Ammunition

Review: 7mm Remington Magnum

7mm Remington Review cartridge

Ever since we fought Spain and faced the 7mm Mauser, Americans have had an interest in the 7mm cartridge of all types. I have fired and used the 7 x 57mm Mauser and did not quite fall in love with it the way some do.

It is a fine cartridge, of course, but I was so hopelessly smitten by the Springfield .30-06 (and later the Mark X Mauser) that I simply did not care for the 1893 Mauser rifle. My loss, I am certain!

Then I had a flirtation with the 7mm-08. This is a crackerjack of a cartridge that is generally used by the most experienced rifleman.

However, when the 7mm Remington Magnum crossed my path, I sat up and paid attention. Here was a 7mm that exhibited a flat trajectory and greater accuracy. Yet, at least to me, it did not kick any more than the .30-06 Springfield.

7mm Remington Review cartridge
The 7mm projectile offers excellent long-range accuracy.

On the other hand, the .300 Winchester Magnum beats me up – and many other folks. The rifle I found in the used rack at a shop was a Savage 110. While I also used Remington and Ruger rifles, the Savage 110 has been my favorite for many years.

I like the design, the bolt throw, and the smoothness of the Savage rifle. As for the cartridge, the 7mm Remington Magnum is the result of considerable development by American experimenters.

A Formidable Cartridge

A 7mm 160-grain bullet at 3200 fps is a sure killer on most North American game and a flat shooter. The cartridge has also seen institutional service by Federal Agents and the Texas Rangers as a counter-sniper.

While considerable practice is needed to master the cartridge in this role, it is a sure penetrator and very effective. I have used the Lyman die-set to load up a number of very accurate and flat shooting loads, using primarily Hornady 7mm bullets.

Some say the neck is a little short, others feel the Magnum belt is unnecessary. Maybe so, but the cartridge doesn’t seem to know this and offers excellent performance and accuracy.

Lyman 7mm Rem Mag
Lyman loading dies are first class and offer real precision.

Like many shooters, I was once entranced by velocity. Driving a 140-grain bullet to 3300 fps is possible. However, if long-range accuracy is the goal, the heavier bullets generally hold their velocity in a superior manner.

If the game is more than 200 pounds, a heavier bullet is indicated. The 7mm Magnum may destroy more meat than the .30-06, but it certainly anchors the game as well. I think 150 grains at 3100 fps is the sweet spot for all-around use.

The heavier bullets have been used on moose and bear, game I have no experience with. The 160-grain and heavier class are certainly accurate and offer excellent penetration for the amount of recoil generated.

But for what I use the 7mm Magnum for—deer-sized game and target shooting—it is a joy to use and fire. I have mounted a scope that is absolutely too much for the rifle for most uses, but then it is a fine scope and I have it on hand.

The March F class is designed for 1000 yard competition. It may seem a poor fit for a relatively short barrel 7mm Magnum, but I am a gun crank first and really enjoy pushing accuracy to the limit. But never safety!

7mm Remington Magnum Rifle
This is an easy rifle to mount with a scope. The March is overkill in some ways, but performed well.

Loads to Love

Hornady offers excellent loads for the 7mm Remington Magnum:

My rifle is only good for 1.25 to 1.35 inches for three shots at 100 yards. That is actually very good for this light rifle, but a new Savage 110 with the full-length barrel and improved stock is a better choice.

Mine is fine for what I do, and this level of accuracy is good to 200 yards for deer-sized game.

Savage 110 rifle
The Savage 110 is a reliable, affordable and fast-handling rifle.

When handloading the 7mm Magnum, I have put enough time into it to understand that it isn’t a problem cartridge at all to load. The 25-degree shoulder allows proper head spacing. The belt, well, no one likes it but I have no complaints.

There is plenty of neck tension. I have used old standards like IMR 4350 with excellent results. H4350, IMR4451 and perhaps a number of others are good as well. With the 82 grains of water case capacity, you need to use slow-burning powder.

