The Really Ideal AR Rifle Caliber: 7mm-08 Remington

AR-10 rifle 7mm-08

JWT for TTAG

Your attention, please: 7mm-08 Remington is the ideal AR caliber. There are some other suggested chamberings that I’ve covered, but after thinking about it…I was wrong. This is it.

Why? Because 7mm-08 can be used for every single thing you use a rifle for. Every. Single. Thing.

To date, very few AR-platform rifles are offered in this chambering, which – to my mind – is strange. Of all the AR rifle calibers that are around, this one ticks so many boxes that it’s mystifying why more people haven’t cottoned to it. Even Jeff Cooper went so far as to say a Scout Rifle should be offered in it as well as .308 Winchester.

Ryan D. Larson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

7mm-08 Remington has mild recoil, generous support in the ammunition industry, is known to be very accurate even out to longer ranges and is a proven hunting cartridge in North America, Africa and elsewhere, for any game short of the great bears or other dangerous game. You get all the benefits of .308, and less kick.

What isn’t to like?

The only real downsides are that it’s more expensive to shoot than .223, and there isn’t the same surfeit of personal defense loads available for it. There definitely IS frangible and fragmenting ammunition out there in 7mm-08, so could you use it as a home defense rifle? You betcha!

7mm-08 FHP by Underwood Ammo. Credit: underwoodammo.com

For those who haven’t heard of it, 7mm-08 Remington began life as a wildcat load, which Remington eventually thought they’d legitimize. The recipe isn’t complicated, as it’s a .308 Winchester necked down to accept a 7mm (.284 caliber) projectile. Basically just like .280 Remington (necked-down .30-06) and the 7mm Remington Magnum, a necked-down .300 H&H Magnum. In the broad strokes, it’s a modernized 7x57mm Mauser, as ballistics are nearly identical.

The case length is just long enough to accommodate the full breadth of 7mm projectiles, from varmint loads up to the 175-grain pills, and (naturally) fits in any short-action platform. Obviously, that includes the AR-10 platform.

Since it’s a lighter charge than 7mm Remington Magnum, it’s easier on the shoulder as a result. According to the Chuck Hawks recoil table, a 7.5-lb rifle firing a 150-grain projectile at 2750 feet per second (about what many loadings are like in the real world) will generate 13.9 ft-lbs of recoil.

While that’s a lot compared to, say, .223, it’s still only ¾ of the recoil force generated by a 7mm Remington Magnum or .30-06.

Granted, some people are already saying, “But dude…6.5 Creedmoor.” For the most part, I agree. 6.5mm Creedmoor is astoundingly accurate and very easy on the shooter. The only edge 7mm-08 has is being able to seat heavier-weight projectiles.

Plenty of meat is in freezers right now thanks to 6.5mm Creedmoor, so how much does that matter?

I don’t know that it does so long as placement is good. However, some folks DO prefer the greater sectional density and grain weight that 7mm projectiles offer, especially for Western hunting. Across a 50-yard bean field or through 40 yards of brush, it doesn’t matter too much, but some people would rather a 160-grain or 175-grain bullet arrive after 400 yards of flight time instead of a 130-grain bullet. For such folks, 7mm-08 Remington is ideal.

This much you can debate for yourselves. It’s just that in an on-paper sense, 7mm-08 has the edge in that regard, and some people feel it’s important.

Varmints to moose, it does it all. Granted, fewer people hunt these days, so what about the shooting sports where you compete against other humans?

According to a 2014 survey NRA High Power Rifle shooters on the Wayback Machine, the 7mm-08 was the third-most popular caliber, in fact ahead of .308. Therefore, it will slam silhouettes all day long.

So, it’s a very capable long-range target shooting caliber, as well as a very capable hunting caliber. It’s widely available, and – since it uses 7mm projectiles – handloaders can go positively hog wild. The moderate recoil makes it easier on the shooter than .308, and the hunter who cares to can load light for varmints or coyotes, medium for pronghorn, whitetail or hogs, and heavy for elk, moose, caribou or black bear.

As a result, a 7mm-08 AR can be used for darn near everything you can think of short of ultra long-range shooting, and truly big critters. Those who want more lead for game-getting can get it. Those who want easier recoil for target shooting compared to .308 get that, too.

But what do you think? Way off base here? Spot on? Are you suffering from the delusion that “boneless chicken wings” are anything but rebranded chicken nuggets so childish adults can feel better about themselves? Sound off in the comments!

comments

  1. avatar Paul says:

    Honestly if .308 win and .300 win mag weren’t so prolific in the states, I’d probably trade them in for a 7mm-08 AR10 and a 7mm Rem Mag bolt gun. Both 7’s are exceptionally good cartridges.

    1. avatar arc says:

      .308 is my go-to simply because in CW2, 5.56 and .308 are available. 300WinMag is one I want, but parts and ammo are less common. This 7-08 or whatever it is, I’ve never heard of it until now, that tells me if I got one, no one would have parts or ammo for it.

      I don’t need “out there” availability, I need two neighbors down availability.

      1. avatar Cletus says:

        The only part that is different from a .308 is the barrel. You are right about ammo availability though. Even though factory ammo is available in large retailers like Cabela’s or Bass Pro, I would probably not recommend it unless you reload.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Nice discussion, but .300 BLK is still the perfect CQB defense AR caliber for me.

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          BLASPHEMY!!! When 6.5 CM becomes dictator of the world, your treachery will be repaid in full! 6.5 CM recoils like a .22, hits like a .50BMG, weighs less than 10 moving boxes, and is capable of shooting over 30 bullet clips in less than a second! 6.5 CM is the ideal AR15 round, not .300 BO!!! 6.5CM is the ideal anything for everything! Its the ideal husband for my wife and the ideal room temperature for man made climate change!

        3. avatar Ozzallos says:

          I got out of the 300blk business.

          From a logistical standpoint it makes sense. From a personal standpoint… Meh. I have issues. First, I kept find myself wanting to just pick up a gun and shoot it, not reassemble it, play with a brace, etc. Not that those were back breaking ordeals, just inconveniences I found I got tired of dealing with. Second… Well, its subsonic performance on body armor is sub-par. Super fixes that, but then you might as well just run a 5.56 short barrel flamethrower and skip the cost of 300blk ammunition.

