In this article, we are not setting out to pick one of the two as the best cartridge. Instead, we will take an in depth look at several performance categories and tease apart how these two cartridges differ. With this information, we hope that you have a better resource for picking out a cartridge that best suits your needs. We think both the 7mm Remington Mag and the .30-06 Springfield are more than deserving of your time and either one can be successful when in the right hands.
7mm Remington Magnum
Since the introduction of the 7mm Remington Mag in 1962, it has been the cartridge of choice for a lot of hunters and long-range shooters. The 7mm Rem Mag took advantage of the various 7mm bullets that were already in circulation and used with other cartridges but provided the larger magnum casings and propellant charges. This magnum round offers a smaller caliber than most of the .30 cal rounds that serve in similar applications as the 7mm RM.
It didn’t take very long for the 7mm Rem Mag to gain popularity in the hunting world after its introduction to the market. Hunters quickly realized that the 7mm RM was able to match and excel in several ballistics categories compared to other popular cartridges of the time including the .30-06, which is the second cartridge we will be looking at, and other belted magnums that had been released in the previous decade. It has also remained relevant even today and after the introduction of perhaps its biggest rival, the 300 Win Mag.
This smaller bore magnum round offers shooters excellent ballistics performance, and the increased powder charge also provides the needed stopping power for large game. It’s popularity makes this cartridge pretty easy to get a hold of and there is a good selection of bullet weights with them mainly found in the 150 to 175 gr range.
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge carries a lot of history. This cartridge was developed and produced over a hundred years ago in 1906 (hence the -06) and its prevalence in today’s hunting world gives testament to its effectiveness.
This cartridge has undergone several modifications during the century plus that it has been manufactured and used. It saw heavy military use in the World Wars as well as the Korean and Vietnam (to a lesser extent) as some of the more well-known infantry rifles such as the M1 Garand and BAR were chambered for the .30-06. And though it is not near as ubiquitous in those circles as it once was, it has never left the civilian hunting circles.
There is no argument when it comes to the effectiveness of this cartridge in the field when it comes to hunting medium to large sized game out to 500 yards. Apart from Magnum rounds, there are few sporting cartridges that provide the ballistic and terminal performance characteristics of the .30-06. It is also widely available and can be found at just about every store that carries ammunition.
7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06: A Brief History
7mm Rem Mag vs .30-06 Specs
|7mm Rem Mag||.30-06 Springfield|
|Parent Case||.375 H&H Magnum||.30-03|
|Max Pressure (SAAMI)||61,000psi||60,200psi|
If we take a look at the cartridge specs of the 7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06, we see that there are some key differences that are going to influence how these rounds behave. The .30-06 is, as the name implies, a 30 cal bullet with a .308” diameter bullet while the 7mm Rem mag is slightly smaller at .284”.
The case length of these two cartridges only differ by .006″ but the 7mm Rem Mag has a much wider base than the .30-06 Springfield cartridge. This allows the 7mm Rem Mag to take a generous more amount of powder than the .30-06 case. This extra case space and increased powder charge of the 7mm Rem Mag that is shooting similar sized bullets as the .30-06 should improve a lot of the ballistic categories. To see if this is the case, we have selected five rounds of each cartridge to compare to each other. Those rounds are listed below.
- 7mm RM HSM Trophy Gold VLD Berger 168gr
- 7mm RM Hornady Superformance SST 162gr
- 7mm RM Federal Nosler Ballistic Tip Vital-Shok 150gr
- 7mm RM Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range 168gr
- 7mm RM Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond 140gr
- 30-06 Federal Vital-Shok 165gr
- 30-06 Hornady GMX 150gr
- 30-06 Federal American Eagle FMJ 150gr
- 30-06 Nosler AccuBond 200gr
- 30-06 Federal Gold Medal 168gr
The five rounds that we have selected for each of these cartridges are only a small sample size for the options out there. While we would love to include many more rounds, we have to draw the line due to limited space for discussion. Your favorite round might not be included, and that in no way means we are considering it ineffective or not worthy of our time. Our selections are based on the popularity of the rounds and also our own experience with them. We do think this selection still provided an accurate look at how these two cartridges will stack up against each other.
