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I killed my first bull with a

I killed my first bull with a .30-06 with a factory made round.  If was a Frontier 150 grain bullet (I don't know if they even still exsist) and the elk was standing broadside at 170 yards.  He took one step and fell over.  My next couple of hunts went bad and I retired that 06 and bought a 7mm Remington mag.  With that rifle I have taken over 20 elk shooting various 150 grain bullets with ranges anywhere from 10 yards to 400+.  The only one that I had go anywhere was a cow and she made it well over 100 yards before she figured out that she was dead.  Most of them would either stand there and wonder what happened or just take a couple of steps and fall over.  The last few years I have been using a .340 Weatherby Mag on elk shooting hand loaded 225 gr Barnes X bullets or 185 grain Barnes XLC bullets with the furthest shot being at 756 yards per the range finder.  That was a 7x6 bull and he took two of the 225 gr X bullets through the boiler room before he dove into the oak brush, the first shot spun him around and the second drooped him.  The first shot was all that was needed but my spotter wasn't talking to me so I sent another one downrange to the elk.

Now for the most part my good old .30-06 would of done the job on most of the elk that I have shot except for that 7x6 bull.  I would of kept on using it except that you knew where the first shot was going but if you needed a second shot it was getting iffy.  That rifle was bought new by my uncle in 1935 and I couldn't tell you how many animals that he shot with it before he gave it to me when I was the ripe old age of 5.  I do know that I shot more than a 1000 rounds through it before I retired it to the gun safe.  The big reason that I went up in caliber to the .340 is that I read about it when it was a wildcat and loved what the balistics were and since that time I always wanted one.   

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I guess I need to get my

I guess I need to get my priorities straight.  I mean, I leave home on a couple of trips out of state visiting family and friends and take a little vacation to Hawaii and you guys have 5 pages on this discussion before I see it.  And I thought retirement would be easy. 

So I just read all 5 pages and here's my $0.02 on this discussion.

First, Jim Boyd's original question was comparing 150 gr TSX bullets in a .30-06 to 140 gr TSX bullets in a 7-08 at a shot range of 200 yds.  So I'll keep my comments to these two cartridges and bullets, and not muddy the water with ramblings on .300 magnums (my favorite for elk), .338's, etc., and at ranges of 400 to 600 or more yards.

Next, Jim posted this table:

Caliber        Bullet/grains           FPS          Muzzle Energy             Energy at 200 yards

30.06           150                     2910             2820                          1827

7mm-08       140                     2860             2542                          1793

Since Jim specified TSX bullets, I referred to my Barnes Manual.  Barnes lists one maximum 140/7-08 load at 2863 muzzle fps, and three maximum 150/.30-06 loads at 2996-3056 muzzle fps.  So for equal comparison, the 150/.30-06 should be listed with an additional 100 muzzle fps which would give it over 2100 foot-pounds of energy at 200 yds.  That's over 300 fp more than the 7-08, not 34 fp as listed in the table.

Advantage: .30-06

Then someone pointed out that the 140 gr 7 mm bullet has a higher Sectional Density (SD) and a higher Ballistic Coefficient (BC) than the 150 gr .30 caliber bullet.  Their argument here was that with it's higher SD, the 7 mm bullet would penetrate deeper than the .308 bullet, and with it's higher BC, the 7 mm bullet would retain it's velocity better at long range.  This is true, BUT, SD is calculated by dividing the weight of the bullet in pounds by the square of the diameter of the bullet in inches.  As soon as the bullet hits the resistance of the animal's flesh it starts to expand.  As it expands, it's SD changes.  Fur, skin, muscle, fat, bone, and various internal organs all have different densities that will affect how much a bullet will expand.  Even with both bullets being TSX, there is no way to calculate how much each will expand and how deep they will penetrate.  

And yes, the bullet with the higher BC will retain it's velocity better at long range, but at the stated 200 yds, the slower starting 7 mm bullet will not have caught up to the lower BC .308 bullet.

