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Fall is here in New England. Soon the air above will be filled with tourists from other states and other lands, trying to take pictures of the changing foliage from low flying aircraft. Then they will land, buy up the world supply of maple syrup, return home and spread their knowledge of New England. Soon after, the woods will be filled with deer, bear and moose hunters with a smattering of wild turkey takers with only moderate shifts in seasons.

You’d think from the huge amount of undeveloped land in Maine hunters would spread out a bit. Unfortunately, in our area they seem to arrive as a dense army of orange, conducting tree to tree searches for the deer that have taken shelter in our back yard during deer season for the past ten years. I’m not sure if their uninhibited presence reflects my hunting skills or my wife’s declaration of a no fly zone.

Bullet Bullet
Length “
Length “
Sierra Pro-Hunter
SPFB 120 0.972 3.250
Remington Core-Lokt
PSP 140 1.100 3.250
Nosler CT JPTBT 150 1.306 3.290
Speer SPFB 160 1.241 3.280
Sierra GameKing SPBT 175 1.412 3.245
Remington Core-Lokt PSP 175 1.306 3.255

The theme of Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Standard Rifle in 7mm Mag Part 2 is handloads for hunting. The bullets selected are reasonable in cost, excellent is use and readily available. Bullet weights covered are from 120 grains to 175 grains. All are lead core. I omitted monolithic copper because they are long for weight and have low sectional density which adversely effects down range performance and penetration on impact. I also avoided crazy expensive screw machine products that seem better suited to video game aesthetics than objective performance.

The 7mm Remington Magnum is a good example to process for folks who think C.U.P. and PSI as pressure indices are close enough to be interchangeable. The maximum average pressure spec for the 7mm Rem Mag is 52,000 CUP. and 61,000 PSI and, no, despite what a certain guy pushes, there is no conversion formula from one to the other. While his averaging may smooth the differences of a 1,000 data points, averaging hides the spikes within that population that could easily scatter a firearm to the winds. Both copper crusher and piezo transducer test methodology are valid, however, the results do not correlate.

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet material and length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity results. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These data represents maximum loads in our firearms and test equipment and may easily be excessive in other applications. All loads should be reduced by 5%,  and developed following safe handloading practices as represented in established reloading manuals produced by component manufacturers. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation. Frogs are almost always green and say “Rivet”.

Cartridge: 7MM Remington Magnum

 Firearm: Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard
  Barrel Length: 24″
Bullet Diameter: 0.2845″-0.0030″/+0.0000″
 Primer: Large Rifle Magnum CCI #250
 Case Length: 2.500″ -0.020″/+0.000″ COL Min – Max: 3.150″ – 3.290″
COL and Capacity   Load Data & Performance
Bullet Type Bullet Weight
C.O.L. Inches Net Grains Water   Powder Charge Grains Muzzle Velocity FPS Muzzle Energy Ft/Lbs 100 Yard Group Size “
Sierra Pro Hunter SPFB 120 3.250 79.6   Hybrid 100V 66.0 3394  3070  1.1
Sierra Pro Hunter SPFB 120 3.250 79.6   Re23 73.0 3431 3137  0.8
Remington Core-Lokt PSP 140 3.250 76.4   IMR 7828 SSC 71.0  3190 3164  0.9
Remington Core-Lokt PSP 140 3.250 76.4   Norma MRP 72.0  3272 3329  0.8
Nosler CT PBT 150 3.290 74.0   Re25 72.0 3107 3216  1.0
Nosler CT PBT 150 3.290 74.0   Norma MRP 69.0 3131  3266  0.7
Speer SPFB 160 3.280 74.7 MagPro 72.0 3009 3218  1.1
Speer SPFB 160 3.280 74.7 Re25 71.0 3069 3347 0.8
Sierra GameKing SPBT 175 3.245 72.2 Re23 64.0 2848 3153  0.7
Sierra GameKing SPBT 175 3.245 72.2 Re25 68.5 2913 3298  0.5
Remington Core-Lokt PSP 175 3.255 73.2 Re 25 69.0 2887 3240 0.9
Remington Core-Lokt PSP 175 3.255 73.2 Re33 77.0 2900 3269  0.8

Handloading notes: Background music influences outcome. James Taylor tends to keep loads more mellow and off max pressure. Listening to Jerry Lee Lewis usually produces handloads that need to be backed off a bit. Dire Straits seems to get things about right. Avoiding Norah Jones and Michael Bublé is essential.

The charge data for the Re25 is a little stiff, but did not show any signs of excessive pressure; sticky bolt, bright spots on face of case head, excessive case expansion ahead of the case belt, excessive velocity of consequence. That said, I have lots of Re25 left over from my magnum only days so maybe the lot has gone mild. Caution should be exercise when working up loads.

A lot of personality, but not a mean disposition…

The Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard is a stout firearm and more than sufficient for any north American game. Power, long reach, lots of retained velocity and momentum for penetration. Recoil is not mild, very similar to a 300 Win Mag and the 7mm Mag has significant bark… probably the result of high muzzle pressure. There is enough factory ammo to suit any situation, but it is a lot of fun to handload.

The Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard rifle is a gem. For younger shooters, it is a step toward owning a firearm worth keeping, one that will create pride of ownership. As a hunting rifle, it will last a life time and get only better with age. Excellent firearm.