A while back, I highlighted a new cartridge from Nosler®, the .26 Nosler®. Well, the bullet company has come out with another proprietary cartridge. This time it is a 7MM, it’s named the .28 Nosler®, and is being marketed as “The New Herd Bull!”
Like its 6.5MM sibling, the .28 Nosler® is based on the .404 Jeffrey case. Nosler® loads this cartridge with a 160 grain Accubond® bullet, as well as a 175 grain Accubond® LR (long range). The company touts this cartridge as the most powerful 7MM in the world and if the advertised velocity and energy figures are true, it is just that. Nosler® claims that the 160 grain slug has a muzzle velocity of 3300 fps and muzzle energy of 3883 ft/lbs and the 175 grainer a MV of 3125 fps and ME of 3806 ft/lbs. At 500 yards, terminal energy claims are 2080 ft/lbs for the 160 grain bullet and 2567 ft/lbs for the 175 grain LR. Using a 400 yard zero, the 160 round is 7.9 inches above zero at 200 yards and drops to 11.2 below at 500 yards. That is an incredible “point blank” range!
The .28 Nosler® is truly a magnum class cartridge. On paper it offers about 10% more power than the 7MM Remington® Magnum and 5% to 6% more than the Weatherby®. The case is not belted (it headspaces on the shoulder) and with an OAL length of 3.340 inches, it will fit in a standard length action. Right now the only rifles chambered for this cartridge are the Nosler® 48 rifles. They are available in three models; the wood stocked Heritage™, and the synthetic stocked Patriot™ and Outfitter™ guns.
I could not find any articles about test firing the new cartridge nor any reloading data. I’m sure both will be forthcoming in the near future. Looking at the initial data offered by Nosler®, I believe that perceived recoil will be similar to the fast .30s; much like that felt when firing a 180 grain bullet through a .300 WSM or .300 Winchester® Magnum. This is not a gun for the novice, but might be a terrific chambering for the “one gun” shooter who hunts worldwide. It will handle any game in North America and most of the African quarry; the exception being elephant, Cape buffalo, and hippo.
I’m a fan and user of Nosler® products, especially the Accubond™ bullet. However, I’m not sure that another 7MM cartridge is needed. For this cartridge to succeed, more manufacturers will need to chamber it in rifles that are less expensive than the Nosler® guns. I doubt that owners of 7MM Remington® and Weatherby® guns will spend their money to upgrade for the little gain in power offered by the .28 Nosler®. Some shooters may choose to rebarrel their standard length actions in the new cartridge; a fairly inexpensive path to the power of this new offering.
Experienced hunters who might want more power in their rifle should consider this new cartridge, but with scarce availability of rifles, limited choices of ammunition, and probably strong recoil, I, personally, would probably choose one of the fast 30s. Good luck to Nosler®; I hope the .28 Nosler® is a success and we continue to see more innovative products from this great American company.
Be safe and good shooting.