7mm-08 with 20" barrel advice


May 22, 2013, 12:09 PM
I am wanting a 7mm-08 with a 20" barrel in an all-weather configuration, but can't find one in left hand. I was thinking about Savage making me one on the Scout Rifle or Hog Hunter platform. They can do it, but I wanted some input about these particular rifles if anyone has experience, or if I should go a different route altogether.


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Dr T
May 22, 2013, 12:14 PM
You may be able to find a Remington Model 7 in this configuration. I have a right hand version (18.5" barrel with sights) that is a tack driver in 7-08 (but I had to float the barrel to get it to perform. The barrel is so light that it will not tolerate anything touching it.)

May 22, 2013, 12:27 PM
I don't think you'll find that exact combo. Very few left handed guns and few, if any, options for a 7-08 in a 20" barrel. Add all weather in the mix and you're probably not going to find exactly what you want.

Ruger is your best option. They make a 18" barreled 308 in a left handed version of their scout rifle.


They also make a left handed 7-08 walnut/blue rifle and a right handed all weather in 7-08. Both have 22" barrels, but cutting one down to 20" is not that big of a deal.



There are probably more options in 308 that will at least come close to meeting your requirements. Shooting a right handed bolt rifle from the wrong side isn't that hard once you master it. My brother shoots a right handed bolt rifle lefty with no issues.

May 22, 2013, 12:46 PM
Savage lists a 7mm-08 stainless left-hand model.
Wouldn't cost much to get the barrel cut.

May 22, 2013, 01:10 PM
That's the consensus I'm getting. That would be the Weather Warrior I think.

I think the 20" would be handier for pig hunting.

May 22, 2013, 02:59 PM
Few things to consider.
1. there ain't that much difference between a 20" and the much more common 22" barrels, you would have to go down to an 18" to really have a noticeable difference.
2. There is not much difference between the 7mm-08 and 308, I own/handload both and the difference between a 140gr 7mm-08 and a 150gr 308 is hardly noticeable inside 200 yards, beyond which the superior ballistics of the 7mm kick in. Though with 120gr Pro Hunters the 7mm-08 has considerably less recoil (like a 243)
3. If you wanted to split hairs I would opt for the 308 over the 7mm for the average hunter, ammo costs less (not an issue if you handload) and the advantages the 7mm enjoys are well beyond normal deer/hog hunting ranges while a .30 cal bullet is a small advantage closer in where 95+% of all hogs are killed.
4. If I were to design the "perfect" hog rifle it would not be a bolt action at all, I would go with a light/handy semi auto in 308, 7mm-08 or 260 Rem depending on the conditions I was hunting. The 308 if my long shots were inside 200yards, the 7mm-08 if they were 300yards and anything beyond that the stealer ballistics of the 6.5mm would easily be my pick.
Just some food for thought.

May 22, 2013, 03:45 PM
What would you recommend in semi? Do you mean something in an AR platform?

May 22, 2013, 04:10 PM
Nothing wrong with an AR-10 platform, you don't have to go that route but if your state allows high cap mags for hunting and you have a dense hog population I would call that a good choice, I know several people who hog hunt with an AR.
There are more conventional semi autos on the market including the BAR, 750 and R1. They are not any heavier then a traditional bolt action.
Quick follow up shots is a much larger advantage on hogs then it is deer for several reasons, you don't NEED it but since most hog hunting is done at closer ranges I fail to see any downside.

May 22, 2013, 04:19 PM
I do have a number of ARs. I share your affection for the 6.5 calibers. I have a couple of 6.6 Grendels, and a few 6.8s as well. I spend most of my time in FL, which does not allow hi-cap mags, but I have some five rounders. My Grendels aren't in FL.

May 22, 2013, 04:45 PM
If I were to go the BAR route, would you recommend the 7mm-08 or the 308?

May 22, 2013, 05:05 PM
What are the conditions you are hunting? If you are hunting the dense river bottoms the 308 would get the nod, if you are hunting an open farm field the 7mm-08 is a better choice. If you are going to be hunting a mix or you don't know yet get the 308, ammo is cheaper and (normally) more readily available.
While the 7mm-08 has better external ballistics in general it is not THAT big a difference, my 7mm-08 can drive 140gr bullets as fast as my 308 can drive 150gr, the 140gr Ballistic Tip has a BC of .485 while the 150gr .308 cal Ballistic Tip has a BC of .435, noticeable difference at range but not huge, the 7mm-08 does have a slight reduction in recoil technically but in the case of my rifles the 308 has less felt recoil due to being slighty heavier and having a nicer recoil pad so the real world difference is slight at best.

May 22, 2013, 05:25 PM
I'm sure it will be a mixed bag. I will, though, want to hunt Texas and Oklahoma as well at some point, so that would lean more toward open country.

So you think the BAR would be a good choice in general though? In either 7mm-08 or 308 it weighs 6 lbs 10 oz. It is also available in 270WSM.

