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NitroXAdministrator
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The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57
      #378564 - 12/08/23 12:00 AM


https://gundigest.com/more/classic-guns/forty-years-little-7mm/amp


Forty Years with the Little 7mm
Jack O'Connor Jack O'Connor
8 years ago



Mrs. O'Connor's 7×57 Mauser, metalsmithing by Burgess, stock by Russ Leonard. Shown here with Buehler mount and Weaver K4, but it now carries a Leupold 3x.
Mrs. O'Connor's 7×57 Mauser, metalsmithing by Burgess, stock by Russ Leonard. Shown here with Buehler mount and Weaver K4, but it now carries a Leupold 3x.
“I think,” says the author, “I've seen more game killed with fewer shots from this modest little cartridge than any other.” Here's the why and how, all of which may well explain the current spate of interest in the 7X57 as chronicled in the Gun Digest 1974 annual edition.

Eleanor O'Connor with a 53-inch greater kudu shot with the 7×57 in Mozambique in 1962. Her professional hunter is Harry Manners.
Eleanor O'Connor with a 53-inch greater kudu shot with the 7×57 in Mozambique in 1962. Her professional hunter is Harry Manners.
For almost 40 years I've been having an off-and-on romance with a sweet little cartridge known as the 7×57, the 7mm Mauser, and the 7mm Spanish Mauser. There is nothing spectacular about the 7×57. It does not have a big case. Even when the charge is tightly compressed it is possible to get only about 53 grains of 4350 or 4831 powders into the Western 7×57 case, which is roomier than Remington's. This modest little cartridge does not have a belt. It isn't a magnum. It doesn't bellow like a 105mm howitzer and scramble the brains of the firer. It doesn't shoot through three elk, one moose, two grizzlies and a forest ranger and then mow down a grove of jack pines on the far side. The hole in the barrel is so little that even a small, thin, underprivileged mouse would have difficulty in entering, and the cartridge itself isn't as long as a maiden's arm.

Yet I think I have seen more game killed with fewer shots from this modest little cartridge than with any other. The explanation for its deadly efficiency does not lie in blinding velocity, in big bullets, in a frightening number of foot pounds of energy. It lies in the light recoil, coupled with the excellent hunting accuracy of so many 7×57s. Those who use it are not afraid of it and, as a consequence, they tend to shoot it well—and to place their shots well. In case no one has told you, the most important factor in killing power is putting that bullet in the right spot.

The 7×57 is so-called because the bullet has the number of millimeters which add up to a diameter of .284″ and the barrels a bore diameter of .276″. The bullets have a slightly greater diameter than those of the 270 WCF, which measure .277″. The 7×57 case holds about 10 grains less powder, as you can stuff 62–63 grains of 4831 into a Western 270 case. The cartridge gets the “57” tacked onto its name because the case is 57mm long. The head size is the same as that of the 30-06 and the 270. It is simply the 8×57J Mauser case necked down to 7mm.



As I write this, late in 1972, the cartridge is 80 years old. Developed in 1892 at the Mauser Werke in Germany, it was adopted the next year by Spain as a military cartridge. We Americans first got acquainted with it in 1898 when, in Cuba, the Spanish used it to shoot small, neat holes in a considerable number of gringos in such ructions as the American charge up San Juan hill. The American army came out of the war with a profound admiration for the 7×57 and for the Model 1893 Mausers the cartridge was used in. American Ordnance developed the 1903 Springfield rifle, which is a modified Mauser, and the 30-03 and 30-06 cartridges, which are enlarged 7×57s.

Early History

This 42-inch sable antelope was a one-shot kill with the 7×57 in Angola.
This 42-inch sable antelope was a one-shot kill with the 7×57 in Angola.
Until recent years, the 7×57 was enormously popular as a military cartridge. It was adopted by Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Uruguay, and Serbia, as well as by Spain. It became popular as a sporting cartridge in England, on the Continent, and in Africa. W.D.M. Bell, the famous elephant hunter and excellent writer (Bell of Africa, Tales of an Elephant Hunter, Karamojo Safari), used it with the full metal-jacketed 172-gr. military bullets (solids) to bump off over 1,000 elephants. Most of these were big, tough bulls with good ivory. Bell never bothered much with cows.

Americans became acquainted with the 7×57 as a big game cartridge after the Spanish-American War, as many American soldiers brought rifles back with them and used them on deer, elk, moose, and bear. For a long time the only American factory cartridge available was one loaded with a 175-gr. soft point bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,300 foot seconds. Later the velocity was stepped up to 2,490 fps. I do not know, but I suspect that this velocity was taken in a 30-inch barrel as, until recently anyway, it was the practice to take velocities in the barrel length for which the cartridge was developed. In the case of the 7mm, the early military rifles had 30-inch barrels.