          My criteria aren’t yours. Don’t get offended. I just decided to build a 45acp bullpup instead. Cost of ammo is the same and the soft body armor performance is better. If I want supersonic, I’ll just pick up my 5.56 rifle. Done.

      2. avatar Blue says:

        You must not be too fluent in rifle rounds if you haven’t heard of 7mm-08. Every popular bolt action made by Ruger, Remington, Winchester etc. has come chambered in it for decades.

        1. avatar arc says:

          Perhaps you are referring to 6mm, 7mm Remington and its magnum flavor as being somewhat common? 7mm-08 is an oddity and I’ve never met anyone that uses it, that tells me I would would never be able to get ammo for it without having reloading equipment.

        2. avatar Denton says:

          we’ve had a model 7 in it for neigh on 2 decades. much better deer and hog killer than .243.

  2. avatar James Wilson says:

    7mm-08 will not fit into an AR-15.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      No but it will in a AR 10 and do a dandy job on most things asked of it,accurately I might add.
      I would chose a AR 10 in 7mm08 over the AR 10 in 308/7.62 x 51.

      1. avatar Sean M Kinter says:

        Um, actually if I’m not mistaken Wilson Combat does offer a 7 mm 08 and it’s about 4 grand!

    2. avatar Squiggy81 says:

      Yeah. Got all excited for this cartridge I’d heard of but wasn’t familiar with and then upon googling, I find out it’s an AR-10 size platform. I feel duped.

    3. avatar Rad Man says:

      Me too. I would have sold my Grendels (greatest AR15 cartridge ever) and gone to the 7-08 if it could fit!

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        What do you think of the Grendel in general? I’ve thought of picking one up. I know it won’t do what the 7-08,.308, .270, or 6.5CM can, but it seems like a good step up from the 5.56 or 7.62×39.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          123 grain hpbt with a .510 BC traveling at 2800 fps. I’m terms of KE it’s a formidable round even out to 600 yards – in a lightweight AR15 form factor. Maybe the most versatile gun/ammo combination available, without the weight penalty of an AR10. At almost a buck a round for brass cased ammo it’s not cheap, but high performance never is. Build an upper with the proper bolt and barrel, and drop it on any lower. Magazines are the same size as conventional 556s so your existing web gear will work. Because of the fatter case and larger bullet, mag capacity is 25.

    4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      James, go back and look at the title of the article. He said, “AR” not AR-15. I’m sure he meant AR-10. That said, I believe this is a poor idea. First, let’s address the author’s comment about Col. Cooper’s recommendation for 7-08 for the scout rifle concept. Cooper offered the 7-08 as an alternative caliber in Latin American countries that forbid martial calibers. Same with 38 Super. Second, there is no military surplus 7-08 it is expensive to buy. I typically buy 7.62 NATO in 5000 round lots. Last, if you want a battle rifle. Buy one. An AR in any caliber, ain’t one.

      1. avatar James Wilson says:

        The title was originally “AR-15”. They fixed it after my comment. Just doing my part. Is the editorial staff hiring? 😉

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          James, good for you. Still doesn’t make the AR a good rifle in any caliber. I’ve owned 7.62 NATO rifles in FN-FAL, HK 91, (still do), BM-62. Galil, etc. An AR in any caliber isn’t much of a rifle. Bet your life on an AR if choose to. Me? I’ll pass on an AR. 30 years experience with them. They suck.

        2. avatar Anner says:

          They suck so much that numerous countries’ militaries have adopted variants of the design over other “battle rifle” designs they previously held. They suck so much that it’s the most prolific semi-automatic rifle in the US. Gee, they suck so hard and so thoroughly that most 3-gun matches you’ll ever attend are dominated by the platform. Your anecdotal experience with an unspecified make/model of AR is the quintessential definition of the AR’s degree of suckiness.

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Annar, I was paid to carry that POS for 30 years. Well, not really. I had to train with it and qualify with it, but I sure as shit didn’t put it in my patrol car. When I was shooting four gun matches I never shot an AR. HK. FAL,Galil, etc. You know. Real rifles. ARs are popular because they’re available and inexpensive. Those are not qualities that endear me to a combat rifle.

        4. avatar No One Special says:

          I’ve been around the platform (I say platform because that includes M16, M4, AR-15, and the LFAR) for twenty-three years now. Carried the M16 through two different deployments in some really crappy conditions. My personal experience is most people don’t want to maintain the platform to keep it from being a problem child. Take care of it and keep it clean and lubricated and it will return the favor by working as intended. Treat it like a shotgun pattern shooting AK and no it’s not going to work very well. I have three AR-15’s {2X 5.56 and 1X 6.5 Grendel) and a 6.5 Creedmoor that work beautifully and are 1/2 inch or better shooters. The platform of today just doesn’t leave much to dislike.

        5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          No one, I hear you. An AR works if you take care of it. And if you do this, that and the other thing. I’ve had cam pins break where the firing pin passes through. Extractors break. Extractor springs get weak and fail. Bolt keys fail so the action has to be manually cycled. ARs just plain fuck up for no reason that anybody can figure out. Give me a rifle that works and won’t break even if you don’t take care of it. There are too many of them out there to waste time on an AR. Especially if I’m spending my own money.

    5. avatar Travis says:

      Yeah, he said AR10.

    6. avatar Frank says:

      If they made a POF Revolution in 7mm-08, it would be close to an AR15 in weight and handling.

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Is there a handgun that can take advantage?

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Not really sure but purchase a AR 10 lower and build it and 7 mm08 barrels and limited uppers are available for it.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…purchase a AR 10 lower and build it…”

        Afraid my “build it” skills expired when I stopped buying Revell and Monogram plastic aircraft model kits.

        Watched a video last nite comparing FN5.7 to 22TCM. 22TCM sorta won. Savage seems to have once produced a 7.56 pistol. Just curious. Ooohh….how ’bout 6.5 Grendel pistol?

