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Old November 5, 2014, 06:47 PM   #1
bakercity
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7x57 hunting ammo question

Friends, I have a custom built 7x57 built on a large ring mauser action. I am wanting to hunt elk with 162 grain Hornady A-Max bullets. Any of you experience deer or elk kills with this caliber and bullet?
Thanks
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Old November 5, 2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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The A-max is a thin jacketed, soft lead cored target bullet designed to put holes in paper.

While there are those that advocate their use on game animals, these bullets were not designed with terminal performance on game animals in mind..... Hornady makes other bullets, such as the SST, designed especially for punching lethal holes in game animals ....

I am thinking that you'd want something with a bit tougher construction for elk ..... maybe a bonded bullet ....... Hornady's is the Interbond ......
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Old November 5, 2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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i use 139gr hornady flat points for deer. the 154gr hornady sp probably goes for elk, or the 175gr sp or the 175 rn both from hornady
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Old November 5, 2014, 10:00 PM   #4
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Jeeze after reading this I have some decisions to make. When I bought reloading supplies for my 6.5 I could only find one box and it was the amax.

The hornady website says

Rapid, explosive expansion with limited penetration.
Recommended muzzle velocity range: 2000+ fps.
These bullets are not recommended for hunting.


I do also have some SST loaded

Flat shooting and deadly accurate, it's an idea bullet for whitetails, as well as most North American game animals from antelope to moose and similar-sized African plains game. The SST® creates a devastatingly large wound channel.
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Old November 5, 2014, 10:20 PM   #5
AllenJ
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Quote:
The SST® creates a devastatingly large wound channel.
I would agree with them on that. Two years ago my son shot a blacktail buck in the neck. The deer was still alive as he approached and was attempting to get up so my son shot it again in the neck from very close range and it almost took the bucks head off. Only a little strip of skin on each side was keeping it on.

There seems to be two schools of thought on how a hunting bullet should perform. Some believe the bullet should enter, expand, and exit. Others believe that the bullet should expend all it's energy in the animal, leaving no exit wound but instead entering and basically blowing up. If you like the latter the SST would be a good choice.
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Old November 6, 2014, 03:50 AM   #6
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I do not recommend the Amax for hunting elk.

Try a Speer 175gr HotCor BTSP to give you good penetration and expansion. Alternately the Sierra 175 Gameking is another decent option.

For big animal like elk you need penetration, and for that you need mass (or a really tough bullet). Since the 7x57 isn't going to be breaking any ballistics records, there is no need for a premium tough bullet, a traditional soft point will work just fine and dandy.

If the 175's aren't accurate in your rifle, there are other options in the 160 to 168gr range that you can try.

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Old November 6, 2014, 07:10 AM   #7
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Considering the velocity potential of reloaded 7x57, I'd recommend Nosler Partition 150 grain, Nosler Accubond, or Hornady Interbond(these two in 140-150 grain range). I found even the 154 SST to expand too quick for optimum use on elk at 7x57 velocity. I've shot 15-20 deer with this combination (154 SST @2800fps from a 24" 7x57) and it expands RAPIDLY.
Definitely DO NOT use A-Max(or any other "target type" bullet) on big game like elk. Don't compromise the cost and effort of an elk hunt with the wrong bullet.
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Old November 6, 2014, 07:21 AM   #8
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I think the OP has gotten a lot of good advice here... I also have a custom 7 X 57, & my cousin used to go Elk hunting with his wife all the time... her rifle was chambered in 7 X 57 & had taken several Elk...

