280 Rem. vs 7mm-08 Rem.
Ballistics Performance Comparison of 280 Rem. vs 7mm-08 Rem. Cartridges
The .280 Remington and the 7mm-08 Remington are both heavy hitting cartridges known for taking down some of the toughest game around. However, there are key differences between them that might make one or the other better for your unique purposes. The .280 Remington has better performance with heavier bullets, but the 7mm-08 Remington can be chambered in a lighter rifle.
The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 280 Remington vs 7mm-08 Remington based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.
280 Rem 150 gr vs 7MM-08 139 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.
|280 Remington||7MM-08 Remington|
|Bullet Velocity (Muzzle)||2,925 ft/s||2,850 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds||2,763 ft/s||2,661 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds||2,607 ft/s||2,480 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds||2,455 ft/s||2,306 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds||2,309 ft/s||2,139 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds||2,167 ft/s||1,980 ft/s|
|Bullet Energy (Muzzle)||2,849 ft⋅lb||2,507 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 100 yds||2,543 ft⋅lb||2,186 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 200 yds||2,263 ft⋅lb||1,899 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 300 yds||2,007 ft⋅lb||1,642 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 400 yds||1,775 ft⋅lb||1,413 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 500 yds||1,564 ft⋅lb||1,209 ft⋅lb|
|Usage @ 0 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 100 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 200 yds||Toughest Game||Largest Game|
|Usage @ 300 yds||Toughest Game||Largest Game|
|Usage @ 400 yds||Largest Game||Medium Game|
|Usage @ 500 yds||Largest Game||Medium Game|
|*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures takend from Sportsman's Warehouse rifle ballistics and rifle recoil tables. Recoil score based on weighted average of recoil energy and recoil velocity normalized between 1 and 10.|
When comparing calibers, it’s important to look at the velocity to see how they stack up. The .280 Remington and the 7mm-08 Remington are fairly evenly matched in this arena, with a small advantage going to the .280 Remington. Out of the muzzle, the .280 has an advantage of 75 ft/s over the 7mm-08. At 300 yards, that difference has grown to 149 ft/s as the .280 Remington maintains a higher velocity than the 7mm-08. At 500 yards, the .280’s advantage has again grown to 187 ft/s.
The energy of the caliber makes a big difference to its stopping power, which is crucial in ensuring a clean, ethical kill. Here again the calibers are fairly evenly matched, with an advantage going to the .280 Remington. Out of the muzzle, the .280 is traveling with an extra 342 ft-lbs of energy over the 7mm-08. At 300 yards, the .280’s advantage has grown slightly to 365 ft-lbs, and at 500 yards, that advantage has held fairly steady at 355 ft-lbs.
A bullet’s trajectory impacts your ability to accurately hit your target. A 140 grain .280 Remington will be expected to drop about 11.6” by the 350 yard mark. A 140 grain 7mm-08 Remington can be expected to drop 6.4” at 300 yards, and 11.7” at 400 yards. We can see that the 7mm-08 Remington has a bit of an advantage in maintaining a flatter trajectory over a longer distance than the .280 Remington.
Both of these calibers are considered to have a moderate recoil. The recoil might be especially difficult if you plan to use a lighter mountain rifle, as recoil is often felt more intensely by the shooter in a lighter gun. The .280 Remington does have a more intense recoil than the 7mm-08 Remington, so make sure you actually need the extra power of this caliber before you commit to dealing with the added recoil. In addition to lowering your comfort level, an intense recoil can impact your accuracy if you are not used to it and experienced at managing it.
The .280 Remington can be loaded with bullets ranging from 100-195 grains. This means that it can be used to shoot smaller game like coyotes all the way up to large game like moose and brown bears, plus all the deer, sheep, and more in between. The 7mm-08 Remington can be chambered from 120-160 grains and beyond, and can be used on deer, elk, moose, and more. Many hunters see it as a strong whitetail round that can also be used for big game.
Price & Availability
While many hunters use these cartridges on all kinds of game, they are not the most popular cartridges on the market. Some factory loads have been discontinued, or are seen as more specialty. However, several major manufacturers do still offer ammunition for both calibers – you might just need to check in advance that the ammunitions dealer near your next backcountry adventure actually carries it before you fly out there. Neither of these calibers is particularly inexpensive, but you can usually find the 7mm-08 Remington more inexpensively than the .280 Remington.
The 7mm-08 Winchester has a case length of 2.035”, while the .280 Remington is just a bit shorter at 2.015”. However, the case for the .280 Remington has more space thanks to its shoulder angle. This means that the .280 Remington is often better at handling heavier bullets of 160-175 grains. These can still be shot decently in the 7mm-08 Remington, but they have to be more compressed.
The 7mm-08 Remington was initially released as a wildcat cartridge and can be chambered in a short-action rifle. The .280 Remington is intended for standard-length action rifles. This means that the .280 Remington is going to need a larger gun in order to fire. The differences in action length can also affect ejection and cycling speed. If you’re planning on taking long trips through the backcountry, the extra ounces (or even pounds) can make a significant difference.
Which Caliber is Best?
The .280 Remington and the 7mm-08 Remington have many qualities in common, but ultimately they are quite different calibers. The .280 Remington has been described as a good all-around medium and large game cartridge, and has the extra power needed to bring down larger game more reliably. The 7mm-08 Remington is great for the hunter who is focused on whitetail or other medium game, but wants the extra umph to bring in larger game with heavier bullets on occasion. The 7mm-08 Remington offers a lighter gun and less recoil, while the .280 offers extra power.
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