The 7mm Remington Magnum or .284 caliber rifle cartridge has proud origins. The 7x57mm Mauser cartridge is a mild mannered loading with modest recoil and excellent accuracy. It is quite a game taker at moderate range. A great advantage was that the 7mm cartridge, even at modest velocity, shot flat and featured excellent penetration.
Germany adopted the hard-hitting 8mm Mauser cartridge, and this .30-06 Springfield-class cartridge served Germany for decades. America used the .30-06 Springfield to great effect. But the 7mm diameter bullet had too many advantages to be ignored by designers.
The .280 Ross was among the attempts at producing a popular 7mm, but the rifle, rather than the cartridge, limited its adoption. The .275 Holland and Holland Magnum was a fantastic cartridge in many ways—introduced two years before World War I and a great performer. The Brits experimented with a .276 Enfield that proved too hot for constant use in military rifles.
The United States experimented with a 7mm Garand with a 10-shot capacity, but General Douglas McArthur rightly directed that all development lead toward the .30-06 cartridge. After all, millions of cartridges were in storage and Browning had recently developed his quick firing machinegun in this caliber. Therefore, logistics demanded the .30-06 remain in service.
During the 1950s, there were other developments in the 7mm including the 7×61 Sharp & Hart and 7mm Weatherby Magnum. An important development was the use of military surplus powder and modern powders that limited the previous problems of throat erosion in a relatively short period. This powder also allowed greater velocity.
By 1962, Remington had developed the 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge, along with the new Remington 700 rifle. Performance of this cartridge was excellent. The new Magnum cartridge offered excellent power and performance without excess recoil. To my shoulder, the 7mm Remington Magnum is in the .30-06 class of recoil.
I find the .300 Magnums uncomfortable, but the 7mm Remington Magnum is tolerable in long practice sessions. The 7mm Remington Magnum is a very popular cartridge and perhaps the most popular Magnum rifle cartridge. The 7mm Remington Magnum features a relatively short neck and a chambering belt that aids in proper headspace and extraction.
The cartridge has seen some service use by the Secret Service as an all around marksman’s rifle and also by several western agencies. In military use, the .338 Magnum has superseded the 7mm Magnum but the cartridge is among the most accurate and powerful ever fielded in this role.
The 7mm Remington cartridge is a powerful number that makes for rapid dropping of a game animal with a single, well-placed shot. The 7mm Remington Magnum has been used on every game animal in North America and on many plains animals in Africa. It is a useful cartridge, although I would caution its use against the largest bears.
The Remington cartridge responds well to a careful handloader. I recently ordered a new set of Lyman dies for this great cartridge. Lyman has been around forever in the handloading world, and they just get it right. I have loaded the cartridge to 3,200 fps with 140-grain bullets and some 2,900 fps with the heaviest practical bullets—the 180-grain class.
When loading, accuracy may never be sacrificed for power. The long-range hunter must be certain of his skill and the rifle’s accuracy at longer range. The 7mm Remington Magnum offers such accuracy and power. I have used the Hornady 139-grain SST loading with excellent results in my Ruger 77 rifle. The load clocks just short of 3,200 fps—impressive performance.
The Ruger 77 is an accurate rifle, and the controlled-feed action offers reliability and a rock solid lockup. My rifle presently wears a long serving Bushnell 3x9x40mm scope. A strong loading is the 162-grain Hornady ELD at 3,030 fps. The ELD X bullet offers many advantages.
When Hornady discovered that the polymer nose of some types of bullets heated and melted to an extent, they designed a new bullet material for plugging the nose. They also designed a match grade bullet with very good properties. The proven Interlok locking ring allows excellent nose expansion while the shank remains solid. This makes for a bullet that penetrates to the optimum depth while expanding well.
The Hornady loads have provided MOA to sub MOA accuracy when I do my part. I like the 7mm Remington Magnum. Accuracy potential is excellent, the rifle isn’t as hard a kicker as some, and the effect on game is unquestioned. I enjoy firing the rifle at long range and find its flat trajectory encouraging. This is a rifle and cartridge combination that will compliment a trained marksman.
Are you a fan of the 7mm Remington Magnum? What is your favorite caliber? Share your answers in the comment section.
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