The 7mm Remington Magnum and the .30/06 are perennial companions on the “hottest cartridge” lists, which implies that a number of individuals are choosing one or the opposite as their big-game cartridge of selection. However is one actually higher than the opposite? Ignoring the recommendation of St. Matthew (“Choose not, that ye be not judged.”) I’m right here to inform you.
I bought my first .30/06 rifle in 1965. Since then I’ve owned a couple of dozen and shot a number of instances that quantity. I at the moment personal two. I’ve finished every little thing with the cartridge besides rob banks. I bought my first 7mm Remington Magnum in 1972. I’ve owned solely two and finished solely a modest quantity of looking with them.
The .30/03, from which the .30/06 developed, was developed on the Springfield Armory in 1903 to exchange the .30/40 Krag. It fired a 220-grain bullet at 2,300 fps and was badly outclassed by the German 7.9mm Mauser spherical, which shot a lot flatter. The Springfield Armory, its face coated in ballistic egg, altered the .30/03 case to make room for extra powder, went to a 150-grain bullet at 2,700 fps, adopted the 1903 Springfield rifle (Mauser sued them for patent infringement, and received), and the remainder is historical past.
Should you learn Subject & Stream points from the Nineteen Twenties, you see that the ’06 was thought to be way more highly effective than it’s right this moment. This was earlier than magnums, and since the ‘06 is, the truth is, a powerhouse. It was marketed as The One Cartridge that May Do Every part. Its loadings began with a ridiculous 110-grain bullet and ended with a 220-grainer that was fairly helpful. The preferred loadings have been 150 grains and 180. Right this moment, that record additionally contains 165 grains. In each the 1903 Springfield and the M-1 Garand, the ’06 established a stellar fame for accuracy.
The 7mm Rem Magazine arrived in 1962, the brainchild of Remington designer Mike Walker. Walker opted for 2 loadings: a 150-grain spitzer for which 3,200 fps was claimed, and a 175-grain spitzer at a claimed 2,850 fps. The previous velocity was principally wishful considering; you would possibly get 3,100 with a following wind. The latter was pretty reasonable.
The Remington spherical was a hit from the get-go. It was efficient, didn’t kick badly for a magnum, and folks cherished the large fats case, which bespoke energy. The cartridge was considerably helped by the brand-new Mannequin 700 rifle, which was very correct.
The ’06 is a monument amongst rifle cartridges. It’s been round for 116 years and nobody has give you something higher. It’s been produced within the billions and has solely two actual rivals for versatility and breadth of use, and people are the .308 and the .303 Lee-Enfield.
The ’06 is far more highly effective than obligatory for many North American recreation, and since, because of enhancements in powder and bullets, it packs a lot extra wallop than it used to, it may well now take the place of far more highly effective cartridges.
You possibly can, if you want, load the ’06 with 150-grain bullets for deer and antelope, however why? All that for a deer? Get a smaller cartridge; you’ll shoot it higher. Today I exploit two handloads and that’s it—180-grain Swift Scirocco IIs at 2,850 fps and Swift 200-grain A-Frames at 2,650 fps.
The 7mm Remington Magnum
I discovered in a short time after I bought it that my 7mm Rem Magazine would do something my .270 would do besides kick extra. I additionally discovered that after I choreographed the 2 cartridges there was not a pinch of dried owl dung between them. I additionally discovered that the most effective bullet weights have been 160 and 175 grains. That was numerous discovering out.
The unique benefit of the 7mm Rem Magazine was its means to hit distant targets with a minimal of guesswork. However with laser rangefinders and range-compensating reticles, and all the remainder of it, that benefit has largely evaporated. Do your homework and the guesswork vanishes.
With any 7mm magnum, I’d keep away from the 150- and 140-grain bullets which are out there. With all that velocity, you’re going to make a large number, and if it’s at 100 yards or below, a hell of a large number. If you wish to shoot at longer ranges the reply isn’t extra velocity however heavier bullets with increased BCs. Look very laborious on the 175-grain weight. Chances are you’ll really feel underprivileged since you’re solely getting 2,800 fps, however they shoot flatter at lengthy ranges and arrive with significantly extra power than lighter bullets.
Which Is Higher: 7mm Remington Magnum Or .30/06?
