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Old December 18, 2014, 07:19 PM   #1
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Why 7mm-08?

It seems like everyone I know who hunts deer has a 7mm-08...I can think of at least 10 or 12 of my friends/family who shoot it. All of them complain about not easily finding ammo at places like academy, dicks, or walmart and when they do find it, its very expensive. My question is what makes it so appealing? what does it offer that you can't get from a .270, .308, .243, or 30-06 that there is a ton of ammo for...
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Old December 18, 2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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Probably nothing really special, just a niche caliber that lets a guy be a little different. I have one and carry it in my truck everyday. I have killed a lot of hogs and deer with it and I guess it works as good as many other calibers. You could have a 7x57, 6.5 Grendel, and lots of other calibers that fill the same niche. I load all my own ammo, but I see factory ammo for it a lot in places like Academy, Bass Pro, Gander Mountain.
Might be better or worse calibers, but it's one of the good ones.
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Old December 18, 2014, 07:34 PM   #3
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A little less kick than all of the calibers you mentioned except the .243. Good ballistic coefficient compared to the .30 cal pills for flatter shooting. Good sectional density for penetration. A good variety of bullets for reloaders.
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Old December 18, 2014, 07:45 PM   #4
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Off the top of my head:

The 7mm bullet in general sits in a pretty sweet spot. You can get a high BC without having to go too heavy a bullet, so recoil is kept in check. But heavy enough for good penetration on bigger game. And there are lots of bullet options available. And a 7mm-08 rifle with, say a 1:9.5 twist, can handle bullets from 100 to 160 grains. Small game, varmints, deer, antelope, sheep, hog, elk, steel silhouettes and long-range paper are all viable targets. It's a very versatile cartridge.

With the right load, it can shoot nearly as flat as a SD-matched .260 Remington and deliver nearly as much energy, but do so with more momentum, which means more penetration on game. Or that that steel ram is more likely to fall.

In a .308-based case, the 7mm bullet is just about perfect, and it's a very efficient cartridge. The case has enough boiler room to push high-BC 6.5mm and 7mm bullets effectively, but might struggle pushing .308 bullets with the same BC and/or SD. At the same time, it's not so overbore that barrel wear isn't the concern that it is with the .243.

And all this in a short action...

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Old December 18, 2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Very efficient cartridge that fits the "deer cartridge" niche perfectly & all from a short action rifle. That is the big attraction. People don't normally get the ammo sticker shock until AFTER they buy the rifle & start shooting it a lot.


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Old December 18, 2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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^^ What they said...

I"m shooting a Stevens 200 in 7mm-08, and can consistently get smaller groups out to 300 yards (alas that is as far as the range I belong to goes) than my friend with a Savage Model 10 Heavy barrel can get with his 308, and at a slightly lighter recoil.
Please note that I am NOT dissing the 308 at all, as it is as fine a cartridge out there.
But with the 7mm, and the higher BC's than a 30 cal. there is less guessing for wind drift.
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Old December 18, 2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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I think Borland nailed this one. Funny though, I don't own a 7-08???????
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Old December 18, 2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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I have a model 7 and it is awesome. The 140 is just a sweet bullet in that cartridge
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Old December 18, 2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Low recoil with good punch is why I think its popular.
Ammo is not expensive or hard to find IMO.
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Old December 18, 2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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Ammo is not expensive or hard to find IMO.
Not hard to find or expensive...especially if a hand loader.
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
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Old December 19, 2014, 07:18 AM   #11
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I wouldn't say the 7mm08 has "low recoil" although it has "less recoil" than a 308 or 30/06. It's in the same category as 7x57, 6.5x55, or 260 Rem--same weight bullet + similar velocity + equal rifle weight = very similar recoil.
It does quite well on deer using the Nosler BT 140 grain or Remington CoreLokt 140(or many others in this weight range) but not any better than other similar rounds.
Any round that drives a suitable bullet at a reasonable velocity can build quite a reputation in a short time if used by the right hunters.
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Old December 19, 2014, 07:38 AM   #12
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what does it offer that you can't get from a .270, .308, .243, or 30-06 that there is a ton of ammo for...
Well, it's a short action, so no point in lumping it in a comparison with the .06 or the .270.

The 7mm offers a great compromise of those based off the .308 case, between the lower BC (by weight) of the .30 cal bullets, and the reduced barrel life of the .243.

I don't hunt with mine, but it is a capable 1K yard rifle.
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Old December 19, 2014, 08:19 AM   #13
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I have a few and carry one almost every time I go deer hunting. I prefer it because I kill a lot with it.
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Old December 19, 2014, 08:38 AM   #14
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The first successful smokeless powder cartridge was the 7X57. It has been used to take every animal on the planet over the years. It was the preferred rifle of WD Bell who took in excess of 1,000 elephant in his lifetime.

The 7-08 will almost exactly duplicate 7X57 loads. I think it odd that we have come full circle and re-invented the 7X57. I don't think I'd recommend it for dangerous game regardless of what Bell did, but it might just be the best all around cartridge for everything else.

