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Advantages and limitations of 7mmx57 round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by el Godfather, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Dear THR:
    I would like to call in the expertise of those experienced shooters of THR Rifle section who have hands on extensive knowledge on 7mm mauser. I would like to know what are the advantages of this round and what are its limitations. I know that it is perhaps the cartridges that took out most elephants in Africa. Today, it doesnt qualify to hunt the big 5. Why?

    How is this round in HD?

    What are the maximum ranges you can push this round to?

    I have personally found it to be very smooth and effective, but have not hunt anything big with it. Very effective on rushing wild boars.

    Opinions appreciated.
    Thank you
     
  2. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Member

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    The 7X57 or 275 Rigby cartridge will meet almost any hunter needs.

    The only "down fall" is that it will not fit in a short action rifle. Then "people" say if you have long action you should have a 270, 280 or a 30/06. The fact that it requires a long action does not take any from the 7X57 performance.

    139gr bullet at 2800 will meet any normal North American hunting short of Big Bears.
     
  3. Powerglide

    Powerglide Member

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    What Lefty

    said. I have loved 7mm since I was a kid and use them regularly. Rolling block Rems are out there but don't need a hot diet of 7mm Mauser.
     
  4. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    Definitely my favorite cartridge and rifles to shoot and hunt with. I've got 3: 2 Model 95 Chilean Mauser Sporters in regular 7x57, and a Model 1909 Peruvian Sporter in 7x57 Ackley Improved. I haven't started loading for the Ackley yet, but I've been hunting with one of the Chilenos for quite a while now.

    Power vs Recoil, a 7x57 shot out of a 24" barreled rifle has to be one of the best combinations out there. Regular 140 grn loads don't kick hardly at all, and it will do pretty much anything a .270 can. This makes for a very good rifle for a youth, woman, or small framed person such as myself. I'll shoot belted mags if I have to, but I've never liked the way they knock my 135lbs around, especially shooting offhand. The 7mm bullets are usually very aerodynamically efficient and have good sectional densities.

    In my experience, for ranges less than 300 yds, it's the best whitetail deer cartridge out there. Everytime I have used it, it killed quickly and cleanly, without the excess damage to the meat you often see from '06 and .270 velocities. They are reportedly very effective on Elk and Moose as well, but I've never used them on such. As you said, they also work very well on hogs, coyotes, bobcats, and pretty much anything else that moves and needs to be killed.

    For disadvantages, ammo availability is about the only one I can think of. It's better than most of the other European rounds out there, but off the shelf ammo is still pretty pricey. Prvi Partizan and Sellier and Bellot are both imported at very reasonable prices however, and I have found both to work very well in my rifles. Brass and bullets are very easy to find, and there's still a lot of boxes of hunting ammo out there floating around used for cheap prices. Keep in mind that anything loaded in the U.S. will be at a lower pressure level. SAAMI limits the cartridge to 51,000psi, while the European rounds are capped by C.I.P. maxes of 56,500psi. The American loadings are in deference to the Remington Rolling Blocks and Small Ring Mausers that were imported in large numbers here. While the small ring isn't necessarily a weak action by design, it's gas handling capabilities are poor, and the metallurgy of the times was very primitive. With a strong M98 or modern action such as a Ruger 77, you can easily load the cartridge up in the 60,000psi range. Then it becomes more of a .280 Remington than a 7mm-08. The 7x57 AI is pretty much the equal of the .270 or .280 when loaded to these pressures. My advice if you have a small ring, enjoy it for what it is, and don't try and hot rod it. The rifle is likely over 100 years old, and possibly a combat vet. It's earned it's life of leisure killing critters.

    As far as the Africa big game thing, it was much more a story of necessity than choice. Many of the early African settlers carried Mausers in 7x57. They used them from everything to hunting to dangerous game defense because that's what they had available. Much like the early blackpowder winchesters and muzzleloaders used on the American frontier, they are no longer considered an ideal hunting round due to advancements in technology and hunting ethics. However, at the time it was all they had, so they made do. There's a big difference between hunting for survival and hunting for sport. The reason they are no longer legal for DG in Africa is because countries there have set bore and energy minimum requirements. The 7x57 doesn't come close to approaching either of these at any level of loading. It's not safe for dangerous game, but it has killed it in the hands of good riflemen who had no other choice. The preferred method for killing elephants was a solid bullet shot through the brain. I say preferred, but it's pretty much the only way you're going to even phase an elephant with a 7x57.

    For the American hunter that doesn't have a habit of going after big bears, it'll do anything you ever need it to do inside of 300 yards. If you're a bit of an eccentric or that guy who just likes oddball calibers, it's definitely the thing to have.
     
  5. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    All the good points are well covered above. You mention HD, as in Home Defense?

