Is the 7mm-08 hunting cartridge enough for elk & deer

I was asked the question Is the 7mm-08 Remington hunting cartridge enough for elk & deer? Well to start of with a joking answer. I am not sure any cartridge by itself is enough to hunt with. You need to put it in a gun and fire it. Then of course the answer is way different.

But i also got asked these additional questions about the 7mm-08 Remington…

Is the 7mm-08 big enough?

How accurate is it?

Where did it come from?

And most importantly, does the 7mm-08 Remingdon rifle cartridge can kill deer and elk?

Short answer:

If you are considering the 7mm-08 it is a great hunting cartridge for deer and elk. This is mostly due to the facts as many types of guns are made for this caliber. The 7mm-08 has high ballistic power that equals for longer energy that keeps its velocity if u hunt an elk within 200 yards.

If you are wondering if a caliber of rifle can do what needs to be done on a hunt then I start off by looking at it from a non rifle perspective. Archery hunters kill elk and deer with bows and arrows. They do not have near the knock down power as a 7mm-08. The damage done by the .824 diameter bullet coming from a 7mm-08 cartridge after entry is lots more than an arrow. Although an arrow can make a larger entry hole. The exit hole is usually much larger and the damage done inside is much worse. Of course this all depends on having a solidly constructed bullet of which there are many available. It might even be better if there is not exit hole as then all the force of the bullet was expended on doing the job. Although exit holes are nice when needing to track a blood trail.

The 7mm-08 is made from a necked down .308 to a .284 diameter round with a slight increase in case length. A .30 caliber round puts a bigger holw going in and is easier to have a heavier slug in. The heavier slug also increases kick.

Back to the main question of is a 7mm-08 hunting cartridge enough for elk and deer? The real question is can you shoot it well enough to hit the animal in the right spot. If you can then this is simply a great caliber for hunting deer and elk. It may be nice to shoot a bigger cartridge for elk. The problem with larger calibers is they kick more and hunters can get scared of their own guns. So going to a caliber like the 7mm-08 is wise for those who fear the larger calibers.

There are a few other really nice things about the 7mm-08 Remington. Lots of manufacturers make lever action 7mm-08’s and having a lever action is great for horse hunters and the lever action fits great in and is easily removed from scabbards. Very few of the larger caliber rifles are made in lever action guns. When hunting elk having a horse can make a difference in getting to where the elk are and even better is having a horse to help pack our the harvest. So a lever action rifle is very nice to have when hunting off a horse.

Why is a lever action rifle better than a bolt action or semi auto rifle in a scabbard. This really is simple. A bolt action has the bolt stick out farther from the horse and can hit your knee and leg while riding in a scabbard. The semi auto rifle depending on the model can force the action open while putting the gun in a scabbard. Both of these rifles are harder to get out of the scabbard than a lever action rifle.

This is not just a math or a science view on the 7mm-08. I have been there when this caliber has killed elk. Which is much larger than deer. I have shot this caliber in a lever action model and the kick is minimal and the accuracy is fantastic. The accuracy of most rifles these days depends less on the rilfe and more on the shooter. Lots of guns shoot better than I do.

It is said that Lever action rifles are not as accurate as bolt action rifles. Well this might be true. It is so minimal that the real difference is in the shooter. So again the key to making this gun great is being able to hit the animal in the correct place for harvesting. With the less kick that is just easier to do.

There are other arguments that can be made. Like shooting at long distances then there are better suited to larger calibers as they have more punch at long distances. This is true. The kick factor is even bigger though at long distances and putting the bullet in the right spot is more important than hitting an animal with way more force in not as good as spot.

The 7mm-08 I have shot has a scope mounted kind of high so that you can see under the scope and use the open sites when the weather is bad. This might be an issue for eye relief but it was not to me when we shot it.

I do not believe in just getting a rifle and going hunting though. Any caliber gun needs to be sighted in, became familiar with and know its capabilities as well as yours. It might even be true that the 7mm-08 kicks too much. If so you might try shooting a smaller bullet or going to even a smaller caliber. This seems like a stretch to me though because this 7mm-08 caliber just does not kick that hard with 140 grain bullets or less. I have only shot this caliber with 140 grain bullets and did not try others because the bullet just worked well and was very accurate. There is one other reason why sometimes people are scared of guns and that is because of the loud noise and muzzle blast. Having good hearing protection is a great way to help minimize this issue.

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