7MM-08 vs 308 Win
Ballistics Performance Comparison of 7MM-08 vs 308 Win Cartridges
The 7mm-08 Remington and the .308 Winchester are two very popular deer and large game hunting cartridges. While the two cartridges are very easily matched in many ways and can help hunters chase a variety of game, they do have important differences. The .308 Winchester hits with greater recoil, but also offers heavier bullets. We’ll analyze the differences over a variety of important factors to help you determine which is right for your hunting needs and goals.
The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 7MM-08 vs 308 Winchester based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.
7MM-08 139 gr vs 308 Win 165 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.
|7MM-08 Remington||308 Winchester|
|Bullet Velocity (Muzzle)||2,850 ft/s||2,700 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds||2,661 ft/s||2,496 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds||2,480 ft/s||2,302 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds||2,306 ft/s||2,116 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds||2,139 ft/s||1,939 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds||1,980 ft/s||1,772 ft/s|
|Bullet Energy (Muzzle)||2,507 ft⋅lb||2,671 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 100 yds||2,186 ft⋅lb||2,283 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 200 yds||1,899 ft⋅lb||1,941 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 300 yds||1,642 ft⋅lb||1,640 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 400 yds||1,413 ft⋅lb||1,377 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 500 yds||1,209 ft⋅lb||1,150 ft⋅lb|
|Usage @ 0 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 100 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 200 yds||Large Game||Large Game|
|Usage @ 300 yds||Large Game||Large Game|
|Usage @ 400 yds||Medium Game||Medium Game|
|Usage @ 500 yds||Medium Game||Medium Game|
|*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.|
A lighter bullet will shoot faster, and here the lighter bullets of the 7mm-08 Remington help give it the advantage. Note that we are comparing a 139 grain 7mm-08 against a 165 grain .308 Winchester, and still the difference is not huge. Out of the muzzle, the 7mm-08 is flying 150 ft/s faster than the .308. At 300 yards, that advantage has grown to 190 ft/s. At 500 yards, the 7mm-08 sees an advantage of 208 ft/s.
While the lighter bullet might help with velocity, the heavier bullet gives extra energy and stopping power upon impact. The .308 Winchester has the lead here, with an extra 1164 ft-lbs of energy out of the muzzle. However, that advantage slows over longer distances, and even reverses. The .308 Winchester and 7mm-08 Remington are essentially neck and neck at 300 yards, and by 500 yards, the 7mm-08 is actually packing an extra 59 ft-lbs of energy over the .308.
Trajectory refers to the bullet’s ability to shoot flat, with lower impact from gravity or wind. Let’s compare a 150 grain 7mm-08 against a 150 grain .308 Winchester, both zeroed at 200 yards. By 300 yards, the 7mm-08 will drop 7.5”, while the .308 Winchester will drop 9.1”. At 400 yards, the 7mm-08 will drop 21.6” compared to the .308’s 27.2”. At 500 yards, the 7mm-08 will drop 43.0” compared to 57.3” from the .308 Winchester. As we see, with equal weights the 7mm-08 is able to maintain a markedly flatter trajectory than the .308 Winchester.
Wind drift measures how the bullet is impacted by a 10mph crosswind. Let’s compare a 150 grain 7mm-08 Remington against a 178 grain .308 Winchester. At 200 yards, the 7mm-8 will drift 2.4” compared to the .308’s 2.7”; at 400 yards, the 7mm-08 will drift 9.9” compared to the .308’s 11.4”; and at 500 yards, the 7mm-08 will drift 16.0” compared to 18.4”. Again, our higher-velocity cartridge proves to be more aerodynamic and shoot flatter.
With extra energy and bullet weight comes extra recoil. It’s therefore not surprising that the .308 Winchester produces quite a bit more recoil energy than the 7mm-08 Remington. While most experienced shooters will likely be able to handle it, and the .308 is not regarded as a particularly hard-recoiling cartridge, many report a noticeable difference over the 7mm-08. If you are a beginning hunter, or if you know that recoil will impact your ability to shoot your gun accurately, the 7mm-08 Remington might be a better choice.
The 7mm-08 Remington and the .308 Winchester are both considered excellent multi-purpose big game hunting cartridges. They can be used reliably on game as large as elk, and have been used to take just about every game species in North America. If you are primarily targeting big game, the heavier bullets of the .308 Winchester may help you more reliably take your larger targets from longer distances, but both cartridges are up to the task.
Price & Availability
While both cartridges are popular, the military history of the .308 Winchester does give it an extra boost. The .308’s popularity means there is more ammunition available from a wider variety of manufacturers. Similarly, you’ll be able to find more options of rifles chambered in .308 Winchester than in 7mm-08. Both cartridges can be found for similar price points, though this varies depending on the manufacturer.
Many hunters have spent many hours debating the values of the 7mm (.275”) diameter against the .308” diameter. Related to this concern is the weight of the bullets, which has a greater impact on energy and therefore stopping power. The largest bullets available for the 7mm-08 are 175 grains, while the .308 Winchester can be found up to 200 grains. While these heavier bullets will slow down the velocity, the upper end of either of these cartridges will be plenty to take down any game in North America in the right range with the right shot placement.
The 7mm-08 and the .308 share a 20-degree shoulder. The 7mm-08 gives a longer case length, at 2.035” compared to 2.015”. The .308 has a longer overall length, at 2.81” over 2.8” (a tiny difference). These similar builds mean that they have very similar case capacities.
Both of these cartridges can be used in short action rifles, which means that you can hunt big game with a little less gun than some of the larger cartridges. Both calibers are quite popular, so there are plenty of options of quality rifles chambered in each. You are likely to find more .308 rifles than 7mm-08 rifles thanks to its extra popularity. Both calibers can be chambered in semi-automatic rifles including the AR-10, though you will be able to find a wider range of semi-automatics chambered in .308 Winchester. They are also both commonly chambered in bolt-action rifles.
Which Caliber is Best?
Both the 7mm-08 Remington and the .308 Winchester are tried and true hunting cartridges that will get the job done on many types of game. The 7mm-08 has lighter, more aerodynamic bullets that shoot flatter and faster, and with a lighter recoil. The .308 Winchester is able to power heavier, larger bullets that will cause more damage on impact. With two tested calibers such as these, it’s ultimately up to the hunter’s preference.
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.