What to do with a Ruger 7mm?


March 7, 2011, 03:55 PM
Okay, I have a bit of an problem on my hands; I have a Ruger 7mm rem mag that is developing some rejection issues... I bought it when I was a college student about 8 yrs ago, and I thought I needed a big magnum rifle to prove I was a tough guy or something. The trigger was junk( ~7 lbs stock trigger...), so I had it worked down to a 3 lb pull & I shot a doe at ~180 yds and a pig at 100 yds with it, all within 2 yrs of purchasing it. Since then I've put maybe 40 rds thru it because the recoil is too brutal.

I have a BCM/spikes AR, a Garand, a Marlin .22, a Remington 1300 speedpump 12 ga., a Springfield 1911 and a Sig p226. All of which I've taken to the range many times, but the Ruger stays home because after a few rounds I'm done.

I'd like to have a bolt rifle that I could take hunting (deer/pigs) and something that doesn't make me flinch when I think about taking it & a box of shells to the range. I think a .308 or .260 rem would be a good choice. (opinions?) I've read some good opinions of the .260 rem on here, but there is so much .308 surplus ammo that I don't think a .260 can compete on that front.

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March 7, 2011, 04:48 PM
My very first deer rifle was a Savage 110 in 7mm mag, not because I had to prove anything, but because it was the very first left-handed gun I ever saw.

Yes, I have to agree that the recoil is a bit much for just deer hunting. Rather than trading it in, I can suggest the route I took; reloading light loads. My first load was a starting charge of IMR 4320 with Speer's 130 grain soft point. That combination was used to take my first deer, which had full penetration and an exit wound, even though it was only moving at 7mm mauser velocity!

You could get a Lee starter reloading kit for 89$ on sale, and enough powder/primers/bullets to make 100 rounds is just another 40-50$. So, for about 140$ out the door, you'd have the ability to make very high quality ammo at any power level you want.


If you are going to stick to light loads I'd recommend sticking with light bullets in the 130-145 grain range, and medium fast burning rifle powders like IMR 3031, IMR 4895, or RL-12. You DO NOT want to make light loads with a slow-burning powder like IMR4891. Keep you 7mm. In the long run, I think you'll be very happy with it.

March 7, 2011, 04:50 PM
The .260 sounds like a great idea IF you can find one these days. Most of the manufacturers have dropped them. If you handload, there's a fantastic selection of 6.5 bullets out there. If not, I'd go with a 7mm-08.
And sell the 7 mm Mag so you don't have to look at her sad face and droopy eyes when you go to the range and leave her behind.

Red Tornado
March 7, 2011, 05:55 PM
There's always someone looking for "too much gun" so you should be able to trade it and come out pretty good. Post a WTT in the classified section and see what offers come up. You may get a great trade offer on something you hadn't even considered.

March 7, 2011, 07:14 PM
If your ruger has an ejection issue it is because you more than likely are not snapping the bolt to the rear. It has a fixed ejector at the rear of the stroke that throws the brass clear. There is also a reduced load for 7rem mag that will soft'n up the hit to your shoulder. A new simms recoil pad will also change the feeling greatly. There are several trigger options for your rifle that will make you think you have a different rifle. Mine has a timmney trigger that been in it for 14 yers and breaks at 26oz.
All depends on if you need a new rifle or just some advise to help it shoot how you want it. If you got to have a new rifle, well go for it. Go with a 260 as a light wieght 308 might also kick more than you want. I own a 7lb 4oz scoped 308 and it wells like my 9lb 6oz scoped 7mm ruger and both feel the same shooting.

March 7, 2011, 07:23 PM
OK here is what I would do. I would sell the Rem mag on gun broker so you can get top dollar for the rifle and have more cash in your pocket. Next I would find the best deal on new production Weatherby Vanguard 257 Weatherby magnum stainless synthetic rifle. They also make Sub MOA versions which cost more. Mine was a standard synthetic bought at Cabelas this summer. I put a Leupold VXI 4-12 LRD scope on it and it is a sweet and very accurate rifle with little recoil. I am good to go to 400 yds with no hold-over.

March 7, 2011, 08:00 PM
It's your stock that is causing the 7mag to bite, a sims pad will help. so will a reduced load. I once had a Model 70 winchester in a 270 that felt like a rabbit punch everytime I fired it. It had a hard thin rubber recoil pad on it and I replaced it with a pachmyer pad, solved the problem. but it sounds to me like you just don't like the big 7.

