7mm Mag, 30-06 or ?


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357SigFan
October 16, 2008, 02:19 PM
Currently, I have a Remington 742 in .30-06, but I'm looking into getting a "new" rifle, primarily for whitetails at this point, but the possibility of hogs or elk exists in the future. I'm looking for a Browning BAR, and found one on 7mm Mag. The problem is there are too many options and opinions! I've taken a few deer with the 30-06, once with 180gr and once with 168gr, both Winchester ballistic silvertips. The opinions out there are all over the place; some say the difference between the 7mm Mag and 30-06 is minimal, others say you'll ruin more meat with the 7mm than 30-06. Looking at reloading data for the 7mm and 30-06, it appears as if the 7mm can be loaded down in a range similar to the '06. I'm sure either will work for deer, but I'd prefer to be able to take them quickly (humanely) with the least damaged meat at ranges of 50yds out to maybe 250yds, and most importantly, I'd like the rifle and/or cartridge to be accurate (more so than the 742).

I'm not aiming to change calibers, but I'm not dead against changing calibers either. It's just that I found a 7mm BAR (it's the only one I've seen since I started looking), and since I don't trust the 742 to put the shot where I want it, It may come down to either I get a "new" rifle or I don't go hunting this year. I don't quite understand how a 150gr 7mm running 2800-2900fps is that much more devastating than a 150gr from a 30-06 running 2700-2900.

If it matters, I am most likely to hunt in middle or eastern TN, but may hunt near home in MO at some point.

Thanks for any input.

Dave

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gvnwst
October 16, 2008, 02:22 PM
i would use either the mag or a .338 federal. short action, 7mm mag ME, .338" bullet, almost perfect for what you want, wxcept that you didn't give the hunting range.

Ratshooter
October 16, 2008, 02:33 PM
I would prefer the 30-06 personaly. But if you found a deal on a 7 mag and yu want it then pick it up.

You can minimize meat damage by not using "blow up" bullets in your loads. Stick to tougher bullets like Nosler Partitions and that should help. Reducing the load and velocity will help also.

You might consider something like a 30-30 for a meat gun. Other lower velocity rounds like a 7-08 or 7x57 would be about right.

Shawnee
October 16, 2008, 02:43 PM
I like the 7mm Mag. a whale of a lot more than the 30/06 but I would suggest you look for a BAR in 30/06 simply to avoid changing calibers.

Also - I don't know this is true but I've heard that the accuracy benefits offered by the 7mm Mag. would be lessened by using it in a semi-auto (even a good one like the BAR). I have no idea if that is Fact or just "Lore".

If you were switching to a bolt gun or single-shot I would without question say go with the 7mm Mag. The 30/06 (imho) is woefully inferior to the 7mm Mag. But since both are laughably overgunned for deer and more-than-needed for Elk, that really doesn't matter much in your situation.

FWIW - If I were buying a BAR it would definitely be in .270 for the application you describe.

Good luck !
:cool:

Der Verge
October 16, 2008, 05:52 PM
7 Mag does the same thing in the end, as a -06. It just does it faster, flatter, and better, IMO. Either will server you. I am a 7 mag fan, and it is my go to rifle for just about anything.

Now, as for ruining meat.......i hate people that say that..... unless you strip the ribs for meat, you will ruin no more with the 7 than the .30. Now, if you like to go for the ol' Texas heart shot, that is a different story.

Art Eatman
October 16, 2008, 06:04 PM
You don't shoot "a deer". You shoot at a particular spot on a deer. If you hit that spot, you don't ruin meat, no matter what cartridge/bullet combination you use. That's why I prefer the neck shot (around 85% of all my kills, so far) or a cross-body heart/lung shot. I really don't like to take an angling body shot, but even that isn't necessarily going to ruin meat.

To 250 yards? The only 7mm I'd go for would be a 7mm08, which is about 95% of a .308, really. And for that distance, a .308 is as effective as an '06, for all that I've been messing with the '06 for almost sixty years.