To be frank, it takes some work to equal factory load accuracy and more work to beat it—but it can be done. This is comparing my hand loads to premium factory loads.

7mm Remington boxes
Federal Ammunition, Hornady Custom, and the author’s handloads have given good results in the 7mm Remington Magnum.

The heaviest load I have used to date is the Federal 180-grain Accubond. This is an accurate loading that delivers real power at long range. The Accubond is a proven performer.

I have loaded the Accubond in my personal rifle and also in an order Ruger 77 in 7mm Remington Magnum. Performance has been good to excellent.

While the load isn’t at it’s best in a shorter barreled rifle, arguably no Magnum load is. Still, this is a very accurate loading in the Savage rifle.

7mm Magnum Savage rifle
The 7mm Magnum Savage rifle is a fast handling and reliable rifle.

After careful load practice, weighing each powder charge and taking care in assembly, my old rifle has occasionally turned in 0.9-inch three-shot groups at 100 yards. The stock is tight, the rifle is properly bedded, and the trigger is adjusted correctly.

Most of the time, the groups are larger. But this is a bargain rifle, if a very good one. The 7mm Remington Magnum is a step up in trajectory and power from the old .30-06 I love.

7mm Remington Magnum: Conclusion

While I am not giving up the .30-06, the 7mm is clearly a valuable part of my working battery. If you are looking for a powerful cartridge that outsteps the .30 class in general (and the .30-06 in particular), but does so without heavy recoil, this is the trick.

What do you think of 7mm cartridges? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (38)

  1. Got custom built MarkX 7mmmag in 1973, beautiful rifle, Redfield 4×12 on top, shot 57/64ths group, didn’t know the turkey shoot was for groups. Shot the first two low, so I aimed up for the third shot. A friend bought a RemBDL 7mm, went out to the range. He shot 2-3 shots, said he couldn’t shoot it anymore. I said you shoot a 300 Winmag, he said yeah, and it doesn’t kick like this thing. I had shot 20 rounds with mine, shot his once, thought my teeth were coming out. I took mine out with a 30;06, they kicked almost identical. Love my 7!!!!

  2. I am also a big fan of the 7mm Rem Mag. Lot’s of newer shooters seem to be gravitating towards the 6.5 Creedmore and although the 6.5 has fabulous capabilities, I have successfuly put the 7mm out past 800 yards. The 7 is so much less susceptible to wind drift than the 30.06 (and the .308) and the drops are no where near the same. The ELD-X 162 gr when pushed to 3000fps muzzle velocity has approximately a 20 MOA drop at 800 meters. The 0.612 ballistic coefficient is unmatched by most 30 cal projectiles. Although known as a barrel burner, I have had no problems on a modified Rem 700 with a Krieger SS Heavy Varmint Match 8 twist barrel with over 600 down the pipe.Had my best results using Retumbo and Hybrid 100V, but worked up a fabulous load with lighter projectiles using Superperformance faster burning powder! Although I have yet to shoot this rifle past 800 I sincerely believe there will be ample energy and terminal velocity out to 1200 with one of the heavier projectiles. Love this old belted magnum!

  3. I used a beautiful old 30-06 Springfield sporter for years, but when I got a chance at my first elk, I was carrying my 444 marlin. Hunting in the heavy wooded hillsides in Montana’s Bitterroot valley,it just seemed a better choice. I had it loaded with 300 grain xtp’s at about 2000 fps. When I came around a turn in the trail, there was the big rump of an elk just to my right. Keeping one eye on the rump, I was looking to see the rest of the herd, that must certainly be there, when his head came up, and I was actually looking at my first shootable bull elk! I put one of those big 300 gr. hollow points right into his rear end, and he went down within 50 feet. It blew out the artery in the right,hip and continued on out the right shoulder. The next season I found a bargain on a slightly used mod.70 Winchester in 7MM magnum an snatched it right up. With my handloads of the 175gr. Sierra boattails and 62gr. of 4831SC, My first 100 yd. groups were averaging 1/2″, and 11/2″at 300 yds! Since then I have taken two more elk, and several big deer with it. IT’s all I could want for Montana hunting.

