30-06 vs. 7mm Rem. Mag.?


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missin44
October 24, 2008, 09:17 PM
Moving to Colorado from the east and have decided to get a new Elk/Mule Deer rifle. I have the rifle down to a Weatherby Vanguard synthetic. It's the caliber that has me undecided. It's going to be either the 30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag. I've decided that the 7mm might be slightly better for Elk. Having shot the 30-06 plenty of times and never shot the 7mm I have no personal experience comparing the two (I use a 30-30 for whitetail). For those that have experience with both how do the two compare? Accuracy, recoil, cost, etc.?

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GEF110
October 24, 2008, 09:31 PM
Both rounds are very good rounds. I have found that with the 7mm you have to load really hot rounds in order to get any real accuracy. Also, the 30-06 is the round that all others are compared to, it is one of the best ever made. You cannot go wrong with it. Either way though, you are getting a good round. Just my two cents

Bartkowski
October 24, 2008, 09:36 PM
If you expect longer shots the 7mm has the edge. Under 200 yards and it doesn't matter. As far as recoil goes, they are about the same. I have found my .30-06 to be a little sharper but that may be due to the plastic buttplate. The 7mm with 150gr. bullets isn't bad at all. My .30-06's are about 1moa guns at 100 yards as is my 7mm (only 3 shot groups). Ammo is a little more for the 7mm, but not by much.

So either will suffice, but you might want the 7mm if you plan on taking long shots...

rangerruck
October 24, 2008, 09:54 PM
a 200 grain 30.06 will drop a elk or moose , real fast, as opposed to a thin 140 or 160 grain 7mag. not too mention that a 30.06 will drop only about 4 and a half cost, I mean, more inches at 300 yds, plus ammo will cost you half, did I allready say that? and you can plink, and practice, with the cost of half.

JohnnyOrygun
October 24, 2008, 10:40 PM
I prefer the 30-06, I would suppose that more elk have been taken with an 06. I also think that the 30-06's lower price and slightly less recoil will make it more likely you will get in your target practice that is so important to a humane kill. I know that the 7mm is better for long range shots, but if you do your part the 30-06 will do its part. As always, YMMV and its just IMHO

JohnnyOrygun

MachIVshooter
October 25, 2008, 04:07 AM
Six of one, half a dozen of the other. 7 mag offers a flatter trajectory, at the cost of slightly increased recoil and noise. .30-06 ammo is cheaper and (slightly) more available. They are two of the most popular hunting cartridges in the Western U.S. Either will kill any North American game efficiently.

qajaq59
October 25, 2008, 05:12 AM
I've had both and preferred the 06.

missin44
October 25, 2008, 09:00 AM
Thanks, food for thought. Funny, here in the east I have never used a scope and never felt the need for one. The longest shot I've ever taken was maybe slightly over 100 yrds. Now you guys are talking about 300+ yrd shots, going to be quite the change!

Art Eatman
October 25, 2008, 11:35 AM
Unless your eyebones are really good, hunting in wide-open country is a lot more productive if you use a scope.

I'll go along with "six of one, half-dozen of the other" on those two cartridges. The advantages of the 7mm Mag, looking at the Sierra trajectory/velocity tables, are largely psychological.

I traded into a 7Mag, years back, and messed with reloads some. Didn't really impress me all that much, and I went on back to my '06.

Sort of a, "Whatever..." deal.

420Stainless
October 25, 2008, 12:50 PM
I agree with the others that you could probably flip a coin. I have the -06, but I can't think of anything I'd shoot with it that I wouldn't also go with the 7mm Mag. Perhaps if you were looking to shoot Moose or large hogs the heavier bullets of the -06 might be a good option. But for Colorado I'd think they'd be interchageable.

akodo
October 25, 2008, 05:19 PM
there is roughly about as much difference between the 7mm remington magnum and 30-06 as there is between the 30-06 and the 270.

All 3 would be fine. Going a bit lower or a bit higher would be fine too. Of course, an inch here or there...that eventually adds up.

the 7mm remington magnum has a superior trajectory aided by a higher starting velocity and a more areodynamic bullet.

It also has more recoil and the ammo costs more.

Nothing wrong with stepping down to a 30-06 for lighter recoil and cheaper ammo.

Of course, nothing wrong with stepping down to a 270 winchester either, even softer recoil.

Obviously you can eventually give up enough inches here and there to get yourself into a less desirable selection. I think if you take another step down to say 25-06 while it will work okay for elk,you are loosing something at that point.

In the same manner, if you keep on stepping up, many folks find out that the 300 winmag is just a little more recoil than they can handle.

The 7mm remington magnum seems to sit at the top of the 'ideal balanced cartridge' for elk, while 30-06 sits in the middle and 270 sits in the bottom of that same window.

But anything in that window would be fine.

Two more items for consideration. 7mm remmag is enough bigger that you generally have one less round in the rifle. Second, most manufacturers tack on an additional 2 inches to the end of the barrel for their 7mm remmag and 300 winmag rifles, this means it is generally a bit closer to the numbers you see on ballistics tables, while the 30-06 in hunting rifles often falls a bit short of what the tables would indicate. Normally those tables assume all guns are using 24" barrels.

CB900F
October 25, 2008, 06:35 PM
Missin44;

I have to admit that I become amused when folks want to limit the .30-06 to two or three hundred yards. Let's take some perfectly possible numbers from Hornady 6, volume II.

Given a 150 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3000 fps, which is at the top end of the old ought-6's performance envelope but absolutely doable, here's what ya get. The 300 yard velocity shows as 2235 fps retaining 1663 ft lbs of energy. The mid-range is gonna be about 5" high & at 400 yards it's just about a foot low. However, at 400 yards it's still steppin' along at just over 2000 fps & carrying a 1343 lb hammer.

The actual numbers for individual guns will vary slightly according both to the gun and the conditions under which it's fired. But, killing deer at 300 yards with the .30-06 is pretty much a bang-flop propostion given that the shooter can put the bullet where it's supposed to go.

Yes, the 7mm magnum does offer superior ballistics at extended ranges. But, for most hunters, those ranges are far enough out there as to make the difference a moot point.

Pick one and shoot it enough to thoroughly know the cartridge's capabilities. Which means putting in the time at the range.

Myself, I've gotten used to the .30-06 & seem to be having some success with it over the years.

900F

ds92
October 25, 2008, 08:33 PM
I'm always a fan of the 30-06. Deer, elk, boar, bear it does it all. also surplus ammo can be cheap and easy to find to break in your gun (just read up on which one works best before you pay $250 for 400 rds of it). a-course, i have no experience with the 7mm so this must be taken with a grain of salt


edit: tell me about it missin. with my .22 with a scope on i cant even focus on the critters they're so close! even with a 3x40mm scope i just went out to colorado (ft. collins) to visit my sister and i was amazed with the wide open areas. go figure. seems to me like hunting here in the east in the woods would be much easier.

hankdatank1362
October 25, 2008, 10:00 PM
I hunt with a Howa .30-06 and my dad hunts with a Remington 700 7mm Rem Mag. I've had the chance to shoot both plenty.

The area where the 7mm really shines is it's flat trajectory in most factory loadings. But this doesn't even begin to make a difference until you're getting out there past 300 yards, more like 500.

Add in the fact that while 7mm is not uncommon, anywhere you go will stock .30-06 rounds. Anywhere. The most backwoods, bumpkin mom-n-pop hunting shack will have .30-06, and that seals the deal for me.

Recoil difference between the two is negligible. Cost also nods the advantage towards the .30-06.

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