Savage 11 Compact 7mm-08 120gr Ballistic Tip, IMR4350 ladder

PipesMac

Beginner
Nov 30, 2013
40
0
Waay back in 2013, I was posting here and reading about 7mm08, was considering it as a deer rifle for my 10 y.o. son. Well, he liked the Savage compact in LH, model 11, but we didn't end up buying it. Instead, I worked up a 120gr BT load in my .284 Win (52.0gr IMR 4350), and he's been using that, successfully getting 2 deer.

However, I bought the exact same gun this year in Oct, the Savage 11 Trophy Hunter in 7mm-08, Left Hand Compact w/ 20" barrel, XP package with the 3-9 Nikon scope. We tested and used the Barnes commercial ammo with 120gr TTSX monolithic, speeds averaged 2836 down from their advertised 3005fps. Son was able to get a 0.6" 4shot group off sandbags at 100yds, and a 2.8" 4 shot group at 200yds.

We used the Savage 7mm08 in Michigan this year, and my 17yo son got a 3pt buck, and my 12yo daughter got a doe, both about 100 yds! Good shots thru lungs, in and out.

My Nosler #4 book shows IMR 4350 with 120gr Ballistic Tip, from 43.0 to 47.0* grains, 47.0 being most accurate. The Dec2020 online data now shows the powder now increased at 45.0* to 49.0, most accurate powder tested, and 45.0* was the most accurate load. Looking at those 2 data points, and loading for the kids, I have decided to go from 44.5 to 47.5 gr in 0.5gr increments. That gets me across both of the "most accurate" nodes published, 45.0 and 47.0, and keeps me under the current max of 49.0. I happen to have 28 empty Barnes cases, so I've loaded up the following:

Barnes 7mm08, once fired, full length resized and trimmed to 2.032 using Lyman trim gauge
CCI200 (I didn't have any WLR and none available)
IMR 4350 Lot E91, 4 each at 44.5, 45.0, 45.5, 46.0, 46.5, 47.0, 47.5
Nosler 120 gr Ballistic Tip, newer ones from 2013 or so, newish box
-- seated to 2.790-2.794" COAL, slightly less than SAAMI 2.80" Nosler data uses. That's the best repeatability I could get using RCBS die and these bullets.
-- bullet hits lands at 2.905", so currently a jump of 0.111 - 0.115".

Going to the range on Sunday to shoot with son, with my new "early Xmas present" Lead Sled III. My spotting scope was backordered, so will have to make do. Will shoot all over chronograph, Chrony F1. My plan is to find the most accurate node, with a reference to the speeds and their deviations, to pick the best powder amount. Then reload later with that powder amount, moving bullet seating depth in/out to get best.
QUESTIONS:
1. Any issues with current start depth of 2.793ish, 0.111" jump?
2. What increments or depths would you test? I'm not sure how much to move it, was thinking 2.78, 2.79, 2.80, 2.81? Or would .03 jumps be better? No idea what range of seating guys are finding the best nodes.

Any other comments welcome and appreciated! I will post up results after shooting.
Dave
 

ReloadKy

Handloader
May 13, 2020
262
114
Dave, I have Savage 110 Hunter 7-08 and I am shooting the 120 B tips. I have them seated at .010 off of the lands and they shoot extremely accurate. 3 shot cloverleafs. Just got the rifle last spring and this was the first seating depth that I tried and it worked great so I did not try anything else. With 43 gr of H4895 we are getting anywhere from 3025-3045 fps.
 

ReloadKy

Handloader
May 13, 2020
262
114
Dave, I have Savage 110 Hunter 7-08 and I am shooting the 120 B tips. I have them seated at .010 off of the lands and they shoot extremely accurate. 3 shot cloverleafs. Just got the rifle last spring and this was the first seating depth that I tried and it worked great so I did not try anything else. With 43 gr of H4895 we are getting anywhere from 3025-3045 fps.
 

PipesMac

Beginner
Nov 30, 2013
40
0
Reloadky, thx! I've been reading all your posts, very enjoyable!
Wow, that's pretty long... so for me, we're talking a OACL of 2.89" or so, almost .1 over the saami length? Our guns should be pretty close for chamber depth, what are you cartridge overall length then, about 2.89"? Thx!
 

ReloadKy

Handloader
May 13, 2020
262
114
Pipes with a CBTO of 2.275 which was .010 off the lands gave me a cartridge overall length of 2.865 inches. Surprisingly plenty of room in the mag and they cycled great.
 
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