What would be best for medium to long range deer hunting 308. 30-06 or 7mm mag?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    30-06 has an average of 170 FPS more velocity in same weight bullet as a 308. If you load a 150 grain bullet in a 7 Mag and a 30-06 using IMR 4350 powder, the 7 Mag uses about 2.5 grains more powder and is actually 11 FPS SLOWER than the 30-06. (Hodgon's Reloading Manual). The 30-06 and 7 Mag actually swap back and forth for velocities with same weight bullets depending on powder,but the difference is amazingly small. An advantage the 7mm has at 150 and 160 grain weight bullets is a better ballistic coefficient and sectional density than the same bullet weight at .308 diameter. That might get you a handful of extra yards of usable ballistic energy.The 30-06 starts to pull away at 160 grains and heavier. Thing is though, about heaviest in 7 Mag is 175 grain while 30-06 can go to 220 grain. Now, that doesn't help with normal deer hunting,but it does show that the deer wouldn't know the difference once hit. Each gun is as accurate as you choose to make it. My 30-06 can group 5 shots a quarter can cover because I hand load for my rifles.

    7 Mag isn't as common a cartridge as 30-06, but is common enough;just not as many loading options. Belted mags like the 7mm headspace off the belt,so there can be more throat erosion and less accuracy--but is a minor thing in a deer hunting gun.

    I grew up with 30-06,bought my first one when I was 14 and have had one since. If I had a 7 Mag or 308 first I would have probably stayed with that caliber.

    I would concentrate on getting a good rifle in any of the three,use a 150 grain bonded core bullet like a Nosler Accu-Bond or Partition,Sierra Game King, Barnes Triple Shock, Hornady InterBond or SST, even a Remington Core-Loct.

    308 has mechanical and logistical advantages over the 30-06 because of size/weight of the cartridge (works better in semi-auto and machine guns) and statistically 'might" have a slight advantage in accuracy if you compare thousands of rifles. It is the cartridge for long range in the military because it is what the Army buys (338 or 300 Win Mag easily outdistance and outperform it).

    Source(s): I reload for 223,243,30-06 and 300 WSM.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the 308 is designed to give 95% of the 30-06's performance in 80% the size...and to function better in an automatic weapon. It only really shines when you look at the logistics of moving ammo by the ton like the army does.

    If you would ever switch from deer-weight bullets to elk-weight bullets, the 308 falls even further behind the 30-06

    The 7mm remington magnum fires faster and flatter than either the 30-06 or it's weaker cousin, the 308. It would make the best long range deer cartridge of those you listed.

    However, all the catridges you listed are more 'generalist' cartridges suitable for game up to elk, moose, and even grizzly.

    In other words you are going to be experiencing a LOT of extra kick to fire a big heavy bullet fast.

    the best medium to long range deer hunting cartridge is going to be a 25-06 or a 270 winchester or something along those lines.

  • Ann
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Check out the 260 remington. It should be enough for even large hogs and flies just as straight as the 7mm mag, but unlike the 7mm mag it won't beat you up or force you to carry a 9lb rifle! For deer and hogs there is no reason to go with the 7mm its more than is needed. Your better of going a little smaller in caliber(when medium game is the largest game you are hunting) to get the trajectory you want.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's all personal preference. At deer hunting ranges all three with a good rifle, good ammo, and good shooter behind them are going to be able to get a bullet with enough energy to work into the the lungs of any whitetail.

    Flip a three sided coin.

    Dave

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  • 1 decade ago

    30-06 is the most versatile, although all of the calibers you mentioned will do just fine for deer hunting.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would suggest a 270. win shooting 130. grain noslers

    or 7mm rem mag shooting 140. grain for that little extra

  • 2A
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    30-06 and you can find this same question here about 5 million times in Discover YA.

  • 1 decade ago

    7mm mag definitely it never failed me yet with my long shots.

  • 1 decade ago

    7mm rem mag.

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