7mm-08: What is your opinion as a plains game rifle?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Jfet, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    We are going on a plains game hunt in Namibia. My wife normally shoots a Browning .243 with a small stock when hunting whitetail deer in Texas. However, she is struggling with shooting a large stock 30-06 at the gun range. We have a 7mm-08 rifle in a small (youth) stock that our sons used when they were young. We have been discussing potentially using the 7mm-08 in Namibia. We know it is a good rifle for hunting deer here in Texas but will it be capable for plains game in Africa? (kudu, zebra, wildebeest, warthog)

    As always thanks for your input and help.
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think if you use premium bullets like TTSX from Barnes or Swift A Frame, I think you will be fine. Just try for a double lung shot broadside or quartering away.
     
  3. tim416

    tim416 AH Veteran

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    I agree with Enysse regarding the use of quality bullets. With the proper bullets and the ability to place your shot properly I see no issues here with anything up to and including kudu. I have seen a 7x57 used with no problem on plains game.
    As always, quality bullets with proper shot placement trumps foot pounds of energy and velocity.
     
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  4. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    I have used a .280 (reasonably similar) for PG with no problems. Wildebeest may be stretching it a bit much unless you have a near perfect hit or enjoy tracking. I used a Barnes 160 grain bullet, but I would definitely pick a different bullet if I use the .280 again. A 160 Nosler Partition or other bullet of that order would be my choice.
     
  5. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Sir

    Can you elaborate on your choice of the Partition over the X in the 280 please?

    It sounds as though you have a preference for lead core vs mono metal, at least in this specific application.

    I would like to hear your reason(s) why. Not for argument, but for data...I am always thinking about these things and wonder why others make the choices they do. FYI, I can use any bullet I want, but have more Nosler Partitions on my reloading bench than any other big game bullet. I do use X as well, and think they are very good, with some unique benefits (especially their integrity after hitting brush, which sometimes happens unexpectedly).

    Thanks for the input!


    Tim
     
  6. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    Although the accuracy was adequate, the expansion was erratic. One warthog had an exit hole but no apparent expansion - confirmed by the PH and skinners. A similar sized warthog, at comparable distance, stopped the bullet under the skin of the off side. The bullet was expanded but failed to exit. A broadside kudu shot through the shoulder also stopped the bullet before exit, but the bullet did not travel a straight line inside of the kudu. Muzzle velocity was around 2,700 - distances were under 150 yards - all game was standing broadside and calm.

    Maybe a lighter copper bullet at higher velocities would have done better, but I have shot a few elk with this rifle using 160 NP bullets and had excellent results.
     
  7. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

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    I have zero issues using a 7-08 on PG. I would choose either the 120 or 140 gr Barnes TTSX bullet or the 140 gr Nosler Partition, whichever shot more accurately in my rifle.

    Remember you can go lighter with a Monometal bullet and it will behave similarly to a lead core bullet, so I would likely start at the 120 gr TTSX.

    Good luck.
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think it's got to be a winning recipe, the tip will start expansion very fast, and there should be a nice shock wave generated where it enters.
     
  9. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    I shoot a 7x57 with barnes ttsx at around 2650fps, i am confident too shoot any plains game including kudu and bwb with it and had many clean kills. The 7-08 shoots the same bullet at around 2800fps i dont see why it will not be addequite for your trip! As long as your bullet placement is spot on. Also try and keep shooting distances below 150m and i dont see any problems.

    Good luck and enjoy your trip

    Best Regards
     
  10. greyfox

    greyfox AH Veteran

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    7mm-08 and 7X57 are ballistic twins, and the 7X57 settled alot of Africa.
    the ONLY reasons for the 7mm-08 is to take advantage of a slightly shorter action and U.S. Marketing....
     
  11. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Or, if you shoot factory ammo, the higher SAAMI pressure spec. If you reload, you can certainly match the 7-08 pressures in a modern 7x57 rifle.


    Tim
     
  12. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I've used the 7-08 on plains game. Was not happy with Accubond 140s. I like NPs Would use it again with NPs and shots under 200 yds on anything up to but not including zebra and eland. Just my take. The bigger stuff as mentioned needs perfect shot placement. Frankly I'm a big fan of the 30-06 w/ 180 NPs over there. Also have a 338/06 that I have used there a really like.
     
  13. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Barnes TTSX is by far the best choice for a 7mm-08. I would either use the 120 or 140 grain versions.

    I suspect Just Passing Through used a heavier TSX bullet with his results.

    I have found that TTSX is a far better choice than the TSX unless you shoot a cartridge that is extremely fast.

    For your wife Jfet, I would load it with the 120 grain TTSX. That will give a very moderate recoil, high speed, good penetration and good expansion for good killing effect.
     
  14. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    Yes it was a TSX bullet that I used, not the TTSX.
     
  15. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the information. We went out Saturday and tried the 7mm-08. My wife said she was much more comfortable with the smaller stocked rifle working on the sticks. Now it becomes a matter of practice and developing a system of shooting off sticks that fits her.
    As always when trying to help my wife shoot better, emotion is a factor. Somebody please remind me to keep my mouth shut. :punch:
    The preparation is part of the fun.:D
     
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  16. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

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    My personal guidelines start and stop with the 30 caliber bullets. Anything smaller than 30 caliber, I'd prefer to use the TTSX versus the TSX. Just for the satisfaction of knowing the bullet is going to open. 30 caliber and above, I don't have as much of a reservation. I'm sure once you get above 338 caliber, the bullet is going to open regardless with the larger hollow point opening.
     
  17. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

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    I find it is always better for my wife and I when my buddies are at the range and willing to work with her for some of the very same reasons I'm sure you experience. The same goes with my son, as well.
     
  18. colorado

    colorado AH Veteran

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    If she shoots the 243 well and you use a premium bullet (100g Nosler Partition) , I'd be tempted to have her shoot her 243. Be picky about shot placement and keep shots under 200 yards and she'll do fine. I used to hunt elk with my 243 shooting 105g Speer spitzers at 3000 fps. The elk and mule deer I shot with fell like lightning hit them. I was very careful about what shots I took and turned down opportunities. Of course I hunted 100 days a year back then.


    Doubletap Ammo 243 Winchester 100 Grain Nosler Partition Spitzer Box
     
  19. greyfox

    greyfox AH Veteran

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    Colorado,
    Not every PH nor operation will let the client use a 243. I'm not sure if it's law or rule or policy but I am going in July to hunt with Marius at KMG Safaris, Eastern cape, RSA. When I mentioned my 243, he informed me 6.5 is minimum caliber. OK, His land, his country his rules, no problem. I'm taking my 7mm rem mag.
    What's your load for 243 and 100 gr Noslers? I use a max charge of IMR 4350, deadly accurate, So far one deer, and very impressive results.
     
  20. colorado

    colorado AH Veteran

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    Traded in my 243 for my 270 a long long time ago, still miss it sometimes. My pet load was 43g of IMR 4350 pushing a Speer 105g spitzer just over 3000 fps from a 22" barrel.
     

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