View Full Version : Model Seven caliber recommendations?
The Remmington Model 7 is available in a variety of calibers. I have been considering a .243 for deer or a 7mm-08 or 30-06 for deer and more. Or to get a Model 700 Mountain Rifle for the more powerful calibers (but I think they weigh about the same, so recoil should be similar). Anyone here have a Model 7 or shot one? I would appreciate your experiences and thoughts.
The model 7 has a short action which means it requires cartridges such as the .243 win., 7mm-08, 308 win., 260rem. etc. The 30-06 is a longer cartridge and is too long for the model 7 to handle.
As for hunting deer with a model 7 appropriate cartridge, what type of deer are we talking about?
Small Texas whitetails? Big Wyoming, Montana, Colorado mulies? Or really big whitetails from Saskatchewan?
A .243 win. using 100 grain bullets will work for some, A 7mm-08 can handle heavier bullets in the 154-175 grain range, and .308 will work for the larger deer using 150 to 180 grain bullets. But remember, none of the calibers will work in the case of poor shot placemment.
That said, I have and use a model 7 in .308. I did replace that joke of a 18 1/2" barrel with a new 22" take-off barrel from a Rem 700 in .308 win. Now I'm happy, the rifle is very accurate and is ever-so slightly muzzel heavy which helps steady it for shooting from a standing position.
The new model 7s are available with the newer "short magnum" cartridges from Remington. I'd sure give SERIOUS consideration to a 7mm RSAUM (Remington Short-Action Ultra Magnum) or a .30 RSUM. I know if I were shopping for a new rifle, a RSAUM would be in the plans.
Good luck on your selection! Check out this link to Remington Short-Action Ultra Mags.
As long as you're not talking about deer larger than 350# or so, the .243 will do just fine and won't knock your shoulder off while it's doing it. (Plus, you can load bullets as light as 55gr. for plinking and varmint shooting)
Thanks, Walter & Elkslayer. I may go with the .243 for the soft recoil. But can you guys help me understand better the difference between the .308 and 7mm-08 in the Seven --- not only in terms of relative recoil, but also for the range of game for which they would appropriate and the range/cost of factory loads available.
Which calibers would be good/best for Elk as well as deer?
Also, Elkslayer, if you think the barrel is poor, wouldn't I be better off just going for the 700 Mountain Rifle? I think the current Model Seven has a 20" barrel and the Mountain Rifle a 22".
Arbee - you are correct on the current bbl length of 20" for M7s.
I just happend to pick up a used early M7 that had been on the rack at a local gunshop for over a year. I suspect it was there exactly because of recoil and muzzle blast in such a short 18 1/2" bbl. I drove about 1/2 mile after buying it over to a gunsmith who just so happend to have a brand new 22" .308 win. bbl from a Rem. M700. He installed it and bedded the rifle for all of $75. I now have a total of $350 in the rig. (Just ordered a HS Precision stock for it). The rifle had sat on the rack for over a year and everybody joked about that short bbl not realizing how cheap and easy it would be to put another bbl on it.
I don't have any experience with a 7mm-08 but I can't imagine that one could tell the difference between a 7mm-08 and a .243.
I sometimes shoot a Rem. 6mm. It is in an old model 660. Either I have shot enough to not notice or there isn't any noticable difference between the 6mm and my .308 win in a model 7. Both are about the same in weight and size.
Now when you are talking about hunting elk,,,, you had better use a cartridge that can hammer them as most of the elk I shoot are cows and go around 400 lbs when gutted but still have head, hide and hooves on. If you shoot an bull larger than a spike you are talking more weight and usually more tenacity to live and escape.
That being said, I know and work with guys who have and do dumped elk every year with .243s but they r-e-a-l-l-y place their shots and they have a lot of elk hunting experience. They also will pass on shots which pose poor shot placement as they have several weeks to hunt and have opportunities though out the season to take elk so they don't have to shoot the first one they see. I also have personally seen elk poorly hit with .338 win mags have to be tracked down (by ME!! and sometimes it takes all day from a shot at sunrise till dusk when I find the critter) because the shooter didn't place his shot well, probably because he wasn't use to shooting a .338 mag.
