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I'm thinking about getting a new rifle. The problem I'm having is what caliber to get. I thinking of getting a 7MM-08 or a 25-06

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  • #16
    Both are fine cartridges known for unusual knockdown power combined with light recoil. But they are different.

    The 7mm-08 shoots bullets in the 100g to 195g weight range at speeds from 3350 to 2250 fps respectively although the 120-140g bullets are the most practical for the states you target. It is a little slower than the 25-06 but if you use 100 or 120g bullets, speeds are actually comparable to those weight bullets in the 25-06.

    With its capability for larger bullets and slower speeds, the 7mm is preferable if you are hunting brushy river bottoms, swamps and very heavy timber. A nice slow moving 175g bullet chops through alders better than any 25-06 bullets (although I load 120s down for those situations and haven't been disappointed).

    The 7mm-08 has a little too much recoil for heavy (200-500 rounds per day) prairie dog hunting (since the minimum bullet weighs 100g and ricochets pretty bad). For mule deer you can shoot at near 25-06 speeds as long as you use same weight bullets, however the 25-06 bullets penetrate better and give you a little more range as well. Both are fast enough to tag a deer just fine. If you shoot 130g or 140g bullets in the 7mm, you will notice it is much slower than a 25-06 causing tougher leads on running game like coyotes, antelope and muleys. But if you hit them, it will put them down just fine.

    The 7mm may be the better choice for elk hunting but that is debatable. I have no doubt about shooting an elk with a 25-06 within 250 yards. With the 7mm you will be using 150-160g bullets for elk around 2600 fps for a range of about 250 yards as well. Although the 7mm-08 can shoot larger bullets at elk, neither cartridge is great for elk because they put too severe a limit on range (e.g. a .300 Winny will give you 600 yards so why impose limitations on such an expensive hunt and such a tough animal).

    The 25-06 shoots bullets in the 75g-120g range at speeds of 3750-3200 fps respectively. This gives you the speed of the 22-250 and ultra-light recoil with highly frangible bullets for p-dogs and woodchucks. The 87g smacks coyotes and antelope out to 500 yards at 3600 fps where it outperforms the 22-250 for effective range. The 100g bullet is the typical deer load for the prairie at 3350 fps and smacks them down out to 500 yards.

    At that speed, leads and holdover are minimal which helps put meat on the table. The 115-120s are for longer ranges (400-600 yards), brushy terrain and elk.

    I would suggest the 25-06 for most applications because of speed. On the prairie, speed is your friend, especially if prairie dogs or antelope are on your docket. You usually aren't waiting for game to pose and often have to shoot at 45-60 mph game and posing shots over clear ranges out to 500 yards or more.

    I've seen dozens of people who just can't imagine shooting a deer with a little 100g bullet. They mostly shoot 150g-200g 30-06s and just imagine that a large bullet is required. IT ISN'T. I've shot deer with numerous cartridges from .223 through .375 H&H and I can honestly say, my choice is the 25-06 because it is the easiest to get on target and it knocks them as dead as a .270 or 30-06. Out of about 100 deer and about 150 antelope I have seen shot with a 25-06, I have seen animals run from 50-100 yards about 20 times. Most without a heart or with a serious hole in their chest and jellied lungs. Most of the others were dropped flat or dropped within 20 feet. I've seen the long runs happen more often with .300 Winny's believe it or not.

    I don't think there is a better cartridge than the 25-06 for the open prairie considering flat shooting speed, killing power, economical operation and light recoil. I've shot a 25-06 since 1967 and numerous family members and buddies have adopted that cartridge after they witnessed its performance on a prairie hunt with a few hundred long range p-dogs, a few coyotes, a couple antelope and a muley or two. None of them have been disappointed and I see more happy converts every year.

    I'm very sorry to hear that Sarge was not pleased with his 25-06 results. He is the first 25-06 shooter I've encountered that feels that way. By the way, I've personally only seen one 25-06 100g or 120g bullet fail to penetrate a deer completely out to 400 yards... that was a Texas heart shot at about 250 yards that broke pelvis, six ribs, went through the heart and the sternum and was lodged in the brisket hide. Two years ago, I also found my second one lodged in an antelope's shattered pelvis. That was a head-on shot from 500 yards and the bullet penetrated the chest, when through the heart, about two feet of half digested alfalfa (consistency of wet cement). I use a fast expanding Sierra Game King for those longer, slower bullet speed take downs. Most of mine however have fallen to the Hornady Interlock 100g spire point, some to the Sierra Game King.

    Regardless of which you choose, you will have an outstanding cartridge and a lifetime of enjoyment. Happy hunting!

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    • #17
      You will likely find limited availability for both cartridges in many places. I would not go with either unless I handload. But that's just me.

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      • #18
        youngfisherman-
        MIT is a great school, and when I lived in Tishomingo, there were two excellent sporting goods stores in the town. No problems getting ammunition of any type, and there are also excellent sporting goods stores in Ardmore, OK. (33 mi.) and Madill, OK. (17 mi.)There is also dove hunting on the school owned property, trout fishing in the Blue River, good fishing and bow hunting for rough fish in Lake Texhoma, catfish in the Washita River, and public hunting on the Hickory Creek PHA. You have made a good choice of school for one who has outdoor interests.
        Are you planning on taking Murray's gunsmithing course, by any chance?

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        • #19
          its all about personal preferance

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          • #20
            crm3006 I am actually am going to take the gunsmithing course. is there any good places to deer hunt around Tishomingo???

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