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reloading issues with 7x57

This is a discussion on reloading issues with 7x57 within the Ruger Single-Shot forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I have a Ruger NO. 1 light sporter in (22" barrel) in 7 x 57. I'm trying to reload for it, and have had some ...


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Old May 22nd, 2016, 10:09 AM   #1
 
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reloading issues with 7x57

I have a Ruger NO. 1 light sporter in (22" barrel) in 7 x 57. I'm trying to reload for it, and have had some surprises.
I am using Norma brass, IMR 4350, CCI primers, and Horandy 154 gr. bullets.

I think I am now 7 gr. over the max load in my Hornady manual?!!?

Right now I am up to 50 grs. of powder and have the bullet seated out to 3.187 and I am no where near the lands. In fact, if I remember I am still 50 thou. from them, and I am only getting 2,600 fps. My goal is 2,700, or so I hope to get there. I am not seeing ANY sign of pressure at all.

I have shot two boxes of Norma factory loads of 150 gr. listed at 2,700 fps, so I know someone is getting there. My chrono. confirmed this factory velocity in my rifle.

I am neck sizing only and I only have the dia. of the bullet seated in the case.

I have just run the 49 and 50 grains loads through the chronograph just to see fps and did not shoot for accuracy. Here's my question, do I add more powder, there's still a little room in the case, or do I seat the bullet deeper?

Am I being unrealistic hoping to get to 2,700 fps.? I want to use this rifle for deer and elk this fall, and I feel I need that velocity.

Any advice from experienced reloaders would be appreciated.



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Old May 22nd, 2016, 12:13 PM   #2
 
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Better stick to what the book says, do not go adding powder just because there is room, ka-boom!

The 7x57 has a short neck .

It was the first cartridge I ever loaded, hated the short neck.

Good luck.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 12:58 PM   #3
 
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Shoots High,

You are treading very dangerous waters, BACK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking at my Hornady manual they list the max IMR4350 load with a 154gr as 43.4 gr.

The Speer manual lists the same power at a max of 49gr behind a 145gr bullet, and a max of 46gr behind a 160gr bullet. Both of these loads are listed as "C" or compressed using Remington/Peters cases.

Many RUGER #1 rifles have a long throat. DON'T worry about it. Seat the bullet out where there is still a good case mouth to bullet hold and go for it.

Many rifles, Weatherby has done it for years, shoot very well with longer throats and bullets not seated close to the lands.

Once you have found the best shooting, best groups, possible with a given powder/bullet combination, a "bench Mark" if your will, then you can tweak the seating depth by VERY small amounts to see if the groups improve.

Then WHY would you add more powder just because you still have case room when you have already GREATLY exceeded safe limits. WHY?????????

There is also no reason to seat the bullet deeper because of unused case volume!

If you want to come closer to 100% load density, change powders. A slower powder such as H or IMR 4831 will give you safe loads with more of your powder capacity being used.

The Hodgdon book lists a 160gr bullet ahead of IMR 7828 which is also a slower powder. Max load 48gr.

Were you to seat your bullets deeper over an already well over maximum load, you WILL INCREASE pressures even more.

In fact, the long throat on your #1 may well be the reason you have not already experienced safety issues/problems.

You are being VERY!!!!!!!!!!!!! unrealistic in expecting 2700fps with a 154gr bullet from your 7X57.

If you feel that you want the 2700fps, or need the integrity of the 154gr bullet weight, well you could go to a better bullet -higher integrity - such as a Nosler Partition 140 or 150gr, both of which their loading manual lists at velocities close to or in excess of 2700fps, or stay with the 154gr bullet weight and work for accuracy in the velocity range of about 2500fps.

Both directions will safely get you there and take your deer or elk, PROVIDING you do your part with a well placed shoot.

At this point I don't want to be anywhere near you when you shoot those excessive loads. Not into destroyed rifles or eyes or blood!

HOT day/weather will increase your risk of failure!!!!!!!!!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Deary Old Coot; May 22nd, 2016 at 01:03 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 01:47 PM   #4
 
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I failed to mention that I called Hornady and gave the same data to them and they were not a bit excited with what I have going on. Seems to them I am in safe territory as there are no signs of excessive pressure and still within reasonable fps's. The weather her has been in the 80's while shooting these loads.

Horandy says that the reason for my low velocities and pressure is the length I'm seating this bullet out to as well as not full length resizing. The danger will be shoving it in to the 3.65 c.o.l the books call for.

I'm hoping to hear from someone who has reloaded this cartridge in a no. 1
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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shoots high, I started loading for a 7x57 when I built my first rifle in gunsmith school (1973). It has a genuine Mauser action with a custom barrel and stock .... a real shooter!!!

