What is the best weight bullet for the 7mm08 ?

LukeMc

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I just received my new barrel for my TC Encore, in 7mm/08. I have a 28" barrel with a 1 in 9 twist. I ordered some 168gr Berger VLD hunting, but am not sure if I am starting off too heavy? I will be hunting for deer mostly, I just don't know anyone who shoots a 7mm/08. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 

MAD10

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Dec 26, 2010
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I just received my new barrel for my TC Encore, in 7mm/08. I have a 28" barrel with a 1 in 9 twist. I ordered some 168gr Berger VLD hunting, but am not sure if I am starting off too heavy? I will be hunting for deer mostly, I just don't know anyone who shoots a 7mm/08. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Try the 162 ELDM as well. I'm pushing mine with 42.4 grains of varget 2802 fps out of a 26" bartlein LT bull contour seated long at 2.980. That load and bullet will carry the heat out to 800+ yds.
 

LukeMc

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Try the 162 ELDM as well. I'm pushing mine with 42.4 grains of varget 2802 fps out of a 26" bartlein LT bull contour seated long at 2.980. That load and bullet will carry the heat out to 800+ yds.
Thanks for the input, I will give that a try. I saw many guys were shooting 120gr. and 140gr. I got worried I was choosing pills that were going to be too heavy and too slow, but if you are having success at 162gr. I should be ok with the 168s.
 
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J E Custom

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We all like the BCs of the bigger bullets, But the 7/08 has trouble pushing them fast enough to get good down range performance on game. The big bullets are very accurate but give up to much performance/velocity in the field In my opinion.

When I started shooting the 7/08 I wanted to use the 140s and 150s
for good all round performance. !he 150s worked well in the pistol out to 500+yards on deer. The 140 did well in the rifle but the impact velocity was still a little low for instant kills (DRT). in order to get the velocity above 3000 at the muzzle, I tried the 120s. End of story, Performance was what I was looking for. Down range velocity was great, trajectory was great, and bullet performance was the best I had seen in the 7/08 after many years of hunting with it.

I had some concerns about the 120s but they have all disappeared, and for many years, it is my go to rifle for deer. H 414 and Varget are the go to powders in both the 7/08 and the 7/08 AI. with these loads velocities are 3000 to 3150 ft/sec and accuracy is under 1/10th MOA
(.053 and .074 five shot groups).

The 120 is my recommendation for deer in a rifle and the 150 for a pistol.

Just My Recommendation

J E CUSTOM
 

LukeMc

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We all like the BCs of the bigger bullets, But the 7/08 has trouble pushing them fast enough to get good down range performance on game. The big bullets are very accurate but give up to much performance/velocity in the field In my opinion.

When I started shooting the 7/08 I wanted to use the 140s and 150s
for good all round performance. !he 150s worked well in the pistol out to 500+yards on deer. The 140 did well in the rifle but the impact velocity was still a little low for instant kills (DRT). in order to get the velocity above 3000 at the muzzle, I tried the 120s. End of story, Performance was what I was looking for. Down range velocity was great, trajectory was great, and bullet performance was the best I had seen in the 7/08 after many years of hunting with it.

I had some concerns about the 120s but they have all disappeared, and for many years, it is my go to rifle for deer. H 414 and Varget are the go to powders in both the 7/08 and the 7/08 AI. with these loads velocities are 3000 to 3150 ft/sec and accuracy is under 1/10th MOA
(.053 and .074 five shot groups).

The 120 is my recommendation for deer in a rifle and the 150 for a pistol.

Just My Recommendation

J E CUSTOM
Thank-you for that information, I looked at the BC of the bullet and picked it based on that info. I had been shooting my .300wm and found it shot best with the bigger bullets with better BC 200Gr+ but of course I had lots of powder to push them 2800-2900 fps. I am tired of punishing my shoulder and developing a flinch. That is why I chose the 7mm/08 rather than the 7mmRM. I have a 6.5x55 swede and started to think maybe the 7mm/08 would like the 139gr or smaller bullets. I guess I will order some 120gr bullets. Is there any brand you found preformed better than another? So I don't waste any more money?Thanks
 

J E Custom

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Thank-you for that information, I looked at the BC of the bullet and picked it based on that info. I had been shooting my .300wm and found it shot best with the bigger bullets with better BC 200Gr+ but of course I had lots of powder to push them 2800-2900 fps. I am tired of punishing my shoulder and developing a flinch. That is why I chose the 7mm/08 rather than the 7mmRM. I have a 6.5x55 swede and started to think maybe the 7mm/08 would like the 139gr or smaller bullets. I guess I will order some 120gr bullets. Is there any brand you found preformed better than another? So I don't waste any more money?Thanks

I use the 120 grain Ballistic tip because it expands well at distance and at 7/08 velocities. I'm sure that there are other good 120 grain bullets, but the 120 ballistic tip has a little thicker jacket that Nosler accommodated pelt hunters to do less damage on varmints but it does a great job on deer and hogs without excessive expansion.