        1. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          6.5 Grendel pistols are everywhere – plenty of home builds as well as CMMG, (drawing a blank on the co that invented Grendel and Beowulf cartridges), many others. 12″ barrel gives good results.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “6.5 Grendel pistols are everywhere”

          An SBR without a fixed stock is not what I would consider a “pistol”, though legally that is what they are labeled. These things really cloud the day when the traditional concept is a handgun small enough to be used without a “brace” strapped to the owner’s forearm. My curiosity is whether there is a traditional pistol (that can be pocketed or carried IWB) in 6.5 caliber?

        3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          Sam

          It’s not that difficult to build a lower and you have control over what parts/features in contains,kind of like handloading ammo tailored to your firearm.

          I find building lowers rather fun but then I actually find reloading relaxing too.

        4. avatar No one of consequence says:

          Erik: Alexander Arms.

        5. avatar jwm says:

          Sam. A 6.5 pistol you can pocket carry? That’s the .25acp. 😉

    2. avatar [WR] says:

      Maybe a single shot specialty gun like a Contender style pistol. Google didn’t yield much more, nor did two other search engines.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Contender? Hhhhmmm. Interesting idea. Thanx

        1. avatar TommyGNR says:

          The TC Encore takes 7mm-08.

  4. avatar Quasimofo says:

    I’m pretty sure 7mm-08 isn’t going to work in an AR-15 format…might want to tweak the title, unless I’m missing something.

    I have a 7mm-08 BLR and it’s real fun to shoot and hint with, and I would definitely recommend folks consider it if they’re looking for a moderate recoiling rifle that’s still capable of take North American game animals (short of big bears) at reasonable distances. Unfortunately, there’s no recreational blasting ammo that I’m aware of. Unlike 6.5 Creedmoor, it’s legal for PA elk because of the PGC’s silly caliber rule, although elk is honestly more of a theoretical consideration for me.

    1. avatar [WR] says:

      Are they still stuck in the “.25 caliber and above, no semi auto” age? It’s,one of the reasons I fled there back in the 70’s.
      Nice to read that the elk “herd” has rebounded to a,large enough population to consider a season on them. Still hard to get permission to hunt certain lands?

      1. avatar Quasimofo says:

        There’s currently no centerfire rifle caliber restriction for deer or bear. For elk, we have to use at least a .270 bullet that’s at least 130 grains. This means 6.5 Creedmor is not legal for elk, but 300 BLK is GTG…

        And semiauto centerfire rifles are still a no-no, because reasons. A few years ago it looked like the PGC was going to allow them, but that hope got stomped out by the infamous PA Fudds. Still can’t hunt on Sundays for most seasons, too…

    2. avatar Dr. Blue says:

      AR10 . . .

  5. I bought a Remington 788 in 7mm-08 about 25 years ago. Neat little gun.

    1. avatar Joatmon says:

      Have an older Savage in 7-08 that I used for many years in PA deer hunting. I haven’t shot it in a long time tho.
      Great cartridge.

  6. avatar Major Cal I. Ber says:

    260… nuff said

    1. avatar Nuff says:

      I said nothing of the sort.

      Why are people constantly making up stuff that I supposedly said?

      1. avatar Major Cal I Ber says:

        Let’s try the other guy

        …enuf said

        1. avatar Enuf says:

          No I didn’t ….

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Nuff,

        That there was funny!

        You sir or ma’am win the Intertubez today!

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Amen, brother. Ef the 6.5 TC.

  7. avatar Merle 0 says:

    I like the idea. Like a modernized battle rifle. Probably won’t take off like the myriad of other calibers out there but I wish it luck. Maybe an adventurous military out there will adopt it.

  8. avatar billy-bob says:

    “The Really Ideal AR Rifle Caliber: Creedmore”

    FIFY

  9. avatar David Deplorable says:

    Because I’m just aching to spend the dollar every time I pull the trigger.

  10. avatar Dale Menard says:

    So the 7mm Mauser was developed in 1892, before the .30-30 and .30-06. Bell used it to kill elephants, and after 120 years, a twin to it is the best we have? Outstanding!

    1. avatar [WR] says:

      “Everything Old is New Again?”

    2. avatar PVT Snuffy says:

      The British tried twice to introduce 7mm cartridges in 1911-1914 and again in the late ’40s. In an attempt to appease US bias toward more powerful cartridges, they even proposed a 7mm version of the T65, as 7.62×51 was known at the time, predating the 7mm-08 by a few decades.
      Both the M1 Garland and the FN FAL were originally designed as 7mm rifles, as well. The ballisticians and the rifle designers all knew that 7mm was where it’s at for any number of purposes but the generals always think they know better and if .30 caliber was good enough when they were lieutenants, it’s still good enough to risk other soldiers’ lives on it.
      The original British NATO proposal was a 7×43 cartridge. If it had won out, this 60 year boondoggle with 5.56mm would likely have never happened.

      Springfield, Enfield, FN, and Mauser all exhibited interest in 7mm at one time or another but it looks like money or a stubborn insistence that bigger is better is all that kept it from being adopted by any of the major powers.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        One must remember conditions at the end of WW2. The only untouched combatant was the US (PH not withstanding). The only industrial/first world nation remaining was the US. As a result of a bunch of good intentions floating upon an enormous amount of hot air, the UN was created, and also NATO.

        NATO was not the brainchild of England, France, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Germany, it was the product of the US building a buffer that would allow time to transport massive amounts of US reinforcements into western Europe should the Sovs launch a huge land war. Consequently, being the only nation with money, the US called the tune as regards military equipment, and interoperability.

        The crisis in Korea showed the folly of allied nations depending on a disparate array of unsupportable weapons and munitions that motivated the US to set the standard battle rifle caliber for NATO at .30x caliber. Given the penchant for Europe to use the metric system, 7.62 became the standard rifle ammunition (America had the biggest army in the west, and it was based on 30cal battle rifles). Much else was standardized, but it was the lesson from Korea that set the idea of a single cartridge and bullet for interoperability.

        Vietnam early experience, and E.Stoner/Colt set aside the idea of heavy rifles, and heavy calibers. Thus, .223/5.56 became the effective standard…except that it wasn’t really a standard at all. Since then, the “allies” have reverted to an array of different weapons and munitions, and a complicated supply proposition for NATO.

