Elk Hunting: Is the 7mm 08 a Viable Cartridge ?

There are a couple of subjects in the hunting world that produce more intense discussion than whether a specified cartridge is great enough for an exact animal. The debates seethe on around pit fires over the land either we’re discussing about the .256 Newton for Moluccan Rusa deer, or the .375 H&H for elephant.

To provoke the fire more, I will investigate if the 7mm 08, one of the most well-liked cartridges around in America, is a sufficient weapon for one of most imposing game animals, the elk.


7mm08 for elk

More and more hunters are hunting elk in the high country with escalating populations over a great deal of the elk’s variety and rising opportunities for them, and their weapon preferences are the most special piece of gear they will convey. As to my experience, elk are somewhat like a bit of bulletproof. If I am to hunt an elk, I will carry along lots of guns.

Along these lines, with an end goal to answer the question with some genuine validity, I did some research about other cartridges and read the assessments of various elk hunters with a consolidated sum of several elks on the land.

The .243 Winchester for Elk

.243 Winchester is a well-liked sporting rifle cartridge originally crafted as a varmint round. The .243 loaded with 100-gra/in SBT at 2900 fps has the minimum energy to kill an elk out to 150 yards. Shot must be placed cautiously for behind-the-shoulder heart or lung.

243 for elk

There are many rifles in this 243 group but among the five most prefered are The Remington model 700 VLS, Savage 12- BVSS, Howa 1500 Varminter Supreme, Ruger® American™ .243 Win Bolt-Action Rifle, and lastly the Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 Youth Bolt Action Rifle. The .243 Win is not by any means an ideal elk caliber but it will work. The problem with the .243 and elk I feel is the lack of good bullet weights.

The .25-06 Remington for Elk

The .25-06 remington is one of the typical commercialized wildcats that has valued over a long period of time. It has been presented long enough to benefit from the latest first-class bullet designs, for instance the Swift A-frame, Barnes-X, and Nosler Partition.

25 06 for elk

via Amazon.com

With these bullets, this .25-06 jumps into the CXP3 game group, turning out to be suitable for hunting elk. You can utilize a rebarreled 98 Mauser action and Cooper Model 52 with this at 125 yards. From quartering angles, shots should be put throughout the chest to maximize wounding as passing up the profound shoulder shield.

The .270 Winchester for Elk

Many hunters and guides think that the .270 is too light to be employed as an elk caliber but its credentials in the ground can’t be denied. Its outsized case carries sufficient powder to shove a 150 grain bullet in the scope of 3,000 fps, and the hold energy at 400 yards almost 1,200 ft/lbs that will surely mess up every Elk’s day with a great shot.

However, since its heaviest bullet offered is only 150-grain, lots of hunters choose a caliber that provides a heavier bullet and save more energy. The common rifles utilized by hunters with this bullet are Winchester Model 70 and Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker. The .270 loaded with premium projectiles is capable to anchor elks right away with spine and head shots.

The .30-06 Springfield for Elk

It is one of the most famous, and popular, hunting cartridges in the world. A lot of hunting cartridges have come and gone since the .30-06 Springfield was born more than 100 years ago, but this grand cartridge still performs well. From rabbits to moose or brown bear, the .30-06 can do it all with suitable loads. Normally they drop right away to a solid heart-lung shot.

The most frequent factory loaded bullet weights for the 30-06 Springfield are 150, 165, and 180 grain. This cartridge is offered in a wide variety of rifles such as Browning X-bolt, Mossberg Patriot Hunting Bolt Action, and Savage AXIS II Xp Bolt. The 30-06 could uphold its accuracy range for over 1,000 yards shooting.

The 30-30 Winchester for Elk

The .30-30 win is regarded to be the "entry-class" for contemporary big-game hunting cartridges. It is typical to describe the distinctiveness of cartridges with the same ballistics as being in ".30-30 class" as portraying their trajectory.

The cartridge is commonly loaded with bullets weighing 150 to 170 grain, however lighter loads are likely. You can use a 300 Savage, 303 British, and a 444 Marlin. This 30-30 could be enough for Elk for distances up to 150 yards if the hunter does his work. Bullets must strike nerve centers or break supporting bone in order for Elk to die.

The 7mm 08 Remington for Elk

Wayne van Zwoll of Petersen's Hunting magazine said that the proficient case design and a bullet weight range appropriate for most North American big game make the 7mm-08 an excellent pick for all-around hunting. He as well portrayed it as "deadly" for elk.

The 160-162 grain bullet weight is extremely helpful in the 7mm08 as long as bullet construction is corresponding to game weights. Tougher projectiles do their finest work on Elk, at close 200 to 400 yards. Shots must be placed in elk's heart, either from the rear angles or front.

