7 Rem Mag for African plains game

gillettehunter

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Here's my .02 cents. Take it for what its worth. I have been using Bergers exclusively for the past 2 years or so. I have started to do some long range shooting and they are great for that. For game they have done very well for me. First you need to make sure that the tips are not plugged. Take a pin and insert it in the hollow point of the bullet. Check several and eventually you'll find one that is plugged. That bullet will pencil through. Use those for target practice. Or you can reopen them with a small drill.
The 195 in a 7mm Mag is probably only going to get to about 2800 fps in a 24 inch barrel. At that speed you should not see any splatter on impact on a shoulder shot. Good penetration should be the rule. I have read of people using the 195 hunting w/ 28 noslers at 3100 FPS with good results. I expect your speeds to make it work very well for you.
I took a moose last fall with the 215 hybrid from my .30 Nosler. 110 or so yds . Muzzle velocity of 2995 or so. Hit front edge of shoulder including bone and penetrated into the chest cavity for a quick, humane kill. I use the 180 gr hybrids in my 7 SAUM. Again about 2990 fps. Have had great results on 2 deer and an antelope with that load. Bullets are exiting. I would have no problem using the 180's on any of the animals you mentioned in your first post. On behind the shoulder shots I bet many will exit on those animals. Shoulder shots they probably will not exit. Good luck. Report back.
Bruce
 

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Have used 7mm rem mag for my last three culling trips approx 150 animals ...my girl uses 7x64 with similar numbers culled .....I use rem 150gr corelok which works a treat .......95 percent one shot kills up to hartabeest and blue wildebeest ..... and only one animal lost
 

Nevada Mike

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I have been shooting a 7mm Rem Magnum since the early 1980's. I use 160 grain Nosler Partitions and Bitteroot Bonded Core bullets on elk. These bullets are started at about 3100 fps. I do not think any bull elk shot were more than 200 yards away. Almost always a broadside chest / lung shot and the bullet is found expanded and just under the hide on the opposite side. If the animal is calm when you shoot and you make the shot properly, they will not travel more than 50 to 100 yards.

I have seen elk that were not hit correctly on the first shot run for long distances and require a lot of hits to bring down. I can't think of any reason to use heavier, softer, or more frangible bullets for this work. But everyone should shoot with ammunition that they have confidence in...

The Bitteroot bullets are no longer available, but Northfork and others make similar bullets and I expect that they would work as well. I recently bought some Nosler Accubonds for my .257 Roberts, but have not tried them on game yet.
 

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anyone had experience with hawk bullets?

Hi Bruce,

Although I have not tried them, Hawk bullets are popular here in Alaska among hand loaders.
I’m referring to the ones he makes with the thickest jackets.
They enjoy a good reputation for moose, bear and bison here.
If someday I ever end up with a .404 Jeffery Mauser, I plan to try Hawk’s 300 gainers, at 2600 fps.
That will duplicate the original “plains game” loading from the old, pre-war days.

Cheers,
Paul.
 

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To answer the original question, a 7x57mm/.275 Rigby is a traditional plains game cartridge and the 7mm Rem Mag is that cartridge on steroids.

Now I’ve never been to Africa but I think it’d be a great choice for plains game. And as everyone here is likely to say, use a good heavy for caliber bullet and you’ll be fine.
 

bruce moulds

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thanks paul,
i have read good things about them.
they seem a bit like bitteroot bullets?
bruce.
 

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The caliber is fine, plenty of power. A 195gr bullet in a 7mm Mag however I have some question about. A 160gr or 175gr tough bullet will get the job done. A-Frame, TTSX, North Fork etc is what I mean by that. Even a 175gr Partition will do just fine.

Agree
 

Velo Dog

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thanks paul,
i have read good things about them.
they seem a bit like bitteroot bullets?
bruce.

No worries Bruce,

I don’t believe Hawk bullets are bonded core to jacket.
They are available with more than one jacket thickness.
Of course the thickest one is what’s preferred here, as those reportedly are very tough.
Hawk bullets are not what I’d suggest to someone who prefers smallish bore rifles and light bullets driven at very high velocity.
But in medium to large bore rifles, (.33 and upwards) at old fashioned speeds, the general consensus around here in Alaska is that they are quite excellent.

My impression of Bitteroot bullets is that they are comparable to Norma Oryx bullets.
But having tried neither, I’m only speaking of them from having heard what others have experienced with them.
Both are excellent bonded lead core to jacket, and by reputation are both quite tough bullets.