      2. avatar TommyGNR says:

        You can’t carry the same number of rounds of 7mm as you can of 5.56mm. You can’t control a 7mm as well as a 5.56 in full auto. You also need a longer and heavier gun. There are reasons the 5.56 was adopted by every major military in the world. A mid size cartrige is a more effective combat cartridge than a full size cartridge. Even the Russians switched from 7.62×39 to 5.45 (there copy of the 5.56 NATO). These caliber arguments are started to sell more uppers. Trust me I have bought too many of them.

  11. avatar Toona67 says:

    The 7mm-08 is very easy to load for and is very capable for most anything you care to squeeze the trigger on. I have a Steyr Scout in the caliber and am very happy with the accuracy and recoil.
    The 6.5’s seem to have finally become the darlings of late and justifiably so in many cases. The ballistic coefficient and accuracy are truly outstanding. That said, as the author indicates, if you hand load there are few other cartridge that have the range the 7’s have. From 110gr to 180gr there is not much you can’t put down with it.

  12. avatar Wally1 says:

    I have a Ruger “Frontier” rifle in 7mm-08, kind of a predecessor to the scout rifle. Great rifle, short and easy to handle and very accurate. I have always wondered why Ruger discontinued the Frontier rifle concept. I know they also made the Frontier rifle in 338 federal, have been looking for one of those, but they are rare.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I liked the Frontier, but it was too danged heavy with laminated stock.

      If the had offered with a poly or wood stock, I would have purchased one.

  13. avatar MtnDewey says:

    7.62x54R is the best rifle round EVER!!!!

    1. avatar Jabberwockey says:

      MTNDEWEY, agree about the 7.62x54R…especially when fired from a PKM.

  14. avatar TP says:

    It’s a good cartridge. AR-10 required.

  15. avatar Erik Weisz says:

    7mm-08 nips at the heels of 6.5 CM ballistically, and can stay supersonic to at least 1400 yds if loaded right. I’m waiting on a really good barrel to come out to build one.
    What I’d really, really like to see is AR barrels for 7mm SAUM. THAT is the sweet spot, IMO, for the 7mm – almost there compared to 7mm Rem Mag, with much less powder and shorter barrel.

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    Good to know…is this considered in any way a “boutique” round? I was considering a 308 bolt rifle but whatever works…

    1. avatar Dr. Blue says:

      No. Its available from every ammo maker out there . . . Federal, Winchester, Hornady, Underwood, Buffalo Bore, Fusion etc. etc. etc. It was resilient in all the past ammo panics since it was considered mostly a boltaction caliber even though Remington had their AR10 platform chambered in it.

  17. avatar Shaun says:

    I love the 7mm-08 would love to see it in a ar l would also like to see a 222remington and 25-06

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      25-06 is based on the 30-06 case and thus won’t fit a standard AR-15/10 upper.

      1. avatar Dr. Blue says:

        Noreen has there receivers setup for .30-06 and .25-06.

  18. avatar Dude says:

    For the AR-15, 6.5 Grendel seems to fit the bill. You can even get cheap Wolf practice ammo for it.

  19. avatar Andrew lias says:

    I would say 243 in this caliber but the factory ammo variety is not that great except hunting ammo.

  20. avatar former water walker says:

    Just checked 7mm-08 rem prices…I’ll pass. Quite pricey for 7 different varieties. I don’t reload and probably never will. Sigh…😫

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      7 mm-08 is a round best handloaded rather then bought commercially over the counter,on par cost wise with 300 AAC Blackout.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Hmm. I have never even looked at the ballistics of 7mm-08 Remington. I just investigated and really like what I see.

    In fact I only see one drawback compared to .308 Winchester: bulk ammunition pricing.

  22. avatar Rob C says:

    The 308 is great but I’m not using that. Sorry but there’s NO WAY I’m going to downgrade to a 7mm when my Mega Arms MA10 is pushing a 200 grain 338 bullet at about 2500 fps. People need to study ballistics charts plus learn the damage bigger bullets can do. Flat shooting is not the answer to everything. Proper zero for 338 Federal is 200 yards. It’s super accurate and only drops 2 inches at 300 yards. Deer NEVER have to be chased and hogs are D.R.T. too. Never a second shot. No 7mm for me. Home defense? That’s what a 1911 in 460 Rowland is for, not an AR.

    I have 3 friends that were shooting 7mm. They got tired of chasing deer they shot. After upgrading to 30-06 or 338, they are all happy that they no longer chase deer. Skip this round. Go big or go home. Too small is inhumane, especially at distances. I sold my 7mm a quarter century ago.

    1. avatar Oldhogleg says:

      That’s the same assignment I’ve been getting from other experienced hunters; 338 rules for the exact same reasons you mentioned.

    2. avatar No One Special says:

      Why not a 338 Edge or 338 Lapua than? Both will kill anything you want to hunt and both will cross over to the precision shooting world. The 338 Federal won’t cross over effectively. Like you said “bigger is better”, right? On that note why not the 375 or 405 Cheytac, 416 Barrett maybe? If bigger is better than put the bullet in a case that can actually give the chosen bullet real balls.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Rob C.,

      People need to … learn the damage bigger bullets can do.


      One of my favorite pearls of wisdom, “There is no replacement for displacement!”

      Every deer that I shot with .44 Magnum, .50 caliber (muzzle loader), and 12 gauge shotgun (slugs) — all with impact velocities of at least 1,500 fps — have all resulted in deer that did not go very far and did not require second shots.

      My only surprise: I shot a NICE white-tailed buck (a healthy 3.5 year old deer that weighed about 220 pounds on the hoof before field dressing) with my .44 Magnum rifle and a 240 grain softpoint bullet that impacted at about 1,500 fps. Shot was a double-lung complete passthrough and totally destroyed his lungs. (His lungs were in small jellied pieces when I field dressed him.) He nevertheless ran about 130 yards after I shot him. I could not believe he ran that far.

