6.5x55 or 7x57 or 7mm-08 (Tikka, Ruger, CZ, Winchester)

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by cpr0312, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    In the US, 7-08 is much easier to find than 7x57

    Every wal-mart in the US carries 7-08..

    The cabelas a few miles from my house probably has 15 options for 7-08...

    That same cabelas only carries one 7x57 option (ppu 139gr), and they haven’t had any in stock for 2 months (I check every time I am in the store)

    The academy sports in my area has a handful of 7-08 options... they do not stock 7x57 though

    I live in the 5th largest city in the country.. and have pretty much resorted to buying 7x57 ammo online or reloading...
     
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  2. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Lots of feedback on the subject so far, thanks guys!! So I think I've narrowed it down to the 6.5 Swede or the 7x57... or both ;)
     
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  3. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Relading is the way to go. I would say probably 1/2 of all my workspace is taken up by reloading equipment and supplies... I think I have an addiction o_O. As to whether 7x57 is common or not... to that I say who cares?! 7x57 is CLASSY and fun and is like hunting with a piece of history! Which I think is why there is such a plethora of members on here who own one. My personal preference is the 6.5x55 but I wouldn't sneer at a 7x57 either.... but then I would have another stockpile of stuff to add to my already growing mess of reloading stuff. Come to think of it I don't think I have bought a box of factory ammo in like 10 years.... (y). Money spent on reloading gear is NEVER a waste in my mind.
     
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  4. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Veteran

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    I think both... Both would be great :p But they do occupy pretty much the same niche... Just a thought (I know it's not asked) but maybe look at different pairing? For example, a 6.5 Norma and a 7x57 or a 6.5x55 and a 7x64? Just a thought :p
     

  5. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    The reason I check for the cheap 139gr ppu 7x57 every time I am at cabelas is... its only $17.99 a box.. I plink with it at the range.. and then use the brass for reloading :)

    I've brewed up a 150gr barnes TSX load for my 7x57 that it likes pretty well.. and plan on brewing up a 175gr load pretty soon.. once I have 100-120 pieces of ppu brass on hand, I doubt I'll buy another factory cartridge for my 7x57 for a long, long time :)
     
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  6. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I know what you are saying! about a year ago, my LGS got a shipment of brand new PPU brass for the 6.5x55.... I bought all of it. So now I have 500 pieces of that brass, most of which I haven't even used yet because I bought another 200 pieces of Lapua brass on Gunbroker for a song... I am probably at a total of about 900 pieces of 6.5x55 brass... I told you!!! it's an addiction! I think I am going to start a thread on Reloading addiction group...

    And HERE IT IS ---> https://www.africahunting.com/threads/reloading-addiction-group.43081/
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018

  7. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    @375 Ruger Fan I respect your viewpoint but you appear to have misinterpreted my words. The .308 Winchester cartridge was designed to equal the performance of service .30 cal (.30-06) ammunition. The Ordnance Department was ordered to develop a shorter, lighter cartridge with less recoil and better feeding and extraction than the .30-06 BUT they developed a shorter cartridge, with less body taper, a steeper shoulder angle and minimally less weight, that did not feed as reliably as the .30-06. They actually started their search for a new .30 cal cartridge with a rigorous scientific analysis of the 7.5x54 cartridge but ended up with (essentially) a lengthened version of the .300 Savage cartridge. The sole concession to feeding concerns was a shoulder angle similar to that of the 7.92x57 IS (8.2x57 in CIP civilian terminology) but with a shorter and straighter case!

    They could not honestly claim to have abided by their instructions so ... they got the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to introduce the cartridge to the world (the only time that a service cartridge has been developed by the military and then launched first as a sporting cartridge) and lie on their behalf.

    Yes, the .308 Winchester can be made to feed properly but it takes more work and expense. You may recall that, prior to the introduction of the AICS chassis system for Remington 700 rifles, the default detachable box magazine for bolt-action .308 sniper/sharpshooter rifles in the Western world was the M14 magazine, developed with plenty of U.S. government money! You may also have seen an article about Sturm Ruger's consultation with **MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED** on their Scout rifle, wherein it was stated that **MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED** staff advised Ruger not to use the M14 magazines that they had fitted to their prototype, due to unreliable feeding from cheap copies of those magazines.

    When the NZ Forest Service cullers changed over from .303 to .308 Win. (and later .243 Win.) they quickly discovered that the Sako Forester was the only rifle worth having as a work gun. Sako put in the extra effort to ensure reliable feeding and are still renowned for making top quality magazines for their rifles. Steyr also made good magazines but their rear-locking action appeared a bit later and was more expensive.

    I started shooting with an SLR L1A1 at ATG (Waiouru Military Camp) and am well aware that the .308 Winchester / 7.62 x51 (and its offshoots) can be made to feed properly. I have never said otherwise in this forum BUT it was not designed with reliability of feed as a primary concern. I also spent 14 years running a club range complex with plenty of help from other people and encountered numerous incidents on the range and heard numerous stories of feeding issues with cheaper rifles. My Winchester Model 70 short-action Featherweight in .308 Win. had a less than perfect magazine because USRAC was too stingy to make a proper one (like those in the pre-64 Model 70 that Brno copied for the ZG47 and ZKK rifles) and in my experience Remington Arms and various other companies at similar price points are just as bad.

    I like reading your posts. Please keep them coming.
     

  8. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Charles, you knew that this was a "blonds vs brunette" issue when you asked the question. If given the option I'd prefer to have a CRF rather than a push feed even for PG. The Swedish Mauser is and the 7x57 can be found in this configuration. I've never seen a 7-08 in anything other than a push feed from Winchester, Remington, Ruger or Savage. They may be available from a Custom Shop, but why pay the price? My 6.5x55 was welcome in RSA but I don't know about other countries. The 7x57 is well established throughout all of Africa. Your thoughts of having both are certainly within the realm of reason.
     
