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  #1  
Old 03-21-2008, 08:11 AM
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.260 vs 7mm-08


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I am in the market for a new deer rifle and after much research I have narrowed it down to the .260 or 7mm-08. My main objective has been to find a caliber that will be effective on whitetail out to 250-300yds, flat shooting, and fun to shoot. I wish Remington still offered the 6.5 Rem Mag in the model 700! Anyway, I have been leaning toward the .260, (got to love the SD of the 260/6.5 bullet) but I have found some limitations in the bullet offering for the .260. What are your experiences/recommendation with the .260 or 7mm-08?
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2008, 08:50 AM
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We gun buffs do like to split hairs don't we, and this would be a classic example. The two rounds are on the same case, with the same powder capacity and same pressure limits so the only difference is a matter of .020" bullet diameter.
When Remington first brought out the 7mm08 I wished they had gone to 6.5mm as it seemed the 7mm was so similar to the .308 I thought "why bother"? So now we have both and again I ask why bother?
I've hunted deer, antelope and elk for the past 20 years or so with a 6.5x55 and have no complaints at all with that round. I'm also quite happy with the Winchester M-70 featherweight in which I fire that round. If that rifle were stolen I might replace it with a .260 but in reality I'm sure I would be just as happy with a 7mm08 or even a .308.
If you like those SD numbers for the 6.5 bullets, by all means get the .260 but with expanding bullets those numbers are just numbers, bullet design and construction is such a large factor that sectional density of the unfired bullet hardly matters at all.
If your shooting may include varmints I'd go with the .260 and handload lighter bullets than in the 7mm. Otherwise there is just not much to choose between them. Whichever you choose I think you'll be happy with it and for whatever reason you base your choice is probably as good as any other reason.

Last edited by kdub; 03-21-2008 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Please watch language and inferences.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2008, 08:59 AM
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I guess that is my dilemma. I realize they are so close and I am trying to find real world differences beyond the numbers. I love my Encore .22-250 for varmints and do not feel the need to load another gun for this use. Does anybody have suggestions for an ideal load based on thier experience with either caliber?
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2008, 11:43 AM
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flip a coin, they are both great and i guarentee that any deer hit at 300 yds will never know the difference!!
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2008, 03:06 PM
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If you have no issues with forming cases, either will fill the bill.

If you want to be able to buy factory cases for as long as the Democrats will allow access, 7-08 is your game.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2008, 03:10 PM
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I'll clarify that I don't own either of the rounds in question, but might have some input for consideration:
-Jacketed expanding bullets are designed to perform at a certain range of velocities, above or below that range they may not perform as advertised.
-It seems that many (most?) 7mm bullets are designed around the more common magnum cartridges, so the velocity of the 7mm-08 could be less than optimum for those bullets. Good luck figuring out which bullets those are.
-Magnum 6.5 cartridges are less common than the 6.5x55, so many of the available 6.5mm bullets are likely designed for the lower velocity envelope of the 6.5x55. The 260 is a little faster than the 6.5x55, but isn't too far off, so I would expect most bullets to work well in the 260.

Just some theoretical assumptions, since I own neither cartridge, so take it with a grain of salt. I also haven't heard of any bullet failures with either round. I'd go for the 260 personally.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2008, 03:50 PM
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Pick the rifle and perhaps let that dictate the caliber. Not all rifles have both calibers as an option. Just a thought.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2008, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthang View Post
I'll clarify that I don't own either of the rounds in question, but might have some input for consideration:
-Jacketed expanding bullets are designed to perform at a certain range of velocities, above or below that range they may not perform as advertised.
-It seems that many (most?) 7mm bullets are designed around the more common magnum cartridges, so the velocity of the 7mm-08 could be less than optimum for those bullets. Good luck figuring out which bullets those are.
-Magnum 6.5 cartridges are less common than the 6.5x55, so many of the available 6.5mm bullets are likely designed for the lower velocity envelope of the 6.5x55. The 260 is a little faster than the 6.5x55, but isn't too far off, so I would expect most bullets to work well in the 260.

Just some theoretical assumptions, since I own neither cartridge, so take it with a grain of salt. I also haven't heard of any bullet failures with either round. I'd go for the 260 personally.

I have a Rem. XP-100 in a 7mm-08 and even with the vel. loss with the shorter barrel I have yet to find a bullet that doesn't perform. I have never had a bullet not expand nor a bullet seperate like my 7mm mag has a habit of doing. I also have 2 rifles in 7-08 and have had excellent results with them also. I only have a 6.5 in a 264 mag. so I can't compare with the 260. I doubt either one would be a bad choice. The only reason I don't have a 260 is I don't have a big enough wallet!!
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2008, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slednut3 View Post
I am in the market for a new deer rifle and after much research I have narrowed it down to the .260 or 7mm-08. My main objective has been to find a caliber that will be effective on whitetail out to 250-300yds, flat shooting, and fun to shoot. I wish Remington still offered the 6.5 Rem Mag in the model 700! Anyway, I have been leaning toward the .260, (got to love the SD of the 260/6.5 bullet) but I have found some limitations in the bullet offering for the .260. What are your experiences/recommendation with the .260 or 7mm-08?
I own similiar...a 280Rem and a 6.5x55. A .280 is a little hotter than a 7mm-08 and my 6.5x55 is a modern rifle, so it is the same as a .260Rem. I would say go for the .260 as a deer cartridge... After I dropped my bull with my .280 with one shot, I decided it may be a wee bit much for deer. The 6.5 has the sweet BC, so it doesn't have to be pushed at magnum speeds to be flat-shooting. It has the recoil a child can handle, it does dandy on deer without having to pay the $$$ for premium bullets. The 7mm/08 is a great cartridge, but I think the .25 and .26 calibers are perfect deer medicine....the .257 Roberts?!!!

