View Full Version : 7mm-08

The Kill Dozer
December 4, 2011, 02:38 AM
So I bought the optima elite 7mm-08 a few years back.. They quit making the barrels for this rifle, but still a really good rifle for what I paid. Does any one else own this rifle? Or thoughts on the caliber? Just curious to how people see it. I use it for deer pig hunting here in OK and it seems to be doing the trick for me;)

December 4, 2011, 02:49 AM
I have a Ruger Frontier in 7-08, and like the caliber.

Can't say much about the break action Optima...... never owned one, or wanted to.

The Kill Dozer
December 4, 2011, 02:52 AM
Well.. My dad got it for me some years back; first deer rifle. So I'm not complaining

December 4, 2011, 02:54 AM
Well, if it works, then what else do you want?

The Kill Dozer
December 4, 2011, 03:01 AM
I just wanted to see how people viewed the caliber or viewed the rifle itself.

December 4, 2011, 04:15 AM
when remington brought their left hand youth 700 SA in 708,i got one and put a good slip on recoil pad to bring the lenth of pull back to the standard 700 stock lenth. with 120 nosler BT,s and a healthy dose of varget it will damn near cut bullet holes at 100yds. i plan on trying hornady 154gr SST,s in the future for deer. eastbank

December 4, 2011, 07:00 AM
The 7mm-08 will be my next gun, I think I should be able to take any animal at 250- 300 yrds with it. Low recoil and light weight, just got to decide what gun I want.

December 4, 2011, 09:48 AM
I bought my son a Marlin XS-7 in 7mm-08 about a year ago. The rifle is nice but since your question is about the caliber let me just say its about perfect for deer. The 140 grain bullets will do just about anything you need to do with little recoil but similar numbers to a .308.

I liked it so much I left my .300 WSM in the cabinet on opening day and killed two deer with it.

Two thumbs up. I'm getting one next.

Art Eatman
December 4, 2011, 11:01 AM
For the usual "deer bullets", the 7mm08 is just a .308 with a ten-grain lighter bullet...

December 4, 2011, 11:27 AM
For the usual "deer bullets", the 7mm08 is just a .308 with a ten-grain lighter bullet...

.... and much better BC for bullets in deer weights. A 7mm 168 gr Berger VLD has a G1 of over .6 ...... a .308 168 gr VLD is under .5 .......

I like the 7-08. A near perfect all around deer cartridge. It can be downloaded for kids, too: I loaded up some 139's to 2400 f/sec for my stringbean daughter , and it dropped a good sized buck just as stone dead as the full house loads my niece was shooting .....

Art Eatman
December 4, 2011, 08:27 PM
BC is pretty much a non-issue, irrelevant, for the vast majority of shots at Bambi. What, 90% inside of 200 yards? Sounds about right. :)

December 4, 2011, 09:39 PM
90% inside of 200 yards? Sounds about right.

Depends upon where you are talking about..... true, 90+% of all shots taken at whitetails in this country are that short or shorter..... There are places in this country that you can not see to shoot that far......

...... SW Nebraska, where I do most of my deer hunting, is a different cat: If I had to limit myself to shots of less than 200 yards, there would be many years with no deer in the freezer. This year, out of the 7 tags filled in our group, 3 were shot beyond 200 yards..... 3 of the 5 people in our group were kids, so we tried to plan our hunts to set up short shots for them....... in open country, it does not always (or even often) work out like that. Picking a caliber with efficient bullets available is a pretty important to me when purchasing a rifle. Flat shooting calibers are a good thing to have when you are as likely to shoot 200+ yards as you are 50 yards. A 7-08 works just as well as a 30/30 at 50 yards, but the 30/30 even with the best "Superdooperformance-Flexitipper-AerodynamickahleeOptimizered" bullet is at a disadvantage beyond 200.....

BC may be irrelevant for "90+%" of shots at whitetails (what about those of us faced with a good sized portion of the other 10%????)..... but if that is the case, then so are scopes and 1MOA rifles, for that matter. If all you needed to do is hit a 8"x12" area with an expanding bullet at under 200 yards, then an iron sighted 4MOA rifle is sufficient, if the shooter does his part...... everybody would be running around with a $189 milsurp sks stoked with $5.99 Herter's 150 gr soft points ...... thank goodness "need" has got nothing to do with it! Happiness is having enough, be it range, foot/pounds or accuracy.... a properly fed 7-08 Remington has those in spades. It's a 400 yard gun that won't beat up your daughter.