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  9. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I had a Ruger **MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED** Scout in .308... believe me, that Ruger magazine was not an "improvement". I used to have an FN FAL on a reciever built by Imbel in Brazil. It fed anything and everthing I stuffed into it's twenty year old magazines. Granted, the best it would do was about 4" at 100 yards but that was a function of the rifle, not the cartridge. .308 Win feeds fine. If it was such a hassle, every gun maker in almost the whole world wouldn't chamber multiple models in it. Nor would it have been accepted as a NATO standard by many countries. The Marine Scout Sniper battalions are allowed to pick any equipment their division wants. They chose the .308 for the medium range rifles.
     

  10. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Haha yes, problem is I like them both (y)
     

  11. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ???????????? I thought Winchester and Ruger were CRF. Remington is push feed. Not sure on Savage.
     
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  12. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    @ZG47 you know a lot more about this so-called feeding problem that I do. I respect your opinion, but I don't necessarily agree with it. You make it sound like the developers of the 308 sat around and said, "let's shorten the '06 and whatever else we do, to heck with how it feeds." I just don't think that was the case. The point I was trying to make is the 308 reliably feeds in automatics, so why would a bolt action have any issues? I've never heard this being an issue with a 308. I have heard these type of comments associated with the 300 WSM and the other WSM.
     

  13. 7x57Joe

    7x57Joe AH Veteran

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    Well, you probably know what my vote is but, I'll tell you anyway. 7x57 in a Mauser such as this:

    [​IMG]
     

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  14. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    Kimber 85M Hunter is a CRF and available in 7-08
     
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  15. jeanes

    jeanes AH Veteran

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    I have a Winchester Model 100 and a Sako Forester both in .308. Have never had a feeding problem with either. My vote (for what it's worth) on the original question is 7x57 Ruger.
     
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  16. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Nice looking rifle sir!
     

  17. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Fanatic

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    OK @reedy0312 here's how to handle your dilemma. Buy the Ruger African 275 Rigby listed here on AH and buy the Ruger African 6.5x55 from Realguns (cheapest price I've seen) . This gives you a very nice matched set. My Ruger Swede handles/balances like a dream and I bet the 275 is the same. Load up the 275 with H4350 and 156 gr Norma Oryx and the Swede with RL 22 and 140 partitions and go hunt. Use the cheap Allen elastic shell holders on the stocks and you'll never worry about leaving the ammo at home. I keep two boxes of hand loads in the pocket of the gun case of my CZ since the Monte Carlo stock won't work with the elastic shell holders.
     
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  18. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    I have a 7-08 in a SAKO Bavarian. I understand the Tikka barrels are coming off the same line at the plant. I would go with the Tikka over the others, if that's your price point. Want to spend more money step to the SAKO 85 line.
     

  19. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Fellow Rifleheads,

    Not sure if my observations and resultant thoughts on why the 7-08 was developed are correct or not.
    IE: It seems to me that, it was a marketing idea and to my considerable surprise, it has worked very well indeed.
    This cartridge does not do anything important that the 7x57 has not been doing for over 100 years.
    Before anyone bursts into tears about short actions, I'm another grumpy old man who, believes short actions are inferior, as they pertain to cartridges suitable for deer, elk, moose, swine and dreaded African "plains game".

    My opinion on this action length thing pertains to short actions not being able to accommodate heavy for caliber bullets, except as a single shot.
    In other words, short actions are crippled by their short magazine box.

    If however, you live in the USA (perhaps Canada as well?) and, you do not hunt especially huge critters here and, you do not hand-load for whatever reason, you probably are better off with the 7-08, since just as others have mentioned, ammunition for it is plentiful (175 grain loads notwithstanding).
    That said (and again as already mentioned by another member), if you live in Africa, 7x57 live ammunition is more common.

    I have owned one Ruger M-77 and more than one '98 Mauser in 7x57 but for me personally, I see no reason to add a 7-08 to my toy box.
    Likewise, I have previously owned one caliber 6.5x55, un-cut Swedish Military Mauser carbine, bayonet, original sling and misc. accessories.
    And at the moment, I have a CZ 550 FS (full stock bolt action carbine) in 6.5x55 and am very happy with same.
    (The original Swede was a real peach as well but, I had to sell it to help pay off one of my safaris, oye vey).

    I'm with those who recommend the 7x57 for Africa, as mentioned above due to it's ability to accept and function well with 160 and 175 grain bullets.
    As a side note, I do like the 6.5x55 with 160 grain round nose bullets however, in regards to Africa specifically, I'd prefer the 7x57 over it.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     

  20. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Velo Dog the 7-08 was developed in Mexico primarily by and for metallic silhouette shooters. In one of the most awesome displays of marksmanship I've ever witnessed I saw three shooters fire 15 rounds each all knocking over rams at 500 meters OFFHAND. All three guys were using 7-08s. That was in 1986. The guys were shooting for second place as no one cleaned the rams during the original course of fire. The shots were fired by each shooter shooting after each other one miss and done. The first miss was on the 16th ram the second miss was on the 17th ram. This was shot during the Chihuahua State Championships. The reason for the 7-08 is that once fired military 308 brass was available very cheap and the 7mm bullet is ballistically superior to the .308. At least that is what I was told by my Mexican shooting buddies at the time. From my brief exposure to it in 1986 I can attest to the fact that it is a very flat shooting rifle.
     

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