And one final note before we jump into the meat of the article. Our numbers are generated from data presented from the round’s manufacturer’s website and also from reliable ballistics calculators. While computer generated data is more than valid for comparing two cartridges, we want to be clear that the numbers you might get firing these rounds from your rifle can vary. Each rifle has its own personality, so velocities, recoil energy, and other categories might be a little higher or lower than the computer generated data shows. Even so, the differences shouldn’t be too significant, and it doesn’t influence our comparison. It’s just something we thought might be beneficial to you when making your decision.
So, let’s get into the fun stuff.
Depending on how much experience you have with big game rifles and their cartridges, recoil might or might be much of a factor in your decision making. It all depends on how much of difference there is between the two rounds. In this case, we will see that the recoil energies between the two cartridges are not hugely different and probably is not going to sway an experienced hunter or marksman decision.
Still, for the inexperienced, less recoil might be something they would be happy to have, even if it is only a couple ft.lb less. Regardless, recoil can have a lot of influence of the shot. For those not prepared for it, it can throw off a shot on its own due to a poor stance, it can cause the shooter to flinch while pulling the trigger, and it can make it much more difficult to get off quick and accurate follow up shots. For range shooting, heavier recoil can cause fatigue over the long run which can also drop the shooter’s performance.
Because of this, we think it is important to look at the recoil generated between two rounds regardless of how small the difference.
For the 30-06 vs 7mm Rem Mag, we are going to look at the actual recoil energy (ft.lb) is generated from firing these specific rounds. This is not the same as the felt recoil, more often known as the kick, but increased recoil energy is going to translate to more felt kick. The reason we have to make that distinction is that the kick that you feel is influenced by a lot more than just the cartridge you are firing such as your shooting stance and the components of the firearm.
Let’s first take a more general look at the recoil energies between these rounds. This graph just shows a general recoil energy that is produced from both of the cartridges that we are looking at in this article. From this graph, we see that both of the cartridge types have well over 20ft.lb of recoil energy, which is a subjective marker for when recoil can cause discomfort to some and has a good chance of throwing off a shot.
Before we make any large assumptions or try to draw any conclusions, let’s take a look at the recoil energy that is generated by the ten rounds we have picked to compare throughout the article.
Before we get into what we are looking at here, let’s discuss how we got these numbers. We stuck with a 7lb firearm for each round and selected the powder charge from Nosler’s hand loading database. We went pretty conservative with the powder load for both cartridges since we are looking at factory loads and they tend to load conservatively for safety purposes. With that being said, these numbers can change based on changing these variables up a little bit. Because we have kept everything uniform, it’s still an accurate comparison, but we do want to make sure that you understand these numbers are not set in stone.
When we look at the recoil energy (ft.lb) generated from the ten rounds we see that the 7mm Rem Mag rounds show a few more ft.lb of energy generated during firing on average than the .30-06 Springfield rounds. There is definitely some overlap between the two cartridges, and both have more hard hitting rounds and more manageable rounds. All of the rounds we selected have over 20ft.lb of energy, and all of them are going to have some kick. A couple of the 7mm RM and .30-06 rounds have a little more hefty amount of recoil, but there is no reason why anyone could not adjust to either of these cartridges. And as we stated earlier, these numbers are not set in stone. With today’s modern rifles, the felt recoil is going to be very manageable.
One of the biggest draws of the 7mm Rem Mag is that it can match or excel in several ballistic categories when compared to the .30-06 while not bringing a significantly more amount of recoil to the table. We have seen that the recoil is very similar but slightly higher for the 7mm Rem Mag, so let’s take a look at several ballistic categories next and see if this idea holds any truth.
Whether you spend more time using your rifle hunting or more time at the range testing your limits as a marksman, understanding the ballistics of your cartridge of choice is critical to maximizing your success as well as knowing your limitations. This information including velocity, the ballistic coefficient, and the trajectory of your bullet all provide you valuable information when it comes to making correct adjustments and putting the bullet where you want. We are going to break this section down into the three mentioned categories and compare the 7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06 for each of them. By doing this, we will begin to see the similarities and differences between these rounds and better distinguish in which situations one cartridge might serve you better than the other.