The long 175-gr. bullets gave satisfactory penetration because of good sectional density, made a satisfactory wound channel because the bullets had plenty of lead and expanded easily. All in all, with that bullet, the 7mm was a good 175–225 yard cartridge for about any sort of game. Trajectory with the heavy bullet was about like that of the 30-06 with the 220-gr. bullet. Recoil was less. If you were smart enough to sight in to put the bullet 3 inches high at 100 yards, there was no necessity to hold high even at 200—and I'm sure I don't need to tell my gentle readers that more game is killed at under 200 yards than over.

Along in the middle 1920s, the Western Cartridge Company shot the old 7mm full of testosterone and vitamins Z, P, and X, by bringing out a load that gave a 139-gr. open point bullet an alleged velocity of 3,000 fps. If that velocity were the McCoy (and I doubt that like hell) it was achieved in a 30-inch barrel. Remington likewise introduced a load with a 139-gr. bullet but said it was stepping along at 2,900. Prior to World War II, Winchester loaded a 150-gr. bullet at 2,750, a velocity probably taken in a 24-inch barrel. Currently Norma loads a 110-gr. bullet at 3,068, a 150 at 2,756, and a 175 at 2,490.

7×57 Actions
The 1893 and 1895 Mauser actions are on the soft side, cock on the closing motion of the bolt, and do not have the auxiliary locking lug at the root of the bolt handle. Pressures, consequently, should be kept down to around 45,000 pounds per square inch. Some of the actions made in Spain are particularly soft. Beginning around 1908, the Mauser Werke at Oberndorf, Germany, began turning out 7×57 sporters in various styles on a slightly shortened Model 98 type action. I have heard this action called the Model 1908 and also the Model 1912. It is, I believe, ⅜-inch shorter than the standard Model 98. Actions of similar, if not identical, lengths were used by Mexico, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. Just before and after World War I hock shops in the Southwest and Southern California always had for sale 7mm Mauser carbines that had probably come across the line with fugitive Mexican soldiers. These could be bought for a song and were widely used for hunting deer and desert sheep in the Southwest.


In Germany, .the Mauser Werke and various custom gunsmiths built 7×57s. In England, Rigby made them on Mauser actions, calling the cartridge the 275 Rigby. In the United States, Remington turned out 7×57 rifles on the Rider Rolling Block actions for various foreign governments, and also chambered Lee sporting rifles for the cartridge.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Griffin & Howe made many handsome sporters on Mauser and Springfield actions for the cartridge. The first caliber that W.A. Sukalle, the famous Arizona gunsmith and barrelmaker, tooled up for was the 7mm.

Remington chambered the Model 30 bolt action for the cartridge, and Winchester produced 7×57s in the Models 54 and 70. But what had been a mild boom for this fine little cartridge petered out. Both Winchester and Remington dropped the load with the 139-gr. bullet. They also discontinued the caliber in their line of bolt action rifles about the time WW II began.



Winchester chambered the Model 54 and the Model 70 for the 7 ×57. A Super Grade pre- '64 Model 70 like this early one in 7 ×57 would bring a nice sum from a collector.
However, in the past 20 years or so in the United States, thousands of 7×57 military rifles have been sold, turned into sporters in one way or another, and used for hunting. The cartridge has always had its admirers and hundreds of expensive custom sporters have been built for it. In 1972 Ruger made a few thousand 7×57 rifles in the Model 77 (as well as a near number of 257 Roberts rifles) and all were spoken for before they could be produced. The cartridge is a long way from being dead yet. Besides the regular load with the 175-gr. bullet, Federal Cartridge now loads a 139-gr. bullet; Dominion, one of the same weight. Velocities are in the neighborhood of 2,800 fps. Pressures are O.K. for the older Mausers. With both of these loads pressure is kept down to around 45,000 psi, I am sure, because most of them will be used in older rifles of the Model 93 type. The cartridge makes new converts every day. People like it because of its light recoil, its good killing power, and its good accuracy — not that you can't get bum 7mm barrels!

My First Little Seven
I got my first 7×57 rifle in 1934. I saw it at Bill Sukalle's shop in Tucson. Bill had put a 7×57 barrel on a remodeled action from a World War I German Model 98 Mauser sniper's rifle. It had been magnificently stocked in handsome French walnut by Adolph G. Minar of Fountain, Colorado, one of the finest classic stackers that ever lived. The stock had a German trap buttplate and a trap grip cap. It had as iron sights a Lyman 1-A peep on the cocking piece and a ramp front sight with gold bead. With iron sights, the rifle weighed slightly less than 7 pounds. However, it was equipped with a big German Gerard scope on claw mounts, which outfit added about two pounds. The scope was good optically, but because of the soft mount, it would not hold a constant point of impact. I traded the scope off. However, the rifle with iron sights was an astounding bargain at $75. That's right-$75! I took off the Lyman 1-A and had a 4x Noske scope put on with the Noske mount. The outfit then weighed less than 8 pounds.


