Long range targets and 7mm rem. mag.


June 16, 2007, 10:42 PM
Okay, so I have a Ruger M77 in 7mm mag and am having a personal conflict. I've gotten the long range shooting bug thanks to a friend with a Savage 10fp. I know that the 7mag can reach out and touch a target, but the current setup I have I am only comfortable with to about 200m. This is also my hunting rifle and is kind of hard on the recoil. I was told that a new stock could help with the kick due to mine being about 20 years old, newer designs are better. Also, the thin barrel starts to spread out the groups as it heats up. Sooooo...Should I get the new stock, have the barrel replaced with a match custom job, get a new scope and start trying to hit 600m targets? Or should I just save my pennies and buy a new rifle for target killing? Honestly, which would be cheaper, and who should I look at to research a new barrel for the Ruger? Thanks in advance guys...Tim

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June 16, 2007, 10:47 PM
Replacing the barrel,setting the headspace and fitting a new stock will easily cost much more than a new Savage already equipped for long range shooting. It is a personal choice but I would readily opt for a new rifle for target killing and keep the Ruger for hunting. But then that's just me.:rolleyes:

June 16, 2007, 10:51 PM
Timmy: It is my opinion that you would be much better off saving your pennies to buy a new rifle of your choice. By the time you change the barrel, stock, and the trigger plus tuning up the action, you will have more money tied up in your original rifle than if bought a new one. Also consider what happens if go to sell it, you would get less than half if of what you put into it...if you're lucky! Go for a new target rifle of your choice!

Quintin Likely
June 16, 2007, 10:55 PM
I agree with the others, I'd buy a new rifle (that Savage model your friend's got is a fine shooting stick for the dollar).

Jim Watson
June 16, 2007, 11:07 PM
I don't think I've ever seen a target rifle built on a Ruger action. Not that my 77V isn't accurate, but you can count on Remington, Savage, or Winchester (sob, snivel).

The Savage factory F-T/R rifle is getting a good reputation in .308; and the Remington 700 Police is pretty dependably accurate. And both are upgradeable almost without limit as your needs require and budget allows.

Get a GOOD scope.

June 17, 2007, 12:04 AM
Looks pretty one sided. Old M77 for hunting, (most likely) Savage 10fp for shootin'. Thanks guys...Tim

June 17, 2007, 12:20 AM
Id keep your nice hunting rifle. then get a nice , all jacked up someting , in 7mm mag, and shoot some 180 grainers, at 3000 plus fps. this setup will get you out to 1000 meters.

June 17, 2007, 01:20 AM
I've heard good things about .300 win mag. Savage makes the 110fp in .300 win mag. Should I look closely at this for 1000m shooting? 1000m seems like such a long way, and to still be travelling at fatal velocity accurately is beyond me...for now. >:)

Jim Watson
June 17, 2007, 10:20 AM
Are you in the USA?
Reason I ask, we don't have many metric ranges hereabouts, we still do things in yards.

Anyhow, the .300 Magnums are going out of favor amongst long range target shooters. The recoil is enough to affect your nerves in a day's shooting. There are still some in use but I don't think there are many new ones being sold or built.

The .308 in good loadings, which are available as factory match ammunition, in case you are not a handloader, is adequate at 1000 yards. There are other calibers that will shoot a flatter trajectory with less wind effect, but you just about have to handload to get the full benefit, unless you have a large ammunition budget.

I don't understand your reference to "fatal velocity", what are you planning to kill out there?

June 17, 2007, 02:48 PM
Yes I'm in the US, I just have been taught metric and still use it due to my job (medical, radiology). I don't plan on shooting anything other than targets at 1000 yards but just the fact that you're sending a 168 grain hunk of metal fast enough to kill something that far away, and accurately, just still amazes me. Like I said, 1000 yards is still a long way off for me. Thanks for the info on .300mag v. .308

Zak Smith
June 17, 2007, 03:45 PM

7RM is a great long-range cartridge. 7 doesn't have "that much" recoil in a 12-14# rifle, but recoil handling is aided by good stock "fit" to your body and shooting positions, and by the use of a muzzle brake.

Most rifles that have accuracy problems can be "fixed", but it is good to question whether or not the investment of a lot of money in gunsmithing is worth it vs. buying a better rifle to start with.