Whether you are utilizing either of these cartridges, or any cartridge for that matter, hunting or for long range target shooting, the velocity of the bullet leaving the muzzle and even the velocity of the bullet downrange is an important part of the equation in our and any comparison.
The velocity of a bullet affects the other ballistic properties of a bullet as well as the terminal performance. Trajectory, bullet energy, penetration, and expansion properties are all influenced by the velocity.
With that, it is important to note that higher velocity is not always positive. A lot depends on the twist rate of the rifle. An improper twist rate with a hot bullet is going to result in an unstable flight. Of course, when dealing with factory loads, this isn’t an issue that we will have to address, but it is something to keep in mind. Generally, a faster round is often sought because this increased speed gets the bullet to the target faster giving less time for environmental factors to act on the round. For long range shooting, this is a big plus.
When we look at the velocities of the ten rounds we have selected for comparison we notice that the 7mm Rem Mag rounds start off with significantly higher muzzle velocities. We do see one .30-06 round that has similar or even higher muzzle velocities as the 7mm Rem Mag rounds, and we will keep an eye on it as we move down range.
From the muzzle out to 500 yards, we see a consistent trend of the 7mm Rem Mag rounds having a higher velocity than the .30-06 rounds. On average, the 7mm Rem Mag rounds show 30o more FPS velocity than the .30-06 rounds out to 300 yards and nearly 400 extra fps on average than the .30-06 rounds at 400 and 500 yards showing that they maintain their velocities at a better rate than the .30-06 rounds.
All five of the selected rounds for each cartridge holds well above supersonic speeds out to the 500-yard mark and will do so for several more hundred yards. We do see that the 7mm Rem Mag rounds maintain a significant amount more velocity than the .30-06 rounds. The one Hornady .30-06 150gr round does maintain a velocity comparable to the 7mm Rem Mag rounds but falls below all five rounds once it hits the 300-yard mark.
Now, should that extra 300 fps of velocity factor into your decision? We can’t answer that for you. A stable bullet with an extra couple hundred extra fps is probably significant when you are dealing with longer distance shots, say 500+ yards. For shots coming at shorter distances, which is most often the case with hunting, we don’t think a few hundred extra fps matters. You need enough velocity to get proper terminal performance, and that’s what we think matters most of all, besides a good shot of course.
The ballistic coefficient, in regards to how people think of it, can range from one of the most important factors for users to those who do not even have any idea what it is.
The math that goes into the ballistic coefficient as well as it’s interpretation can get a bit muddled and is unnecessary for inspection in this article. Still, we should have the basic understanding of what the BC is before we look at the numbers from our chosen rounds.
The BC is a number that indicates how well a bullet is streamlined which means how well the bullet can deal with drag and wind drift. The design of the bullet, as well as the speed and caliber of the bullet, are a few of the components that go into calculating the BC.
So when looking at these various rounds from our two cartridges of comparison, the higher the BC, the better the round is at resisting the effects of wind during flight. Theoretically, the better a bullet is at cutting through the wind, the more accurate the round will be.
How important the BC is going to be in your decision, if you are in fact choosing between these two rounds, really depends on the range you are going to be shooting at. For most hunting purposes where the majority of shots are coming within 400 yards and often within 300 yards, small differences in BC between two cartridges might not make much a difference. Now, if you are planning on taking 700 to 1000+ yard shots on the range, the BC is going to carry a lot more weight in your decision.
The importance you place on the ballistic coefficient is going to increase with the distance you plan on taking shots at. For shots within 300 yards, with the velocities, these rounds have, wind drift and other environmental forces on your bullet are not near as pronounced as they would be at shots at 500+ yards.
Given that both of these rounds can be used for long range purposes, the ballistic coefficient is most certainly relevant to this article.
For the 7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06, we have compiled the BCs for all ten of the rounds we have been and will continue to use for comparison throughout the article.