  4. Like you, I too used various 30-06 rifles for deer hunting for over 20 years. Then about 10 years ago, I switched to the Rem. 7mm mag in a T/C single shot rifle. With this rifle, I have always shot 150 grain ammo 7 mm mag. ammo and have had tremendous success with both great accuracy and tremendous knock-down power. The longest shots to-date are 265 yards on a whitetail, and 280 yards on antelope, both without having to compensate for bullet drop with the rifle sighted in at 200 yards. Most game, including two elk, drop on impact. None ever go more than 50 yards if they do manage to run. All of this with what seems to me to be less recoil than my old 30-06’s. I am sure part of the less perceived recoil is due to the heavy bull-barrel T/C rifle and the Simms recoil pad, but it really is a comfortable rifle to shoot even if it is a magnum. Can’t say enough about the flat trajectory, accuracy and down range energy of the 7mm magnum.

  5. I’ve had my eye on the 7mm mag ever since it came out. I bought the Thompson dimension a few years ago. Went to a gun show and got some once fired brass and threw them in the tumbler. I loaded the 140gr BT Nosler bullets and headed to the range. Once sighted in I was shooting 1 1/2” group. I tried everything to get my tight group back. I checked to see if the barrel came loose and it did. So I took the barrel off and cleaned everything really good. Once back together the best I could do is 1 1/4” group. I understand that this is very good for hunting but I was hoping for a tighter group. I think I will try the Savage 110 and see how that can throw a bullet. You barely notice the recoil in the Dimension in the 7mm. I also have a 300 win mag barrel for it that I haven’t tried out yet. I love the 7 mm so much I don’t want to shoot anything else. I highly recommend that Caliber.

  6. I bought a Remington model 700 in 1980. I have taken over 200 head of game with it. The majority with 139 and 154 grain bullets, all Hornady. The game has ranged from 20 pound steenbok to 600 pound kudu and waterbuck. I have never felt under gunned! I don’t think I would hunt big bears, moose or eland with it but up to kudu and elk it is just fine.

  7. I have an older Ruger 77 in 7mm Magnum topped with a Burris 3-9X50 scope. I load mostly Nosler bullets as that’s what this rifle likes. 140 Ballistic Tips for deer sized game and 175 Partitions for bigger critters. It’s been my go to rifle since I bought it new in 1986 and has since filled my freezer many times over. Deer, black bear, elk, moose and caribou have all fallen to this combo and it’s never let me down. My love for the 7mm in all its forms started when as a 10 year old my Dad bought me an old surplus Mauser in 7X57 for my first deer rifle and now 54 years later here we are!!

  8. if you still love your 30-06, and want more performance , consider rechambering it to a P.O. Ackley Improved ! I love mine.

  9. My favorite hunting rifle is an old Ruger M77 with a tang safety in 7mm Rem Mag. I think the recoil is heavier than a 30-06 I was tearing up too much meat with the lighter bullets on medium sized game and switched to the factory premium 175 grain loads. Problem solved. I love the caliber and my old Ruger. I shoot 1″ groups at 100 yards while sighting in from a rest.

  10. There are much better bullets than what is listed here. Try the Nosler 168 Long Range Accubonds sitting above H4831. The Nosler Custom Competition bullets are also great.