I always ask them how much they shoot their rifles. When they say "Oh, I sighted it in and shot about a box of shells before coming out here", I know that person isn't "one" with his rifle.
I have and shoot a variety of rifles. Often I will hunt during the same season using a different rifles depending on where I'm hunting and what the terrain is. Will I be sneaking through timber? Is the area infested with grizzlys? Am I apt to see elk feeding on a ridge and can't put a sneak on them any closer than say 300-400 yards? Here is a list of cartridges in assending order from what I feel is "minimal" to quite adequate.
.270 win., .308 win., .280 Rem., 7mm Mag., 30-06, .300 Win. Mag., 338-06, 35 Whelen, 45-70, .375H&H.
Now I do, and have hunted elk with each one of these. I've taken elk with most of them. It just depends on where and how I will be hunting. None of them will allow for poor shot placement!! But those above and including the 30-06 level will allow for more of an angle shot (heavy, properly constructed bullets are used here) where you may have to plow through a lot of tissue to reach the vitals or a shoulder. I limit my shots to under 300 yards and mostly don't have to shoot that far anyway. The occasion where I do shoot at 300-400 yards, I'm using a range finder, a VERY solid rest, am shooting from a spot where I have been waiting for elk to pass through and have PRACTICED AND PRACTICED AND PRACTICED WITH THE RIFLE I'M USING SHOOTING AT THOSE DISTANCES!!!
Hell, I even go to our rifle range at lunch (a 1 hour lunch) to shoot. Several of us go and place bets on who can get the best groups at 300 yards. I even practice at 300yds with the 45-70s and both of mine are lever guns with iron sights. I don't use the 45-70s for ANY shot at game beyond 200 yds.
As you see, I believe in heavier calibers for elk and you just can't practice enough with your rifle. (Have I mentioned this point before??)
If I were considering one rifle to hunt with and it HAD to be a Model 7 and my hunting would include everything from coyotes to elk, I'd go with the 300 RSAUM. I'd load 120s or 130s for the song dogs and I'd load 180s for the elk. 150s would be great for the deer I'd be hunting between elk trips.
Other than that, you can get into the "got a gun for every critter I hunt" syndrome but that either takes a lot of time and/or it sure as hell takes a lot of money!
Elkslayer --- I have not hunted with a rifle and I will not shoot at any game animal until I have shot enough to be competent (a box of ammo won't do it). I am not going to buy a zillion rifles, because I won't have time to learn to shoot them all competently. I might end up with two or three tops. I don't have immediate plan to hunt Elk, so I am somewhat torn between a .243 for easy recoil, and less expensive ammo to learn to shoot well, and getting something like the RSAUM M7 for a do-all to start with. How's the recoil and the ammo cost on the 300RSAUM for 150s for deer?
Also, what do you guys think of synthetic vs laminated stocks?
I just called a well stocked hunting / outdoors store. for 300 RSAUM ammo using PREMIMIUM bullets, it runs right at $30.00 for a box of 20. For non-premimum bullets, it runs around $22.00 per box. I haven't shot or even talked with anyone who owns one of the short action magnums so I can't even give you any 2nd hand advice. All I know is what the gun writers have said in the gun rags, which is, the advantages of using a short fat cartridge is; a) more effecient burning of less powder to attain the same velocity as what the bigger 7mm rem mag and 300 win mag do, and b)they produce noticeably less recoil when compared to their bigger brothers (7mm rem mag and 300 win mag), and they have the same effect on game as their bigger brothers cause the bullet doing X fps doesn't know if it was shot out of a RSAUM or a longer, belted mag. as long as you are using the same bullet and velocity, the results are the same.
