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Old February 19, 2012, 05:19 PM   #1
kennethlee
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7mm08 - A First Hunting Rifle . . . Almost!

I saw the rifle of my dreams yesterday and thought I'd buy it today. It was a Cooper Western Classic 7mm08 with lots of case hardened steel, special butt plate, etc. You can see one at: http://www.cooperfirearms.com/rifles.php?rifle_name=wc

I saw it used but looking like new in the gun store. There were two prices on the tag. Unfortunately, the one I honed in on was really a list of gun "extras" totaling $1,345 and not the actual gun price, $3,899.

I went back today and said, "I'll buy it", and about flipped when I saw the real sell price and my minds mistake. I apologized to the salesman for my stupidity and left feeling like a kid promised a pony for Christmas and then not given one.

Okay, I'm over it in that I know that rifle configuration is out of my price range for now. However, I have wanted a Cooper rifle for awhile because of their 1/2 inch MOA at 100 guarantee so will look at their less pricey models.

This would be my first high powered rifle and I'd use it for hunting deer, antelope and maybe, but not for sure, elk. But I would use it year around for target practice up to 800 yards.

So now my question to the experts:
I had been vacillating between getting a 30 06 and a 308. The Cooper I embarrassedly never bought was in 7mm08. I reviewed that round and liked what I saw ballistically so am now considering a purchase in that caliber.

In your opinion, is that a fair caliber for deer and long distance shooting? And I'd really appreciate hearing from some of you that use or have used 7mm08.

Thanks!
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Old February 19, 2012, 05:35 PM   #2
jimbob86
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My $.02....

Quote:
In your opinion, is that a fair caliber for deer and long distance shooting? And I'd really appreciate hearing from some of you that use or have used 7mm08.
It is a fine cartridge for deer, and there are plenty of efficient bullets (both target and hunting) to make it a good choice for long shots.

I would think that spending $1K on a rifle for a beginner would be foolish, in that by the time a beginner aquired the skills to appreciate the difference between a $1,000 rifle, and a a $400 rifle, it would be time to rebarrel the rifle, or buy another...... and $600 would go a long way towards buying practice ammo..... or better yet, a handloading set-up and components.

There are many high quality used rifles on the consignment racks out there, at great prices ...... If you have $1K, you'd be best served by looking at one of those, and work on shooting up to the capability of the rifle.
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Old February 19, 2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thanks jimbob86.
That's the kind of good advice I was looking for.
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Old February 19, 2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Yeah, the 7mm-08 is a fine hunting cartridge. It is also a good long-range cartridge, initially adopted by the metallic silhouette shooters because it was light recoiling enough to shoot in a lightweight rifle and had enough retained energy to knock down the 500 meter rams. The rifles had to be lightweight enough that they could shoot them off their shoulders while standing on their hind legs.

The 7mm-08 is a great cartridge. Perfectly capable of taking all the medium game on the continent.
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Old February 19, 2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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I agree with Jimbo. $400 plus the cost of a good scope will buy you a great 7mm-08 that will kill deer/hogs just as dead and probably with just as good accuracy.
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Old February 19, 2012, 11:16 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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My legs went and cheated on me and got old. Grossly unfair. So, I bought a Rem 700 Ti in 7mm08. Not half-MOA, but most definitely sub-MOA. Good trigger. No Canjar, but definitely acceptable.

In common loadings, say for deer, the 7mm08 is a .308 with ten grains weight less bullet. Whoopee ti yo. Big deal--not.

But I like 6.5 pounds with a Leupold 3x9, ammo and sling, ready to hunt. With the butt pad Mr. Remmy put on it, it's not onerous at the bench rest, either.
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Old February 20, 2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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[
Quote:
I agree with Jimbo. $400 plus the cost of a good scope will buy you a great 7mm-08 that will kill deer/hogs just as dead and probably with just as good accuracy.
If you look, $400 will get you a decent hunting rifle with servicable glass already on it. It may not be the newest in new, but it will work, and well enough that even a shooter of some experience could not do better with something twice the price..... my brother scored a Remmy 721 in .270 WIN sporting a 3x9 (Weaver?), a couple hundred bullets, 60+ rounds of primed unfired brass and a Lyman handloading tool AND the original owners load data..... For just over $400 OTD. He used it to drop a deer in November at 300+ yards, one shot, Flop!...... with his own handloads, based on the original owner's recipe.

He also picked up a Browning A-Bolt in 7-08 for $375, with rings (no scope).... dropped another $100 on a "Bone Collector" 3x9x40 scope at Bass Pro.... stole it because it was being "discontinued"..... seemed to work: his 12 y.o. daughter drilled nice buck right thru the shoulder at just over 220 yards.... but then, she has icewater for blood when it comes to making a shot......

The last time I was in that same store last fall, and they had a Winchester model 54 (The Original .270!) with an old scope on a goofy tip-over mount ..... it had been there since at least March, for $450...... bore was shiny, trigger crisp..... just nobody wanted that goofy scope mount, I guess.....

Even these new bargain basement offerings like the Savage Axis, Stevens 200, Mossberg ATR, etc., can be gotten as a combo (with scope) at big box stores on sale for under $500 ..... true the scope may not be the greatest piece of glass, but it would be servicable..... and for someone new to centerfires, would probably be be more accurate than the shooter can appreciate.

