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Old October 31, 2007, 08:38 PM   #1
garymb
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Weatherby 300 mag too much gun?

I dunno if some of you read my post in the shotgun forum, but I have a similar one with rifles. First off i'll say that i'm not *entirely* new to guns, I have a Weatherby 22lr for plinking and a colt python 357 mag locked away, and have been shooting them since I was a kid. That said, I've never fired any really big long guns, and am in the position of inheriting a hunting rifle of my choice from a small selection. Being completely illiterate when it comes to caliber sizes and bullets but knowing a few of the top name brands for rifles, I had a 300 weatherby magnum set aside for me from the selection of a sako 308 and a couple parker hales, i think one was a 30-06 and the other a .27, although I'd have to double check, and a Ruger mini-14. From doing some research, it sounds like the 300 mag is going to cost an arm and a leg in ammo prices, and put a bigger than desirable hole in anything I would be shooting at (targets/beer bottles, deer and pig long range, plus ground squirrels ) FYI I'm also getting a winchester 94 30-30...Between that selection, which would you guys recommend? Again I'm pretty new to all the different rifle ammunition out there, and am looking for a good all-around hunting rifle...
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Old October 31, 2007, 08:48 PM   #2
Fremmer
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That's a lot of gun for deer. Ammo will be expensive and harder to find. It'll kick like a mule, and it'll probably be on the heavy side. If it is not on the heavy side, you'll wish it were the first time you shoot it.

On the other hand, you'll be set for elk, bear, and moose. And what the heck, it's something different.

If it'll be primarily a deer gun, I'd get a .270, .30-06, or a .308 Winchester, instead. Perfect for deer, ammo's cheaper, and it doesn't pound the shoulder as much.

That .308 Winchester is one heck of an accurate round.

Last edited by Fremmer; October 31, 2007 at 09:28 PM.
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Old October 31, 2007, 09:05 PM   #3
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If I was a new to big game hunting calibers I'd probably go with the Weatherby .300 as well. My choice probably would have been the .308 Sako now. You will rarely need a larger cartridge for hunting in the U.S. unless you go up to Alaska for big bears.

I love the .30-06 and .270 as well but the Sako will be the better built rifle, compared to the Parker Hale rifles. Parkers can be very good rifles. I have two that shoot real well and I like to take them afield because I'm not afraid to use them.

Since you got the .300 Weatherby go out and invest in some reloading equipment. It will still be pricey to reload but much cheaper than buying ammunition for it. It will pay for itself real quick, plus you can make up some reduced loads until you are comfortable with the recoil of this rifle.
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Old October 31, 2007, 09:19 PM   #4
garymb
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Well, assuming the consignment gun salesmen my family is using hasn't sold the sako yet, I still have the option of switching the weatherby for it, although it would involve a bit of driving on a day I don't have work...One thing i'm wondering is what model the sako is, I don't have access to it right now and don't see it on sako's website, it is pretty unique in that the wooden stock goes all the way to the end of the barrel.
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Old October 31, 2007, 09:47 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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The Sako has what's called a "Mannlicher" stock.

I bought a Sako Forester carbine with the Mannlicher stock, back in 1971. I found that the stock was two-piece, not one; the pieces were joined at the barrel band some six inches or so back from the muzzle.

The groups were five inches high and one-half inch wide at 100 yards; each shot went one inch above the one before. After eliminating the front part of the stock and the barrel band, it then regularly shot very tight groups ever since.

If the one available to you is one-piece, you shouldn't have this problem.

That .300 Weatherby is a nice package, but the recoil is noticeably more than the .30-06, .308 or .270. While I don't believe in "too much gun", the Wby is certainly more than is needed if long-range shots at elk are not part of the plan.

If you get interested enough in this world of firearms to consider reloading your own ammo, my preference would be the .30-'06. You can load for plinkers or for elk, your choice.

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Old October 31, 2007, 09:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
sako 308
Quote:
The Sako has what's called a "Mannlicher" stock.
Buy it. That's a really cool rifle in an outstanding caliber. It'll be worth the drive. And it's a Sako.