Several years ago I picked up a slightly used #1 chambered in 7x57 and I'm here to tell you ... you would think they are totally different calibers/cartridges because they shoot entirely different. The throat in the Ruger is .040" deeper .... and that's a lot!!! Headspace is about the same but there's no way you could neck size a spent case from either rifle and expect it to fit in the other one. The Ruger prefers 175gr bullets whereas the Mauser likes 160gr bullets. Both guns will shoot sub-MOA with their favorite bullets and IMR 4350 powder.

Let me address the "chamber pressure issue". I'm a "follow the book" kind of guy unless there is a reason not to. In the case of a 7x57, there is indeed a reason NOT TO .... but only by well experienced shooters. Back in the early 1900's Argentina manufactured a lot of 7x57s using Mauser's blue prints. The problem was ... their metallurgy was not modern ... even by 1900 standards. As such, there are a lot of the old Argentine Mausers floating around that can not hold up to modern pressure standards. Nearly all high power rifles are rated by SAAMI for pressures that are in the 50~60k psi range but the 7x57 is limited to 46k CUP by ammo manufacturers and reloading manuals .... all because there might be an Argentine Mauser owner floating about. As I'm sure you know, Ruger #1s are chambered for cartridges that far exceed normal hunting calibers so .... the cartridge is really immaterial .... it's the design strength of the gun that matters. With all that said, I don't own pressure testing equipment so I depend on reloading manuals to keep me in the safe zone .... I suggest you do the same .... even though the #1 is rated much higher.

Next is the velocity issue. Most high power rifle owners are brainwashed into thinking a rifle has to be some super fast magnum or it just won't kill Bambi. Fact is, that is far from true. Back in 1953, a firearms magazine writer named Jack O'Conner used a 7x57 to kill a large variety of African game ... 80 big game animals in all including elephants. Jack was a 270 Win fan but loved the 7x57 Mauser and shot it with the only civilian ammo available at the time 175gr Remington (2440 fps).

Due to the twist rate in the #1s, a 175gr bullet shoots very well. It's trajectory looks like a rainbow but once you learn about hold over, it is an excellent 250 yard deer gun ... no different than most other high power rifles. I killed a couple deer with my #1 ... no record distance ... maybe 125 yards max, but all it took was what I had .... one shot.

It's too bad people don't do some homework before they buy a gun. Seems each caliber/cartridge has established a reputation .... good or bad ... and each type of rifle has it's good and bad attributes. Once you determine the primary use for a rifle, the chambering and type of action seem to fall in place.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 03:46 PM   #6
 
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There's a difference in the 7x57 Mauser rifling and the 280rem / 7mm rem mag. I think your way past the edge. The hunted elephant with the 7mm mausers. I'd use the 7mm Mauser with a 175gr bull to hunt deer and Blackbears in North America. Just standard loads. If you want more power rebarrel to the 280rem or 7mm Mauser.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 04:21 PM   #7
 
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Rifle Chamber Variation

As is usual, a particular rifle will have chamber dimensions, barrel length and other details that do not match the rifle used in the loading manual.

1. If I was to load for my 222 Rem. Ruger No. 1V with OAL numbers that matched my manual, there would be a rather large jump to the lands. I solve this by finding the lands with a dummy cartridge, save that OAL number and bump my bullets 0.010" shorter than the dummy cartridge. I then bump it again to 0.020" off the lands and compare the results. One of those two seems to nearly always be just right. Nearly always, I get best accuracy near the middle of the high/low powder loads suggested in my manual.*

2. My BAT action 222 has a chamber so different from my Ruger that I have to load ammo for the two with completely different OAL figures, as well as different powder loads.

* When I recently has the BAT rifle out practicing for competition, my coach had me load powder well over the max in my manual. It made me nervous but he has many years more of experience than I have, so I did as I was told. The result was several 200 yard groups measuring under 0.6" in a brisk wind. Back home, I inspected the brass and found no developing issues.

I suggest you take a hard look at the brass you have been using. Even better, have a more experienced reloader inspect your brass. Overpressure will leave its marks.

Speaking of Jack O'Connor:
I have his book The Hunting Rifle. In that book he tells of an African safari where his wife was shooting her 7X57 Mauser. The result was 17 kills with 19 shots. The only time it was not one shot-one kill, was a Kudu that "needed three shots to convince it that it was dead," though any of the three was found to have been a fatal shot.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 04:36 AM   #8
 
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Some #1s had cavernous chambers, way out of the normal range. from mid 70s on there was sloppy quality checking at the factory and many got through. At that time Ruger did nothing to correct the problem rifles, but mor recently they will fix such glitches.
Good luck,
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 07:15 AM   #9
 
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Reloading for the 7x57

In my 1979 Ruger No. 1A in 7x57 I am currently using
Norma cases, WLR primers, 41.1 gr. of Hodgdon Varget powder,
Hornady 162 gr A-Max bullets and an OAL of 3.094. I
crimp my reloads. I only neck size my cases. This formula
gives me excellent results.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 07:59 AM   #10
 
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johnyakima,

Just wondering but, Why do you crimp your 7X57 loads for the #1.