      Having said all of this, I have come to believe that bullet diameter is much less important than bullet terminal performance. Any good bullet that promptly (upon impact) expands to an appropriate size (and does not “grenade”) on a game animal will drop it in short order. I have heard countless statements from people using .243 Winchester that their white-tailed deer drop right on the spot. I have yet to see a white-tailed deer drop right on the spot when family, friends, and I have shot them with .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield. (In every case our deer have run at least 40 yards and as much as 70 yards.)

  23. avatar Specialist38 says:

    LOL. I love America.

    For my uses I’ll keep a 308 Ruger Scout even though it is puny compared to “The 6.5 Creedmoor”. Lol. I think it’ll get the job done.

    For a 7 mm, I like my Spanish Mauser. Seems fine for anything I might take in the Southeast.

    And if I really want something slick, sleek, and flat shooting. I’ll take the 6.5 Swede.

    I like the AR platform well enough but for more fun shooting. My main 223 is a Ruger Mini – because.

    Great to have options and projects.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    There are many calibers better than the 5.56 but few, if any, better enough to surpass it due to the former’s ubiquity. Marginal improvements are not important to almost any shooter because most shooters don’t push the envelope with range and shot placement is almost always much more important than terminal ballistics when you’re beyond a certain point (i.e. if you shoot someone in the chest with a rifle, the difference between 7mm or 5.56 is rarely enough to be- or show- a difference.

    1. avatar Merle 0 says:

      Agreed the 5.56 was never about the perfect performance of a single round. It’s a volume concept similar to the idea behind 7.62×25.

  25. avatar enuf says:

    I do want an AR10. But just not on the budget at the moment. If that changes I think I’d have to go with the more common .308 just on ammunition affordability.

    1. avatar Richard Meeks says:

      Dpms ar10 platform is great bargain and highly recommended by my gunsmith armored friemds6

  26. avatar Justin says:

    Love the 7mm-08. I agree with you, but the makers of gun parts don’t. Try to find an AR10 upper in this. Might be one somewhere… But it just isn’t supported by the AR upper makers. You can find barrels and make your own, but that gets very cost prohibitive. I m have researched this a lot and given up.

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      Wilson Combat has them in stock. If you want a barrel length longer than 18″ (I know I would) forget about it because from what I can tell that’s the longest barrel they make for the 7mm-08. That’s just one example I’m sure there’s others. There’s also the build it yourself method which opens up even more doors of possibilities.

  27. avatar Dan says:

    You’re right. Boneless wings are not real wings.

  28. avatar Voldamort says:

    Sorry Sam, but you got it wrong again. The 7mm Remington magnum is a necked down .300 WIN MAG, not .300 H&H. The .300 H&H IS a necked down .375 H&H. The H&H case is far longer than the WIN mag case, which is considerably shorter. Its the parent case for the WBY mags smaller than .34 caliber. That’s why the WBY MK5 actions are so long.

  29. avatar No One Special says:

    Even if you compare the 0.264 147 gr ELD-M with a BC of 0.697/SD 0.301 at 2650 fps from a 24″ barrel to the 0.284 162 gr ELD-M with a BC 0.640/SD 0.287 at 2700 fps from a 24″ barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor and 7mm-08 respectively there’s more to than just that. I used these bullets for an as close to apples to apples comparison as possible.

    Current condition where I live.
    Density Altitude: 2679
    Temperature: 78.8
    Wind: 11 mph (figured at full value left to right)
    Humidity:78% (is factored into density altitude)

    Using Applied Ballistics app the comparison between the two is as follows for maximum range at super sonic speed for the environmentals noted.

    6.5 Creedmoor
    1700 yards
    21.3 mils or 76.5 MOA elevation
    3.2 mils or 11.5 MOA windage
    1124 fps
    412 ft-lb energy

    7mm-08
    1600 yards
    19.5 mils or 70 MOA elevation
    3.2 mil or 11.5 MOA windage
    1123 fps
    454 ft-lb energy

    7mm-08 at the same distance as the 6.5 Creedmoor
    1700
    22 mils or 79 MOA elevation
    3.4 mils or 12.24 MOA windage
    1080 fps
    420 ft-lb energy

    Everything being equal the 7mm-08 drops and drifts more and the bullet goes through the transonic velocity range which can and will effect accuracy on target. Sure you can up the bullet weight in the 7mm-08 to get a higher BC and SD but you are still loading that heavier bullet in the same case. Which means you are taking up case room with more bullet leaving less room for powder. That means heavier bullet going slower which widens the gap even more. As for recoil the example given means the 7mm-08 is going to produce more recoil with only a 15 gr heavier bullet. The bullet weight goes up so does the recoil. As for hunting the Swedes have been using the 6.5X55 Mauser at original military operating pressures to kill moose for years. Operating pressure and bullets have gotten better over the years. The 6.5X55 is only marginally better in performance than the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 6.5X55 requires a long action instead of a short action.

    Nope the number of shooters using the 6mm and 6.5mm short action round and the numbers say otherwise. Build a 6.5 Creedmoor/6mm Creedmoor or a 260 Remington and call it a day. No sense in handicapping yourself if you don’t have to.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Or ,you know, go with 100+ years in the field and get a x55?

      1. avatar No One Special says:

        In a long action instead of a short action. Wait…. Didn’t I already say that?

        The 6.5X55 would definitely be a better option than the 7mm-08. It’s just that the 6.5X55 won’t fit in the LFAR platform.

      2. avatar No One Special says:

        I’m currently in the process of putting together a 264 Winchester Magnum to push the 6.5 150+ gr bullets faster and further. Depending on conditions I should be able to hit 2000+ yards and the bullet still remain super sonic.

        1. avatar Oldhogleg says:

          Sounds great, but with that kind of chambering you’ll have to regard the barrel as a “consumable” and have a few on hand for replacements.

        2. avatar No One Special says:

          A barrel to me is like brakes and tires on my car. I expect to have to replace it. Performance comes at a cost in both areas. I just rebarreled my bolt gun in 6.5 Creedmoor. I went with Creedmoor instead of 260 Remington because I already have a LFAR in 6.5 Creedmoor and I already have reloading equipment for it. If I can get 1000-1500 rounds from the 264 Winchester Magnum I’ll be happy. A new barrel is only a phone call and several months away.

