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Old January 27, 2005, 07:07 PM   #1
TerminalVelocity16
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7mill. Mag.

Hey everyone, thinking about buying a 7mill. Mag rifle for some medium game. I have a little bit of a limited buget. I was looking at a savage or a Tikka. But the only problem is it needs to be a lefthand bolt. Anyone got any good idea?
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Old January 27, 2005, 07:18 PM   #2
MTMilitiaman
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Welcome to the wonderful world of left-hand rifles. Savage has an excellent reputation for accuracy and they offer a good selection of left-handed bolt-guns. If you were on an extreme budget, I would go with a Savage so as to still have enough money to put on some quality optics (read "Leupold"). I chose a Remington M700 BDL, left-hand, in 7mm Rem Mag and put a Leupold Vari-X III 4.45-14x40 on it. I have been very impressed with the rifle, more impressed with the cartridge, and even more impressed with the scope. I consider this to be a very good set up for the variety of conditions and the range of game I hunt. I handload a 160 gr Nosler Accubond. I prefer the heavy for caliber projectiles--I consider that to be the primary reason to shoot a magnum.

Tikka used to offer several left-hand models, but that I am aware of, they went away with the introduction of the T3. I could be wrong here. I believe Sako still offers a left hand model but IIRC it is only chambered in several standard length cartridges based off and including the .30-06 with a .473 bolt face. Browning also markets several Abolt models, including the stainless stalker, in left-hand and Winchester offers a Spoter LT and a Featherweight M70 in left hand. That is likely to be the extent of your choices.
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Old January 28, 2005, 09:15 AM   #3
TerminalVelocity16
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Yeah....I've been looking. Not really that much out there for us lefty's. But we gotta deal with it. thanks for the input!
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Old January 28, 2005, 09:51 AM   #4
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I know this is off-topic a bit, but what kind of medium game are you gonna go for with that 7mm Mag?

The reason I ask is that most everyone that I know that buys one ends up selling it. It doesn't seem to take long for them to figure out that they're losing too much meat because inside of 200 yards it's WAY overkill for most thin-skinned stuff. What's worse, they always seem to grumble about how 'this rifle won't shoot worth a damn', and you realize that they've developed uncontrolled flinches from the FLASHKABLAMMOBOOM that they get every time they pull the trigger...
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Old January 28, 2005, 10:36 AM   #5
tokarevman
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Yes i own a 7mm mag and it is a mean gun, i do not hunt much but i thing there would be better guns for hunting small game.
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:01 AM   #6
TerminalVelocity16
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Well the rifle would be my first hunting rifle. I just wanted something in an "all around" calber. I'm looking for a rifle that I can hunt game on the smaller side, as well as large deer or moose. This might be a hard, or even impossible task. But the 7mill mag. seemed to fit pretty well. Although I've never fired one before, I don't really have a problem with recoil. I've fired up too 375 H&H and still not really had a problem. But if anyone has a better idea for another caliber I will definetly consider it
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:37 AM   #7
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TV16, I grew up in the Port Jeff area, graduated from ELVHS in 68. Went in the military shortly thereafter. Was back there a couple years ago. Dang, it sure got crowded! I was on my HS rifle team - yea, we had a league and even took my rifle on the school bus. Imagine that! Deer Park, Bayport, and one other HS had teams. There was also a state match.

I have a southpaw 7mm Rem Mag in 700 BDL that's 30 years old. Great rifle. My SIL has a RH Savage 7 mag (year or two old) that shoots as well. Just because you are left handed doesn't mean you have to have a LH rifle. In fact, most of my bolt guns are RH'd and have an advantage that I can look into the mag and chamber without turning it over. I also shoot high power with a RH bolt gun. Rapid fire strings are not a problem. That said, I also have a 700 VS LH in .308 that I wouldn't trade off for nuthin'. I like it so well that if I was told I would never again have but exactly one rifle, that might be it -- it's that good. A well placed shot with a proper bullet from a .308 can do just about anything. sundog
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:40 AM   #8
rbernie
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IMO, the problem with 7mm Mag (and other cartridges like it) is that it's got such a large case capacity that downwloading it for use on smaller stuff is well-neigh impossible to do effectively. It's really made for long-range stuff, and if you're going to find most of your hunting gets done within 200 yards or so you'll probably wish for something with a little less velocity.

I am a big fan of the 7mm/08 for anything between coyotes and big mulie deer or elk, using 120r bullets on deer and 140gr to 160gr heavy-duty bullets on the bigger stuff. If you really think that you're gonna hunt up to and including moose-size game, I'd suggest the 30-06 as the most flexible chambering available.

