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7mm-08 powder choice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SARuger, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    I'm new to this caliber and I'm struggling to find accuracy. My rifle will group tight but only after the barrel is hot. The first few rounds are all over the place. I have tried three powders so far, two ladder tests and one Ken Waters Pet load.

    My ladder tests were run with Varget and IMR 4064 with 120g Vmax and 139g SST. The Ken Waters pet load was with 139g SST and 748. So far Ken was the closest!I got just over a 2" group at 100yrds on a cold barrel and .5" group on a smoking hot barrel. The barrel has about 150rounds down it so far.

    I have purchased 162g ELD-X to try. My thought process is that this rifle might like heavy bullets.

    The rifle is a Ruger American, and before the RA bashing starts, I own 7 Ruger Americans and all shoot sub MOA on my hand loads at 100yrds so I'm not going to entertain that the rifle is at fault at this point. I really think I just havent tried the right powder yet.

    I have access to about any powder that there is except H4350.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. JackSprat

    JackSprat Member

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    IMR 4064 has worked well in my 7mm08.I shoot 139 gr Interlock,and get groups of about an inch,or so..When you say your groups are wide on a cold barrel do you mean cold,and freshly cleaned?,or does it shoot wide regaurdless of being clean vs dirty?.You may have a rifle that prefers a dirty bore,and the fact that your groups tighten when hot is in corelation to the fact that the bore is getting dirtied as well..
     
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  3. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    4064 is a great choice, and you are right about the American, great rifle I have a friend that has two and one is 7mm08 and it shoots great. I never checked his, but is the barrel free floated? If you have a tight spot against the stock that may change as the barrel heats.

    If hunting whitetails I'd give the 120g Nosler BT instead of the V-Max it is a more robust bullet. Ive been getting sub inch groups @ 3000 FPS with 40g of IMR4007SSC but it is now discontinued. I've shot 7 deer with it and none have gone more than 50 yds and 4 dropped in their tracks like they were hit with Thor's Hammer. When my supply of 4007 runs out I'm going to have to find something else. I'm trying Vihtavuori N150 this week and will let you know how it goes
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  4. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    My experience is that the 7mm08 does a LOT better with the 4350 speed range of powders.
    My RemMod7 much prefers IMR4350. H4350 gets slightly more velocity, My favorite RL17, gives speed of H4350 and precision of IMR, same charge weights as H.
    Best accuracy is with 150gr bullet, followed by 160-162, then 140, 139. Never used lighter than 139. Those I relegate to the 7-30Waters.
    My gun "gags" on Varget, 4064, H4895 and especially H380.
    It "sorta" likes H414.
    I use 48.0gr RL17 w/139gr Hornady BtSpt. Have a lot of those. (MidwayUSA blems) 47.0 w/140gr Nosler or Sierra ProHunter.
    45.0gr w/150gr Nosler or Sierra GK. Ditto 160gr GK.

    Added, I loaded up some 120's (v-max) for a friends grandson to use in a Rossi single shot. Starting load of H4895. Shot so well, they bought dies, powder, bullets to duplicate load for all their 7-08's. They think I'm a genius, but I read Hodgdons loading manuals, and web sites....
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    You might want to try the fairly new RL-16. It's in the same speed range of 4350 and only slightly faster than RL-17, it is extremely temperature stable, it's accurate and has a copper fouling reduction additive.
     
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  6. STCL01

    STCL01 Member

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    I purchased a Winchester 70 featherlight for my wife in 7-08. Using factory ammo it shot 1.5 groups consistently at 100 yards. I finally began playing with it a few months ago. Since I had some 150g bullets on hand for another rifle I decided to play with those. Using RE-15 and a SGK 150g the rifle tightened up to .5 at 100. I believe that I am using 38 grains but would have to go back and check. You need to do your own work-up. Not a screaming round, but light on the shoulder and more than adequate for a 100 yard shot on whitetail.
     
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  7. 458MinMag

    458MinMag Member

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    I've found some accurate loads with 120NBTs and CFE223, 150 ELD-X and Varget, Speer 145's and Benchmark, and 150 SMK with Re15.
     
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  8. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    I haven't cleaned it in the last 60 rounds or so, its due or even past due. That will be my next step before my next load tests.
     
  9. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    I've never found RL16 on the shelves around here, so i guess I can add that to H4350 as another powder that is unavailable.
     
