7mm-08 ultimate youth elk cartridge?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by dstark, Mar 14, 2019.


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  1. dstark

    dstark Well-Known Member

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    I have 5 kids, the oldest just got her license and got her first deer last fall. This year, Elk is on the menu for her.
    Now I'm a gun nut, and I have several great elk rifles but none that a young kid can handle comfortably. Being as she is the first of 5 and I assume all of them will at least try hunting, I figure any money spent on the ideal youth hunting rifle will be a good investment. For our uses I expect this rig to be used primarily on Elk and Mule deer at moderate ranges generally under 200 yards and no more than 300 yards.
    My criteria is that the rifle have a short length of pull, light enough for a young kid to carry, enough power to kill elk reliably without heavy recoil (remember it's a light rifle), and a MPBR of near 300 yards just to keep things simple.
    It seems to me that a compact 7mm-08 would fit the bill about perfect. Are there better options out there? Any experience with the 7-08 on elk good or bad?


    This is a cow I nabbed on a late season extra tag this January. elk.jpg
     
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  2. tmmcampbell

    tmmcampbell Well-Known Member

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    That’s the route I took with my kids. However, I would probably go with the 6.5 Creedmoor now. Either way you can’t go wrong.
     
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  3. tmmcampbell

    tmmcampbell Well-Known Member

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    My son’s 7mm08 never leaves the gun safe anymore. He always reaches for his tikka 6.5.
     
  4. Highvoltage

    Highvoltage Member

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    I’ve handled the Mossberg patriot super bantam in the 6.5 Creedmoor and it seems like a very good youth rifle for a reasonable price, I’ve seen them as low as $280 new online. I plan on getting him one for his birthday this year. My son is 8 60lbs and killed 2 bucks last season drt Hornady American whitetail 129 interlocks with my creed. Another good pick is a 25-06. The rancher we hunt on in Colorado uses 110 accubonds and kills elk and mule deer to 600 yds with low recoil as well. Good luck lots of options!
     
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  5. jebel

    jebel Well-Known Member

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    My first thought would be the 7mm-08, as you mentioned. The 6.5 Creedmoor would also be worth considering.

    For rifle, it would be hard to beat the Barrett Fieldcraft. If that were too pricey, I'd look at the Tikka T3x Lite or Superlite.

    If you handload, I'd think about the Sledge Hammers from Hammer Bullets. Maybe the 150 grain in 7mm-08 or the 130 grain in 6.5 CM.

    Nice late-season, extra-tag cow. I tried the same plan next door in Oregon this season, but didn't close the deal.
     
  6. Oldschool280

    Oldschool280 Well-Known Member

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    For Quality and reasonable lightweight with good resale value and perfect to build on later, if’s hard to beat a 700 mountain rifle. Do you handload? 7-08 with a partition or barnes is pretty scrappy. Ive only killed hogs with them, no elk. I own a 6.5x55 and 2-708’s and handload. All bughole or onehole at 100 yards with handloads. I love em all.
     
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  7. jebel

    jebel Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, you asked about experience on elk with 7mm-08. I shoot both the 7mm-08 and the 7mm Rem Mag. Personally, I use the 7mm Rem Mag for elk. But the two rifles can shoot the same bullets, so the only difference is velocity. A 7mm-08 can do at 250 yards what a 7mm Rem Mag does at 500 yards. If you're comfortable shooting a 7mm Rem Mag at 500, you're good at the ranges you mention with a 7mm-08, assuming you choose a bullet that will penetrate well.
     
  8. Oldschool280

    Oldschool280 Well-Known Member

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    There’s your rifle!
     
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  9. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    My kids shot both the 7-08 and 6.5cm, and chose the cm
     
  10. jebel

    jebel Well-Known Member

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    The 6.5 CM is going to recoil about a third less than the 7mm-08.
     
  11. WeiserBucks

    WeiserBucks Well-Known Member

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    I really like the 7-08 if you buy a factory rifle. If you're going custom , I would go straight to the 6.5x284.
     
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  12. Oldschool280

    Oldschool280 Well-Known Member

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    not quite 1/3 more like 20% when comparing a couple of loads. But not anything you would load for elk. At least not what i can find published
     
  13. FIGJAM

    FIGJAM Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I went through this process a couple years ago for my son who was 10 at the time. I had it narrowed down to the 6.5 creedmoor and the 7mm08. I ended up going with the 6.5 creedmoor and have no regrets. The only benefit the 7mm08 has over the CM is heavier bullets. Most people shoot 140-150gr in the 708, if that is the plan you are better off going with a 6.5. If your plan was to load up some 160gr plus bullets, the 7mm08 will be a good choice.

    I should add - if you are creedmoor adverse the 260 Rem is an awesome round.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  14. Kimber7man

    Kimber7man Well-Known Member

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    7mm08 with Nosler 140 grain etip brought home my first elk last fall. I have no complaints!