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Going to do some loading for a family members contender in 7-30 waters. 12" barrel with varget and hornady 120gn bullet. Never loaded this cartridge and was just wandering if that sounds decent? Trying to look for an accurate load for him to start. Started researching and found some really like varget for this caliber. Any other loads out there you guys perfer? Thanks
 

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I'm presuming that's a Contender or Encore barrel? I load my 14" Contender with 120gr Nosler BT's and 35gr of IMR-4895. I would expect a similar amount of Varget would give you a full case and good performance. It isn't a particularly finicky round to load for, in my experience.
 

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Yes, Varget should work fine, as would 4895, 4320, RL-15, TAC or several others. Hodgdon has data.

I'll second the Nosler 120 BT. It is THE bullet for the 7-30 Contender. Nothing wrong with the Hornady, but the Nosler is better.
 

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Another forgotten cartridge...

You really don't hear much about the 7-30 Waters anymore.
...which is a real shame, because the 7-30 is a very useful round. Much is made about the 7-08 and the 7RM but the slower rounds always seem to get lost, even though they are excellent for a variety of pursuits. Another thread is going around, asking what cartridge would be good for varmints and the occasional deer: For shots of 200 yards or less, and loaded with the right bullet, the 7-30 Waters is perfectly adequate for everything from ground squirrels to black bear. It's only when you shoot at greater distances that cartridges like this start to lose any luster, at all.
 

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Going to do some loading for a family members contender in 7-30 waters. 12" barrel with varget and hornady 120gn bullet. Never loaded this cartridge and was just wandering if that sounds decent? Trying to look for an accurate load for him to start. Started researching and found some really like varget for this caliber. Any other loads out there you guys perfer? Thanks
With mine I found that while the lighter weight bullets shot OK, the heavier 130-139 and 140's shot much better. I used several powders while working up a final load and settled on RL-15 with Win-WLR primers, using either the 139gr Hornady BTSP or the 140gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. Knowing the flames about using the BT, you have to consider that the very top end you will get from this short of barrel will be 2300fps with reasonable loads. Within this velocity range the BT is a VERY good bullet that doesn't exhibit the tendencies of over expansion like when driven faster. IT will have more than enough velocity, energy, and weight to drive through a whitetail of any size out to 200yds and still get good expansion. This was the main reason I chose it over others. While the speed of the lighter bullets was better, the added weight and BC of the 140 was better for my purpose. The overall thing you have to keep in mind is most bullets in this caliber are built for velocities generated in rifle length barrels. Even though the weight of the bullet might be less at 120grs, some of the jackets on them may still be a bit thick to expand well at the 2000-2300fps velocities your going to get. Granted the ones I chose and use are heavier, in plenty of testing they resulted in great expansion out to 300yds, giving easily double caliber or more, in various test mediums including feral hogs. Accuracy has been outstanding with many groups going at or under 1" at 100yds and less than 2" out to 250.

I have shot several hogs, but only one deer with this load and it has performed very well on all but one huge feral boar. In that case I do not blame the bullet as the shot could have been better placed, had I known it was a boar and aimed away from the shield. The deer was a big doe taken at a lasered 283 yards. One shot behind the onside shoulder and she went about 10 steps before piling up. The exit through the offside shoulder was about the size of a silver dollar and everything inside was junk.

I would have to say that if they were around back when I was working up the loads for that barrel I might have used the Barnes TTSX in 120gr but at the time they weren't available. This said, the Speer in 130 also shot well, but again not as good as the 140's. I also have not tried the Hornady SST which would seem to be another good alternative, as well as possibly the Nosler Accubond. These are both designed to expand rapidly but also give controlled expansion. The SST is simply a plastic tipped version of the 139gr Interlock that I was already using, which has shown to be a good bullet as well.

When I worked up my loads I was looking for what would produce the best long range ballistics and weight retention, due to an out of state handgun only hunt. I wanted something I could be confident in on a 300 pound white tail, that came out at 200 yards or less. I found all of this in the 140 BT's at the velocity I got form my Contender. I contacted every bullet manufacturer who's product I considered, and spoke to them about the bottom end velocities in which I could expect reliable expansion. Of them all the Barnes and Noslers were on the lower end.
 

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...which is a real shame, because the 7-30 is a very useful round. Much is made about the 7-08 and the 7RM but the slower rounds always seem to get lost, even though they are excellent for a variety of pursuits.
I've always wondered why it didn't do better. ??

I was too slow to get one of the few Winchester '94's, and I'm surprised that Marlin wouldn't chamber a 336 so, although they've chambered some pretty ho hum cartridge designs.

I wouldn't rechamber my .30-30 just to have one, but it's a fine alternative for a rebarrel.
 

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Had a Contender 12" barrel chambered in 7-30 Waters AI. A fine shooting handgun with 140 gr bullets (used for silhouette shooting). Another competitor thought highly of it and made an offer I couldn't refuse.
 
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