7mm Terminal Performance Issues? True or False?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Scot E, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    Had an interesting conversation with a gent about terminal performance on big game with 7mm guns. He is convinced that there are issues with many of the hunting bullets in 7mm and maybe the caliber itself. I heard the typical story, 50 years of hunting experiences, hundreds of animals taken by him or his clients, and he thinks the 7mm does a worse job than the 6.5, 270, and .30 caliber offerings as far as putting down a critter quickly. I have seen a couple hits from friends guns that should have anchored an animal and didn't and they were 7mm. I have also read bits and pieces about this on chat forums as well.

    Is there anything to this story? I know this is a tough question to answer as there are so many variables to consider but am interested in everyone's opinion. I am sure the magnum 7's will perform completely different than the standard offerings too so that will make a difference on things as well. Maybe a focus on the lower to middle end of the spectrum as far as power is concerned.

    I am thinking about buying a 7mm-08 for my son's first gun due to the low recoil and excellent BC's of the 7mm but want to make sure that I am looking at every side of this before I buy it.


    Interested to see the feedback.

    Thanks in advance.
     

  2. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I have taken many animals with 7mm cartridges of all sizes. With the proper bullets they kill stuff like anything else. I can't see that a 7mm-08 with proper bullets wouldn't be as good as anything else as a starter rifle.
     

  3. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    Down here in NZ the 7-08 is the biggest selling calibre.

    I have switched to the 7mm rem mag in the last couple of years and have been very impressed with it's performance. Most game are DRT a few have run, but not far, ranges from 20 - 630 yds, 160 NAB, 162 a-max, 168 berger.

    If an animal wasn't anchored it is not because the bullet was .284 in diameter as opposed to .264 or another.

    Stu.
     
  4. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    To be clear on his stance it wasn't so much the caliber but more so his belief that the shape, ie length, width, density etc. makes it tougher than other calibers to properly expand a bullet therefore you get more pencil sized holes through the animal with very little expansion.
     
  5. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I have seen that with all the smaller calibers when proper bullets are not used. But with proper bullets the 7mm is just fine. Naturally as you go up in caliber the damage is greater. But dead is dead. Longer bullets are actually better with a good controled expansion hunting bullet because you have that long body to taper back into a large mushroom creating more damage. I am kinda like the guy you heard from. 40 years experience, guided and seen many animals taken with everything out there. The ones that didn't work had an explanation. It was the bullet, shot placement, but not the caliber.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  6. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    My favorite all time hunting rifle is my Ruger 7mm Rem Mag. It has made some pretty impressive shots for me. I have with few exceptions ever seen a deer hit broadside through the lungs go down immediately. If they had there was usually a shoulder involved. The 7mm does have a very long and slender design to it. Therefore they seem to penetrate deep. Like it had been mentioned above. Bullet selection is key. I personally believe that if you want to see what a bullet is made of. Load a 7mm Rem Mag and shoot something close with it.
     
  7. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    If that was the case than the 6.5 and 270 would be worse. If you compare 140 gr bullets in these three calibres then the 7 mm has the smallest sectional density and would be less likely to pencil through.
    Even 150 gr in 270 and 7mm, the 270 is a longer thinner projectile so by your reasoning will be more likely to pencil, and I think the 150 gr 270 has been proven to be a very efficent killing bullet.

    I stand by my earlier statement, the calibre of the bullet had nothing to do with it.
    I agree with LTLR it was the bullet or shot placement that had the adverse effect.

    Stu.
     
  8. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    So what would you call proper bullets for the 7mm? AB, Berger, Interbond, Ballistic Tip, SST, Partition? I would think all these should perform well even in a lower powered 7mm
     
  9. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with you as well. Having said that, jacket thickness plays a big roll in expansion and could be part of the issue with some bullet styles.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Scot E,

    The person who made statements to you that prompted this thread has expressed his opinion based on his experience. One person hardly represents the masses.

    I've killed a lot of game with all of my rifles in a lot of calibers and in 26 years of using a 7mm Rem Mag with ballistic tips, Sciroccos, Sierras, Speer, Hornady, Berger, and Remington bullets, I could tell absolutely no difference whatsoever on "kill-ability." I have never lost or even tracked an animal shot with a bullet more than a few yards.