At first glance, it is clear that the 7mm Rem Mag rounds have higher BCs than the .30-06 rounds with several of the rounds breaking the .6 mark. That is not to diminish the .30-06 rounds. While the majority of them stay below the .5, their BCs are more than sufficient for a lot of shooting scenarios. And as we have discussed earlier, this is a small sample size of what is out there. If you take the time to look or get into handloading, you can find yourself a .30-06 round that will compete with the given 7mm Rem Mag rounds we have presented here.
In our application section, we will discuss further how these differences in ballistic coefficients between the two cartridges might impact when you would rather use one over the other.
The trajectory is what just about every hunter or competitive shooter of every skill level will be interested in when comparing two different cartridges. More importantly, we are interested in how flat a bullet flies over a given distance. The less a bullet drops during its flight, the easier it is to make adjustments for longer distance shots. It also gives a little more room for error, especially in situations where you might not have the time to gain the exact distance to the target as is often the case in hunting situations.
Before we dive head long into looking at the short and long range trajectories, we wanted to give a cleaner picture at the overall trajectories of these two cartridges. We are only looking at two cartridges; both are Federal Nosler Ballistic Tip rounds for each cartridge types. Both of the rounds are using 150gr ballistic tip bullets, but the 7mm RM round does have a slightly higher ballistic coefficient. The bottom line is that these are very similar rounds and can give us a good idea of how these trajectories compare to one another.
When just looking at these two rounds, we see that the difference is minimal out to the 300-yard mark. From this point out to 500 yards, we begin to see the gap widen between the two rounds. The 7mm Rem Mag shows a slightly flatter trajectory than the .30-06 round with 10 inches difference at the 500-yard mark. Both of these rounds have the same weight and design of bullet, so the increased velocity of the round is the main contributor to the flatter trajectory.
Of course, the similarities in bullet designs, weights, and velocities are not uniform across the span of round options for both cartridges. Luckily, we have ten rounds that we can examine to see if the trend continues.
Let’s first look at short range trajectory. We are looking at the bullet drop (inches) over a range of 300 yards with the firearm sighted in at 100 yards.
At the 200 yard mark, we see a negligible difference between the two cartridges at less than an inch difference between the two averages. At 300 yards, the gap widens between the two. At this point, the average for the 7mm Rem Mag is 10.5″ of bullet drop while the .30-06 Springfield rounds have an average of 13.8”. While the general trend is towards the 7mm Rem Mag rounds having a flatter trajectory, we do see a .30-06 round that has a similar trajectory, though it is a lighter weight bullet.
While there does seem to be an advantage when it comes to short range trajectory for the 7mm Rem Mag rounds, both it and the .30-06 are more than capable rounds at these ranges.
Both of these cartridges are known long range hunting rounds and as well as F-class cartridges. Because of this, let’s take out the range a bit further. We are still looking at bullet drop but out to 700 yards in this instance. Firearms were zeroed in at 200 yards.
As with the short range trajectory, we see the same trend towards the 7mm Rem Mag being the flatter shooting cartridge. As we have mentioned, all of these ballistic categories go hand in hand, and the differences in velocities, as well as BCs, pointed us in the direction of this difference in trajectory being the case.
At 300 yards, there is no difference between the two cartridges. While the averages show around 1.5” difference between the two cartridges, both have rounds that overlap one another. This changes as the rounds move out to the 400-yard mark. Here, and through the rest of the distance, all of the 7mm Mag Rounds shoot flatter than the .30-06 rounds. Only the Hornady GMX 150gr comes close to the 7mm RM rounds though it still falls short of all five. The difference in the average bullet drops between the two cartridges is 5.3” (400yds), 11” (500yds), 21” (600yds), and 34.8” (700yds).
As you can see, the difference is quite noticeable between the two cartridges, especially out at 500 yards and beyond and will play a major role in choosing between these two cartridges for specific applications.
We have looked at several ballistic categories, but for a lot of potential users of these cartridges, it doesn’t do us any good if the bullet doesn’t have the knockdown power once it reaches the target.
It’s quite possible that a lot of readers might not be very interested in stopping power. Especially when compared to hunters who are here. Still, even if terminal ballistics is not going to play a major role in your decision, we don’t think it hurts to know as much about your preferred cartridge as possible. And for hunters, you are already aware of how important understanding the stopping power of your cartridge.