The 7×57 is loaded all over the world. Here is some of the good RWS (German) ammo.
The 7×57 is loaded all over the world. Here is some of the good RWS (German) ammo.
I shot my first desert ram with that rifle, one of the best Rocky Mountain mule deer I have ever knocked off, and various other game — all with the Western factory 139-gr. open point bullet load. With one exception, everything I shot at with a 7×57 was a one-shot kill. That was a desert mule deer which I shot in one ham as he ran directly away and on which I used two cartridges. Then about 1952, I caught up. Hunting on Idaho's Snake River with another 7×57, I picked out a nice fat doe and took a crack at her. Down the hill she rolled — and also a forkhorn buck that had been standing behind her.



Sadly enough, I traded off that lovely little Sukalle-Minar 7×57, along about 1940, for an equally handsome 2-R Lovell on a Sharps-Borchardt action. Like the 7×57, it had been barreled by Sukalle and stocked by Minar. The O'Connors felt civilization crowding in on them, moved away from Tucson to Lewiston, Idaho in 1948. Not long after I had Tom Burgess, a crack metal man (who was then in Spokane, but who's now located in Kalispell, Montana), remodel a Czech VZ33 action and fit a 22-inch 7×57 barrel. The late Russ Leonard made the stock. Before long, my wife latched onto it. I had the stock shortened and a recoil pad installed. This 7×57 has been her favorite rifle ever since. I have no idea how many North American animals she has collected with it, but I believe I can name the species — mule deer, Rocky Mountain goat, black bear, caribou, elk, Stone sheep, Dall sheep, Corsican mouflon in Texas, and pronghorn antelope. She has also used it on the mountain sheep called urial in Iran and has collected most of the African antelope — including such large ones as eland, greater kudu, roan, and sable — with it on safaris in Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, South West Africa and Rhodesia. When she went after tiger in India, and elephant and lion in Zambia, she felt she needed a very powerful rifle, so she acquired a 30-06. In Mozambique, our professional hunter was the famous Harry Manners. He looked askance at her little rifle, told her she was undergunned. Before the trip was over, he was calling her One-Shot Eleanor, because — with the exception of a greater kudu, a handsome antelope about the size of a spike bull elk — everything she shot at was taken with one bullet. This kudu jumped into the air as she fired, and I called it a heart shot. My wife hit it again as it ran and yet again when it stopped. It fell at the third shot, but it had one bullet through the heart. From its actions, I am convinced it was the first one.

In the summer of 1972 my wife, our son Bradford (who is the outdoor editor of The Seattle Times ) and I decided to make modest safaris in South West Africa and Rhodesia. Bradford took a Ruger Model 77 in 30-06 and a restocked Winchester Model 70 in 375 H&H. My wife and I did all of our shooting with two 7×57 rifles — her Mauser and my Model 70 Winchester.

Last Model 70 in 7×57
About that Model 70 in 7×57 there is a tale. It was the last 7×57 ever turned out at the Winchester factory. When I felt myself coming down with another 7×57 in 1955,1 asked friends at Winchester if they could put a Model 70 in that caliber together for me. I was told this was possible as they still had exactly one (1) 7×57 barrel left. When the rifle came I sent it to Al Biesen, the Spokane, Washington, gunsmith and stockmaker. He turned down the barrel, shortened it to 22-inches, put a release button for the hinged floorplate in the trigger guard, checkered the bolt knob, made a stock of good French walnut, mounted a Weaver K4 scope on a two-piece Redfield mount. Complete with scope, this rifle weighs 7¾ pounds and will keep good bullets into less than an inch. Partly because of the light recoil, I shoot this rifle quite well. I would be hard put to imagine a much better mountain rifle. For the record, the serial number of this little dream is 361582. Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran has the next to the last Model 70 in 7×57 turned out at Winchester. He has used it extensively in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Likewise put together on special order, its number is 222222!


When my wife and I arrived in South West Africa in the summer of 1972, the professional hunters there told us we were undergunned — an opinion I had heard before. There, and in Rhodesia, we shot greater kudu, sable (in size midway between mule deer and elk), mountain zebra, gemsbok, and various other antelope. Most of the animals were anchored with the first shot.

I used the 140-gr. Nosler bullet in front of 45 grains of 4320. Velocity in my Model 70 with 22-inch barrel is 2,825. This is the velocity I get in the same rifle with the Dominion 139-gr. bullet load. The Federal load, with the 139-gr. bullet, produces somewhat less velocity.

For years my wife has used various 160-gr. bullets pushed by 52 grains of 4831. Velocity in the 22-inch barrel of her rifle is 2,660. As far as I can tell, this load shoots just as flat as the 180-gr. bullet in the 30-06 and kills just as well.

