Best bullets for 7mm-08 hunting African plains game?

IvW

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From the options you give below would be my choice.

7mm-08 Remington


BRAND: Trophy Grade Ammunition | BULLET STYLE: AccuBond
PART #: 60042 | COUNT: 20 | MSRP: $44.00
BULLET WEIGHT: 140 | BBL TWIST RQMT: 1-9.5"
FOR USE: Deer/Elk Sized Game | LEAD-FREE: N
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yards / Muzzle Velocity(FPS) Energy(FT-LBS) Drop In Inches(100YD) Zero Drop In Inches(200YD) Zero
MUZ: 2,825 2480 -1.5 -1.5
100: 2636 2159 0 1.8
200: 2454 1872 -3.5 0
300: 2280 1616 -12.8 -7.5

The speed is too high and the bullet weight/SD too low for my liking. If you want to stick with Nosler and you can get somebody to handload for you, then the 160 grain Accubond is a much better option.
The other good(better) option is the 156 Norma Oryx mentioned above.

What you want to try and do is duplicate 7 x 57 mm Mauser ballistics if you can. You do not need light bullets at high speed but rather heavy for caliber bullets and sensible velocity. This will give you optimum bullet performance, better bullet penetration and better killing ability. Velodog is on the right track with 175 Grain bullets if they will work in your rifle. This is the bullet weight range that made the 7 x 57 Mauser such an effective cartridge on the biggest African animals and what makes it kill way beyond it's ballistic paper statistics, not high speed and lighter bullets.

Irrespective of how good the 7 x 57 mm Mauser(or 7-08mm) are, neither should be recommended or used by first time hunter to Africa on Eland. It is not a responsible and ethical thing to do, rather borrow an appropriate caliber rifle from your PH if you decide to shoot a Eland bull.

Good luck and good hunting.
 

rookhawk

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@IvW is right about the eland comments.

Killing with perfect shots, even if assumed as a given (it's not), is half the battle.

The reason a 175gr partition out of a 7x57 is so loved (hence I recommended to your 7-08) is that it kills quickly. An animal hit with a small bullet can run 200-300 yards or more. The challenges and time for recovery can ruin your trip and the animal suffers a slower death.

The 175gr bullet gives brisk, effective kills on kudu, zebra, and all the smaller game. Could I use it on an Eland? Sure. Will it kill with proper placement? Sure. Will that eland wander far before it beds down and dies from a well placed shot? Probably.

For Eland and Leopard, I'm using a .318 Westley on my upcoming hunt. The quarry I pursue this time means my beloved 7mm stays home for the first time in my Hunting career.

If I was to shoot 120 and 140 grain bullets from my 7mm it is now inferior to a 160gr bullet from a 6.5mm. It is also inferior to many 270 Winchester loads. I think you're heading in the wrong direction. I'd rather hear you trying to flatten the arch of a 300 H&H by downloading with small weight bullets to shoot smaller game. To use a small caliber at slow speeds like you will be doing means you need all the bullet you can muster. I'm unaware of a more damaging bullet for your speed and pressure than a 175gr partition. I'm not rejecting the other fine bullets mentioned, they are good. They are just less good for killing big things at modest distances than my suggestion.
 

IvW

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@IvW is right about the eland comments.

Killing with perfect shots, even if assumed as a given (it's not), is half the battle.

The reason a 175gr partition out of a 7x57 is so loved (hence I recommended to your 7-08) is that it kills quickly. An animal hit with a small bullet can run 200-300 yards or more. The challenges and time for recovery can ruin your trip and the animal suffers a slower death.

The 175gr bullet gives brisk, effective kills on kudu, zebra, and all the smaller game. Could I use it on an Eland? Sure. Will it kill with proper placement? Sure. Will that eland wander far before it beds down and dies from a well placed shot? Probably.

For Eland and Leopard, I'm using a .318 Westley on my upcoming hunt. The quarry I pursue this time means my beloved 7mm stays home for the first time in my Hunting career.

If I was to shoot 120 and 140 grain bullets from my 7mm it is now inferior to a 160gr bullet from a 6.5mm. It is also inferior to many 270 Winchester loads. I think you're heading in the wrong direction. I'd rather hear you trying to flatten the arch of a 300 H&H by downloading with small weight bullets to shoot smaller game. To use a small caliber at slow speeds like you will be doing means you need all the bullet you can muster. I'm unaware of a more damaging bullet for your speed and pressure than a 175gr partition. I'm not rejecting the other fine bullets mentioned, they are good. They are just less good for killing big things at modest distances than my suggestion.

Exactly.

