The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 4, 2012, 07:24 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,286
Why the 7mm-08 over the 280 Rem?

I was just reading an interesting article in an old gun magazine about the 280 Remington, which is on it's way to being obsolete (if it isn't already). The article suggests that the 280 is in the middle between the old established cartridges - the 270 and the 30-06 - and nobody really needs the 280 since the 7mm Mag is 'the' 7mm to use. Well....Ok...but if that's the case, why are so many folks so hot on the 7mm-08? The 280 shoots most bullets about 200 fps faster than the 7mm-08. What's the real justification for the popularity of the 7mm-08? Maybe it's the short action, but I don't see that as a valid reason. Less recoil? That's a reason, but not a big reason. So what's the reason for the popularity of the weakest of the 7mm rounds? Why would you want one? Personally, I don't own any 7mm rifles, but if I wanted one I'd get the 280.
603Country is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:00 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2007
Posts: 1,201
I wrote this really nice reply to your post but for what ever reason my blasted connection to the internet was discontinued. Suffice it to say that the .280 is a awsome cartridge and I strongly, strongly disagree that it is "almost obsolete". It isn't the most popular cartridge but is isn't obsolete. I've owned one for about 3-4 years and its my go to hunting rifle. Hoping to get my hands on a .280 AI
TheNatureBoy is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 805
It seems you're answering all your own questions.

- In the "ought six" family, the .280 is stuck between the more established .270 and 30-06

- Among 7mm/.280 options, the 7mm mag offers superior ballistics, while the 7mm-08 has less recoil and can be chambered in a short action. Also, some people still like the 7x57 Mauser round.

The .280 is a very good round. It just happens to have a lot of tough, well-established competition with more ammo options. Regarding the question of why 7mm-08... I'd say because it differs more from the 30-06, .270, and 7mm mag than the .280 does.
idek is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:07 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
It's not always about speed.

There's pretty much always something faster.

The 7-08 is one of the best compromises of power, trajectory and low recoil, IMO. Nearly equaling the power of the large or faster rounds with a lot less recoil and considerably more power than the "lesser" rounds with only minimally more recoil. It's a great round.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,137
The 280 shoots most bullets about 200 fps faster than the 7mm-08.
Both are hunting cartridges, although if my memory serves the 7mm-08 was adopted first by the silhouette metallica crowd because it shot those lovely high BC bulllets through a short action with enough energy to topple the 500 meter rams. That game, as you know, is played with the shooter standing on his legs and shooting from the shoulder.

It was an easy jump from the metallic silhouette fields to the hunting camps. If a cartridge has enough energy to knock down a full-size ram target, it's got plenty of energy to knock down a full-size game animal. If you're reloading your ammo, it's easy to make the cartridge from .308 or .243 brass, it's an inherently accurate cartridge, and it fits well in light rifles that are carried lots and shot little.

I don't believe that many game animals can tell the difference between the .7mm-08 and the .280. Most deer aren't calibrated for a 200 fps difference.

The .280 is a great cartridge, but it suffered from Remington's idea on cartridge identification. At one time they called it the 7mm Express, trying to capitalize on the idea that it is a 7mm cartridge. If you're a 7mm fan, the 7mm Rem Magnum does the same job in the same action length. Then again, I don't know of any gun-writer that's championed the .280. I think we can say with authority that Jack O'Connor liked the .270, that Jeff Cooper liked the .30-06, and that Grits Gresham liked the 7mm Rem Mag. The .280 Remington, while always a fine cartridge in its own right, has suffered from a lack of identification, from Remington's own marketing ploys, and the fact that it is stuck between two iconic American cartridges.
Dennis Dezendorf
PawPaw is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:46 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 5,219
The ONLY reason for a 7mm08 is if you prefer a short action rifle. I own 3 7mm08 rifles and the round has zero advantage over the 7x57(in a modern rifle) and is behind the 280 in velocity across the board(handloaded 280). These are direct comparisons between similar barrel lengths and bullet weights.
Mobuck is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 08:54 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 3,546
Have a 280 and gave a 280 to my youngest. As I gotten older, I don't enjoy the weight and recoil of the 7mmRM. Besides, I'll take the half dollar hole the 280 leaves compared to the explosive impact of the 7. Deer don't know the difference. I like the 708, but I like the 260 Rem much better. 100gr Partitions at 3000 from 16.5"? Yeeousah.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 09:13 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 805
The ONLY reason for a 7mm08 is if you prefer a short action rifle.
Taken from recoil chart on Chuck Hawks website:

7mm-08: A 140 grain bullet at 2,860 fps muzzle velocity out of an 8-pound gun has 12.6 ft-lbs. of recoil energy.

.280 rem: A 140 grain bullet at 3,000 fsp muzzle velocity out of an 8-pound gun has 17.2 ft-lbs. of recoil energy.

In that situation, you're giving up only 5% muzzle velocity, and 9% muzzle energy by choosing the 7mm-08, but dropping recoil energy by 27%.

I'd say that's a good reason for choosing the 7mm-08 in some cases.
idek is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 10:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,286
Truth be told, I'm with Geauxtide and using that same short barrelled 260 and even shooting the same bullet. The reason I shoot that bullet is to get to that 3000 fps level so that the ballistics match my 270 ballistics - which causes less heavy thinking when I see a pig at 400 yards and need to make the shot without twiddling scope dials or dragging out my rangefinder. But...I back to the original topic...PawPaw made a good point about the origins of the 7-08 and that there's no real effective difference between field use of that round and the 280. I'd still pick the 280 if I had to choose. Now you may have noticed that I'm shooting the 260 lately and have sorta parked my 270, but that decision is based more on the small, light, and terrific little Ruger 77 Compact in 260. A buddy sold it to me so cheap that I had to buy it. If I had passed on that chance, you guys would have slapped me crosseyed.

So what ya'll are saying is that the 7-08 is a short action cartridge with low recoil and that's why it's popular. Not much of a reason, but I guess that's enough of one.
603Country is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 11:31 PM   #10
340 Weatherby
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 2012
Posts: 137
Guys, I think we need both. A nice handy 7'08 for still hunting and a heavier 280 Ackley for stand hunting.
340 Weatherby is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 11:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 7,089
The 280 Rem was "neutered" from the get go by the pump rifle format. Handloaders started hot rodding it and Remington reintroduced it as the 7mm Express.

Having two pressure standards for the same cartridge under two different names was probably not helpful. But ballistics wise it was a good round in either format.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
Jimro is offline  
Old November 4, 2012, 11:56 PM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
I like the 7-08. I always thought of it as a good caliber for people who think that the 308 is a little too much for them. It's a short action also, so it's going to cycle faster than your long actions, and the rifles are more compact, which makes them great woods-walking rifles. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot an Elk with a 7-08. I think the only advantage the 280 might have over the 7-08 is range.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 12:16 AM   #13
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,125
My ancient legs told me that my 9.5-pound '06 was too heavy to tote around all day. Mr. Remington said he'd sell me a 700Ti in 7mm08 which weighed 5.25 pounds. I sez, "Good." So, with scope, sling and ammo it's 6.5 pounds--which suits me just fine.

The 7mm08 is a .308 with ten grains less bullet weight in a Basic Bambi Load. Plenty good to 300 yards, I figure.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 08:50 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2010
Location: Pawleys Island
Posts: 1,477
I like my 7mm08's because they are accurate as anything else I own, leave really big holes in game, have very little recoil and are a lot of fun. I have .280's that I don't shoot because I prefer the 7mm08 in almost every instance. I also have 7mm Mags, load for and shoot them but don't see the advantages of the 7mm Mag over the 7mm08 in my hunting situations. Fact of the matter is, the 7mm08 isn't a 300yd cartridge, its a 500-600yd cartridge when loaded correctly. It'll do anything the .308 will do and in some instances better. I've taken the Pepsi Challenge on this one and love the smaller member of the family, modern powder formulas and bullet designs really make this one the little engine that can and will.
Saltydog235 is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 09:01 AM   #15
Hunter Customs
Senior Member
Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: Osborn, Missouri
Posts: 2,649
I own a 280 and love it.
As a matter of fact if I could only keep one rifle it's the one I would keep.