In any case, if you intend to use one rifle for this wide a range of game, you're almost certainly going to have to handload to get the ammunition flexibility that you're going to need.
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Old January 28, 2005, 02:29 PM   #9
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Savage

Savage makes cheap guns and lots of lefties. i think that for medium game a 7mil mag is maybe more than you need unless youre gonna go for elk and moose. a .243 isnt much slower, it kicks less, its great on deer and makes a small red cloud out of many varmints. youll also get a smaller lighter rifle with the .243 and more mag capacity
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Old January 28, 2005, 02:55 PM   #10
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I think you want the 7mm-08. It is a sweet cartridge.
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Old January 28, 2005, 08:40 PM   #11
TerminalVelocity16
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ok....7mill-08 sounds ok....I just started looking at .270 or even as low as a 25-06, but keeping 25-06 as the minimum, I really have to make the pesonal descion between 25-06, .270, and 7mill-08.
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Old January 28, 2005, 10:20 PM   #12
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When you say that you want an all around caliber/rifle,it is hard to argue that the 30-06 has already earned that title.The 06 can do anything that the 7's can do and do it better in my opinion,thanks to the choice of bullet weights and style of bullets.
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Old January 28, 2005, 11:36 PM   #13
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Or you could split the difference between the 7mm-08 and the 7mm rem mag in power, with the same bullet selection, and get a .280 Rem (7mm). It's also arguably the best all around cartridge, sandwiched between .270 and .30-06.
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Old January 29, 2005, 11:16 AM   #14
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Yup, the 280 is a good one - a 7mm 270, so to speak.

But I have to wonder if the 270 or 280 or 30-06 will be a good first hunting rifle. I tend to believe that the extra 50 yards in range (say, stretching the envelope from 250 to 300) isn't generally worth the extra recoil and blast and rifle weight UNLESS you're an experienced hunter and really need that extra bit of distance.

I've glassed deer and elk at 300 yards, and *I'm* not yet ready to take that shot. If I can't get within 200 to 250 yards, I don't shoot at it. That means that I'm a whole lot happier shooting my 7x57 than I am shooting my 270. Less recoil and blast = more range time. In that spirit, I've become a big fan of the 260's and 6.5x55 and 257 Roberts and 7mm/08. My next rifle will be a 257 Roberts rather than a bigger bore.

And I can tell you this - a 120gr Barnes stepping out at 2900fps from a 7mm/08 will kill any deer of any size at any range short of 300 yards.
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Old January 29, 2005, 01:06 PM   #15
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I agree, Rbernie! The 7x57 and 6.5x55 can be made to match the short rounds (almost) with published loads and off the shelf ammo, and can exceed them if you wish, in a MODERN rifle (only). Quite versatile.
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Old January 29, 2005, 08:07 PM   #16
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Velosity,
I'll still side for the 30-06 for your first rifle,since you include Moose on your list of game to hunt.That would be my minumum for a critter,the size of moose.I had and hunted with the 270 win. and I had a few bad experiences with it and it's performance,mainly because of bullet constuction.Beleive me,after you have spent a few grand for a hunt and it goes sower because you should have had more rifle,it hurts way down deep.If recoil is a problem, then shoot lighter bullet weights to get used to the rifle.If you step down to the 150 gr.bullets then you'll be in the smaller caliber class such as your 270,280,7x57 or what ever.You are not going to be very far behind the 7 mm mag either.You'll just have a 30 caliber bullet to do it with and with better constuction in my opinion.Then if you need the added performance of a more heavily constucted bullet for moose or black bear then you can move right up to a 180 gr. or 220 gr. for the bigger stuff.And just think,you won't have to shell out any more hard earned cash for another rifle,unless,you get that magnum craze like I did and buy a 338 mag that collected dust because it was a pain in the butt to carry all day up and down hills because of it's 8 lb weight.My 30-06 Winchester XTR featherweight is the only rifle I grab now.My 120 lb little wife doesn't mind shooting it off the bench either.Some people do have a very low tolerence for felt recoil,the game might be small,and the mountains to high,then the small,light rifles centered around the smaller calibers really shine.
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Old January 30, 2005, 01:57 PM   #17
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7mm mag

I have to cast a strong vote for the 7mm mag. I have been hunting whitetails for over 20 years with mine and can't say I notice more meat damage than other hunters with different guns. I also have shot pronghorn without issue. Although I am a fan of the 7mm-08 also; I think the 7mm mag is a wonderful all around gun. I did get a new tikka 7mm mag last year and love it. There are still some of the older models around in lefty, otherwise I would pick a remington.
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Old January 30, 2005, 02:04 PM   #18
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As a southpaw, how about a Ruger #1?

