My wife has started deer hunting with me when it doesn't
interfere with shopping, so I thought she deserved her own rifle instead of trying to shoot one of my hand-me-downs with a stock that is too long for her short arms. We looked at a couple of options and decided on the Remington Model Seven Youth rifle in caliber .260 Remington. It fits her very well, has plenty of power for Whitetails, but doesn't kick her too much. We teamed the little rifle up with a Leupold VXIII 2.5x8 scope and handloads shooting Nosler Partition 125 grain bullets at a muzzle velocity of about 2825 fps.
Model Seven Youth is the perfect size for young shooters and smaller-framed adults. The stock is cut 1" shorter with a rubber butt pad and balances nicely with its new 20" barrel. The stock can be easily lengthened to full size with the addition of a standard 1" recoil pad. It is chambered for the .223 Remington, .243 Win., .260 Remington, and 7mm-08 Remington. It has an ugly walnut-toned hardwood stock with flat finish that is shaped well, flat blue carbon steel barrel and action, 4 round magazine capacity (5 for 223 Rem), hinged floor plate, furnished with removable iron sights (that quickly hit the junk bin on my loading bench), sling swivel studs, and is drilled & tapped for scope mounts.
Model Seven compared to the Remington Mountain Rifle
The Model Seven is built on a scaled down M700 action and uses the excellent M700 adjustable
trigger. The rear of the receiver is shorter which saves some weight and length. I had to get the two actions together to see the difference.
Click here for a closer look at the actions. The barrel is about
the same diameter as the Remington Mountain Rifle and skinny does not mean poor accuracy. Just like the Mountain Rifle, the Model Seven is very accurate.
On the first trip to the range to site in the Model Seven, I tried three loads with three different bullets,
the Nosler Partition 125gn, the Nosler Ballistic Tip 120 grain, and the Hornady V-max 95gn. Most of
the initial zeroing was done with the Hornady V-max bullets and they were very accurate, turning in
groups under an inch. I found that the heavier bullets shot to almost the exact same point of aim as the
95 grain bullets, so no re-zeroing will have to be done for varmint shooing or target practice. Click here
to see the 100 yard targets. More testing will have to be done to find the best accuracy loads, but
these three loads are very satisfactory for hunting. Below is the ballistic data for the Nosler Partition
125 grain load. Ballistic Coefficient is excellent at .449 making this load flat shooting and hard hitting.
My next bullet to try is the Hornady 129 gain SST. Stay turned for hunting reports.
First Hunting Report
The first hunt turned out great. I got set up on a hay field surrounded by woods just at daylight. I had
seen a nice buck there during black powder season that was too far to shoot and I was hoping he would still be in the neighborhood.
First to appear was a little doe or button buck at the back of the field. It didn't feed long and walked
back into the woods. A few minutes later, in the same area, I saw a deer walking through the trees at
the edge of the field. I thought it was the same little doe until I glassed with my binoculars. WOW!
Buck and a nice one! Just as I picked up the .260 he walked in behind some brush. I kept looking and
thinking, "I wish I had my .308 instead of this pop gun". Then I picked him up again. He walked to the
edge of the field and gave me a nice 165 yard quartering shot to front of his left shoulder. I put the
crosshair at the point where his neck joined his shoulder and pulled the trigger. A fraction after the shot
I heard the WHACK of the bullet hit him and down he went in his tracks. A very nice buck. 16" wide and 8" G-2 tines. Here's a photo of the rack. The load was the Nosler 125 Partition pushed by 41
grains of AA2520. Velocity from the 20" barrel is 2825 fps. The bullet did not exit. I did not expect it
to on this this diagonal shot. The bullet stopped in the off side ham of the buck. So the Remington
Model Seven in .260 is batting a thousand in 2003. More does to cull so we will get more reports later in the year.
I have really been impressed with the Hornady SST bullet this year in my 308 Winchester, so decided
to try the Hornady 129 grain SST in the .260 Remington. The load I developed pushed the 129 grain
bullet to a muzzle velocity of about 2750 fps from the 20" barrel of the Model 7. Groups were in the 1.5"
range. I used this load to take a young doe at about 50 yards and the results were devastating. The
bullet entered though the right rib cage and exited through the left shoulder. That doe looked like it had
been hit with a 300 magnum. The exit hole was 2" wide. Needless to say, she only ran a few steps.
My next bullet for testing will be the 100 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip. It should exceed 3000 fps with the
right powder and provide plenty of punch with a minimum of recoil.