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

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Doc Lightning, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @billc do tell. I've not used a-frames in small bores. It may be the right solution for the OP here. I know they make the most perfect mushrooms in .375s. Have you tried heavy for caliber a-frames in 7mm or .30 cal? Are they better than a partition?
     

  2. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yes I have used 200 grain a-frames out of my 300 win mag was my go to bullet for that gun. Still use them a bunch but have also started to use 180 ttsx for my 300 win mag. The a frames have always shot better for me then nolsers. The partition is the only bullet my 300 does not like for some reason.

    I use a 120 grain a-frame for the weatherby and it has done well. I would say the a frame might be the best bullet for that 7-08 if you want a heavier bullet.

    I do agree the a frames just make a perfect mushroom and I have only ever heard of one failure with them.
     

  3. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Which bullet is bigger? A 200gr .30 lead a-frame, or a 180gr .30 cal copper Barnes? I assume that the copper is lighter and therefore 180 is the heaviest Barnes a .30 cal can accommodate?
     

  4. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    To be honest I had someone else reload them so not sure which was bigger. I am just starting to reload now and looked at a 100 ttsx and 100 a frame and they are almost the same size.
     

  5. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I had to look it up after you mentioned the 180gr size of the Barnes. Lead is 26% heavier by volume than pure copper. So if a Barnes was pure copper, a 180gr is taking up the volume of a 227.5gr lead bullet. Hence, that's why heavier bullets can't be made as they would not stabilize well in guns made to max out at roughly 220gr lead. Thus, it makes sense that expansion being the same for sake of assumption, a 180gr Barnes should expand like a 220gr swift as their volumes are similar.

    Question would be: does a projectile of greater mass provide greater energy transfer than one at lighter mass but greater velocity? Or is it a wash between the 180gr Barnes and a 220gr soft pointjacketed lead core. (Ignoring bullet technology for purpose of equation)

    Ballisticians? Thoughts?
     
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  6. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

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    No. Not handloading at this time, though one can buy handloads from Superior Ammo, but a bit
    expensive.
     

  7. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    @rookhawk, my thoughts are you can't answer that question without bringing up the differences in bullet technology. Neutral ground would be a 30 caliber 220 grain cup and core vs. 180 grain cup and core. Tough call. Up here in Alaska the 30-06 Remington Core-Lokt 220's are popular for moose, and so are the 180's by all kinds of manufacturers. I've never heard or either failing to do the job or one doing it better really. Personal choice IMO.
    But when it comes to copper and lead vs monometal it's apples vs oranges. Copper and lead fragment and mushroom differently and often to a more extreme extent than monometal. A Nosler Partition is known to lose 30% or so with a large mushroomed nose that may break away, a bonded bullet having less weight loss but possibly a larger mushroom dependng on design. On the other hand a Barnes TTSX or Hornady GMX may lose none to maybe 10% and only the front will ever mushroom. Thus Barnes recommends you drop one, sometimes two sizes down in weight with the same lethality. With Barnes/monometal logic I went from the 180 Nosler Partition for my 30-06 to the 168 grain Barnes and it has worked splendidly in Namibia and Alaska. On that same thought the 7mm 175 grain Partition or 160 Bonded many recommend can safely be dropped to 150 or 140 grain Barnes TTSX or Hornady GMX with the same effectiveness.
     

  8. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    In my 18" barreled, suppressed 7 08 I use 110gr TTSX. They are doing about 3000 fps. I have only shot one red deer so far. 150yds quartering away. The projectile entered behind the right leg and exited between the left leg and throat. Deer ran about 50-100 yds, it was already alerted as we had shot its 2 mates.
    I would be happy using that combination on anything up to kudu inside 200 yds, impala size inside 300yds.
     

  9. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I've posted this link before on another thread, but it's relevant to this thread as well. The article details many of the bullets discussed here, but for a 300 win mag.

    http://www.rifleshootermag.com/ammo/ballistics-test-best-300-win-mag-loads-market/

    One bullet in this article that looks really good and hasn't been mentioned is the Swift Scirocco II. Anyone got any firsthand experience with it? I've looked at it, but it's pretty expensive for a bullet that is similar to the Hornady SST.
     