I know I’m the weirdo who still prefers lead core bullets, with plenty of it showing at the nose.
But that is because I have enjoyed a very fine track record with them.
I know I’m preaching to the choir with you here.
But for those readers just starting out with hand loading in regards to hunting large animals:
The secret is to choose a caliber and weight to fit whatever size animal you may encounter on a planned hunting trip (duh) and also to avoid all this super galactic velocity that some manufacturers claim we can’t live without.

Now that we have core to jacket bonded bullets, I’m more than ever fond of lead core ones.
Therefore, I see no reason to change in my grumpy old age lol.

Cheers,
Paul.
 
Last edited:

Ryan

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No worries Bruce,

I don’t believe Hawk bullets are bonded core to jacket.
They are available with more than one jacket thickness.
Of course the thickest one is what’s preferred here, as those reportedly are very tough.
Hawk bullets are not what I’d suggest to someone who prefers smallish bore rifles and light bullets driven at very high velocity.
But in medium to large bore rifles, (.33 and upwards) at old fashioned speeds, the general consensus around here in Alaska is that they are quite excellent.

My impression of Bitteroot bullets is that they are comparable to Norma Oryx bullets.
But having tried neither, I’m only speaking of them from having heard what others have experienced with them.
Both are excellent bonded lead core to jacket, and by reputation are both quite tough bullets.

I know I’m the weirdo who still prefers lead core bullets, with plenty of it showing at the nose.
But that is because I have enjoyed a very fine track record with them.
I know I’m preaching to the choir with you here.
But for those readers just starting out with hand loading in regards to hunting large animals:
The secret is to choose a caliber and weight to fit whatever size animal you may encounter on a planned hunting trip (duh) and also to avoid all this super galactic velocity that some manufacturers claim we can’t live without.

Now that we have core to jacket bonded bullets, I’m more than ever fond of lead core ones.
Therefore, I see no reason to change in my grumpy old age lol.

Cheers,
Paul.
Huh, I've been in Alaska for a while and never heard of them. But they have me intrigued for my 375 Ruger if I use it for plains game.
 

Velo Dog

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Huh, I've been in Alaska for a while and never heard of them. But they have me intrigued for my 375 Ruger if I use it for plains game.

Hi Ryan,

Just bash around with old shriveled up buzzards like myself and you’ll hear of many wonders, including Hawk bullets - lol.

That said, my personal #1 recommendation for a premium / super tough soft nose bullet, to hand load or to buy in live factory ammunition either one is, the Swift A-Frame.

Cheers,
Paul.
 

ChrisG

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Berger bullets in action and postmortem examination:
https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Wound+Database/7mm+-+Berger+VLD.html

7mm Rem Mag - go to the bottom of the page for VLD bullets review:
https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/7mm+Remington+Magnum.html
He's shooting goats and caribou in this study, they are hardly large, heavy animals. I have seen them used on animals up to 7-800 lbs and apparently they work when the shot angle is correct...BUT....

There really is nothing "magical" about the berger VLDs or hunting VLDs or any such thing... I have shot them in several rifles and have found them to be accurate... however, they are essentially just a match bullet with a majority of the weight in the rear. As such, sure they go in a bit then flip end for end and the stress at high speed causes them to fragment violently. Section one and you will not find any enchantments inside. Sierra matchkings do the same thing when they are long enough to just stabilize and I don't see people touting them as the new space age bullet. The reason Bergers do it more readily isn't because of some magic construction, but because their geometry makes them more prone to flip on impact. They are as long as Berger can make them for a given weight. It works well as long as you don't hit heavy bone. I am positive that they will bust bone when using a heavy enough projectile, but the damage is then localized on that side and chances of a good killing shot are decreased. I know people say they go for the lung shot but what if you mess that up and your bullet goes 4 inches left or right and slams into a 4 or 5 inch thick leg bone? I like to assume that I am human and that I can make mistakes, so I stack the odds in my favor and use a controlled expanding bullet. Sure, Nosler Accubonds don't penetrate a magical distance and then magically blow up in the vitals (how does a Berger know where the vitals are anyway?) like some sort of GBU-15 bunker buster. But, controlled expansion bullets are predictable. That is what I like about them. They do exactly what they are designed to do regardless of where they hit the animal, and at what angle. I would love to see a Berger penetrate an Elk's greenery filled stomach and punch on through to the vitals, then break the opposite shoulder to anchor the animal. I notice that in their promo videos all the animals they shoot are always standing broadside or very close to it. I like my bullets to perform at all angles and through all mediums. Not just when the animal is broadside.
 

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