7mm-08 Question


Jan 8, 2017
I have a Remington Model 7 FS in 7mm-08. It has the 18.5" lightweight barrel, sometimes referred to as the "pencil" barrel. This rifle scoped and fully loaded with a nylon sling weighs 6 lbs 8 ozs and kicks like a mule! My current load is 49 grains of H414 and 130 gr Speer Hot-Core bullet. Average velocity through my Chrony is 2837 fps. I want to reduce the recoil in this rifle because my old shoulder just ain't what it use to be. I was thinking of doing two things. One, drop down to a 120 gr Ballistic Tip and reduce powder charge to maybe 47 or 48 grains. Do any of you guys shoot the 120 gr BT in your 7mm-08 and what is your powder type and weight charge? What velocity can I expect with the 120 gr BT? Also, do you think the 120 gr BT will do a fine job taking whitetails quickly and humanly? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
I know that my friends Stephen and his wife Storm, used the 120 Ballistic Tip very successfully while hunting in Wyoming with me in 2012. She used the 7mm-08, he used a .280 Rem. Each tagged an antelope and each tagged a nice mule deer buck. One shot each.

From that example, all I've got, the 120 can do a fine job.

Welcome to the forum!

Regards, Guy


Sep 29, 2004
I use the 120 grain BT out of my daughters model 7. I'm using H4895 and its running around 2650 fps, I think. Is fairly mild, as she weighs 105 soaking wet. She took an antelope with that load a couple years ago around 300 yards. Should be just the ticket for a whitetail.


Nov 25, 2013
The 120 BT will be very effective on Whitetails.

You could also change the recoil pad over to a LimbSaver and realize an improvement in felt recoil.


Jun 8, 2016
Leave the load where it is if it is accurate and buy a limb saver recoil pad. the winchester recoil pad that they sell at Walmart works well, my 14yr old uses on on his 270 and loves it

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Apr 1, 2009
Get a Limbsaver Direct Replacement Recoil Pad and install it. Simple just 2 Philips screws.
You could mag-n-port it. That will not kill your(or others) ears like a brake and will reduce recoil and muzzle jump. I have done it on a number of rifle/pistols and like it. I hate brakes.
I have shot 120gr BT's in my Tikka but have not been happy with terminal performance in several different cartridges. If going to a lighter bullet try the 110gr TTSX by Barnes(I know a bad word here). Just do not slow them down much as the preform better with speed. They tend to shoot more accurate also with speed.

Next step is to get a 260Rem or 6.5X55. I like mine better than the 7-08


Aug 16, 2011
to reduce the recoil use H4895 powder . Hodgdon powder has the info printed on their web site for the 60% rule . lighter bullets reduce recoil too .

60% rule
https://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895%20Red ... 0Loads.pdf

youth loads

I'm using a 120 ballistic tip over a slightly reduced load of H4895 in my girlfriends 7mm-08 X-bolt rifle .
her load is . rem brass , 120 ballistic tip , cci 200 primer , 39.0gr of H4895, 2716 FPS from a 22" bbl . this load generates the same recoil as a 243 with a max load using a 100 grain bullet .


Oct 1, 2011
I am using a Nosler 120gr. BT sitting on top of 44.3gr of ramshot big game. I am not sure of the velocity but it seems I chrono'd it at 3050. Seems really fast for that set up so I have always wanted to retest it. There is very little kick. My Daughter took a Mule deer doe with it in 2016 that was a solid size doe. I don't know what the hang weight was but we got 40lb pounds of meat. I'm not sure how to add a pic or I would brag about her a little more.

I didn't measure how far the bullet traveled but I would estimate over 18 inches on a quartering away shot, hitting bone on the way in. She ended it with a second shot to the neck.

If you want a fun bullet to shoot, I loaded 100gr hollow point on top of 14gr of trail boss. It shoots about 1400 fps and feels like shooting a 22lr but we were able to hit a 200 yard gong with it. Lots of fun and pretty cheap to load powder wise.


Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
The 120 gr BT uses the 140 gr BT jacket cut down to the 120 gr profile.
This makes the jacket wall thicker, making the bullet more robust.
It will hold together and penetrate well. It's a great bullet for deer.



May 17, 2015
It took me about 50 grains of Big Game to get the 120 NBT up over 3,000 fps in a 22" barreled Rem mountain rifle.

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Nov 9, 2005
I had EXACTLY the same issues with recoil in my Model 7 7mm-08. My gunsmith recommended that I begin reloading 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip's. I shoot 42 grains of IMR 4064 into <1/2" groups using the original barrel with LOTS of rounds through it. I made the switch back in about 1990 and have never looked back. Today I barely notice any recoil from this rifle. I watch my deer tip over through the scope and have never had one run more than 45-50 feet. Fast, accurate, deadly, reasonably priced: this is my load for life. My son-in-law has borrowed my rifle and liked it so much better than his 30-06 he now owns a Tikka in 7mm-08 and I load the same bullets for him because he is so impressed with its terminal performance. Take it from someone who is a bit recoil shy: shoot the 120 BT's and you will develop a new love for that rifle.