Will A 7 mm 08 Kill An Elk?

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter, and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

When elk hunting, one of the first questions is about correct bullet selection. Although people have different favorite rounds, the 7 mm 08 Remington is one that people ask about.

A 7 mm 08 can be used to kill both cow and bull elk. It is one of the most popular cartridges, and it comes in 100 to 195-grain variants. You should use a 140 to 195-grain variant for elk, and you need to be within 250 yards of the elk. To kill the elk, you need good shot placement to the heart, the head, or the neck.

It is crucial to understand how the 7 mm 08 works and what it takes to kill an elk. Continue reading for more information on the 7 mm 08 and why it is a great hunting bullet.

Will A 7 mm 08 Kill An Elk

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The 7 mm 08 Remington Cartridge

The 7 mm 08 cartridgeOpens in a new tab. is a .308 Winchester case that is altered to hold 7 mm bullets. The idea is to add case length to the smaller bullet. It is a very popular cartridge in the .308 family. It is vital to make sure that you choose 140 to 195 grain, with 160 grain and above is ideal. 

It can be used for big game hunting, including elk, mule deer, and bigger whitetail bucks. However, it is best within 250 yards of the elk, but you should not be more than 400 yards away. In addition, you must have an accurate kill shot to the heart, the head, or the neck.

The 7 mm 08 isn’t strong enough to break through bones, so you need to be accurate with a heart or lung shot. There are some better alternatives out there, but this cartridge can do the job. Make sure that it isn’t too windy and that you can get close enough to kill the elk, and it is a viable option.

You Can Use a Light Rifle

One of the benefits of using a 7 mm 08 cartridge is using a lighter rifleOpens in a new tab.. Reducing the weight of equipment has been a priority of hunters, especially when you are out for a few days. The 7 mm 08 is a short action cartridge, so you don’t have to move your bolt as far to eject the bullet. This means that there is less metal on the rifle, so it weighs less. 

People often prefer a heavier rifle because it better absorbs the recoil, but the 7 mm 08 does this well. The recoil is modest enough that youth hunters can handle it. This is one of the reasons that it is so popular, as it reduces the chances of the shot jerking from the recoil. 

The Components of the 7 mm 08

Another reason that the 7 mm 08 is a good choice is that it is a 7 mm caliber. It has a lot of advantages over the .308 because it is lighter, slimmer, and has a higher ballistic coefficient. There are many different bullets to choose from, and they range in weight as well. However, if you are shooting elk, you should ensure that the bullet is heavier and has characteristics to penetrate.

This makes it an excellent choice for a lot of different hunters. The bullet is a 7 mm caliber that fits into a modified .308 cartridge, and the original .308 brass can be resized to the 7 mm 08 if you have difficulty finding it pre-sized. 

The Range of the 7 mm 08

If you are going to harvest an elk effectively and ethically, you need at least 1,500 ft-lbs of energy on impact. With the 7 mm 08, you can achieve this best with a 162-grain bullet. You will be able to kill an elk between 200 and 400 yards away with the 162 grain 7 mm 08. 

Assuming a 162 grain with 2620 FPS muzzle velocity, you would have around 2,469 ft-lb at the muzzle, and at 200 yards, you would still have 1,973 ft-lb of energy. At 400 yards, you would have 1,555 ft-lb, so this is the absolute maximum effective range to kill the elk ethically. 

The position of the elk also impacts the range because you will need more energy at certain angles. If the elk is standing with its side exposed and you have a direct shot, 1,500 ft-lb would be fine. However, if the elk faces you, you will need more energy to guarantee a clean kill. 

Why Is the 7 mm 08 Cartridge Popular for Elk?

The 7 mm 08 cartridges are becoming very popular for hunting both deer and elk. It has high ballistic powerOpens in a new tab., which means it has enough energy to keep its velocity as long as the deer or elk is within range. 

This bullet is made by taking a .308 and necking it down to a .284 diameter round with a slight increase in the length of the case. It makes a bigger hole when it enters. There are a lot of different rifles that can accommodate the 7 mm 08, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. 

The problem with larger caliber bullets is that there is more felt recoil. This is more difficult to use, so the 7 mm 08 gives you a little more power without the extra kick.

The main thing to consider is your accuracy. If you can accurately shoot an elk, you go deer hunting with the 7 mm 08.

Final Words

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The 7 mm 08 is becoming popular for hunting, and people often want to know if they can use it on an elk hunt. Elk are bigger than deer, so they take more energy from the bullet. You need at least 1,500 ft-lb, so it is best to use a 162-grain bullet and ensure that you are between 200 and 400 yards away from the elk. If the elk is standing with its side facing you, you should be able to get a direct shot, and you can stand a little further away.

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Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since he was a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of outdoor experience. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.


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