When it comes to all-around performance, there are two names you need to remember: 7mm Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield.
While these cartridges don’t excel in any particular aspect, they are common choices for hunting worldwide, even decades after their introduction. 7mm Remington Magnum vs.. .30-06 Springfield, which one you should use on your hunting trip?
If you’re new to firearms and can’t make up your mind about the caliber, then this article shall provide you with essential information about the 7mm Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield.
We will discuss their history, ballistics, and handloading characteristics. Generally speaking, both rounds earn a lot of praise from hunters. But remember that different people value different qualities.
- Development of The Rounds
- Profile of The Rounds
- Optimal Accuracy of The Rounds
- Strength and Drawback
- Handloading The Rounds
- Compatible Rifles
- Final Thoughts
Development of The Rounds
7mm Remington Magnum
A member of the belted Magnum family, the 7mm Remington Magnum is derived from the well-known .375 H&H Magnum.
Overall, the idea behind the belt is that it offers improved cartridge extraction, which is desirable if you want to deliver quick follow-up shots.
However, veteran hunters often claim that the belt feature gives minor enhancements to the round.
In any case, after its introduction in 1962, the 7mm Remington Magnum quickly took over the market share of even the popular .264 Winchester Magnum. It remains popular up until today.
In 1906, the US military developed a new lightweight rifle cartridge by applying modifications to the short-lived .30-03.
The result was the .30-06 Springfield, which possesses a shorter neck than the original .30-03. The .30 could fire a spitzer flat-based bullet.
Since the round is military in nature, it has seen extensive use with the US armed forces during World War I, World War II, and other military pursuits.
Iconic weapons that use the Springfield round include the M1903 Springfield, M1 Garand, Browning Automatic Rifle, M1917, and M1919.
Profile of The Rounds
7mm Remington Magnum (7.2x64mm)
- Parent Case: .375 H&H Magnum
- Rifling Twist: 1:9 to 1:10
- Bullet: 7.2mm
- Neck: 8.0mm
- Base: 13.0 mm
.30-06 Springfield (7.62×63mm)
- Parent Case: .30-03 Springfield
- Rifling Twist: 1:10
- Bullet: 7.8 mm
- Neck: 8.6mm
- Base: 12.0 mm
From the first look, there are no significant differences between the 7mm Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield when it comes to profile.
That being said, Magnum rounds have a reputation for packing a punch, and the Remington cartridge is not an exception.
The 7.2x64mm round has a slightly higher pressure limit (61,000 psi) than the 7.62×63mm round (60,200 psi).
And assuming that the bullet weight is the same, the Magnum round can achieve superior performance compared to the Springfield round.
The following contains a couple of ammunition that you should remember while assessing the rounds:
- 7mm RM HSM Trophy Gold VLD Berger 168gr
- 7mm RM Hornady Superformance SST 162gr
- 7mm RM Federal Nosler Ballistic Tip Vital-Shok 150gr
- .30-06 Federal Vital-Shok 165gr
- .30-06 Hornady GMX 150gr
- .30-06 Federal American Eagle FMJ 150gr
Optimal Accuracy of The Rounds
In terms of precision, it’s hard to determine which round is more accurate on average as your shooting skills play a vital role.
Usually, as the bullet travels downrange, Remington rounds hold more edge over Springfield rounds.
It’s worth noting that 30-06 Springfield is a hard-hitting cartridge, but the numbers (like muzzle velocity and kinetic energy) back up the 7mm Remington Magnum more.
As shooting distance goes over 1,000 yards, most shooters have a good chance at nailing their prey using the Remington rounds.
Because the 7.2x64mm round delivers excellent hitting power, it’s no surprise that the shot’s recoil is substantial.
For confident shooters, kickback is an issue that requires attention as it might degrade the overall precision, especially if fatigue comes into the picture.
On the other hand, some hunters feel that compared to the 7.62×63mm round, the 7.2x64mm round generates a bit more recoil. As a result, the Remington cartridge’s kickback is not the overriding factor for determining its level of accuracy.
Several types of 30-06 Springfield rounds can obtain good results at distances exceeding 1,000 yards.
Nonetheless, you have far more choices with the 7mm Remington Magnum category at such distances, and none of those drops significantly before the 1,000 yards mark.
That’s why when it comes to shooting at extreme ranges, it’s a good idea to use Remington rounds.
The majority of hunters prefer using hand-loaded rounds instead of factory-loaded ammunition for shots that go above 700 yards, though.
Strength and Drawback
7mm Remington Magnum
With its incredible momentum and hitting power, the Remington cartridge performs admirably for long-range shooting. If you’re after big game in thick vegetation, then the 7.2x64mm round is one of the best rounds for the task.
We even highlight this quality in our 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm-08 comparison guide.
Thanks to its flat trajectory, there’s no need to make complex adjustments to the scope if your rifle is chambered in the 7mm Remington Magnum.
It’s appreciated by shooters that only have a couple of seconds to shoulder, aim, and take the shot. The round and excellent ballistic can handle minor errors in range.
On the downside, the 7.2x64mm round requires a barrel length of 24 inches (or longer) to release its full potential. If your rifle barrel is shorter than that, then the performance of the round will inevitably suffer.
The ballistic will deteriorate to the point that it’s somewhat comparable to .270 Winchester. The shot recoil and the muzzle flash will also be increased by a wide margin, which betrays hunter presence.
Such issues mean that you should not use the Remington round for short-barreled platforms.
Robust, rugged, and available in great numbers, the .30-06 Springfield is a good hunting round for beginners. While the Springfield cartridge lacks the power of 7mm Remington Magnum, it’s still strong enough to take down average prey in the outdoors.