Advantage: ??? But probably .30-06 as it still has a higher impact velocity and greater kinetic energy at the stated 200 yds.

Jim's original question didn't ask anything about recoil, and neither one of the stated cartridges are considered heavy kickers, however often when someone is comparing cartridges, they are at least thinking about recoil.  Assuming equal rifles, with the lighter bullet and smaller powder charge, the 140/7-08 would have less recoil than the 150/.30-06.

Advantage:  7-08

There has been a lot of discussion on this thread (and many others) on the value of Sectional Density, Ballistic Coefficient, Kinetic Energy, Momentum, Velocity, Caliber, etc.  I agree that all of these are important and they each give us a number that we can use for comparisons, but I think that often we can get too hung up with one or more of them.  I think I sometimes sound like a broken record, but I feel that bullet placement trumps everything else.

To answer Jim's original question of "How far removed from a standard 30-06 is the 7mm-08 in terms of killing power?", and staying within his original parameters, I would say to use the one that you shoot the best and are most comfortable with.   The .30-06 would show an edge on paper, but either cartridge will kill an elk just as dead.

Oh, and to answer Topgun 30-06's question of how many elk people posting here have actually killed, I shot my first bull in NW Colorado in 1966 and I shot my last bull (also a 5x5 and my 34th elk) last November.  All were DIY hunts with most shot on public land and most were one shot kills.  Four of my first half dozen bulls were killed with 150 gr bullets from my .30-06.  All but my first elk were shot at less than 250 yds.

 

 

WesternHunter's picture
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experience

buffybr wrote:

Oh, and to answer Topgun 30-06's question of how many elk people posting here have actually killed, I shot my first bull in NW Colorado in 1966 and I shot my last bull (also a 5x5 and my 34th elk) last November.  All were DIY hunts with most shot on public land and most were one shot kills.  Four of my first half dozen bulls were killed with 150 gr bullets from my .30-06.  All but my first elk were shot at less than 250 yds.

That pretty much concurrs with my experience too.  Except I don't yet have quite the critter count that you have, though I've witnesses a little over your total count of elk go down when I include my own takes and those of my hunting partners over the years.  Some people seem to think we're pulling this stuff out of thin air or making it up out of theories like arm-chair hunters.  Not so.  I like to think most people's contributions here are from real world experience.  True, there is a lot of stuff written in magaznes and posted all over the internet and not all of it is the right info either, but nothing can replace or suppliment real world practical experiences from seasoned hunters.  Anyway I've run my mouth off too much on this particular discussion.  Westernhunter out!!

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7mm-08 vs .30-06

This thread is long stale but I'm going to attempt to resurrect it...or at least, to contribute to it for anyone who stumbles onto the topic.

And here's WHY.

I own only TWO centerfire rifles, and they happen to be in these two calibers. As such, not only can I opine on one or both, but I do so having LOTS of experience shooting both of them, and in the same model rifles... both are Remington 700's, both relatively new, both 22-in barrels.

I bought the 7mm-08 FIRST, actually, essentially based solely on reviews and looking at the ballistics, and my needs, and reading people's comments on it. I bought the .30-06 later because I was impressed by its history, the breadth of bullet weights it shoots, and the variety and availability of ammunition everywhere for it.

I've put perhaps 300-500 rounds through each, taking two deer with the 7/08 and 1 with the '06. The 7/08 loves 140's, the '06 very much likes 150's...dislikes 165's...and absolutely LOVES 180's.

OK, that said...here's the comparison: The 7mm-08 is an UNBELIEVABLY balanced, efficient, and inherently accurate round (hat tip to its fatter, slower, slightly less efficient daddy, the .308 Win.). I really do feel that the .284 bullet was what God intended for this case. Easy recoil, tons of power.

