Weird 7mm Mag load


Dec 12, 2020
I live in a rural area outside of Eugene with a such a huge excess of does that ODFW has a controlled hunt for the area.
I try to limit the noise when putting meat into the freezer combined with a need for a DRT shot placement, which has lead to some interesting hunting loads over the years.
My neighbor wants to do the same, but given the choice of his 12ga or 7mm Mag, I've decided to help him load some suitable ammunition for the 30 yard engagement distance.
I have some 120 Hornady SSP bullets for the 7mm TCU, so the velocity goal was to achieve 2400 fps with the minimum amount of powder, with a case fill of 50% or more.
After looking through the options using GRT, I settled on Unique for the first load attempt and we did a ladder from 21.0 to 25.0 grains and off to the range with the chronograph.
21.0 gr. 2051 fps
22.0 gr. 2076 fps
23.0 gr. 2144 fps
24.0 gr. 2198 fps
25.0 gr. 2281 fps
I didn't quite reach the 2400 fps goal, but increasing the powder charge is still an option.
Accuracy was about 3/4" at 50 yards.

For my hunt this year, I'm thinking about using my Marlin 1894 in 256 Winchester as it doesn't have any blood on it (yet).
I looked at Blue Dot, but it used more powder than the Unique loads and was below 50% of the case volume.
I used 13 gr. of Blue Dot and a 60 gr. Hornady SP in my 223 to fill my freezer a couple years ago.
You might find this to be of help. It covers several cartridges but the 7MM Rem. Mag. is included. There wasn't any data for the 120 gr. bullet I think you should be able to figure it out from what's there.

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 10:32 AM

From HANDLOADER MAGAZINE #44 July-August 1973---Article by John Wooters

.300 Win. Mag.
Bullet Weight: 30-06 .308 WCF 30-40 Krag 30-30
150 gr. 62.5 gr./4895
60.0 gr./4895 56.0 gr./4064 45.0 gr./4064

180 gr. 57.0 gr./3031 55.0 gr./4064 50.0 gr./4895

7MM Rem. Mag.
Bullet Weight: .280 Rem./ .284 WCF/7MM Express 7x57 Mauser
140 gr. 57.0 gr./4320 54.0 gr./4895

160 gr. 52.0 gr./4064 50.0 gr./4895

175 gr. 51.0 gr./4064 50.0 gr./4320

.358 Norma Magnum
Bullet Weight: .350 Rem. mag./.35 Whelen .358 Win.
200 gr. 59.0 gr./4064 53.0/3031

250 gr. 56.0 gr./4895 54.0 gr./3031

.458 Win. Mag.
Bullet Weight: 45/70
400 gr. 42.0 gr./4198

Paul B.

Here's my concluding post. On my last trip to the range I tried 26.0 and 27.0 gr. of Unique with the same 120 gr. Hornady SSP bullet.
26.0 gr. 2349 fps.
27.0 gr. 2398 fps.
The goal was effectively achieved and accuracy at 50 yards was better than I expected.
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Interesting load, so many possibilities open up with handloading. Should work well for the intended purpose. On a side note what load are you planning on using for your little 256 Win?
I'm giving Lil' Gun a try in my 256 rifles to see how it compares to WW296.
I'm fortunate that I have a scad of 25-20/256 bullets to work with.