7mm-08 Deer Load

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by jrsdws, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. jrsdws

    jrsdws

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    I'm going out of state to rifle hunt deer this fall and just ordered a Tikka T3 Lite in 7mm-08. I'll be tree stand hunting in Wisconsin in the timber so most shots will be under 100 yards....probably well under. Of course, the occasional longer shot may present itself across a field.

    I'll be buying Lapua brass and have several powder choices on hand.

    I'm really looking for bullet suggestions here. We only shotgun slug hunt and/or muzzleloader hunt here, so the slugs are big and slow. I shot two does last year with a 300gr Harvester out of my muzzleloader and both were DRT. The 7mm-08 is a different game for me and bullet weights seem to range from 120gr to 165ish grain.

    Right around 140gr or so seems to be the most popular bullet weight for this round. I'd like a bullet that expands reliably and retains as much weight as possible. I prefer complete pass through shots simply for the blood trail if necessary. I've ready that a lot of hunters like the bullets that explode or fragment but don't penetrate the hide on the other side. Perhaps there is logic to this as well with more energy being delivered to the vitals with more massive damage being done?

    Anyway....the T3 has a 9.5" twist. I think it can handle the bullets up around 160gr ok, but my gut says something around 140-150 is in the wheel house for it.

    Please tell me what bullets I should consider and your experience with them. Right now I'm leaning heavily towards simple bonded bullets (Scirroco, Interbond, Accubond, etc) but these seem to be the hardest to find.....perhaps for good reason.
     
  2. wboggs

    wboggs

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,009
    You might also want to consider Barnes. Bill
     
  3. mmcu

    mmcu

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    From what you're describing, I'd keep it simple. 140 grain Nosler Partition, 140 grain Sierra ProHunter and 139 grain Hornady Interlock are the bullets that I'd pick from.
     
    wapiti25 and ShootDots like this.
  4. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,760
    Hunting in heavy brush, I'd lean toward a heavier bullet. Nosler partition, Barnes TSX, Hornady SST. Scirrocos are liked in Africa, a little pricey unless you get your load worked up quickly. :D Going the less expensive route, any of the Remington, Winchester, Federal or other OEM bullets will be more than adequate at your distances.
     
  5. wolfman

    wolfman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    269
    I've been shooting 120 tsx out of both 7-08 and 7rsaum on deer for the last 10 years, in the exact siyuation you describe. Eastern stands hunting, where every shot has been inside of 100 yards. I try to stay away from shoulders, and the chest cavity is always soup. The cool thing has performance is the same, whether I launch them at 3350, or 2950.

    In the 7-08, seat the 120 tsx over a healthy does of R-15, and jumping 0.050. It's worked great in 2 rifles.
     
  6. kolar55

    kolar55 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    122
    I've hunted in Wisconsin my whole life. My 7-08 has killed a number of whitetails and a couple fairly large bucks. Most were taken with Nosler 120 ballistic tips. And some with the Nosler 140 ballistic tip. They are easy to make shoot and do a nice job. Ranges were from about 40 yds to 370. WW760, Varget, IMR4320,and IMR4350 all work well in this cartridge.
     