Chambered in 7x57 Mauser, so no Magnumitis affliction.

Maybe even the full-stocked International version, drool...
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Old February 2, 2005, 05:26 PM   #19
Jseime
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.270

i never thought of it but the .270 is a great round and at .277 its not that different from a .284/7mm its also a flat shooter that will take down deer with lighter 130 grainers and elk too with, say maybe a 150 grain nosler partition
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Old February 2, 2005, 06:25 PM   #20
MTMilitiaman
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I have not found recoil to be a problem with my 7mm Rem Mag. I started on a .270 Win, shot a couple 06s, wanted a .300 Win but Remington didn't offer a LH .300 Win in my price range because they were apparently trying to boost sales for the .300 Ultra, so I went with the 7mm Rem and haven't looked back since. The 7mm Rem isn't by most accounts the best selling magnum in the country because it beats up its users. To me it feels like a .30-06 in a similar weight rifle, just slightly faster. Which makes since, because that is what it is--a slightly faster .30-06. And 06 will push a 180 gr bullet out at 2700 to 2800 fps. A 7 Mag will push a 175 gr bullet out at 2900 to 3000, and with bullets of similar weight and construction, the 7mm will have a bigger advantage downrange because of the superior BC. The bottom line is that given a rifle that fits you, if you can handle the .30-06, you can handle a 7mm Mag in a rifle of equal weight. That is why I typically say that 7mm Remington combines the best of three classics--the trajectory of the .270 Win, the recoil of the 06, and downrange energy approaching that of the .300 Win. I can shoot 30 to 40 rounds from the bench in an afternoon without too much discomfort. These are 160 gr bullets over a stiff charge of RL22 and should be in the ballpark of 3000 fps and the rifle isn't a behemoth--about 9 pounds or a little over, field ready. If it doesn't bite back, you can take it with this rifle. I've seen a garage full of elk racks taken with a 7mm Rem.

Meat damage is a matter of poor bullet selection and/or poor bullet placement. If you put a bullet through the ribs, there is going to be very little meat damage, esp if you pick a good bullet that expands mostly in the vitals and not in the hide. If you shoot through the shoulder, you should be prepared to deal with meat damage regardless of what you shoot. High-powered rifles have alot of power--that is why they are called high powered rifles. If it worries you that much, you can load a 7mm Rem down to 30-06/.270 Win levels--you can't load either of those two up to 7mm Mag levels. If recoil and meat damage are a concern to you, pick a good 140 to 150 gr bullet, load it in the 2800 to 2900 fps level and work up to the full power loads. If you don't handload, Remington offers a Managed Recoil load for the 7mm Rem Mag featuring a 140 gr PSP at a stated muzzle velocity of 2710 fps. This nicely duplicates the 7mm-08 but allows you the option of using the same bullet at 3175 fps if you so desire.

The 7mm-08 and other cartridges listed have alot going for them, but to say they are as versatile as the 7mm Rem Mag is simply wrong. If this is your first hunting rifle and your pocket book is as limited as mine, then you owe it to yourself to consider the wide range of conditions you may find yourself in and pick the best rifle for the job. I hunt white tail and mule deer as well as elk. The occassional black bear is not out of the question and I may be presented with the option of going after bighorn sheep, antelope, and moose. In Western Montana, alot of your shots are close, but you may get a shot to another ridge or across a clear cut that opens up to 300 yards or more. Hunting Eastern Montana for pronghorn you can shoot as far out as you feel comfortable, and if your rifle is a 7mm and you've practiced, that can be a long ways out there. I have one rifle to take everything I need to hunt right now at any concievable range, and in the meantime wouldn't hesitate to shoot ground squirrels or coyotes with the same rifle, and I have on multiple occassions. There are few rifles out there are versatile as the 7mm Rem for non dangerous medium and big game. A couple seasons ago I found myself laying prone across a flat rock with my rifle propped over my hunting pack as I calmly used the range estimation feature of my Leupold to declare a large full-curl bighorn ram at 400 yards as he made his way down a rockslide. I didn't have a sheep tag, but found the practice useful. With my trigger finger straight against the stock and out of the trigger guard, I placed the crosshairs behind the ram's shoulder and discovered much to my liking that I would be fully confident in taking that shot. I am not saying an 06 or even a 7mm-08 couldn't do that. I am saying that my rifle and my cartridge have my full confidence and that is what really matters when you get out in the field.
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Old February 2, 2005, 09:09 PM   #21
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7mm Rem.Mag. w/Leupold 4.5-14x40 Vari-X III?

