7MM Mag replacement for 30-06


September 9, 2008, 11:25 PM
I went to the gun store today to pick out my deer rifle. I knew exactly what I wanted: a savage or CZ 30-06 with a walnut or laminate stock. They did not have this rifle. They did have a Savage 7MM mag w/ laminate stock.

I wanted to get some opinions on this caliber, especially how it compares to an 30-06.

I know the 06' with 220 grain bullets is considered adequate for brown bear, is the 7mm with 175 grains equivalent or under powered?


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September 9, 2008, 11:33 PM
Bullet construction will matter much more than bullet weight, that being said, I wouldn't face a brown bear with an 06 or a 7mm.

Coal Dragger
September 9, 2008, 11:58 PM
Either one will do nicely for most North American big game. The 7mm might be a little on the light side for brown bear though just by bullet weight. The .30-06 will probably get the job done on brown bear with a tough 200-220gr bullet, but I would not feel appropriately armed with either one going after a very large dangerous carnivore. Either would do really well for black bear though.

Have you considered a .338 or a .375?

September 10, 2008, 12:04 AM
from folks who've faced the big brownies, i've been told that they've been most comfortable with the .375 H&H Magnum...the 30'06 just isn't enough. if folks want something in the 30'06 lenght action, the current reommendation is the .375 Ruger.

it used to be everything up to Browns in North America could be taken with the 7mm Mag...but i'm hearing alot about folks moving down to a 6.5x55mm or .260 as a better round with less recoil

September 10, 2008, 12:27 AM
I anticipate using my rifle primarily for deer, however, I do not want to buy a second rifle should I decide to try for a brown bear.

Coal Dragger, I've looked at the .338 &.375, but I think there a bit much for a rifle that will be used for deer first and possibly bear. I also have to consider the cost of ammo.

Thanks for your reply's gentlemen.

Coal Dragger
September 10, 2008, 12:49 AM
You might consider reloading your ammo if you don't already do so for a larger caliber. Not that a .338 or .375 would be cheap mind you, but after you reload a couple of hundred rounds the press, dies, powder measures etc will pay for themselves and your ammo costs after that will be far far lower.

If a .338 or .375 are out of the question (I would take the .375 myself seeing as how they are usually in a heavier rifle and less abusive to shoot), a fast .30 might be in order. There is nothing a 7mm will do that a .300WIN won't get done, and with the right loads you can push those heavy .30 cal bullets a lot harder than you can with a .30-06.

September 10, 2008, 01:24 AM
Before answering your question, you answered it yourself. You said you knew exactly what you wanted before you walked into the store, and that 7mm wasn't it. So why settle? The exact gun you want is a couple phonecalls away, you'll keep a good gun a lot longer than you'll remember waiting an extra week or three to get your hands on it.

As far as the calibers, for all the monster trophy stories and magazine articles and history behind the names the reality of it is you're looking at 5 grains and 0.02" difference. That's every bit as significant as it seems at face value, which is to say the on game difference is zero given reasonable bullet selection.

If you're concerned about ammo costs the 7mm will usually run you another 5 or 10 bucks a box over 30-06.

September 10, 2008, 09:34 AM
The cost of the ammo should be totally inconsequential. When you factor in all of the costs of a hunting trip, gas/license/food/etc...ammo is about the cheapest part of the hunt.

If you can't afford the best ammo available for hunting potential man eating animals, I would consider staying home;)

September 10, 2008, 09:45 AM
the .338 federal gives 7mm mag me with higher bullet weights, this is sutible for hunting everything but the biggest and meanist imo. plus it is made from .308 brass which means lots of cheap stuff out there.

If you're concerned about ammo costs the 7mm will usually run you another 5 or 10 bucks a box over 30-06.
1+, coming from a fan of the 7mm.

September 10, 2008, 07:54 PM
I found a NIB Marlin MR-7 Walnut stock, 30-06. I put a 2-7 leupold on it. The action was smooth and the trigger was light and crisp. I spent a hell of lot more than I had originally planed, but this should be the only rifle I'll ever need.

Thanks guys

Der Verge
September 10, 2008, 08:59 PM
175gr bullets in 7mm have great sectional density. This means they are great penetrators. 7 Mag will take anything in north America, and most things in Africa. The only thing that it is advised against using 7 mag for is Hippo.

As in comparison to .30-06, 7 Mag will do everything the '06 will, but the 7 will do it faster, and flatter. It will also kill brown bear, black bear, and polar bear just as well as a .338 or .375, and it will do it with out knocking the bejesus out of you. Recoil is about the same as an -06 loaded with heavier bullets.

Obviously, I like the 7 Rem mag. Mine is also a Savage. I sighted it in this last weekend. I am currently shooting 139 sst for deer. 265yard zero for a 310 max pbr. Point, click, DINNER!

September 10, 2008, 11:45 PM
A hunt for brownies would be guided - check with existing Alaskan guides for recommendations or [I]requirements[I]...they may not allow some calibers in camp.

September 10, 2008, 11:58 PM
If you can afford a hunt for brown bear, the price of a rifle in proper caliber will be low on your list of expenses.

.375 H&H should be quite adequate

Should be no need for a "follow-up shot"

7mm Mag is an awesome gun - but just wrong for hunting brown bear

September 11, 2008, 01:40 AM
it is mostly superior to a 06, but for bear, I would like a fat bullet, a 7mm is pretty skinny, but if you get off good shots, with a nicely spreading open bullet, the 7mm will be fine for bear, you plug them in the heart and lungs, and the bullet opens up...

