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Long range hunting: 7mm-08 vs. 30-06?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Macchina, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Living and hunting in Michigan had taught me one thing: I hunt deer up-close. My gun collection tends to not overlap, so I have a 12ga, .44 Mag 1894, and a Savage 7mm-08 for deer. I am going to hunt Antelope and mule deer in Wyoming later this year and am contemplating a longer range rifle for that hunt. I'm, comfortable out to 300 yards with my 7mm-08, but haven't shot it past that and if I'm going to work up a 400-500 yard max load and practice with it, I'm wondering if I should start with a new rifle?

    I've been eyeing the Ruger American rifle and don't own a 30-06 yet so I figured that may be a good place to start working up a 400 yard gun.

    Should I look at a different cartridge or rifle? I don't plan on hunting grizzlies our taking 1000 yard shots so huge magnums are probably not necessary.

    On the other hand, should I just proceed forward with the 7mm-08?
     
  2. 06

    06 Member

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    Howdy Micheal, am a great fan of '06s but your rifle will do well. Most rifles out perform our abilities as shooters. If you decide to go to an '06 then start using 180-200 gn boolits. They will do better for you than lighter ones. Play with your powder loads to find that "sweet spot". Faster is not always more accurate.
     
  3. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    I think the 7mm-08 would be a great starting point for a 400 yard rifle. If I wanted to upgrade to a longer range cartridge, I'd look into a .270 before a .30-06. If you're a hand-loader, the .280 would also be an excellent choice, and would use the same bullets as the 7mm-08 you already have. Then again, I can't think of a situation where either would be that much better suited than the rifle you already have.

    Now, if you're just looking to buy another rifle that's good for pretty much everything, it's very hard to go wrong with an '06.
     
  4. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Is your Savage one of the 1:11.5" twists? If so it won't stabilize the longer higher BC bullets for the 7mm. If I were to buy a rifle specifically for long ranged hunting it would not be a 7mm-08 or a 30-06, I have a 270 WSM for that, and it shoots a trajectory you could tightrope across :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    For what you're going to hunt the 7-08 will do fine out to 400+ yards. If elk were on the menu the 30-06 would offer a slight advantage at ranges greater than 400. The 7-08 slightly betters factory 7X57 ballistics. The 7X57 has literally been used to hunt and kill every animal species on the planet.

    It is about the bullet. Choose wisely and cartridge headstamp matters little.
     
  6. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    Michael after hunting Wyoming Antelope last year I don't think you will have a problem with only a 400 yard gun. While you could get a shot longer than 400 yards the Antelope are so dern thick in population you can be picky and get inside of 400 with relative ease.
    My buddy and I took 2 at 175 yards at the same time and I took my 2nd one at 310, only because we busted the herd when we snuck up on them which woudl have been a 50 yard shot.
    While not a fan of the 7mm-08 round I wouldn't worry that you will be undergunned with a 7mm-08. I would say any weight bullet for your rifle that shoots relatively flat will be just fine. If it were me on a 7mm-08 (I don't know if you load your own or not) I'd opt for the Nosler 120 gr or 140 gr. Ballistic tip, the 140 gr Sierra Gameking (spitzer or hpbt), or comparable Hornady as they have a decent ballistic coefficient and you should be able to get a decent speed out of them. It doesn't take much to drop an Antelope.

    For what it's worth I used my .243 and an 87 Vmax at lightning speed and it shoots very flat, my buddy used my dads 30-06 with Nosler 15 gr ballistic tips. The Vmax's penetrated and played tazmanian devil inside the chest cavity and didn't exit, each antelope ran less than 30 yards. The 150 Nosler's did what all game bullets do, mushroomed, exited, antelope ran 40 or 50 yards.
     
  7. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    The only .30-06 loads that will be better than the 7-08 at long range as far as trajectory would be loads that are equal to or less than the power carried by the 7-08. If you're thinking in terms of the .30-06 being more powerful, then the trajectory will be much less favorable than the 7-08. I see no reason that a .30-06 is needed, or even better, than the 7-08 for this task.
     
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't see any particular need for using other than the 7mm08 for antelope to 400 yards, if you can hit things where you want to at 400 yards. Mule deer? Just off the cuff, I'd figure on maybe 300 yards and maybe 400. Again, it's a skill-level thing.

    I got out of the 9.5-pound '06 business and into the 6.5-pound 700 Ti 7mm08 business when my legs cheated on me and went and got old. I was all married up to the 06, so I was confident of hits to 450 or 500 yards--but that was 30 years of experience with that rifle.