  10. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    Your results are same as mine, Varget and IMR4064 are not working. I do have RL17, putting that on my list to try!
     
  11. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    I checked that as well, a dollar bill clears the stock all the way.
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    IMR 4350 and IMR 4064. I don't own one, I loaded for my step mom's Rem. 7. I suspect Varget would be a great choice, it came out after that.
     
  13. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    My 7-08 is scary accurate with Varget (over published max) and a 140 Nosler Accubond or Ballistic Tip. Have not shot game with it yet.

    I do have a 7mm Valkyrie that will ONLY be fed a diet of IMR 8208 and a 120 Ballistic Tip. I must say that it is the only bullet that myself and 3 other friends that hunt have had more "bang flops" with than any other bullet we have shot. Between the 4 of us we have harevested 28 deer with the 7mm 120 ballistic tip @ ~2800fps. 23 of the 28 have been a bang flops.

    For me the above mentioned bullet is the ONLY bullet I see myself using for the foreseeable future.
     
  14. Matt Travis

    Matt Travis Member

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    I worked up a load for my wife's Ruger M77 that shot very accurate groups with an impressive velocity out of a 20 in pipe. 140grain Barnes TTSX w/48.5gr Rel17 and CCI 250 mag primers. This load has a chronographed velocity of 3030 fps and will shoot under a half inch at 100 yards out of her gun. She dropped her first Moose and Bison in their tracks with one shot.
     
  15. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    Define "all over the place". It means different things to different people. If three powders shoot about the same groups cold and then improve to better groups hot it most likely is not a load issue. Heat could be inducing stress into the barrel, action, stock system , or, relieving it. Check to see if the barrel is still free floated after a few shots. You can also put shims under the barrel to add a pressure point. If possible try switching stocks. Trying factory ammo may be an option just as a test. If factory does the same thing a trip to Ruger may be in order.
     
  16. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    3" groups @100yrds on average, the 748/139g SST will tighten down on a hot barrel, everything else stays in the 2"-3" average
     
  17. 458MinMag

    458MinMag Member

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    Have you tried to play with the action screw torque yet? I just looked up the manual and here is what is says on page 21: “To replace the stock: a. Place the barreled-action assembly into the stock. Be certain the two angled bedding blocks in the stock fit into the corresponding grooves in the receiver. b. Loosely install the screws into the bottom of the stock. c. Tighten the two screws as follows: Do not tighten one screw all the way and then the other. Instead, alternately tighten each one – a partial turn at a time – so that the screws will be tightened equally until both are snugly tightened to 60-80 in-lbs.” The part about alternatively tightening the screws appears to be critical.

    I would also suggest that you try a different brand of bullets. I know a lot of people like Hornady bullets, but I find it easier to get most Sierra and Nosler’s to shoot well. Pick up a box of Nosler Ballistic Tips (120, 140 or 150gr) or the sister product Winchester Ballistic Silvertip, and see if things don't look better.

    Good luck!
     
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  18. CptnAwesome

    CptnAwesome Member

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    If you're wanting to shoot lighter bullet (120gr) my 7mm-08 loves H4895. Sierra pro hunters and Nosler ballistic tips low recoil and full loads it shoots great.
    I have also loaded 140gr Nosler Ballistic Tips full load and gotten sub 1" groups consistently also.
    If you haven't tried it already I would.

    Just my 2¢
     
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  19. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    Honestly I havent messed with this rifle at all other than mount a couple of scopes(thought I had a scope issue to start). I will try this
     
  20. Stumper

    Stumper Member

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    I have had good results with H380. Overall most people seem to report happiest results with 4064 or Varget but as you have noticed every rifle is an individual.
     
  21. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    l finally found what my rifle likes! It likes heavy bullets, 162g ELD Match, and it likes RL15, 39g to be exact! Sub MOA at 100yrds
     
  22. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    My limited experience with rifles chambered in 7mm-08 showed a preference for maximum loads (or a little over, depending on which loading manual you use) of Varget. Interesting that other favorite cartridges (.308 Win, 6.5x55, .243 Win with light bullets, 22-250 AI) prefer IMR-4064 over Varget, but the 7mm-08's that I loaded for had a definite preference for Varget. We loaded with 139 gr Hornady spire points and 140 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips.
     

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