    The 7x57 is not a good choice for Home Defense at all. Most rifles will be longer barreled and, in any event, this is a round designed for penetration. In an HD role it is a round that will pass through an invader and your children's bedroom wall.
     
  6. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    Inherently accurate, long range, moderate recoil and enough power to get the job done.

    My first center fire rifle was a 7x57mm Cavalry Carbine. I have always owned one or more 7x57mms since 1970. Back then it was fairly popular here in Alaska. ( we were all poor )
    I have harvested every type of game critter here in Alaska with a 7x57mm except Bison and Muskoxen.
     
  7. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    With heavier bullet weights the 7mm has a great BC and a flat trajectory. Recoil is mild for the power output. If I could have only one CF rifle a 7x57 is something I could live with just fine.

    I currently have 3 rifles in 7x57 plus a 1910 Mexican Mauser under construction in this caliber.


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  8. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    Please quit posting questions about 7x57. All it does is encourage SaxonPig to post pictures of gorgeous guns that I don't have.

    7x57 is one of my favorite rounds. I only have one right now, a 1910 Mex mauser. It's a great gun and a really good all-around hunting round. 110 grain speer TNT HPs for coyotes. 139/140 grain SP or SPBT for deer/other. For anything larger (elk, moose, chevy), I use either a 30-06 or 8x57 although I don't doubt it would work fine.

    Matt
     
  9. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    It doesn't really matter which calibre one posts about, the Pig has a vast and gorgeous array of rifles with which to taunt us! ;)
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Fantastic round and one I loved experimenting with. The only real issue I found was twist rate. You can find some of the old-school high sectional density thwappers around. I found some Barnes originals in 190 grain or so that were like crossbow bolts. But getting them to stabilize can be a trick. Most of the modern 7x57's are set up for a smaller bullet at higher velocity, and in this role they overlap with a lot of other cartridges in that same class such as the .280 and 7mm-08. It's only when you add the heavy rounds that the 7x57 starts killing so well outside its ballistic class. That means finding a barrel with a fast enough twist. IIRC there are quite a few out there but the twists change in models over the years. So I believe some No. 1's are a standard twist and some are 1:9, but it's been years so I'm not positive.

    Check out Woodleigh bullets if you're going to go after moose or elk with one. Otherwise I suppose the issue is academic.
     
  11. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

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    The Awesome 7x57 Mauser !

    I have two Spanish Mausers in 7x57, one is an 1893 long rifle in military dress and an 1895 carbine that has been sportered.
    The long rifle likes 175grn round nose @ 2300 fps and the carbine likes 139-160 grn from from 2700 fps down to 2500 fps respectively.
    Great round, low recoil and accurate, and very deadly on game from Yotes, Antelope, Deer, Black Bear to Elk and European Moose, Red Deer, and Stag, the list goes on and on.
    AS far as the Elephant exploits; you're talking a rare talent and gifted shooter, except that about half as many had to be put down with a larger caliber.
    But it still is a deep penetrating killer.
     
  12. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    Here is one to think on. I have a rem 7x57 that shoots the 139 grain hornady boat tail to 1 1/2 inch off a bench and hits to the sight settings but I size GI 06 brass to fit the over length rolling block chamber.
     
  13. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    I am a big fan of the round. My son used one of our 7x57's, a Walther Sporter, in Africa on all manner of plains game with the 160 gr Accubond. My favorite is built on a Swede action, about ideal for the round.

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  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I'm not slighting the 7x57; however, Uncle Sam looked at the 7x57, 8x57, 6.5x54, ect. Scratched his head, and came up with the .30/06.

    Anything the 7x57 can do, the '06 is just a little bit better.
    "cross bow-bolt bullets"? The .308 220gr beats them all for sd at 0.331 and will stabilize in the standard 1/10" twist of your garden variety .30/06. Even a Sierra 240gr MatchKing BTHPt will stabilize, though a 1/9" is better...

    Don't get me wrong. I have the owned 7x57's and currently have the 7x57's little sibling, the 7mm08. I've taken quite a few head of game with it, and for the lower 48 states, it's more than adequate.

    However, Give me the .30/06 any day!!!
    With newer powders and a 24" bbl, it will give 2,800fps with a 180gr bullet.... and 2,500fps with a 220's. East of 180deg and West of 0deg longitude (western hemisphere) , it's much more widely available, and essentially as avaiable in the "east" as the 7x57. There IS a reason why!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  15. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    my late fathers deer rifle a ww-1 german mauer 98 barreled in 7x57, it shot 154rn hornadys at 2500-2600 fps in to 1.5-1.75 groups at 100yds. it would do much better with other bullets,but my father like how the 154rn hornadys killed. eastbank.
     