Then get some 168 grain rounds and you'll see why I like the .308.
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Old October 31, 2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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dont worry about the notion of it being to much of a gun for a first timer. This was my first year ever to shoot anything other than a 22lr, and i killed an elk my first time out with a 300 win mag at 330 yards. Just put in lots of range time and you can become comfortable with any gun. Also i would highly suggest reloading if you are going to get that gun. Will make it much cheaper to shoot and you can load it with a smaller bullet for your pigs or deer.
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Old October 31, 2007, 11:48 PM   #8
garymb
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Well, my main concern is more-so the gun being too big for what I would be using it for/destroying too much of a deer if i use factory rounds, and the price of ammunition if I don't get into 'rolling my own', which sounds like a commitment, and recoil is of consideration too I suppose as it sounds like the 300 mag has alot of it. Also, the sako has a shorter barrel, dunno how much of a difference that makes. I'm not familiar with Sako, some of you are saying you would prefer it over weatherby? The reason I ask is someone told me Weatherby is as good as it gets, but they didn't say anything about sako...

Last edited by garymb; November 1, 2007 at 12:38 AM.
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Old November 1, 2007, 05:14 AM   #9
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You failed to mention what model Weatherby it is. MKV or Vanguard. If it is a Vanguard it already is a Sako. Roy Weatherby purchased the rights to vanguard design from Sako. When the manufacturer was unable to meet production, he found an excellent Japanese manufacturer, Howa, who could meet production and was able to actually improve on the original Sako design. If it's a MKV, then it's a valuable and elegant gun. The MKV is a nine lug bolt, the strongest design in the industry. In failure test the the test that destroyed every other action tested, caused the MKV action to lock up. This test was a 220 grain bullet lodged in the barrel and a 22o grain 300 WBY MAG fired behind it. I would take the MKV, but I have a 300 WBY mag, and am spoiled. They are more accurate than the shooter and works of art to boot. I reload so ammo prices are not a factor for me. Any of the calibers mentioned on this thread will serve for the purposes you mentioned, but there is an element of snob factor involved in owning a MKV, in 300 MAG. People at the range may come up to you ask what kind of artillery you are shooting, and when they see you are the owner of a MKV they will either praise it or say you are too rich to need to hunt for the freeezer and say that they can take anything with their Savage or Ruger, or Rem. that you can with your WBY, which is true, but you can take it 600+ yards if you practise.
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Old November 1, 2007, 06:33 AM   #10
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I hunted with a 300 WBY for a couple of years.I killed sveral deer with it. IMO it is a tool for Elk and Bear size game or deer size game at very long range.It takes a lot of discipline to shoot it. I don't think most people would find the cartridge fun to shoot.

Would be good to shoot one a few times and see how you tolerate the recoil.Don't just grit your teeth and take it if it's no fun because of the macho thing.
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Old November 1, 2007, 08:35 AM   #11
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I have hunted whitetail for 12 years with .300 wthby mag. It does not tear up much meat assuming you use the right bullets. I use 180 partitions for full strength loads and corlokts for reduced loads(about 2800 fps). use the reduced loads for anything under 200 yds. If your not gonna reload ammo it is gonna be expensive!! That being said, it is a heavy recoiling round that you'll probably not enjoy shooting alot. I usually fire a couple groups before hunting season to check zero and get familiar with it again. I take it hunting and kill a couple deer then shoot again next year. It is an awesome round but definately a heavy recoiler imho!!
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Old November 1, 2007, 09:27 AM   #12
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I have a good friend who shoots a .300 Wby... Actually the perceived recoil on his is not too bad, but I have only shot it 3-4 times in a sitting. It is devastating on impact with smallish Alabama whitetails, the small doe he got last year was minus a heart and lung when we got to her. I reload for him, but we found a stack or Remington factory ammo on clearance at Wally World just before season last year and he racked up for $13 a box! And by the way, he didn't choose the .300, but like your case he inherited it from his Dad. Other than that, it is way too much rifle for anything in the great state of Alabama.
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Old November 1, 2007, 11:14 AM   #13
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"rolling your own" can be started very inexpensively, i was able to pick up a used rcbs kit on ebay for $200, and it came with everything i needed to reload except the individual caliber dies. So you figure ammo is somewhere around 25 a box, that is only 8 boxes of shells and the whole thing is paid for.

And it really is not difficult at all, i am basically self taught (lots of reading) and i took my first elk this year with my own reloads (started reloading in august).
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Old November 1, 2007, 11:31 AM   #14
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I'd say its deffinately too much gun. a .308 or 30-06 is plenty of gun for any whitetail you'll ever enounter, if thats what youre planning to hunt.

I know lots of hunters who hunt with .300 weatherby's, .300 winchesters, 7mm. mags, etc. Most couldnt hit a barn from the inside. Unless you just have to have the weatherby, I'd sugest a smaller caliber.
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Old November 1, 2007, 11:56 AM   #15
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Just to clarify, the .300 Weatherby is not too much gun in terms of damage to meat. It'll kill deer very well, it works very well for long-range shots, and it won't cause excessive damage to the meat. I have a friend who uses a .300 Rem Ultra-Mag for deer hunting, and he does very well with it. But he's been shooting (and hunting) most of his life, he's as big as a horse, and he reloads. He doesn't mind the recoil from that gun. He shoots enough to be able to use the gun for long-range shots. Simply put, he's a better shot than I am.

