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7mm Rem Mag and Barnes Pressure Problem

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shadowstalker, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Shadowstalker

    Shadowstalker Member

    Here's what I have:
    -Newer Savage 114 with maybe 200 rds through it
    -Brand New Federal Premium Brass, Winchester LRM primers, 67.0g H4831, Barnes 120 TTSX to a COAL 3.230 =/- .002 Books Maximums are 68.5g and 3.240 COAL
    Past History
    I started a load work up for the 150g about 2 yrs ago. I also found 2 sweet spots for a 120g that I noted and left to finish the 150g. I started at the beginning with once and twice fired brass and ultimately ended up having the same pressure problems that I'm having now with charges well below the max. During the last 1 1/2 yrs I sent the rifle into Savage twice to make sure it wasn't a headspace problem and after a blown primer broke the ejector pin. I got the rifle back late last year and its sat until a few days ago
    So I draw my antelope Tag after 19 yrs and am going back to the 120g sweet spots (67.1 and 68.2) but this time with brand new brass to make sure it wasn't a primer pocket issue
    I had 6 loads of 67.0, 67.1, 67.2, 68.1, 68.2, and 68.3 with book max being 68.5.
    Fired 2 shots of Factory ammo to verify Zero with no problems
    67.0g-I shoot all 4 rds of with no problems but certainly not the accuracy I had before.
    67.1g-I shoot 3 of the 4 and the 4th has a slight leakage on the primer pocket, with poor accuracy on all
    67.2g- I shoot the first one and the primer leakage is more significant and I stop the test.
    I shot 3 of the same factory ammo with no problems.
    I notice two burn marks on the bolt head one very slight and one a bit more, one that created some pitting

    This morning I spoke with Barnes and there load for H4831 is 65-69g of IMR 4831. I told him specifically that I’m using H4831 and he said he uses it as well
    My question is it possible that some rifles won’t take anywhere close to max values???
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Well-Known Member

    That is indeed why we use ladder tests. I suggest backing off from 67 slowly as it sounds like your just barely past your sweet spot now for some reason (new lot of powder or primers?)I'm betting 66.6 or 66.7 is your new spot.
  3. steveno

    steveno Well-Known Member

    considering all of the tolerances involved with different rifles yes it is possible for a load good in one rifle to cause problems in another rifle
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member


    This is why you need a chronograph. If the books say a max load is 68.5 and you should be getting 3000 fps at that charge, then 3000 fps is your max load, not 68.5 gr. You might reach 3000 fps at 66.5 gr. That is where you stop with that rifle. In another rifle 68.5 gr of powder might be needed to reach 3000 fps. Some may only reach 2950 fps at 68.5gr
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Other than primer leakage, what other signs did you notice?

    How was bolt lift?

  6. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    Savage rifles have been known to have "dished" bolt faces. I have not looked at your load data, but if you are using Federal brass and have the classic dished bolt face, then that may be your problem.
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I would be doubtful that it has anything or everything to do with the load, I've loaded a bunch of Barnes in 7 mag. and never had a pressure problem. Barnes does have it's own exclusive data though, and it's for a good cause. Reason being that it's a solid copper, which gives it a much longer bearing surface. The longer bearing surface creates a significant increase in bore friction, which increase pressures.

    But what your describing so far, it sounds like it may be an issue with the bolt face.

    How was bolt lift?

    And other than leaking / blown primers, what do they look like, do they flow completely out to the edges of the pocket?

  8. Shadowstalker

    Shadowstalker Member

    The Bolt Face and Lift are Fine, They rounds chamber and unchamber easily. I bought a Cartridge Length (or sizing) gauge ????. someone told me they think I could have the bullet seated to close to the lands, but I'm under what Barnes publishes for the COAL by 0,010
    The primers are not flattened, I stopped where I did because I know by jumping to the next load the primers will blow.
    I should also say that I weigh each charge twice; first on a RCBS chargemaster, than on a beam scale. (Yes, Im anal)
    I should have Chrony'd them, but I didn't have the setup time. My next step I think is to back the H4831 down and try a different powder (with a new ladder test), and Chrony them
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  9. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    So you took a straight edge .535" wide and set of feelers to determine if the bolt face is not dished? If it is, it will not be visibly apparent.
  10. climbnjump

    climbnjump Well-Known Member

    Have you checked to see how far off the lands you ACTUALLY are?