  11. What do you consider to be the ideal length barrel for a 7mmRM and what’s just to short? Let’s say for a good bean field Deer Rifle (200 lb Buck), 500 yds and under.
    I’ve been shooting 139 grain Hornady SST’s and Interlocks, but would consider shooting a little heavier, if it would be better and not kick like a slug gun. I have a Savage 116 in a 7mmRM with what is called a 22″ barrel, fluted stainless with a Factory muzzle brake. But it has 2″ of muzzle break in that 22″, so it’s more like a 20″…I dropped it in a Choate Varmint Stock, Rifle Basix trigger 2#. I originally bought it for the action and had planned on putting another barrel on it.
    My rifle is definitely to heavy to tote around in the woods. I just use it in a tower stand, shooting from a bench. But used it a little last year with some factory loads… 5 shots in a soft ball size circle at 200 yds. The first 3 will be the tightest. I definitely need some more practice. Haven’t shot any handloads yet.

  12. My 7mm is a Browning Abolt lefty…this rifle outshoots me everytime I shoulder it.
    I use Nosler 140gr ballistic tips and feed it Win296 fuel. It responds generally with one-shot kills on whitetails if I can steer it right. Longest shot was ranged later at 296 yards and its always the same: pull trigger and deer disappears out of scope. When I get out there, dead buck!

  13. My experience was in Remington 700 BDL. I have fired many different calibers and my opinion it has much more kick than 30-06. I couldn’t shoot more than 10 rounds at one sitting. I have experienced case head separation at the belted portion of the case after as few as 3 reloads. It is a very potent long range round capable of taking anything on this continent.

  14. I have been using the 7mm magnum for many years, first in a Ruger 77 , and now in a Browning BAR. I have tried using several different brands of ammo, but have found that Federal premium with the nosler partition bullet has by far offered the best all-around performance and accuracy of the several that I have used.

  15. I’ve owned and hunted with a RUGER 7mm Rem. mag. since the mid 80’s.. This was a used rifle when I purchased it, and it had a Weaver 2 1/2 to 7 power wa scope mounted on it.. I love the rifle and have shot many white tail over the years with it.. After several years of owning it I replace the stock with a Bell and Carson fg stock.. It may not be any lighter than the original wooden stock, but it’s more resistant to the weather.. I hunt from a blind so weight isn’t a factor.. I agree with your assessment of the 150 gr ammo. I’ve always shot Remington 150 gr corelok ammo and have killed deer out to 300 yards, although most were at 100 yards or less.. When I first started hunting with it, everyone said they thought it was over kill, haha.. Most all of them have since switched to 7 mm mag’s.. Thank you for the article..!

  16. Many years ago, one of my brothers found himself in bad financial shape and offered to sell me his Winchester Model 70 in 7mm Remington magnum. This was the much-maligned post 1964 model, but I bought it from him anyway. Fitted with a new HS Precision stock, a Burris Elite 6500 2.5×16 scope, and stoked with 160gr. Barnes TSX bullets atop a generous dose of IMR4831 powder, it turns in sub-MOA groups, the best of which measured 3/8″. I have taken numerous animals with it, up to a 2000 lb. eland. I t is a great cartridge, and a great rifle.

  17. I have 2 7mm mags. One I built on a Argentine mauser the other is a ruger 77with a Winchester laradeo barrel. Both shot well 1/2 at 100 yards. I also built my cuz a 7 mag. I love mine.

  18. My favorite 7mm cartridge is the .280 Rem. It clocks in at just 150 – 200 fps lower than the 7mm mag, but the deer can hardly tell the difference.

    My Marlin MR7 .280 will print nearly ‘one hole’ 100 yds groups with some handloads.

  19. Great article and evaluation on the 7mm. It is a great round and is my favorite for larger north American game animals, It puts animals down with one shot and I think the recoil is very manageable.

  20. I love my Ruger M77, 7 mag. I shoot Federal Premium 165 grain Sierra Game King. Very accurate and flat shooting. Have made several kills at 500+ yards with this combination.