I built a 7/08 AI to hopefully get the same performance/velocity from the 140 but the thinner jacket did not perform as well even though the AI version is near the same speed with a 140 as with as a 120 in a 7/08.

The other 120 grain bullets will just have to be tested to find out how well they work at 7/08 velocities on game. We all know how well they work at 1000 yards on paper, David Tubbs won several 1000 yard matches at Camp Perry OH using heavy match bullets.

I would think the VLD's would work but once you try the 120 Ballistic Tips, you will never try the others.

J E CUSTOM
 

Kimber7man

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You can get north of 3,000 fps with 50 grains Big Game and the 120 NBT.

I worked up a load in my 22.5” barrel with 47 grains Big Game and the 140 Accubond, it was at 2,890 fps with no pressure issues. That may become my go to, but also going to try the 150 LRAB at around 2,800.
 

LukeMc

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I use the 120 grain Ballistic tip because it expands well at distance and at 7/08 velocities. I'm sure that there are other good 120 grain bullets, but the 120 ballistic tip has a little thicker jacket that Nosler accommodated pelt hunters to do less damage on varmints but it does a great job on deer and hogs without excessive expansion.

I built a 7/08 AI to hopefully get the same performance/velocity from the 140 but the thinner jacket did not perform as well even though the AI version is near the same speed with a 140 as with as a 120 in a 7/08.

The other 120 grain bullets will just have to be tested to find out how well they work at 7/08 velocities on game. We all know how well they work at 1000 yards on paper, David Tubbs won several 1000 yard matches at Camp Perry OH using heavy match bullets.

I would think the VLD's would work but once you try the 120 Ballistic Tips, you will never try the others.

J E CUSTOM
Thanks for all the good info, while we are still talking about reloading for the 7mm/08, does any one know if it is possible to resize 308 brass to 7mm/08 with a lee neck sizing die or would I need to use a full length sizing die? I am shooting them in a single shot T/C Encore.
 

Doublezranch

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Zaylea shoots the 131g Hammer with Varget out of her 7mm/08. Reliable, efficient, effective. All her hunts have been 1 shot kills with a pass through every time.
 

J E Custom

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Thanks for all the good info, while we are still talking about reloading for the 7mm/08, does any one know if it is possible to resize 308 brass to 7mm/08 with a lee neck sizing die or would I need to use a full length sizing die? I am shooting them in a single shot T/C Encore.

I have necked up the 308 to 338 fed, and necked the 308 cases down to 7/08 and 260 rem. I have also AI 'd the 7/08 and the 260 using 308 cases.

The only thing I recommend is to anneal if they have been shot 3 or 4 times and to check the neck thickness after it is sized down to make sure it gives the neck chamber 3 to 4 thousandths to expand when fired.

I bought some new Lapua brass in 308 because it came on sale for $74,00 a hundred and it worked great sized down to 7/08. I was all set to buy some more for my 260 AI but found out that Lapua had started making 260 brass so I bought it to have the correct head stamp, ( But I paid $107.00 a hundred but felt it was worth it so save the sizing down.

J E CUSTOM
 

LukeMc

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I have necked up the 308 to 338 fed, and necked the 308 cases down to 7/08 and 260 rem. I have also AI 'd the 7/08 and the 260 using 308 cases.

The only thing I recommend is to anneal if they have been shot 3 or 4 times and to check the neck thickness after it is sized down to make sure it gives the neck chamber 3 to 4 thousandths to expand when fired.

I bought some new Lapua brass in 308 because it came on sale for $74,00 a hundred and it worked great sized down to 7/08. I was all set to buy some more for my 260 AI but found out that Lapua had started making 260 brass so I bought it to have the correct head stamp, ( But I paid $107.00 a hundred but felt it was worth it so save the sizing down.

J E CUSTOM
Thanks again, so if I understand you correctly, I don't need a FL die to resize 308 to 7mm/08. I need to measure the case neck thickness and maybe anneal the brass beforehand if it has been shot more than 3 times.
Where I live in Canada I don't live near any gun ranges so I don't have access to cheap brass or range brass etc. and finding brass in my caliber is almost non-existing unless I by new. It is almost cheaper for me to by factory ammo on sale and use it and save the brass. I am trying to keep my costs down as I am on a fixed income. I sell things at the local farmers market during the summer to make a little mad money but it doesn't stretch very far, my wife says why can't I have a cheap hobby? haha!
 
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257steiny

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Jan 5, 2018
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I just received my new barrel for my TC Encore, in 7mm/08. I have a 28" barrel with a 1 in 9 twist. I ordered some 168gr Berger VLD hunting, but am not sure if I am starting off too heavy? I will be hunting for deer mostly, I just don't know anyone who shoots a 7mm/08. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
I just started shooting the Hammer Hunters in 131 gr. They are lights out!! The gun shot 3 deer this year and I am very impressed with accuracy and killing power!
 

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