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Ammo Encyclopedia, 6th Edition
When It All Came Together
by Mike Price, AmmoGuide subscriber 'mhsp68'
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When It All Came Together
By: Mike Price (mhsp68)

Accompanying video...

It was a perfect morning, light over cast and a gentle breeze blowing ever so slightly against my face. The birds were singing and a Turkey was still roosted in a tree not far away. Jason Dotson of Team Harvest was above me with his camera filming the hunt and waiting for that moment. On this first morning I wanted to take a doe and fill my doe tag but certainly would take a buck if he showed up. We were 25yds off the edge of a food plot in the woods and a nice big doe stepped out on the opposite side about 120 yards. Taking aim with my Nosler M48 TGR in 7mm-08, placing the cross hairs on my favorite spot when taking a broadside shot, sending a 140gr Accubond on its way dropping the doe in her tracks. As we were leaving the woods Mike Goodpasture spotted a five point and I was able to fill one of my buck tags. Once again the 7mm-08 and the 140gr Accubond did their job, and the M48 is so easy to throw up and shoulder allowing for quick target acquisition.

Let me step back in time for just a moment and lay some of the ground-work for this occasion which was the first day of a three day whitetail hunt in Centerville, Tennessee. It all began a month and a half earlier. I hadn't been home two days from hunting black bear and was to return to Arizona on a hunt with my grandson Jordan in less than a week, and there lay my new Nosler M48 TGR chambered in 7mm08 that had just arrived. I had some load components on order and a short time to develop my hunting rounds for my up coming trips. My first hunting trip to Arizona this year was with Mickey Harrison, his son Mick, Fred Austin and Scott Adams, as we hunted black bear. Mickey and his son Mick each took a nice bear and I passed on a little one, but the fellowship and trip was awesome. On my second trip to Arizona a couple of weeks later with my grandson Jordan, we both ended up having the best hunting trip of our lives (Jordan has hunted with me since he was four years old), what a great time with such a fine boy and wonderful grandson. Yet, here I was gazing at my new custom rifle knowing I had only a few days to get all my load work done and my Nosler M48 TGR ready for my trip with Jordan and then for my up coming three day whitetail hunt in Centerville, Tennessee, that was scheduled for the first part of December.

I chose the Nosler M48 TGR in 7mm-08, needing a rifle and cartridge that was capable of taking any game in the lower 48, without a lot of recoil, having good ballistics and not weighing over 8 pounds including scope. With the 7mm class of rifle cartridges, there is great bullet selection, and the 7mm-08 has good ballistics, light recoil and is an inherently accurate cartridge. The 7mm-08 married with an extremely well made rifle like the M48 TGR, seemed to be a great combination for my up coming hunts, as well as a rifle Jordan could shoot with confidence.

What a fine rifle the Nosler M48 TGR has turned out to be, and it has exceeded my expectations. The M48 is so well balanced, and the fit and finish is outstanding. The rifle with scope, bases, and rings, weighs a total of seven pounds eight ounces. WOW!!! Would this have been a ball to tote around the mountains this year in Arizona on that black bear hunt instead of my heavier 300Winchester Magnum. Now that said, what amazed me most was the consistent quarter inch accuracy I was able to obtain, with the M48 rifle in 7mm-08. I contribute this accuracy to three major elements - the rifle, the cartridge and the components ( Nosler Custom brass and the 140gr Accubond, 210 Fed primers, and best powders were W760 and RL-17).

The second day of my deer hunt in Centerville, Tennessee, was to be a long day of constant rain. My friend Patrick Allen (known as Patch) spent the day with me in a blind and endured the weather. We had a great time talking about life and hunting. It truly was an awesome time with a good friend. We didn't see a squirrel, rabbit, even a bird -nothing moved. At the end of the day I was tired, cold and it took all that evening for me to feel warm, but the third day of my hunt would prove to be an exciting one indeed.

I believe the M48 TGR with it's Pack Nor barrel and Nosler's M48 action that is bedded and free floated in a special Bell & Carlson Medalist stock, and the Basix trigger, made my hunt a very special hunt. The M48 TGR is built for hunting in wet weather. All the exterior metal surfaces are protected with a special application of CERAKOTE™, while the critical interior working parts are protected with a smooth, corrosion-resistant coating of Micro Slick™. I have owned custom rifles in the past, but I like the M48 better than any I have had the privilege of owning.

Now you take the M48 TGR and marry it with a 7mm-08 cartridge and you really have something special. The advantage of the 7mm-08 over its parent cartridge (the 308 Win) is when you compare heavy bullets, against the 308 Winchester. The 7mm-08 offers better ballistics. When using my hand-loads and shooting a 160gr bullet fired from a 7mm-08, it will exhibit less bullet drop and less wind drift than a 165gr bullet fired from a .308 Win. The 7mm-08 enjoys most of the advantages of the .308 Winchester in accuracy, long barrel life, with excellent terminal performance, while offering better ballistics with comparable bullet weights.

The qualities of the 7mm-08 makes it a very popular hunting round for the lower 48 states. The combination of excellent ballistics, better than expected terminal results and reduced recoil when compared to a .308 shooting bullets of comparable BC, has caused many hunters to faithfully, year after year, use the 7mm-08 for their hunting needs. The 7mm08 has first-class accuracy and enough hitting force to knock down most game at distances out to and beyond 500 yards (depending on game to be taken).

Years ago I owned a Custom Sako 7mm-08 built for me by Jimmy Bagby in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was a real tack driver, very accurate, being a half inch consistent rifle, and ended up taking a lot of deer. That said, it did not shoot as accurately as my new M48 TGR in 7mm-08 and it cost as much back then as the M48 TGR cost today.

I was really looking forward to my third and final day of hunting. Bill McDonald, a good friend, let me use his favorite spot the third day of my hunt. Jason Dotson was above me with his camera and we had an exciting morning. As Jason said when it was over and a nice eight point was on the ground, "this is my kind of morning!!" Yes, what a morning! Weather was very cool, birds and squirrels everywhere. It wasn't long and I spotted a nice five point walking up out of the bottom and along a ridge in front of us. We let it go since I had already taken a five point the first day. While watching this young buck, we where able to take note of how the deer were traveling along the ridge. Not long after seeing the five-point, Jason heard some noise above us. We turned and looking up over our shoulders to the top of the ridge behind us, we saw a big ten point. He was following a doe and watching every move she made. There were to many trees and branches in the way for me to take a shot. He then ran the doe over the ridge and down the other side, but what we didn't know at the time was the nice eight-point he ran down our side of the ridge. It wasn't long and the eight-point had made his way down below us and was working up the ridge across from us, taking the same trail the five-point took. Jason said, "Shoot, hurry up and shoot!" thinking the deer was fixing to bolt straight up the ridge. I had to quickly pick a spot through the branches with my scope so as not to hit a limb. The 140gr Accubond did its job once again and we had a nice eight-point down for good.

I had a wonderful time on my hunt with Jordan in Arizona, with a rifle he says will be his some day, and special fellowship with my friends in Centerville, Tennessee, hunting whitetail. If I had to pick a town to live in and could move there today, it would be Centerville, Tennessee. Great place, great people and I have a lot of friends there. The only other place I would consider moving is Morenci Arizona. This fall for me was a very special time "When It All Came Together."  

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