1. Remington 700 BDL 'AS' in a Bell&Carlson Premier Thumbhole stock.


2. Browning BAR MkII Safari w/BOSS in a B&C stock.


Both wear the scope mentioned above.
Both are 7mm Rem.Mag.
Great combination.

What happens when people tell me the 7mm Rem.Mag. isn't good enough for elk or too much for deer or not as good a choice for either as a .300 ___ Mag. for hunting?


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Old February 2, 2005, 11:11 PM   #22
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It's all good...

Although I've noticed some peoples' feelings get hurt when they're told a big belted magnum isn't needed to thump Bambi at 50-100 yards. Heck, I remember a day when the .30-30 Winchester put venison on my supper table, and if I felt like being different, I'd take the .32 Winchester Special. Of course, back in the days of Harry Pope and his like, they didn't have the effective advertising campaigns we do now, nor the plethora of WalMart sporting good sections, with their game-savvy salesmen. Just think, if they did, folks now would think nothing of potting cottontails in their back yards with a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum.
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Old February 22, 2005, 09:25 AM   #23
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7mm-08 and 7mm Rem Mag Both Winners

I have a 7mm Rem Mag and I have a 7mm-08 and I love them both.

I have had the 7 mag longer, as I bought it while I was still in college about 15 years ago. I needed a budget big game rifle so I opted for a Savage 110 with a Weaver 2-10x scope. This gun has treated me well as I have taken over 30 deer with it, without any issues. Where I hunt, it is not uncommon that the only shots we get are on running deer. With that said, it is nice to have the extra power of the magnum in the case that you might land a marginal hit on the animal. Of the 30 deer mentioned above, I would say that 25 were shot while at a jog to an all out full run in wooded country. This 7 mag is a very accurate gun but does have considerable recoil as it is rather light, which is good for carriying. I believe that the 7mm Rem Mag is the best all around magnum cartridge when one weighs performance with availability of ammo etc...

2 years ago, I bought a 7mm-08 in a Tikka T3 Lite. This gun is nothing short of awesome in my opinion. I put a Nikon scope on it and the accuracy is impeccable. The gun will shoot almost through the same hole at 100 yards. There is little to no felt recoil and you get the bullet efficiency that the 7mm's are known for.

As far as game size, I would use the 7mm-08 on anything right up to a Moose which is where I would pick up my 7 mag. Now if I didn't have the 7 Mag, I guess the 7mm-08 would have to do, and I believe with good shot placement, one could score a large moose with this rifle. Also, a good handloader could find a pretty good moose load for the 7mm-08, of course the magnum would be a better choice at this point though.

My father in law has used the 7mm-08 for years, and has his longest single shot "drop in the tracks" kill shot on a large Muley buck, was 425 yards. I guess I'd say that is pretty respectable for that caliber in the hands of a 65 year old man with "Old Eyes" as he says.

If I had to pick one or the other, it would be really tough. I guess (tear in the eye), I'd have to pick the 7mm-08 though because it is available in a shorter more quick handling rifle which is better for where I hunt.

You cant go wrong with either,

JSF
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Old February 22, 2005, 11:54 AM   #24
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I have a lefthand Remington M700 and a custom built on a Texas Magnum action in 7mm Remington Magnum. Both have been a pleasure to own and use, and since I have a Savage LH .30-06, I think the combination of Savage 110 and 7mm Remington Magnum would be a no brainer. (Being American made is also a plus).

I seem to sense an undercurrent of Magnum aversion running in some posts. I like magnums. They definitely have a useful edge over "standard" cartridges, especially in wind drift and trajectory, which makes them more accurate in real world conditions, where the bench and known distances are left behind. Yes, 90% of all deer may be killed at .30-30 range, but why settle for 90% when you can claim a big part of that other 10% using the 7mm Remington Magnum? (Disregard all of this if you won't or can't practice shooting farther than 200 yards while prone or on your butt).

As far as recoil, my son is way less than 100 pounds, and used the Custom mentioned above to take his deer this year. Recoil can be tamed by practice.
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Old February 22, 2005, 07:32 PM   #25
Spencer
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I have seen many elk fall to a 7mm Mag. I can't say anything bad about it...
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