    I have a 7mm RM rifle where the suggested COAL in a bullet manufacturer's (not Barnes) manual is about .010 INTO the lands so in that case, COAL minus .010 would be right on the lands. Rifles - and the reamers that cut their chambers - do vary some.
  11. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    Shadow, take a sharpie and mark a bullet, chamber it and look for rifling marks on it. That could be your problem as seating a bullet into the lands will spike pressure.
  12. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    That's what I was thinking also. You at least need to eliminate that as a possibility.
  13. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    If you are up close to the lands, or into the lands it will most definitely drive your pressures through the roof. And with Barnes bullets it will be even more significant.

    And not that I think it has anything to do with your problem, but the data for IMR v.s. H-4831 is very different. But it's still something to be aware of, and can no doubt have an effect on pressures.

    There are two ways to go about this. First you can take your powder charge all the way down to 65.0 grs. and work back up until you get what your looking for regarding velocity and accuracy. Or you can decrease the OAL to a definite .020"+ off the lands and start from around 66.0 grs. working up until accuracy and velocity are acceptable. But in this respect, and in my experience Barnes don't fare as well regarding accuracy when up close to the lands. I have chased the lands with them, and I learned that they don't do as well as does a lead core projectile, at least not in my rifles anyway.

  14. climbnjump

    climbnjump Well-Known Member

    Yep, same with my rifles. If you call Barnes, they will suggest that you start about .050 off the lands. That distance gave the best accuracy for one bullet that I tried. I did go to .030 for another.
  15. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    Ya I load a bunch of 140 trac bullets in my rifle and I seat a normal aol. I don't use Barnes info. I just start 2 gr under suggested and work. I'd start at a factory loaded round pal for your bullet. I've went I to gunstores with calipers and asked to open and measure rounds. Get funny looks but... Are you shooting the old x bullet or the newer banded bullets?
  16. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Barnes copper bullets NEED a lot of bullet jump. You CANNOT treat them like conventional bullets. Barnes' .050" off the lands is the MAX OAL you should be using. I almost sploded my HiWall doing what you're doing.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I looked at the Barnes load data and it seems you are well within their limits and using the same OAL they did. If it were me I would try backing the bullet away from the rifling a bit more. From everything you said it seems most likely your pressures are spiking because your bullet is too close to the rifling.
  18. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Well-Known Member


    I have simulated your load in the QuickLOAD ballistic software program. Indeed there is something odd going on here. Although I have needed to use the SAAMI standard H2O case capacity the simulation should be representative. At your load of 67.2gr H4831 you should be producing a MV of 3 052fps at 49 494psi. So something is indeed most odd seeing that your are experiencing pressure problems.

    You have not confirmed if your trimmed case lengths are within spec. I can only see case length and being on the lands as being the culprit. Having said which QuickLOAD recommends that 7 500psi is added to the pressure calculation if seated on the lands so theoretically you would still be within SAAMI limits which really only leave case length. Another question, are you uniforming your primer pockets? A final question is what is your jump with a COL of 3.23"

    QuickLOAD also shows that your load is inefficient and that your are only burning 92% of your powder.

    I can do a full simulation for your particular rifle if you would care for it. It will require some basic measurements on your part.
  19. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    If the only signs of pressure are a leaky primer, I gotta ask how are you seating your primers? Hand primers or press?

    Also have you tried taking that 3 samples of brass for this current test and using it for another known load you have worked up to see if the leak occurs with that load as well?
  20. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Most loads with slow burning powders are inefficient.

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