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Old September 20, 2013, 02:07 PM   #1
nippip
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Elk load for 7mm08?

Hey gang, I have been reading your forum for a while but this is my first post. I am in need of an elk round for my sako A7 7mm08 with a 22.5 barrel with a 9.5 inch twist.

I realize the 7-08 is on the light end for elk but this is what I have and I want to get the most out of it with the best round possible.
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Old September 20, 2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Way too open, narrow it down for me. What kind of shots do you envision?
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Old September 20, 2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Typically, guides recommend that the hunter use a bullet with a minimum .260 of sectional density for Elk rather than focusing on caliber. The Hornady 7mm 154 gr. bullets meet that requirement at .273, but for a little more assurance, 160 gr. bullets have a sectional density of .284 and with the right powder, the 7mm-08 can still push them fast enough to yield good energy.
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Old September 20, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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7mm-08 is plenty for elk, but you need to know and understand the limitations of your round, your platform and yourself.

I know more than one person that has successfully taken elk in AZ with a .243. It's not necessarily recommended, but it is more than capable if you work within the confines of your skills and equipment.
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Old September 20, 2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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To answer "what type of shot do I envision?", I am guessing 150-300. Also what load I end up with will help determine the shot I can reasonably take.
I am looking for good advice on choice of bullet and powder to give me a good versatile load.
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Old September 20, 2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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If I were loading for your purpose, I'd probably start right with a 160 gr. SPBT in the premium grade variety for deep penetration and controlled expansion. Something that the NOSLER Partition has been doing very well for many years. There are several powders that will work well here. The October issue of Handloader Magazine had a very good article on loading the 7mm-08. I'll probably buy a 7mm-08 soon, myself, and one of the first powders I'll try will be www.ramshot.com Hunter that's supposed to be capable of pushing a 160 to 2700 FPS. There are a couple of newer powders that also show great promise for the 7mm-08. IMR 4007, Reloader 17 and Alliant 2000-MR. I like Hunter because it's spherical and dense for better metering while it's burn control coating chemistry is supposed to give it the temperature stability of extruded powders. Then again, for handloading Elk loads, I'd be trickling powder in all of the cases to get an exact powder charge.
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Old September 20, 2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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Wow, 57K, what profile bullet & length barrel is that?
Sorry, The [email protected]
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Old September 20, 2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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Don't be scared to use your 7mm. Its plenty if you do your part. There are many 7mm bullets that would fit the bill. The Nosler Partition and Nosler Accubond, the Hornady 154gr InterBond, Speer 150 gr Grand Slam and 160gr DeepCurl, and don't forget about the solid bullets from Barnes, E-tip, or the GMX.

Hunter is a great powder, I have found it works best in my .280 with the 140gr bullets.
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Old September 20, 2013, 06:00 PM   #9
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TATER, I was estimating for a 22" barrel because that's what I'll buy. Ramshot's data uses the SIERRA 160 gr. HPBT GameKing and the Max. Charge gave them 2750 FPS from a 24" barrel. Another bonus of using Hunter and in this particular case, load desnity is almost perfect at 103%. Hunter can be used for the 6.5 x 284, .270, .280 and some of the short magnums, but Ramshot's ballistician provided me data and stats that are not listed in the data at their website. I think it could be a perfect powder for 7mm-08, even down to 120 gr. bullets for 3150 FPS with 108% load density with the Max. Charge, 2900 FPS with a 140 and 105% load density.
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Old September 20, 2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Elk load for 7mm08?

I'd be interested in hearing your loading results. I just picked up a 7-08 awhile back, haven't really started heavy tinkering yet as our bow season is just around the corner.

In my opinion, at least looking at the ballistics the 7-08 is completely sufficient for elk.... If it were called "7-08 magnum" it would be a well accepted elk caliber.
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Old September 21, 2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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I'd be looking hard at a 140 gr Barnes TTSX @ around 2800 fps. It ain't a 500 yard load, but at 300 or so I'd expect complete penetration on a broadside shot with a huge exit hole.
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Old September 21, 2013, 07:38 AM   #12
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Not sure about specific load data for the 7MM08, but I'd try to build the load around a Nosler Partition. I've taken many deer with Partitions and just can say enough about them on game. A quick look shows Nosler makes a 160 grain 7mm spitzer, and it has a Ballistic Coefficient of .475. The Partitions perform great at close range and high velocity as well as long range lower velocity. This bullet should perform wonderfully in your 08, notice it has an endorsement from the Rocky Mountain Elk club. Good luck on your hunt!

http://www.nosler.com/partition/
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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The only comparison I can give you of personal experience is I shot an elk with a 140 Barnes X out of my 7 RUM at 700 yards. It dropped like a ton of bricks, and I got an exit wound. 7RUM at 700 and 7-08 at 100 to 200 are by no means identical comparisons, but they are very similar.
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Old September 21, 2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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With 7-08, don't forget about the cheaper hunting bullets. Something like a 140gr Rem Core Lokt PSP would be great. The lower velocities here will make them work as designed without the blowing up issues that magnum velocities give.

