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Txhillbilly 09-02-2012 02:19 AM

Did some load testing with the 7mm/08
I loaded up 100 test loads for the new E.R.Shaw 26" varmint contour 7mm/08 barrel I put on my Savage 12.

I used 140gr Nosler Combined Technology Ballistic Silvertips and 4 different powders.
Ramshot-Big Game
Reloader 15
Reloader 19
IMR 4350

I have really good luck with these bullets in my 25/06,308,30/06,and 300WM,and was hoping that the 7mm/08 would like them as well.
They shot OK,and there are a couple loads that I'll play with,but I wasn't really impressed with most of the results.
These were all 5 shot groups,shot at 100 yards. 2.832"oal-.020 off lands
Ramshot-Big Game-
43.5gr = 1.216"
44.5gr = 1.230"
45.5gr = 1.070"
46.5gr = 0.930"
47.5gr = 1.971"
I'll play with the 45.5/46.5gr loads a little,and see if I can get them to tighten up some.

Reloader 15-
37.5gr = 1.111"
38.5gr = 1.402"
39.5gr = 0.632"
40.5gr = 1.194"
41.5gr = 1.737"
The 39.5gr loads shot good,and with a little tweaking,I should be able to get them shooting where I like 0.500" or less.

Reloader 19-
45.0gr = 0.731"
46.0gr = 1.048"
47.0gr = 0.769"
48.0gr = 1.106"
49.0gr = 1.184"
I'll have to chrono the 45.0 and 47.0gr loads,and if the velocity is where I want it to be,then I'll play with them to see if they can shoot better.

IMR 4350-
42.0gr = 1.338"
43.0gr = 0.567"
44.0gr = 1.622" I blew this group,the first 4 shots were 0.649"
45.0gr = 1.161"
46.0gr = 1.137"
The 43.0 and 44.0gr loads shot pretty good,I'll try them with some different primers and see what they'll do.

I'm sure that a lot of the group sizes will shrink with more shots down the tube.This barrel had only had 10 break in shots down it before I shot these groups.The barrel cleans really fast,so it should come around pretty easy.
I've got some 139gr Hornady Interlock bullets,and 140gr Sierra Gamekings to load up and try next.

I also did some testing with my 458 SOCOM.I worked up a good load using a 300gr Nosler C/T Ballistic Silvertip a while back,and I wanted to try some different bullet seating depth's.The standard oal of these bullets is 2.025",but it seems to be seated too deep to me.My rifle shoots these loads great,usually around 0.750" groups at 100 yards.
I increased the oal in .025" increments up to 2.200".My results weren't very good,most of the groups really opened up,but you never know until you try.

A while back I loaded up some 55gr Nosler B/T bullets for my 223's,so I took my Savage 12FLVSS to the range also to see how it likes these.
I loaded these with H335,24.0gr and 25.0gr.The Savage didn't really care for the 24.0gr loads,but the 25.0gr loads shot good.
24.0gr = 0.905" & 1.037"
25.0gr = 0.680" & 0.500"
I'll try these in my RRA 20" varminter,and see how it likes them next time out.

Txhillbilly 09-07-2012 09:26 PM

Back to the range-2nd load testing with the 7mm/08
I loaded up another group of test loads,this time with Hornady 139gr Interlock soft points.
Once again,I wasn't too impressed with the results with this new E.R Shaw barrel.It shoots very good for a Hunting rifle,but it's just not up to the standards that I seek out of a Target grade barrel.
I have some Sierra 140gr Gamekings that I'll load up next,but I believe that I need to try a heavier weight bullet to wake this barrel up.
Results from this testing were-
40.5gr - 1.142"
41.5gr - 1.301"
42.5gr - 1.390"
43.5gr - 0.762"

Reloader 15-
37.5gr - 1.250"
38.5gr - 1.713"
39.5gr - 1.114"
40.5gr - 0.791"

IMR 4350-
43.0gr - 1.397"
44.0gr - 1.236"
45.0gr - 1.504"
46.0gr - 1.220"

45.0gr - 1.237"
46.0gr - 0.797"
47.0gr - 1.236"
48.0gr - 1.494"

I also dragged out my Rock River Arms 20" varminter AR15,and the 458 SOCOM to shoot while the barrel on the 7mm/08 cooled between groups.
I was shooting some loads that I just threw together with some Nosler 55gr Ballistic tip bullets using H335 powder.I haven't shot this rifle in a while,but it always brings a smile to my face,once I really try shooting small groups with it.
The first 2 groups were just getting used to the trigger again.They weren't bad,but the 3rd group,I put my game face on,and really got busy.The last group opened up a little,but it was all me.
AR15 groups were-
0.354" - Now we're shooting !!!
This rifle is just too much fun to shoot,but after shooting a rifle with an Accu-Trigger,the 2 stage NM trigger of the AR takes some getting used to.