December 4, 2011, 09:56 PM
I have that exact gun as a matter of fact. I bought it slightly used and have shot maybe a box and a half through it. I didn't find a bullet it really liked and had no use for the gun at the time so it's been sitting in the safe ever since.

December 5, 2011, 12:02 AM
I have no experience with your rifle.
I really like the 7mm-08
I purchased my son a Rem 700 7mm-08 mountain rifle when he was 10 years old,I loaded up some Hornady 139 gr. lightly loaded and he filled his tags first year deer hunting.Now 13 years later he's still filling tags with that Rem 7mm-08 :D...I really like the 7mm-08 and I shoot a 7mm rem mag.
"It(7mm-08) does its job well with minimum recoil"

December 5, 2011, 08:00 AM
Best all around whitetail deer cartridge out there IMO. I use a 150gn Ballistic Tip over 45.5 grns of 4831. It's devastating what it'll do to a deer. Next year's project rifle is a 7mm08 SPS Varmint that's going to get modified with a shortened barrel, new stock, trigger, bolt knob, and optics.

Art Eatman
December 5, 2011, 09:12 AM
Sorry I didn't make myself more clear, jimbob86. It's just that so many people worry about coefficients, scope magnification and sub-MOA that they don't look at their own needs.

I've killed bucks at 350 and 450 yards; I strive for sub-MOA and I like 3x9 variables. But I've also done a lot of hunting where I knew from the git-go that I was "over-equipped" for that particular hunt. :)

And, face it: If the shot is no more than 300 yards or so and the rifle's muzzle velocity is near 3,000 ft/sec (give or take a little), the ballistic coefficient is still not important enough to really worry about. Nor the scope's magnification, for that matter...

Brian Pfleuger
December 5, 2011, 10:02 AM
Many guns would not stabilize a bullet as long as a 168gr VLD in 7-08. Hodgdon doesn't even have load data for a 168gr 7-08. You'd need a twist rate of 1:10 or more, available but not the "standard" in over-the-counter guns.

Let's assume they would though...

The following is from JBM ballistics using a 7mm VLD 168gr hunting bullet at 2,700fps and a .308 VLD hunting bullet at 2,800fps, both speeds are near (or over) real world max velocity for those rounds. Sighted max 3" high, just for reference:

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Since you'd obviously be using range finders and scope adjustments at those ranges, I don't think a few extra clicks really makes any difference. HOWEVER, the 7mm would theoretically be carry 1055ft/lbs of energy at 800 yards, while the .308 is down to 828ft/lbs. That extra 200 ft/lbs of energy COULD be significant. Even so, 800 yards is a shot well beyond the capabilities of the VAST majority of hunters, especially under "real world" conditions.

At 600 yards, there's only a 2.3" trajectory difference and, while there's still almost 200ft/lbs difference, the .308 is still carrying almost 1,200ft/lbs, which is plenty.

600 is still beyond the capabilities of more shooters than not, especially under "real" conditions.


I'm a big fan of the 7mm-08. Big fan. I think it's darn near the ideal big-game cartridge for North America. I think it's a near perfect balance of recoil, trajectory and energy. It seems to really shine in the "recoil vs performance" category. Most hunters are going to be shooting factory 140gr ammo and many are not capable of shots beyond even 400 yards or so. At those ranges, with factory ammo, the only difference of any significance is recoil, and that's highly subjective.

December 5, 2011, 11:47 AM
Art, "Happiness is having enough. So start with plenty." Efficient bullets/calibers are not significantly more expensive than the short stubby ones..... and they are better, if only by a little.

Peetza-Many guns would not stabilize a bullet as long as a 168gr VLD in 7-08. Hodgdon doesn't even have load data for a 168gr 7-08. You'd need a twist rate of 1:10 or more, available but not the "standard" in over-the-counter guns.

And here I thought 1:10 was the standard ...... all my old guns are 1:10 .... my Frontier has a 1:9.5 ......learn somethin' ever' day ...... how many guns these days have a twist slower than 1:10? ... Other than dedicated varmit rifles/Poodleshooters designed for 55 grain bllets (but I repeat myself!)?

1:10 is the twist Berger recommends for their 7mm 168gr VLD .... their 168 gr .308 recomended twist is 1:13 .....

