Off-season project - 7mm Rem Mag

Which brings up the next topic. With all these friendly folks helping me out with advice and equipment, I’m going to jump in the deep end and start buying more stuff. I just bought some 7 mag dies from Redding.

As far as next step, I was in between a case prep machine or some sort of brass cleaner/media tumbler. What would you upgrade next?
I still use the Lee Lock Stud/cutter system for trimming/chamfering/debuting rifle cases with the aid of a good cordless drill. I like cleaning brass in a vibratory tumbler with walnut. After lubing and sizing rifle brass it goes back in the tumbler with treated corncob media to remove the leftover Lube.

My vote is the tumbler as next purchase, but if you’re only loading a couple rifle cartridges now, you wouldn’t be out much money to get two of those Lee lock-stud, cutter and case length gauges for trimming.
 
Unless I have alot of dirty brass, I do not use my walnut vibrator, I just use Fine steel wool to clean the neck/shoulder area. A good VLD inside neck deburrer is inexpensive and will save you from shaving your bullets when seating. I just use the old "Cricket" style for outside deburring. I too use the LEE case trimmers, etc. I still like to deburr the primer flash hole in unprepped cases, I rarely cut the primer pockets (Uniformer) When I can find it in my current caliber, I buy Lapua or Norma or Nosler brass. If I have a exceptional rifle, I will try and hunt down RWS. I've never tried ADG and others, but I'm pretty sure only a tighter rifle can show better results with them. I don't anneal, but Charlie Sisk Custom Rifle Maker down in Dayton, Tx did an article (somewhere? Maybe on 24hrcampfire?) on annealing "new" 7mm Rem Mag brass ( which new cases are considered to be annealed anyhow) before loading and getting exceptional groups in his Customs right off the bat. For small amounts of brass, you can use the candle method or buy a fancy automated Annealer as an investment.
 
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I still use the Lee Lock Stud/cutter system for trimming/chamfering/debuting rifle cases with the aid of a good cordless drill. I like cleaning brass in a vibratory tumbler with walnut. After lubing and sizing rifle brass it goes back in the tumbler with treated corncob media to remove the leftover Lube.

My vote is the tumbler as next purchase, but if you’re only loading a couple rifle cartridges now, you wouldn’t be out much money to get two of those Lee lock-stud, cutter and case length gauges for trimming.
+1 for cleaner, but I like the Hornady sonic cleaner. It uses water and a cleaning solution instead of dry media. You'll want to use distilled water, though, as tap water can leave a little bit of a film on the case. @Jbotto makes a good point about cleaning off the brass after it has been resized to remove leftover case lube-- I usually just pour the brass onto an old bath towel and roll it around for a few minutes.
 
Learned something new today; CBTO seems to be a much more accurate way of seating the bullet.

When I was measuring, I noticed my bullet seating from tip to tip was always around 0.02”-0.05” differences. Now that I got the comparator gauge, my differences are within 0.0015”.
 
I don't use a bullet comparator unless I have a really accurate rifle and am seating the bullets closer than 20 thou. Normally, I end up seating all Barnes from 50 to 100 thou or other rifles I have to load to magazine length regardless of throat position. I have always had hunting rifles too. not target or LR where more detail is required.
 
I don't use a bullet comparator unless I have a really accurate rifle and am seating the bullets closer than 20 thou. Normally, I end up seating all Barnes from 50 to 100 thou or other rifles I have to load to magazine length regardless of throat position. I have always had hunting rifles too. not target or LR where more detail is required.
Truth be told, I'm probably doing more than what is needed for hunting purposes. But if you want the honest truth, I'm just bored. This time of year, I'm typically mapping out units to hunt this/next year but I've already kind of done that. So now i'm just doing unnecessary precision reloading. Just because i'm that bored.

Onto the new topic; took some work time to be away from home, but I had ordered some Redding dies for my 7 mag. Showed up yesterday and reloaded my first 10 rounds of Barnes TTSX. All ready for the range.
 
I love those Redding Dies too! One thing is for sure, all your puttering around, you are learning something new each time, i.e. what works, what's necessary, whats beneficial to your specific rifle, and "to you", your mental health. Truth be told, I would hate to be stuck with shooting factory ammo the rest of my life ( I'm going to be 120 you know, ha) Handloading is just great Therapy, a fine Mental Discipline.
 
Truth be told, I'm probably doing more than what is needed for hunting purposes. But if you want the honest truth, I'm just bored. This time of year, I'm typically mapping out units to hunt this/next year but I've already kind of done that. So now i'm just doing unnecessary precision reloading. Just because i'm that bored.

Onto the new topic; took some work time to be away from home, but I had ordered some Redding dies for my 7 mag. Showed up yesterday and reloaded my first 10 rounds of Barnes TTSX. All ready for the range.
Nothing wrong with any of that! Besides any trigger time with a hunting rifle is a good thing!
 
I love those Redding Dies too!
It might be me or it might be the cartridge, but they're so much easier to size compared to the 300 WBY RCBS dies I have. It's probably the cartridge size though. I dont use a lot of Unique, very little if possible.
 
I went to Imperial Sizing Wax years ago. You just smear a little on each case, size, wipe off with a rag. On the RCBS dies, the Expander buttons need more taper on top so you don't stretch your case on the downstroke. Good dies, no doubt, just need a little tweaking. :)
 
Well I learned that the 7 mag does NOT like anything Hornady branded, or anything heavier than 150g.

I also tried to reuse one of the cases that stuck in the action after a resizing. That one failed to eject properly so I just trashed it.

I think I can do way better so I’ll make the loads a little hotter. 64, 63 and 62 H1000 with 150g TTSX.