For that matter, I just picked up a couple of Commie guns (a '42 Izhevsk 91/30 and a Yugo SKS) that would be good deer rifles if one were not fixated on using a scope- with the irons they came with, they are both "pie plate accurate" to 100 yards, offhand, with 150gr soft points.... the former lunching them at 2800, the latter at 2200 .... enough to give bambi no choice but to stop breathing......
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Old February 20, 2012, 12:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Thanks jimbob86.
That's the kind of good advice I was looking for.
Glad to be good for something other than a fine example of an underaged curmudgeon!
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Old February 20, 2012, 12:52 AM   #9
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Coopers are definitely nice. But like you I can only window shop them too. For your application hoping to make long shots of 800 yrds.? ouch!!-- a 300 Remington ultra Mag with a good Huskemaw scope could make the trip? I'm sure someone's else is more ad dept than I on this one.

7mm08 30-06 308 are no where near the rifle your looking for to make long shots> really long shots 500 yards plus with. Especially on the game size animals you intend to hunt. If you do purchase one of the three for that extended yardage? Get new battery's for your flashlight. Your going to spend allot of time in the field looking for your wounded animals. I hope others would agree with me on this one.
P.Script: the 7mm is 28 caliber. Not much difference between a 30-caliber 308 and the 7mm 08 other than the cost of shells required for the 7mm-08.>Spendy!!< Good Luck Sir, SSMcG

Quote:
It would have probably taken the nation by storm if they'd have named it the .284 SA Express or .284-08.
But, it didn't and will probably never will. It's a Shame: Just another unspectacular cartridge created for the buying public's interest is all it turned out to be. >"Think Magnum" for Elk and BIG Muley's please. If you insist on not doing so. "That is your right!!"--Than, I still have to suggest again not to forget those new battery's for your flashlight".-- Personally, I have never used a 7mm-08 nor wanted one for that matter. But I do know a couple guys that do own 7mm-08s. I'm a fan of the venerable 270 Winchester myself.

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; February 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old February 20, 2012, 07:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
7mm08 30-06 308 are no where near the rifle your looking for to make long shots> really long shots 500 yards plus with. Especially on the game size animals you intend to hunt. If you do purchase one of the three for that extended yardage? Get new battery's for your flashlight. Your going to spend allot of time in the field looking for your wounded animal. I hope others would agree with me on this one.
P.Script: the 7mm is 28 caliber. Not much difference between a 30-caliber 308 and the 7mm 08 other than the cost of shells required for the 7mm-08.>Spendy!!< Good Luck Sir, SSMcG
Like the .308 the 7mm08 is very capable of longer range shots if the shooter is. Statements like this show little understanding of the cartridge, its versatility, balistics and lethality in the right hands. How many people, animals and targets have died at 500-1000yds as a result of the trigger sqeeze on a .308, the 7mm08 is better IMO. It would have probably taken the nation by storm if they'd have named it the .284 SA Express or .284-08.

I'm a fan. The groups are shrinking the more I shoot it.

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Old February 20, 2012, 09:43 AM   #11
Art Eatman
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I've had a table at a gunshow, three or four times a year, for right at thirty years. I took many a rifle in on trade. It was common for me to shoot them, maybe even work up a load, and do whatever minor tweaking that was needed to really get tight groups.

I never had any serious problem with a "good used" rifle.

In today's world, the hock shops seem to be loaded up with used rifles. Odds are that the asking price is likely double what they have in the rifle, so there's opportunity for bargaining down to a good-deal price. And there's no reason not to try to get them to swap scopes if some other rifle has a scope more suited to your need.

A bit of shrewd bargaining leaves lots of room for minor gunsmithing as a tuneup, and more money for ammo...
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Old February 20, 2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman
In today's world, the hock shops seem to be loaded up with used rifles. Odds are that the asking price is likely double what they have in the rifle, so there's opportunity for bargaining down to a good-deal price. And there's no reason not to try to get them to swap scopes if some other rifle has a scope more suited to your need.
That is precisely my experience, which is why most of my current battery is used rifles. I've picked up nearly a dozen over the past five years at very good prices. I've picked up a Howa 1500 with a beater scope for $125.00, a Remington 700 with a Leupold scope for $300.00, a Savage 10 with a Choate stock for $300.00, a Ruger 77 in .25-06 for $300.00. Used guns are on the racks in today's economy and if you know what you're looking for, the used gun prices can be very attractive. It pays to have a good relationship with your pawn shop guy.
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Old February 20, 2012, 08:31 PM   #13
kennethlee
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Thanks to all of you gentlemen for taking time to help. It is helping.

I started on this trip (buying a rifle and scope) last July as a result of attending a long distance shooting school. I had never shot with a scope till then. I used my son's 308 Tikka and a 4x16 Leupold and enjoyed dialing in shots up to 800 yards. I've purchased a Burris XTR because my son is a rep and the price was great, maybe worth more than the gun I'll buy.

I started out looking for either a 30-06 or 308. Now I think I can add a 7mm08 to my list.
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