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Ksquared 07-11-2002 05:11 PM

7mm mag vs. .280 vs. .270
I was looking at ballistics today and I noticed that the 7mm magnum, .280, and .270 all have somewhat similar trajectories although the 7mm mag and the .280 are able to shoot heavier bullets flatter. I want to get a deer rifle that will handle the long shots if I need it to do so, even though I probably wont shoot past 250 yards any way. My uncle shoots a 300 mag and it is very impressive although it has significant recoil and is extremely loud. What is the recoil and noise of the 7mm mag comparable to? Should I just stick with a standard caliber like a 30-06, .270, or .308? I like to hunt in the woods sometimes so would a larger caliber like the 7mm mag tear up the meat at close range? Just wondering.


Wahnie 07-11-2002 05:28 PM

All good choices. If your worried about recoil, I would not reccomend the 7mm Remmy. I would compare the recoil to the .300 Win Mag.

Last time I checked, there is little meat in the chest of a deer, so I wouldn't be worried to much about tearing up meat. Its just a little gooyer when gutting it.

Is this rifle strictly for deer? Or will it be double duty? What other critters might you use it for? For bigger stuff, like elk and moose, I'd go with the '06, .280 or .308. If it will double for varmints, I would go with .270.

wolfclan 07-11-2002 05:51 PM

I own one of each. The 270 is not a caliber I'm fond of but it has thousands of supporters (too bad they are all wrong)
The 7 mag is just a pumped up 280 and I can't see a 270 shooting any better than my 280 with light bullets (120 gr)
So I guess it looks like the 280 is my choce- wrong- there is one major reason I would chose the 7 mag
When I look at an animal thru the scope I am fully confident that animal is moments from being meat, when I view one thru a scope on the 280 I wonder if I have enough gun.
There is no real reason to think that way, but confidence is all important to me- I shoot a lot better when I have faith in the rifle

Ksquared 07-11-2002 05:57 PM

Well, I was really just curious about the 7 mag. It seems like its pretty popular, and I have heard with lighter bullets recoil is like the 30/06. This will probably be just a deer rifle as I dont see anything larger in anytime in the near future. I have also thought about the .243. I killed my first deer with a savage .243 last year and it worked perfectly, but that was with a spine shot. I know that the .243 is a little light, but with a well constructed bullet and a shooter that knows their limits it will work. If I went with the .243 it could serve as a varmint gun with the lighter bullets too. I figure if I got a gun that could handle both, I could invest more into the gun and the optics rather than buying a varmint and a deer rifle.


Jack 07-11-2002 08:10 PM

If you want a combo deer/varmint rifle, the 243 is a good choice. Another good combo cartridge is the 25-06. A little noisier, but a good deer cartridge, and an excellent long range varmint cartridge. If you're thinking mostly varmints, and occasional deer hunting, 243. If you'll occasionally hunt varmints with your deer rifle, 25-06.
The 270 and 280 are both plenty for anything deer sized.
The 7mm magnum is the cartridge if you're thinking deer and elk. It's too much gun for varmints, and it's going to have more recoil and noise.
Sounds like your first centerfire rifle? If so, go with the 243 or 25-06. They're both versatile, and they don't have a lot of recoil. You'll enjoy shooting them, and therefore get the practice you need to be good with them.
Nobody gets good without lots of practice.

gd357 07-12-2002 12:43 AM

Go with the 7mm mag. I've shot a few deer with 'em and if you don't use really light bullets that expand dramatically, you'll lose an extremely minimal amount of meat. If you're shooting factory ammo, the 140 gr Core-lokt remingtons will do just fine. Recoil with the 140s isn't noticably different from a 150gr 30-06. I shot a doe at 40 yards a year and a half ago with the remington core-lokt load and it did a good job. No bullet blowup, just thru and thru penetration - in this case both lungs and the heart. FWIW, 80% of the guys I hunt with prefer the 7 mag. A few use the 30-06, a few more the 270 and one or two use a 243. On second thought, any of the 3 rounds you named will do the job, so go with what you want. Just my $.02

I hope now your choice is slightly clearer than mud:D

muledeer 07-12-2002 12:59 AM

Good choices for whitetaills. In Nevada with alot of open country flat shooting calibers are a must. The flater shooting the better. Shots range from 100 yds to over 500yrds. 25-06 is a minimum, and better are preferred. I shoot 270 and 7 Weatherby Mags.
At the longer ranges, calibers that deliver more foot lbs,. of energy are necessary to drop the deer, elk. 243, 6mm, are ok at close range but not acceptable over 250 yrds. for big game.

CHEROKEE COWBOY 07-12-2002 09:11 AM

The 7 mm mag obviously has more power, but the .270 Winchester is so sweet to shoot, and it is capable of cleanly taking most North American game. So, one must determine if the extra power and/or range capabilities of the 7 mag are necessary.