I would suggest if you will be hunting deer most of the time before you go on an elk hunt I'd go with the .243 win. Then when you are planning your elk hunt in a few years, you can pick up a more elk appropriate cartridge which will give the market forces enough time to determine if they like the Winchester version or the Remington version of the new short action magnums. As for right now, they both are new enough that there doesn't seem to be any noticable trend as to which will win out and stay around for a while and which is just a flash in the pan.
For a stock preference, if you are fond of wood and are of the belief that wood belongs on a rifle, the laminated stock is very stable and will be effected less by moisture than say a non-laminated wood stock is and they sure are nice and pleasing to the eye. On the otherhand, if you are going to be out in inclement weather where you might get rained on or you want a tough stock which can survive getting bumped into without getting those nasty dings that wood gets, by all means go with a stainless rifle in a synthetic stock.
I like wood, but I just ordered a HS Precision synthetic stock for my model seven because the synthetic is tough and I like the sand/camo patten for use here in Wyoming.
If, as you say, you might end up with 2 to 3 rifles tops, I'd say go with the .243 for the lower end now and pick up a larger caliber later for your second rifle. That way you could do your deer hunting now and plan for your elk trip in a few years. Oops, I just repeated myself.
Elkslayer --- thanks much. Your info and advice, combined with Walter's, says start with the .243. That's very helpful. I like wood, but I am open. BTW, how do I find out more about the HS Precision stock (website?), and who carries it? I saw a photo of a M7 in an article on light mountain rifles and it had a camo desert stock, and I liked it. Seems like a fit for Texas and Oklahoma, too.
I have visited their plant several times and spoken with the owners. They are very nice folks to deal with. Just plain old folks who care about customer satisfaction and work to make you happy.
They are hunters and shooters who know what people want. Their products are very well made and rank amoung the top synthetic stock manufactures as far as quality, fit, and function. They are more reasonably priced that others but their aluminum block bedding system is tops.
If you are aware of the Dakota Rifles and know the quality demanded by Don consider that he uses HS Precision stocks on his rifles when customers request a synthetic stock.
Yes, I know about Dakota. Thanks again.
I have booth the 7mm08 and 243. The 243 was bought for my 13 year old son because of recoil. If I had purchased the 7mm08 first I would not have purchased the 243. You cannot tell the difference in recoil. The 7mm08 has higher velocity and more muzzle energy and can handle the larger bullets as mentioned.
I have a mod 7, blued, 18" barrel, in .308.
It does kick a little off the bench, but I just use extra padding between my shoulder and the buttstock on the bench, but in the field, even with Hornady Light Magnum 150 grainers, it doesn't kick any harder than a mod 700 I have I 30'06, with the 30'06 light mags...
Believe me, a 150 grain light mag will bust a coyote's a _ _ !
The .308 is by far the most versatile cartridge the Model 7 is chambered in.
You can shoot 120-130 grainers at varmints, 150-180 grainers for deer/antelope etc... and even 200 Grain roundnose for black bear/hogs etc...
Also, forgot to add that I can shoot a sub-moa group with the 18 1/2" barrel..
Arbee - the difference between a .243 and 7mm-08. GT'ers feel free to correct me - it's been a long time...
The .308 is actually the 7.62X52 NATO calibre (7.62mm being the metric equivalent of .30 inch or .30 calibre. 52 is the case length in mm). The .243 is a 6mm bullet in a .308 case (52mm long). The 7mm-08 is, obviously, a 7mm bullet in a .308 case. You can compare ballistics at:
Either the .243 or 7mm-08 will dispatch deer - as will the .308 and a host of other calibres. I think I'd go with the .243 - just my own oppinion. .243 carts. are easy to find anywhere you look and can usually be had cheap at Wal-mart, etc. Good luck with your purchase.
I have one of the Model 7s with the 18 1/2 inch barrel and I love it. It handles like a dream and is very accurate.
I have no complaints about recoil or muzzle blast.
It ain't for sale.
The 308 is a great all-round cartridge. And wonderful for deer.