In South West Africa the only animal she did not kill with one shot was an enormous kudu bull with 60-inch horns. The bull was about 300 yards away and moving. She shot twice, paunched it, broke a hip. He went about 100 yards and fell. A good bull sable she shot in Rhodesia was quartering away. The 160-gr. Nosler bullet angled through and came to rest under the hide behind the right shoulder. It ran about 150 yards. Only one lung had been hit.

Tough African Antelope
I have heard many a fanciful tale about the incredible toughness of African antelope. After much prayer and meditation and ten African safaris I cannot for the life of me see that African game is any tougher than North American game. I have used as “light” rifles on safari the following calibers: 300 Weatherby, 30-06, 270, 7mm Remington Magnum, 338 Winchester Magnum and the 7×57. I have also used on heavier animals a 416 Rigby, a 450/400 Jeffery double rifle, a 450 Watts (the predecessor of the 458 Winchester) and various 375 magnums.

As far as I can tell the little 7×57 kills African antelope from the largest to the smallest just as well as any of the cartridges I have used. I have, for instance, shot greater kudu with a 300 Weatherby, a 30-06, a 375, a 7mm Remington Magnum, a 270 and a 7×57. All kill well if the bullet is well placed, but the hunter who paunches his animal or breaks a leg is generally in trouble with any of them.


Just before writing this I read a piece by a writer who dotes on the magnums more than I do. He uses the 7×57 as a dreadful example of the non-magnum. He says that “200 yards is close to the practical killing limit of the 7×57.”-He adds that this is because the energy has then fallen off to about 1,400 ft. pounds.


Jack O'Connor and friend with a 38½″ gemsbok, the kill made in Southwest Africa in 1972, Jack's rifle a 7×57.
Jack O' Connor and friend with a 38½″ gemsbok, the kill made in Southwest Africa in 1972, Jack's rifle a 7×57.
Well, I've got news for the lad. Two hundred yards is not only the practical killing range of the 7×57, but also the practical killing range of the 30-06, the 7mm Magnum, the 300 Weatherby Magnum, and what have you. The reason for this is that very few hunters can lay the bullets into the vital area of a game animal at any greater distance, even under the most favorable conditions. In fact, I'd bet a sugar cookie that most hunters could kill stuff farther away with the 7×57 than they could with the 7mm Magnum. It would not kick them so hard. They wouldn't be afraid of it, and they would shoot it better. I have some more news: game is not killed by foot pounds of energy. In fact, the energy has little to do with killing power. Animals are killed by putting in the right place a bullet that penetrates deep enough and opens up adequately.

Some of the most spectacular kills I have ever seen have been made with the 7×57. A very large mule deer, standing on a frosty hillside at about 8,000 feet above sea level in northern Arizona, was hit behind the shoulder and went over like a paper deer in a puff of wind. He was literally killed in his tracks. A greater kudu bull in South West Africa was hit through the upper leg bone and heart at about 150 yards. He fell as if he had been electrocuted. A Hartmann mountain zebra, that may have weighed 700 on the hoof, went down as if poleaxed when hit through the shoulder blade at about 275–300 yards. A sable in Rhodesia was hit too far back when trotting at about 250. It ran about 50 yards and stopped. I held slightly high (6–9 inches probably) and squeezed one off. The bull sable hit the deck.

I haven't made any very long shots with the 7×57, but I try to avoid long shots with any rifle. Most game is killed at 200 yards or less, but many of these kills get stretched out when they are processed through a typewriter.

I have never used a 7×57 to kill a bear of any sort — black, blue, brown, or grizzly. However, I saw the Storm & Strife knock off a nice black with one shot. I have never shot an elk with the 7×57, but I have seen her lay two good bulls low, each with one 7mm bullet, not to mention zebra, greater kudu, sable, roan, eland, four different kinds of sheep, and what-not.

Many very fine hunters have sworn by the 7×57.1 have mentioned W.D.M. Bell. That hunter of man-eating tigers, the late Capt. Jim Corbett, used a 7×57 (which he called a 275 Rigby) and a 450/400 Jeffery on these 400–500 pound cats. Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi has shot all sorts of Asiatic sheep and goats, all species of North American sheep, and most African antelope, with the Little Seven. One of the greatest sheep hunters who ever lived, the late Charlie Ren, used to shoot antelope and desert sheep with the 7×57 and the 300 Savage. He considered the 30-06 and the 270 too noisy, too violent, and too destructive, of meat. If a dude had ever shown up with a magnum I think old Charlie would have busted a gasket.


Shooting the 7×57

This 32½-inch Mozambique waterbuck rolled over with one shot from the 7×57.
This 32½-inch Mozambique waterbuck rolled over with one shot from the 7×57.
The 7×57 is a sweet little number to shoot. Recoil is about one-third less than that of the 270, about half that of the 7mm Remington Magnum. This is going to be a hard one for a lot of people to swallow: I have shot about the same amount of game with the 7×57 and the 7mm Magnum, and if, with the same shot placement, the magnum kills any better than the 7×57, I have been unable to see it.