    The 7mm is probably my favorite diameter. Or in my top 3 anyway.

    Get your son a 7-08 and use good bullets and you will never ever have to worry about a thing. I promise! (So long as proper shot placement is used). I'd advise a 150 Btip with a powder that produces velocities on the low side according to a Nosler manual. In fact, pick a powder that is low in velocity and where the manual says the minimum charge was most accurate. You can't go wrong. Btips are incredible bullets when pushed at proper speeds.
     
  11. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    derek, why not get as much vel. as possible since small case cap? I never used many bt's and for no reason in general, but i use them in my factory 260 very devasting on whitetails.
    mike
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I used to run a wild game processing plant and I tried to find out what guys would shoot and if I could find the bullets and just check out what happened, I wish I would have entered the stuff into a computer to keep and actual tally on it but over all the 7mm was one of the poorest choices of calibers hands down that you will see over all in a game shop. Over all you have two things that you see common to it, penciling and a lot of holes or blowing up on the surface and not entering the rib cage with a lot of holes.
    I don't know what it is but you could not give me anything in a 7mm after all the bad stuff I've had to deal with, I am all ways ready to back up some one I'm hunting with who shoots a 7mm because of all the tracking jobs the 7mm has cost me. Some has undoubtedly been operator error but I see at least one every year that completely falls apart and there is now way to explain it.
    I know some companies make several bullets from the same basic jacket so you might have the 6.5,270 and 7mm made from the same jacket just sized up which would leave the 7mm thin, it has all ways been my thought that it has something to do with the bullet length and width vs the material that causes the blow ups or penciling. Bottom line is some get along with it just fine and some don't. I will shoot, and do shoot anything in a 270 cal over a 7mm any day no matter what the number say, it's not the hole size it's what happens between the holes that I care about and the 7mm don't cut it!!! The local gun shop had five new 270 WSM's on the shelf and four 270 Wins a couple weeks ago and not a single new 7mm but after a couple weeks there are ZERO 270's on the shelf and a bunch more sorry trade-in 7mm's, I use them for cheap doner actions :D
     
  13. wyorat

    wyorat Member

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    Shot placement is key, proper bullet choice for the intended game you're hunting, and maximum shooting distances. You need to know the guns, the bullets, and your limitations. To answer your original question, I used a 7mm exclusively for 4 years and it killed every whitetail, muley, and elk I shot at various distances. I always shot the heaviest bullet available since I hunted elk with that gun. None of the animals went more than 100 yards before piling up. So, the 7mm doesn't have a problem with terminal performance. The key here might be my shot selection. In the past, I always took broadside shots through both lungs while the animal was standing still. This was my comfort level when hunting game at that time. Also, I always use a rest or bi-pod when shooting at distance past 200 yards. The last couple of years I have switched over to a 300 win mag, 300 wsm, and a 358 win. I set up the 300 win for long range elk and deer, the 300 wsm for long range deer, and the 358 for deer and elk in the timber with a max range of 300 yards. Different guns, handloaded with different bullets, used for different purposes. I chose 30 calibers because they shoot heavier bullets(especially if you handload) and the broadside shot isn't as important to me out to 300 yards like it was with my old 7mm. I'm also a better shot now, but, I still prefer a standing broadside if at all possible. It's mandatory with me if I'm going to take a 400-700 yard shot. Anyway, If you are still questioning the 7mm performance, just step up to one of the 300 calibers and a 180gr or larger bullet. Some will agree here that it's hard to beat the speed, energy, and downrange performance of the 300 caliber factory rifles out to 700 yards. Especially if you handload with the newer high B.C. bullets. Just my 2 cents. gun)Practice, practice, practice. Good luck to everybody this hunting season.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  14. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I bought my Daughter a 7-08 for her first rifle. I run 140g AB's in it, and it has done very well on deer and antelope. Most shots about 200yrds. She did take an antelope at 500yrds. Beyond that I can't offer any more opinion.

    On the other hand my son runs a 6.5-06 with 130g Siroccos. They are magic.

    Steve