The .30-06 is also brilliant doing what God meant it to do...push 180 grain bullets. With Winchester XP3's or Swift A-Frames I feel like this gun can literally take anything on Earth with correct shot placement, save maybe Cape Buffalo or Rhino…but I’ll never meet one of those. What I have concluded about the .30-06 is essentially the same thing I think many, MANY others before me have. It is probably the most powerful rifle caliber that a man can comfortably and consistently fire from his shoulder. Any more powerful and you are going to hurt, and flinch, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a fool or both. I'm 6'2" and 270lbs and I can handle myself, if you take my meaning. I have fired guys .300 Win Mags, .338 Win Mags and a few others, and anyone who says they don't hurt like hell should be slapped. Furthermore, they simply AREN'T necessary unless you encounter Coastal Brown bears every day or you "hunt" from 700 yard distances (checking your ethics at the door on the way).

OK, so those are my impressions. The bottom line? The 7mm-08 might literally be THE famed "one rifle" people should own if they live anywhere in the lower 48 south of Brown bears. (That basically means about 45 states.) This is in part due to modern bullets, which make 140grains @ 2,850fps a HECK of a lot more powerful than it would have been in days gone by. This is why I would rate the 7/08 an even better "one gun" than the venerable .270 Win. Because at typical hunting distances, 140's at 2,850 are all that's necessary. And you will not get the mess some hunters taking a 75 yrd shot with 130's from a .270 have encountered.

LET ME BE CLEAR about that last comment, before the ‘O’Conner Army’ descends upon this thread with anger. The .270 Win might be the gold standard for “one gun” anywhere south of Alaska. It IS superior to the 7mm-08 on the basis of both power and reach…there’s no denying that. My point is simply to say that MOST hunters will NEVER be able to make use of those capabilities on the edges. And that the 7mm-08 will do all they need and more.

I LOVE my .30-06. And because ammo is everywhere, I would choose it to "run with," if such a day ever came. But in Northern Pennsylvania, or 44 other states...for balance, power, recoil and all-around use...you can do NO BETTER than a 7mm-08.

Buy one and belly laugh every time you encounter one of those little loud mouth bar-room tough guy types in the woods hunting deer...at WOODS distances...with a .300 Win Mag.

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Joined: 04/13/2009
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vast experience

Nudge wrote:

This thread is long stale but I'm going to attempt to resurrect it...or at least, to contribute to it for anyone who stumbles onto the topic.

And here's WHY.

I own only TWO centerfire rifles, and they happen to be in these two calibers. As such, not only can I opine on one or both, but I do so having LOTS of experience shooting both of them, and in the same model rifles... both are Remington 700's, both relatively new, both 22-in barrels.

I bought the 7mm-08 FIRST, actually, essentially based solely on reviews and looking at the ballistics, and my needs, and reading people's comments on it. I bought the .30-06 later because I was impressed by its history, the breadth of bullet weights it shoots, and the variety and availability of ammunition everywhere for it.

I've put perhaps 300-500 rounds through each, taking two deer with the 7/08 and 1 with the '06. The 7/08 loves 140's, the '06 very much likes 150's...dislikes 165's...and absolutely LOVES 180's.

OK, that said...here's the comparison: The 7mm-08 is an UNBELIEVABLY balanced, efficient, and inherently accurate round (hat tip to its fatter, slower, slightly less efficient daddy, the .308 Win.). I really do feel that the .284 bullet was what God intended for this case. Easy recoil, tons of power.

The .30-06 is also brilliant doing what God meant it to do...push 180 grain bullets. With Winchester XP3's or Swift A-Frames I feel like this gun can literally take anything on Earth with correct shot placement, save maybe Cape Buffalo or Rhino…but I’ll never meet one of those. What I have concluded about the .30-06 is essentially the same thing I think many, MANY others before me have. It is probably the most powerful rifle caliber that a man can comfortably and consistently fire from his shoulder. Any more powerful and you are going to hurt, and flinch, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a fool or both. I'm 6'2" and 270lbs and I can handle myself, if you take my meaning. I have fired guys .300 Win Mags, .338 Win Mags and a few others, and anyone who says they don't hurt like hell should be slapped. Furthermore, they simply AREN'T necessary unless you encounter Coastal Brown bears every day or you "hunt" from 700 yard distances (checking your ethics at the door on the way).

