7mm-08 Loads


Doug in Alaska
November 25, 2006, 01:34 PM
I just bought a slightly used (14 rounds down the pipe) Remington 700 Synthetic Youth Model for my wife. Of course, I'll be taking it on my whitetail trip to Idaho next fall. I plan to start loading for it using a Barnes 140gr. TSX bullet. For powder, I'm looking at Varget, RL15 and RL19. I'd like your opinions and/or similar loads you guys use for the 7-08. I'm not able to find much info on temperature sensitivity between RL15 and RL19. Any ideas?
Thanks, Doug in Alaska

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Steve H
November 25, 2006, 01:54 PM
That is a great choice for a bullet. I use the 140 gr. Barnes X in my .280 and haven't come across a muley it didn't like yet. Have you looked at the Barnes reloading manual for the different powders?

November 25, 2006, 02:15 PM
If you are looking for temperature satbility then go with the Varget. I have used it in a .243 at temps from 10 F to 100 f with very consistent results. I don't load 7-08 so I can't help with loads.

Doug in Alaska
November 25, 2006, 03:48 PM
Steve H,
The current Barnes manual doesn't show data for the TSX bullet yet. Their next manual is supposed to have the data. For now they are say to use the data listed for their X bullet but I don't have a Barnes manual, I think I loaned it out and it was never returned.

Thanks for the info on Varget.

November 25, 2006, 06:12 PM
Barnes 140gr. XBT Start loads Max loads
Varget 36.5 gr. 2470fps. 40.5 gr. 2740fps.
RL-15 36.5 gr. 2490fps. 40.5 gr. 2760fps.
RL-19 44 gr. 2610fps. 48 gr. 2850fps.
H-4350 42 gr. 2560 fps. 46 gr. 2806fps.

You get a little bit of paper work inside the box of bullets with Barnes
3XBT that suggests you can carefully go a litte higher on your powder
by 1 - 2 grains . check for pressure as you do it in .5 grain increases
I have found this is true as I find my loads top out 1 - 2 grains more
than Barnes Manual Lists for the XBT bullets .

I have had great loads with the H-4350 and 140 3XBT, I also loaded
the 120gr. 3XBT and vary empressed 3000 fps. easy No recoil
and the RL-15 is my powder for it.

Ol` Joe
November 25, 2006, 07:07 PM
Varget under the 139 gr Hornady SP. Works wonders on Michigan deer and was very accurate in the three rifles I had chambered for the cartridge. I still have 1-708 and use this load yet in it. The 708 isn`t high velocity cartridge and the super premium bullets aren`t needed. The cartridge works fine with std cup and core bullets on deer size game. I have also heard of alot of hunters swearing by the 120 gr ballistic tip in this cartridge with the same powder on deer and anelope. Nosler has supposedly really toughened the jackets up on this bullet the last couple years. I`ve never used it on game though persoanally.

Sharps Shooter
November 25, 2006, 07:37 PM
I'm sure that Barnes builds some mighty fine bullets, but I really don't think your wife needs them for whitetails in Idaho. My own wife has had great success killing both mule and whitetailed deer in Idaho with 7mm-08s since the cartridge was first commercialized. All she's ever used for deer is Hornady 139-grain Spire Points over charges of either IMR-4320 or Win 760 for around 2800fps from her 22" barreled rifles. And temperature sensitivity? You know Doug, this is Idaho. Being in Alaska, maybe you're used to more extreme temperature swings. Deer season here is in the fall when we have the most moderate temperatures of the year. When you're here hunting you'll most likely see temperatures around 75 or maybe 80 degrees in the middle of the day and dropping to just below freezing at night.
I apologize if I sound like a smart ass. I don't mean it that way. And it's great that you posted those questions. I just wouldn't be too concerned about the perfect load in a 7mm-08 for killing whitetails in Idaho. Whitetails aren't all that big here. On the average they're certainly smaller than mule deer and they generally live in more densily forested areas where 100 yards is a long shot.:)