    Mulligan and Steve morgan like this.
  7. jim_k

    jim_k

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    171
    Exactly what mmcu said. Don't get fancy with deer-hunting bullets. You want a lead-pointed 130-150 grain bullet. You have no need for Lapua brass. Rem or Win will get it done cheaper. Any muzzle velocity above 2500 fps is plenty, out to 300 yards. Look on gunbot.com for Speer, Sierra, Hornady. Your intuition about passthrough is right on line. You won't always get passthrough, but they will do the job. I have used target hunting hollow-points, and when they work, they are devastating. And when they don't open up, you will lose the blood trail in 20-30 yards, and most likely lose the animal as well. But you will get to pay the guide/hunting ranch, and end up taking home nothing but memories. Keep it simple. Make that bullet pass through the middle of the front half of the chest. If that means shooting through the shoulder on a "quartering to" shot, then do it. On a "quartering away" shot, the theoretical point of bullet exit might be the far shoulder or even slightly in front of it, depending on the angle. If the deer is facing, shoot it in the middle of the chest. That bullet will not exit, but the deer will not go far, maybe 20 yards. Practice if possible at several distances, out to the farthest you will take a shot, and write down the scope settings for the elevations. Wind drift will not exceed 3/4 in. per mph of direct crosswind at 300 yards. Sorry if this info is redundant, but there will be people reading who might not know these things.
    I wrote this when mmcu's post was the last one up, so I don't mean to argue with other posters after that. Read the posts, and make up your own mind. Deer are not that hard to kill, but they will take off when you shoot them, which makes it look like they are hard to kill. You shoot it good, it will die.
     
  8. rudysts

    rudysts

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    134
    140 Berger drops them on the spot.
     
    barefooter56 likes this.
  9. jsthntn247

    jsthntn247 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,453
    162 amax with H4350
     
  10. Gb300wm

    Gb300wm

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    WW760 works nice with a 140 nosler bt. Accurate and fast
     
  11. normmatzen

    normmatzen Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    984
    My 7X57 is really close to the 7-08 especially if the load is realistic and not "lawyer designed!"
    I used 162 A-MAX and had excellent accuracy but when I shot a small black tail dear, it really damaged a lot of meat. I would only use the A-MAX on larger animals like big Mulies and maybe white tail.

    Now I use Barnes TTSX in 140gr size. They are actually more accurate in my gun than the A-MAX and do not do as much damage. Just don't forget to load with PLENTY of jump! The TTSX likes to jump.
     
  12. jimbires

    jimbires Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    489
    hunting deer in those conditions , I use in my 7mm-08 the Hornady 139 BTSP . in my girlfriends 7mm-08 I use a slightly reduced load of H4895 powder with a 120 nosler ballistic tip . my advice is , don't over think this .
     
    Barlow likes this.
  13. alf

    alf Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,148
    120 Ballistic Tip is the cat's butt........
     
  14. jrsdws

    jrsdws

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    What is the required minimum velocity for the Barnes TSX and TTSX to ensure expansion?
     
  15. HTSmith

    HTSmith

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    423
    Hornady 139 Gr Interlock--my rifle liked the flat base better than the BT. Nothing fancy but gets the job done. I've also used the 120 Gr Nosler BT's. They seem to work better on whitetails than the Nosler 140 Bt's at least for me. I used H414 and H380, but most any medium to med-slow powder should do ok. Of course the bonded bullets you listed should do fine--but do bear in mind that most 7mm hunting bullets are designed around the 7 mag and may not expand as readily from your 7/08.
     
  16. Barlow

    Barlow Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    139 Hornady, 120gr Nosler BT, 154 gr Hornady or similar bullets will kill them dead as a post. No need for bonded, or solid copper types imo. Barlow
     
    john 800 and jimbires like this.
  17. shoot4fun

    shoot4fun Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    758
    Never had a white tail out perform the Speer 130 BTSP ahead of Vit N140 in my 7MM08. Yup, it's "old school" but the job gets done & I've never had to track a wounded animal. It's got at least 35 deer kills on it.
     
  18. FryeGuy

    FryeGuy

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    387
    I use the 140hpbt Sierra game king in mine. Haven't recovered a bullet yet. Expands well, but tapered jacket holds together and penetrates well. Shots from 75yds to 280 so far. Very accurate bullet. Used varget for powder, Lapua brass.
     
    geraldgee and holstil like this.
  19. jrsdws

    jrsdws

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions. I'm just going to start with 140gr Sierra Pro Hunter. It's pretty readily available and cheap and I believe will be just fine on deer.
     
    Concha and Mulligan like this.
  20. XTR

    XTR

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,827
    140 Sierra Game King or 140 Accubond. I load mine over 2000MR at 2900 FPS. Shoots ½ MOA at 200. Deer will get dead.
     

Share This Page