The handloader will rejoice to learn that the 7×57 owner has his pick among a great variety of .284″ bullets. Speer alone makes bullets weighing 115, 130, 145, 160 and 175 grains. Nosler has three weights — 140, 160 and 175. Hornady can supply bullets in weights of 120, 139, 154 and 175 grains. The last can be had in either round nose or spire point styles. Anyone with a yen to shoot an elephant can usually scrounge up some old 175-gr. military “solids.”

Such lighter weight bullets as the 120-gr. Hornady and the 130-gr. Speer, which can be pushed along at velocities ranging from 2,900 to above 3,000, should be excellent for ante lope and open country deer. I have shot around 35–40 head of game ranging in size from Thompson gazelles (30 pounds) to greater kudu (600 pounds) and mountain zebra (700 pounds) with 140–145 grain bullets. No complaint. My wife has always stuck with one bullet weight — 160 grains. In her rifle this bullet leaves the muzzle at 2,660. She sights in for 200. The bullet drops 9 inches at 300. At 400, it would probably drop about two feet, but she doesn't believe in shooting at things that far away. She says doing so is silly. I'm inclined to agree with her.



https://gundigest.com/more/classic-guns/forty-years-little-7mm/amp

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
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grandveneur
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #378580 - 12/08/23 07:15 AM

One should stop dreaming nowadays about the cartridge 7x57.

The cartridge 7x57 is a good cartridge, but for a very limited use. In our times it is about, as it was also back then, about shooting at long range at game like the Deer in Scotland, but nowadays we have much better cartridges and rifles for it compared to back then.

I own a rifle from David Lloyd caliber 7mm Remington Magnum that was intended for hunting Deer in Scotland in the past, but that was only offered with the most suitable calibers for this purpose, meant among others 244 H&H Magnum, 25-06 Remington, 264 Winchester Magnum und later 7mm Remington Magnum.

The good reputation of the cartridge 7x57 rests only on the use of the heavy bullet on heavy game at short distance, as usual in Africa at the past.


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Waidmannsheil
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: grandveneur]
      #378587 - 12/08/23 08:02 AM

Strange comment to make. I haven't noticed deer being further away then before requiring big magnum cartridges. Nothing wrong with any of them but most deer are shot within 100 yards, at least here in Australia and we have shit loads of deer of all sizes. I use 175 grain for Sambar but 140 grain for Fallow and they work perfectly. Mick (AKA 264) has used the 7x57 on all manner of game including Buffalo with great success.

Is it the best cartridge in the world, well that's rather subjective but with mild recoil, reasonable velocity, smooth trouble free feeding easy extraction plus the ability to be fitted to a mid length action like Rigby did pre-war it would have to come close. Whats not to dream about.

Matt.

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grandveneur
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #378604 - 12/08/23 03:43 PM

Maybe I did not expressed my opinion correctly.

In some areas of the world you can shoot game at very short distances, in others unfortunately you have to shoot often at long range. In the last fifty years I have also rather shot game at closer range, but still had to shoot at long range at times, and always in the same areas.

I don't want to argue about this question, but I do rather be ready, depends on what I am hunting, for a long range shot and accordingly equipped with the appropriate weapon. I don't think that the cartridge 7x57 is suitable for that.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #378608 - 12/08/23 08:06 PM

Quote:

Strange comment to make. I haven't noticed deer being further away then before requiring big magnum cartridges. Nothing wrong with any of them but most deer are shot within 100 yards, at least here in Australia and we have shit loads of deer of all sizes. I use 175 grain for Sambar but 140 grain for Fallow and they work perfectly. Mick (AKA 264) has used the 7x57 on all manner of game including Buffalo with great success.

Is it the best cartridge in the world, well that's rather subjective but with mild recoil, reasonable velocity, smooth trouble free feeding easy extraction plus the ability to be fitted to a mid length action like Rigby did pre-war it would have to come close. Whats not to dream about.

Matt.




Ha ha, I put best cartridge in the world as the title. Bit of NE tabloid journalism.

The 7x57 is one of the oldest modern cartridges along with its parent, the 8x57. The 8x57 should be more popular than it is.

If the 6.5 Unmentionable is a new "modern" favourite, with lesser performance than the great 6.5x55, the 7x57 properly loaded easily equals the unmentionable. The 7x57 suffered by being under loaded in American, perhaps elsewhere(?), factory ammunition, due to fears of liability if it was used in some crappy old drop block single shots. The majority of perfectly able Mauser actions suffered and gained an anaemic reputation.