Doug in Alaska
November 25, 2006, 11:22 PM
Sharps Shooter,

I spent the first 25 years of my life in Idaho, hunting whitetail and mulies. I hunted primarily with a .7mm mag. The 7mm-08 was purchased for my wife but I'll be taking it to Idaho for whitetails next November. She will be using it for moose hunting here in Alaska, and I'll load a heavier bullet for her but she will practice with 120gr. or 140gr. bullets. I just really like the Barnes bullets and don't feel the TSX is an overkill. I'm trying to find a good powder that will give me the best accuracy. I realize every gun is different, I've been reloading for almost 40 years. I was just curious as to what you guys have found best, and here in Alaska, temperature sensitivity is a big concern. Just don't want to end up with a cabinet of powders I won't use. I already have quite the collection. :)

November 25, 2006, 11:56 PM
I loaded 120 Nosler Ballistic Tips over 49 grains of H414 in my son's savage and it shoots lights out. 3 shot cloverleaf @100yds. He shot 2 antelope and a Mulie 2X3 with it this year. The antelope dropped and the mulie went maybe 5 yds.

Sharps Shooter
November 26, 2006, 02:52 AM
Okay. Now I understand. Like you, I too have a sizable collection of powders that I tried and didn't like for one reason or another. I sure don't want to add to my collection either.
Except for a few years I spent in the service I've lived and hunted in Idaho my entire life - 58 years. Because of that I've never paid much attention to temperature sensitivity when it comes to selecting a powder for my hunting rifles. But my one and only 3 week trip to Alaska a few years back tells me that hunters up there may darn well have to pay a lot of attention to powder temperature sensitivity.
I can't offer any advice about those Barnes TSX bullets. I don't even know what they look like. I'm sure they'll work fine for Idaho whitetails or even bigger game though. That sounds like a pretty good plan - selecting lighter weight bullets for your wife to practice with and working up a 7mm-08 load using heavier bullets for moose.
I'm not much on that "overkill" stuff either. Sorry if you thought I was saying the Barnes TSX bullets were overkill for Idaho whitetails. I use a .300 Win Mag on everything from whitetails to elk. I just like and trust it. And not because I think my wife's 7mm-08 won't kill the animals just as dead - I know it will. Then again, my wife got herself a dedicated elk rifle, a 7mm Rem Mag, a few years ago. So there's not much use in us trying to find a load for a heavier and better constructed bullet for elk with her 7mm-08 when we already know what works for deer. Maybe someday she'll see the error in her ways and simplify like I do - use her 7mm Mag for everything.:D
In what part of Idaho did you live and where are you planning to hunt whitetails? Whitetails are few and far between in this part of the state. We have to go up north around Salmon when we're looking for them. There's a lot of whitetails around Lewiston and north on the other side of the state too. But we hardly ever go that far from home to hunt deer.

Doug in Alaska
November 26, 2006, 11:42 AM
Sharps Shooter,
I'm from Lewiston so that's the area I plan to hunt, probably Waha, Joseph Plains, or up on the prairie (Winchester, Craigmont, Grangeville), not sure yet. One of my old friends in Lewiston spends more time in the woods than he does around the house and always does really well whitetail hunting. I'm going to let him set things up since things have changed dramatically during the 24 years I've been in Alaska. He also runs hounds on bear and lion so he has a lots of knowledge on where the heaviest game population is. Hunting and fishing up here is fantastic but I still miss the whitetail and pheasant and have noticed (during my visits) that the turkey population has exploded. I'd like to get after a gobbler if I get a chance.
Back to the 7mm-08, most all my rifles are large magnums but I also favor my Marlin 45/70 Guide Gun. I've been planning to make this Idaho hunt for some time now and since my wife started seriously hunting with me this past season I thought it was good justification for another rifle purchase. I really didn't want to hunt whitetails with the .338 mag and I've got my Guide Gun set up with 525gr. Pile Drivers which are great for bear but aren't the flattest shooting bullet in the world. My youngest son has laid claim to my 7mm Mag so that's out of the question since he may be using it when I'll need it. I think my new 7-08 (sorry wife's 7-08, ha, better not say that around her) will be just the ticket. I plan to fit it with one of the new Leupold ultralight variable scopes and am also going to ship it to the Lower 48 to have a Black-T finish put on it. This should prove to be a fine sheep and caribou rifle.
Thanks for your comments and believe me, you didn't in any way offend me. The great thing about these forums is that there are so many people out there with tons of experience to share.