I have never crimped any bolt or single shot rounds for rifles of any caliber with the single exception of the cast bullet rounds used in my RUGER #1 - 45/70.

That includes #1s in .223, .270, 7mm mag and 300 mag. and the 45/70. This is starting back in the late 60s or early 70s.

Just curious.

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Old May 23rd, 2016, 09:47 AM   #11
 
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As Lowegan says, just because it is printed in a book, does NOT mean it is the absolute LAW. If we were not aware of Ruger only loads for some handguns, we would be getting the "oh my god, your going to blow up your gun" comments from those that were reading loads out of a book based on loads for another type pistol.

Overpressure signs are fairly easy to spot for an experienced handloader. Now I am NOT telling everybody to go out and start adding a bunch of powder to max loads that are currently in books today, but many of us do shoot such loads and have for years. I can produce any number of books that list MUCH hotter max loads than current books. Then we get the "testing is different now" arguments. I understand that, but I also understand that if I have been shooting what is considered NOW an overpressure round in a rifle for over 30 years with no ill effects, I am sure not going to change it now.

Also as noted, current 7x57 "book" loads are a very low pressure. WELL under common "other" rifle specs and WAY under what would be harmful to a rifle with a robust action like a Number1.

It is also well known that Rugers have, shall we say VERY generous chambers, especially on SOME chamberings, the 7x57 being one of them. They are chambered for heavy, rounded type military bullets. Modern, streamlined hunting bullets will not come close to the lands when seated to book length. You CAN'T seat them out far enough to even get close. You ARE going to have bullet "jump" and a lot of it. Just is what it is, unless you set the barrel back and rechamber with a "modern" 7 x57 reamer
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 12:07 PM   #12
 
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The O/P's comment about 50 grains of 4350 sort of got my attention..I have a 7x57 Interarms X Mauser that had a bunch of ammo with it (also fired cases and some primed cases)..the guy that had it was shooting 120 grain Barnes with 53+ grains...and the rifle showed the damage..just finished having the barrel set back one turn and the chamber recut...it had some headspace issues..probably could have just kept neck sizing and loading moderate and been fine but talked to lots of folks and the end result was having it done right.

The bullet I load is a 160 grain Sierra sp and the Sierra manual shows the max on that bullet of about 45 grains..I shoot 43 and its insane how well it shoots...their data shows 44.5 (as I recall) as the most accurate they tested and right near max.

With the chamber recut an all well I think I could load much heavier but I won't..why? I'm now playing with col but I'll never get close to the lands...I have found the Sierra bullet I'm shooting is happy at a bit shorter length and much shorter than the original 174 grain round nose that made the caliber what it is...those were long.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 06:08 PM   #13
 
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I loaded some 43 and 44 grain loads with my rifle, and it was shooting 3/4 inch groups, but it was only flying about 2100 fps.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 03:42 AM   #14
 
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I've a 1A 7x57 since 78, and while never impressed with its accuracy am still able to regularly hit 8" targets at my 300yd berm with the 140gr load that's perfectly capable of nailing a thin-skinned deer - which is the only thing I've killed with the gun; quantity of one at apx 175yds. 140 gives you the rapid energy dump you want unless you're fond of trailing. Get a magnum if you anticipate really long range shots (and practice a lot before you take a poke) O'Conner also thought necking the 7 up to 35 would make the perfect timber round - its on my one-of-these-days list
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Old May 24th, 2016, 09:18 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtoad View Post
I've a 1A 7x57 since 78, and while never impressed with its accuracy am still able to regularly hit 8" targets at my 300yd berm with the 140gr load that's perfectly capable of nailing a thin-skinned deer - which is the only thing I've killed with the gun; quantity of one at apx 175yds. 140 gives you the rapid energy dump you want unless you're fond of trailing. Get a magnum if you anticipate really long range shots (and practice a lot before you take a poke) O'Conner also thought necking the 7 up to 35 would make the perfect timber round - its on my one-of-these-days list
And please do not take those long range shots until you have enough experience and skill to make a long range kill. A lot of serious mistakes are made in long range hunting.

I remember a news item not so many years ago that told of a couple of hunters who shot another hunter four times. At the range they were shooting, they thought they saw a black hairy looking animal at a great distance. Assuming it was a bear, they shot. It was a man wearing a heavy black coat resting on a log. That was here in Washington State. I am sure you could look it up.

Fortunately the wounded man lived to forgive the idiots who shot him.

Here's a better idea. Learn the skill of stalking and/or identifying game trails. Get close enough to be within your skill level. Then you will not need a "Magnum".

Here is a different story without a happy ending. Hiker mistaken for a bear, killed by hunter | The Seattle Times
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