March 7, 2011, 09:51 PM
I replaced the factory Ruger recoil pad with a Limbsaver. It was money well spent. I also have a Limbsaver on my Benelli Nova. Makes 3.5" shells kick like 3s and 3" shells kick like 2 3/4".

Lloyd Smale
March 8, 2011, 06:42 AM
load it down or buy some hornady light mag ammo. I never saw where a 7mag was unconfortable. I dont think the recoil anymore then an o6 but then thats me. Keep in mind if you go with something like a 260 that most come in rifles that are much lighter and because of that you arent going to see a drastic reduction in recoil over your 7mag and a 308 probably wont be a bit lighter. The suggestion for a limbsaver is a good one. They take ALOT of sting out of a gun. Between the limbsaver and the light mag ammo it should be no more uncomfortable then any 260

March 8, 2011, 06:48 AM
If you don't care for the 7mm, trade it for something you like and call it a day. I myself would be LOST without my 7mm, as its been my venison collector for well over a decade, and feels like an extension of me at this point, despite the fact that, other than hunting season, it rarely gets used. Its probably the most "specialized" rifle I have, being used but a few days a year, but it has never failed me and fills the freezer annually (as well as putting some horns on the wall in the process!)

if recoil is the primary concern, disregard the pevious advice about gettting a .257 weatherby. In my experience, you won't be gaining much at in in terms of recoil reduction

March 8, 2011, 08:31 AM
Unless u absolutly need something new to play with...Remingtons Managed recoil 140gr 7mag is less than the 7-08 140gr standard load add the limbsaver pad and you will be set.Everyone here has given pretty much the same advice so good luck with decision.

March 8, 2011, 08:56 AM
I've killed a lot of deer with a 120 gr. Sierra Spitzer. Nothing has ever run away from it. (Not counting the ones I missed!) There WILL be some blood if you hit it.
I use 68.0 gr. of H4831. Been shooting that bullet under 3/4" for 42 years. (SAKO Finnbear) Killed out to 300 yd. with it.
Very pleasant to shoot.
My wife has a Ruger in 7mm Mag. I never let her shoot it without the lead sled at the range. Hunting with bundlesome clothes on she doesn't notice the kick. But that full power load is really not bad.

March 8, 2011, 08:58 AM
Also remember that shooting from a bench will feel like the hardest hits you ever get from your rifle. Many hunters when it comes time to get some meat don't feel the shot or hear the shot. You could be shoot some maga mag and not know it. Change that trigger and recoil pad ,reduced load ammo and you might end up a with a soft shooting rifle that will still out range smaller cartridges. You can do the trigger your self and the recoil pad ,even if it does on fit perfect can be cut and polished down at a local shoe repair shop to fit your stock like factory.

March 8, 2011, 09:17 AM
I bought a limbsaver recoil pad. The package said it was the right one for the rifle, but it's about 1/8" to 3/16" too big on all sides. I took it back, maybe I'll buy another one and see if it actually fits.

I haven't tried any of the hornady light mag or rem reduced loads, I'll have to see if they help. It's a great hunting rifle, and I have it dialed in to near 1 moa. Hunting with it is fine because it's just 1 shot, but I live in Missouri where there's a lottery for the public rifle hunts. I haven't won a ticket for a rifle hunt and I don't have access to any private land to hunt so I haven't been rifle hunting in a few years. I have discovered though, that a 7mm rem mag will make a hedge apple explode like a hand grenade with a direct hit!

Here's some pics on my flickr site (I can't insert them in this post for some reason):

If nothing else, it has a great s/n: 790-18999. It's like the end of an era or something.

I think I need to move the scope fwd a little to give myself some more eye relief...

I know what you guys are saying about smaller caliber guns having more recoil. A college friend of mine had a "carbine" length break action .270. It had a 20" barrel if that and it was tiny & it kicked almost as bad as my 7mm.

March 8, 2011, 09:30 AM
WEll another thought would be if you really like the 7mm you could get with a machine shop and see about getting a small compact break installed. I have a 300 wby mag that is compensated. mine was just cut into the barrel. it hardly kicks at all, way less than my old mans 7mm mags. it's like shooting a 308. Just a thought. your 7mm is a awesome cartridge. it's in my top 3 rifle cartridges

March 8, 2011, 09:42 AM
Does it have the BoatPaddle stock?