If Remington had been on the ball and marketed the 280 in bolt guns and kept the loads where they should have, I believe the 280 would have surpassed the 270 easily.
Read the ballistic charts, the 280 is surperior to the 270; this is especially true with good handloads.

Remington did the same thing with the 6mm.
They dropped the ball and the 243 is more popular even though the 6mm is a surperior cartridge when comparing ballistics.

I've shot the 7-08, 270 and 280 in various rifles, as for felt recoil I'll take the 280 any day.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
Hunter Customs is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 09:26 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,258
I have owned two 7mm Rem Mags, still have a .280 Rem and a 7mm-08. The 7 Mags are like haveing a big block v-8 engine they hve the horesepower to get it done period, however the VAST majority of the time you just don't need that horsepower, enter the .280 Rem, plenty of power for most any job especially if you reload. Along comes the 7-08 Rem, still plenty of power but mostly housed in a more effecient, lighter package. I have pretty much parked my beloved .280 in the safe for my 7-08 Mdl 7, short light, easy on the shoulder whether carrying it or shooting it, balances beautifully, in short I love tht rifle. Seems like its more related to the platform than the actual cartridge.
Panfisher is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 10:04 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8,543
The 7X57 Mauser was the first modern round, beating the 30-30 by several years. You can make a good argument that nothing better has come along since. It has taken every animal on the planet, probably as many elephant as most any other round. And it has the range for long range shooting of smaller animals.

The 7-08 duplicates its perfromance and light recoil, but in a smaller package, with better accuracy. I don't own a 7-08 simply because I started with 30-06 and 308, but I consider it to be about the perfect all around chambering. I have too much time,money etc., in my other rifles to change at this point in my life.

As others have correctly noted, any short action rifle can be built coniderably lighter than a long action rifle. Many manufacturers do not choose to do so and build identical weight rifles in both. If choosing between a 7.5-8 lb rifle in either 7-08 or 280, or between 308 and 30-06 it makes no sense to buy the short action. But given the option of a 5 lb short action vs a 7.5 lb long action, I'll give up 100-150 fps to get the smaller, lighter rifle.
jmr40 is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 10:44 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: September 18, 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 161
The only advantage I can see to the 7-08 is the weight of the rifle due to the shorter action. A pound makes little difference to me so I've always prefered the 7X57. I have one built on a 98 Mauser action with an old Bishop stock and a Lyman 48 peep sight. It's my old school deer gun. Weighs 8lbs.
I disagree that the 7-08 is inherently more accurate than the 7X57, or the .280 for that matter. With good barrels on a good rifle all three can shoot more accurately than the shooter can hold.
I've never owned a .280 but if a deal came by on one I'd jump on it. It's a great cartridge built off the case of an equally great cartridge. Whats not to like? Its capable of taking any N. American game at ranges out to 400 yards or more. So is a 7X57 or a 7-08. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
RevGeo is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 11:20 AM   #19
Junior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 3
I have one of each. The 280 has a slight range advantage, on paper, over the 7mm-08, but both are out there to the point of: Are you really that good? My 7mm-08 has an advantage in it is a youth model and slightly more agile when I'm hunting in my limited space hunting stand. I see no significant accuracy advantage. One advantage the 7mm-08 may have is the availability of ammo, but still not as popular as a few other calibers. The 7mm does open up many options for reloaders however; lots of options.
h2opumper is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 12:33 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,118
The ONLY reason for a 7mm08 is if you prefer a short action rifle.
Aside from this:

Taken from recoil chart on Chuck Hawks website:

7mm-08: A 140 grain bullet at 2,860 fps muzzle velocity out of an 8-pound gun has 12.6 ft-lbs. of recoil energy.

.280 rem: A 140 grain bullet at 3,000 fsp muzzle velocity out of an 8-pound gun has 17.2 ft-lbs. of recoil energy.