June 17, 2007, 03:55 PM
7RM is a great long-range cartridge. 7 doesn't have "that much" recoil in a 12-14# rifle, but recoil handling is aided by good stock "fit" to your body and shooting positions, and by the use of a muzzle brake.
+1 You should easily be able to reach out to 1,000 yards effectively with 7mm.

Jim Watson
June 17, 2007, 05:35 PM
I lately saw a 7mm on one of the short fat magnum cases; I think a .300 WSM necked down. Kind of stood out in the crowd. I haven't seen a 7mm R.M. target rifle. I only shoot NRA F-T/R, but that is alongside other disciplines with their own ideas of what is needed.

The leading Long Range cartridge is likely the 6.5x284. At least that is what the US F-Class Team and the US Army Long Range team shoot. I think you can buy factory ammunition. There is a trend to lighter calibers that are easier on the shooters and the gun barrels. Lapua is making a try with the 6.5x47 and the 6BR guys are doing well, along with a whole host of wildcats.

Oh, by the way, my plain ole .308 target load, a 175 gr SMK at 2650 fps is computed to arrive at 1000 yards at 1217 fps with 576 ft lbs energy.

Zak Smith
June 17, 2007, 07:39 PM
Whenever we look at what competitors are using, we need to make sure we understand what rules they are working around and how those rules affect equipment choices. NRA HP prohibits the use of muzzle brakes (and sound suppressors), which is going to favor lighter-recoil calibers.

7mm Magnums have been used successfully at 1000-yard benchrest:

Jim Watson
June 17, 2007, 07:58 PM
1. Right-oh. NRA doesn't allow brakes and 40-60 record shots plus sighters can get a bit wearing with a magnum.

2. He was shooting the caliber I saw near here, a 7mm WSM wildcat, NOT a 7mm Remington Magnum.

I don't say you can't get hits with a 7mm R.M. but there are better ways to go than trying to make a match rifle out of an elk gun.

George Hill
June 17, 2007, 08:09 PM
Before you buy a new gun, try a Limbsaver Barrel Deresonator.
They work. Only twenty bucks and they solve most of your problems.

The 7MM WSM is not a wildcat. That's a factory round. Unless he wildcatted the 7MM WSM to try to improve it, and in that case, never mind. But how would he improve efficiency in a cartridge that is just about as efficient as you can get?

Jim Watson
June 17, 2007, 08:32 PM
The guy Zak cites .300 WSM necked down and I think the one I saw did, too. Little less overbore capacity.

Do you use a rubber baby buggy bumper on your barrel? How much difference does it make?

June 17, 2007, 09:37 PM
The 7mm WSM is a necked down 300 WSM, but it is a factory loading. I have one and it is actually a fairly popular new cartridge. It's been out for a few years now, but hasn't gained the popularity of the 300WSM. If he is wild catting a 7mmWSM then I want to see how he made it more efficient.:D

Jim Watson
June 17, 2007, 11:04 PM
I guess you could go to the site given and compare his cartridge dimensions versus the factory version.
I don't care, they all kick more than I want to put up with.

June 17, 2007, 11:42 PM
7 mm Mag was originally designed for 1,000 yd target shooting. It was used to win at Wimbledon.

If you purchase a target rifle in 7 Mag and keep your hunting rifle, you will only have one caliber of ammunition to contend with reloading, only bullet selection will change because target bullets are not typically good for hunting and good hunting bullets might not give that extra fraction of an inch in accuracy.

June 17, 2007, 11:48 PM
really the 7mm mag, in a 140 grainer, shooting 3000fps, is a bit better at bucking the wind , than a 300winmag shooting 180 grainers, at 3000fps, if my calculations are remembered right, so it is a good long ranger, plus you will have a bunch less recoil. I also recalled a guy who just shot a world record 1000 yd groups at a meet in England , I believe, and he used a 300wsm, necked down to 7mm, and was using either 140 or 160 grainers. If there is a 7mmwsm round out there, i'd be real interested in seeing how this round works out with the benchrest boys.

