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30-06 vs 7mm Rem Mag

Ballistics Performance Comparison of 30-06 vs 7mm Rem Mag Cartridges

The 7mm Remington Magnum and the .30-06 Springfield are two very popular big game hunting cartridges that have been used to take a wide variety of game in North America and beyond. While these cartridges are quite similar, they are certainly not identical: the 7mm Rem Mag shoots flatter with greater energy, while the .30-06 offers less recoil and heavier bullets. Which caliber is right for you will depend on your unique hunting needs and goals; we’ll go through several key factors to help you make the decision.

30-06 Springfield vs 7mm Rem Mag

The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 30-06 vs 7mm Rem Mag based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.

30-06 165 gr vs 7mm Rem Mag 162 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.

30-06 Springfield 7MM Remington Magnum
Bullet Velocity (Muzzle) 2,940 ft/s 3,030 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds 2,731 ft/s 2,856 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds 2,532 ft/s 2,689 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds 2,341 ft/s 2,527 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds 2,158 ft/s 2,372 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds 1,984 ft/s 2,222 ft/s
Bullet Energy (Muzzle) 3,167 ft⋅lb 3,302 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 100 yds 2,732 ft⋅lb 2,933 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 200 yds 2,348 ft⋅lb 2,600 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 300 yds 2,007 ft⋅lb 2,298 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 400 yds 1,706 ft⋅lb 2,023 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 500 yds 1,442 ft⋅lb 1,775 ft⋅lb
Usage @ 0 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 100 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 200 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 300 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 400 yds Large Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 500 yds Medium Game Large Game
Recoil Energy 20.1 (165gr) 20.3 (160gr)
Recoil Velocity 12.7 12
Recoil Score* 3.43 3.42
*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures taken 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.

Velocity

While the two calibers are very closely matched in speed, the 7mm Remington Magnum does maintain a consistent advantage over the .30-06 Springfield. Out of the muzzle, the 7mm Rem Mag is flying 90 ft/s faster than the .30-06. At 300 yards, that advantage has expanded to 186 ft/s. By 500 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag is flying 238 ft/s faster than the .30-06. We can see that the 7mm Rem Mag maintains its speed better over longer distances, as its advantage only grows as we cross more distance.

Energy

As with speed, the energy of these calibers is quite evenly matched, but the advantage does go to the 7mm Rem Mag, and it expands as we gain more yards. At the muzzle, the 7mm Rem Mag has an advantage of 135 ft-lbs over the .30-06. At 300 yards, that advantage has grown to 291 ft-lbs. At 500 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag is supplying 333 ft-lbs more energy than the .30-06. Once again, the 7mm Rem Mag is holding up better over longer ranges than the .30-06 Springfield.

Trajectory

Based on the speed and energy comparisons, it is likely not a surprise that the 7mm Rem Mag also has the advantage in shooting flat over longer distances. Let’s compare a 140 grain 7mm Rem Mag against a 150 grain .30-06, both zeroed at 200 yards. At 300 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag will drop 6.1”, while the .30-06 will drop 7.2”. The difference becomes more pronounced at longer ranges: at 500 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag will drop 35.5”, compared to 43.1” from the .30-06. Heavier bullets will drop more, so the larger options from the .30-06 are likely to have even more curve to their trajectory.

We can compare these same weight bullets to see how they hold up against a 10mpph crosswind. The more aerodynamic bullets of the 7mm Rem Mag give it the advantage here as well. At 300 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag will drift 5.6”, compared to 7.5” from the .30-06. At 500 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag will drift 16.6” while the .30-06 will drift 22.9”.

Recoil

Recoil impacts not only your comfort, but also your ability to shoot the gun accurately. The recoil of each of these cartridges is highly comparable, but we can see that the 7mm Rem Mag will offer just a bit more recoil energy than the .30-06. This is not surprising, as the 7mm Rem Mag is also shooting bullets with a higher energy, which ends up expressing on both ends of the firearm.

Versatility

Both the .30-06 and the 7mm Rem Mag are celebrated big game hunting cartridges that each have their own devotees. The added power of the 7mm Rem Mag does allow it to take the largest game in North America at longer distances than the .30-06. The larger gun of the 7mm Rem Mag can also make it difficult to maneuver in a deer stand, but both calibers are excellent for open country hunting over longer ranges. Some consider the 7mm Rem Mag overkill for deer hunting inside of 200 yards, where the lighter .30-06 Springfield is more appropriate. The accuracy of these cartridges has also led to their inclusion in long range shooting competitions, and they have both seen military and law enforcement applications.

Price & Availability

The 7mm Remington Magnum and the .30-06 Springfield are both very popular big game hunting rounds, but the .30-06 is just a bit more popular and established. This means it might be slightly more available, but you should expect to find plenty of options for either caliber in most ammunition stores. The .30-06 can be had less expensively than the 7mm Rem Mag, but if you are primarily using these calibers for hunting, you may not shoot enough rounds for this to make a huge difference.

Size Comparison

While these two calibers are fairly similar in size, the 7mm Remington Magnum is just a bit larger than the .30-06. They share similar overall lengths, with the 7mm Rem Mag coming in at 3.34” and the .30-06 coming in at 3.29”. The larger difference is in the rim diameter, where the 7mm Rem Mag comes in at .532” and the .30-06 comes in at .473”. However, the bullet diameter of the 7mm Rem Mag is smaller, at .284” compared to the .30-06 Springfield’s .308”. The .30-06 typically uses heavier bullets, and they have a flatter face that offers more surface area, which can give just a small amount more flexibility in shot placement.

Rifle Type

As hunting cartridges, both of these calibers are readily available in a variety of bolt action rifles. Both are large enough that they must be chambered in standard/long action rifles. As with ammunition, the slightly more popular .30-06 Springfield will offer a wider selection of rifles from more manufacturers, but there is no shortage of rifles chambered in 7mm Remington Magnum, and there are many high end precision rifles in this caliber. The increased powder of the 7mm Rem Mag causes many manufacturers to use longer barrels, making it a larger gun. This might be an issue if you are planning to trek through the backcountry, where each ounce can make a difference as you rack up miles.

Which Caliber is Best?

The 7mm Remington Magnum delivers better ballistics: it shoots faster, with more energy, and a flatter trajectory. While it packs a bit more recoil than the .30-06 Springfield, it’s still fairly comparable. The 7mm Remington Magnum certainly offers an advantage if you’ll be making long distance shots on larger game. However, the .30-06 Springfield shoots heavier, larger bullets, which will cause more damage and provides a bit more flexibility in shot placement while still ensuring a clean, ethical kill. The .30-06 is also the more popular cartridge with cheaper ammunition in a smaller firearm, which can be an advantage for long trips through the backcountry.

Disclaimer: Sportsman's Warehouse assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information on this page. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.