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Let's Talk About the 7mm Rem Mag

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 5,733 Senior Member
I don't need a 7mm Rem Mag, seriously. My main hunting gun is a 7mm08, which is more than capable of taking anything in the US that I'll realistically get a chance to hunt. 

However, for whatever reason I've still had an itch for one for years. 

Academically speaking, the 7mm RM offers a noticeable step up from the 7mm08 both in increased range and heavier bullet weights. In particular, with 165-170gr bullets it seems to hit a sweet spot, and also has wind bucking advantages over a similarly loaded 300 Win Mag. Best as I can tell, in standard factory loadings the 7mm RM buys you about 300 yards of "effective big game taking" distance over the 7mm08, with of course the requisite increase of energy at shorter ranges, wind deflection, and the give-and-take increase in recoil. 

However, at my currently self imposed limit of 400 yards from a steady rest, does this really matter? Arguably on a whitetail or similar sized animal, absolutely not. However, what about an elk sized creature, or the increased wind defeating capabilities on plains game such as antelope, where a 400+ shot in a strong wind is an entirely feasible situation?

My use for a 7mm RM would be entirely for "out west" big game hunting, but with as rare of an occasion I actually have to do that, perhaps I'm better off sticking to the 7mm08 and learning to stalk better. Regardless, it's still a tempting proposition. 

While the usual disposition on this forum is to buy another gun, realistically, is the increased range and energy on an elk/bear/mule deer gun worth considering buying a new rifle and optic combo instead of practicing with my current 7mm08?
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
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Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    You could spend days researching all the 7mm cartridges. Maybe weeks.

    Ive not shot any, but they must be good?

    My gut says how good? might depend on the rifle more than the cartridge?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,917 Senior Member
    No reason not to get one if you have a place to stretch it's legs...
    Used to use 7mm Rem Mag brass to make .264 Win Mag brass...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,934 Senior Member

    I've owned 2, including the one I own now.  I haven't hunted with it in years, but I rarely go hunting without it.  It's my all purpose backup rifle, although there's nothing wrong with using it as a primary.  I just happen to have other rifles I like better.

    My current 7 mag is  Winchester Model 70 with the BOSS and the CLAW extractor.  It has a black synthetic stock and the metal has a black matte finish.  I've taken antelope and mule deer with it.  The one I had prior to this one was stolen, but I shot a couple of elk with it.

    I was able to shoot sub-MOA groups with both using handloads.

    When I first got my current rifle, I was replacing a couple of rifles that had been stolen.  With the BOSS, I reasoned I could have two loads for it.  One used 139 grain bullets (sorry, don't remember which bullet or load) and the other uses 175 Speer Grand Slams.  I  adjusted the BOSS to accommodate each load.  However, I now only load the 175 grain load.

    Needless to say, I like the cartridge.  However, if I were to start using it all the time, I think I might switch bullets to something in the 160-165 grain class such as a Nosler Accubond or something similar.  I love the Grand Slams, but for longer ranges, I think the lighter bullets with strong construction and high BC values might serve one better.

    My first 7 mag was also a Winchester Model 70, and I developed the 175 grain grand slam load for it.  It had a wood stock, and did not have a muzzle brake.  However, I didn't think the recoil was excessive, as I had been led to believe.  The rifle I now have does have a brake due to the construction of the BOSS, but I really don't think it needs one.  At least not for me.  And, there's a couple of things about the BOSS I don't like.  For one, it throws off the balance of the rifle when carrying it with a sling.  It also can get clogged up with snow.  OTOH, it does allow one to tune the rifle to the load instead of tuning the load to the rifle.

    If you're a 7mm fan, which you seem to be, and want something with a little more punch than your 08, the  7 mag is hard to beat.  I think you would like it.

    One last thing.  I used to hear people say all the time something to the effect that the 280 was "almost as good as a 7 mag."  My response was why have something that's almost as good.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,958 Senior Member
    All I can tell ya is my own personal opinion, I have owned a 7mm Rem Mag. killed some game with it, great cartridge, in the 60s and 70s I went thru my stage of "magnumites" i owned and killed game with everything from the .264Win. mag thru 340 Wea. and 458 Win., since i never killed anything beyond 300yds, probably nothing past 250yds, Some time in the early 80s i stopped carrying heavy mag. rifles and with the exception of Alaska (.340) I basically used only 3 rifles, a CZ 550 ,270, a 03-A3 30-06, and a 1955 Win. M-70 .358.

    If you want a 7 mag. get it
    If you need a 7 mag get it
    One can never have to many guns

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,371 Senior Member
    While searching for my new rifle, I noticed that there were a lot of really nice Magnums (particularly 7mm & 300Win) available in some really nice rifles.

    i would do it.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,030 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #7
    My .270 Win has taken everything from pdogs to bison and elk. I have no current need for anything else for big game.