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  16. Powerglide

    Powerglide Member

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    Now that I read the first post, all day I farted around with my CZ Mauser, the $99 one . Very nice to play with and is tight bored and appears to be very short leade for a Mauser.Shot a 5 gallon can several times from 250 yards although the iron sights were a challenge. Reloads with new cases fire formed. 139 gr. spire point.I love the lack of recoil and the mid range power ability.I don't need a 30-06. Got one anyhow, lol.You know, guns, addiction.Same ole story.
     
  17. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Boxhead- Now THAT'S a beautiful rifle. But what is that thing next to the chair?

    GG- I agree the 30-'06 is a great cartridge. But I don't necessarily concur that "anything the 7x57 can do the 30-'06 does better." Seems to me the 7x57 can deliver nearly the same effectiveness at 20% less recoil. That matters to many shooters.
     
  18. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    The only thing I see wrong with it is that guns and ammo for the 7mm-08 are becoming much more common, and they are almost ballistic twins. Its not really a problem now, but I don't see the 7x57 becoming more popular as time goes on.
     
  19. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Advantages, Light recoil, Low muzzle blast, flat shooting, 500 meter cartridge.
    Disadvantages, lack of factory ammunition, handloading tricky because so many bullets are made for 7mm Mag and act like full metal jackets when run at 7 Mauser velocities.
     
  20. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I don't consider the 7mm-08 to be in the same class as the 7x57. Sure, it's ok with light for caliber bullets but that's not what I prefer. Shooting the 173 gr. bullets the 7x57 will cleanly kill anything in the lower 48, and most things north of that. But that is where it really shines, heavy bullets at modest velocity that will shoot through just about anything.
     
  21. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    The .30/06 will do anything a 7x57 will do, if you like getting the crap kicked out of you to blow a hole in a deer a truck could drive through.

    You have to go all the way up to a 220 grn bullet in '06 to get that kind of SD. That big lumbering shell has a MV of ~2450 fps, and a ballistic coefficient of only .300.

    On the other hand, a 175 grn 7mm bullet has a sectional density of only slightly less, .310, and a ballistic coefficient of .465. It launches at the same velocity of the 220grn '06 even at the low SAAMI pressure limit of 46,000CUP. Handload it up to spec for a modern action, and you're launching a bullet with equivalent sectional density and a much higher ballistic coefficient faster with less powder and less recoil. What's not good about that?

    Your statement about Uncle Sam is incomplete at best. Why did Uncle Sam chose the .30-06 instead of something like the 7x57? Because the army already had a large supply of 220 grn roundnose bullets lying around for the .30-40 Krag. Rather than adopt the smaller 7x57, they attempted to replicate it at a larger scale to fire the .30 caliber bullets already in use. Thus, the .30-03 (and later .30-06) was born. Also interesting to note what the original M1 Garand prototypes were chambered for: .276 Pederson (7x51 mm). Another cartridge developed along the lines of the 7x57. Why did the .276 not survive? They already had plenty of '06 in reserve and the changeover would have been extremely expensive. You've got to remember, government doesn't always make decisions based on what's better. They most often make decisions based on what's cheaper.

    Not arguing about the widespread application of .30-06, or the ease of finding off the shelf ammo. However, for the handloader, what's on the shelves isn't really a concern. The 7x57 also gets everything done with less powder, another valid benefit for the handloader. The '06 has its place, but is also used in many places where it is overkill for the application. In many of those instances, the 7x57 is a more efficient choice to get things done.
     
  22. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    I owned a Spanish Mauser in 7x57 until I let a buddy talk me out of it. Now I have find another one, I really liked mine. Mine was pretty badly messed up by a backyard "gunsmith", but I managed to get it shooting very well before passing it along to him.

    Should have kept that one, but hindsight is 20/20. :banghead:
     
  23. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    I have used the old 7mm Norma 156 grain Oryx bullets on moose, elk, caribou, Sitka Black-tail deer, black bear, brown bear, goat and Dall Sheep. It always works....
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Sure you can go up to .30'06. And you can forget about a light action and you're going to be getting more recoil and more noise.

    The point of the 7x57 esp. with heavy bullets is it has a killing power out of proportion to its light weight and mild recoil. Bullets in this range tend to be the perfect balance for maximum efficiency.

    It's important to remember that Uncle Sam has never been a font of great wisdom. And in this case we're talking about a very small military force of a nation best known for its agricultural and commercial prowess, not its martial might. The US Army tended to follow the lead of larger and better equipped European armies at that time. So we got the Norwegian rifle, then upgraded to as near a copy of a Mauser as we could swing without having to pay royalties, and ended up having to pay them anyway.
     
  25. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Ah, but the 30-o6 is so right. In reference to the US Army in the early 1900's, it just more proof that even a blind hog will find the occasional acorn.
     
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