"Non-standard" caliber, but not a reloader woes


November 2, 2007, 12:59 PM
My primary hunting rifle is a tang safety Ruger M77 7x57 but I am not a reloader. The factory ammo I have found that it likes is the Federal 175 grain softpoints that ballistically are about the same as a .30-30. The rifle is capable of a lot more than that.

I may suck it up and take up reloading, but.... is there a factory round out there for the 7x57 that has a 175 or 173 grain bullet and is loaded to modern pressures? I would prefer a 140 for deer, but the way the gun works those do not seat right and don't group at all.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Non-standard" caliber, but not a reloader woes" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
November 2, 2007, 01:02 PM

Hornady has a "light magnum" version and a regular one.

S&B not loaded as fast as Norma or Hornady, but still a legit hunting cartridge, and cheap.

November 2, 2007, 01:43 PM
Honestly, a lee loader is about $20. A box of bullets about the same. A pound of powder, maybe $25. 100 Primers? $2.50. Assuming you have been saving your brass, you could start reloading for under $70 if you buy powder & primers locally, and bullets/loader from Grafs. Future loads would be about $0.25 per round.....and easy/quick to reload. Can do a whole box of ammo in less than an hour. You can even seat the lighter bullets out a bit further or give it a good solid crimp for better accuracy. Plus it's fun.

November 2, 2007, 02:28 PM
Not sure about rifle cartridges because I only reload pistol cartridges but I do those for about 1/4 the cost of the same thing bought from the factory (that's reusing brass). I imagine the cost savings should be about the same for a rifle cartridge.

Plus it's fun.For some maybe... But for me reloading is a mind numbingly repetitive task. It is boring - it is not fun.

Developing and testing a load that is more accurate than anything the factory can build for me can be challenging/interesting but I wouldn't call that fun either.

For some reloading is a matter of saving money. I'm one of those. I can afford to pay factory prices but I find it silly to do so when I can reload for a 1/4 of what I'd have to pay others to build ammo for me. And unlike what others do I shoot pretty much the same whether I buy the stuff or build it myself so that 75% savings I realize is in fact real. And that's money I can use to buy yet another gun. :D

November 2, 2007, 02:52 PM
Werewolf: I can see that. I personally enjoy it, but I'm sure many other would not. Fair enough. In any case, one problem with reloading rifle ammo is that, even with recycled brass, you spend a bundle on powder and bullets. Also, unless you reload in massive bulk and/or use cast bullets, it's hard to get 75% savings when using large powder charges, at least with full sized rifle cartridges. A max BL-C(2) charge costs about $0.20. Add in $0.025 for a primer and $0.20 for bullet, and you are getting $0.425 vs $0.75 for decent factory ammo.

With home-cast bullets (in reduced load w/ fast powder) and bulk bought primers/powder, sure, I can get that down to say, 16 or 17 cents each. But, that's a LOT of work if you don't enjoy it.

You're probably not going to see 75% savings with rifle cartridges without a LOT of work. You can, however get 40-60% savings right off the bat.

Bwana John
November 2, 2007, 03:14 PM
Armed Bear hit it with the links.

And dont forget surplus, its usually corrosive,:evil: but for as low as $.06/round for plinking its worth boiling some water for cleaning the bore afterwords.;)

November 2, 2007, 03:36 PM
I jsut bought a box of the Sellier and Bellot 173 grain. If those don't do it for me, I do have a crap load of brass plus a couple of boxes of live remington 140 stuff the gun hates I could pull.

Thanks everyone!

November 2, 2007, 05:01 PM
I know it's not in the weight you were looking for but you may want to try a box of the Federal Premium 140-gr. Nosler Partition. It's unfortunate that 7mm Mauser is neglected by the American ammo manufacturers and the loads that are available are pretty anemic. If you could ever locate a source, the RWS ammunition is very well made and they load 7x57 up to its full potential.

November 2, 2007, 06:35 PM
I know it's not in the weight you were looking for but you may want to try a box of the Federal Premium 140-gr. Nosler Partition.

Sadly I've tried those. All the 140's I've tried (Federal and Remington) pattern instead of group in this gun. They make a 6" circle at 100 yards. The 175's are about 1-1.5 moa. If they would shot right I would happily use 140's, that is a perfectly adequate deer round.

November 2, 2007, 06:43 PM
I'm thinking you could expermint with some reloads. I'm not saying you're gonna get sub moa, but you should be able to improve considerably. I have a .303 lee enfield that grouped terrible with factory ammo. Bought a lee loader, primers, powder, bullets. It's now a real shooter, not moa, but close enough.

Good luck

November 2, 2007, 10:55 PM
Lee Loader is a pretty slow way to load, but it works. I finally got a reloading bench set up with a used Lee C press. Cost me about 8 dollars. Bought 2 sets of dies, for the calibers I think I'll reload the most for. Loaded up a box of .38s in much less time than I had been spending doing it with the Lee Loader while watching tv. Might get .223 dies, too, but the 7.5mm Swiss rounds are hard to find around here, and it uses common components once you have brass, so I got that first.

November 3, 2007, 10:31 AM
Hell, a basic RCBS press is just over $100 at Cabela's. It really is solid and is all that a lot of very serious reloaders ever use because progressives don't meet their requirements for making precision rounds.

As much as ammo costs, even buying a good single-stage press brand-new isn't prohibitive.

It's the real estate requirement that can be a problem. You have to have a good-sized corner to set the thing up.:)

November 3, 2007, 10:56 AM
Don't start out with Lee equipment it tends to be frustrating. Especially their "perfect" powder measure.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Non-standard" caliber, but not a reloader woes" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!