    But, if I just had the itch, a 7RM would be in my safe. There's something magical about the BC and SD of 7mm projectiles pushed fast.

    Really, other than a .338/06 or 7RM, not much beyond what I already own interests me.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,980 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #8
    I have had 2 rifles in 7mm Rem Mag and absolutely LOVE the cartridge!!!

    -Low Recoil for a Magnum
    -High BC
    -High SD
    -Excellent Bullet Selection
    -Good rifle selection
    -Common Brass

    It shoots fast, flat, and potentially accurate. 

    An excellent cartridge!!!









    I currently use 162gr A-Max (ELD-M) and that is what I took the Axis buck with. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    A 7mm mag is outstanding! I have to admit that I have never owned one though (but I have a 7mmSTW). But I did buy my son one. Recoil is reasonable and the ballistics are very nice. You could do much worse than that.

    Something to think about is scopes-- Do a 2-7x on the 7/08 and a 3-12x on the 7mm mag (or something like that). Have the two rifles dialed in for different hunting situations.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,728 Senior Member
    If you have an itch, you need to scratch it. I have also always wanted a 7mm mag., along with a .25-06. I have no real need for either and always put them off for something else. But if I had the means to do whatever I desire, they would be first on the list.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #11
    A  7 Remington Mag is plenty good for most all animals in the lower 48 and it will do it with less recoil than a .30. With the right bullet it will reach way out and touch something like the hammer of Thore. I load mine with 140, 150, and 160 grain bullets. I have some 160 grain Sierra Game King Hollow points loaded for it. I also have some 168 grain Berger hunting bullets for it. People can brag on the 6.5s but the 7 mag does that and more. As Jerry said, why have something almost as good? The only case for the .280 is it uses less powder and it does have less recoil and muzzle blast. I have three sevens, a 7x57(which I haven't shot yet) a .280 Remngton (Which I love) and a 7 Remington Mag. which sometimes makes me wonder what took me so long to get to the party. Nowadays however, I recommend having all 3. But then I just love rifles and I want one of everything.

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #12
    As for comparing to your 7-08, the 7 mag is in another class altogether. The 7-08, like the 7x57, is a great deer rifle. However, the 7 mag outshines them. You're right, the 7 Mag is a good bit of a step up. Bigger is sometimes just better.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,252 Senior Member
    Well. . .I've been coming to. . .not so much dislike, but having reservations about short action cartridges because of seating length limitations imposed by the mag box - the dimensions of which were determined in the 1950's for a 150 grain, .30 caliber, with no consideration given for high B.C. match bullets or plastic tips.  Sooooo. . .the 7-08, great little round that it is, can wind up a little bit embarrassed by the cars it has to ride in.  You'll either be limited in bullet weight by the mag box, or by stuffing that weight back into the case only to lose powder as a result.  End result - it ain't really the 7x57 replacement it's often touted as.

    A .280 with a 9" twist and a throat cut to let you use the entire magazine length is a REAL winner.  Though I'd rather not have a belted case, 7 Mag is probably your best out of the box option.


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,202 Senior Member
    Mr. BigSlug,
    You bring up interesting points, that I have not considered previously. 
    As I understand your posting, traditional chamberings are limited by their SAMMI spec'ed dementions as to overall length. Where later designs, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor(& off spring), which were developed, at least to a certain extent, with modern bullet designs in mind. 

    Any traditional or legacy cartridge performance can be improved by lengthening the the throat, to allow use of VLD or heavier projectiles without the base of the bullet extending excessively below the neck/shoulder line.  
    The purpose of the Ackley Improved chamberings was to increased powder capacity, thus allow higher velocities. 
    At the time, Mr. Ackley didn't have the VLD bullets to considered during the development of his improved chambers, or I'm certain he would have specified a lengthened throat. He only had cup & core designs, no bonded, fused, or other types that would hold together at the higher velocities. 
    Isn't this what lead Mr. Nosler To develop the Partition bullet? 

    Interesting, food for thought. 


    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Aha Mr. Magnut, you have pegged a problem of mine. My .257 AI has an extremely short neck. If I try even to seat bullets to fit the mag box, the cartridge will jam short of closing the bolt. I now suspect the Akley Improved reamer doesn't make for a long neck, or at least the one my gunsmith used didn't.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    Well. . .I've been coming to. . .not so much dislike, but having reservations about short action cartridges because of seating length limitations imposed by the mag box - the dimensions of which were determined in the 1950's for a 150 grain, .30 caliber, with no consideration given for high B.C. match bullets or plastic tips.  Sooooo. . .the 7-08, great little round that it is, can wind up a little bit embarrassed by the cars it has to ride in.  You'll either be limited in bullet weight by the mag box, or by stuffing that weight back into the case only to lose powder as a result.  End result - it ain't really the 7x57 replacement it's often touted as.

    A .280 with a 9" twist and a throat cut to let you use the entire magazine length is a REAL winner.  Though I'd rather not have a belted case, 7 Mag is probably your best out of the box option.


