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7mm Rem Mag and 7mm08 Loads for Elk

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 5,733 Senior Member
The title says it all. I'm researching loads for elk hunting, and quite frankly I may be overthinking it a bit. I'm now soliciting input from all of y'all for good recommendations on elk loads for the parameters as follows:

- Quarry: Colorado Elk and mule deer in the northwest corner of the state

- Shot: 400 yards and under. I am uncomfortable personally shooting at game beyond 400, and would prefer to be even closer. For the purpose of this discussion let's call the max range 400 yards.

- Rifles: My primary is a 7mm Rem Mag, and my backup is a 7mm08. Both Remington 700's with 24" barrels. Solid chance the 7mm08 becomes my primary if I don't get enough practice in with the 7RM.

I'm thinking something in the 160-175gr range for the 7RM, and a solid 140gr for the 7mm08. What I'm looking for is suggestions for bullets and weight ranges, preferably available in factory ammunition.

For my self imposed limit, I'm thinking that I don't need one of the new whiz-bang super high BC and super high $$$ hunting bullets. I've had a lot of luck w/ the Federal Fusion in my 7mm08 and may just go with that again, but the classic Nosler Partition has my attention as well.

Thoughts?
- 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

Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,622 Senior Member
    edited August 2019 #2
    A bullet that will not completely come apart in the shoulder or on a rib before it gets to the important stuff is primary IMHO, the Partition is my go to on any big game, I like Federal Premium loadings, I have used Partitions and Trophy Bonded Bear Claws in that flavor.. 
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    I've had great results with 160 grain Partitions in my .270. Another worth serious consideration, especially in the 7 Mag, is Swift A-Frames.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Cup & core bullets will kill elk and may be faster to tune in than modern bonded or homogenous ones.

    Hornady or Sierra might also be easier/faster to tune in than Nosler. Based on what Ive read, not actual personal experience.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,930 Senior Member

    I developed a 7 mag load years ago, and still use it.  It uses 175 gr. Speer Grand Slams.  I don't recall the powder charge off hand,  but it's the second hottest load shown in the Speer reloading manual.  The hottest load uses 78 grains of <forgot), and my load only uses 59 (I think).  I'd have to look it up, and don't have ready access to my load data at the moment.

    With a 7mm-08, keep in mind that the long, heavy for caliber, high BC bullets may post problems feeding or fitting into your magazine.  I have personally ran into the problem with a different chambering, but one that was chambered in a short action.

    I'm a big fan of the Grand Slams, especially for heavy animals like elk.  I don't know if I'd use the load I recommended at ranges to 400 yards, but you have enough experience to know what you can do.  Also, get a good range finder.  Distances in good elk country can be deceiving, and you may find that the target is not as far away as you think.

    There's a ton of good bullets out there, and a lot of them will fit your needs.  Let your rifle decide for you.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    A bullet that will not completely come apart in the shoulder or on a rib before it gets to the important stuff is primary IMHO, the Partition is my go to on any big game, I like Federal Premium loadings, I have used Partitions and Trophy Bonded Bear Claws in that flavor.. 
    What Chiro said here is extremely important.  I personally witnessed what happens when a 165 gr. SST hits the shoulder on an elk, and the end result sucked for both the hunter and the elk.  Bullets built to deer specs are often going to leave little room for error when they strike.  They are designed to open much more rapidly and are very likely to fail on the much heavier elk bones.  Do you homework and invest on something bonded, monometal, or otherwise up to the task.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,572 Senior Member
    Why chance it?  The difference is 20 or 30 cents a bullet.
    Accubond.  Pushed hard.  They shoot great.  The results are outstanding.

    Where are you hunting?  Pm me.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,958 Senior Member
    Never loaded for the 7-08 but for the 7 mag and 280AI I used the 160 SGK.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,930 Senior Member
    jbohio said:
    Why chance it?  The difference is 20 or 30 cents a bullet.
    Accubond.  Pushed hard.  They shoot great.  The results are outstanding.

