West Texas Ordnance 7mm SAW
Wildcat cartridges are nothing new in the long-range shooting community. If there is a way to make something better or more efficient someone will make it so. I happen to be a huge fan of the Precision Rifle Blog and noticed that a 7mm cartridge made it into last years top 100 shooters. It is the 7mm SAW and it is West Texas Ordnances brain child.
If you read the referenced article from Cal over at the Precision Rifle Blog you will see that PRS shooters primarily favor the 6mm and 6.5mm calibers. They bring a lot to the table shooting a high bc round with low recoil. In a competition where you will be shooting multiple strings a day and are required to spot your own misses for adjustments this makes them ideal. So what benefits do we gain with the 7mm SAW?
According to West Texas Ordnance
So how do the ballistic coefficients compare from a 6mm to a 6.5mm to a 7mm? Using Hornady ELD-Match ammunition here is the data.
Using the data from West Texas Ordnance on their barrel length and power tests of 7mm SAW as well as data from Copper Creek Cartridge Co for 6 and 6.5mm Creedmoor I ran the ballistics charts below. All data is run at a 0 DA with 10 MPH cross winds at 90°.
Using Shooters Calculators Recoil Calculator and basing the results off of available load data we can see that the 7mm SAW does produce more recoil then both the 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor. The rifle weight was set to 16 lbs for all 3 calibers and it is worth noting that this is without a brake installed. Most brakes on the market popular in practical precision matches can reduce recoil as much as 60%.
Looking at the data above we can see that the 7mm SAW does have advantages over both the 6mm and 6.5mm calibers. It has a significant advantage in bullet drop and wind drift. Another important fact is the barrel life. The 6mm and 6.5mm calibers are known to burn barrels faster than other calibers out there. The downside seems to be a higher recoiling rifle. Hopefully we will see more data as time goes on and be able to compare how it shoots with a highly effective muzzle brake installed.
West Texas Ordnance is currently working on bringing quality reloading tools to the market and according to their website they should be available soon. I can honestly say that I am impressed with the data and will be closely following this caliber as a possible option when it comes time for my next build or rebarrel.
So do you think we will see some changes in the PRS world in regards to the 7mm SAW? Let us know what you think in the comments!