The 7mm SAW was designed based on experience shooting in the Precision Rifle Series with the standard 7mm-08 Remington. The mid to heavy weight, high BC bullets available in 7mm give a noticeable increase in energy on target compared to the current crop of fast 6mm’s being used, while maintaining excellent wind drift characteristics. The larger bore diameter lends itself to longer barrel life too, which is a cost saving asset in a game where an average round count is 200 rounds for a single match. The intent of this design was to have a magazine feeding 7mm cartridge able to drive a 162/168gr bullet to speeds at least equivalent to current 6.5mm competition cartridges such the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, and .260 Remington without the need to fireform brass. The parent case is Lapua’s .308 Winchester “Palma” brass, which has an extremely strong case head due to its use of a small rifle primer pocket(already proven to work well via the 6.5×47). Brass is formed in one pass through a 7mm SAW sizer die, and is then ready to load. Our current reamer uses a .316″ neck diameter, so neck turning is not necessary.
The 7mm SAW can drive mid weight .284 bullets like the 162 Hornady ELD-M and 168 Berger VLD to between 2850 and 2900FPS in a 26″ barrel. Heavy bullets such as the 180 Berger Hybrid and 183gr Sierra Match King can be pushed to around 2725-2750FPS. Those numbers give the cartridge a slight edge in drift and drop over the medium 6.5’s, while still providing low recoil and excellent barrel life. Additionally, the cartridge will hold around 1000 ft.lbs. of energy to 1000 yards with either the 162 or 180 class bullets. Although not meant to be a true long range hunting cartridge, the 7mm SAW is a viable option for normal and extended range hunting on deer sized game.
Like the 7mm08 and the medium 6.5’s, the best performing powders for the 7mm SAW are in the Varget to H4350 burn rate range. Varget, H4350, and IMR 4451 have all yielded excellent speed and accuracy. Match small rifle primers such as the Federal 205M and CCI BR-4 are good choices for the round. For shooters using the AI A/W 10rd mags, Alpha Mags, or the extended Accurate-Mag AICS pattern magazines and 162-168gr VLD type bullets our .150″ freebore chamber works perfectly, allowing full use of the magazine and seating the bullet bearing surface above the neck/shoulder junction of the case. The .150″ freebore yields a max OAL of around 3.090″ with 183 SMK, for F-Class shooters who single load. We also have to option of a short .045″ throat for shooters who want to run standard AICS mags or Magpul AI pattern PMAG’s.
Reloading Dies: Custom die sets for the 7mm SAW are in production and will be available early 2017. Initially, we will be offering the following Die set styles:
- Redding Custom Premium set. Set includes full length sizer die with carbide expander ball assembly, seater die with Micrometer seating stem. $240
- Whidden custom die set. Type S style bushing sizer, with Whidden Micrometer seater die. $275
Reamer Rentals: 7mm SAW Type 1(short throat) and Type 2(long throat) reamers will also be available for rent early next year. Rental cost will be $50 plus shipping.