May 22, 2013, 05:34 PM
It is also available in 270WSM.
:D I love my 270 WSM, shoots flatter then a 257 Wby and hits like a 7mm Rem Mag, great open country cartridge but not something I would recommend for hog hunting in the brush, all that extra speed does nothing but tear up more meat inside 200 yards, I only bring mine out the safe if I am hunting WIDE open fields. The BAR is a solid choice, it has been the most respected auto for the past 60 years (at leased)

May 22, 2013, 05:44 PM
Is your 270WSM a BAR? Also, how do the heavy-for-caliber 150-160 gr bullets perform in the 7mm-08?

May 22, 2013, 05:53 PM
No my 270 WSM is a Savage 11 bolt action, I would not want such a high speed cartridge in an auto loader since that long ranged shooting goes hand in hand with exceptional accuracy, an area where bolt actions shine. My 7mm-08 shoots really well with my 160gr handloads, I have had good results from both the Sierra Game King and Speer Deep Curl bullets in that weight.

May 22, 2013, 05:58 PM
So then, what kind of accuracy can the BAR deliver?

May 22, 2013, 06:04 PM
With most autos you will be looking at around 1.5-2" grouping at 100 yards making them accurate enough for hunting inside aprox 250-300 yards depending on your target game, now if you handload you might be able cut that down to around the 1" range and extend your accurate range quite a bit. Some of my bolt action rifles can shoot .75"-1" groups right out the box with factory ammo and my handloads can cut one ragged hole at 100yd in several of them including my 7mm-08.

May 22, 2013, 06:12 PM
Hmm. I'm leaning towards the BAR in 7mm-08 if it can get out to 300 yds or so. With heavy bullets it ought to be pretty effective.

May 22, 2013, 06:24 PM
It is plenty effective with regular ol 140s, my standard load is a 140gr SGK over 47.5gr of Big Game moving just shy of 2900fps, if that don't put um down God never intend for it to die :D

May 22, 2013, 06:27 PM
Are you referring to hogs or bigger game game like elk?

May 22, 2013, 07:16 PM
Are you referring to hogs or bigger game game like elk?
Hate to break it to you but hogs get bigger then elk, world record elk was in the 1,000lbs range while the largest true feral hog was over 1,100lbs he was killed by a single well placed shot from a 7mm-08 :) There was a 680lbs hog killed just a few miles north of me in 2009.
Edit: My bad record elk was 1,600lbs, hogs are still pretty darn big though.

May 22, 2013, 08:10 PM
That's a lot of pork. The 7mm-08 is obviously effective. How does the 750 stack up against the BAR? I'm trying to explore all the options.

May 22, 2013, 08:19 PM
The 750 is a much newer rifle, jury is still out on it but I generally avoid Remington firearms. They sold their soul to the devil back in 2007 and they have not been the same since, it is less expensive then the BAR though and you can get one with an 18.5" barrel. Remington autos have historically been hard to keep functioning properly, they have a bad habit of stopping up due to carbon buildup not sure if the new one is any better.

May 22, 2013, 08:24 PM
Thanks. I'm going to start looking for a BAR.

May 22, 2013, 09:35 PM
I have carried both. There isn't any practical difference in using a rifle at 20" vs 22".

May 22, 2013, 11:26 PM
Try a Remington 700, they make lefty rifles and a little longer barrel won't matter much.

May 23, 2013, 07:24 AM
I have both a 20" carbine and 22" rifle in 7mm08. I like the short barrel but there's some significant muzzle blast with some ammo types. I load my own with a slightly faster powder which reduces the fireball. Low light shooting with factory ammo more or less blinds me tossing away the chances of a follow up shot.
I'm fairly small statured and the extra 2" (22"vs 20") is just enough to cause the barrel to snag brush constantly when carrying the rifle slung. The 20" is just right to clear any brush my head clears. Slung muzzle down, the barrel is just above knee level so doesn't constantly clank my knees while walking.

May 23, 2013, 11:52 AM
Thanks for all the good info guys. I appreciate hearing from people with experience.

May 23, 2013, 12:18 PM
I have looked at all the factory Scout Rifles and the best design to me is the Ruger Scout left or right hand. The buttstock is adjustable, the stock is laminated, the magazine is substantial and it can be rebarreled when you shoot the barrel out which will be years if you take care of it and clean it properly.

The only thing I would do differently on the Ruger Scout is change the bolt knob to all one of those 1" diam black phenolic round knobs to be applied and mill a clip slot in rear bridge so the Springfield stripper clips could be used to load it.

May 23, 2013, 02:19 PM
The Scout Rifle is a good one to consider. I am actively seeking the new 18" SS model in left hand anyway.

May 23, 2013, 03:13 PM
If you want to go the bolt action route forget the Rem 700 they are rather long and heavy normally, and quality of the new ones is nowhere near what the old ones are, an older 788 (18.5") or 600 would be a dandy little compact rifle, while I am sure the Ruger is a fun little gun it would have to be a masterpiece to hang with the old 60s and 70s Remingtons. Sometimes you run across those great ol guns at pawn shops for just a few hundred bucks, put a good scope on one and a limbsaver recoil pad and you have a firearms as good as any sold today.
The Model 600 was the basis for the original scout rifle built by Jeff Cooper.