All you Model 7 owners....
What kind of scope are you using?
I have a 7mm-08 and don't want to "over scope" the little rifle.
I'm thinking a Leupold Vari X II in 2 x 7 x 33 or a 3 x 9 compact.
I already have a Leupold one-piece base.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
I wanted to get the 7-08 but was vetoed by the lady, and so I bought a 243. Tommorrow is the first shot, so I will let every one know what I think then. If you are torn between the 243 and 7-08, heres the deciding factors for me... recoil is a little less than the 7mm, but not much. Ammo is Much easier to find for 243, and you can try a larger variety to see what shoots well for your gun. and of coarse I found a REALLY GOOD DEAL on a 243. Either cartridge will kill a deer as dead as the other if you do you job and put it in the right spot. If you dont do your job then call the Army about a howitzer.
Let us know the out come.
OH for scopes, Leupold is the way to go if you have the $$$. If you hunt in the woods, gt as low a power as possible. In the open plains or anywhere that 300 yard shots present themselves, get a variable 3x9 is great. The larger the Bell, the havier the scope. It does gather more ligjht with a larger bell, but ask yourself ahead of time if thats worth the weigth in the field.
Sorry so long.
Mine has a Leupold 4 power on it. It was there when I bought the gun and my first thought was to replace it with a variable power. But after shooting it then hunting with it, I ain't changing a thing.
Mine wears a 4X Redfield compact. I really wish it was a 6X though.
I find that variables are a pain, seems they are always on the wrong setting when you throw the rifle to your shoulder. That is not a problem with a fixed power.
Thanks everyone for contributing lots of helpful advice.
I have considered either a 4X fixed or a 1.5 - 5.0 variable. What's the useful range on the 4X? If a deer pops out 25 - 50 yards in front of me, is the 4X going to be a problem?
A 4X probably wouldn't be a problem. Just make sure it has good light gathering abilities. The problem I have with my 4X is the lack of light gathering ability of a 32mm objective lens.
When I used my Model 7 .308 with its 4X compact Redfield Widefield scope hunting whitetails in a creek bottom last year, the bigger bucks were coming out into the alfalfa field just about 5 minutes before it was illegal to shoot. Plenty of does and small bucks were out as much as 1 to 1 1/2 hours before it was too late but the really big whitetail bucks came out last and right at the end of shooting time. My 4X compact did not perform well for me at dusk!
I am thinking of a Leopold 4X. Would that do any better in low light than the Redfield?
Model 7 Youth in 243 with a Leupold 1 - 4 on it. Great little combe and shoots very well.
hey arbee, my dad lives here in tx and shoots a rem 700 in .270 he did alot of research and came up with that round. he hunts whitetail and it dispatches them well.
Decided to get a Leupold VXII 2x7x33mm in matte finish.
Leupold 2 piece base and Leupold low mount rings.
Should have it all put together by the end of the week.
Then I just have to wait for some cooler weather to head to the range.
Elkslayer, how much did the HS Precision stock set you back? I like!
Okay, Elkslayer, I've been thinking about my two to three rifles tops. Hmmm. Maybe five or six over time, if you count .22s. I have an old octogon barreled Remington and want to get a .22 bolt CZ at the same time I get the M7. Then later I think I want a Ruger falling block, a pre-64 M70, and a pre-64 m94 .30 - .30. Yep, that's six.
Arbee, you've been bitten by the bad bug!!;f You know it will never stop, don't you? That's why I started out saying my first rifle I bought back in 1967, a Remington 660 in 6mm, was all I ever needed, then came the .270, my "elk rifle" now just look in the safe, there isn't room for anything anymore! Seems I've got enough hunting rifles to last longer than I've got hunting seasons to use them in! And now I'd be a sucker for a .338 "short magnum" ala WSM or Rem SAUM. I'm even considering a wildcat, blow out a .308 and chamber it to .338.
WFR - I'll get back to you on the exact cost, but my memory tells me it was just over $200.