My legs got old and quit on me, so I went lightweight with a Rem 700 Ti in 7mm08. I figure I can take any mule deer in west Texas, to around 300 yards...

357SigFan
October 16, 2008, 10:23 PM
Well, I found a NICE Browning BAR MkII 7mm Mag with a BOSS brake and scope mount & rings... I'd say with the exception of a few marks on the back of the foregrip where it probably got bumped or something, it appears in near new condition. I'd say the stock feels almost like it's barely been used. The checkering is still sharp (not smoothed down as can happen with use). How's $750 sound? Price on the tag was $960. It's on layaway, so as long as my wife ends up ok with it, I'll probably look at loading rounds with something in the 150gn area running 2700-2900fps with IMR4895 (Is that a good powder for a Semi-Auto rifle?). Had there been one in similar condition for similar deal in .30-06, I would've goe with that, but it came to price and availability.

Shawnee
October 16, 2008, 11:05 PM
Hi 357SigFan...

Are you accustomed to shooting large caliber rifles with brakes ?
They can be quite loud. And that is an Olympic-class understatement.

:cool:

jmr40
October 16, 2008, 11:18 PM
It sounds as if you are set on an auto, but you did ask for advice so here is mine. For $750 you can get into a bolt rifle and some decent optics that will be considerably lighter and more accurate. Not to mention more dependable. I would stay away from a muzzle brake unless you plan to shoot really heavy kicking rifles from a bench. There is not enough recoil in a 7 mag to justify the noise in my opinion.

I like the 30-06, but something smaller such as the .308 would be fine too.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 16, 2008, 11:20 PM
some say the difference between the 7mm Mag and 30-06 is minimal, others say you'll ruin more meat with the 7mm than 30-06.

The ones who say that first thing are right. Very minimal. Very, very minimal. If you were building a custom, tack-driving long range sniper-style rifle, you could make an argument that the 7mm mag is superior due to the higher vel / better BC. But at all hunting ranges, they will impact within an inch of each other, and kill equally well, which is to say, devastatingly. Just whatever suits your fancy.

NCsmitty
October 16, 2008, 11:52 PM
since I don't trust the 742 to put the shot where I want it
What do you attribute this to, rifle or shooter? A 742 in good condition will give a bolt action a run in the accuracy department.

On the other hand, one doesn't need a reason to want another rifle.

NCsmitty

Shawnee
October 17, 2008, 12:39 AM
Hi (again) 357sig...

My neighbor bought a Remington "Sendero" with a muzzle brake. I was present when he set up to sight it in at his home (a farm). I was standing a full 35 ft. away - and behind - next to a grain wagon. When he fired it the sides of the grain wagon vibrated enthusiastically and my ears hurt.
He got it sighted in but then put it away and hasn't gotten it out in a year.

Now the Bad News....

It was just a .25/06. :uhoh:

:cool:

357SigFan
October 17, 2008, 12:50 AM
JMR, all input or criticism is welcome :). Yes, I'm set on a semi, at least for now. I don't really want a bolt gun, but that could change down the road. I'm not overly concerned about the brake because if it is too much noise, If the second part of the BOSS (without the brake portion) doesn't come with the rifle, I can always contact Browning (who happens to be within 30 minutes of me) and see about getting that part. If they had a .30-06 BAR for similar price in similar condition, I would have gone for that, but the only used BARs where 7mm Mag and the new one was .270, I think.

What do you attribute this to, rifle or shooter? A 742 in good condition will give a bolt action a run in the accuracy department.