Brian Pfleuger
December 5, 2011, 04:28 PM
1:10 probably is the standard but I know at one time (maybe still?) Savage made their 7-08s in 1:11.5. I have no idea who else did or does.

The deeper point about those 168s is that a very low percentage of shooters are going to use that bullet weight in 7-08. By far, most shooters use factory ammo. Of those who don't, very many handloaders use bullets in typical factory ammo weights. What percentage? I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say 90+ will never use anything heavier than 140gr in 7-08. 168gr is certainly not nearly as "typical" as it would be in 30 cal.

I'm certainly not meaning to "talk down" the 7-08, I just think that typical numbers should be used to bolster an argument, not best vs average for example.

December 5, 2011, 04:50 PM
I believe most 7mm08's now are set at 1:9.25 - 1:9.5 or there abouts.

December 5, 2011, 04:51 PM
I like the low perceived recoil.

If the ultimate "one size fits all" rifle/cartridge combo is a bolt action 30.06 then the ultimate "one size fits all" rifle/cartridge combo for those who want to minimize recoil is probably the bolt action 7mm-08.

December 5, 2011, 05:14 PM
A quick glance through my reloading manuals (that list the twist of the barrel used to develop the 7-08 load data therein)

Nosler 5th 1:9 (Wiseman custom)

Speer 13th 1:9.25 (Remington 700V)

Hornady 5th 1:9 (TC Encore)

Sierra 50th Anniversary ed. 1:9 (Remington 700)

My Ruger has a 1:9.5

The only definitive answer from Google I could get on a Thompson Center (makers of the OP's Optima) 7-08 was on a "Scout", and it had a 1:10.....

....so it appears that the Savage is (or was) an oddball......

As the .244 Remington proved, one of the surest ways to kill a new caliber is to offer it in a twist that won't stabilize heavy-for-caliber bullets.....

December 5, 2011, 06:48 PM
one time (maybe still?) Savage made their 7-08s in 1:11.5. I have no idea who else

This has been a big complaint on some of the long-range shooting forums. Savage really missed the boat on this one.

December 5, 2011, 11:58 PM
According to their website, the Savages are at a 1:9.5 twist.

December 6, 2011, 09:19 PM
Kill dozer I can't say any thing about the rifle but the 7MM-08 is a very good deer caliber. I have shot a 25-06 for years on deer but this year I ended up with a Ruger Hawkeye 7-08. I was very pleased with the results. One shot one deer about 125 yards. Most people use 140 gr bullest I used 120 Nosler BT with Varget powder. It is very accurate at 100 (3/4") and 200 (1 3/4")yards. I am gona use it again next year the 25 needs a break :):)

December 6, 2011, 10:18 PM
I had a Browning A-Bolt Micro-Medalion in 7mm-08 and it was a sweet little rifle. I reloaded some Barnes X-bullets (this was a long time ago) and I had the barrel so copper fouled I'll never use solid copper bullets again unless they totally ban lead core bullets. I know they've changed the alloy but those X-bullets were a disaster. I've also had a couple .308's. The 7mm-08 dropped the deer (all shot in the lungs) much faster then the .308. I don't know why but this was always true on every kill made.

December 6, 2011, 10:54 PM
I have an CVA in 308 with the Bergara barrel...it weighs a ton and shoots great. The trigger has been worked down to 32oz and it feels like a dream, problem is it's useless for me because it's too heavy to carry around. If I'm going to carry that kind of weight I'll stick to my 270BAR.

I bought my 7yo son a 7mm08 handi rifle this year to deer hunt with. 36" long 5# of mule kick. Even with reduced recoil loads this gun still kicks pretty good. For a 18" barrel it shoots great, he took a deer with it this season using remington managed recoil. It run about 20 yards before expiring. I really like this round. I'd love to find an ultralight bolt action for my own use.

Art Eatman
December 7, 2011, 10:31 AM
ritepath, the 700 Ti with a 3x9 on it is 6.5 pounds.

December 7, 2011, 11:50 PM
Although I don't have a 7mm-08(great modern round), I do have a
7x57 mauser and a 280 Rem. The BC's on those 7mm bullets is awesome.
The mauser is really my 14 year old boy's, that I downloaded with 130grn spitzers @ 2400-2500 fps.
Low recoil but still plenty of deer power and very accurate.
His young eyes prefer open sights and @ 100 yards he smokes me with that gun. I guess I taught him right!