bullet selection help


Sep 7, 2008
Hello just got my long range rifle built and would like some adivce on witch bullet to use. I am leaning towards the 180gr berger vlds.My questions is can the 7mm rem mag shot them fast enough to keep enough energy to kill an elk out to 1000 yrds or so? I see that alot of people on here are using 168s and 162s instead would that be a better choice in the rem? And does anyone have any experience with loading for the rem and know what velocities can be achieved with the different wieghts? I have a 27" barrel on a savage 110 action. Thanks for any advice you might have.

Adam, I tend to sound like a broken record on this so I apologize ahead of time, but the hunters at BOTW use the 7 rem mag a lot with 168 and 180 VLDs over either Retumbo, H1000, or 4831SC. These guys are building a lot of custom rifles and shoot thousands of rounds. I've talked with several and they are nice people. I do not necessarily hold them as the "experts" but they certainly have a lot of experience. So, with all due respect, I tend to reference them.

John Burns, who used to be with them has started his own company, GreyBull Precision. They mostly use the 180 VLD if I recall. I think a 9 twist is preferred with the 180 where 9 to 9.5 is good for the 168.

I personally use the 168. Afterall, it's only a loss of 12 grains of bullet weight. Hardly enough to dwell on.

In terms of killing an elk at 1000 yards, Jeremy Winters killed one at 925 yards with a 6.5x284 with a 140 VLD. This hunt is on their Beyond Belief 2 video. That said, I think the 7mm 180 or 168 VLD will be more than adequate.
i get 3100 with my 7mm rem mag using the 162 amax and 62gr of IMR4350...shoots really well to out of my factory rifle
I have a 1-9 twist SSS barrel so i'm not to worried about it bieng stabilized. H-1000 or retumbo are the powders I was looking to use so Maybe I'll just go with the 180s. I'll have to go on the western site and see if they have a pet load they like to give me a good sarting point. I would like to get them going somewhere in the neighborhood of 2900 hopefully, I have run ballistic calculators at this speed out to 1200 and it looks promising.

thanks agian for all the help

have any of you guys actually killed an elk w/a 7mag at 1000 yds? i personally dont consider it enough gun for that distance on elk. i could care less what the programs say. consider opening it up to a 7 ultramag.
I agree with you on the chart energy, but it is handy to compare two bullets. I think ft lbs can be very decieving I watched a guy shoot a cow elk on a game damage hunt 7 times 5 of witch were in the kill zone before she finally went down do to being shot in the knee.He was only 50 yrds from her and the bullets acted like solids and just penciled through without expending enough energy in her to make her go down. My friend on the same hunt shot two elk with his 270 and neither of them went a step and 1 of his shots was a little low and far back, but the bullet opened up and did a lot of damage. I am interested in hearing who has used a 7 rem mag at 1000 and how it performed. I'm going to start with targets then varmints to antelope and deer and if things are going well then I'm going to move up to elk. I figure this will help me determine if I need more gun or not.

At 1000 yards, the payload of a 168 launched as fast as reasonable and a 180 launched as fast as reasonble will be virtually identical. Due to the 180 not gaining much in bc there isn't an advantage to shooting it.

1k is a comfortable range for a 7rem and a 168 berger on elk! I know there is a lot of hype about elk being tough. All wild animals have an astounding vitality and will continue to fight to survive with ungodly amounts of poorly placed lead in them.

If you put a 168 berger through the heart, lungs, or CNS of an elk at 1k it will die immediately. If you get scared of the elk and decide you need to use a 300 grain 338 bullet the elk won't get any deader.

If you place the bullets in the guts at 1k the elk will likely run a long ways regardless of which bullet is used.

For those who need to know: I have not done this with a 7mm. I have done it with a bow (what 65 lbs? it should bounce off) I have done it with a 270win -750yards. and I have done it with a 300win -1200 yards.

Now then, I am not disputing bigger will do more damage. I am stating a 168 or 180 berger launched from a 7rem mag will absolutely kill elk at 1000 yards.

Adam, I would use the 168 because the drop and drift numbers are a bit better than the 180. 61 grains of r22 or 68 grains of r25 would be max loads and should produce around 3000fps in your 27 inch tube. Good luck.

I think too many people have the false expectation an animal will fall down or be slammed down when shot. Only a central nervous system shot or a big bullet hitting big bone will do this. The broadside lung shot will often not generate any reaction at all. There is nothing wrong with an animal still standing twenty seconds or two minutes after it's been shot!
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of coarse shot placement is important with any cartridge.
ive used the 7 mag on deer, and frankly dont even consider it suitable on those at 1000 yds.
ive been using the 7x300 wby. for over 35 yrs. and thats about as far as im confortable with that, although it is capable of more.
as easy as it is to switch barrels, and calibers on the savage 110, id be using something more potent on elk, especially at long distance.
you have a lot of options with a savage, take advantage of it.
It will definitely kill one with a well placed shot. Is it a good choice, NO!. You need to talk to long time long ranger. There is no person on the planet with more long range elk knowledge. He is like a walking hunting/shooting encyclopedia. Call him up and spend a day with him and you will come away with the truth and not BS.
ive used the 7 mag on deer, and frankly dont even consider it suitable on those at 1000 yds.

Based on what?

Your concerns seem cogent, but the 168 VLD from a 7rem mag will certainly put down a bull elk at 1000 yards.
Not a good choice? Ok, it wouldn't be my first choice. Sure wouldn't be far from the top of the list. If I had it and the shot opportunity was at 1k I would have zero doubt and zero hesitation.

The 7rem is hard to beat for an all around long range tool.

Couple threads down a fellow put a 162 Amax through both front shoulders at 1350 yards. Launched from his STW, that bullet hit about as hard as it would have at 1k from a 7rem. Looks like a dead elk to me.

Yes, he shot it three times. Did he need to? NO! He shot 'til it quit twitching! Sure it might have quit twitching after one 300grain 338 pill. So what?

Oldest campfire argument around. Some favor heavy calibers, some favor efficient ones. Fact is, both folks get it done!

A 7rem mag will absolutely kill elk at 1k. Clean and efficient. Not even the doubters are arguing this! It isn't even marginal! At 5000' (elevation here) we're talking about 1900fps and 1300 ft lbs -absolutely ideal for the berger.

If ya just gotta have real field experience talk to Mr. Burns. The largest caliber he offers in his shooting sytems is the 7rem. 'Cause out to 1k you just don't need anything bigger!
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