May 23, 2013, 06:21 PM
Fellow southpaw here.:)

I also like to dump hogs whenever I get a chance to. TX and OK.

Since you are a lefty, I suggest that you handle an M1A Scout, LRB Arms M14SA Tanker, or a Fulton Armory M14S Tanker.

The above bbl lengths are 18, 18.5, and 18.5 resepctively.

Caliber is 308, and 7.62x51mm.

Weight can vary depending on how you like your's set up, but land between 7.8 to 8.8 lbs there abouts.

OAL varies depending on what type of flash hider arrangement you like, but between 37 to 40 inches.

Mag capacity starts out at 5rd, and works it's way up to 20/25rd.

Being a left handed shooter, you may like how the M14 types are laid out.

Safety sits just like an M1 Garand, op-rod handle is easy to reach with right hand, along with the mag release, and the left hand never has to move from it's firing position. Them right handed folks were so busy trying to make it a right handed rifle, they screwed up and made it more lefty freindly....(lol)

As of now, I'm out of TX due to work, but have managed to dump 200 plus hogs with my hog slayin M14S.:)
Most of my shots have been inside of 100M, and my longest lasered hit/dump was at 396M. I personally have never even seen a 1000+ lbs hog, but they might be out there. The piggies around here are typically 200lbs and less.

FWIW...... The little ones are better for eating in my experience.;)

With that being said, I am also fond of 7mm08, but havent found enough difference between it and 308 to justify spending funds on a different rifle and ammo to make the jump.

My M14S and M1A-A1 aint going anywheres regardless, and them Ruger GSR lefty rifles look pretty nice, if you would rather use a bolt gun.

Us lefties gotta look out for one another.:cool:

May 23, 2013, 09:49 PM
Fragout, thanks for the lefty support. As it happens, I have a couple of M1As. In fact, I have a Scout Squad in my safe, along with a National Match.

What do you use for optics on your M1As?

There are no lefty Ruger Scouts to be had as of this writing. Besides, I'm leaning more toward the semi-auto approach anyway. In fact, my gun pusher just told me he has located a left hand Browning BAR Short Trac 7mm-08. I told him I would take it.

May 24, 2013, 09:51 AM
Congrats on your Browning.

Here is how I have my M14S set up:

Receiver = M14S Norinco

Barrell = Criterion 18.5in std contour.weight chrome lined. (LRB Arms)

Iron sights= SEI gas lock front sight, and GI M14 (M) rear sight assembly with std aperture.

Flash hider = SEI direct connect Vortex

Gas system = Shimmed GI with SEI gas pston

Op-rod spring guide is a Sadlak

Bolt = TRW with headspace set at 1.632

Trigger group is GI M14 Winchester.

Op-rod = OEM

USGI connector lock

M14 synthetic stock with selector hole filled...... along with a GI handguard.

Most everything else is GI M14

Optics mount = ARMS #18 split rail with flush fit counter screw.

As for optics, I have been using a 3x9x33 (1in tube) scope, slung off of a set of Warne vertical split low rings....giving me about 1/16 inch clearance over the rear sight aperture, and perfect eye relief. ( I like the 1in tubes for the M14 types, as it allows me to set it up closer to the action, and less of a need for the comb to be raised for proper cheekweld.)

My other optic is a Raptor 4x 3gen NVS. Heavy, but worth it's weight when it's dark out.

When I hunt for them in the brush, I like to use iron sights. The GLFS I use is the "hooded" HK style one, which gives me a very fast aquisition, as the front sights "circle" lines up well with the std rear sight apertures circle. I also modified the fron sight post in a way that gives it a more high visibility profile....making it much faster to aquire in the bushes, and in low light, compared to how it was before it was modified.

I'm lookin at the Leupold 1x4x20mm "hog" scope as of late. (1in tube)
The pig plex reticle has a bullet drop reticle with the hold over points out to 500....... so the shy pigs that like to hang out on the other side of the pond will no longer be safe.....lol

This specific rifle really likes FED AE 168gr OTM, but it does well with an assortment of other commercial loads more suited for hunting. I have taken 4 of them at one shoot, and before they could reach the treeline.

My one and only successful elk hunt was behind the trigger of this same rifle.

Also use it for whitetail hunts. ( Your new Browning ougtha do wonders as a hog/deer rifle. 7mm08 should clean thier clock if the bullet is placed where it should go.

Note: Laser range finders are worth the expense from my experience. Get a decent one, that will hold up in bad weather, and give positive readings on the critter your after. It allows me to know exactly where to "hold over" on a hog using my 3x9 optic, NVS, and iron sights. ( My LRF is set up for meters or yards, but am more used to meters on account of my job.)

My next hog slayer build will have a SAI M1A reciever at it's heart, and the tube will be another Criterion 18.5 inch chrome lined bbl.
ARMS 18 full rail mount. ( More of a dedicated low light hog dumpin machine)

As far as all weather goes, I have used mine in everything from hot TX summer days to rain, to ice and snow. ( Always wondered if the M14's open action would freeze solid in heavy sleet/ice, but mine never has froze shut. If it ever happens, a boot to the op-rod handle should clear things right up regardless......lol)

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