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  10. wipartimer

    wipartimer AH Veteran

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    Double tap ammo is still advertising factory loaded 140grain Barnes TTSX. It's not cheap, but this is the ammo my daughter was planning to use on plains game when we go to hunt with KMG this June. We have no experience on game with it yet, but her Savage .7mm-08 shoots it great.
    She has since gotten a .30-06 that she will use instead. She can consistently hit the end of a soda can at 200 yards with Barnes vortex factory 180 gr TTSX.
    I had told her that the .7mm-08 would do just fine and I personally love that rifle, but I never did learn to change a teenage girl's mind once it was set.
     

  11. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    I'm a physician not a physicist or electrical engineer, so I don't know what "energy transfer" from a bullet does to kill things. What I do know is that pitting holes in important parts tends to kill things. The bigger the hole and the more important the part, the faster they die.

    I've never understood the "wasted energy" idea that says it is better if a bullet just barely makes it out of an animal than if it rockets on through and "expends energy" on the hillside. I fully understand that for a bullet of given weight and velocity, the one that barely penetrates must have expanded more (and therefore likely does more damage) than the one that flies on through. But it is the optimal expansion and adequate penetration that makes it better, not the lack of wasted energy. Sure, it is more efficient and easier on the shoulder if the bullet barely makes it through, but as long as the bullet holds together a little extra penetration isn't going to make it work any worse.

    The problem with the "wasted energy/barely make it through" theory is that it ignores variables of animal size and/or shot angle. Barely coming out the other side on a perfect broadside shot truly is the optimal expansion in that given situation, but it might well mean not reaching the vitals on a quartering shot or if a leg bone is hit. Much like putting in golf, one should always miss long rather than short.

    For my money, give me a bullet that penetrates deeply in a straight line and makes an adequate sized hole while doing so. I'll aim it so that it hits something important and I don't really care if it busts up a rock behind the animal.
     
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  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If you've ever seen video of or participated in a prairie dog hunt, you've likely seen the result of kinetic energy transfer from a bullet. Those prairie dogs tend to blow up. The bullet by virtue of being in motion has kinetic energy. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed per the Law of Conservation of Energy.

    If the bullet stops or at least slows down, that kinetic energy loss in the bullet comes at a gain of energy to something else. In the case of the prairie dog I mention, that energy transfer causes things to move such as any fluids. Those fluids come under a rapid pressure increase and the container of that fluid can only take so much of that before it ruptures and perhaps violently so.

    I'm sure you've seen plenty of blood shot meat, particularly on the front shoulder of the side of the animal that took the hit. That is another example of kinetic energy transfer and the damage it does to the animal. The same can happen to other more vital parts of the animal. In "The Perfect Shot", Kevin Robertson even discusses how the rise in blood pressure can cause blood vessels serving the brain to be damaged.

    No one can argue however with you that the bigger a hole in the vitals, the better. I also believe that energy transfer or the shock from a bullet becomes less and less important than a big hole in the vitals the larger the animal gets.
     
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  13. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

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    If I recall right, the formula for kinetic energy is one-half mass times velocity squared. The formula says that increasing velocity has a greater effect on kinetic energy than increasing mass.

    But real-life reports regarding difference in light, high-velocity bullets and slower, heavier bullets do not always give the results you'd expect from the formula. As noted here by others, obviously other factors than kinetic energy are important.
     

  14. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

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    To fill out the story, I took a kudu, gemsbok, and impala with the 7mm-08 Remington and 140 grain Nosler Accubond bullets. On the kudu the bullet came out just under the hide on the opposite side of a double lung shot. No animal moved very far after being shot. Shot placement helped a lot.
    Thanks for all the opinions. I tried the Barnes 140 gr TTSX from Double Tap but with a less expensive case jamming was a problem. Never had time to try
    their better cases before trip. Doc Lightning
     

  15. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Good to hear the combo worked well for you, accubonds are great bullets.
     

  16. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

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    My 7-08 worked just fine in South Africa on Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala, with 140 gr Accubonds. A few years ago I took a very nice elk in Colorado with my Remington .30-06 using 168 gr Barnes TTSX. The latter rifle just likes the 165 gr range bullets, 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. My recoil tolerance seems to
    relate inversely to my age. Doc Lightning
     

  17. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Were it me, I would use the 140 Barnes Triple Shock. We use that bullet in my sons .284 at just over 3K fps and its a dynamite load on pg. We use Win 760 in the load.
     

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