  21. I have been using the 7mm Mag for the past 20 years for whitetails in Pa. Shots have been from 30 yards to 150 yards. Every deer I have hit with a well placed shot has fallen in its tracks.(A few clean misses have been intermixed). I shoot factory Remington 150 grain core lokt from a ruger stainless rifle. It shoots pretty tight groups with very little practice on my part. More than enough accuracy for deer hunting. Wouldn’t trade it. Great caliber with tremendous knock down power. I’m confident it would handle moose or elk with the proper bullet/load.

  22. while I agree the 7mm mag is accurate, and excellent for long range target shooting, at practical hunting ranges it is about equal to the 30-06 both 3000 fps with 165 (30-06) and 162 (7mm) bullets
    the 7mm mag requires 20% more powder to achieve this and kicks a lot more (recoil determined by swapping barrel and bolt head on a savage 110, thus using the same rifle.) for a hunting round alone its a poor choice as there is no real benefit over the 30-06 and its a lot more recoil and powder. If you want a long range target rifle that you can also hunt with its a great choice.

  23. For several years, I punched holes in deer with the 180 grain round nose 30.06 in the farmlands of Eastern NC. I got tired of retrieving them from tick and snake-infested cutovers and once out of waist deep water. Always dead with an easy trail but 100-yards into the woods. I switched to the 7mm magnum with 160 grain Nosler partitions in a Browning BAR and never had to track one again. In fact, out of scores of deer I shot with that rifle, only one ever got up and he only went 10 yards. A great choice – a little more messy to clean but always anchored where I shot them.

  24. I became a fan of the 7mm rem mag somewhere around 15 years ago. I ended up with a mark 5 chambered in 7mm rem mag in a trade with a close friend he was determined to get my 500 mag conversion. I loaded some loads 150/175 and deer hunted the deer where running off after a good shot maybe 100 yards or so. I was hunting public land and 100 yards meant someone else claimed the deer. So I went back to my .270 I was working up loads not wanting to give up on the 7mm rem mag I had the same results. I would of gave the rifle to anyone who wanting it. It sat in the back of the guy safe for a few years then I ran into a guy out groundhog hunting. I was shooting a 22-250 and he had a 7mm rem mag. He loaded 100 gran serria sbt told me the load and I worked up a new load with 120 gran sbt serria the next deer I shot I had the result I want with a good bit more than the 270 I used. Today I use my mark 5 chambered in 7mm rem mag with a Boyd Varmit lamented stock class bedded Nicon scope I ported the barrel shooting hogs at 500 yards no problem and the recoil isn’t to bad. My pet gun for sure

  25. I have been using a Savage in 7mm Magnum for over 20 years for Michigan deer. This is a very accurate round, but seems to lack in something when it comes to dropping deer in their tracks. I have shot quite a few deer with many different projectiles, weights, and velocities. Every time, complete penetration with the deer running off. I have hunting companions who have noticed this as well. We always recover them, but I can honestly say, the 30.06 and 30-30 seem to anchor them where they stand. I feel regardless of the projectile, the 7mm mags velocity detracts from it’s usefulness as a large deer round. JMHO

  26. I also have a Savage 110 (although it is in 7 m/m WSM). It is a nail driver with 140 & 160 gr bullets @ 3100 & 3000 fps respectively. Like with most mag rifles, it loves to eat the heavier bullets. Although, my favorite is still my Ruger 77/mk 2 in 300 win mag using 180 gr @ 3000 fps.

  27. My go to bear, deer, and groundhog cartridge, in a Remmie 700 bdl stock. Bought in the early 1970’s and topped with a Redfield 4×12 traditional scope. I hand load everything from 115 gr to 175 gr. Remington used to offer a 125 gr factory corelokt load which was an excellent choice for deer. It has dropped several deer in their tracks with proper shot placement.Accuracy is very good with 120 gr flat base bullets and 66.0 grs of IMR 4350, Perhaps the best the best all around powder for the 7mm magnum. The Hornady 162 gr ELD X is an excellent all around choice for me when both black bear and deer are in season simotaneously here in Pa.