Well, I attribute it to my findings matching up with what I've heard a LOT of both on the internet and from a local gunsmith (I stopped in to ask him about it and he pretty much said don't bother; he could work on it, but he won't guarantee it, and it'll have issues again). I'm not going to say that I'm the best shot in the world, because I'm not, but I have a shooting rest that fully supports the rifle that I use primarily for sighting in or testing load accuracy, which should, in theory, reduce the "human factor". I've never really gotten good groups. The best group I ever had was a three shot group of handloads that I shot @ 50yds and it could be covered up by a penny, but I wasn't able to even come close to duplicating it. I've gotten better groups with my AR and cheap S&B factory ammo, and while I still haven't found the *best* handload for my AR, even my worst handload was better than the AR with S&B or the 742 with anything. The problem with the 742 is the design of the barrel and foregrip. You might be able to fire one shot a day and always put it in the same place assuming temps are similar, but once the barrel starts to warm up after a few shots and expand, the tension on the receiver and barrel changes, causing a change in POI. Now, having said that, there are exceptions to every rule. While most of the 742's may be inaccurate as can be, I have no doubt there are some that are almost tack drivers, while I'm sure there are some of the best type or model of rifle out there where there are some that can't hit the broad side of a barn. The other part with the 742, is that it can fire out of battery, and if that happens, you don't want to be near it... I think that's a fairly large part of why Remington stopped making it.



On the other hand, one doesn't need a reason to want another rifle.

NCsmitty

That's the other part :)

bang_bang
October 17, 2008, 08:52 PM
From hogs to elk, you can't go wrong with either. 30-06 has proven itself over and over, and so had the 7mm Mag. I own a 7mm Mag and love it, shooting 150 gr Ballistic Silvertip ammo. Even though it messes up the meat, I don't eat the front shoulders anyway. 30-06 can be just as bad, it's all about shot placement. It's totally your call...I myself put them even with the abilities to take down different game across the country. But as it was said before, the 7mm Mag will do it faster and flatter, and also knock you around a bit.

I would use this just for an excuse to get a new rifle.:neener:

NCsmitty
October 17, 2008, 09:41 PM
357SigFan, just an update for you. Remington continues to make the rifle and carbine semi-auto versions with the updated Model 750. Link:

http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_750_woodsmaster.asp

The other part with the 742, is that it can fire out of battery, and if that happens, you don't want to be near it..

I have not heard that rumor.

NCsmitty

357SigFan
October 18, 2008, 01:41 AM
NCsmitty, yes, I know Remington still makes variants on the 742; they’re updated in a big way, of course. I'm pretty much set on the Browning. My grandfather has a couple of Citori's, and the Fit, Finish and Function of them is excellent, IMO, and I've heard pretty much nothing bad about the BAR (yes, there is the occasional "this rifle sucks" comment, as you'll get with anything, but there's FAR less negative on the BARs than any of the pre-7400 Remington Semi-autos). The main question was on caliber. After looking at load data, and getting opinions from various places and people, while the 7mm Mag may be a little hotter than the .30-06, it's really not that much hotter when comparing similar bullet weights and it should do the job for about anything I might want to hunt (Deer, maybe hogs, and other deer-like critters like Elk or the occasional varmint like Coyotes; Don't think I'd be into bears). Could it be considered overkill for Whitetails? Perhaps. But then so is the ’06. I’ll probably pick a load at the slower end of the scale and see about tuning it for accuracy with the BOSS.

As for firing out of battery, I don't recall where I read that. I checked mine out and found it will go "click" when not 100% in battery, although at that point it is probably 98 or 99%. How far out of battery constitutes a problem, I don't know. I might just call Remington and ask them (if they'll tell me).

ants
October 18, 2008, 02:22 AM
The other part with the 742, is that it can fire out of battery
Mine doesn't. We just now tried it. Trigger won't actuate unless the bolt is fully locked in battery. Maybe yours requires repair.

Dookie
October 18, 2008, 02:24 AM
instead of going bigger, why not try smaller, since you mentioned white tail specifically I would suggest 243 win, 308 win, 270 win, 6.5x55 swede, 25-06, 280 remington, or even a 50 cal black powder.

the 30-06 and 7mm are great rounds, but you are trying to take a whitetail, not an elk or moose.

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