30-06 or 7MM08.?

I am will be buying a gun in the next week or so. I have several thoughts on which is a better gun, but want to hear others opinions. Now, I am not looking for the biased "I only hunt with 30-06's because they rule" answer. I am hoping someone has shot/hunted with both and can give me an objective answer.


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I used to hunt deer in the Eagle River area in Northern Wisconsin (unit 36).

Personally, my rifle of choice was a 30-30 lever action. In reality, you can’t go wrong with either a 7mm-08 or a 30-06 for deer.

Without knowing your level of shooting experience, it is really hard to say what is best for you. I will tell you my thoughts on the pros and cons of each and why (keep in mind, I’ve been shooting for over 25 years and not overly sensitive to recoil).

The 7mm-08 is a great round for deer. My brother used to use a 7mm-08 with 140 grain Nosler Ballistic tip bullets. Of the rifles I have fired in both cartridges, I have found the 7mm-08 rifles tend to be a little more accurate. The 7mm-08 has a little less recoil than the 30-06. Ammo is not quite as common as the 30-06, but it is still easy to find.

The 30-06 is also an excellent cartridge. You can go anyplace on earth that sells ammo and find ammo for the 30-06. With the variety of bullets for the 30-06, you can use it for anything in North America.

If you are only planning on hunting deer (or similar sized game) in Northern Wisconsin, I’d opt for the 7mm-08. My reasoning is that the 7mm-08 rifles tend to be a little shorter, lighter, and easier to handle in the brush or swamps. The 7mm-08 is great on deer and similar sized game. With patience and a good shot, you can take an elk with it. Personally, I wouldn’t chase a bear (black or brown) with a 7mm-08. It has been done, but there are just better rounds bear sized animal. I’d opt for a Browning BLR as my frist choice or a Browning A-Bolt Micro Hunter.

If you think that you might hunt larger game (elk, beer, moose) and the recoil doesn’t bother you, I would opt for the 30-06. I carry one in a Remington 700, using 165 Winchester Silver-tip bullets. With patience and good shot placement, you can kill anything in North America (when I hunt in Alaska, I carry a 35 Whelen, a 30-06 necked up to 35 caliber). The rifle selection in a 30-06 cartridge is only limited by your pocket book. Like I mentioned, I have a Remington 700 that I like. I have shot Brownings and Kimbers that were also very accurate.

Like I said, you really can’t go wrong with either. Best of luck on the upcoming season!

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It really depends on what you will be hunting and in what conditions. 30/06 will be cheaper and easier to find.

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Can't go wrong with a Rem. 700 BDL 30-06. And you can find ammo everywhere. I got some out of a gumball machine the other day!

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7mm08 isn't that common and you are going to spend more money on ammo, however the 30-06 will kick harder. personally i have fired both and was more accurate with the 7mm.

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It all depends on what you are hunting it is recommended for elk size animals to use at least a 30 cal. weapon therefore the7 mm does not meet the criteria even though I have used both . For a greater range of use the 30-06 has a better range of ammo available from 180 grain down to 22 caliber accelerators (sabot load ) so as far as better neither all purpose 30-06 good luck and good hunting

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30-06 will get the job done... if distance is invovled ive found the 7mm to be far more accurate and you fill more confident with a 300 yrd shot... ive been hunting for 6 yrs. im 19 now, in colorado... i personally use a 30-30 due to that i hunt in heavy foolage...

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If you will be hunting large heavy boned game such as Brown Bear and maybe large Elk and Moose I'd go with the '06. It will give you a heavier range of bullet up to, I believe 220 gr. However, if you want a more versitile gun I'd go with the 7MM. Bullet weights are available for all but the largets game and it will shoot flatter than the '06 if you are to do some long range hunting (Pronghorn, Mule deer etc). Generally rifles chambered for the 7MM are a little lighter to lug around. I personally have a Remington .280 and love it.

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If you insist go with the 30-06. But you might want to look at the .270, it has better ballistics with the same knock down power. Espically for deer no matter where your at.

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Bound's hubby here:

I am not certain what rifle you plan on using, but I think you have made a couple of fine choices about caliber.

Personally, I do not own any 7mms, and do not plan on it. I own many .30-06s and .308s. I prefer long shots, so I would rely on the .30-06 more than the 7-08.

Many good points about the .30-06 have been made ... the '06 cartridges will be more readily available, with bullets ranging from the .22 accelerators to the 220 grain bullet. Typically, for deer, the 150-165 grain bullets will be more than sufficient. The 180-220s can be better "brush busters".

As an aside ... in order to be a good (read "productive") hunter, you need to practice ... not just hitting your target, but in judging ranges. This can be helped most by shooting alot ... and competition can give you the incentive to improve your marksmanship. The '06 lends itself to all forms of competitive shooting out to 1000 yds, and you become accustomed to seeing the ranges making you a better hunter. The '06 is a more versatile round.

As an aside on your rifle ... I prefer heavy barrelled varmint/target type rifles. Yes, they may be a pound or two heavier than most hunting rifles, but I find that a divident, not a detriment. I know with the heavy barrel, I will hit my target consistently ... first time, every time. The limiting factor here, is that current production heavy barreled rifles are available in .22 centerfires, 6mm/243, or .308. I use a .308 varmint rifle and am confident at taking one shot kills on deer sized game to 600 or so yards. Eventually, one of my Springfield's will wear a heavy barrel, and the .30-06 will find itself back in the hunting fields where I am most comfortable.

Good luck, and remember to practice!

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30-06 my dauhter has a 7mmo8 look at the price of shells for the 7mm08 30-06 has better range cheaper shells

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Have had and shot both. I sold the 06 and bought a Browning lever action (BLR) 7mm08 about 12 years ago. I think it shoots flatter, I hit more accurately and has all of the knockdown power you will ever need for deer. I have killed many deer around the 100 to 150 yard range and as far out as 275 to 300 with a single shot. 80% fall in their tracks and rarely do the rest travel more than 30 or 40 yards. I don't look at the price of shells that much, the 08 may be a bit more expensive as some suggest. BUT, if you sight the gun in and are careful, you have little expense in shells other than to hunt. I maybe shoot 2 rounds each fall to check my scope and then about 1 for each deer I kill (usually!) unless I miss one. A box of 20 shells with a zeroed gun may last you 3 seasons, depending on how many seasonal shots you take. If the shells are $10.00 higher, spread that over 2 or 3 seasons and I'll pay that and more to load a gun I'm comfortable with no matter what the caliber. As for availability of 08 in your area i can't say, I don't have a problem finding mine. When it comes down to it, yours is the only opinion that counts, if you know your gun and you like your gun, you'll do just as well with a $100.00 30-30 from a pawn shop (I've owned a couple of those I'd like to have back). Good luck and good hunting and I hope all of these answers have helped.

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.30-'06 is the best all-around you can get. If you're brave, You can take down anything on the continent with it.

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