September 2003

Sorting Out Seven-Oh-Eights; We Test a Quartet of Bolt Rifles

The Savage 16 was our Best Buy. The Remington Titanium didnít perform; Blaserís Prestige had big problems. The H-S Precision rig shot consistently, but was heavier than we would have liked.

The 7mm-08 Remington first saw the light of day in 1980. Touted to be the first “modern” 7mm cartridge designed for short actions, it was not. The more powerful .284 Winchester, chambered in the same “short” actions, beat it by 17 years. The 7mm-08 was a popular wildcat long before Remington made it official. The 7mm-08 wildcat would have been born the first afternoon of the first day that .308 cases were available to experimenters.

The 7mm-08 is 0.2-inch shorter than the ancient 7x57, which has always been one of the world’s most useful cartridges. Despite its shorter length, the 7mm-08 essentially matches the ballistics of the 7x57 with 140-grain bullets, but only in factory loads. Handloaded, the 7x57, also known as the .275 Rigby, vastly beats it for pure horsepower. But that does not mean the 7mm-08 is useless. Far from it, as it has become quite popular in its 23 years of official life. Today we can find rifles made for it by at least nine manufacturers.

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