95% of hunting can be well done by a 7x57, whether in 1908, 2008 or 2028. The 7x57 is in the same class as the 6.5x55, 6.5 PRmore, .270, the 7x64, .308. .30-06, 8x57. Minor pluses or minuses, minor velocity differences, bullet weights, really all in a very similar class. If the 7x57 is obsolete all these extremely popular cartridges are obsolete. Animals haven't changed as well.

Normal forest, mixed forest hunting hasn't changed at all. Normal hunting ranges as always.

Sure if one is hunting the mountain tops, above the treeline, one might choose a hot flat shooting cartridge and rifle. I'm not a mountain hunter. The arid Flinders is the highest I've done. And insuppose the sambar forests are higher? But very thick forest. My restocked Parker Hale M98 in .30-06 usually. 400 yards is the longest I've shot effectively, a line of feral goats running along a ridge track on a cliff face. I wouldn't have made such shots at expensive trophy animals.

I'm surprised how many Aussies choose a .308 or similar for high mountain hunting. Shorter lighter action, lighter design rifle is obviously the goal. The .308 seen as adequate for expected ranges for red stag, tahr and chamois. Personally I'd consider a flatter shooter. But haven't had to carry a heavier rifle up thousands of feet either.

Now if sojourning to the high mountains of Asia or some rare tagged North American goat or sheep, for a house mortgage priced hunt or trophy fee, I'd want some flat shooter.

But one would always to have practised those 400m, 500m, 600m shots ad nauseum. In all sorts of conditions. And be totally familiar with the cartridge and rifle. Used it a lot for normal hunting. In the good old days in Australia, one could use your new rifle on a 300 feral pig or goat outback hunt. Taking that new .375 for a pig hunt before an African safari. Same could be done pre a big alpine hunt. If one had access to a big number of roo cull destruction tags, that would be excellent long range practice. I had a shot at 600 metres once, with a borrowed 7mm STW, 4000 fps. My first ever shot with it. Complete miss of course.

Have to come back to this post. The Matildas just beat France in a 10 shot shoot out. Womens Soccer/Football Worldcup in Australia.

***

I was watching the second half of the game while typing this post, and with the win, needed to cook dinner. Celebrated with a great thick steak, mashed potatoes and veg.

I hope those girls eat lots of beef too.

***

Sure Magnum high velocity cartridges are cool. Useful for some specialised hunting and an occasional long shot.

My weighty 8x68S will fill that role. 400 yards or metres is a long way for me anyway.

I would love a 7x57 or .275 bore Mauser one day in a lightish classify stocked Mauser 98 rifle. It will equal any range the .30-06 is capable of doing.

Maybe a 7mm SEvH for that LR mountain stuff.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (13/08/23 12:51 AM)


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9.3x57
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #378611 - 12/08/23 11:31 PM

Great piece and yeah, the 7x57 definitely ranks up there among a very small elite group of all-round thin-skinned game cartridges.

It's sadly about dead here now.

I had a Ruger Tang Safety job and killed deer and elk with it.

BTW: If any of you are in the area, down in Lewiston, Idaho is a really nice little Jack O'Connor Museum with most all his well-known hunting rifles displayed.


https://jack-oconnor.org/

From the site:

"Jack's famous Biesen stocked M-70 .270 is on display as is Eleanor O'Connor's 7x57 Mauser. These two rifles have appeared in more articles and had more written about them than any rifles in history. Other O'Connor firearms are also on display.

The center houses a gift shop with clothing and other logoed merchandise as well as original O'Connor books for sale."

--------------------
What are the Rosary, the Cross or the Crucifix other than tools to help maintain the fortress of our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?


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sharps4590
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: 9.3x57]
      #378613 - 13/08/23 12:13 AM

What one must keep in mind is, over the last 40 or so years, the fragile whitetail deer has evolved to include armor plate beneath their once thin skin. In addition, the American hunter has somehow developed an ability to see 450 yards through thick eastern woods or western forest. He has also come to believe that the ability to hit game at ranges of no less than 750 yards is a required skill.

It's rather amazing that feeble cartridges such as the 30-30 and 44-40 that once worked admirably in thick cover are now unable to dent the skin of even the wily coyote.

Such is progress.....ha....ha.

I lived and hunted in Wyoming for several years so plains hunting is nothing new to me, don't blow smoker up my skirts. The 7 X 57 is as adequate today, with 140 gr. bullets, as it was 75 years ago.
Any cartridge is no more effective than the person doing the shooting.

