Our test rifle was a Remington Model 700 BDLSS. It has a 24" inch barrel and a magazine that holds three rounds. Unlike the 260 we tested last year, this rifle has no detachable magazine. Nothing to lose or leave in the truck. The whole rifle is with you at all times. It does have a convenient drop down floor plate to aid unloading and this I do like. I had the choice of the detachable magazine for only a $100 more, but why screw up a good rifle. It has a nice recoil pad, excellent trigger, and it's stainless steel barrel and synthetic stock make it worry free on those rainy days afield. I mounted a matte flavored Leupold VXIII 4.5x14AO scope on the 7 Mag and it looks like a match made in heaven. The 4.5x14 is the same size of a standard 3x9, but gives you that extra edge when you need for those long shots the 7 Mag was designed for.
The Cartridge: 7mm Remington Magnum
The 7MM Remington Magnum is one of America's favorite caliber's and is offered by most of the firearms companies in a variety of configurations. Browning even chambers it in
their very popular BAR. As always, my ultimate goal in a high powered rifle is maximum safe velocity with acceptable accuracy. Modern rifles usually produce good accuracy with
factory ammo, but I am very skeptical of published velocities because 90% if the loads I have tested are much slower than advertised. I placed an order for a set of Hornady's
New Dimension dies, but wanted to try this rig out before they arrived. So off I went to Galyan's Trading Post to pick up some factory ammo. The choices were almost endless in
the 140-175 grain weights. Remington makes loads in with their own CoreLock bullets, Nosler Ballistic Tips, and Swift A-frames. Federal has several grades of ammo with
Hi-shocks, Nosler Ballistic Tips, and the Nosler Partitions. Winchester has Power Points, Failsafe, and Ballistic SilverTips. Moly coated bullets are offered by several
companies. I decided on the Winchester Supreme 150 grain Ballistic SilverTips for my first accuracy test. This bullet is specially made for Winchester by Nosler and has the
Ballistic Tip design with a black moly coating.
I'll skip the small talk and go straight to the sub-MOA, 3170 fps facts. When I shot the first 3 shots at the 100 yard target I could hardly believe
my eyes. The first two 150's were touching and the third only a 1/2" away from the others. After five shots the group was still under an inch. "Hold on here,
pardoner, factory ammo ain't 'spose to shoot that well!" Well I'm here to tell you it does. "But wait, how about the velocity?" Looking at the Oehler P35 printout was another shock. This new moly coating must really work. Five shots averaged 3170 fps-- 70 fps faster than the advertised
velocity of 3100 fps. So much for experimenting to find a good deer load--this is it!! Extraction was easy and appearance of the cases were normal with no excessive pressure
The ODHA will continue to test more factory loads and develop hand loads for the 7 Mag. I want to see what H1000 and 4831 will do with a 140 grain moly coated Barns X-bullet.
NASA may be interested in our findings if it's any better than Winchester Supreme Ammo.
Field Tests 1999
1999 field testing begins in Georgia on October 23rd. Hopefully I will have something to report on the 24th!
Well I didn't get that long shot I wanted,
but I did get a nice 8-point Whitetail with the 7Mag. The shot was only about 50 yards, and the buck never knew what hit him. The 150 gain Ballistic Silver Tip really did the job, and I was pleased the bullet did not blow up, but held together and went all the way though the 160 pound deer. I could not ask for better performance. The Remington 7mm Mag and Winchester Ballistic Silver Tip ammo is a dynamic duo.