The ability of your chosen round for a cartridge to bring down game quickly is advantageous to you for several reasons. The first is for your safety, especially when hunting more dangerous game. Also, even if you are not hunting dangerous game, most hunters want a quick and humane kill. Not only out of respect for the animal but it also minimizes the chances of having to track an animal and potentially lose it.
We don’t have a single set of data we can look at to determine stopping power. It’s a culmination of several factors including bullet energy, penetration, bullet expansion, and shot placement. In this section, we will take a look at bullet energy and penetration for comparing the 7mm Rem Mag versus 30-06. While it is only two factors that go into stopping power, they are the best for comparing two cartridges besides comparison in the field, which is the fun part that we leave to you.
When you ignite the powder charge within a cartridge and send a bullet downrange, it carries with it kinetic energy that transfers to the target on impact and is partly responsible for tissue and organ damage beyond the physical damage caused by the bullet itself.
Kinetic energy is an important component to stopping power, though we caution the idea that it is the end means for comparing stopping power between two cartridges or even rounds within the same cartridge type.
The amount of energy that a bullet carries is dependent on the velocity and the mass of the bullet. And more energy does not always mean more damage to the animal. A bullet that carries a lot of energy but does not expand well is not going to transfer a high percentage of that energy to the surrounding tissues. This is one of the main issues with relying solely on the kinetic energy to determine which cartridge has better stopping power.
But, as we mentioned earlier, it is a major factor and can provide us with a lot of useful information. And when paired with other factors, we can make some sensible conclusions for how these two cartridges compare to one another.
So, let’s dive into the bullet energies (ft.lb) of the ten rounds we have selected from each cartridge.
Interestingly, we see almost the same trend that we have seen with the trajectories between these two cartridges. Out of the muzzle, we see an increase in muzzle energy for the 7mm Rem Mag rounds, but we do see the 200 gr .30-06 round match all but the top performing 7mm Rem Mag round. The 7mm Rem Mag rounds on average have between 300 to 500 more ft.lb of energy than the .30-06 rounds as they travel downrange. Also, like the trajectories, we do see a 200gr .30-06 round that has similar properties as the lower 7mm Rem Mag rounds although slightly lower.
Even so, all five rounds from both cartridges carry over 1,000ft.lb of energy out to the 500-yard mark. That is enough energy to take down most medium sized game with proper shot placement. And it’s important to keep in mind that although the averages show the 7mm Rem Mag cartridge to have higher bullet energies when we look at individual rounds, there are higher and lower capabilities.
Penetration of the bullet is another factor that goes into stopping power. For a bullet to be effective in killing an animal cleanly, it needs to be able to punch through hide and bone which is incredibly thick and tough on some animals. Now, for these two cartridges, their ability to penetrate is very rarely a concern, but it will be interesting to see how the two compare.
And the amount of penetration you are going to need is going to depend pretty heavily on the game you are hunting. Just as an example, you are going to want more penetration to take a mature bull elk at 400 yards than you would for a whitetail.
To compare penetration between two cartridges, we are going to use the sectional density. The sectional density is derived from the diameter of the bullet as well as its mass. Before we move on, we should take a moment to describe how we can infer anything about penetration from the sectional density.
It all has to do with the surface area that a force is applied to. The best way to explain is to use a simple example. We have bullet A, which has a diameter of .200 inches and a bullet weight of 150gr. Bullet B has a diameter of .200 inches well but has a bullet weight of 100gr. The sectional density of bullet A is going to be greater than bullet B and should have more penetration given all other variables between the two bullets are the same. This is because the increased weight of bullet A should generate more force than bullet B and both of them have the same surface area where this force is localized.
We can look at it from the diameter side of things as well. In this scenario, bullet A and bullet B have the same 100gr bullet weight. Bullet A has a diameter of .250 inches while bullet B has a diameter of .200 inches. In this case, bullet B will have a higher sectional density and given all other variables, such as bullet design and powder charge, are the same, then bullet B should have better penetration. This is because the force generated from firing bullet B is localized to a smaller surface area which encounters less resistance and can penetrate deeper.