--------------------
Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." John14:6

Edited by sharps4590 (13/08/23 12:16 AM)


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Vintage_Canvas
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: 9.3x57]
      #378614 - 13/08/23 12:41 AM

Something Jack do not mention in the article, was that the Boer's used 7x57 Mausers in the Anglo Boer War from 1899 to 1902 in South Africa! It is mentioned in a lot of books and articles about the amazing accuracy and long shots that those Boer's take with their 7x57 Mausers! The English was totally caught off guard by the long range ability of the 7x57! Shots at 1000m was not unheard of! All of the Boer's was crack shots and know their rifles and the trajectory. But to come to the point... I agree with Jack, that most game in Africa and most of the world is hunted under 200m! Being in Africa my whole life and hunted all kinds of African game, I can attest to that! The 7x57 is a very popular caliber in SA and is used on all sorts of game. I have 2 rifles in 7x57. A Mannlicher and a Brno 21. I have used them on all types of game, with the same results as Jack mentioned. I have even shot big eland with 175gr bullets at around 2450f.s. The question I always ask.... when is hunting going over into long range target shooting?

--------------------
"the real Africa is still out there... you just need to know where to find it"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: grandveneur]
      #378615 - 13/08/23 12:58 AM

GV, I think long range is an inexact term for hunting.

I think 400 metres is long range.

Some guys might think 600, 800 metres is long range.

What is ethical?

One advantage today is range finders.

Another is bigger scopes, A 12x , 16x, easier for LR than a 4x.

My opinion is it's a shot where one has a high assurance of killing the beast nine times out of ten. With the first shot.

I seriously doubt the 800 metre wildlife snipers do that in reality. Videos show the successful shots. What is the wind doing over thatb800 metres?

PS I disagree with your position on good classic cartridges. But understand why many want a flat high velocity shooter for expensive paid hunts and trophies in mountainous terrain.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: Vintage_Canvas]
      #378616 - 13/08/23 01:04 AM

Quote:

Something Jack do not mention in the article, was that the Boer's used 7x57 Mausers in the Anglo Boer War from 1899 to 1902 in South Africa!

..

The question I always ask.... when is hunting going over into long range target shooting?




Good point.

Shooting in war at humans, a gut shot is as good as a heart shot. LR shots are more acceptable.

100%, the Brits .303 was outclassed by the 7mm s.

Second point. When seriously looked at most hunting shots are less than 200 m. Over that range, the average hunter often misses.

We need an ad hoc NE survey on ranges people have shot at, mostly and rarely, when hunting. A newcthread later.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (13/08/23 01:13 AM)


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grandveneur
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Reged: 21/09/08
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: Vintage_Canvas]
      #378617 - 13/08/23 01:08 AM

Quote:

...


The question I always ask.... when is hunting going over into long range target shooting?




Hunting should not turn into long range shooting.

Long range shooting at game should be reserved for special situations, but if for some reason you have to shoot at long range, is it better to do it with a suitable rifle and cartridge, there is more of that nowadays than in the past, and not to experiment with cartridges that are not intended for it. However, there are hunts where you have no choice but to shoot at long range, meaning for example Ibex or sheep hunting in Central Asia.

It is not the topic, so we will stick with the cartridge 7x57, not a long range cartridge but a good cartridge for some, still used in my country, including and almost more the rimmed version, the 7x57R.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: grandveneur]
      #378619 - 13/08/23 01:18 AM

Back to the article.

Jack's wife used a 7x57 a lot. One 160 gr bullet for everything. Worked well. She obviously knew how it performed.

Do us guys experiment too much?

I remember an article from ... decades ago ... Where the author says his wife used a 7x57. Recoil was low. Rifle weight can be managed. And in a good shot's hands effective.

Quite a few women have used the 7x57.

What was Karen Blixen's Rigby?

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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bwanabobftw
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #378624 - 13/08/23 05:36 AM

I maybe wrong but I think Karen had a .350 Rigby?? I have 4 7x57’s and have used them on several African safaris and I keep my “Rigby .275” beside my bed at the ranch, it’s my “go to gun”. I also load the 160 grain Partition for everything. I’ve killed coyotes to Eland in Africa with it. Sometimes I wonder why I have any of my other guns?

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grandveneur
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #378627 - 13/08/23 03:43 PM

"In 1943 John Rigby & Co. made exactly one rifle. During the height of the war, Rigby was busy making "machine gun clips." His Majesty King George VI ordered a .275 Rigby for Princess Elizabeth. Rifle number 5747 was completed on July 31, 1943. The rifle weighed 6 lbs 14oz with a 23.5" barrel and a 13 1/4" length of pull with a silver oval bearing her crest."

As far as I know, no rifles were produced for civilians during the WWII. For the princess, the ban was temporarily lifted.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....amp;Search=true


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eagle27
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: grandveneur]
      #378630 - 13/08/23 06:29 PM

As always time marches on. Yes the 7x57 is a very good cartridge but unfortunately apart from Norma, was always underloaded by the factory ammo producers, and still is today by many in deference to some of the pre '98 Mausers that this cartridge was produced in.
The modernised version, the 7mm-08, now rules the roost, at least in my part of the world it does. A short action with ammo loaded to maximum pressures by all the factory ammo providers.

