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7mm-08 for Elk

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by jrswanson1, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. jrswanson1

    jrswanson1 G&G Newbie

    Hi all,

    I did a search, but couldn't find an answer on this forum, so I'm going ahead and asking. I've got my reloading gear ready to go for my new rifle. I believe I have a good deer load, but I'm looking to make an elk load. Would a 160-165 grain bullet out of a 7mm-08 be enough for elk? What would be an effective range for it? I don't think a heavier 7mm bullet would do too well in this short cartridge. Just need some feedback.


  2. Lng Rng

    Lng Rng G&G Newbie

    I think the 7mm-08 is probably a little light on elk, but will probably get the job done if you do your part. I dont know how a 160 grain bullet would work in the 7mm-08 case, but it might cut out some powder. If I were you, I would try and get a bonded bullet, 140 or 150 grains.
  3. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

    Personally, I think the 7mm-08 is just a bit light to be considered a serious elk rifle, but, with a good 140 or 150 grain bonded bullet, it should be able to get the job done, if you do your part
  4. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

    I would probably make sure that you don't take a long shot with that bullet...I would say under 100 yards? I have never shot a 7-08, but know that it's great on deer, and that's about its limit.

    You would probably be better off spending a little bit on a used 30-06 or .300WSM. I'd like to think that I can always put the bullet right where I want to, but the truth is that it doesn't always happen, and I'd rather have a bullet that is overkill than not enough.
  5. HEMI

    HEMI G&G Newbie

    A 7mm08 is fine for elk with 140 to 160s out to 300 yards.
    Try x bullets .
  6. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    Just looking at the numbers, I'd say if a premium bullet like a Nosler Partition, Swift Scirroco or A-Frame, Barnes X, etc. is used and shots are kept inside of 200 yds, it should work alright. Like any other game, the key is shot placement and bullet performance. I would prob. prefer a larger caliber but wouldn't buy another gun to get it unless I planned to hunt elk on a regular basis. All-in-all, a 160 gr.Nosler Partition at around 2500-2600 fps. should be pretty fair elk medicine as long as the shot is good. There have been a lot of elk killed with a 7x57 and the two are pretty close ballistically.
  7. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

    Should probably wait for Mooseman to answer this question. I believe he's taken at least one elk up in Alaska, so can probably give some first-hand advice.
  8. wirehunt

    wirehunt G&G Newbie

    Running a 165 in a 7m08 would do it no favours what so ever. Maximum of 140, the X would be good. Personnally I run 120gr TSX through the 708 or 120 BT's they do the business, just don't be trying no Texas heart shots and all will be good.

  9. jrswanson1

    jrswanson1 G&G Newbie

    Just checked the Accurate Arms pdf on their 7mm-08 loads. Using powder 4350 and a 160 grain Nosler Partition, max load muzzle velocity it 2630 fps. Sierra 150gr Spitzer Boat Tails, titled GameKing, will leave the barrel at 2731 fps. Does it look like I'm covered with either of these rounds? Thanks again for all your help. It's great being able to tap into all this knowledge and experience without traveling everywhere.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  10. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    The first load would be a good choice but the Sierra's are prob. a bit too soft\fragile for elk. I've used them on hogs before with mixed results and finally decided that they were fine for deer and antelope but nothing larger. I would stick with a good bonded core bullet or a solid copper Barnes X or TSX.
  11. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    As a Big Game Hunter, I am inclined to use a heavier Bullet at a lower velocity due to the energy that the heavier bullet will retain and impart to the "Target". That being said, However, a heavier bullet has more drop at farther ranges, so you get more of a "Rainbow" Trajectory than you do with a lighter bullet that shoots flatter. A 160 gr. Nosler would be my choice at 2600 fps which would still impart approximately 1467 ft. lbs of energy at 500 yards but it will drop 5 ft. at 500 yards with the gun zeroed at 100 yards.
    Optimum then dictates sighting in the rifle zero at 200 yards, so at 100 yards you are 2 inches high and at 300 yards you are almost 9 inches low at 500 yards the drop will be 4 ft., so at long range you will have to lob it in on the target.
    I personally prefer magnums and .30 cals for Elk sized animals at long range, but Bullet Placement is paramount to a succesful 1 shot kill. If you can put that bullet in the Heart lung area of an Elk, he will be yours to eat !!!
    I hope this helps.
  12. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    Any rifle that pushes 140gr bullets with about 2800fps and 2400+energy at hte muzzle and maintain about 2200fps and 1300+energy at 300yds with a drop table sighted in about 1.7" at 100yds and drops about 7.5" at 300yds could and in my opinion should be considered adequate for elk out to 300yds.I would be choicy about bullets,trying to get one that wouldnt blow up at short range or fail to expand at longer range.One of the bonded bullets sounds good to me.They are available in factory or roll your own.I dont know of any load that gives 1467lbs energy with a 160 gr bullet at 500yds but if you can find it thats what I would use. In the meantime I would try to stay under 300yds.In elk hunting I seldom shot over 125yds.I hear this long range talk but a rangefinder often shortens that a lot.It is hard to tell much about the rack and more important to place a clean kill shot at long range.I would rather be a better hunter and get closer. samuel.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  13. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I still think the 7mm-08 is marginal at best for elk. A .30-06 with 165 gr. or a .300 winmag with 180 gr. are better choices. 275 yds. with a .300 winmag is pushing it.
  14. HirotheHero

