January 16, 2011, 12:24 PM
I've been reloading for about 7 years with limited success. My question is what steps in the reloading process make the difference. I can shoot 1.25 groups all day. This being said I'm going to pillar and glass bed my Remington 700 7mm mag. I'm hoping this will help

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January 16, 2011, 02:34 PM
My 700 will put its favorite load of 3 shots into 3/4", but the better hunting bullet groups about 1-1.25 - good enough for deer/elk since this isn't a target gun

January 16, 2011, 02:45 PM
My question is what steps in the reloading process make the difference.

I'd start with seating depth. How are you determining what depth to seat your bullets? A few hundredths off of the lands is ideal. To be honest, 1.25" groups out of a hunting rifle exceeds my expectations.

January 16, 2011, 02:54 PM
[QUOTE]what steps in the reloading process make the difference.[/QUOTE
Toss up between seating depth & being able to afford more trigger time.
IMO, the latter is the best reason to load your own.

January 16, 2011, 03:19 PM
More details are needed.
What bullets are you trying?
How close to the lands are you seating the bullets?
What powder and charge weight is being used?
Primer strength?
Full length sized or neck sized?
Type of rest involved in your testing?
Scope power? And is the scope reliable?
How good has the rifle shot? Better than 1 1/4" or is that the best its ever done?
What stock does your 700 have? Wood, Laminated wood, plastic, HS precision, Hogue, Bell & Carlson, ect? You may not improve over what the factory sent it out in. Been there-put a lot of time & effort into improving my bedding-wound up with a worse shooting rifle for my efforts.

As was mentioned, 1 1/4" may be the best it can do and there's nothing wrong with a 1 1/4" gun, that level may the best your gun is capable of. Every deer I've ever shot would have fallen to (and some did) to guns of that accuracy level.

I have a 7-08 Improved that wouldn't group under 1 1/2" for nearly 10 years of on & off again load testing. I loved hunting with it because of the stock design fitting me well. 3 deer I distinctly remember and possibly more fell to it with out them knowing the gun only shot 1 1/2".

Hypothetically, a 1 1/4" rifle will keep a kill shot on an average whitetail out to well over 600 yards. And, in spite of what some internet keyboards claim, that is beyond the real life range of 95% of shooters. In order to consistently hit first shot vitals at 600 and beyond you must either be extremely lucky or have specialized equipment including a very accurate rangefinder, windmeter, and accurate bullet drop tables set for the temperature, humidity, wind deflection, barometric pressure, elevation, and still be very lucky.

Personally I have only shot one deer over 500 yards, and I have all the necessary equipment. The vast majority have been from 20-100 yards. I prefer to take my shots as close as possible to eliminate "Murphy" from coming into the equation.


Arkansas Paul
January 16, 2011, 03:28 PM
Since you're shooting a bolt action, try neck sizing only, using of course only brass that was fired through your gun. Worth a try.

Lost Sheep
January 16, 2011, 04:00 PM
Stork said it best. "What makes a difference?" Pretty much everything.

Weight/velocity/rifling twist combine to give your bullet a spin rate which is SUPPOSED to stabilize your bullet in flight. Wrong rate, no stabilization.

Seating the bullets close to the lands supposedly makes the bullet more likely to be lined up with the bore axis than if it had a "jump" or freebore to the rifling.

Do you have a chronograph? Consistent velocity will reduce vertical spread due to changing trajectory.

You may be on the right track addressing barrel issues. As a barrel heats up it can point in different directions (I am told). Certainly, the barrel "whip" (harmonic vibrations induced by the stress of firing) make a HUGE difference to accuracy. All barrels have them. What handloaders spend most of their time making loads, searching for the most accurate one(s) is looking for that "sweet spot" where the bullet is exiting the barrel at the point where it is moving slowest (most stationary).

Primer choice can make a big difference in consistency of ignition.

Like he said. "Everything."

Good Luck

Do a search on "Rifle Barrel Harmonics". Fascinating.

Lost Sheep

January 16, 2011, 05:02 PM
Thank everyone
i will try to fill some of the blanks
1. I have a 200 yd range off my porch (all the trigger time i can get) until wife get upset .with noise
2. built a bench on porch just for shooting
3. i use sand bags when sighting in loads

January 16, 2011, 05:21 PM
4. about 15 years ago when i was in the coast guard a friend of my and i loaded some 145gr barnes x that i got .75" groups (i do not have recipe)
5. i use a RCBS precision mic to check my max bullet length the number that i come up with is .150 this is an average because i never seem to get the same reading .156-.146
6. i have seated the bullets from .153-1.30 (not sure if I,m using the correct terminology for this)
7. I have used Nosler Accubond 140gr, speer 145gr,
barnes TSX 150
8. the powers I've use are Reloader 19/22, IMR 4831, H4831sc
9. I use a RCBS competition die
10. trim and tumble every time
11. have not tried neck size only but i only move shoulder back .002-.003
12. My scope is a Leupold VX 2 4-12 (mounted it my self just eyed the rings up)
13. my stock is a Boyd thumb hole
14 primers are CCI 250 mag primers

i think that answers all the questions

the load that I'm working on is for Barbary Sheep hunt coming up in February

January 16, 2011, 05:42 PM
i have a stock 700 in 7mm mag and im getting 3/4 moa or better groups with hornady 162 sst and reloader 22 but what made the difference for me was making them a little longer btw im neck sizing the cases

January 16, 2011, 06:01 PM
i have been working on this sense August i was hoping to be practicing on 300 to 400 yards by now. I would not take a shot over 400 with present skill set and equipment being used it would not be fair to the hunted.

January 16, 2011, 07:54 PM
My loads I mentioned earlier was using IMR 4831, but 7828 and 4350 also gave me good groups. I also neck-sized my brass

January 16, 2011, 11:49 PM
Bird, first off definitely try neck sizing. Using fire formed brass that is already formed to your chamber dimensions does a great deal to improve consistency. Another thing, if you are coming up with varied over all lengths of seating then you need to check your press and dies. Once I have locked in everything on mine I have consistent lengths. Neck sizing will also improve case life as well so you get more reloads. You also will not have to trim as often either since you are not stretching the brass by reforming it.

Give these a shot as well. Hornady bullets, for me in all my 7mm needs, have performed extremely well.

All 3 of those have very good ballistic coefficient and perform quite well on game. The sst does have a bit of a tendency to blow up a bit at very close range though

If your rate of twist will support them, maybe try a little heavier grain bullet such as these

Sometimes going a little heavier will solve a LOT of problems. one of my .308 weapons had a BAD problem with consistency and it took me forever to find the magic recipe to make it group well. It was WAY further out than 1 1/4". was closer to 5 inches. Slugged the barrel, sent a bore unit down it, checked the chamber, EVERYTHING and found that all was correct. Once I found that heavier weight loading she settled in to less than .8 MOA. Just one of those weapons that is the pickiest thing on earth. Any other load and I wouldn't trust it past 50 yards.

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