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Old January 3, 2013, 11:04 PM   #1
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7mm stw and Hornady SST question

I am going to handload for my 7stw because bullets are to expensive. After days of researching and reading contradicting information I have a question, are 7mm STWs too much rifle for a 154 grain Hornady SST? I will be using this rifle for whitetail deer and most shots will be within 300 yards. I looked into bonded bullets, such as the accubond and interbond, but they are double the price of SSTs. My main concerns are price and accuracy, but I want the bullet to make clean and quick kills too.
I will be using IMR 4831 powder.
Any recommendation is welcome. I have also considered Hornady Interlocks and Sierra ProHunters. I eventually hope to find which bullet my rifle prefers, but I am a college student and I can't afford to buy more than one bullet right now.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:08 AM   #2
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If you load to maximum velocity for the STW then yes, the bullet will more than likely rip itself apart too quickly.

Since you are handloading, you can lower the velocity to a much more sedate level and use the bullet you want. A 154 gr bullet at 2900 fps at the muzzle will kill white tail deer just fine, even out to 300 yards.

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Old January 4, 2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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If your only shooting deer at 300yd, why in the world would you waste the time and money on a STW??? Get a 243.

The STW is a long range gun. 500yds is where it starts to perform good. Try the 162gr A-max. Excellent BC and excellent performance on deer and elk. My daughter just shot her first elk at 823yds with an STW and A-max and quartering away, the bullet was lodged against the hide on the opposite side. PERFECT mushroom. This is the first bullet to be recovered from this gun. Most are in-outs.
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Old January 4, 2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

As the other gents suggest, deer are not hard to kill and even light youth loads typically take them just fine. Based on Hodgdon's data and on QuickLOAD, it looks to me like you'll land at somewhere between 63 and 67 grains of IMR 4831 to hit the velocity range you want, the 2800-2900 fps range. Because you will only be filling the space under the bullet to about 80% to 86% with that charge weight range, I would use magnum primers to help provide adequate start pressure and to decrease the powder position sensitivity a bit.

On the plus side, you will only be operating at around 50,000 psi, which should keep throat erosion from being rapid the way it can be with full house loads. So this load will let your barrel last longer.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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+1 for Jimro's response. Last year my son shot a blacktail buck with his 7mm Remington Mag using 154 gr SST's and the word I'd use to describe the damage: "explosive"! He shot it in the upper neck the about the only thing holding that deer's head on was some skin.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. I talked to a Hornady rep today and he agreed that the SST would be more than adequate for my purpose. He suggested the 139 grain, but he said either would be fine. So, should I stick with the 154 or get the 139? I get a lot of shots under 100 yards too. Sometimes they come out around 40-50 yards. Our deer around here (Mississippi) aren't huge when it comes to body size.
I agree the stw is a bit overkill for my hunting, but it was a gift and one day I plan on making hunts where I can use its full potential. As of now, its my only rifle that will reach out to 300 yards.

Last edited by 7mmstw; January 4, 2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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If you bullets less than 150 grains and velocity of more than 3000fps, you'll be blowing up a lot of meat. Stick with the 154s at around 2900.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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The SST is a great bullet IMO but I've found it to be fairly explosive at higher speeds (2700+). It's very effective for heart/lung area shots but anywhere else can damage a lot of meat. My son shot an elk at 60 yards with a 165gr SST in .30-06, two perfectly placed shots and it didn't go more than three or four steps. Bloodshot area in the opposite side of the rib cage was the size of a dinner plate, one recovered slug retained 60% of original weight. It would have been real ugly had he hit a front shoulder or backstrap. In contrast, I've made shots in the 250yd range on both mule deer and elk, the slugs I recovered mushroomed beautifully and retained almost 90% (.30-165 and .284-139)

Based on my experience with SSTs I'd agree with Jimro (et al) and probably consider the 154 gr, keeping the speed on the slower side.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:28 PM   #9
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I too use this caliber for all large game and some target shooting. For me it’s because it’s the only rifle I own larger then .223. For whitetail and pronghorn, I use a 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip over 72.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831SC. For 400-600 yard targets I use the 162 grain A-Max bullet over 70.0 grains of H4831SC. Both give less then one MOA. I keep the velocities down around the levels of a .280 or maybe a bit more. I get the best accuracy at that speed, and should get longer barrel life.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:31 AM   #10
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Ever thought about the 162 gr SST? I believe the STW shines with the bigger bullets.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:35 PM   #11
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Love my STW, but it dose not like light bullets, as for the STT bullets the few people i know that have used them quite, all stated to much meat loss. I have been very happy with Nosler 160gr accubonds loaded to around 3100fps, great elk and mulely load.
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Old January 6, 2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the info. I chose the 154 gr SST.
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7mm stw sst deer

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