Since the 7mm-08 is quite well-liked, most main hunting firearm manufacturers in the America have one or more bolt action rifles chambered. Savage, and Remington present it in carbine models as well as in guns with customary barrel lengths such as Kimber Model 84M Classic and Remington Model Seven CDL.

7mm 08 Versus 30-06

The 7mm 08 and 30-06 are one of the best selling rifle cartridges. The 7mm-08, has a smaller diameter, has a longer energy and has a higher ballistic coefficient that keeps its velocity.

However, the .30-06 begins 50 ft/sec faster, yet at 200 yards it does decelerate to 2473 while the 7mm-08 is still traveling at 2489. In the heavier 150 grain .30-06 starts out with 300 ft-lbs more energy but out at 400 yards they give the same punch.

The long-range trajectory of the two rounds is practically the same. Though 30-06 will provide you a heavier bullet and a bit more frontal area, they are good 300 yard Elk rifles.

7mm 08 Versus 270

The 270 Winchester will shoot a 140 grain bullet about 3000fps while a 7mm-08 will only give about 2700fps with a 140 grain bullet.

But several individuals favor the 7mm 08 because of the short action and the relatively light recoil and some like better the 270 because it shoots flatter and holds more energy farther downrange.

They are equally outstanding rounds for anything up to about 400lbs and mutually will get the work done on much bigger games with the appropriate bullets and correct bullet placement.

7mm 08 Versus 308

The 7mm08 is based basically on the .308 Winchester case necked down to 7mm. This 7mm08 is frequently upholds as possessing a flatter trajectory than the .308 while creating less recoil.

Similar to the 7mm08, the .308 can be loaded with a variety of high BC projectiles that create pleasing trajectories and equally are remarkably useful cartridges.

The .308 is fairly more adaptable where a weighty bullet is desired or required for use on large animals. The 7mm08 is flatter shooting with 140 grain than the .308 loaded with 150 grain.

A Few Final Thoughts 

7mm-08 for elk

Lots of variables come to take part when utilizing a marginal cartridge to hunt such a strong animal. Premium bullets have come a long way in escalating the lethality of hunting rifles.

If the shooter has adequate experience with elk, to stay like an archer for the ideal broadside shot and places a high-quality bullet just behind the shoulder when the front leg is forward, you will have a dead elk.

If the 7mm 08 is utilized with the proper bullet weight, no need to treat it like an arrow. Thus, is the 7mm 08 a viable elk cartridge? Yes, it is one of the best selections out there.

Cindy Herrera

I’m Cindy, a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast. Since childhood, I was very much exposed to the outdoor environment. Our family frequently goes on weekend camps and my father, who was a skilled hunter, used to teach me and my siblings valuable things about wildlife survival. Now that I’m a married woman with two wonderful kids, it’s hard to keep up with outdoor activities while parenting at the same time… so I made this blog to share the best of my knowledge, experiences, and tips from other bloggers to you, my fellow outdoor enthusiast because merely talking about the outdoors makes me feel closer to it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
Adger Smith - November 6, 2019

What about 7mm-08 vs 300 WinMag?

lensa69 - September 25, 2020

It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our dialogue made here.

Toni - March 24, 2021

My father, highly recommended the 7MM08 when I was a young lady in my teens. It has been my rifle ever since. I have hunted big game my entire life with my 7MM08 and now at the age of 60, I have made many men believers. Don’t underestimate the light weight compact rifle.

In 2014 I took my 7MM08 to Africa. I took home 2 trophy Kudus, an impala, and shoot two warthogs…all with only one shot each, and down within 100 yards. Yes, placement is key, but the rifle with a heavier load was perfect EVEN in Africa. They were all very skeptical of a woman hunter and laughed at my rifle when I first arrived… NO ONE LAUGHED AT THE END OF THE TRIP!

Neil - June 11, 2021

Awesome article Keep up the good work. Due to shoulder injury was looking for something just like 7mm08

    Mark D Blackie - July 21, 2021

    The 7mm-08 Remington is a fantastic cartridge. I’ve personally been using it since 2000. Light recoil accurate and shorter rifles which are amazing with this round.
    My most recent purchase was a Tikka T3x Hunter. Took it to the range with three different brands of factory ammo.
    Winchester Ballistic Silver tips – .55 inches at 100 yards
    Norma Whitetail Ammunition – .67 inches at 100 yards
    Hornady American Whitetail – 1.27 inches at 100 yards
    I was quite impressed!

    Highly recommend a Tikka T3x


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