I would limit shots to 200 yards max.
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Old September 21, 2013, 11:58 AM   #15
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The 7mm-08 is capable well past 200 yds. The Barnes X is actually an ideal bullet for the 08. Barnes were designed to retain near 100% weight at ultra velocity. Over their design evolution, they now have the ability to begin expansion at relatively low velocities. When shot at low velocity, they expand just enough to create a large wound channel, and they penetrate like crazy.
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Old September 21, 2013, 12:30 PM   #16
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As others have said 7MM-08 is plenty for Elk. Reloading really makes it shine.
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Old September 21, 2013, 12:35 PM   #17
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Load either the Nosler 150 or 160 grain Partitions and you'll do just fine.
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Old September 21, 2013, 02:34 PM   #18
nippip
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Gang, thank you very much for the impressive feedback. After doing a bunch more reading based on your thoughts I am leaning towards either a bonded like the Accubond, Interbond or Scirocco OR expanding "solid" construction like the TSX, GMX or E-Tip. Once again I will be loading this for elk in a 22in 7mm08 and looking at shots under 300 yards. I also will be above 7000 ft and temps could get cold.
What are your thoughts for bullets / loads with these constraints?
Thanks again!
PW
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Old September 21, 2013, 02:55 PM   #19
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I like the Barnes TTSX for pretty much any big game use. The 7mm-08 is just about the perfect elk gun. There's nothing "light" about it. They make 110, 120, 140, 150gr, take your pick.

Here's a .243 on a cow elk. Tell me again that the 7-08 is "light" for elk.
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Old September 21, 2013, 03:16 PM   #20
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Personally since the velocities will drop off faster with the 7mm-08 when compared to the 7mm Rem. Magnum I would stay with a bullet built along the lines of the Nosler Partition in as others have stated 160 gr weight range.

The reason I suggest this is based entirely on my personal experience hunting Elk in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming using a Ruger M77 in 7mm Rem. Magnum. The shots where I hunt can go from one extreme to the other, from shots at less than 100 yards to those approaching 500 yards. My load of choice for my Ruger has been a 160 gr. Barnes XTP bullet over 70 gr. of Hodgdon H1000 in Remington nickel cases using Federal 215M large rifle magnum primers which shoots at 2950 fps with a spread of 35 fps. This load through my Ruger yields 3 shot groups at 100 yards that a dime can cover.

That being said as we all know the 7mm-08 shoots quite a bit slower than the 7mm mag. so my concern would be with terminal performance of the bullet and in this particular case I would want a bullet that expands faster and larger yet still holds together, any of the Barnes type of bullets will not expand very well with slower velocities (the exception being the Barnes TTSX with the polymer tip) so therefore I suggest the Nosler Partition.
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Old September 21, 2013, 03:38 PM   #21
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While my 7mm mag likes Nosler 160 partitions, my shorter Model 7 really liked the 140 BT and Partitions giving me groups at just under 1". A 140 placed properly will take an elk easily enough
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Old September 21, 2013, 04:58 PM   #22
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Nip, the Scirocco II is a good bullet. I shoot them in my 257 WBY and they definitely are a tough bullet. If you are wanting to go the route of a non gilded bullet, I doubt that the 7-08 could over expand a standard 140 Ballistic tip.
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Old September 21, 2013, 05:05 PM   #23
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I'll be doing a cow elk hunt in January and because of recent eye surgery will be shooting a rifle with less recoil than my usual .35 Whelen. While I have chosen my .280 Remington, one rifle I was considering was my 7x57 Mauser which when properly loaded in a modern rifle is the eqivilant of the 7-08. The bullets under consideration were the 140 gr. Barnes TSX, 160 gr, Nosler Partition, 150 gr. Nosler Accubond long range, 150 gr. Speer Grand Slam, 160 gr. Speer Hot Core and Grand Slam. At the velocities attainable, shots to 250 yards should be doable with the 7-07 or my 7x57. Where I become concerned is shots where I hunt can easily run past 300 yards and the elk are very spooky. These hunts are cull hunts on elk that have been hunted and harassed for several months and most shot are out yonder usually on moving and sometime running elk. It was the 300 plus yards thing that made me rule out the 7x57. My hunting partner this last January got his shot at 317 yards on a trotting cow elk. It took two shots from his 7MM Rem. Mag., the first anchoring his animal and a second to finish her as she was trying to get up and run. I got very lucky as my shot was at 350 yards and she was standing still and broadside trying to figure out what I was. The elk I took two years before was hit at 150 yards running hell bent for election and all I will say is the 225 gr. .35 caliber TSX did a number on both elk. Anyone who says the ..35 Whelen is just short to meduim range cartridge just hasn't used one.
The 140 gr. TSX might be an option as the Barnes manual shows H414 giving up to 2863 FPS. H380 and Re15, AA2700 and AA2520 all giving velocities in the lower 2800 FPS range. Velocity is the monometal's best friend. Judging on my partner's results with the 160 gr. Accubond that might be an option. I have the ABLRs that I plan on working with if my rifle likes them.
Good luck with what ever bullet you go with. For me, January can't get here fast enough.
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:49 PM   #24
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My elk was dropped with a Nosler BST at about 180 yards. Complete pass through, and the exit wound and subsequent blood trail (she ran in a semi circle for about 40 yards) was massive. Granted, I used an '06 with a 168 grain projo, but up to about 250, the 7-08 is going to do extremely well with any medium skinned game designed projectile.

You start getting into the 300+ yards range and you better look at projos with better penetration designs like a Partition or Accubond.

It is really going to be hard to go wrong with your rifle.
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:56 PM   #25
nippip
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I have decided to go with a bonded bullet and the Accubond 140 will be the first one I start working with.
My thoughts with a 140 is that I can get a little more range with it due to higher velocities. Nosler also has the Accubond LongRange that looks interesting but I need to find more data on this bullet.
My impression is that I don't need to be sub MOA on an elk but just need to be very confident in my shots and know the range limitations. I will be trying to get me and my gun to shoot as tight as possible but after that I wanted to make sure I have the best projectile possible for the job at hand. I have heard that Sako and Tikka's are not very picky with what they will shoot well but if one brand does not work I will be switching it out for another.
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