Because there are numerous weapons chambered in the 7.62×63mm, people could acquire ammunition at any gun store. As a standard box of 20 round only cost around a few dozen dollars, your hunting expenses should be fairly manageable.
In terms of drawbacks, the .30-06 Springfield’s sound design has no severe faults worth mentioning. Even though the recoil is a bit tough for first-time shooters to master, most adults can handle the kickback without much difficulty.
The round is old, but thanks to advances in propellants, and bullets, the Springfield round remains highly competitive.
Though the 30-06 cartridge’s maximum range is not as good as the 7mm Remington Magnum, it has a good and long reach for optional hunting purposes.
Handloading The Rounds
7mm Remington Magnum
For handloaders, the Remington cartridge is forgiving to work with, so people could thoroughly customize it to improve the rounds’ performance.
Generally speaking, a 175-gram bullet should be sufficient to tackle deer, elk, and similar prey. If you want high velocities, lightweight bullets are also available in 165 grams, 150 grams, and 140 grams variants.
Before, it was only Nosler that offered controlled-expansion bullets but now, other brands provide them too. Compared to ordinary bullets, controlled-expansion bullets limit frontal upset to achieve much deeper penetration.
For the propellant, it’s possible to use conventional smokeless reloading powders like IMR-4350 and IMR-4831 if you already have them on hand.
To get the most out of the round, consider using a Ramshot Magnum or Reloder 25 to throw the bullet at 3,000 fps (914 m/s).
And as always, repeated firings cause stretching, so keep an eye on the length of the case while you are handloading. To reduce bullet run-out, use a seater die with a sliding guide to hold the case tightly in alignment.
Thanks to the 7.62×63mm round’s availability, it’s easy to acquire solid brass even when times are tough. Additionally, bolt-action and single-shot hunting rifles can advantage of neck sizing techniques.
However, if your rifle happens to utilize other actions, it’s of utmost importance to resize the brass in full length. There are many options, such as 150 grams, 180 grams, and 220 grams variants for bullet mass—the heavier the bullet, the lower the velocity.
Overall, we can say that this round would not give you a hard time.
In terms of powder, IMR4064, IMR 4451, and IMR4350 are excellent choices for handloading the .30-06 Springfield. An amount of between 50 and 60 grains of propellant is enough to push the muzzle velocity of the 7.62×63mm up to 2,900 fps (880 m/s).
Think about the state of your rifle barrel before deciding the load. All barrels are different, so it’s strongly recommended that you check out your hunting rifle’s owner manual.
After that, you should be able to decide the type of load your firearm can accept without risking catastrophic failures.
Apart from the cartridge’s performance after leaving the barrel, the availability of the weapon is also an essential criterion.
If you choose a round commonly used for hunting rifles, you could access a wide selection of weapon platforms. Let’s see how 7mm Remington Magnum fares against the .30-06 Springfield when it comes to the number of compatible firearms.
7mm Remington Magnum
Regardless of the elements you run into in the outdoors, the Remington cartridge can slice through everything and provide good results.
The substantial recoil generated by the round indicates that it means serious business. The 7mm Remington Magnum-chambered rifles could tackle big games like buffalo and dear without trouble.
Repeated firing would lead to sore shoulders, but game hunters rarely need to discharge many rounds at once. A well-aimed shot is more than enough to shoot down prey on the field.
The 7mm Magnum is a Remington product and was created by the oldest weapon manufacturer in America. The brand offers reliable rifles chambered in the round. Some examples are the Remington Model 700 and the Remington Model 783.
In addition to Remington, other firearm brands have released various rifles for hunters and one example is the 7.2x64mm round. Others include Winchester (Winchester Model 70), Howa (Howa Model 1500), and Savage (Savage Model 11 Trophy Hunter XP).
Depending on your taste, you could either get a basic rifle or buy a package that already comes with accessories.
As the kick of the 7mm Remington Magnum is no joke, it’s a good idea to configure your rifle to lessen the recoil. Outfitting your rifle with a recoil pad should help your shoulder handle the nasty recoil better.
Muzzle breaks would be excellent additions, but as they significantly increase the shot’s sound volume, remember to put on earplugs.
If you’re afraid that you might fail to detect prey while wearing earplugs, then you can also consider attaching a moderator to the muzzle of your rifle.
Due to the excellent record of the 7.62×63mm as a military cartridge, multiple modern rifles are chambered in the round. Though the performance of the round is not exceptional nowadays, hunters still appreciate its straightforwardness.
Generally speaking, the cartridge appears on a variety of mechanisms like bolt-action and lever-action types. All you have to do is to go after the design that you see fit.
The action of your rifle largely influences shooting style and accessory mounting. That’s why you need to think it through.
There is a surplus of refurbished World War-era rifles on the market for hunters that are fond of military firearms. If you want something new though, then several weapon makers offer options. You can check out Weatherby (Weatherby Vanguard), CZ (CZ-USA CZ 557 Sporter), and Browning (Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker).
With improved ammunition, .30-06 Springfield-chambered rifles can achieve tighter groupings.
While hunters have plenty of rounds to choose from, the 7mm Remington Magnum and .30-06 Springfield remain ideal choices even decades after their introduction.
But when it comes to deciding which one of them is genuinely superior, there are conflicting opinions and assessments. To reach a sensible conclusion, you need to cross-check your preferences with these hunting rounds’ characteristics.
The better one is really up to you.
FINAL TIP: For more bullet guides, you can also take look at our article comparing the .38 Special and .38 Super.
CHANGELOG: September 14, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title