September 11, 2008, 02:52 AM
My friend, good choice on the thirty 0 six. It will never let you down.

Lots of folks will howl, but for just plain deer hunting, I would still roll with a 220 gr bullet. Such a tough bullet penetrates and ruins very little meat as opposed to 150-160's. It has great sectional density. It's great for elk. It'll kill browns like a 243 kills elk, but its not a brown bear load.

If you want a all purpose gun, buy a 338 win mag and forget all about that 338 Federal business. The whole point of bigger than 30 cal is being able to shoot bullets heavier than 225

September 11, 2008, 04:24 AM
The 06 is pretty much the wonder drug to getter done and has the
largeest selection on bullets to do most anything with managable recoil and the lowest cost. Either it or 7mm Mag are bear capable, all around goes
to the 30-06 with proper bullets that can penetrate to vital areas.

Der Verge
September 11, 2008, 03:50 PM
I am sorry but I have to comment.....

"a 7mm is pretty skinny,"

Hmm...... .308-.284=0.024" WOW! That is SOOOO much skinnier! Better sell my 7mm and run out and get a .30 caliber anything!

Anyway, it is your choice. The 7 Mag has bullet weights from 100-200 grains. Most bullets above 180 are intended for target though. The 175gr bullets will do just as much, as not more than the 220gr slugs in .30 cal. But again, it is your choice. All I know is that I like my 7 much more than the -06 I traded in for it.

Art Eatman
September 11, 2008, 05:06 PM
Just to muddy the water a bit, I ran across one gunzine article with Alaskan-guide opinions that their clients with 7mmMaggies did better on Brown Bear than their clients with .300WinMags. Go figure. :D:D:D

Very few people have the skill to reliably hit game out beyond 300 to 400 yards. Within 400 yards, I see no practical difference between .270/.308/'06/7mmMag/.300WinMag. when deer and/or elk are the intended supper.

September 11, 2008, 05:21 PM
I think it is a toss up between 7mm Mag and .30-06. We shot .30-06 Ruger mdl 77 MKII and 7mm Mag Remington 700 one after another and recoil was similar.

7mm is .284 caliber, 30-06 is .308 caliber. Not much difference.

Commercial ammo for 7mm mag is 140gr, 150gr, 160gr and 175gr and Hornady's 139gr, 154gr, and 162gr. Haven't seen any bullets bigger than 180gr match, although Barnes used to offer a 195gr. Lee book has loads for the 195gr. :)

.30-06 has 55gr accelerators, up to 220gr thumpers. But I think 150gr is most common commercial ammo bullet.

My dad's 1975 mdl 70 in 375H&H is not that bad on recoil. He has 225gr Hornady, 235gr Speer, 270gr and 300gr Noslers reloads. Trajectory is not that bad either. It's more of a thump than the sharp recoil of my 7.

CZ 550 is a available in big calibers at affordable price.

375H&H premium ammo is 60-80$ a box. Norma PH and A-Square ammo is even more.

Read plenty of African PH stories on 7x57 mauser taking elephants.

From a reloading perspective, I enjoy reloading my brother's .270 Win(.30-06 derivative) over my 7mm Mag. I haven't figured out why the belt on a belted magnum is necessary other than marketing.

September 11, 2008, 06:00 PM
If I was looking for a dedicated deer rifle it would be hard to beat a 270 win, a perfect match. To my mind brown bears start at .338 win mag and go up. Its one thing to sit in the comfort of your home sipping a cold one talking about what calibers do what but if you should ever find yourself on the drizzly Alaskan coastal areas facing an angry Brownie you gonna wish you brought enough gun. As a previous poster mentioned if you can spring for a Alaskan brown bear hunt a new rifle will be the least of your expenses.

Der Verge
September 12, 2008, 09:44 PM
Ok, to side with you sachmo, if you can afford a new rifle, ANY reason to do so is a good reason. Also, I like to land on the side of "more than enough". It is better than being on the side of "wish I had more"

Forney Rider, the reason for having a belt on a magnum came about shortly after the creation of the first magnums. Here is the answer.....

"This design originated with the British gunmaker Holland & Holland for the purpose of headspacing certain of their more powerful cartridges. Especially the non-shouldered (non-"bottlenecked") magnum rifle cartridges could be pushed too far into the chamber and thus cause catastrophic failure of the gun when fired with excessive headspace; the addition of the belt to the casing prevented this over-insertion."

Many now argue that the belt is no longer necessary. I don't see it making any difference.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 12, 2008, 09:52 PM
First, hold out for what you WANT - don't compromise.

But, if you do decide to grab a 7mm rem mag rifle, you'll likely be very happy with that one too. With the advances in bullet construction, a 175 7mm bullet can likely do 99.44% of what any .30-06 bullet can do.

Ben Shepherd
September 12, 2008, 10:09 PM
I may catch a little flak for this but here goes-

All this talk about uber-doober magnums is centered around the wrong point of discussion. They WEREN'T developed to hit "harder" than thier non-magnum counterparts. In fact with close shots they can backfire on you. If your bullet is going too fast on impact, it acts like a varmit bullet instead of a big game bullet.

They were developed to let you be lazy.

The whole purpose of most magnums is to shoot flatter, farther out than standard calibers. An easy point-n-click interface. No hold-over needed. Maximum point blank range shooting.

12GA00buck: What deer? Two hundred + pound mulies or 130 lb whitetails? What type of shooting on average- Over or under 250 yards? Answer these questions(honestly) and we can give you some good advice.

As far as the bear goes- If you're really worry about penetration, there are a few companies out there that make 220 solids in 30 caliber....

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