March 8, 2011, 09:54 AM
WEll another thought would be if you really like the 7mm you could get with a machine shop and see about getting a small compact break installed...

That might be a good idea. Is there anyone that you'd recommend for a installing a muzzle break?

Does it have the BoatPaddle stock?

What's a boatpaddle stock? I bought it from a Sports Authority in central Florida around spring of 2004; it still has the oe stock.

March 8, 2011, 11:12 AM
The Boatpaddle stock was used on the original synthetic/stainless Rugers. They are famous for kicking the snot out of shooters. Your wood stock really shouldn't be a big problem. But if you don't want the 7mag sell it and buy something else.

I could live with 7mm-08 or 308 and use them for 99% of all my hunting needs. I have a 7mag. Like it and don't find recoil objectionable, but it is a special purpose rifle that i rarely really need.

March 8, 2011, 12:09 PM
I don't personaly have anyone I use but my buddy who owns d9 firearms in kansas city has barrels custom threaded for breaks and suppressors all the time. He does very high end rifles so anyone he suggests would be very high quality work. I will get a name from him tonight. Otherwise he is a very personable guy and you could call and ask any machining questions you wanted. I'll pm you later tonight with some info.

March 8, 2011, 03:10 PM
The hornady light mag is not a reduced load. It is a hotter load for nomal non-magnum rounds to take them up a set in performance. Now replaced by the superformance line. But remington reduced loads does step it down a notch or 2 for the caiber. Muzzle break is a good idea, Look to herrel's percision for very afordable brakes at 30 dollars , still have to have your barrel treaded.

March 8, 2011, 05:14 PM
Actually the lightmag ammo has been discontiued and replaced with the superformance line. Muzzle breaks are a really bad idea on any rifle. The noise is far worse than any slight reduction in recoil.

double bogey
March 8, 2011, 05:29 PM
For the bench buy a "Past Magnum" recoil pad you wear. I can shoot hundreds of rounds at the range without shoulder issues. You don't shoot enough hunting to worry about recoil. 7mm rem mag is a fine caliber. Here's a link.


March 8, 2011, 08:15 PM
Muzzle breaks are a really bad idea on any rifle. The noise is far worse than any slight reduction in recoil.

This is not a true blanket statement. I have 5 compensated rifles. the noise is worse for everyone else, not the shooter. "slight" is incorrect, my 300 magnum has little recoil. my wife is 5'5" 120 #'s and can shoot it no problem. most grown men don't like a 300 wby magnum without a break.

March 9, 2011, 02:31 AM
Muzzle brakes don't add any perceptible noise to the person firing the rifle.(at least in my experience) The people spotting or watching are definitely going to get an ear full though.

They do, however, make almost any caliber tolerable. A 30-378 wby mag with a brake is less brutal than a 300 win mag without.

March 9, 2011, 05:54 AM
I agree witht he brakes not being a universlly bad idea, or that they add a lot of volume in regards to the shooter. I have the BOSS on my 7mm....reduces recoil to about .243 levels (estimated, of course) and isn't any more unpleasant than any other 7mm, in regars to the shooter. I've heard from those around me that, to the sides of me, volume is increased significantly, but as the shooter its unnoticeable. I disagree wholeheartedly with the idea they are useless, however, and at least in my preception, recoil is reduced quite significantly

March 9, 2011, 06:14 AM
You could try adding a bit of weight to the stock, or a different recoil pad. Or, if you reload, find a reduced load that's accurate in your rifle. You might even consider a different stock.

March 9, 2011, 09:25 AM
For the bench buy a "Past Magnum" recoil pad you wear. I can shoot hundreds of rounds at the range without shoulder issues. You don't shoot enough hunting to worry about recoil. 7mm rem mag is a fine caliber. Here's a link.


I've thought about getting one of those recoil pads or a shirt with a built-in pad. I think I'll buy one of these and move the scope fwd to give me more eye relief and let me hold the rifle a little deeper. If that doesn't help, I'll probably trade it for a .223/.240 rem/.260 rem/.308 rather than looking into a muzzle brake.

March 9, 2011, 09:33 AM
jmr40 You can still find some of hornady's lite and heavy mag stuff on the shelves so i was just being sure he new that it is not a down loaded ammo. I just picked up some old stock 7mm R M heavy mag loads from the back corners of my local general store/gunshop. Price was 17 bucks a box. Same lot number as the old box's I have that are 8 years old.

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