    Where are you hunting?  Pm me.

    The only experience I've had with Accubonds is trying to load them for my 338x284.  The bullets were too long, though, and I could not seat them without crushing the case shoulder.  I thought they would be good for elk, but was never able to try them.  In a 7 mag, though, with a long action, I think the 162 (?) grain bullets would work well.

    My only experience with Partitions was also with my 338.  I could not find a load that gave me decent accuracy, but I did develop a load that was within reason.  I killed a 2 1/2 year old bison cow at very close range with it.  But, in the final analysis, I opted for the Grand Slam.  That was what worked best for me, and has worked well in other rifles, including the 145 grainer for my .284.

    Bottom line is that it all comes down to the bullet you use, and there's a ton of them available that are suitable for elk to 400 yards.  Find one you like and develop a load around it.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    FWIW, the 7mm Mag was developed with Elk hunting in mind.   It's flatter and hits much harder than the 7mm-08. While Elk aren't bullet proof, a full grown cow is 500 lbs, and a bull is 700 lbs.  Six-gun took a 7mm-08 to Africa and killed some large animals, but in Colorado, I am betting you could go to the corner gas station and buy a box of  Federal Fusion 7mm mag.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    All projectiles previously mentioned , from a terminal performance standpoint, will work and work well. But, each rifle is unto itself and no one can tell beforehand what'll be the best combo of velocity and accuracy. Jerry found Sierra Grand Slams worked best for him, while Nosler Partitions left a bit to be desired.

    I have a 160 grain Partition load for my .270 Win at 2850 fps that'll land 3 in 3/8" whether I've drank a pot of coffee and am still half asleep or on top of my game. OTOH, I've never fired a Sierra bullet that did well enough during initial testing (accuracy wise) to warrant further development effort.

    You never know what your rig will like best, but all mentioned bullets are up to the task once they hit the target.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    One thing to note from my load development efforts with my Savage Model 16 FLSS Weather Warrior in 7mm-08 back in 2010: it was impossible to get any flavor of 160 gr. bullet to shoot accurately.  I was actually warned about the possibility of 160 gr. bullets shooting poorly in 7mm-08 by another forum member about that time.  

    In general, the 7mm-08 in question shot the 140 gr. bullet (Barnes TTSX in this case) *much* better (about half inch 5-shot groups), and that exact bullet at about 2,700 fps dropped both a kudu and an oryx in South Africa with no trouble.  I don't think you'd have any trouble felling an elk with a good 140 gr. bullet if you can't get the 160 gr. options to shoot to your satisfaction.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    Six-Gun said:

    In general, the 7mm-08 in question shot the 140 gr. bullet (Barnes TTSX in this case) *much* better (about half inch 5-shot groups), and that exact bullet at about 2,700 fps dropped both a kudu and an oryx in South Africa with no trouble.  I don't think you'd have any trouble felling an elk with a good 140 gr. bullet if you can't get the 160 gr. options to shoot to your satisfaction.
    FWIW, the parent case in .308 is a stellar performer with 150 gr projectiles.  Seems that if you cut the diameter from 7.62mm to 7.2mm that a lighter bullet would perform better.  I would assume it would be a tad faster than a .308 as well.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,733 Senior Member
    Thanks for all the input folks. I've tracked down a factory 7mm08 load using a 140gr Trophy Bonded bullet, and a 7mm RM load using a 160gr Partition. If these two shoot well I'm going to call it good. Unfortunately, I can't check until next week.
    - 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
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    I believe you have made good choices.  Looking forward to your results.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,459 Senior Member
    Partition or Accubond
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,733 Senior Member
    Finally got both guns out today, and fortunately both loads shot to satisfaction.

    https://forums.gunsandammo.com/discussion/39519/range-report-remington-700s-in-7mm-rem-mag-and-7mm08-rem/p1?new=1
    - 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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