While it may be popular within your circle of friends it is much less popular among people in general. Thus the lack of factory ammo.
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Old December 19, 2014, 08:43 AM   #15
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8mm lebel 1886 ring a bell. eastbank.
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Old December 19, 2014, 08:56 AM   #16
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I think any cartridge claimed to be a good game killer is a false claim. Game animals are killed with bullets. A given caliber bullet of any type and weight leaving at the same speed from different cartridges will perform identical on game animals. So will the same bullet leaving all sizes of cartridges at different velocities but striking game at the same velocity and impact point and angle.

Cartridges shoot bullets out a barrel. After the bullet leaves the barrel, the rest of the cartridge and rifle components have nothing to do regarding the bullet's effect on game animals. It's all about the bullet.

The above aside, a .308 Win with a 1:10 twist and 125 to 200 grain bullets will do anything a 7-08 with 100 to 160 grain bullets from a 1:9.5 twist barrel will do. And have a longer barrel life for the same accuracy standards. Compare the BC's of light, medium and heavy hunting bullets, respectively, for each caliber.
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Old December 19, 2014, 08:53 PM   #17
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I find the proportions of case and bullet to be more aesthetically pleasing than the .308. Since in the common deer-hunt loadings it's a .308 with ten grains less bullet weight, why not?
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Old December 20, 2014, 03:14 PM   #18
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Great cartridge

For medium sized game it is about a perfect fit. Short action, good sectional density, low recoil and accurate.
The real advantage is it being a sweetheart of a rig for smaller or newer shooters.
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Old December 21, 2014, 09:56 AM   #19
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Why 7mm-08? Because its IMO the perfect deer cartridge. I just had a custom rifle built in 7-08 I haven't taken game with it yet though.

Ballistically its equal to a .270 Win with .277 130gr and 7-08 .284 140gr bullets assuming 22" barrels. And it does it with less recoil, less powder, and in a smaller action.

I LOVE my .270 Win, but if I had to choose one caliber for the rest of my hunting life it would be 7-08
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Old December 21, 2014, 10:21 AM   #20
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For those who knew of Finn Aagaard , he said the 6.5x55 was the perfect deer cartridge .After using it for 25 years as my deer cartridge I have to agree.
The 7mm-08 is VERY close to that so it will also do a fine job.Accurate , low recoil, very effective on deer . Excellent choice !
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Old December 21, 2014, 12:18 PM   #21
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The 7MM bullet is a bit more flexible than the .30 cal, and the 6.5MM bullet slightly more so.
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Old December 21, 2014, 05:40 PM   #22
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It is funny, but the 7mm-08 was developed for the silhouette game, or at least that is the arena where it developed a cult following. It did very well as a wildcat because it knocked the rams with authority and without the recoil of a 308.

That same downrange authority and lack of recoil make it a very good choice in a deer rifle, similar to the 6.5x55 and 7x57 for mild recoil but authority on game.

It's a good round, with a lot going for it.

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Old December 21, 2014, 06:44 PM   #23
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If you shoot often but do not reload your ammo, you would be better served with a 270 Winchester, or a 243, 308, or 30-'06. If you only shoot a box a year, no big deal. If you reload, it's all good. I prefer the classics, so 270 Winchester works for me.
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Old December 22, 2014, 01:36 PM   #24
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If you shoot often but do not reload your ammo, you would be better served with a 270 Winchester, or a 243, 308, or 30-'06. If you only shoot a box a year, no big deal. If you reload, it's all good..
If you shoot often regardless of caliber you would be better served thinking ahead and stocking up some.

I heard the same internet lore before I bought my first 7mm-08 in early 2009.Since then I have yet to not be able to find ammo for it and have it in my hand in 3 days or less even If I couldnt find it on someones shelf. The most expensive I have seen is Winchester Super X for about $34.
$18-23 a box is what Hornady whitetail runs. PPU is $16.99 a box. Remington coreloct was $26 a box at bass pro. Other than the Winchester I dont think any of the other would IMO be considered expensive.
Will the local stores be low or out of it during the middle of deer season I would imagine so. The shelves were pretty bare or low in other calibers also. Then again ... its the middle of deer season.

I bought 4 boxes of Hornady american whitetail at Academy last week . There was no 243 on the shelf, and in 30-06 there was maybe 2 choices of it. The others I didnt pay much attention too but pickings were slim in any of them.
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Old December 22, 2014, 01:55 PM   #25
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I'd never had an experience with the 7mm-08 until the little sister's best friend got one for her birthday.

After some cursory Googling, and some reading here, I was suitably impressed by it's paper performance.

And then I got to shoot it.

Not a devoted fan boy of it yet, but it is on my short list of calibers to get.

I agree with it being the "ballistic sweet spot" and "perfect for new or smaller stature shooters."

Also, in doing some further reading, the 7mm-08 has appeal in countries where "military calibers" are prohibited.

My local gun shop had plenty of both Winchester Super-X and Hornady American Whitetail, at about $28 a box, which is par for the course around here.
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