7mm-08 ultimate youth elk cartridge?

dstark

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Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
145
Location
Idaho
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
 

tmmcampbell

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Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
390
My son’s 7mm08 never leaves the gun safe anymore. He always reaches for his tikka 6.5.
 

Highvoltage

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Feb 10, 2019
Messages
138
Location
West virginia
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!
 

jebel

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Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
240
Location
Oregon
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.
 

Oldschool280

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Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
539
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.
 

jebel

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Jun 15, 2018
Messages
240
Location
Oregon
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.
 

jebel

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Jun 15, 2018
Messages
240
Location
Oregon
The 6.5 CM is going to recoil about a third less than the 7mm-08.
 

Oldschool280

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Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
539
The 6.5 CM is going to recoil about a third less than the 7mm-08.
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
 

FIGJAM

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
1,564
Location
Southeast, Idaho
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.View attachment 126697
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:

Kimber7man

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
723
7mm08 with Nosler 140 grain etip brought home my first elk last fall. I have no complaints!
 

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