Rookhawk has given you the best advice regarding.
 

billc

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yes and ever animal my little 100 grain ttsx hit never ask why it died and most from kudu to zebra plus many more never took a step. Many bullets can kill quick and clean and it is all about were it hits not if it is 100 or 170. I have had more animals run farther when hit with my 300 win mag with 180 or 200 grain bullet then my 257 and 100 grain. Some guns kill with speed and shock others with heavier bullets.

So all advice is just that advice to use. None is 100% the only way like some like to think .What each person likes is no better then the other if it has all worked for someone.

I try to judge by what works best for the gun ,caliber and what I want to hunt at the time. 170 grain bullet my be great for eland, kudu at a 100 yds but not be the best choice for taking springbuck or oryx at 250 to 300 yds. Not that the 170 grain would not still kill it dead as dead can be but bullet drop on that 170 maybe more then most guy would like.

Pick a bullet that has been known to work and that when you squeeze that trigger you have no doubt it will get the job done. We all have a favorites as you can see and you will to once you take some animals down. Enjoy finding out what your gun likes the best and some range time. Then go enjoy that trip because anything you pick from your list or what has been recommend to you here will get the job done.
 

ShortMag

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@IvW
If I was to shoot 120 and 140 grain bullets from my 7mm it is now inferior to a 160gr bullet from a 6.5mm. It is also inferior to many 270 Winchester loads. I think you're heading in the wrong direction. I'd rather hear you trying to flatten the arch of a 300 H&H by downloading with small weight bullets to shoot smaller game. To use a small caliber at slow speeds like you will be doing means you need all the bullet you can muster. I'm unaware of a more damaging bullet for your speed and pressure than a 175gr partition. I'm not rejecting the other fine bullets mentioned, they are good. They are just less good for killing big things at modest distances than my suggestion.

I'm sorry but this is not completely accurate unless you restrict the conversation solely to comparisons between conventional bullets. The main concerns for killing effectively is to reliably penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals, do as much damage as possible and then preferably exit. There are two opposite ways to achieve this, a very heavy soft/conventional bullet or simply use a tougher bullet. For me I would rather have a tough bullet that in the worst case scenario will perform at least as well as a heavier partition and in the best case will perform far better. The mistake people make is treating bullets such as the TTSX like conventional bullets, ie. they think you need to use a heavier bullet for penetration which then unnecessarily limits expansion. The truth is they will penetrate regardless and perform even better when weight is downsized a bit. The bullet choice should enhance/maximize the cartridge not limit it. The idea that a 120 gr. TTSX is inferior to a 160 gr. conventional 6.5 mm bullet or heavyweight conventional bullet in a .270 is pure nonsense.
 

ShortMag

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yes and ever animal my little 100 grain ttsx hit never ask why it died and most from kudu to zebra plus many more never took a step. Many bullets can kill quick and clean and it is all about were it hits not if it is 100 or 170. I have had more animals run farther when hit with my 300 win mag with 180 or 200 grain bullet then my 257 and 100 grain. Some guns kill with speed and shock others with heavier bullets.

So all advice is just that advice to use. None is 100% the only way like some like to think .What each person likes is no better then the other if it has all worked for someone.

I try to judge by what works best for the gun ,caliber and what I want to hunt at the time. 170 grain bullet my be great for eland, kudu at a 100 yds but not be the best choice for taking springbuck or oryx at 250 to 300 yds. Not that the 170 grain would not still kill it dead as dead can be but bullet drop on that 170 maybe more then most guy would like.

Pick a bullet that has been known to work and that when you squeeze that trigger you have no doubt it will get the job done. We all have a favorites as you can see and you will to once you take some animals down. Enjoy finding out what your gun likes the best and some range time. Then go enjoy that trip because anything you pick from your list or what has been recommend to you here will get the job done.

Exactly! It isn't the 1960's or 70's anymore, you don't absolutely have to use very heavy bullets, large calibers, or both to get the job done on plains game anymore.
 

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All of this is why I now prefer the peregrine bullets. They combine the best of most bullet types with an added benefit of pneumatic aid to expansion. I shoot the 230gr out of my .375 H&H and probably won't use anything else on any kind of game
 

IvW

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To be quite honest I doubt that a 170 grain or up bullet weight would work in a 7-08 due to barrel twist rate. The heaviest bullet that would probably work is the 160 Grain.

Unfortunately, Doc Lightning does not re-load.

If he could load a 160 grain Accubond he should be able to get 2650 Fps. Zero'd at 200 yrds the drop will only be about 8 inches at 300 yards. That is more than enough ballistics you would need. This loading even at lower velocity will kill all he has mentioned with authority.

Pitty Barnes do not offer the 140 grain anymore as that is another deep penetrating bullet.

Personally I would not recommend the 120 Grain bullet, irrespective of make, at 3000 Fps for tough game like Oryx and Zebra. If you get it right, sure it's gonna work.