  30. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Perhaps in a society where there aren’t any overt threats to confiscation(s), unless you have 10k rnds in your cache, 7mm-08 won’t do you any good IF the SHTF, it’d be better to stick with what will be readily available, .308/7.62×51…

  31. avatar Oldhogleg says:

    Although the 708 has always been attractive to me, it’s in that no man’s land of being less effective than the 308 WIN out of a short carbine barrel, and less effective than the 260 REM out of a long range long barrel rifle. It’s one of those cartridges that’s neither here nor there.

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      Comparatively speaking the 7mm-08 and 308 would have similar performances out of any length barrel. They share the same case after all. The bullet weights and powders used to push them are very similar all the way to about 185 grs. Granted not exactly but close enough. The 308 might have a slight edge in velocity because of bullet bearing surface but the 7mm bullets will make up for it with a higher BC.

  32. avatar " keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

    To Me a .308 always seems to kick harder then a 30-06 , rifles and bollits being identical . I do not know why, Higher pressure in .308? My imagination?

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      I would say imagination for several reasons. First is I have experience with both in shooting and loading ammo for them. Second staying within maximum SAMMI pressure there is 1810 psi difference between the 30-06 and 308 60,190 psi and 62,000 psi respectively. Then of course depending on bullet weight the 30-06 can have between a 100-200 fps advantage over the 308 Winchester. I’m sure you know same weight bullet going faster means more recoil with the weight of both rifles being equal of course. You probably also know that the intent behind the 7.62X51 was to get 30-06 ballistics from a shorter case which technically they did not accomplish. The 7.62X51 actually runs at a lower operating pressure 50,000 psi compared to the 308 Winchester’s 62,000 psi.

      I am wondering what prompted the recoil difference between the two though?

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        No One Special,

        Muzzle break?

        My cousin has two rifles which are nearly identical, one chambered in .308 Winchester and the other chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum. Nearly identical: except he has a muzzle break on the .300 Winchester Magnum and has no muzzle break on the .308 Winchester. Everyone who shoots both side-by-side says that the .308 Winchester rifle produces noticeably more recoil than the .300 Win. Mag. rifle. That is what a good muzzle break can do.

        1. avatar No One Special says:

          One having a muzzle brake and the other not having one would make the two different instead of the same now wouldn’t it? A brake was never brought into the equation until you brought it up. Might be why I didn’t say anything about it. I would say in my experience with muzzle brakes that a brake isn’t going to make a 300 mag recoil less than a 308. Maybe about the same or only slightly more but not less. I run Area 419 brakes on my rifles for an effective easy on/Off solution.

  33. avatar Joe says:

    7mm-08 is great and all, but the better AR-1 would be in .243

  34. avatar Kap says:

    Really like this Cartridge and have built long range rifles based on this Caliber, I do not care if one Cartridge is supposedly better than another as that is for the blow hards and wanta bee’s to decide. Having used this cartridge for 30 Years and reloaded for years I find that it handles all my shooting Genres; while Hunting I’ve taken Numerous Deer, Bears, Moose and Elk, does not work too bad on ground Dogs, Wolves , Coyotes, Rams, would like to try it culling Buffalo, but being old age that aint going too happen, the 162 Grain Btsp, the 154gr are my go to rounds, 139gr GMX for Moose, 154 gr for deer, 162 and higher for target and bench rest, but almost all are bolt action, Having been a use to was player in the South East Asia War games, I’ve had many bad experiences with the M16, M16A1, M16A2, although I did own a 7mm08 Remington AR-10, major problem it was noisy in the woods, brush tinging the Guard, and butt stock,

  35. avatar D Y says:

    Eh. If you are going to throw numbers out there, someone like me is going to check them.

    The 143gr 6.5 and 175gr 7mm ELD X’s have nearly the same SD, .293 vs .31 respectively. Hardly a stunning victory for the 7mm.

    I had considered one, but between it and 6.5, the 6.5 simply wins in an AR platform rifle. The 6.5 was designed to take advantage of long bullets, the 7mm-08 can only do this by intruding on powder space. If you need/want heavy bullets, go with .308 or .338 federal. Neither of which will “win” at longer distances vs. the 6.5.

    Dont even own a 6.5, I just recognize the benefits of it, and those benefits are why it is popular, and 7mm-08 never has been to any real degree.

  36. avatar Will Drider says:

    Nice try but a dud. Author didn’t address comparisons of velocities or similar weight bullet drop nor what it can do at max optimized configuration. Seem he just want more AR in that caliber (hmmm. Some Mfr near future release?).

    CPR on the cartridge won’t help.

  37. avatar Aaron Gallagher says:

    .277 Wolverine?

    1. avatar Tom Crusan says:

      Built three of those puppies in AR15 platforms to kill hogs in Texas and coyotes anywhere I am welcome to shoot them.

      Two with 1:7 twist (10.5 inch Pistol AR and 16 inch) and one in 1:11 twist (18 inch) to cover subsonic (suppressed) and supersonic shooting.

      Love them, just love the way they shoot and using 556 parts to boot (except barrels of course) makes it even better. Kick ass cartridge over 556 for sure.

      Maybe one day this cartridge will get demoted from “wildcat” status to factory available ammo.

  38. avatar Geoff says:

    That’s all I need. Another cartridge to hand load. /sarc
    Already do 9mm., .223/5.56, 300BLK, .308Win/7.62X51, 30-06 Springfield and .458 SOCOM.
    Dies on order for .303 British for my 1918 Enfield SMLE MKIII*.
    Sold my Yugo Mauser and my Mosins. Still have the Die Sets.

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      “That’s all I need. Another cartridge to hand load.”

      That’s what I said when I rebarreled my last bolt action rifle. I wanted it chambered in something different. That’s why it is a 6.5 Creedmoor now instead of a 260 Ackley Improved like I had initially decided on. Just buying brass and dies runs the cost up on top of the rebarreled job.