Regards to all,
Cherokee Cowboy ;)

The Rifleman 07-12-2002 09:35 AM

I guess the answer is shoot the rifle/round "you" can be the best with . If you are looking to kill deer then the 270/280 or 25-06 or 243/6mm are more than enough. 270 and 280 are plenty for elk too. Jack O'connor the deceased noted gun editor for Outdooor Life killed hundreds of animals with a 270 and 130 gr bullet. The only instant kills he ever saw on a Grizzly were with a 270/130 gr and 300 mag/180 gr. He also shot 6 moose with a 270 and 130 gr. A 7mm mag does have more recoil and you need to practice during the off season to become proficient - but that practice should be done with any rifle. I killed a caribou once with a 25/284 wildcat and 115 gr Nosler - instant drop in your tracks dead hit in the chest. I also lost a bull elk once that I hit in the paunch with a 338 magnum - a heart breaker. Any of todays high power rifles with a properly constructed bullet will do the job - hit em where it counts.
I'm from Montana and I've shot and seen shot lots of animals killed with a wide variety of guns. I never owned a 270 but many friends did - its a tremendous round - good balace of velocity, bullet weight selection 100-170, trajectory and recoil -
The biggest problem is everybody has one. Have fun

Rocky Raab 07-12-2002 10:06 AM

Welcome aboard to both KSquared and Rifleman.

I've written this before, but you two are newbies, so I'll opine it again.

The only difference between the 270, 280 and 7 Rem Mag is noise and recoil. Despite the paper ballistics, there really is no difference in field performance among them (and you can throw in the 308, 30-08, 7 Mauser and a few more and call them ALL equal). Any and all of them can be held the same, shot the same and perform the same on any deer anywhere out to 300 yards. Period.

You could be handed a rifle in any of those calibers and -without being told what it was- hold on a deer's shoulder, pull the trigger and get a one-shot kill. Period.

If you tend to shoot deer at more than 300 yards, then you either need to get very specific about loads, calibers and sight-in, or learn to be disciplined enough to pass up those shots.

If you are a reloader, the 280 is a wonderful cartridge, but factory ammo is limited and not available at every village crossroads. You could borrow 270 or 7 Mag ammo in any deer camp anywhere, if needed. (Same for 30-06 and a few more.) But that's the only REAL difference. Pick the one that calls your name. I guarantee you'll love it.

Ksquared 07-12-2002 12:48 PM

It seems like any one of the calibers that I mentioned would work fine. I think first Ill find the gun I like best and then choose the caliber. I shot a savage last season and I loved it, but remington 700's are nice too. I am sort of leaning towards the .280 or the 7mm mag, because not as many people have them that I know. Everyone seems to shoot 243's, .270's, and 30-06, which shows me they proven calibers, I just want something a little different.


Battle River 07-12-2002 12:50 PM

Having used and fired all three cartidges and seeing others used, there is some difference. A 7 Mag is louder and has more recoil than the 270-280. It does shoot heavier bullets 200 f/s faster. It does work better in longer barrels and heavier less portable rifles. I am partial to the 270 for all deer applications but if a mixed bag of Elk, Moose and deer are regular, then the 7Mag with 160 gr is best. 130 gr Sierra bt at 2950 from a 270 =bread and butter deer load at any range.


Oscar Bernal 07-12-2002 02:59 PM

If you only will use it for whitetails the 270 win. is ok, but if you will use it to hunt bigger animals the 280 o 7mm are better,recoil is little less w/ 270, and 7mm is louder.

How about the old 06, you can use 125 gr. until 200 gr.,is only one gun and you can use it to hunt diferent animals !..... :) good luck ! !

gafrycanada 07-12-2002 05:59 PM

I'm fairly inexperienced in comparison so I'll throw this out for comments. Lots of mention here of the .243 and the .25-06 but nobody has brought up the 260 or the 6mm for deer/varmint unless I've missed it.

Any major differences in these two cartridges compared with the 243 or 25-06?

Jack 07-12-2002 08:43 PM

gafrycanada, the 6mm Rem is pretty similar to the 243. Might even be slightly the better of the 2, but the 6 is far less common, both in rifles chambered for it, and ammo at the corner store. The 6mm is a good varmint/deer combo, just like the 243 is.
The 260 is more of a game rifle, if only because there isn't factory varmint ammo loaded for it, that I know of. The factory 140 grain load is for deer, etc.
Rocky makes an excellent point that it's difficult to tell a lot of the 26 to 30 caliber cartridges apart in the field, in terms of what they'll do. I'd throw the 260 (and the 7-08) in that pile.
The 243, and the 6mm, and the 25-06, you might think of as 'combo' cartridges. You could put the 257 Roberts, and the 250 Savage in the combo pile, too.

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