I do not like light for caliber bullets at high velocity. Yes maybe I am old fashioned, but I have used a 7 x 57 mm for many years with 170-175 grain bullets @ 2400 Fps and have never found it wanting.

Luckily we all have our own opinions and likes and dislikes, and what works for one does not always work for the other but that makes life interesting.

In the end if you are competent and comfortable with your rifle cartridge combination and you can put the bullet where it needs to go, it will get the job done.

I might have to look into this 120 grain TTSX in my 7 x 57mm for a long range Springbuck load, who knows I might be surprised.
 

rookhawk

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Honestly, in the apparent disagreements here I actually see alignment, not contention.

Two things kill:

Slow bullets, heavy for caliber

Small bullets of proper construction at high speed

And in between those two is the zone that you must avoid.


A 257 weatherby loaded slow would be a wounding nightmare. A 6.5x55 swede loaded very hot at 2900+ fps is demostrably less accurate and the bullets become erratic.

A 7-08 is just another 7x57. Such rules apply. It's not a 7 weatherby, it's method of killing is slow expansion and hang time, not hydrostatic shock and arterial sheer.

Just pick a strategy of the two and load for it. Don't forget, heavy for caliber usually makes a bigger hole as expansion width grows as volume is increased.
 

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I'm with you Rookhawk!

upload_2017-3-14_19-31-31.png
 

rookhawk

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Would the Barnes 150gr 7mm make all parties at this summit happy? I wish it was bigger but would most assuredly do more damage than the 120gr of same at 7-08 pressure/velocities?

Not yet a Barnes user. I'll let a Barnes evangelist comment on their heavier bullets.
 

IvW

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Would the Barnes 150gr 7mm make all parties at this summit happy? I wish it was bigger but would most assuredly do more damage than the 120gr of same at 7-08 pressure/velocities?

Not yet a Barnes user. I'll let a Barnes evangelist comment on their heavier bullets.

Strange, I have just been looking at that bullet on the website!!

Also awaiting comments. At 2700 fps it might just be a dandy long range number.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Would the Barnes 150gr 7mm make all parties at this summit happy? I wish it was bigger but would most assuredly do more damage than the 120gr of same at 7-08 pressure/velocities?

Not yet a Barnes user. I'll let a Barnes evangelist comment on their heavier bullets.

In 2015 I took my younger son to RSA. He was using a M70 in 7x57. I developed a load with 140gr North Fork Bonded Cores. Muzzle velocity per my chrono was 2800fps.

Most impressive performance was on a zebra stallion at 125 yards. Frontal quartering shot. Bullet entered just to the inside of the zebra's left shoulder and came to rest at the back of the right shoulder just under the skin. The bullet weighs in excess of 135gr as I recall. The bullet passed through not only that portion of the shoulder, but hit the left lung, passed over the top of the heart and then thru the right lung. The stallion fell to the shot and would likely never have got up. But the Jack Russel did his job and immediately ran to the zebra which prompted him to get up and run all of about 20 yards where he collapsed.

Zebra was taken whole back to camp. At the skinning shed when the animal was opened the heart just rolled out, completely severed from any connections. I was amazed upon seeing that the zebra was able to get up the one time he did.

Other animals taken with the little 7 and this not exactly heavy for caliber bullet included Common Reedbuck, Nyala and Bushbuck. I've also used the North Forks as follows: 165gr/.308W, 165gr/.30-06, 200gr/.300WM and 250gr/.375H&H. Only the 200gr/.300WM load would I consider as being a heavy load. It was used to down an Eland. Kill shot was broadside and bullet was found underneath the skin on the offside. I have not much doubt a 180gr version would have done the same. The 165gr/.308W was also used to take an eland by my son. 2600fprs at the muzzle, likely 2200fps when it hit the eland in the shoulder. The animal only moved a few paces and stood. I have no doubt that first shot was a kill shot and the bull would've eventually layed down and died. Ethics called for moving in and finishing as quickly as possible which is what was done. But I'm certain this was the only reason the bull moved on. As is he only made it a couple hundred yards with a line of blood flowing down his left shoulder.

Sectional density still has it's place IMO when discussing terminal ballistics and I don't dismiss it. But I think hunters make the mistake of assuming this is a static parameter. It isn't, it is quite dynamic. It changes as soon as the bullet impacts the animal and continues to change virtually until the bullet stops. Specifically it's decreasing as the bullet expands. The higher weight retaining bullets mitigate this effect by retaining their weight. More frangible bullets make it worse by not only expanding but also by shedding mass.

The Nosler Partition is designed to lose that frontal portion which serves actually to mitigate the falling sectional density from what I've seen. While the loss of the weight would decrease sectional density, the loss of the mushroom or front partition serves to decrease the diameter of the bullet nearly back to caliber.