This time I shot some 325gr Hornady FTX bullets out of the 458 SOCOM.I worked this load up last year,and it shoot pretty good for this monster gun.
I'm not too anal with the group sizes with the 458.If I can keep them under 1.5" then it'll kill anything I shoot with it.But it sure is fun when you can shoot 5 .458" bullets under 1" at 100 yards with this beast.
458 SOCOM groups were-
I love to see the looks on people's faces when they here this gun fire,it sounds like a cannon going off,and then they can't believe how accurate they shoot.

Well,I gotta clean the guns,and get all the brass cleaned up.I'll keep on trying to find the secret to getting the 7mm/08 to shoot the way I want it to.
It just takes a lot of time,and trial/error with some barrel's,but I think I can figure it out pretty soon.

JonM 09-08-2012 10:30 PM

i like your technique for load development. what tool are you using to measure your rifle chamber oal to the lands??

Txhillbilly 09-09-2012 01:13 AM


Originally Posted by JonM (Post 933362)
i like your technique for load development. what tool are you using to measure your rifle chamber oal to the lands??

I use the Hornady OAL gauge,and also double check the length with dummie round's with the bullet colored with the bolt in the rifle.

JonM 09-09-2012 02:56 AM

ive got that tool but im dubious about it. i keep getting mixed results i cant seem to reliably repeat.

Txhillbilly 09-12-2012 11:52 PM

Load Test #3 for the 7mm/08,Getting Better!
This time I loaded up the 140gr Sierra Gamekings,and used the following powders- Reloader 15,IMR 4350,Varget,and Ramshot Big Game.
I also took my Savage 110FLP 25/06,and tested some 115gr Berger Hunting VLD bullets using Reloader 22.These bullets shoot very,very good out of this rifle.

I hate taking a camera to the range,but I did take a couple pics of the rifle's with my phone.
Savage 12FLV-7mm/08

Savage 110FLP-25/06

On with the results-
Reloader 15-
38.0gr - 0.950"
39.0gr - 1.183" I blew a great group with this load,First 4 shots were .607",
I'll try this load again,it might have a future.
40.0gr - 1.110"
41.0gr - 1.446"

IMR 4350-
43.5gr - 1.251"
44.5gr - 1.279"
45.5gr - 0.940"
46.5gr - 0.865"
The last 2 loads shot good,but I don't think they will get much better with this barrel.

39.0gr - 0.833"
40.0gr - 1.218"
41.0gr - 0.788"
42.0gr - 1.228" Another screw-up by the nut behind the trigger,first 4 shots
measured 0.723".
I'll play with the last 2 loads and see what they bring to the table.

Ramshot-Big Game-
39.5gr - 1.131" Shooter screw-up, First 4 shots = 0.488"
40.5gr - 0.849"
41.5gr - 0.849"
42.5gr - 1.258"
Although this powder shoots some smaller groups,I don't think it has the velocity that I'd like it too.All of the groups shoot very low on the target,as they were all shot at the same aiming point.I'll have to shoot some thru the chrono to see where it's at on velocity.

Txhillbilly 09-12-2012 11:55 PM

Here's more pics of the targets-

Txhillbilly 09-12-2012 11:57 PM

Ramshot-Big Game

Txhillbilly 09-13-2012 12:17 AM

With the 25/06,I was testing some 115gr Berger Hunting VLD bullets with Reloader 22 powder.Bergers shoot excellent out of this gun with some other powders,but I have some new loads with this powder.Damn,did this rifle shoot good today.

Reloader 22-
53.0gr - 0.794"
53.2gr - 0.494"
53.4gr - 0.573
53.6gr - 0.909" Once again,I choked-First 4 shots measured 0.347". But I make up for the screw up the final 2 test load groupings,and was grinning ear to ear!!!
53.8gr - 0.377"
54.0gr - 0.401"

I can't grip at all about the way this bullet shoots with this powder,I think the 115gr Nosler Silvertip's will be getting dusty setting in the ammo box this year.

Axxe55 09-13-2012 12:21 AM

Hillbilly, very impressive testing! very nice groups also. i use a lot of IMR4350 for my 7mm-08 loads, but looking at the results you got with the Varget powder, i might have to give it a try. thank you for posting this information.

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