    Yep you're right about the 7 mag probably being the simplest option. But the .280 still has less recoil and blast, at least with my rifles it does. My .280 is sweet to shoot. My 7mag not so much.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    I have Howa 1500 in 7mm Rem Mag. Love the gun and the cartridge. Took may deer and several coyote with it. It does some serious damage to a coyote.
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,092 Senior Member
    If you have the itch then scratch it for sure.

    However, would the 280 in one form or another fit your bill
    If it was me, and I stress, only me, I'd probably do the 280AI rather than go the magnum.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,574 Senior Member
    I'm with you, SS3.  Although I have a bevy of rifles,  and absolutely no need for a 7RM, I've been lusting for one for years.  Honestly, it's probably the perfect do all rifle.  
    From a practical standpoint, it makes sense for you, you can share components with your 7-08.  Also, it really makes to have an "out west" rifle, with some horsepower.  
    It's fun to say you'll just get closer, but, the reality of out west hunting is, that's not always possible.   Sometimes, the elk are on the move, and you have to let er rip!  
    Did you bring enough gun?
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 2,292 Senior Member
    I have a tang safety M77. I had always wanted one. Thought at the time I would hunt "out West" one day. Haven't done that and never will. It's overkill for the MS woods I hunt. Traded for another one for my oldest son when I needed a rifle for him. 

    Can't explain why I like the 7mm mag but I do. Also have a M77 Compact in 7mm-08.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,958 Senior Member
    The problem with most factory cartridges is they seat the bullets to far into the case, when I built my 280AI I used a throating reamer so I could seat a 160 gr. Sierra GK to the base of the neck, I used a Win. M-70 long action and a 26" Shilen CM barrel for a COAL of 3.370, SAMMI spec is only 3.330 Since the Win. long action will accept a 300 H&H no mag alteration was needed.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,467 Senior Member
    Can't go wrong with a 7 RM, IF, you want a flatter trajectory, less wind deflection, and higher impact velocities.  Only you can decide if you want/need one.
    I could say the same thing about the 300 WM as well, with added recoil when you get into the heavier bullets for the caliber (tad more powder too).
    E
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited February 2019 #23
    I've been on another forum reading a 7 page thread comparing the 7RM with the .270 for elk no less. Those guys are kinder than you people. Some actually preferred the .270 with the heavier bullets (150-170 grain). Many seemed to prefer the 150 Grain Accubond in the .270 to the 168 grain Accubond in the 7RM, though mainly due to less recoil. They even had me saying No Way Jose!!! I'm so used to all your negative .270 jokes I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, LOL!!!

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,467 Senior Member

    First load I picked shot this good at 100 yards...Yes, I killed a critter with a rifle!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,622 Senior Member
    Interesting rack on that pronghorn, pretty tall.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,756 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    I've been on another forum reading a 7 page thread comparing the 7RM with the .270 for elk no less. Those guys are kinder than you people. Some actually preferred the .270 with the heavier bullets (150-170 grain). Many seemed to prefer the 150 Grain Accubond in the .270 to the 168 grain Accubond in the 7RM, though mainly due to less recoil. They even had me saying No Way Jose!!! I'm so used to all your negative .270 jokes I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, LOL!!!



    Wake up Snake it's the internet....your dreaming.

    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    Snake, you cant believe everything you read on the internet.  Yes, nightmares are dreams too so you were probably dreaming.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    Very capable round. I have used the virtually identical 7mm WSM on elk with 160 gr. Sierra GameKing hollowpoint bullets and it performed beautifully.

    Conversely, a friend used a 7mm Rem mag on a smaller whitetail doe using 175 gr. Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullets and saw catastrophic damage on the offside ribcage.  Too much expansion.  Be thoughtful in your bullet choice and I think you will like it.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    I'm glad this thread come along. I like my 7mm Rem Mag but was floating the idea of selling it. I think I will keep it now. Shot two coyotes right before dark while deer hunting one night. When I went to pick them up I was amazed at the carnage. Blew half the coyotes away on the exit side. Was using WBST ammo.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,467 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Interesting rack on that pronghorn, pretty tall.
    Fun hunt, but a short shot.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    I've been on another forum reading a 7 page thread comparing the 7RM with the .270 for elk no less. Those guys are kinder than you people. Some actually preferred the .270 with the heavier bullets (150-170 grain). Many seemed to prefer the 150 Grain Accubond in the .270 to the 168 grain Accubond in the 7RM, though mainly due to less recoil. They even had me saying No Way Jose!!! I'm so used to all your negative .270 jokes I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, LOL!!!

    Snake, you misunderstood what they were saying.  They use a 7RM to hunt the elk.  They use the .270 to hunt the flies buzzing around the elk.  A solid hit with a .270 will render the fly unconscious and allow a live capture.
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