I am about to order some Speer 1623 or 1624 bullets (130gr flat base and boat tail) for a new to me 7TCU. Speer said that reliable expansion should occur at velocities exceeding 1800 fps. If I am able to obtain a muzzle velocity of 2100fps, reliable expansion should happen out to 150 yards (and maybe further). Does anybody have experience with this bullet or similar weights in a 14" barrel to verify velocities? Would the Hornady 139 SST or 120 NBT be appreciably better for the added cost? I do not intend to do a lot of target work with this barrel, but would do a considerable amount of practice leading up to deer season.
My 2 Cents go with the 120gr NBT for deer.
My 13o flat base will not group in any of my 7 mm. I just use them for case fire form.
Jack, do the 130 boat tails fare better? I hate buying a bunch of bullets and not finding a good combo, but sometimes it is necessary. I will just have to try a few different bullets.
I have a 10 inch 7 tcu and shoot silhouettes with it and have hunted deer. My silhouette load is imr 4198 with the speer 130 spbt like you are wanting to get. Very accurate out of my 10 inch barrel
I only hunted one season and used the nosler 120 nbt. Worked fine and shot a 8 pointer about 50-60 yards away.
I did chronograph both bullets and was getting right at 2000 fps with the imr 4198 using published loads. You should be about to get 2100 fps out of a 14" barrel. I would buy a box of 100 each and see how they shoot. Usually a 7 tcu is not that picky but with any barrel sometimes it does happen.
I hunted for 25 years with only one bullet in my 14" 7-30 Waters pushed at around 2,250 fps the Hornady 120 gr SSP (discontinued). I loaded the 120 gr Hornady V-max this year. They group within one inch at 100 yards for me. Have only taken one deer with them a 120 pound doe with a 85 yard down hill shot between the shoulder blades. It was a solid spine hit with little penatraction into the chest cavity but she dropped in her tracks.
From a 10" barrel, I shoot a bunch of woodchucks with the 120 vmax and you could see some expansion. The only other bullet I really shot was the Sierra SSP and while they killed 'chucks, you didn't see the same expansion. Iirc, I was getting 2100fps with aa2015 with the 120s.
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I have never used 130 boat tail.
I question whether you'd get enough velocity to make that bullet "work". I also suggest the 120 Nosler BT or Hornady V-max.
It's not a break, it's a brake, unless it's a break, then it's broke ;-)
I ordered some of the 130 SPBT for now to get some practice in. A little closer to deer season I will pick up some Nosler and Hornady to see what kind of load I can come up with. Speer said they will work, but only a chrono and testing will let me know if I am in the safe zone. Who knows, I may take a note from Junior D (RIP) and lop off the nose of a 154 or 160 grainer.
From a lot of reading, the 139 SST has worked well for quite a few folks in a 10" 7-30 as well as 14" TCU.
Fireformed some brass and was getting 1980-2025 with fireform loads. That was practice and I realized I need a scope to get a true indication of accuracy potential. I held most shots pretty close, but iron sights tire my eyes quickly. Accuracy of course started to drop off the blurrier things got. Freaking retarded genetics....
Got over 2100fps with A2230, and accurate too.
Hersh - Thanks for starting this thread. I hope you'll keep posting your progress with various bullets as I am beginning the same quest with a Fox Ridge 21" Contender barrel. I haven't got any bullets yet, but I am thinking about the same things as you: How much velocity for sufficient expansion on deer sized game. Accuracy. Powder this barrel likes best, etc. It will probably take me a while to get everything together, but I will post results as they come along. Off to a gun show this morning to look for components
I'm just getting started with the 7 TCU myself. So far I've only fired a few fire forming loads. Hornady 139 grain bullet 24 grains of H335 gave me 1751 fps in my 14" barrel.
Norm, I will try to keep everything updated as I progress with testing. Here is what I recall from the above referenced range trip. If this powder and bullet combo does what I need, my testing may be over.
I obtained information for the A2230 directly from Accurate/Ramshot. Their data for a 14" barrel used the Speer #1623 (flat base 130), RP brass, CCI 400 primer, 2.510 COL. I used the Speer #1624 (boat tail 130), RP brass, CCI 400, 2.515 COL. Starting load by book was 26.6gr and I started at 26.7gr and increased in 0.3gr increments. Ramshot stated starting velocity was supposed to be about 1900fps. My measurements over 4 shots had an average of 2130ish (notes not in front of me). I do recall that a single fireform loaded at this charge weight produced 2085fps. I started showing pressure signs at 28.0gr and difficulty opening the action while still more than a grain from published max data. The velocities I was obtaining with the starting load were near what their max load was showing (2155fps). The loads at 26.7gr and 27.7gr both had ES of 23fps. Due to it being cool at the time of test and the pressure signs at 28gr, I am going to work to try to find the node near the 26.7 gr load first. This is also probably close to the actual max safe data for my Contender based on velocity comparisons of published data (which could be effected by barrel, chamber, powder lot, etc.). My goal is to find an accurate load at or just above 2100fps in order to keep velocities over 1800fps at anticipated hunting ranges. I do not foresee having a stable enough platform to take a shot much beyond 100 yards, however, I want a load I would be confident in should that shot be presented.
Great info - and thanks for sharing!
I was able to get back out and shoot some more. I loaded charges of A2230 from 26.3-27.3 in .02gr increments. 26.7 grains still had the lowest ES and SD numbers. I am settling on this load for deer as it is probably even more consistent than I can actually shoot. Velocity is going to be the 2100+ fps that I was hoping for too.
I won’t give personal load data, but try using H335. I had three 7T/CU barrels and all three liked H335 with 120 gr Sierra SSP. Also for 135-140 gr bullets try H322. Another combination all three barrels liked, and when I mean liked, all three barrels shot 1/2 groups at 100 yards off a bench with a 10x Burris LER scope.
Appreciate the tips. I have it shooting 1.5" or so with this A2230 load at 100 yards. For me, that is good enough. I may end up seeing if I can find a good varmint load, but that may wait until next varmint season.
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