Have been given a 7BR rifle and with a 1:9 twist Shilen and a T/C Contender barrel in 7mm TCU and am wondering which Moulds might be the best place to start. Will only be shooting steel with both out to 200 meters or so. Suggestions welcome as this will be the first “modern” cartridges I’ve done any work with in some time as the last metallic cartridge I did work with was a .40-82WCF Winchester 86.
7mm Mould Suggestions
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- Last Post 15 February 2020
Two rifles, a 788 rebuilt to a Heavy Rifle configuration in 7mm BR and a 700VLS in 7mm-08 have been in my safe waiting for my retirement and time to shoot. Your question prompts me to check the long-range weather forecast for better weather and make plans to shoot. I have shot both in competition with the SAECO #71 160 grain bullet and the RCBS 7mm-168-SP bullets.
The question is seating depth with these bullets, the bullet bases extend below the neck with standard chambering. The chambers needed the leade lengthened to accommodate the long bullet. This was with a 1 1/2 degree reamer and sample bullets with the bullet set halfway in the neck. I have a preference for the RCBS bullet, I won a match in Illinois with a borrowed rifle after flying back and shooting a 700VLS in 7mm-08 and that bullet.
I sized both bullets to .285.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
I have recently been using a 7x57 military and a 7 TCU LRH. Not setting the world on fire but the mil. likes the RCBS 145 sil. The xp I’m doing better with Lee 130. Less recoil maybe. The Lee would be light for silly-wett. But a good place to start. I have talked with several people over the years and they commented on the accuracy of the 145 sil.
... my RCBS 140 Silhouette mold also was the best of about 4 tried in my Ruger 280 77V , easy to get 1.5 moa with several powders around 1750 fps and up. my lee 130 gr. was undersized and i couldn't get any speed out of it as molded.
be a good start until you find exactly what you need in a custom.
the 7mm was maybe my favorite caliber; a real man's caliber but still not much recoil ...
RCBS no longer makes the 145 7mm Silhouette mould so I am trying to borrow one locally to see how that works. May also get the 130gr Lee as that is easily available to me. Thanks for all the advice and knowledge.
.. . if you like that 140 rcbs S. mold, i would sell mine .. pm me if, i will go see if it really is still in my stash . ( g ) ... ken
I have 2 Savages and one R700 in 7-08. The two moulds I have are the 285-130 Lee and the RCBS145SIL.
One savage and the R700 are 9 1/2T. The other Savage is an 11T that they made at some point(can't remember the exact date),for some strange reason? It lasted maybe a year or so. Every owner complained and Savage pulled it going with the more industry "std" 9 or 9 1/2T.
The Lee 130 drops the nose a touch small. I made the H&I die for this @.285" with NO tapered leade in to speak of. It only gets used to size the GC so didn't bother drilling lube holes. In use.... and this sounds WAY more challenging than it is. To the point it's downright easy and fun. When sizing the GC,there's a very noticeable "bump" when the sizing takes place. With a little practice,and just the tight top punch,you end up with a "bumped nose" section that is very easy to see. I've taken pics of it(can't post on here),very obvious.
That worked so well on the R700(stainless 24" brrl) in two different loads that I basically never tried the RCBS. The 1st load is a H4198 "plinker" @2000 fps or so. The other,is well into starting JB load table with Varget. Fantastic varmint round. Way too much barrel heat and recoil for target work out of the thick sporter brrl on the Remington.
The Lee 130 also gets shortened by one drive band in a,5 gang fixture for use in the 11T Savage. Takes longer to write than mill them into perfect 100g varmint vaporizers. These are shot @3000fps and are a hoot. It's a newer Savage that's had some hot rodding done to it.
The RCBS 145 drops the nose section,noticeably FAT. I made a nose sizing die and can't remember the leade angle,think it's 3* included? But it matches the R700 factory throat perfectly. I've also milled bases on this bullet. Only GC gets sized,body is as cast. There is one other op but gets way to involved trying to even talk about,much less write. It involves knurling sections of the bullets body. Anyway,with the now tapered nose,and perfectly milled bases it is a tack driver. Ya'll wouldn't believe me if I wrote what routine,throw it up on the truck hood,groups are. This rig has a 2# Timney and fantastic,B&L glass.
I still use the Lee for every day carry in the Remington. It's my favorite rig.
Have a loaner RCBS Mould as well as about 90 already cast and sized bullets (.285”) so we’ll see when the weather warms a bit. Minus 15F windchill isn’t my idea of testing weather.
The weather warmed enough for my son and I to get some range time. So far the TCU contender with the 145 RCBS and H4198 is going into 3/4” at 60yards (3 shot groups) One of the local club members has offered his 50 yard barn indoor range if it stays cold (high today was 18 degrees F with out the wind). Also was able to trade for 145 and 168 RCBS moulds from retired silhouette shooter. Has any one tried IMR 4227 in the 7 TCU? The 7BR is waiting for better weather, since I really want to try that at longer range. Thanks for all the advice , brothers.
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