This number doesn’t give us a specific depth that a bullet will penetrate, but instead gives us an idea of the bullet’s potential for penetration. And sectional density is also a good way to compare penetration between cartridge types, especially when using computer-generated data.
We see that here, the 7mm Rem Mag has four out of five rounds over the .25 mark while the .30-06 rounds only have two and also have the two lowest sectional density rounds of the ten. We know that the .30-06 cartridge holds larger diameter bullets than the 7mm Rem Mag, but both use similar weight bullets so this result should not be surprising. We do see how weight can change the SD when we look at the 200gr .30-06 round which has the highest sectional density of the ten rounds here.
There is a lot more that goes into penetration besides the sectional density. As we have discussed, how the bullet reacts on impact affects penetration which is also influenced by the velocity. Still, this gives us an idea of how the two stack up next to each other regarding penetration.
In the field, sectional density alone does not give you the full picture that you need. It along with the velocity and expansion properties are needed to let you know if you have what you need for the specific game you are chasing.
Accuracy is a tough topic to approach from our standpoint. In our eyes, a lot of accuracy has to do with the person pulling the trigger though we do think some ballistic characteristics of the rounds come into play when we start talking long range shooting. In the case of the 30-06 vs 7mm Rem Mag, we do see some differences that warrant some discussion when it comes to the topic of accuracy.
The first is recoil. While there is not a huge difference in the recoil when just looking at the two cartridges in general, there is a slight increase in recoil energy of the 7mm Rem Mag cartridge. For most people deciding between these two cartridges, it’s probably not a big enough difference to even give it a second thought. The increased recoil might affect some people’s shot, especially after a full day of shooting, but in our opinion, it’s subjective and varies from shooter to shooter.
As far as the other ballistic properties go, the 7mm Rem Mag might have an advantage over the .30-06 when it comes to long range shots. While there are rounds for both cartridges that better than others, the 7mm Mag rounds, in general, had better velocities, BCs, and trajectories with it most pronounced as the rounds moved downrange.
Again, this conclusions and estimates are based solely on the factory loads we have examined here and strictly by the data that accompanied them. We do not doubt that you can take either of these cartridges and drive some nails with them.
Price & Availability
When comparing the price of a box of cartridges between the 7mm Remington Mag vs 30-06, we see that there is not much of a difference. The 7mm RM rounds might be a couple of dollars more expensive on average, but it comes down to the specific round you want. Both cartridges have their more affordable and more expensive options. Barring all of the other performance specs and since there is no significant difference in price, it might come down to which cartridge you can get your hands on with the least amount of headache.
While both of these cartridges are popular, the .30-06 is definitely more heavily used and thus, more available. You are going to be able to find 7mm Rem Mag rounds in just about any retail store that carries ammunition. Your options might be more limited in the exact round you are looking for, especially when compared to the .30-06, but with the internet at our disposal, you can get just about anything you are looking for with both of these cartridges.
|7mm RM HSM Trophy Gold VLD Berger 168gr||$47.99 (20 Rounds)|
|7mm RM Hornady Superformance SST 162gr||$32.29 (20 Rounds)|
|7mm RM Federal Nosler Ballistic Tip Vital-Shok 150gr||$36.79 (20 Rounds)|
|7mm RM Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range 168gr||$43.99 (20 Rounds)|
|7mm RM Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond 140gr||$58.00 (20 Rounds)|
|30-06 Federal Vital-Shok 165gr||$37.79 (20 Rounds)|
|30-06 Hornady GMX 150gr||$35.49 (20 Rounds)|
|30-06 Federal American Eagle FMJ 150gr||$24.99 (20 Rounds)|
|30-06 Nosler AccuBond 200gr||$59.00 (20 Rounds)|
|30-06 Federal Gold Medal 168gr||$37.99 (20 Rounds)|
As far as hunting goes, both of these cartridges are a great medium to large sized game rounds. For medium sized game, all ten rounds we looked at had well over 1,000ft.lb of force out to 500 yards, which is more than enough to drop medium sized game. They have the velocity and the stopping power that is needed and can easily cover the ranges often seen with shots in the field.
