CZ 550 American 7x57

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by holmegaard, Jan 20, 2017.

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  1. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    Be careful forming anything with a 0.473" head to 6.5x55. It has a larger base/head and can cause issues. That said, I think Remington, Winchester, and Federal all make their 6.5x55 with a 0.473" case head.

    I have a couple of 7x57 rifles and I love the cartridge. My current favorite rifle is my Dominican Republic 7x57 but it only has a 20" barrel, about 4" shorter than I like. I bought it as a donor action but made the mistake of shooting it before having it rebarreled (to 7x57 :) ). It shoots great with PPU 139 gr SP but they're only going about 2550-2600 fps. I can hit a 2-liter bottle easily with it out to 350 yards with them. I haven't spent a whole lot of time doing load work ups with it, but I should be able to improve on the velocity and accuracy quite a bit. Even with a 20" barrel, I should be able to get close to 2800 fps out of 139/140 gr pills.

    My other one is a Mexican 1910 that isn't quite as accurate as the Dom Rep but still accurate. Or at least it was until one of the front scope base screw holes decided it wanted to get loose on the deer hunt a couple of years ago. I still haven't fixed it. It also needs a more gooder stock. It's currently a cheap Ramline stock that has been stiffened and a rear pillar installed.

    OP, you got a gorgeous rifle there. (Mine are both kinda ugly, but functional. :D )

    Matt
     
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  2. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I'm loading 154 Interlocks as well, but with 46 grains. I tried 47 and 48 but started to see flattening of primers at 47 and definitely at 48, plus no real gains in velocity beyond 46. However, I'm very satisfied with the 46-grain load under the 154's in my rifle. 1" groups too. Gotta love that.

    I'd guess that b/c the mountain rifle barrel is short, like my Ruger RSI (18.5" barrel). I have my stainless RSI set up like a mountain rifle right now - sub. 7# scoped.
     
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  3. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    No, the mountain rifle barrel is 22" just like most other sporters. But the stock is narrow and the barrel is slim, similar to the model 7 I have that does have an 18.5" barrel.

    And yes I could push the load but to what purpose? It does what I want it to do now without overworking the brass. I guess I have a different view than most. I will load up to max book loads as long as the accuracy holds but if I need more power I just use a bigger gun instead of trying to wreck a gun I am fond of. And that applies to rifles as well as handguns.

    I read a lot of Finn Aagaard articles (just got a new book off ebay) and he talks a lot about the 6.5s and 7x57 rounds. Those rounds made their excellent reputations with long heavy bullets at velocities around 23-2400fps. The new idea of loading them fast with light weight bullets would never have worked in the African fields he wrote about. Not for the large game they were used on back in the early part of the last century.

    You need to know that I am perfectly happy hunting with an open sighted 30-30 and the modest velocity it has. I take more pride in getting in close than being a long range deer sniper. I like the fact that I can hunt and stalk just like an indian armed with a bow and arrow. I have had a buck deer less that 6 foot from me that never knew I was there. And I don't wear camo.
     
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  4. denton

    denton Member

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    I like my bolt action 30-30 very well, too. I usually shoot cast lead 175 grain bullets at 1900 FPS. I certainly have no dispute with people who often don't load to the max. In fact, I'm one of them.

    But it is simply not true that loading a 7x57 to modern pressures is in any way abusing or damaging a modern firearm. Nor is it true that the 270 is decisively faster than a 7x57 so loaded. Nor is it true that the 7x57 only works well with heavier bullets.

    The 7x57 is one of the sweetest, most nicely balanced cartridge we have.

    End rant.
     
  5. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    If you will reread my post a little closer I never said full power loads damage a gun. I stated that going past the books loads overworks the brass. If a 140gr bullet going 2850fps will not kill a deer or other animal then I doubt the same bullet going 2900+fps will do any better for the ranges I like to hunt at. If you want to exceed tested and published loads then be my guest. I will not. And those loads ARE modern loads published in new loading manuals. And I never said it ONLY works well with heavier bullets. I said it made its reputation on large game like Elephants with heavy bullets. Maybe you should read my post again.
     