  39. avatar Circuitsports says:

    People are making 800 yard hits from a 11 inch sbr / pistol in 6.5 Grendel in an actual ar15 platform and you think 7mm is perfect….lol

    1. avatar D Y says:

      To be fair, 7mm-08 is undoubtedly going to perform better on game than 6.5G as the range increases and size of the animals increases. Still, many want to argue heavier bullets going faster are a cure all, when making critical hits is unquestionably the most important aspect, tied with being able to penetrate deep enough to do fatal damage on the chosen game.

      Big fan of the 6.5G (also don’t own one of those) but it doesn’t have the case capacity of the larger rounds, and thus can’t compete on the same playing field. It does, however, provide admirable performance out of the AR15 architecture, which the larger rounds just can’t compete with. Low recoil, “low” cost, better performance than 5.56 for most purposes.

      1. avatar No One Special says:

        The Grendel out of a 20″+ barrel will put a 123 gr SST out to 400+ yards depending on the condition and still have enough velocity and energy to get the job done. Just depends on what velocity the Grendel is loaded for and how accurate it is. I’m a hunter that believes taking extremely long shots at game (over 500 yards) is unethical and not considered fair chase. For that matter 500 yards is probably too far for most.

  40. avatar Otis B Driftwood says:

    I’m happy with my LR-308. Mil-surp ammo is plentiful for practice and fun. PSP ammo drops various critters.

  41. avatar D.J.U. says:

    I’m for all calibers in the AR10/AR15 platforms as they can be tamed in recoil do to the buffer design and the many buffer systems available. This is where the AR platforms shine, not excluding the modular system allowing to change calibers by just changing the upper.
    With that being said the 7mm-08 can reach better ballistics than alot of information out there using the right powder in compressed loadings with the heaviest bullets. Not that it’s nessary. Its main advantage over the 6.5 creedmore is price of projectiles for handloaders and factory loaded ammunition. It’s long range ballistics can also be very dependent on so many other things than printed data. As with all calibers, it can really depend on barrel, trigger, shooter and atmospheric conditions and most of all the quality of the loading. The 30-30 has put more deer meat on the table and in the freezer than almost any other modern center fire cartridge in N. America and people still gripe about its ballistics. As it’s said in realestate location, location, location in the firearms world its shooter, shooter, shooter. And this argument will probly last as long as the one of 9mm, 45 acp. Just have fun with it, support our 2nd amendment and the constitution all the way so we’ll have many more years to debate these things.

  42. avatar George Rowe says:

    California Richard — re. your comment.
    I’ve been a FFL holder, High Power Shoot-master and more and taught handgun and rifle shooting. (Archery also.)
    I’d like to know, what are “bullet clips”?

    1. avatar [WR] says:

      If you go back and read carefully, then take a moment to think about recent cringeworthy sound bites, he’s lampooning the Kalifornicator Anti Gunners. Over 85% of them don’t have a clue what they’re talking about , and even less have any common sense at all.

  43. avatar Richard Earley says:

    7.6251 fmj…It worked for me in Vietnam it continues to work for me now…

  44. avatar Anonymous says:

    You get all the benefits of .308, and less kick.

    Not all the benefits. 308 is more readily available, cheaper, cheaper to reload, more selection of 308 bullets for reloading. Cheap readily available military brass for reloading. 7mm 08 is an obscure round compared to the 308/7.62 NATO.

  45. avatar Not a boomer says:

    Nice boomer marketing horse shit

    1. avatar Doug Rosproy says:

      The author’s point was that 7mm-08 is a fantastic general-purpose answer in an AR(-10 ) platform. Its versatility is undeniable, and while there are some instances where a 6.5 mm round is superior it is only a tiny bit better. To the degree where the difference could probably be made up with a custom 7mm-08 hand-load and the right powder. I have never had trouble locating 7mm-08 ammo at any gun store, and reloads can be made from .243 and .308 brass if things get ugly. Remington’s R-25 with a 20″ barrel is an accurate long-range, flat shooting, soft-recoiling joy to shoot. And DPMS actions are not hard to find for prices similar to .308 ARs. If the ammo cost is an issue, it’s probably because you’re buying in bulk so you can go to the range and do mag dumps trying to impress someone. I can easily afford enough 7mm-08 rounds for hunting and the type of range shooting where it matters to me whether I hit the targets.

  46. avatar Powerwagonman says:

    The AR-10 will always be a better .308/7.62×51 platform. If you are already going to jump up in recoil, weight, size, you might as well go .308 it hits harder, ammo is more abundant and cheaper. I like the
    7mm-08 and own several rifles chambered in the round and have killed some heavy weight deer with it (200 pounds plus). The .308 will always be the best AR-10 round.(yes better than the 6.5 creedmooore too.)

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      “The .308 will always be the best AR-10 round.(yes better than the 6.5 creedmooore too.)”

      Wrong! Read my comment comparing the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 7mm-08 which clearly shows the 6.5 Creedmoor is superior in range and velocity and only slightly less in energy. The 308 with even the best BC bullet sucks hind tit compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor. The 308 peters out at 1650 with the new Sierra MatchKing that has a BC of 0.715 at 2600 fps that requires a 1-9 twist 26″ barrel. The same bullet only has slightly more energy than the 0.264 147 gr ELD-M out of the 6.5 Creedmoor with a standard twist. How many off the rack 308 AR’s do you know of that have those barrel specifications? My custom (built by me) LFAR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor has a 24″ barrel. I could have went longer but wanted to keep it as short as possible without sacrificing performance. The lower the BC of the bullet the worse the range is for the 308. Invest in a good ballistics program and do some actual long range shooting. Then come back and tell me the 308 is better than the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    2. avatar No One Special says:

      Oh and not just the 6.5 Creedmoor. The 243, 6mm Creedmoor, 260 Remington, 6.5X47 Lapua are all better performing than the 308 for at least a couple of reasons or more. As for cartridges that are not suitable for the LFAR well the list is long and distinguished for the ones that outperform the 308. The only thing the 308 has going for it today is cheap plentiful ammo. I reload so the 308 doesn’t even have cheap ammo going for it for me. Yes I use to load and shoot 308. Then I got wise to the reasons everyone else wasn’t shooting 308.