Jim
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2008, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slednut3 View Post
I am in the market for a new deer rifle and after much research I have narrowed it down to the .260 or 7mm-08. My main objective has been to find a caliber that will be effective on whitetail out to 250-300yds, flat shooting, and fun to shoot. I wish Remington still offered the 6.5 Rem Mag in the model 700! Anyway, I have been leaning toward the .260, (got to love the SD of the 260/6.5 bullet) but I have found some limitations in the bullet offering for the .260. What are your experiences/recommendation with the .260 or 7mm-08?
Would recommend one of these in 260:

Light/compact = http://www.remington.com/products/fi..._CDL_specs.asp

Standard Wt. Stainless Steel = http://www.remington.com/products/fi...ed_edition.asp
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2008, 12:37 AM
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i wouldn't worry about bullet selection for the 260 as your not gonna need more than 140 gr for whitetail.
if you need a heavier bullet for anything(elk...etc), go the 7mm08 or better, 280rem.
the deer 'drop' when hit either with my 223, 25-06, 7mm08, 280rem, 30-06 or 270wsm, so its really just a tossup which rifle i want to carry that day.
which cartridge do you like the look of? (i think the 270 winchester is a awfull looking thing but i like the look of the 280 rem, odd eh?)
that said, i think the 260 rem is an almost perfect whitetail cartridge.
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2008, 08:46 AM
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I shoot a 260 and really like it. I would not hesitate to take it on an Elk hunt considering a 270 Win is more than adequet according to Jack O'Conner and I think of the 260 Remington as a 270 Win short. I really like the 260/6.5 130 grain Noslers and Swifts but mainly use 140's. My wife just recently got a 7mm-08 because only because she liked the Browning Microbolt better than a Remington youth rifle. She loves it.

I expect the 260 Rem to go the same way as the 6mm Remington, excellent cartridge but hard to find ammunition and cases, but because both are easily formed from other cases there is no problem except you must be a reloader to enjoy an obscure cartridge.

If you don't enjoy reloading ALL your ammunition go for a 7mm-08.

Last edited by BC Hunter; 03-22-2008 at 08:48 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2008, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by zthang View Post
-It seems that many (most?) 7mm bullets are designed around the more common magnum cartridges, so the velocity of the 7mm-08 could be less than optimum for those bullets.
Huh?

I have owned and used a 7mm Mag and a 7mm-08 for many years. Trust me, finding a bullet that will give good performance in a 7mm-08 is way easier than can be said for the 7mm Mag.

The 7mm-08 will give excellent results with any cup and core design 139-154gr from Sierra/Hornady/Speer on deer size game, and would work on elk with the 160's.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2008, 10:56 AM
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While I don't own a .260 I do load my 6.5x55 to similar ballistic levels. I get excellent accuracy from the Nosler 120 grain ballistic tip and used it on deer for several years with complete satisfaction on broadside shots. Last year however, I took a raking shot on a large doe and a frontal shot on a small buck and in both instances I felt the "blow-up" was rather excessive. Both were quick kills but very messy. I still feel that 120 grains is plenty for deer but perhaps not the ballistic tip. I've now switched to the Hornady 129 grain spire point but this coming season will be my first outing with that bullet on game.
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2008, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharp View Post
Pick the rifle and perhaps let that dictate the caliber. Not all rifles have both calibers as an option. Just a thought.

+1. Just not that much difference. I'd focus on the rifle that fits & feels the best.
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2008, 06:27 PM
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Back a few years ago, I used to hunt with an elderly fellow who was a deadly shot. I was a gun dealer up until the late 70's and brought in a Ruger 77 in 7MM-08 for my friend. He hunted sheep, feral goats and axis deer a lot and the 7MM-08 became his favorite. He also purchased a Winchester 70 XTR Featherweight in .270 and used it for a while but went back to the 7MM-08 because he claimed it gave him more consistent 1 shot kills. His favorite loads used the 140 gr. Nosler Balllistic Tip or Solid Base bullets.

Last edited by biggun; 03-23-2008 at 09:18 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2008, 05:08 AM
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Rifle fit and type all the way. There is nothing sweeter when you have a rifle in your hand that fits you. Look at it like buying a pair of shoes. IMO Good luck
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