  6. denton

    denton Member

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    Well enough, but most of my post was not directed at you.

    Since several of my rifles are instrumented with strain gauges, I make my own pressure measurements. When I depart from book loads, I do it knowing what my actual pressures are.

    Many modern books contain the old, lower pressure loads that were designed to accommodate weaker wartime actions. There is absolutely no reason that you cannot safely load 7x57 to 308 pressures for modern rifles in good condition. If a modern 308 rifle and case will stand the pressure, so will a 7x57. Check the loads you're looking at, and see if they aren't at something like 46,000 CUP. Then ask yourself, what characteristic of brass or steel differentiates a 7x57 from a 308, 30-06, 270, or other cartridge that operates in the 50,000 CUP range.

    You are absolutely right that the target animal will not notice any difference between a bullet at 2850 FPS and 2900+. As I mentioned above, 2850 is what I load my 150 grain bullets to, when I could safely go about 75 FPS faster.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  7. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Ok if I misread your post I apologize. But when you came behind me and mentioned 30-30s and over pressure loads I thought you were talking about my post. And I did mention in an earlier post that I make my brass from 30-06 and 270 brass when I need to. That is modern brass as strong as any 308 brass.

    And as I mentioned earlier I do have a wartime action. I have a G33/40 action and if I have the history correct this action was made in German occupied Czechoslovakia (I had to look that up) in 1943. But it is as far as I can tell a very desirable action. I was offered $1500 for it many years ago.

    And you are one up on me. I have no pressure testing equipment. I just rely on manuals and the fact that a bullet going 2600+fps is damn deadly to anything it happens to hit. And it takes a whole lot less than that to kill a deer. That's why the 30-30 has survived for so many years.

    I made the point that I like to hunt close. But rest assured I can shoot at long range. I used to be on a lease where we had a slope that overlooked a very large plowed field. We would shoot at the large dirt clods from a sitting rest. It was surprising how far away you could make a hit and how little elevation it took to do so. It was great practice and I wish I had a spot to do more of that now.

    And now maybe to get the thread back on track I hope the OP comes back with a report on the rifle or at least what scope he chose to mount. I bet he is going to like that rifle and its ability to kill deer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  8. denton

    denton Member

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    That sounds like an incredibly cool rifle. And I think you'll win your bet about him liking that rifle.
     
  9. holmegaard

    holmegaard Member

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    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread, some great information here.
    Completed the sale of another rifle last night, unexpectedly. Had posted it locally several months ago & had almost forgotten it was still for sale!
    The proceeds will go toward ammunition & scope for the 550. Four brands/types of ammo, so if nothing else will have the makings of a brass supply. Went with a Leupold VX-2 in 3-9x40 with German #4 reticle.
    May take a few weeks, but will definitely post with some range results.
     
  10. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    German #4 is my favorite reticle. Have several scopes with it.
     
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  11. VThillman

    VThillman Member

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    Congratulations on your find, and the purchase of it. You may place me among the jealous ones.

    I once owned a Ruger 77 "mark I" in 7 X 57. Gave it to a grandnephew during a fit of generosity. Hate it when that happens.
     
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  12. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

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    Excellent rifle/caliber combination ! Congrats !! I've always based my caliber selections on my own likes or tastes,
    with the type of game I'll use it for, not store bought availability. That's why I reload, so as not dependent on store shelves. .02 cents
     
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  13. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    Congratulations on your beautiful new-ish rifle. I love my CZ550 American .375H&H and have thought that a CZ550 American in 6.5x55 would be a sweet lightweight alternative. And of course, they don't make them anymore. If CZ produced a CZ550 with a lefty bolt in 6.5x55 I could buy one for my wife and call it a day.

    But I would settle for one in 7x57, which is another terrific cartridge that is wild on the target but mild on the shooter.
     
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