  47. avatar LEE says:

    WHAT AMMO CAN BE USED IN 223

    1. avatar No One Special says:

      223 if it is a 223 chamber. If it’s a 5.56 or 223 Wylde chamber than 223 or 5.56.

  48. avatar Doug Rosproy says:

    Like I said, the 7mm-08 may not be the absolute winner in every category but it scores about 98 out of a possible 100 in more categories than anything else. It is not as sexy and widely publicized as 7mm magnum but has close to the same ballistics while burning only 70% as much gunpowder. It has less bullet drop and equal knock-down power to .308 out beyond 400 yds — ask steel silhouette shooters. It uses standard 7.62-size magazines with no feeding problems. It is easier on the weapon and the shooter than .308″ bullets. If we hadn’t had a knuckle-head in charge of the Army Ordnance department in the 1950’s, the whole free world would have been fighting our wars with it for 60 years, in M-14’s, FAL’s, next-gen M14/AR10 hybrids, etc., and kicking the AK’s ass. Instead, we spent 40 years perfecting the M16, and it’s still a compromise.

  49. avatar Tom Crusan says:

    Historically many of the comments about it commonality and longevity are accurate. This round was used by MY FATHER to hunt with. Now taken into account that at present I am 70 years old and you will see what I mean.

    I personally built an AR10 in 7mm-08 for my oldest son, now 47, to hunt deer with in NYS or other came anyplace else he wants to. This round will knock the socks off of most game, except as noted very large North American game animals. Recoil is WONDERFULLY lower than any simarily chamber weapon in 308 Winchester. Where this counts most in not in DI systems in AR platforms , rather bolt action rifles.

    Ballistically, it’s better than 308 but certainly not as good as 6.5 Creedmore. Let me be direct here, I am talking about reasonable distance for HUNTING. I want knockdown bullet energy and accuracy up to 500 yards. Not interested in shooting from hill top to hill top, although my mind would try to convince me I am biologically perfect at age 70 and could see that far anyways, even with a great scope.

    Ammo, well there is always ammo availability the tie breaker in most peoples way of thinking. We find 7mm-08 ammo here in Western New York, yeah way away from NYC but not far enough, is available in local gun shops, hardware stores, local Cabelas, etc. The best part is that it’s available in multiple manufacturers and multiple grain weights. SWEET! Again, let me be honest here again. If you shoot or hunt you have your planned ammo in your possession prior to doing what ya plan to do. If you actually run out you either miscalculated your supply or are incredibly successful in your hunts and plum ran out…

    Lastly, with regards to the AR10 build, I purposely chose the 7mm-08 over the 6.5 Creedmore so all I had to invest in was a 7mm-08 barrel from Columbia River Arms. All other components also fit a 308 Winchester build, so in effect my son can, if he chooses, to convert to 308 simply by getting a barrel and new upper. The upper, although not necessary, makes it easier to just pull two pins and swap it out and wahla you now have a nice 308 to play with.

    My experience is to build, carry and shoot what I need to “get er done”, what I like and what I can afford. PERSONALLY, my go to rifle is a Remington 760 autoloader in 270 Winchester. Would not want to be on receiving end of that either. Not a cartridge you pick up brass for immediately after shooting unless you don’t your finger prints intact anymore.

    Women, Beer and Guns make most men happy. The fun part is arranging the order of importance to yourself. Gentlemen, hunt and shoot safely, study your weapons and stand up for your beliefs.

  50. avatar mainer says:

    7mm-08 with 175gr Speer GS and .310 SD out of 16 inch AR barrel seems ideal for the heavy brush, cedar swamp, stalk and spot hunting I do. Shots are often/usually on moving animals in the 50-150yd range with occasional field/meadow opportunities at longer. According to Quick Load, it would net 2400’ish fps at the muzzle and the BC at that velocity keeps it just above 1800fps at 300 yards (general min velocity for acceptable jacketed bullet performance).

    I currently use a 16in, MSR/LFR 308 with 220 partitions at .331 SD and it is exceptionally deadly in this role. Its moving the 220s at 2150fps… essentially 30-40 Krag external ballistics. It moves through the brush as well as anything I’ve experimented with and penetrates superbly on the large bodied deer we have. I’m a believer in pass through bullet performance with “slow” movers for good trauma/bleedout. I anticipate the 16in, 7-08 Wilson Combat barrel I just purchased, with the 175 class bullets, to do all that my 308/220 carbine will do but give me a little better ballistics for the occasional longer range meadow/field opportunities. The WC barrels are superb shooters too, regardless of the <$300 price tag.

    I also tried 16in, 338 Federal with 250's RNs at 2150'ish fps but in order to get the RNs to perform in gelatin, I had to modify the meplat and trim off ~5grs and make flatpoints. They're made for the stouter 338 chamberings. But after 170yds'ish it was a ballistic brick. Might revisit that one, wasnt initially crazy about having to add the effort of bullet mods, but it simply smashed things w/in 150yds though.

  51. avatar Wes Stewart says:

    The 7mm Rem mag isn’t just a just a 300 H&H. necked down. The .300 has to be shortened and the case blown out(less taper). If you are looking for a necked down .300 H&H it would be the 7mm Weatherby. Although the case would still have to be straightened. Maybe fire forming would work(not sure) after it is necked down.

  52. avatar Roy Wolgamott says:

    If all of you would do some extensive research you would find the original M1 Graand was designed for a cartridge nearly identical to the 7mm-08. However general McArthur insisted it be chambered in the already existing 30-06 round to save retooling efforts. So consider this natural progression – M1 to M14 to AR platform,buy the way that was originally designed on the 7.62 x 51 platform but was changed by military brass just like the M1. I own a 7mm-08 bolt action rifle and find it very accurate and it has superior velocities and superior energy’s to the 6.5 Creedmore at the same ranges, so it will do anything the 6.5′ s will do it and do it better it just didn’t get the press from a large company re-enventing the 6.5 x 55 Swedish by long throating it. Heavy for caliber bullets and long throating has been around since the 70’s it’s not new, do the research.

  53. avatar Steven says:

    Give me a head to head with the 350 legend inside 200 yards.

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