    HirotheHero G&G Newbie

    come on

    Keep it with in 200 yards? Come on people. Marine scout snipers take 1000 yards shots with there military issue .308, which isn’t as powerful as a 7mm. So distance isn’t an issue. And I just read an article in the Rifleman about a guy taking an elk at 510 yards with a .308. Its all about placement. If you can put a 7mm in an elks heart it doesn’t matter how far you are its brining it down. But obviously a bigger gun is better for bigger game.
  15. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    After this post of great knowledge which states a 7mm-08 is more powerful than its parent cartridge the .308win.which will handle heavier bullets and more powder and on top of that range makes no difference on a shot with a 7mm-08 because snipers shoot 1000yds with a .308win and someone killed an elk at 510yds with a .308win and a heart shot is all you need(APARENTLY AT 1000yds) I have decided that I know nothing about bullets and cartridges for elk and doubt that a learned and succesful and highly knowledgible hunter like Mooseman684 understands too well.I just hope you keep posting all of this great knowledge and get me straightened out.Thank you for all of the great research. sam.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  16. jrswanson1

    jrswanson1 G&G Newbie

    I think someone is getting the 7mm-08 mixed up with a 7mm Magnum. I chose the 7mm-08 for lighter recoil and to still be able to reach out and touch something.

  17. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

    i think someones been watching too many movies. +people are not as tough as elk.
  18. Idaho Dave

    Idaho Dave G&G Addict

    I have hunted elk for years HirotheHero, I have taken and seen many taken. Let me say this elk and people are not the same. People die easy big game animals dont, so comparing the two is ignorant. anyone who has shot even a good sized mule deer will tell you that. Case and point this year my friend shot a nice bull in the lungs from about 120 yards with a 7mm mag. Imagine hitting a man at that range with such a fire arm. The elk ran about 5 miles and finally sat under a tree. It took us over an hour to find. We were able to because we could hear his raspy breath from a long way off. when we walked up on it he jumped up and took off running agian. he was shot then in the neck which killed him. When we opend him up he was missing about half of one lung and a fist sized portion of the other (the bullet had gone between two ribs, had it struck one I think he would have died faster). Elk are big like a horse.
    they have very thick skin and bone structure. As far as the 7mm-08 I think the 200 yard suggestion is a good one I would suggest you use as heavy a bullet as possible and if you are serious about hunting such a big animal consider going to the .30 cal range. the win 300 (with its heaviest factory loads at 200 grain) I use has 2 times the muzzle energy the 7mm-08 has(with its heaviest factroy loads) - Products - Ammunition - Ballistics
    I dont know what you can do with your realoads, but that is a huge difference. And any gun will drop with a heart shot but their heart isnt much bigger then yours really ( I have eaten many), and knowing exactly where it is in that big chest is not a sure thing especially at 500 yards.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  19. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist


    I do not own this caliber yet but I have been looking into buying a Encore rifle in the caliber. I am of the camp that shot placement and knowing your limitations are the most important for taking any game.
    My first deer and elk were taken with a .243 and both were single shots. Both were no more than 200yd shots. I have taken elk with a 25-06 and with a 300 win mag. The elk taken with the 300 win required two shots and I had to track that bull for miles. The first one was a lung shot and the second one broke his left shoulder. I used a 200 gr sierra game king. The first one exited the chest cavity and the other I recovered jacket intact.

    In sweden and Norway they use the 6.5X55 to hunt moose and other large game. In order to have a hunting license in these countries they have to shoot at targets out to 600 meters and have to hit the kill zone (18") of these targets moving and stationary.
    If one is proficent in their shooting and know how far you can accurately shoot you will be ok. The use of the larger calibers are always more forgiving and they do produce higher numbers in muzzle energy and velocity but it really comes down to where you hit the animal and if that animal is going to put up a fight or roll over and die.

    That's my opinnion anyways

  20. rasterman77

    rasterman77 G&G Newbie

    response to Palladin8

    This gentleman inspired me to join, one of the few truly wise things anyone has said on these forums. He did not misquote stats or science, or compare the ballistics of his rifle, using superior ammo, to another using lack lustre loads.
    Thank you!
    I love all high speed projectiles and hunt with several calibers including a .270, .30-06, .300 win, 7x57, and a .338 mag but have not shot any of them since purchasing my 7mm-08. This caliber is so comfortable to shoot I spend more time at the range and my accuracy has improved exponentially.
    My father and his friends have a combined experience well over 300 hundred years collecting rifles and/or hunting and none of them can agree on anything except that accuracy is paramount. I would venture to say that even the type of shell is slightly more important than caliber.
    To be more relevant to this discussion I will add that here in B.C., Canada we hunt moose, bear and elk almost more than deer and I have not had any issues with my new favourite caliber and if I have to take a second shot, that is an issue.
    It's not all about horsepower, it's about how you drive!
    This is a webpage this forums contributers should all read 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges
    Thanks to all for keeping me amused!
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