Anything Hornady was on the other side of the paper, some on top of the paper, some in the target stand, etc.
 

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Well I learned that the 7 mag does NOT like anything Hornady branded, or anything heavier than 150g.

I also tried to reuse one of the cases that stuck in the action after a resizing. That one failed to eject properly so I just trashed it.

I think I can do way better so I’ll make the loads a little hotter. 64, 63 and 62 H1000 with 150g TTSX.

Anything Hornady was on the other side of the paper, some on top of the paper, some in the target stand, etc.
What Hornady bullet were you using?
 
I’m at a crossroads and I’m seeking council from smarter people.

I thought I’d get the load as hot as I can get to get tighter groups, so I bumped up to 65, 66 and 67. Groups got worse as the load got hotter. Gun kind of likes 64-65g but I know it’s capable of shooting 1”. I’m using Hornady brass and Barnes ttsx 150g. My thought was to clean the barrel and do 64, 64.5 and 65g loads with Remington brass, same seating depth and cleaning process. Or I buy new bullets. This is for the 7 mag.

Do I go with different brass or different bullets?

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If IIRC you are having to load magazine length? so you can't seat them out any further. So change to a different primer, powder charge and try below:

Get a small candle. Dampen a towel and put aside. Hold the case midway with your thumb/forefinger (natch) rotate the neck and shoulder area in the flame until too hot to hold. Drop on the dampened towel and wipe off the soot. Allow to air cool. Anneal done on that one. Also, if you buy new brass, anneal it too before sizing. No matter if they have been annealed at the factory. Magnum brass gets tired quick.
Maybe even try 20 new cases but High Quality, i.e. Lapua, ADG, Petersen, RWS. They will be thicker probably so back off your charges a tad to start. If you have access to a bore scope, might take a look at the throat.
 
If IIRC you are having to load magazine length? so you can't seat them out any further. So change to a different primer, powder charge and try below:

Get a small candle. Dampen a towel and put aside. Hold the case midway with your thumb/forefinger (natch) rotate the neck and shoulder area in the flame until too hot to hold. Drop on the dampened towel and wipe off the soot. Allow to air cool. Anneal done on that one. Also, if you buy new brass, anneal it too before sizing. No matter if they have been annealed at the factory. Magnum brass gets tired quick.
Maybe even try 20 new cases but High Quality, i.e. Lapua, ADG, Petersen, RWS. They will be thicker probably so back off your charges a tad to start. If you have access to a bore scope, might take a look at the throat.
The 7 mag is at SAAMI right now. The mag length is the 300 WBY, which I haven’t cleared that up yet.
 
Great! Then its simple. Seat out your bullets ten thousandths and shoot the best group over. You want to see your group come together then start opening up again, more or less. You pick the tightest group with that bullet seating depth. If won't hurt to anneal your brass though!
 
Great! Then its simple. Seat out your bullets ten thousandths and shoot the best group over. You want to see your group come together then start opening up again, more or less. You pick the tightest group with that bullet seating depth. If won't hurt to anneal your brass though!
I see what you’re telling me and that’s what I will do. I just feel I haven’t had a good group to start stretching the seating depth yet on my 7 mag. If I could have got a group with 1” I’d probably start stretching. I just haven’t found the right bullet/powder charge for the 7 mag yet.
 
I see what you’re telling me and that’s what I will do. I just feel I haven’t had a good group to start stretching the seating depth yet on my 7 mag. If I could have got a group with 1” I’d probably start stretching. I just haven’t found the right bullet/powder charge for the 7 mag yet.
I would change bullets or powder as the first step. Some rifles just do not like certain bullets and changing seating depth by 10-50 thousandths isn't going to solve that. If you still have any of your current bullets, then try a different powder. At least then you can rule that variable out (or in!). Then change brass. Finally change primers. I haven't used remington brass but I have seen others do just fine with it. I have been using Peterson 7mm brass with very good results.

My 7mm load is Peterson brass, Federal 215 primers, Hornady CX-150 gr, and Hodgdon H4831SC powder. Started at 60 gr and worked up to 65.5 gr in 0.5 gr increments. Best velocity/group combo settled out at 65 gr. (3158 fps average with 8 fps std dev over 50 rounds). Confirmed a 0.52 MOA max group over those 50 rounds, shot in five, 10-shot sequences. But that is for my rifle - yours will be different. And as you say, yours doesn't seem to like Hornady's. Mine doesn't like Accubonds, in any grain size.
 
I would change bullets or powder as the first step. Some rifles just do not like certain bullets and changing seating depth by 10-50 thousandths isn't going to solve that. If you still have any of your current bullets, then try a different powder. At least then you can rule that variable out (or in!). Then change brass. Finally change primers. I haven't used remington brass but I have seen others do just fine with it. I have been using Peterson 7mm brass with very good results.

My 7mm load is Peterson brass, Federal 215 primers, Hornady CX-150 gr, and Hodgdon H4831SC powder. Started at 60 gr and worked up to 65.5 gr in 0.5 gr increments. Best velocity/group combo settled out at 65 gr. (3158 fps average with 8 fps std dev over 50 rounds). Confirmed a 0.52 MOA max group over those 50 rounds, shot in five, 10-shot sequences. But that is for my rifle - yours will be different. And as you say, yours doesn't seem to like Hornady's. Mine doesn't like Accubonds, in any grain size.
I decided to clean the barrel and reload the same with different brass. Idk, my gut is telling me that’s the issue. Powder is kind of hard to find right now but I can always find bullets. I guess if I looked hard enough I can find powder. Primers are sadly out of the question at this time. Idk that I’m worried about the primers, I think they’re doing well. If this doesn’t work, I’ll jump over to Accubonds or something else.
 

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