In that situation, you're giving up only 5% muzzle velocity, and 9% muzzle energy by choosing the 7mm-08, but dropping recoil energy by 27%.
....there's efficiency: the smaller, more efficient case works better with shorter barrels, losing less velocity per inch than the larger cased .280. I can't imagine a 16 inch barreled .280 Remington amounting anything but an obnoxious flamethrower.....

Also, reduced loads work better in the 7-08, as well.

My Ruger Frontier in 7-08 is just about the perfect kid's deer gun: A 139gr BTSP downloaded to 2400 is mild recoiling, flat shooting, 1000+ ft/lb energy past 300 yards .... the gun is easy to handle even for a ten year old. As he/she grows up, the cartridge can be loaded back up to its potential .... I get 2650 out of 140 gr factory loads, and am thinking 168gr Berger VLD's would make this a 400 yard gun.

There are things the 7-08 does on every shot that the .280 can't (cost less than the latter )..... and very few shots where the extra energy of the .280 matters enough ...... and if someone needs that extra energy, then the 7mm Remington Magnum does that, too. As does the 7mm Weatherby. And a properly loaded .270 or .30-06 .....
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
jimbob86 is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 03:17 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2,776
If that data is really from Chuck Hawk's website, he needs a new calculator. For equal gun and bullet weight, recoil energy behaves like muzzle energy.
Edit: Played with the calculators, the reason for the difference is that the 7-08 case assumes 40 gr powder, the 280 60 gr. In reality the loads are 48 and 56, which takes the difference in recoil down to about 10%.
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.

Last edited by mapsjanhere; November 5, 2012 at 03:32 PM.
mapsjanhere is offline  
Old November 5, 2012, 04:02 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 4,141
I sure as hell wouldn't mind owning one of Elmer's .280 Dubiel's. I would probably carry it on every hunt wether I need the "horse power" or not.
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 03:01 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 5,982

My manuals tell me that the "mildest" 7mm family is the original, the 7mm Mauser, or 7x57mm. I won't call it weak, 'cause that round has killed big game all over the world, and was hailed by a number of pretty savy shooters.

Apples to apples, the 7-08 gains about 200 fps or so on the old Mauser.

The .280 is a dandy round, but its caught in the nether world between the .270 and all the .30 cals. The .270 is so well established, and the cartridge does such a good job on deer sized game, that the .280 is a sort of afterrun. And if faster and flatter is what you want, the round that gets it for most is the 7mm Mag.

I don't own a 7mm rifle either. But if I was so inclined it would be a 7-08. The short action and the recoil reduction from .30 caliber seems appealing.
bamaranger is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 08:13 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: February 5, 2008
Location: DeLand, FL
Posts: 110
  • 7-08 R (SA)
  • .284 W (SA/LA)
  • .280 R (LA)
  • .280 AI (LA)
  • 7 RM (LMA)
  • 7 RUM (LMA)

I also wanted a 7mm and I went through the same debate and decided to go with the .280 AI because I'm a reloader, I really dig the .30-06 case, and I wanted a long action. The 7mm RM case (.375 H&H M) has a lot of capacity, IMO too much for a 7mm, I think it's more appropriate for the .300 WM. The 7 RUM is just ridiculous!

The 7-08 is a great hunting round however the .284 will serve you better at long range but if you want to shoot it with long high BC bullets, the .284 needs to be in a long action. If you do not reload, I think the 7 RM is the one to get due to its availability and the fact that stock ammo is not loaded to its full potential.

The 7mm is a magic bullets indeed: High BC, relatively mind recoil, and lots of choices in terms of what brass to use and also what action to get.
nicknitro71 is offline  
Old November 6, 2012, 08:21 AM   #25
Big Pard
Senior Member
Join Date: January 11, 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 191
Both the 280 and 7mm-08 are great deer cartridges but I feel the 280 is a little more versatile because you can get factory loads using up to 165 gr bullets. The 7mm-08 is more "shooter friendly" to those whose worry about recoil and is a great choice for beginners and veterans alike.
Big Pard is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10309 seconds with 7 queries