I put a limbsaver soft recoil pad on my Tikka T3 .300 Win. Mag. I don't think the recoil is bad at all. When shooting at an elk and wearing a hunting jacket, I barely even notice the recoil. What is much worse is the feel of a heavy rifle on my shoulder after a day of climbing up and down mountains.
Shooting off a bench at the range in the summer, I hate the recoil from ANY big game cartridge, even a .243 shooting 100 grain bullets. When hunting, the recoil of a .300 Win. Magnum in a 6.5 lb rifle is not an issue.
I shoot 150 grain Hornady Interbond bullets at elk out of my 300 Win Mag. and 30/06. They have made clean kills on big bull elk out as far as 579 yards with perfect expansion, full penetration and virtually no loss of weight, so I don't feel the need to go to 165 or 180 grainers.