Elkslayer - I looked at the HS Precision Stock site. Does the one you ordered have a stock the full length of the barrel, or am I misinterpreting the photo?
Arbee - I ordered the PSS35. It does not go to the end of the barrel. I got it in the sand color and love it. I will try to post a picture of my rig here in a few days/weeks.
Elkslayer --- Sand? Any concern about putting it down and then not being able to see or find it again?
Well, I got my model 7 all put together! Wow, looks great!
Boresighted and ready to go. If it shoots well I will be ordering one of those HS Precision stocks for it. Those look awesome.
After I get to the range I'll report back here.
I also have to sight in my 10/22 that I just mounted a Bushnell red dot scope on. Next range trip is gonna be a blast!
Elkslayer, do post some pictures when you get a chance!
Okay, so I'm a little late to the discussion here, but I want to say:
Seems highly underated. It is a 6.5mm in a .308 case, very efficient, mild, and if you want penetration check out those 160gr 6.5mm slugs! Of course, I don't think the Remington factory barrels will stabilize those missiles, nor do I think that the .260 has enough capacity to make them truly "useful" for the type of ranges you all seem to be talking about (300+ yrds! Wow!!). But that's cool, as the 140gr bullets and even 125gr Partitions will work very, very well. My .260 is a Mountain Rifle, DM, with a 22" barrel, topped by a VX-1 2-7x33mm scope (it was what my bank account could take). Completely factory this rifle has produced .75" groups at 100 yds on occassion, with most groups hovering in the 1-1.25" range. Plus, this rifle won't beat the snot out of you and the Mountain Rifle seems to balance and point extremely well.
One caveat though: factory ammo is kind of scarce in parts and not exactly cheap!
I'll approach this from a different angle as it is your first boltgun. I would consider a full size Model 700 as the compacts and mountain guns loose weight in many ways and the barrels are generally quite light, they are pretty consistant until heat affects them usually 3 or 4 shots and they begin to string P.O.I. Many people tend to shoot heavier rifles much better. On the calibre it is real easy to drop an antelope with a 375 H&H but I would prefer not to do battle with a Griz while carrying a 243, 257,or 264 which could easily happen while hunting Elk in one of the western states. I would look at the 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag If my hunting were limited to the Lower 48. The new short mags are really good cartridges but I don't know about availability could you find a box of cartridges for a 7mm short in lets say Farson, Wyoming ? While looking at the short mags there is also a little deception it is claimed the 300 WSM can approximate the 300 Win Mag which it can with a 150 Gr. bullet but as bullet weight increases the short mag falls a little further behind. The case capacity is between a 30-06 and a 300 Win Mag and so is it's performance.
Have a nice evening, Rabon...
I'm a little "after the fact" in this discussion. It seems Arbee has decided on a .243. Not a bad choice at all. I just jumped in here to say something about .243 ammo. I've got a .243, and I handload. I've also tried various "store bought" .243 ammo, and the Federal Premium 100gr is, by far, the most accurate... in my rifle. (Yours may vary). I cannot match it by handloading. 3/4" groups at 100yds are the norm... and my .243 is a single-shot New England Firearms Handi-rifle, with a 4-16x40 Tasco World Class scope ... not exactly an expensive rifle. :) It does put a good sized deer down... IF the shot placement is good. I bought it for my daughter to use for deer hunting when she was 14, and it had a 4X scope on it. Now she's in college, and hasn't hunted for a few years. I don't use it for deer (I use a handgun instead), but I do use that .243 for coyotes, and I do take some looooong shots with it (the reason for the switch to the 4-16X scope.) Both Hornady and Federal also make a "light magnum" load in .243. I've never tried either, but I've heard good things about both. The best aspect of the .243, is ammo is very easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and most factory ammo is quite good. If you don't reload, inexpensive ammo means you'll shoot more... the more you shoot the better you get... that's the goal, no matter what you're shooting.
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