  28. I also shoot the 7mm rem mag . I own two riffles in this caliber , but find that I tend to shoot my long barrel Savage more than my Weatherby . Perhaps because my savage is threaded and I run a can on it . The savage has a long thin barrel that heats up fast and the groups begin to open up after 4 shots . I prefer a 162 grain bullet on top of IMR 4350 with this round . The draw backs I see as a hand loader are that it uses too much powder and tends to enlarge the primer pockets after a few reloadings . I have learned that with primer sealer and close case inspection it can be a dream to reload and enjoy at the range .

  29. Quite the contrary, I am a fan of the 7×57 cartridge.
    I have a beautiful Ruger 77 (old style) with a Shilen 20″ barrel and a laminate stock. It started it’s life as a 30-06 and I have never been a fan of that particular cartridge,
    Factory loads are under-powered due to the fact that there are quite a few of the old Mausers still being used. With some very careful handloading this gun and cartridge becomes a tack-driver and has very little recoil. My very favorite!

  30. This guy is right it’s a flat shooter I have a rem. 700 BDL with a 50mm Leupold scope it likes the 120gr. hornady ballistic tip it’s my favorite deer and long range rifle

  31. I have a Remington 700 in this caliber and have recently built a load that achieved a great 5 shot group that I can cover 4 shots with a quarter at 100yds. I fear that was my fault and I knew it as soon as i felt the trigger break…I need to work on my ability more. I used a Hornady 154gr SST with RL22. My speed was only 2880, I’m very happy with this cartridge and looking forward to hunting large game. A couple techniques I learned for loading this are I switched to a neck sizing die to allow my cases to be fire formed and extend the life of my brass and give more consistency. I ream the flash hole as the factory left burrs in this area. And I adjusted head space closer to the lands than factory ammo.

  32. That is why I own 4/7mm Remington Mag rifles. I also own 4/243 Winchesters. Next, you go on a hunting trip stop in a Mom and Pop store. See what kind of ammo they have on hand.

  33. I’m 65. From PA. Have been shooting a laminated stocked Ruger 77 in 7 mag since 1986. Hand loads mostly with H4831 – 140 to 175 gr bullets first 15 yrs. Factory ammo since – mostly Fed premium in 160 gr accubond. I know it’s a heavy bullet but I like one load for all game. I have killed Elk, big Mule Deer, Whitetails, Hogs, Black Bears and woodchucks with it out to 450 yds – that was a giant Muley in Colorado using 150 gr. Barnes and H4831. Simple holdover, no fancy scope, just Leopoldo Vasari X 3 3.5 to 10, almost as old as the rifle. Accuracy has always been around 1 moa. This rifle is like a extension of my right arm and I am extremely confident with it. I love the 7 mag cartridge and would not feel undergunned with it in North America except on the biggest bears. It’s getting a bit heavy to carry lately and more often using a Rem 7 in 7mm 08. Like it a lot also

  34. I HAVE RELOADED THE 7MM REM MAG SINCE 1982. MY FIRST, AND BEST, WAS A SAVAGE 110 WITH THE OLD LAMINATED STOCK. I HAVE LOADED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY 140GR BALLISTIC TIPS TO AROUND 3200FPS. THAT LOADED WITH RL22 OR H4831 ALWAYS GAVE SUB MOA GROUPS AT 100YDS. ILAMENT I NO LONGER SHOOT THE MAGNUM BUT OLD AGE (75) PLUS TOTAL RIGHT SHOULDER REPLACEMENT NECESSITATES THAT I MOSTLY SHOOT 7X57 AND 6.5X55 NOW. I ALSO RELOAD FOR THE 27O IN SAVAGE RIFLES THAT ARE SUB MOA LOADS. SAVAGE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE MOST ACCURATE OUT OF THE BOX AFFORDABLE RIFLE I HAVE EVER USED.

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