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7mm Cartridge choice for Long Distance

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by SCannon, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. SCannon

    SCannon Battle Ground, WA Active Member

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    I need some opinions and experience from everyone

    My brother left me with his long distance .300WM while he has been deployed, and I have worked out a bullet and load that is working very well at 600-1000 yards. But, he is coming back in November and I will lose 'my' bench gun. So it means I need to build my own, I don't want to buy a completed rifle, from the action up.

    I really like the 7mm (.284), but which one to choose?

    I have some experience with the 7mm Mag (dad's gun) and my hunting gun is the 280, which I like both of them. For a bench gun I want more than the 280. But also know that there are some short magnum's, ultra magnums, and other assorted magnums which I don't have experience with. So, I'm hoping that people can give me their experience and why they would go with 7mm XXX versus the standard 7mm Magnum.

    Thought?
     
  2. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I went with the 7mm STW a few years ago and have not looked back! It's a 8mm Remington mag necked down to 7mm. I have taken elk and deer with it out to 800 yards, all one shot kills.

    I use to love my 7mm Rem mag until the STW came out. Now it is my go to round for hunting. Nothing wrong with the standard 7mm, but I just like the litle extra the STW has.
     
  3. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    When you say bench gun, I am assuming it's going to be for target shooting only? I know a guy from another board who's been cleaning up with a .284 Winchester. However, whatever caliber you choose, as you found with the 300WM, it's the time you invest in shooting it and developing a load. I think most of the 7mm's would suit your needs just fine. The 7mm STW is a sweet cartridge but likes to eat barrels and your pocketbook. Personally, I'd step down .5mm and go with a 6.5x284. It held the 1000 yard accuracy record for many years and was only upset by the (then) one of a kind 300 hulk. The hulk is also known as the 30-338 Lapua Magnum.
     
  4. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    If it's only going to be a paper puncher I'd look into the 6mm Benchrest and 6.5x284
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I second the 6mmBR suggestion. A fast twist barrel (1:8) will handle the heavy bullets and the accuracy will be superior to any other standard caliber out to 600 yards. Modified 6mmBR wildcats that have more powder capacity are even better suited, but then you have to fireform brass which a lot of people are not into. Still the standard 6mmBR does very well and often wins competitions. Beyond 600 yards the 6BR will do well, but if the wind is blowing hard you will have issues unless you can read the wind. (That actually applies to all calibers, but the 6BR will drift more.) You will appreciate the light recoil and will be able to shoot for hours without getting beat up. Any .308 size bolt/action will handle the 6mmBR case. All you will need is a barrel chambered.
     
  6. Ordnance Locker

    Ordnance Locker Kitsap County New Member

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    7mm WSM, .260, .243, or 6mm CM... Frankly though out to 1K for a "Bench Gun" a .308 will work all the same but simply require more adjustments on the shooters end. It comes down to decent equipment and the driver more than the cartridge. You can have a sub moa gun, but if you're not a sub moa shooter it's irrelevant...
     
  7. BryanMunson

    BryanMunson United States, Albany, OR Member

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    A buddy of mine shot some long distance competitions and told me if I were interested he's suggest a 7mm WSM because of the bullet's BC and the short action of the WSM. Since then I've been wanting a 7 WSM for a long range gun but then I saw the Ruger Scout and I'm torn between long distance and realistic ranges and quicker shots. I am hung up on having just one bolt gun for what ever reason... too many guns not enough money I guess.
     
  8. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    6.5 Swede works for some people....but I admit to being a Luddite...
     
  9. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    In your shoes (experiences and preferences), I'd go with the time-tested 7mm Rem. It did hold 1000-yard records for quite a number of years. Issues about the "troublesome belt" can be eliminated by transferring headspacing to the shoulder (neck sizing only).

    The STW (as noted here by another) brings a wealth of barrel-wear issues and others with a very moderate gain for powder/expense involved. You plan to shoot the gun a lot.

    My experience with a number of the short mags shows a very minor velocity advantage over standard calibers (and in truth, they don't match the belted magnums). This is coupled with what became a significant (3 out of 10 guns I played with) problem with feeding from the magazine in factory guns. They had their run as "the next greatest thing", but the bloom is off the rose. Devotees persist, and it cannot be denied they are very happy. Of the group, the 7mm shorties do hold the best potential for maybe still being around 20 years from now. The 7mm Remington Magnum isn't even considering going away from us: for very good reason.

    Should you begin to listen to those posting here who strayed from your stated preference of 7mm, it should be noted that even some long-time adherents to the 6.5x284 for long range work are recently reconsidering, and contacting their smiths to rebarrel (or build new guns) for what seems a somewhat less troublesome cartridge: the 6.5-'06. Velocities are nearly identical. "Short-Action Stiffness" advantages are negated nearly completely if not alltogether with today's custom actions and bedding techniques.

    My first 7mm Remington Magnum was one of the early 700 ADL's with the stainless barrel that Remington struggled with to make it appear blued. I traded a pickup truck for it in 1976. That factory stock gun was the first rifle I ever shot a half-inch group with, and it would come up with one of those relatively reguarly (no, not "ALL DAY", as some dubiously claim from their favorites). With its favored load, it was a safe bet that the group could always be covered by a quarter.

