7mm-08 vs 25-06

Brandon270

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Planning for my first big game rifle. My current choice is a Weatherby vanguard with a luepold 3xi 3.5-10 cds. I'll be hunting here in California so the majority of my hunting will be rolling foothills and some mountains going after deer and hogs mainly with the chance at black bears as well. Distances would be 100-400 yards.

I've settled between the 7mm-08 and 25-06. 6.5cm is a close third but it's on the sideline for now. I understand 7mm-08 has a bit more energy and is capable of heavier bullets if I went after bigger critters but the 25-06 looks to be a lot more efficient and flatter shooting. I can only hunt lead free and when comparing lead free options the 25-06 is actually very close if not dead even to the 7mm-08 when you get to the 300-400 yard range looking at energy. I know both are capable rounds and shot placement is most important, but it'll probably be my go to big game rifle for the next few years before I move to another state or start hunting out of state when elk is an option.

I don't hand load at this time so I'm stuck with barnes, nosler and Hornady lead free options.

Any opinions or experiences with these would be helpful.
 
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Ben Lamb

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For the given distances and game you are pursuing, I'd take the 7mm-08. Great ammo selection & gives you room to move up to elk & moose. The 25-06 is a fun round, but too light for larger game, imo. Others will disagree.

The other benefit is a shorter action and lighter weight in the rifle. The 140 grain Barnes TTSX or Nosler E-tip is all the bullet you'll need for hunting needs.
 

yoda

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With the right bullet there are very few game animals that will walk away from a well placed .25 caliber bullet, my vote would be the 25-06 or if you want to spice things up a bit the 257 weatherby
 

VikingsGuy

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I have both 25-06 and 7mm08. With only those two options I go with 25-06 for pronghorn and mule deer; 7mm08 for hogs, white tail deer, black bear, elk and moose. If I need to hunt all 6 with one I pick 7mm08. Regarding 25-06 being “efficient”, as I have seen the term used, 7mm08 is “more efficient” as efficiency typically is energy vs powder burned and for equivalent performance at 300y the 7mm08 burns significantly less powder.
 

Brandon270

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7/08 would have my vote. The 25-06 is a cool round, but I would think the bullet availability and selection of the 7/08 would be more versatile.
That's what I was thinking about the 25-06, the ammo selection is more limited than the 7mm-08.

With the right bullet there are very few game animals that will walk away from a well placed .25 caliber bullet, my vote would be the 25-06 or if you want to spice things up a bit the 257 weatherby
I've shot the 257 weatherby, that's a very fun cartridge but way out of my price range for ammo since I haven't gotten into reloading.
 

Brandon270

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I have both 25-06 and 7mm08. With only those two options I go with 25-06 for pronghorn and mule deer; 7mm08 for hogs, white tail deer, black bear, elk and moose. If I need to hunt all 6 with one I pick 7mm08. Regarding 25-06 being “efficient”, as I have seen the term used, 7mm08 is “more efficient” as efficiency typically is energy vs powder burned and for equivalent performance at 300y the 7mm08 burns significantly less powder.

I think most people use the term efficient as energy at a certain yardage with a certain grain bullet. I agree, you burn a lot more powder for the same energy but a 100gr tsx vs a 140gr tsx at 300 yards with the same foot pounds of energy is pretty impressive.
 

brnsvllyjohn

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We have 2 rifles in 7-08 in the family and they are both very accurate with factory non toxic ammo. Every brand we have tried seems to group well in the 7-08 guns. A buddy has a little more difficulty in finding non toxic ammo for his 25-06 that groups well.

My 7-08 is a Browning and my son's is a Tikka. I like my Browning and of course he likes the Tikka.
 

WalkingBird

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I'd choose the 7mm-08 as well, we too have 2 of them in the house (Mines a Win M70 Classic and my gf has a Savage 11 hunter) and they're both great shooters with their preferred ammo. I also have a .257 Weatherby Mag as my open country gun. While it would be tough to choose between them, I think I'd ultuimatly choose the 7/08 over a quarterbore for a multi-purpose huntin rifle. Just way more ammo on the market with more selection
 

noharleyyet

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Were I being objective I'd most likely go with the 7-08...but I can't do that, it'd be the 25-06 for me for your expressed applications...and I've had em both.
 

fishing4sanity

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For the two you've listed, I'd go 7mm08.
I own a 7mm08 and have shot my brother's 25-06 a lot, but if your third pick came back into play, then I'd go 6.5
 

Brandon270

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Thanks for all the input guys, 7mm-08 looks like a better choice for ammo availability and bigger game potential. 6.5cm seems similar to the benefits of 25-06 with much better ammo availability with it's recent popularity.
 
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Its trivial but if you plan on hiking and going up mountains the 7mm-08 with its shorter case and chamber dimensions is gonna save you a few ounces. If its really a coin flip, go with the lighter option. IMO
 
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