OK, so those are my impressions. The bottom line? The 7mm-08 might literally be THE famed "one rifle" people should own if they live anywhere in the lower 48 south of Brown bears. (That basically means about 45 states.) This is in part due to modern bullets, which make 140grains @ 2,850fps a HECK of a lot more powerful than it would have been in days gone by. This is why I would rate the 7/08 an even better "one gun" than the venerable .270 Win. Because at typical hunting distances, 140's at 2,850 are all that's necessary. And you will not get the mess some hunters taking a 75 yrd shot with 130's from a .270 have encountered.

LET ME BE CLEAR about that last comment, before the ‘O’Conner Army’ descends upon this thread with anger. The .270 Win might be the gold standard for “one gun” anywhere south of Alaska. It IS superior to the 7mm-08 on the basis of both power and reach…there’s no denying that. My point is simply to say that MOST hunters will NEVER be able to make use of those capabilities on the edges. And that the 7mm-08 will do all they need and more.

I LOVE my .30-06. And because ammo is everywhere, I would choose it to "run with," if such a day ever came. But in Northern Pennsylvania, or 44 other states...for balance, power, recoil and all-around use...you can do NO BETTER than a 7mm-08.

Buy one and belly laugh every time you encounter one of those little loud mouth bar-room tough guy types in the woods hunting deer...at WOODS distances...with a .300 Win Mag.

 

All I can manage to say to this is..... That's a ton of opinion born of a person who owns TWO big game rifles and killed a total of 3 deer with them. Wow, having owned 7/08, 30/06 and over thity other cartridges over the last 25 years and having killed deer with over 20 different  chamberings in that time as well, I'd suggest you do a bit more hunting instead of trying to use numbers to amaze others. 

I'll even give you some advice, spend a few dollars and buy the book: "American Hunting Rifles II". In it someone with about 30 lifetimes more hunting experience than you have will explain, in plain English, what calibers (cartridges) work best for N.A. game. I can promise you one thing, in this fella's learned opinion, the 7/08 is not even a blip on a one-gun hunter's radar. But, then again what does he know in comparison to your 3 deer   Wink

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I just laughed, but kept on

I just laughed, but kept on reading when he said he only owned those two rifles and has killed three deer! Obviously I think the 06 is as good as it gets for an all around rifle caliber and the 7/08 is a great caliber too. That's as far as I'll go and our "expert" hasn't been back on the site since he made his first post!

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Joined: 09/21/2013
Posts: 16
To the OP you got a lot good

To the OP you got a lot good info from some knowledgeable guys. To be honest I didn't read every post from start to finish.

One that I did was BuffyBR's. I'd pay attention to a fella that's kill 34 elk, that is voice of experience.

Sometimes all that "on paper" ballistic gack just don't pan out in the real world.

Nudge, you said that most guys cant handle much more recoil than what a 30-06 dishes out... I completely agree!, with the key word on "MOST".
Being somewhat of a range rat in my younger years, ive witnessed it many times.

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Posts: 10
Reply to 7mm/08, 30-06

I have rifles in both calibers both are Rugers, the 30-06 is a M77 MKII with the LC6 trigger and the 7mm/08 is a Hawkeye. Here is a recap of my experience with both. I made a shot from a tripod and dropped a deer in it's tracks at 175 yds. with the 7mm/08. The impact was between the shoulder blades as the deer dipped its head to nibble clover. the bullet was a Remington PSP 140 gr. It fell like a sack of rocks. That said, the first rifle I reach for is my '06. I have killed deer near, far, in brush and over clear cuts. I like the 165gr. Remington PSP. I have never had to track a deer more than 30 to 40 yds. As for being a youth or womans offering. My adult brother hunts with the 7mm/08 and my 18 year old neice hunts with an '06. So go figure.

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