    Currently, the only 7mm gun in the stable is a .276 Ackley built by the master himself on a Mauser. This is actually a .284 bore diameter, and was a predecessor to the Remington Magnum, being a bit shorter and more "efficient", with a longer neck. Remington examined this cartridge and the Sharpe & Hart with a microscope before their own version, opting for a bit less efficiency for a very bit more velocity (and a neck length that is adequate).

    You cannot go wrong with the Remington as your choice.
     
  10. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Hey now the STW doesnt wear out barrels anymore than a 7mm Rem mag! I have shot 10's of thousands of rounds thru each! Average barrel life on both have been right around 3800 rounds. I have one Remington Sendero that I have had 4 barrels on now...all STW. And all of the tubes have lasted well over 3500 rds.

    I have worn out allot of barrels, and its fun!

    I shoot allot of long range and the STW fits my needs. You might be surprised at the performance of the of it at 1000+ yards.
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Velzey, your experience as stated far exceeds mine, and so I must defer to your findings of equivalency between the two for barrel wear. It would seem by all accounts and known causes for barrel wear, however, that the STW and its significantly larger powder charge, bore to case capacity ratio and documentable higher velocity would take the barrel wear prize. You have significant evidence (by hard experience) to the contrary which should not be ignored.

    I DO agree with your inference (at least what I gathered) that barrel wear is a lot less of a headache than most might make it out to be (with almost any cartridge). Good barrel care (during and after shooting) should allow a barrel of any caliber to last the lifetime of an average shooter (a category apparently that you have departed from some time ago).
     
  12. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you plan on mainly target shooting with it and don't really intend to hunt with it....right?

    If this is the case I would consider a cartridge that it is easy (and relatively cheap) to find brass for.... 7mm Rem Mag. Most of the other suggested cartridges in this thread are expensive or difficult to find brass, or make your own. I am not a fan of the big belted magnums and only use my "long range" gun for punching paper also. I went with a .308 because it is easy to find guns in this caliber with the heavy barrel profile, it dosen't eat a lot of powder, good quality bullets are everywhere, and it dosen't produce more recoil than I can comfortably stand for long shooting sessions. If I have to make a few more adjustments to my scope or extra hold for wind, I will accept that as a trade off that my 308 is cheaper to shoot than a big belted magnum case.

    Cheaper to shoot = more shooting.
    More shooting = increased skill and enjoyment.
     
  13. SCannon

    SCannon Battle Ground, WA Active Member

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    Thank you to all for your considerable experience and knowledge. I think that I'm going to go with the standard 7mm Mag, I've only been shooting past 600yds in the last year, and don't think the gun will be the limiting factor to my accuracy until I get some more experience. Plus, I have been reloading for my dad and am more familiar with the 7mm than the others, and have the equipment. When I start pushing the limits of the gun, then I will look into building another in the more exotic calibers.

    Thank you!
     
  14. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Resurrecting this thread to advise any and all 7mm devotees that the newest "Special Issue" of Rifle Magazine is completely dedicated to 7mm's. Each writer in the Wolfe Publishing stable was assigned the task of writing toward the 7mm's, and some of them contributed more than one article.

    Yes, there is some redundancy of information, but careful reading will grant in each article a piece of information you did not have before (at least it did for me).

    It is interesting that the "extreme" 7mm's (STW, RUM) are given fair treatment as to their attributes, but also given honest treatment (even from the writers that like the cartridges) as to their practicality and so-called "advantages" over more sensible offerings.

    If you are a fan of the cartridge that started it all (the 7x57 Mauser), you'll learn a lot. If you are not a fan of it (or it has heretofore escaped your attention), you'll be inspired.
     
  15. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Bench gun+7mm= 280AI That's what I'm very heavily considering at least
     
  16. SCannon

    SCannon Battle Ground, WA Active Member

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    Thank you Spitpatch I ordered a copy today and look forward to reading.
     
  17. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    SCannon, I hope you like it. I'm not a shill for Rifle Magazine and Handloading Magazine, but I do find them to be apart from the rest in regard to less B.S., more hard information. Even in issues that contain mostly stuff I'm not particularly interested in, I can still find information I need.

    This issue gives some heavy credit to the 7mm Remington. Unfortunately, all the articles completely overlook my .276 Ackley Magnum (actually .284 caliber), that was (along with the Sharpe and Hart) the very inspiration for the Remington venture. Enjoy.
     
  18. mortre

    mortre Yelm, WA Active Member

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    I enjoyed that issue as well. I bought it because of all the articles about the 7x57.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. SCannon

    SCannon Battle Ground, WA Active Member

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    I will be looking forward to it. I'm hooked now on the long distance shooting, I was in Eastern Oregon over the weekend and shot out to 1000yds. Did pretty well up to 800yds, but amazed at going to 1000yds is orders of magnitude more difficult. I hit my 12" x 12" target twice out of 10, with no semblance of a grouping. But looking forward to trying again at the end of the month!
     
  20. pablo

    pablo Fort Lauderdale florida New Member

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    I want the best I can afford (and find) for mile long shots. I took one yesterday at Thundervalley in OH, hitting the gong at 1 mile (first time for me) with a 7mm WM Hulk built by Thom, the guy who runs the range. That being a non-standard cartridge means I need to handload, while 7mm WSM is standard. Does anyone know how those two rounds compare for precision, ultra long distance target shooting/competing? I want to avoid the .50 BMG and 338 Lapua because of the recoil, so I am going to what comes next.