In comparing the North Fork Bonded Cores and/or A-Frames to a Partition, I think the former are even better bullet than the Partition due to the penetration of the fully mushroomed bullet. And you can obtain this using bullets that are lighter than the Partitions. Thus flatter ballistics and reduced recoil to obtain the same or even better performance.

Now before anyone thinks I'm knocking on the NP, I'm not. That bullet was a major step forward some 50 plus years ago, and only in recent years has it been improved upon.
 

woods1126

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Back in 15 my friend's wife joined us on an Eastern Cape, Plains game hunt. She killed a Kudu, Blesbok, and a Springbok with all one shot kills with her 7mm-08 and 140 gr. Nosler Partitions. Kevin
 

rodney russell

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my son used a 7mm-08 to kill his eland. 200 yards one shot through the boiler room fell after 45 to 50 yards tops. i used a 300 win mag on a water buck
almost same shot and he ran close to 100 yards. bullets today are just better and good shot placement is still the most important thing. the best advise anyone has ever given
me was to take the gun you shoot the best.
 

billc

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Not sure how guys judge bullets with out ever shooting one. I have taken game and shot nolser part. ,accubond ,swift a frames, trophy bonded bear claws and barnes ttsx. A few more maybe that were just junk with no name. I can say with out a doubt I have seen a smaller grain barnes work better then them all. I love swift a frames but can even say the barnes maybe better.

I am not saying what I use is better just because I use them. I based what I say on what I have seen with my own eyes. I use to be use the heaviest bullet you could find for the caliber but changed after seeing first hand how the newer bullet work and tend to shot better also.

I have not shot North fork, norma or some of the other brands talked about. So I will not say if they work good or tell anyone they are better or worse then barnes
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Not sure how guys judge bullets with out ever shooting one. I have taken game and shot nolser part. ,accubond ,swift a frames, trophy bonded bear claws and barnes ttsx. A few more maybe that were just junk with no name. I can say with out a doubt I have seen a smaller grain barnes work better then them all. I love swift a frames but can even say the barnes maybe better.

I am not saying what I use is better just because I use them. I based what I say on what I have seen with my own eyes. I use to be use the heaviest bullet you could find for the caliber but changed after seeing first hand how the newer bullet work and tend to shot better also.

I have not shot North fork, norma or some of the other brands talked about. So I will not say if they work good or tell anyone they are better or worse then barnes

I've always considered learning from the experience of others to be a good thing. You certainly have to be careful how much weight you give to anyone's opinion, but still wise to learn from others.

I've never hunted with A-Frames but I would do so with confidence if needed to based on what I've learned from others. Same reason I won't hunt with a DGX.
 

billc

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I've always considered learning from the experience of others to be a good thing. You certainly have to be careful how much weight you give to anyone's opinion, but still wise to learn from others.

I've never hunted with A-Frames but I would do so with confidence if needed to based on what I've learned from others. Same reason I won't hunt with a DGX.


Yes and now that I will start reloading you will have me trying some of the north fork to. Thanks I am not confused enough. LOL
 

rookhawk

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@billc the question always is more than just bullet type, it's velocity of the cartridge. The right bullet type for a weatherby is usually not the right bullet for a 7x57 or a 6.5x55, for example. We want a bullet that depletes all its energy on the back shoulder under the skin, or just breaks through the animal for a better blood trail.

What bullet does that at what velocity, under what distance, into what animal is all variable.

That's why I would not reject the quality of any of the bullets suggested, but only question the application to a given situation.

I have had good luck and am very impressed with swift a-frame in .375 300gr at 2400fps into DG. I'm impressed with nosler partition .284 175gr at 2435fps into plains game and all of north America's bounty.

I do not know if the either are appropriate if the opposite bullet tech was used. I certainly don't know if either would be optimal in a super-fast rifle application above 3000fps. I haven't tried it. Heck, I'm only 18 months into using a-frames as "new" technology! I've used accubonds and ballistic tips and silver tips and SSTs and weldcores and a host of others. I don't typically pick "what the gun shoots best" as the cliche goes, I pick what expands and makes the biggest wound channel while exhausting its energy payload into the animal.

I don't think anyone is rejecting a brand of bullet here, only debating the merits of all the choices and weights as it pertains to the cartridge, velocity and application at hand.

It's a friendly "in house" debate, no disdain for other choices intended.
 

billc

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I get we are just talking in house and no harm is meant.

Just so you understand I used the bullet in other guns not just the weatherby. Use it in my 300 win mag,270 win, and 7mm to. I guess sometime the point we try and make come across as to hard core. Trust me I was not looking for a bullet to replace my favorite swift a frames but they slowly are with the results I have been getting,
 

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