For large game, but of these cartridges have rounds that are more than sufficient at ranges up to 300 yards without a problem. If you are going for long range shots on big game, we would probably lean towards the 7mm RM rounds just because of the extra energy, but if you put a .30-06 in the kill zone, it’s still got the force to take care of business. We also think the flatter trajectory is important for hunting. While modern firearm optics are incredible, sometimes the time you need for detailed adjustments just are not there, and a flatter trajectory can help you out in these situations where you estimated distance is slightly off.
When we talk about long range shooting for competition both of these cartridges can get the job done. Keeping the discussion solely on factory loads, the 7mm Rem Mag has a higher ballistic coefficient, though there are .30-06 rounds out there that can match it, and they also maintain higher velocities and flatter trajectories. This is especially true out past the 500-yard mark. With this information, the 7mm Rem Mag might be more appealing to some. Recoil is slightly higher for most of the 7mm RM rounds when compared to the .30-06 rounds, but for competitive shooters, they are going to have enough support to soak up much of this recoil.
At the close of these cartridge comparisons, we like to take a look at the ten rounds we used for comparison and pick some of our favorite rounds for a couple different shooting applications. We will make picks for both the .30-06 Springfield rounds and the 7mm Remington Magnum rounds.
And look, these are just our pick from the rounds we have looked at in depth here. There are a lot of good rounds out there for both cartridge types. We think all of the rounds we have looked have are great for a lot of shooting scenarios.
Top Hunting Round
Our top hunting round pick for the 7mm Rem Mag is the HSM Trophy Gold VLD Berger 168gr round. There is a lot to like about this round. We like the weight of this round, especially if you hunt a lot of different types of game. It covers just about everything you can hunt in North America. It also has very manageable recoil for a magnum round.
As far as ballistics go, this round has top marks in the velocity, BC, and trajectory categories compared to other rounds we looked at. It makes it a tremendous round for hunting larger game at increased distances. The VLD Berger bullet is excellent for controlled expansion and deep penetration. And while it doesn’t have the highest bullet energies associated with it, there is not going to be an issue with dropping game cleanly.
For the .30-06, we like the Hornady GMX Superformance 150gr round. This pick is a little out there regarding the rounds popularity, but we have quite a bit of personal experience with it in the field. This round has tremendous velocity and trajectory. It also has excellent stopping power, especially for a 150gr bullet. Some people might want a slightly heavier bullet for larger game, but overall, we are always blown away by this rounds performance.
Top Target/Range Round
While the 7mm Rem Mag is considered more of a hunting cartridge, there is a place for it on the target range. If you have followed with the ballistic characteristics, it has the potential for some accurate, long range shooting even with the factory rounds. We specifically like the Hornady Superformance SST 162gr round. It has an MV of 3,030fps and has a high rate of retaining this velocity downrange. The velocity paired with the high BC (.55), as well as one of the flattest long range trajectories on our list, make it an excellent factory load to have on the range practicing or even using in more casual competition settings. It is also a very affordable 7mm RM round.
For our .30-06 top range round selection, we like the Federal 168gr Gold Sierra MatchKing. This is a high muzzle velocity round that is going to stay supersonic well beyond 500 yards. It also has a great ballistic coefficient as well as a flat trajectory with only around 45 inches of bullet drop at the 500-yard mark. Like any factory load, that trajectory falls off a bit once you get out to the 700+ mark but that’s expected. As far as recoil goes, it’s got some kick to it, but it is more than manageable.
Though both of these rounds are pretty impressive, you can see from our previous sections that to get the type of performance at ranges upwards of 1,000 yards and more, you are going to need to look at loading your own cartridges.
Conclusion: 7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06
When looking at the 7mm Rem Mag vs 30-06, we find ourselves comparing two cartridges that are most often utilized in the same shooting situations. From our look at this topic, we hope that we have taken an unbiased look at some of the properties for both cartridges and provided you with more solid information that can help you make your decision.
We didn’t set out to make claims over which cartridge is the best. We, like many of you, understand that at times looking at each individual round makes more sense, but when setting out to pick a rifle chambered for a certain cartridge, comparisons such as this are important. What we can tell you from personal experience is that whichever cartridge you choose to go with, both can be highly effective with a little practice and a little confidence.