Doug in Alaska
November 26, 2006, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the info guys!!! :)

November 26, 2006, 04:58 PM
I've done a little comparison on loads with Barnes X, TSX and XLC BT bullets. In the cases I've compared, the loads with the X and TSX are about the same. The XLC bullets in a 7mm/08 sized cartridge should be able to use 1 to 1.5 grains more powder.

The 7mm 140 grain Barnes TSX should be excellent on deer (more than enough) and even things like elk and moose if shots are placed well. I've found Barnes bullets tend to be more accurate at higher loads than other bullets and I don't seat them to be right up against the lands.

November 27, 2006, 05:31 PM
Both IMR 4064 and Varget work very well in my Rem. Mod.7 in 7mm-08.

November 27, 2006, 11:43 PM
I've shot most of the mentioned powders through my 7mm-08, and a number that have't been mentioned. RL-15 at 42.0gr under a 140gr Bullet is my #2, but IMR4350 just can't be beat. I prefer the Remington 140gr Corlokt for general use, and 140gr Partition for "special occasions". I haven't ever gotten the accuracy or velocities claimed for Varget, so I'm not a big fan of it. I prefered H380 for accuracy with the 150's. But, IMR4350 beat it by 100fps and near equal accuracy. See Lyman's #48 for more data. Their results most closely match mine, of the manuals I have.

For lighter game, use either the Remington 140gr Corlokt Soft Pt. or your choice of either the Sierra or Hornady 140gr BTSP. I bought 500 of the Remington's after I tried the first 100, essentially a "lifetime supply". A gunsmith friend of mine recommended these. He's gotten under MOA at 1,000yds from a 7mmWSM benchrest rifle he built and shoots in competition. He uses it for every thing "except" competition in various 7mm's.

For heavier game up to ELK, use the Nosler 140gr Partition (in spite of what my gunsmith friend say's!).
Another friend used my 7mm-08 last Oct (2005) to shoot a weighed 1,200lb elk 6x6. The Nosler 140gr Part. completely peneterated! A single 140gr Sierra BTSP (I told him to use these only for checking the sights once in camp, but he's not too gun savy and did't pay attention- reason I loaned him the "little 7".) was just under the hide on the far side. The guide told him to shoot a second time, even though the elk stood in place and was weaving, about to fall down. At second shot, it did!

For Moose, or incidental great-bear, I'd probably use a Nosler 160gr Part. Load this over 45.0gr of IMR4350. I prefer Fed.#210 Primers.

Because of the modest case capacity, and loss of 100-200fps with the Barne's solids (X and Triple-shok), I prefer to use the Nosler's.
Proven performace and easily duplicated.

I've found the factory equivalent powder of H414/Win760 is unbeatable for velocity. My 20" bbl gets 2,860fps with 48.0gr of Either.

But, velocity is near equal, and accuracy tops with IMR-4350 at 48.0gr. 50.0gr is "doable" with either the Sierra 140gr BTSP or Hornady 140gr BTSP, but with "longer bearing surface" of Non-Boat-tail bullets, 48.0gr is better and in mine, and several other friends rifles has failed to show pressure signs even in early seasons here where temps can reach 90deg in afternoon. I've found similar experiences to that of John Barsness of Handloader Magazine in this regard.

I've really enjoyed my 7mm-08, and it (Remington Mod-7 w/laminated stock and 20" bbl) is my favorite of all my rifles. (Don't tell the guys over at Marlintalk.com I said so !!!).

Point and Click, dead game POA/POI to ~300yds. (I sight in for 250yds w/3" high at 100yds).

I had "resisted" trying this cartridge for many years. However, an aquaintaince who had used an early Remington M700V to shoot metallic shilouttes and had "cropped" over 2,000 deer with his, continued to persist in suggesting I try one. (he uses 48.0gr IMR4350 and Sierra 140gr BTSP for ALL his shooting).

Glad I finally did.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O'Conner were right after all!
(7mm08 essentially duplicates max handloads in the 7x57 or if you have a british rifle, 275 Rigby).

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