Wilhelm Brenneke began producing his 7x64mm cartridge in 1917. He based his 7x64 on the 8x64mm cartridge which had been released in 1912. Brenneke was trying to obtain ballistics for his cartridge better than the 8x64mm by reducing the neck of the case to a diameter of 7mm though still using a charge and bullet of similar weight. The ballistics did improve just as he hoped, and the 7x64mm moved to the head of the class in terms of hunting cartridges in inter-war Europe. The cartridge was very popular. Even the German Army noticed reputation of the cartridge for reliability and its flat trajectory, and they considered a using the 7x64 to replace the 8mm Mauser which their snipers used. Logistical issues prevented this from happening.
The failure of the German Army to adopt the cartridge seemed like a failure at the time, but it came to be great benefit in the long term. Hunters used this cartridge successfully, and they are able to continue doing so today. That would not have been the case if the German Army had adopted the 7x64mm, because many countries in Europe outlaw the use of military cartridges by civilians. The cartridge would have become unavailable to hunters and demand for the cartridge would have dropped below the point of recovery. That did not happen, however, and the 7x64mm remains among the most popular European hunting cartridges in use today. The cartridge lacks the following in the US that it enjoys in Europe, but enough American hunters shoot the 7x64mm that it has gained the attention of Federal and Remington, who have produced or currently produce ammunition in this caliber. Brno and Mauser still manufacture fine rifles chambered in 7x64mm.
The most common rifles found which fire the 7x64 are Mauser type, bolt action, although there is a rimmed version of the cartridge too which is produced for rifles with break open actions. Bullets most commonly weigh between 140 grains and 175 grains. Several bullet configurations are available including soft point, Nosler Partition and PSP Core-Lokt. Muzzle velocities range between 2,700 feet per second to more than 3,000 feet per second. Muzzle energy for these rounds reaches 2,800 foot pounds.
The 7x64mm continues to be a great game hunting cartridge for many animals, and is expected to be used far into its second century of use as a popular cartridge across Europe and North America.