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06: Recoil
A .30/06 produces 17 foot-pounds of recoil on common, which is usually thought to be probably the most that a mean shooter can deal with. For decade upon decade, riflemen shot 06s with nary a grievance, however now that we have now a technology weaned on the AR and its pipsqueak cartridges, the spherical could turn into an ogre.
The 7mm Remington Magnum, on the typical, delivers about 20 foot-pounds of recoil. Should you can inform the distinction between 17 foot-pounds and 20, your shoulder is way extra delicate than mine, and maybe you need to take up pickleball as an alternative of capturing.
Winner: A tie.
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06: Accuracy
Right here, the 7 magazine operates below two handicaps. First, it holds significantly extra powder than the ’06. The case capability of the 7 magazine is 83 grains of water; the ’06 maxes out at 68 grains, and it follows because the day the night time that the extra powder you burn the larger your teams.
The .30/06, having been our service cartridge for half a century, was utilized in sniper rifles, in army and civilian competitors, and had complete forests chopped down for paper to print info on its care and feeding. Match-grade .308 bullets have been, and are, out there in profusion, as are match-grade brass, dies, premium loaded ammo, and so forth.
None of that is true of the 7mm Rem Magazine. It was, and is, a looking rifle, interval. If it teams in a minute of elk, that’s all anybody cares about. In order for you tiny teams and also you’re prepared to work at getting them, you’re significantly better off with a .30/06.
Winner: The .30/06.
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06: Value, Selection, And Availability Of Ammo
This isn’t a lot of a contest. The .30/06 is among the most generally distributed cartridges on the planet. It’s loaded in each conceivable configuration, and in each value vary. I believe its solely rival often is the .308.
The 7mm Rem Magazine has at all times been fairly broadly distributed for a magnum. It’s bought at increased costs and loaded to the next degree of high quality than the ‘06 usually talking. I’m knowledgeable that the 7mm Rem Magazine is among the victims of the Nice Ammo Famine; the factories that produce it selected to show away from modest-selling cartridges to the actually fashionable rounds like 5.56 and .308.
At this writing, MidwayUSA shows 69 kinds of 7mm Rem Magazine, and truly carries six. They show 121 kinds of .30/06, and truly carry 24.
Winner: The .30/06.
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06 For Effectiveness On Sport:
You need me to waste your time? What one will do, the opposite will do.
Winner: A tie.
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06 For Barrel Life
A .30/06 will provide you with round 5,000 rounds of first-class accuracy. As a consequence of its smaller bore measurement and heavier powder cost, a 7mm Remington Magnum will do half that.
Winner: The .30/06
7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06 For Ease Of Handloading
The ’06 can fortunately digest absolutely anything powder you feed it. The medium-slow-burners give the most effective outcomes. IMR 4831 and Hodgdon 4831 work fantastic, as do Reloder 22 and 25.
The 7mm Rem Magazine is strictly a slow-powder spherical. If I needed to identify a favourite, it might be RelodeR 25. Neither spherical has any quirks or pitfalls.
Winner: The .30/06, but it surely’s principally educational.
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7mm Remington Magnum Versus .30/06: Efficiency At Lengthy Vary
At this level, I’m obliged to print you out a bushel of numbers proving how one cartridge is superior to a different at shut, medium, and lengthy vary. In all probability, on paper, a 175-grain .284 bullet at 2,800 fps will beat something the .30/06 can do. Nonetheless, when you have been to shoot an ’06 loaded with heavy, high-BC bullets, you would possibly get a shock. The ’06 will not be a magnum, however in the actual world, it has a really spectacular document of hitting at lengthy vary.
My fellow Mid- and Lengthy-Vary rivals pay no consideration to drop tables and ballistics charts. They shoot at targets, beginning at 300 yards and ending at 600 or 1,000, and see the place the bullets hit.
Winner: In concept, the 7mm Remington Magnum. In actuality, a tie.
And the Winner is…
The .30/06. It’s been there, finished all of it, and excelled at every little thing. It’s having fun with one thing of a brand new lease on life as a result of the brand new powders and bullets with which it’s loaded are so good, and since a number of unusually clever ammo firms have found the 200-grain loading. The 7mm Remington Magnum is a sound, moderately versatile spherical that’s solely marginally more practical than the .270 and the .280 and kicks noticeably extra. Your selection.