Yes the short action 7mm-08 is not conducive to heavy bullets but for all the hoofed animals in the world, a quality 140gr bullet at 2800-2950 fps is all the medicine needed to cleanly take these animals at all practical ranges.
The 7x57 cartridge is not a short action cartridge, it's a medium length cartridge for which specific length actions are now rare. The BSA Hunter medium length action was made specifically for the 7x57 and 257 Roberts and was a beauty but alas no more. I owned and used a BSA Hunter in 7x57 but my 7x61 Shultz and Larsen with 160gr bullets at 3000fps far outstripped the performance of the 7x57 and indeed any of the smaller 7mm cartridges.

My three sons and I all use the 7mm-08 now, the 7x57 sadly obsolete but even the 7mm-08's now overshadowed by my 22" barreled lightweight X-Bolt Browning 7mmWSM driving 140gr premium bullets at 3230 fps or 160gr bullets at a true 3000fps. The WSM is a long range rig, dynamite on deer and any of the goat family and I bet would do sterling service on all African plains game.

My hunting partner used his Brno 7x57 with 160 gr Nosler Partition reloads on Aussie buffalo to good enough success once he realised head and neck shots were the order of the day but of course no comparison to my 404J which categorically dumped buffalo with any good body shot with 400gr FMJ bullets.

The 7x57 is a good enough cartridge but not a miracle one.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: grandveneur]
      #378635 - 13/08/23 07:27 PM

Quote:

"In 1943 John Rigby & Co. made exactly one rifle. During the height of the war, Rigby was busy making "machine gun clips." His Majesty King George VI ordered a .275 Rigby for Princess Elizabeth. Rifle number 5747 was completed on July 31, 1943. The rifle weighed 6 lbs 14oz with a 23.5" barrel and a 13 1/4" length of pull with a silver oval bearing her crest."

As far as I know, no rifles were produced for civilians during the WWII. For the princess, the ban was temporarily lifted.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....amp;Search=true




Thanks for that. I don't think I'd seen that thread before. I nterestingnthread by the gunmsker itself.

***

Ozhunter messaged me, he gets a good 2900 fps with a 140 gr projectile from his custom M98 7x57.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Vintage_Canvas
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Reged: 18/02/20
Posts: 62
Loc: Western Cape, South Africa
Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #378641 - 14/08/23 02:54 AM

John, I think Karen's rifle was a 6.5x54 Mannlicher?? I have her book. Will check.

yes there is better 7mm calibers! Faster, more accurate etc! I have a 7x64 and a 7mm Rem mag, but the recoil is in a different class! Not to mention meat damage at distances up to 100m! For 400 - 800m shots, yes the 7mm Rem Mag is the one, but for normal hunting, I would use one of my 7x57's! With 160 - 175gr bullets I will take on anything...

--------------------
"the real Africa is still out there... you just need to know where to find it"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #378643 - 14/08/23 03:09 AM

Quote:

I maybe wrong but I think Karen had a .350 Rigby?? I have 4 7x57’s and have used them on several African safaris and I keep my “Rigby .275” beside my bed at the ranch, it’s my “go to gun”. I also load the 160 grain Partition for everything. I’ve killed coyotes to Eland in Africa with it. Sometimes I wonder why I have any of my other guns?




http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=302321&an=&page=0&vc=1

Who used the .350 Rigby?

***

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=185641&page=0&fpart=1&vc=1

The Blixen Museum .350 Magnum RigbyMauser

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=174475&page=0&fpart=1&vc=1

the Blixen house in Rungsted

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=277563&an=&page=0&vc=1

is the Blixen house PC renovated???

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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sbs470
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Reged: 15/04/04
Posts: 377
Loc: Sheffield Tasmania
Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #378666 - 15/08/23 09:04 AM

On May 8th this year I shot a 350 lb black bear in the north of British Columbia CA using a John Rigby
chambered in 7 x 57 mauser with a cocking piece peep sight. the bullet was a hornady 154 grain which smashed the shoulder and destroyed the heart
. The bear dropped on the spot.I'm happy with the 7 x 57 cartridge


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NitroXAdministrator
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Reged: 25/12/02
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Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: sbs470]
      #378668 - 15/08/23 05:17 PM

Quote:

On May 8th this year I shot a 350 lb black bear in the north of British Columbia CA using a John Rigby
chambered in 7 x 57 mauser with a cocking piece peep sight. the bullet was a hornady 154 grain which smashed the shoulder and destroyed the heart
. The bear dropped on the spot.I'm happy with the 7 x 57 cartridge




Story and photos required, mate.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Vintage_Canvas
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Reged: 18/02/20
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Loc: Western Cape, South Africa
Re: The best hunting cartridge ever - 7x57 [Re: NitroX]
      #379195 - 08/09/23 08:45 PM

John, further to our story about the 7x57, I found this article in our SA Hunter mag.
very informative.
Enjoy!




--------------------
"the real Africa is still out there... you just need to know where to find it"


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