7.08 or 7x57


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M y Sako 243, which I've had for 20yrs has throat erosion, its an old friend, rather than buy a new Howa, I've thought about getting it rebarreled. I thought about 7.08, wondered about about 7x57, its a medium action, would it be long enough, any ideas out there, spare me .308, I've had a 7x57 and loved it. Case length on 7mm is longer but loads are kept low because of the old Mauser actions in its heyday, are there any loads which will match 7.08 or surpass on modern actions. I know 7.08 would be easier to buy ammo for but I reload anyway. Deerwarden :)


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Hi have shot a Sako 75 7.08 for the past 6 years, it will shoot 1/4 inch
groups all day, with 120gr Scierra prohunter and 140 gr Nosler BT.

I have shot Muntjack through to Red, it shoots very flat, and recoil is
minimal with the mod on.

I am not a gunsmith, but I think you will find the action on your Sako
will be to short for a 7x57, a friend of mine shoots a7x57 and ballistically
very little difference, but the action is longer.

all the best Nick


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The 7x57 is about a quarter of an inch longer than the 243. Check out your rifle and judge accordingly. I like the 7-08 myself. It's a fine caliber.

I am curious why you don't have your beloved 243 set back a couple of turns and rechambered to freshen up the throat? ~Muir.


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I found the 243 worked best with 105gr speer round nose bullets, the 7x57 done everything the 243 did plus more. I'm leaning to 7.08, better range of bullet weights than 243, I found the slower heavier 7mm worked bwtter than my 270 and my 243, if I had one rifle [god forbid] it would be a 7x57, but the 7.08 would probably be a better choice, no problems with being ex miliatry calibre? also definately medium action length.


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The thing is - manufacturers focus on an old calibre like the 6.5 swede & turn it into the .260 Rem.
Likewise the 7x57 & turn out the 7-08. These advancements are in keeping with shooting modern rifles & I think the increase in velocity & muzzle energy from the more recent chamberings speak for themselves.

Heym SR20

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Craig Boddington addresses this question very nicley in Safari Rifles. The two are effectively interchangeable, but the 7mm-08 has limited range of factory loads (140gn mostly) but being a modern calibre is loaded "hot" to work in modern rifles of good condition. The 7x57 however is a very old calibre and most load it to lower pressures, on the basis that it might be loaded into a very old rifle in poor condition. Thus for equal bullet weights (140gn) 7mm-08 tends to be a bit faster thus flatter shooting than the 7x57.

7x57 is availble world over and in a wide range of different bullet weights. Plus it has a bigger case capacity, thus if you are a handloader you can load it to modern pressure levels to push bigger bullets and faster speeds.

7x57 is a military calibre and thus illegal in France.

On your Sako, 7mm-08 will be a simple change to new barrel and minimal work on magazine or action rails. Whether the action is long enough for a 7x57 you might struggle - 7mm-o8 case is 51mm like the .243 or 308, 7x57 is 57mm.


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Send it to Chris Blackburn at Anglo Custom and have him screw in a 260 or 7/08 barrel, it will probably cost the same as a new Howa.

You will still have your familiar old rifle, but with a new lease of life in a more capable calibre. 8)

Heym SR20

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Does any body know of any body who can recut rifling to a larger size - ie to take a 6mm out to 7mm. Would be usefu for an older rifle with worn rifling but too nice to scrap the barrel and replace with a new one

I have a copy of Clyde Bakers "Modern Gunsmithing" written in the 1930's where he does describe the technique of recutting to a larger bore size - page 510 if you have a copy. In effect using a lapping rod with teeth cutter to first cut the grooves deeper, then reem out the bore to the correct size.

Does any body do this in practice?


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I enquired about this taking a 308 Winchester out to 358 Winchester. Not one place I approached in the UK wanted to do it but all were happy to supply a new made barrel.

So either they don't want to or can't do the work properly. I suspect the former. Which is a shame as like you say everything else externally remains the same.

In America I think that it would be no problem. But even there 6mm to 7mm would not maybe be enough of a "jump".

7x57 is obsolete there is no advantage it offers over 7mm-08 with a long throat and with modern powders.


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I'd suspect many turned down the work simply due to the time involved. The task of re-drilling/rifling a barrel would be astronomical in comparison to a simple barrel change. I know if I were running a gunsmith shop for a living, I'd turn the job down. Too much time, too much set up, and the profit would be marginal, if any were to be had at all...

BTW, back to topic, I'd encourage folks to read Ken Water's "Pet Loads", it has wonderful and lengthy set of articles on the 7mm-08. Much more efficient than the 7x57, though ballistically very similar (only about a hundred FPS or so difference between the two with handloads).


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Deerwarden: Your action (being short) will accomodate the 7-08 no problem. The 7x57 requires an intermediate or long action. The 7-08 will match the 7x57 with the lower bullet weights 140-150ish but runs out of case capacity after that.

Practically for this country the 7-08 is near ideal. I would not hesitate to use it.


Hi there,

I'm a new member to the Stalking Directory and would like to add my tuppence worth re. 7mm-08. After years of shooting a shotgun on winged game and .22 rimfire for bunnies, I decided to get a centrefire rifle and get into deer stalking. My friend and centrefire mentor is an ex-Navy/SBS/Gordon Highlanders/North Sea diving top lad, who, after a 30 years of shooting deer, recommended I go for 7mm-08. I'm now the proud owner of a Steyr Scout in this calibre and, with Federal 150-grain Powershok rounds and a mighty fine Schmidt & Bender 6X42 'scope, can put 5-shot groups into a 1.5" circle at 100m pretty much off the bat. In my humble and admittedly less-than-experienced opinion, I've found the 7mm-08 is a really easy shooting round and would recommend it to anyone. When starting out I heard so much advice about .243 and .270 but I'm glad to have stuck with my chum's suggestion and haven't looked back.