7mm Rem Mag for Deer Hunting: A complete guide
The 7mm Remington Magnum was introduced in 1962 with Remington’s new 700 action. Since 1962 the 7mm Rem Mag has exploded in popularity and can boast of being one of the most popular magnum cartridges available to date. The 7mm’s has a large variety of bullets available making it an acceptable cartridge for anything from varmint hunting all the way up to moose.
The 7mm Rem Mag is a superb deer cartridge. With plenty of potential velocity and energy available to hunters, the 7mm Rem Mag is a practical and effective choice for hunters looking to harvest deer at all practical ranges.
Since its introduction in 1962, the 7mm Remington Magnum (7mm Rem Mag) has quickly become one of the most popular magnum cartridge and caliber combinations on the market today. This cartridge simply ticks all of the boxes that hunters look for when choosing their hunting setup to give them the best versatility in a cartridge. Although with the effectiveness of this cartridge comes the possibility of excessive damage to meat if the bullet selection is less than optimal.
Speed, Energy, Distance
With a wide variety of options for hunting style bullets available for the 7mm Rem Mag hunters can more easily choose how much speed and or energy they want out of their personal setups. With bullets coming in as low as the 139gr. SST from Hornady all the way up to 175gr. ELD-X’s your choice should reflect the expected distance and required energy of your hunt.
In this case we are looking at deer sized game. This will cover anything from Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, and Blacktail Deer with little difference in required energy when harvesting any of these three deer species.
In general the recommended minimum energy for deer sized game is approximately 1000ft-lbs of energy. This can vary by a small margin depending on shot angles and bullet style though 1000ft-lbs is a good baseline to start from. Also in this case hunters should be reminded that most hunting style bullets require a minimum velocity of about 1800 – 2000FPS.
Looking at the factory loaded and very popular Superformace from Hornady firing a 139gr. GMX bullet hunters can expect up to 3190FPS at the muzzle with a whopping 3140ft-lbs of energy. This bullet and cartridge combination has a maximum effective range for deer sized game out to 750 yards. At this point the bullet has 1837FPS and 1041FT-LBs of energy remaining.
Now taking the larger 162gr. ELD-X in Hornady’s precision hunter ammunition hunters can expect 2940fps at the muzzle and 3109ft-lbs of energy. This bullet holds its lethality out to a staggering 800 yards where its velocity drops down to 1857fps and 1240ft-lbs of energy.
With these two rounds highlighting the abidance in potential options hunters have numerous options when picking their ammunition for their 7mm Rem Mag. With plenty of velocity and energy hunters should now consider their bullets expanding characteristics. Deer size animals do not have a large bone structure like moose or even elk so softer bullets that expand more are a viable option.
Bullets that have a lead core will expand more and transfer more energy then solid copper core bullets. With a healthy amount of both speed and energy your bullets penetration will not be your top concern and rather energy transfer will take that place. Look for Hornady’s ElD-X, Nosler’s AccuBond, and the Game King from Sierra all of these are good choices for large expanding bullets.
Avoid excessive energy in your cartridge setup to curb potential meat damage. Use a ballistic calculator and your expected hunting distance to better understand your bullet selection. Large amounts of excessive energy can lead to the loss of the front half of the animal.
The average distance of hunting shots are under 300 yards so don’t be afraid of using smaller bullets to help preserve meat.
7mm Rem Mag The Basics
The 7mm Rem Mag isn’t known for being overly hard on its operators to handle in terms of recoil. If you’re a larger build and used to shooting Magnum cartridges you will not have any concerns with the 7mm Rem Mag. Although if recoil is a concern for you a muzzle brake can be added to most rifles to help tame recoil.
A muzzle brake is highly recommended for youth hunters looking to grow into a 7mm Rem Mag over the years.
If your local laws allow for the use of a suppressor this will both reduce recoil and lower the decibels when firing.
With the popularity of the 7mm Rem Mag comes options. Like its ammo variety the choices of rifle manufactures that offer the 7mm Rem Mag in their respected platforms is abundant. This is much appreciated by hunters that prefer the feel of particular rifle manufacturers.
With multiple manufacturers also means multiple price points available to hunters looking to either splurge on a new elite setup or just get into the lifestyle of hunting. Price points can very from as low as $700 all the way up to $3000 and even higher depending on your personal flavor. One of my personal choices for a practical price point rifle is the Tikka platform that comes in around the $1100 CAN price point.
Hand-loaders will appreciate the abundance of components available to them.
I always like to point out the ability for a cartridge to go above and beyond its initial requirements. For new hunters getting into the lifestyle of hunting, deer hunting seems to be the most popular and often overlook other game animals. The 7mm Rem Mag is a superb choice for new hunters due to the fact that it has plenty of potential.
If you find yourself with the opportunity to go on an elk hunt or even a moose hunt the 7mm Rem Mag will have you covered! By simply increasing your bullets weight and possibly choosing a deeper penetrating bullet design the 7mm Rem Mag will hold its own against these larger animals.