push bullet below 1400 fsp. If you use Unique for the light load you will get at least 700 rounds per a pound .I use cast lead bullet for my 30-30, .303, .308, 7.7 Jap, 30-06 for short range plinking because all the load shoot extremly low at 100 yards .I have read an article in NRA publication stated that 7mm Rolling block may have excessive headspace due to hard military service in South America so the light cast load might be a way to go. There is a company in Indiana that sell wax soft gas check for the lead bullet that don't come with one.

Jim Watson
May 16, 2003, 11:57 AM
Worth a try.
Ken Waters loaded 7x57 with a 150 gr cast bullet and 21 grains of IMR 4198 for 1722 fps. That is a pretty stout cast bullet load - for the bullet, not the rifle - and I would try something like 18 grains. You might have to raise the muzzle before each shot for any sort of uniformity. DON'T use a "filler." I don't know why the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook shows only pistol powder loads; the regular Lyman 47th has cast bullet loads with rifle powders... but not 4198 in 7mm.

Sandy is right, you can have fun with a very light load of pistol powder and a velocity around 1000 fps. I have shot the Laser Cast 165 gr .30 cal in .30-06 with 7 and 12 grains of 700X. It is accurate in my sporter but not my target model M70. The 7 grain load has almost no report or recoil, but it will shoot under 2" at 100 yards.

Accuracy with commercial cast rifle bullets is spotty. If the ones available to you do not do well, try light loads with jacketed bullets. It was made for FMJs and I doubt you will be shooting that RB enough to wear it out. The Lee book has a formula for computing reduced loads that works pretty well, and Hodgdon recommends H4895 for reduced loads in bottleneck calibers. A 150 at 2000 would be ok.

The 7mm RB is widely reported to have excess headspace by modern standards. Did they change the specs? Probably not, I've never heard such a warning about a Mausers, early or late manufacture. Are they built sloppy? They are Remingtons made to real mil-spec, seems doubtful. Did the guns wear that much? It seems unlikely that ALL 7mm RBs would have been used that much. Did Remington fudge the dimensions for better operation of a rimless smokeless round in a old design single shot? Ah-HA! No reloaders in the Mexican army, after all, and you can get away with a lot of headspace if you don't plan on reusing the brass.

You can make the brass last by neck or partial resizing after it has been fired in your rifle.

mete
May 16, 2003, 02:37 PM
I think the head space problems of the old 7x57 rolling blocks were due to different specs rather than wear.

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