    Ballistically, the 7mm08 is a .308 with ten grains less bullet weight in the common deer loading. 140 grains for the 7mm08, IOW.

    Based on meddling around at various distances to 500 yards, I figure that for trajectory, the difference among such as the 7mm08, .270, .308 and '06 isn't enough to worry about. Basically, I just sight in for two inches high at 100 yards and quit worrying about it. That's pretty close to dead-on at 200. Hold about six inches above where you want to hit, if it's 300 yards. About two feet over at 400.
     
  9. Pacsd

    Pacsd Member

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    Here's what ya do......buy the 06, get it tuned in and take both out west. If something happens to one ya got the other. However, I live in mulie & antelope country. Just because you are coming out west doesn't mean you are going to be shooting at these preceived ranges. I've killed goats from 50 to 300 yards and the same for mulies. They are not some mystical bullet replellant animals. That said, I shoot both 06 and 7mm-08. I take which ever happens to strike my fancy on any given day. I use 150 reloads in the 06 and 139 grain in the '08 either one lets the air out of both with equal capability.
     
  10. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    I absolutely agree! I own a Remington 700 series Mountain rifle in that caliber. If your not going after anything that a 140 grain bullet isn't adequate for. It sure is a pleasure to carry compared to my 7mm Rem.mag!
     
  11. sgtstryker

    sgtstryker Member

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    I had hunted with a Rem 700 in 30.06 or .308 for about all of my hunting years and they worked fine on the deer here in Ga. Then I bought an Encore that just happend to have a 7mm08 barrel. I had never really heard of the round, but, it is a great deer cartridge. The T/C is a great shooting rifle too. This combination really worked for me. Also, a 180 gr.s out of a 30.06 has good energy downrange, so, you can't go wrong either way, IMO.
     
  12. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Spend your money on ammo and range time for the 7mm-08.
     
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Yeah either one is suitable but not ideal for 400yards, they do both in fact retain deer killing energy to that range with quality bullets but you will be compensating for alot of drop and drift on windy days, fast shooting high BC bullets really come into their own past the 300 yard mark, anything inside 300 give me a 308, 30-06 or 6.5x55 (my 7mm-08 is still not shooting up to par)
     
  14. WYOMan

    WYOMan Member

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    Stick with what you've got. Practice shooting at different distances out to your self imposed limit, and practice shooting with WIND. You won't need a tough bullet for antelope, they are lightly constructed animals, built for speed.
    Long shots are not the norm for hunting here, they are a choice.
     
  15. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    Here is a dandy little website (Handloads) where you can calculate to your heart's content, and see on paper what others will opine:

    Link: http://handloads.com/calc/

    If you run that dandy little 7-08 Rem in this program, you'll see that what you have right now, a perfectly fine cartridge. Now, if a man wants to buy another cartridge, I say more power to him...that cause enough, right?

    Alternatives to your 7-08 Rem include but are not limited to:

    .25-06 Rem (I prefer 100 grains)
    .270 Win (I prefer 130 grains)
    .280 Rem (I prefer 140 grains)
    .30-06 Sprg (I prefer 165 grains)

    You will see that all four of these, with the listed projectiles have basically the same trajectory. At 400 yards, the .270 Win hits with +/- 1700 Lbs and the .30-06 with +/- 2,000 pounds. When zeroed at 300 yards, both are -9" at 400 yards. Both will leave an antelope quite dead. The .270 get it done with less recoil. Both, well, all four are excellent choices. That said, what you have will easily get the job job.

    Geno
     
  16. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    for anything more than 300 yards I wouldnt consider either 7mm-08 or .30-06. I have a couple 06's and they are great to about 250 yards but wind drift and bullet drop are terrible past 250. Anything 250 or longer longer and I switch to 7mm rem mag, way better BC. I am hooked on 7mm rem mag but I am interested in the WSMs as well.
     
  17. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    ^ This +1 7mm Rem Mag or 270 WSM are much better at long range, but in the woods give me a 6.5x55 or 308 no need to hit them at 3300fps at 40 yards, does not kill them any more dead and makes a mess.
    I started off with the 7mm Rem Mag, switched to the 270 WSM and now I want both :D 270 WSM has better intermediate trajectory 400-600yards (BTW equal to the 257 Wby Mag) but the 7mm Rem Mag can throw some of the highest BC heavy bullet ever made against heavier crosswinds. They both have a really nice string suit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    So many things wrong here.