Zak Smith
June 17, 2007, 11:55 PM

_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 | YARDS
338LM 250 0.675 2950 > 0.00 1.67 6.99 16.47 30.72 50.49 76.65 | wind (inches)
7RM 180 VLD 0.698 2850 > 0.00 1.69 7.08 16.66 31.06 50.98 77.29 | wind (inches)
7RM 168 VLD 0.640 3000 > 0.00 1.73 7.23 17.08 31.95 52.66 80.20 | wind (inches)
6.5-284 139 0.620 3000 > 0.00 1.78 7.49 17.71 33.20 54.84 83.70 | wind (inches)
300WM 210gr VLD 0.640 2850 > 0.00 1.86 7.78 18.41 34.47 56.90 86.69 | wind (inches)
260 139 0.620 2820 > 0.00 1.95 8.18 19.39 36.40 60.23 91.90 | wind (inches)
300WM 190gr SMK 0.53* 2950 > 0.00 2.14 9.07 21.67 41.13 68.92 106.53 | wind (inches)
308 155 0.508 2850 > 0.00 2.37 10.06 24.15 45.98 77.12 118.86 | wind (inches)
M118LR 0.51* 2600 > 0.00 2.77 11.81 28.48 54.58 91.64 140.15 | wind (inches)

338LM 250 0.675 2950 > -0.00 0.33 1.53 3.00 4.73 6.73 9.06 | drop (mil)
7RM 180 VLD 0.698 2850 > -0.00 0.37 1.66 3.24 5.06 7.18 9.63 | drop (mil)
7RM 168 VLD 0.640 3000 > -0.00 0.31 1.48 2.93 4.63 6.63 8.97 | drop (mil)
6.5-284 139 0.620 3000 > -0.00 0.31 1.49 2.96 4.69 6.73 9.15 | drop (mil)
300WM 210gr VLD 0.640 2850 > -0.00 0.38 1.69 3.31 5.23 7.47 10.12 | drop (mil)
260 139 0.620 2820 > -0.00 0.39 1.75 3.43 5.42 7.78 10.58 | drop (mil)
300WM 190gr SMK 0.53* 2950 > -0.00 0.35 1.61 3.24 5.21 7.62 10.57 | drop (mil)
308 155 0.508 2850 > -0.00 0.40 1.79 3.58 5.79 8.51 11.88 | drop (mil)
M118LR 0.51* 2600 > -0.00 0.54 2.27 4.50 7.28 10.75 15.09 | drop (mil)

338LM 250 0.675 2950 > 2950 2693 2450 2221 2005 1802 1614 | velocity (fps)
7RM 180 VLD 0.698 2850 > 2850 2607 2376 2158 1953 1760 1581 | velocity (fps)
7RM 168 VLD 0.640 3000 > 3000 2727 2469 2226 1999 1786 1589 | velocity (fps)
6.5-284 139 0.620 3000 > 3000 2718 2453 2204 1970 1753 1553 | velocity (fps)
300WM 210gr VLD 0.640 2850 > 2850 2585 2336 2101 1881 1676 1492 | velocity (fps)
260 139 0.620 2820 > 2820 2549 2293 2054 1831 1624 1441 | velocity (fps)
300WM 190gr SMK 0.53* 2950 > 2950 2627 2326 2047 1785 1548 1341 | velocity (fps)
308 155 0.508 2850 > 2850 2519 2212 1929 1668 1441 1253 | velocity (fps)
M118LR 0.51* 2600 > 2600 2280 1984 1712 1468 1266 1118 | velocity (fps)

June 18, 2007, 12:36 AM
thanks for that Zak, very fast of you. I thought the 7mmmag was very likey, I am a bit suprised at the 6.5 , though, thought the 140 grainer would smoke them all,in all categories. I wonder what it would do with a 160 grainer, as opposed to the 7mmmag?

Zak Smith
June 18, 2007, 12:41 AM
The 6.5mm 140gr Berger VLD has the same advertized BC as the 7mm 168gr Berger VLD, so those two loads are going to be almost identical (in 6.5-284 and 7RM respectively)

June 20, 2007, 02:43 AM
If you are ging to go on a factory rifle I would choose one of the short mags...

I'm with you Zak..I'm trading in my 300mag for a 6.5..I have'nt desised on the .260 or 6.5-284 yet thouh

Zak Smith
June 20, 2007, 03:36 AM
6.5-284: about half the barrel life, but 150-200 extra fps, or 8" less wind @ 1000 yards (10 mph cross) and about 1.5 mils flatter at the same distance. 6.5-284 is probably best in a long action, while just about everyone runs 260 in a short. Better brass the nod goes to 6.5-284, but the stuff in 260 is at least servicable.

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