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7MM-08 Rem. Mag. vs .30-06

Ballistics Performance Comparison of 7MM-08 Rem. Mag. vs .30-06 Cartridges

The 7mm-08 Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield are both well-loved cartridges for medium and large game alike. The smaller rifle of the .30-06 can be a benefit when you’re making long treks through the backcountry, but the flatter trajectory of the 7mm-08 can help if you’ll be making long-distance shots. In this guide, we’ll see how these calibers compare across several key metrics so you can decide which is best for your unique hunting needs.

7mm-08 Rem Mag vs 30-06 Springfield

The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 7MM-08 Remington Magnum vs .30-06 Springfield based on bullet weight and various performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.

7MM-08 Rem. Mag. 154 gr vs .30-06 Springfield 165 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.

(Note: Bullet grain selected based on most popular hunting usage.)
7MM Remington Magnum .30-06 Springfield
Bullet Velocity (Muzzle) 3,100 ft/s 3,286 ft⋅lb
Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds 2,915 ft/s 2,731 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds 2,737 ft/s 2,532 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds 2,567 ft/s 2,341 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds 2,403 ft/s 2,158 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds 2,244 ft/s 1,984 ft/s
Bullet Energy (Muzzle) 3,286 ft⋅lb 3,167 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 100 yds 2,905 ft⋅lb 2,732 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 200 yds 2,562 ft⋅lb 2,348 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 300 yds 2,253 ft⋅lb 2,007 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 400 yds 1,974 ft⋅lb 1,706 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 500 yds 1,722 ft⋅lb 1,442 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 Large Game
Usage @ 500 yds Large Game Medium Game
Recoil Energy 13.9 20.1
Recoil Velocity 10.9 12.7
Recoil Score* 2.75 3.43
*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

Both calibers are shoot fast out of the muzzle, but the .30-06 has the advantage by 186 fts. However, this advantage is immediately lost, as the 7mm-08 Rem Mag overtakes it by 184 ft/s even by the 100-yard mark. The Rem Mag only increases its advantage over longer distances: by the time we reach 500 yards, the Rem Mag is moving 260 ft/s faster than the .30-06. If you’ll be shooting inside of 200 yards, you’ll see the velocities are very similar, but this difference will become significant if you’re shooting at longer ranges. Both cartridges stay supersonic to just past 1,000 yards.

Energy

The 7mm Rem Mag also takes the lead when it comes to energy, and this time it has the advantage at all distances. Right out of the muzzle, the Rem Mag is moving with an extra 119 ft-lbs of energy over the Springfield. It maintains this advantage and even widens the gap at longer distances: by 300 yards, the Rem Mag is ahead by 246 ft-lbs, and by 500 yards, its advantage has grown to 280 ft-lbs.

Trajectory

With the greater speed and energy, it’s not a surprise that the 7mm Remington Magnum also flies flatter than the .30-06 Springfield. Comparing a 140 grain 7mm Rem Mag with a 150 grain 30-06 both zeroed at 200 yards, we see the Rem Mag have 6.1” of drop compared to the .30-06’s 7.2”. At 500 yards, we see the Rem Mag drop 35.5” compared to 43.1” on the Springfield – quite a difference to correct for if you’ll be shooting at these longer distances. This is thanks to the more aerodynamic bullets of the 7mm Rem Mag as well as its higher energy and speed.

The Rem Mag is also less susceptible to wind drift, which is measured as the impact of a 10mph crosswind on the bullet’s trajectory. The same weighted bullets will have the 7mm drift 5.6” compared to the .30-06’s 7.5” at 300 yards. By 500 yards, the 7mm will drift 16.6” compared to the .30-06’s 22.9” – again, a significant difference.

Recoil

Neither of these calibers has a reputation as a particularly mild-shooting cartridge. However, the .30-06 is supplying quite a bit more recoil than the 7mm-08. With the increased power of the 7mm, you might expect to buckle up for greater recoil – but here it’s the opposite. Remember, recoil can impact your ability to shoot your firearm accurately, and it can simply wear you out over the course of a long day of shooting.

Versatility

The 7mm-08 Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield both have long histories as deer and large game hunting cartridges. They are highly comparable in the range of game they’ve taken down. If you’re a fan of long-range hunting, the slight advantage of the 7mm Remington Magnum might start to make a difference. However, the greater frontal surface area of the .30-06 allows you to be just a bit less precise with shot placement – though a precise shot is still crucial to taking your target. This means that some hunters see the .30-06 as a better option for larger game.

Price & Availability

Both calibers are highly popular, which means that ammunition should be readily available from multiple manufacturers at your most convenient ammunition store. However, the .30-06 is just a bit more popular than the 7mm, so you’ll likely find a wider selection of options for this caliber. The .30-06 is also quite a bit cheaper than the 7mm thanks to its popularity, which may add up to a real difference if you plan to shoot many rounds.

Size Comparison

The 7mm-08 Remington Magnum is larger than the .30-06 Springfield: the rim diameter is .532” compared to .473”, which is a significant difference. While the .30-06 is slightly (.05”) longer, the 7mm-08 has a steeper shoulder, which gives it much more case capacity and thus the ability to be loaded to a higher pressure. However, the .30-06 does have larger diameter bullets, at .308” compared to .284” for the Remington, and often uses heavier bullets. Remington is typically fired in bullets from 139-175 grains, while .30-06 is usually in the rain as 110-220 grains.

Rifle Type

Both of these calibers are used in standard/long-action rifles. The .30-06 is more popular as a classic big game hunting cartridge, so you may have more options available. These cartridges are most common in bolt-action rifles. Typically, the 7mm-08 Rem Mag is chambered in rifles with longer barrels due to the amount of powder used, and this extra gun can make a big difference when hiking the backcountry. The extra length can also make a difference if you’ll be maneuvering through smaller spaces such as brush or deer stands.

The 7mm Rem Mag uses quite a bit more powder in a smaller space than the Springfield. This means that it will wear out the barrel of your rifle more quickly. If you’re planning to use your rifle primarily for hunting, both calibers will still take many years to wear out your barrel.

Which Caliber is Best?

Both calibers will help you take down your target, whether it’s a deer, moose, elk, black bear, or just about anything else you might find in North America. However, the 7mm-08 Remington Magnum does have a bit of extra power that makes it higher energy and flatter shooting, especially at longer distances. If you want all that and less recoil to boot, the Rem Mag might be the best option for you. If you want a smaller rifle, you won’t be hunting long ranges or in windy conditions, or you want the extra stopping power of a larger bullet, the .30-06 might be the way to go.

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.