    Hitting a game animal at 400+ yards is not a problem with almost any centerfire caliber.

    Bullet expansion and killing performance at 400+ yards is.

    As is finding the best hit animal over 400 yards away, by the time you can hike over yonder, and try to find a blood trail.
    When you don't have clue where to start looking for it when you get there.

    The scenery looks at whole lot different 400+ yards away when you are looking at it from the other end of the 400+ yards where the animal was standing before it moved off to die.

    rc
     
  19. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Well RC I was not trying to go into my 4 page rant on terminal ballistics, I have already had my rant for the day remember :D Yeah you have to not just hit the animal, you have to hit with engough speed to cause your bullet to expand properly. Minimal expansion speeds range from 1,800fps to 2,000fps for most common bullets but 2,200fps is a much better number if you can get it, hence that is why I like heavy high BC bullets they retain that speed much better at range and resist the force of the wind better. Was that OK RC?
     
  20. dundonrl

    dundonrl Member

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    best message on this thread.. don't be shooting animals at extreme ranges.. and yes 400 yards for most people are extreme ranges.. 400 yards is 1200 feet.. (duh) which is almost 1/4 mile.. I've hunted in eastern Oregon, where you can make shots that would put a 400 yard shot to shame, yet I don't take them, because you don't know if your going to wound your animal and let it die a lingering death..
     
  21. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    No 400 yards is not that long for a skilled shooter, not the realm of rookies either, but we used to shoot our M16s 300m with iron sights back in the day, I would hold a 7" 10 shot group without a scope, and I was not the best one there, so anyone who says a 400yd shot is automatically unethical has never met a real marksman.
     
  22. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    dundonrl:

    I take issue with your statement. I practice for varmint shooting using 2.25", AR500 steel disks at 300 yards. For that feat, I used my M700 Police, .308 Win, with a Nightforce 12-42X56 scope. I use handloaded 155 grain Lapua projetciles, in form-fired, 1/2 of the neck resized, Lapua brass, Varget powder and a Winchester primer. I can hit 6 for 6. I do occasionally miss, but it's a first-shot zeroing for the 300 yards. By miss, I mean I shave the bullet in-half off the disk's edge. Make no mistake about it, that disk was still "DOA". For me, it gets to a point of boring, hitting those little disks. In my "younger days", when I lived beside a gravel pit, I practiced almost daily, at 300, 400 and 500 yards.

    I have shot deer to 525 yards; one-shot-kill. I've shot at least a dozen deer, ram and boar in the ranges of 300 to 325, and prefer to practice my 500 yard shots using 2-liter pop bottles filled with water. I quit wasting that bottle return money when I invested in some AR500 12" and 15" targets. Yes, a shootist should practice before shooting an animal at distance, but you can miss a deer just as easily at 100 yards...if you don't keep up your practice.

    Geno
     
  23. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    find a bullet in the weight that gives you the best ballistic coefficient vs barrel twist and start your loads from there
     
  24. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    I like 7.5 Swiss for those ranges.
     
  25. 4season

    4season Member

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    When you start shooting past 300 yards things get a little tricky. Any caliber will have significant drop and wind drift at those ranges. As long as you know your range and can figure the windage and drop for your rifle there is little reason to go to a different rifle. The 7-08 will have plenty of energy left at 500 yards to do what you are talking about. I don't think the 30-06 would be enough of a step that you would notice any advantage at 500 yards anyway. What you gain with a faster, flatter shooting bullet is more margin for error on a long shot as well as more energy down range. But energy isn't an issue with these at the range we are talking about so it really comes down to margin for error. Lets say you misjudged your range and though your target was 400 yards when it was really 450 yards away. With a 7 mag this would be a difference of about 8 inches of drop which means you would still hit your target, but might not be the kill shot you were hoping for. With the 7-08 if you made the same mistake you would have 10 inches of drop and almost certainly would not be a kill shot. (By the way, 30-06 on the same example depending on bullet would be between 9 and 20 inch difference)

    So to answer the OP question, I would proceed with the 7-08. If you just want a 30-06 go ahead but for what you are talking about it offers no real advantage over your 7-08. If you want a gun better suited for longer ranges that the 7-08, the 270, 7mag, and 300 Win Mag would be better than the 30-06. I personally would take the 270WSM for a long range deer rifle.
     
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