... so the cartridge is capable... as already mentioned, the OP would be better off picking a better "hunting" bullet, & something not too tough, because of the reduced velocities of the 7 X 57 compared to the other 7mm cartridges ( like the magnums ) I'd personally favor a soft point...
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Old November 6, 2014, 10:01 AM   #9
bakercity
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7x57 hunting ammo question

Thank all for your replies to my post. Very good knowledge for me to retain. I will certainly by-pass the A-Max for hunting. I have tried the Hornady 162 grain interlock BTSP with IMR 4350/44.0 grains. M velocity was very close to 2550 FPS. BC is 0.514 but the weapon did not seem to like this combination. I was looking for good BC and Sec. Density. I really did not want to get any heavier bullet than the 162. What would thoughts be on 154 grain? Load?
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Old November 6, 2014, 10:13 AM   #10
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I really do recommend the 175s for hunting, at least as long as you have a 1:9.5 twist barrel (or tighter). More mass is a good thing for penetration, even though you can't shoot them the fastest, the 7x57 pushing a 175gr bullet has felled plenty of African plains game over the years.

This was written about the 7mm-08, but the ballistics apply to the 7x57 as well. http://shakeypete.blogspot.com/2010/...er-7mm-08.html

If you want to stay in the 160gr range, there are plenty of good options, and Shakeypete offers up some suggestions in his article.

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Old November 6, 2014, 01:39 PM   #11
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I really like the Barnes TTSX for hunting, good deformation without splintering.
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Old November 6, 2014, 01:47 PM   #12
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I have hunted with a 7X57 for about 36 years. I recommend a tougher bullet for elk, something like the Nosler Partition (my favorite), the Speer Grand Slam, the Hornady Interbond, or something along those lines. The A-Max is not a hunting bullet, don't use it.
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Old November 6, 2014, 02:40 PM   #13
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I'm thinking about using one of my 7x57's for elk this year but which one and which bullet? Some serious experimentation with a somewhat unpopular powder has reached 2900 FPS with the 150 gr. Nosler PT but so far, although no pressure signs accuracy has sucked big time. Gonna give it one more try but will probably drop the load entirely. Rifle used was a Winchester M70 FWT. I also have a Ruger #1A and a custom built on a large ring FN Mauser action. The FN is interesting and accurate but shows high pressure very quickly The
M70 and Ruger seem to digest just about anything I run through them without any trouble.
I ran a little experiment a while back. I duplicated the original 1893 175 gr. load of 2300 FPS just to see what it felt like through each rifle and chronographed them as well. The Ruger was the clowest at about 2310 FPS. The M70 FWT was a bit faster at 2330 FPS but the Mauser with the exact same bullet and powder charge was 2450 FPS. Figuring that to be a fluke I carefully weighed each load three times for the Mauser using balance beam and two electronic scales. The charges were spot on and no noticeable change in velocity. Jack O'Connor's wife used a 7x57 for almost all her hunting needs and IIRC she used the 160 gr. Speer Hot Core and 160 gr. Nosler Partition.
Shots at the elk I took on several hunts in New Mexico ran 150, 350 and 180 yards, but the rifle used was a custom .35 Whelen.
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Old November 6, 2014, 04:03 PM   #14
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I haven't used many new bullets, probably because when you find something that works, its easier to stick with it. Speer Grand Slam or Nosler Partition are awesome. The idea is soft material up front, and hard material in the base, so they expand easily even at the lower end of the velocity spectrum, but they stay togther in one piece for good penetration. I was using the same Speer Grand Slam 175gr in both my 7x57 and my 7mm Rem Mag and worked well in both. I only used Nosler Partions in 30.06 and .308, but they perfom exactly as Nosler claims.
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Old November 6, 2014, 07:13 PM   #15
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Need any more opinions? :-)

One thing to consider,the heavier premium bullets are designed to deliver deep penetration and hold together when delivered by belted magnums.

Not to say a 175 Nosler won't work...but but if you just hit ribs and lungs expansion may be minimal.
I'm usually a heavy bullet guy,but IMO,150's to 160's or so might be a range to look at.
Nosler book at hand,RE19 and a 150 gr partition will go 2831 at max,BC is .456,which is decent.
Consider a lot of elk have been killed by a 150 gr .270 bullet....277to .284 is a whopping .007 difference.Book max loads for .270 are 2900 max.70 fps isn't much.
Go up to a 160? Great 7mm bullet weight.Sierra makes some good cup and core hunting bullets that are fine for your velocities.Nosler makes a 160 partition.It goes about 2650.IMR 4831.
A Hornady interbond or interlock would work.

In a conventional cup/core bullet,flat bases are less likely to separate core/jacket than BTs

To sum up,you can use premium bullets,but realize they may be designed for holding up to 7mm Ultramags,etc.

A beauty about the good old 2600,2700,2800 fps cartridges is these velocities are happy for traditional hunting bullets.

Another important thought...You aren't shooting a.338 Magnum,so don't approach shooting an elk as blowing through shoulder bones or stem to stern shots.
Look for the shot that goes through ribs to the heart lung area.If you put a 140,150,160 bullet there at 7x57 velocities,you will make heart/lung soup.

It will work fine.I'm thinking,what you can find matters!!

Use some caution approaching max,but you have a large ring Mauser,use reasonably new brass,and a moderately slow powder like RE-19,IMR4350,4831,etc...your case/bore ratio is very moderate.
Do approach max with appropriate care,in steps...but IMO,I would get the velocity I could safely get.

Good luck!!

Last edited by HiBC; November 6, 2014 at 07:23 PM.
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Old November 6, 2014, 07:19 PM   #16
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I agree with most of the responses given. The bullet is of utmost importance in the clean taking of large game, even more important than the cartridge used. Most premium bullets of at least 150 grains should perform quite well, particularly the the Nosler partition and accubond, the Barnes TSX, Speer Grand Slam, etc. One often overlooked bullet that I think is still available is the 160 grain Speer Mag-Tip. I've used it on some fairly tough African game with complete satisfaction in a .280 Remington. A 175 grain bullet is great at up to 200 yards. Beyond that, its trajectory falls off pretty rapidly. As always, bullet placement is the key.
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Old November 6, 2014, 08:22 PM   #17
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FWIW
I found the Nosler Partition 160 was about perfect at 7mm Rem mag velocities--penetrates well on elk and kills deer quickly. This is why I recommended keeping the 7x57 Partitions at 140-150.
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Old November 7, 2014, 12:52 PM   #18
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Out of curiosity,I checked my usual places for what is available.I imagine our OP is running out of time.Not a lot of bullets available.

I found some 160 Accubonds...I have very little game experience with the Accubond.

Same place had an lb of IMR 4831.My Nosler 5th says max 2630 fps.

I have no doubt the bullet is tough and heavy enough....anyone know if it is too hard of a bullet?

Or would you give the green light?I PM'd the OP the vendor.
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Old November 7, 2014, 03:01 PM   #19
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HiBC. My hunting partner uses the 160 Nosler AB in his 7MM Rem. Mag. I've seen him use it on two cow elk. First elk hit at 317 yards laser measured a bit too far back. Elk anchored but required a second shot. Liver completely shattered and both bullets recovered on the off side against the hide. Bullets looked like some Partitions I've seen with the nose and petals complete gone. He was not happy because they did not exit. Second elk was about 150-160 yards, one shot kill with exit wound about 1.5 to 2.0" as I recall. Dunno for sure what he wanted but two dead elk on two separate hunts seems like they worked to me.
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Old November 7, 2014, 03:37 PM   #20
HiBC
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The 300 yd hit would be 2400 to 2500 fps.Liver is more dense than lung.
I take it expansion was fine,but jacket "petals" were lost.More to point,at 2450+ or-,wound channel was acceptable.
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Old November 7, 2014, 09:26 PM   #21
Mobuck
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"I have no doubt the bullet is tough and heavy enough....anyone know if it is too hard of a bullet?"
The only caliber I have that I feel the need for AccuBond bullets is my 257 Wby. Even that won't blow up the AccuBond. Probably won't expand as much as one might like at 7x57 velocities.
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Old November 7, 2014, 10:13 PM   #22
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Nosler recommends 1800 fps minimum speed for expansion. I think it will be fine at reasonable ranges.
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