Most people (myself included) are not going to shoot at a deer that is more than 200 or 250 yards away, because most people will miss (or, worse, wound) at such long ranges. And personally, I don't like heavy recoil (or heavy guns, for that matter). Heavy recoil leads to flinching. Flinching means you're going to miss.

I can take the .308 to the range and shoot 20 or 30 shots through it before I start to react to recoil. I wouldn't be able to do that with a .300 Weatherby gun; in fact, I couldn't afford to do that with the .300 Weatherby .
And the .308 (and the .270 & the '06) will kill deer just fine out to 2 or 3 hundred yards (although most shots are 150 yards or less), with less muzzle blast and less recoil than a magnum caliber. JMHO.
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Old November 1, 2007, 12:44 PM   #16
garymb
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Well, the biggest game I plan on going after is mule-deer in Cali and Oregon, a little bigger than white tail but still deer...maybe some wild pig if I see one. I think what i will do is see if I can take the weatherby to the range and test it out, determine if the recoil bothers me too much, and ask my uncle if he doesn't mind making some cartridges for me (he's been making his own for a while). I could always sell the weatherby later on and buy another rifle, although if the Sako that is up for grabs is a hard find then I think I'll try to pick it up before it sells.
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Old November 1, 2007, 02:05 PM   #17
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Well, the biggest game I plan on going after is mule-deer in Cali and Oregon
Then why would you:

1) Spend way more money going to the range?
2) Inflict more recoil on yourself
3) Inflict more hearing damage on yourself. If, like most, you hunt without hearing protection.

I shot a friend's .300 Weatherby Mag in the field with no protection on. It took me almost a full day to get the ringing to stop. I someone gave me one, I would trade it in for something else.

30-06 does great on mulies and will also work for elk.
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Old November 1, 2007, 04:55 PM   #18
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About a quarter century ago....

A gal I worked with invited me to check out and clean her Dad's guns. He had passed away a couple of years before I met her, and the guns had just been gathering dust ever since. One of theose guns was quite impressive.

Weatherby Mark V custom, .300 Weatherby Magnum. With a Weatherby scope. Carved oak leaves instead of checkering (this was decades before Lazermark), and his name in gold script on the trigger guard. As "payment" for cleaning the guns, I was told I could shoot them, if I wanted. She took me out into the garage, opend a cabinet, and there was a double stack of .300 Weatherby ammo. She gave me two boxes. And then she told me some stories about her Dad and that rifle.

The Weatherby was his caribou rifle, and he had several nice trophies. The one story that impressed me the most (and this is the whole point of this post) was the one about one time when he took his Weatherby deer hunting. He came home the third day of the season with a nice whitetail buck. And a cut over his eye, a black eye, and a huge bruise on the side of his face. Now he had owned and hunted with his .300 Weatherby for years before this, so he "knew" how it kicked.

But what happened was, opening day, the buck jumped up from some brush about 30 yards in front of him, and he threw the rifle up and snapped off a shot. He got the buck, but the rifle "got" him. Lesson here is that unless the rifle is correctly mounted, it will bite.

It might not be so bad with a more conventional rifle, but it will still be a heck of a "whomp". I did shoot the Weatherby, and was very careful about how I shouldered it until I had experienced the recoil. And after that, I was still careful about how I mounted the rifle! This was not a gun I enjoyed shooting at a target more than 3 or 4 times in a row. Shoot a 12ga with slugs in a light gun, then add in some more "snap" and you get an idea how the recoil felt to me. Alot of that was probably due to the stock design, but 25+ years later, I still remember it. Awesome rifle.

.300 Weatherby was for generations the ultimate .30 caliber rifle in terms of power, and while it certainly will deal effectively with any deer you can imagine, it might not be the best rifle for you to start off with.
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Old November 1, 2007, 05:10 PM   #19
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It's going to be heavy, it's going to be loud, and it's going to kick so friggin' hard that you won't want to target shoot with it. Just be advised about that. And let us know what you decide!
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Old November 1, 2007, 06:37 PM   #20
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My best friend shoots a .300 wthby. I have sighted it in for him over the summer and it was no fun. It kicks like a mule and the ammo is soo expensive that this year he is borrowing my .243. $42 a box for the cheap stuff is too steep for the guy. He has killed plenty of deer with it. One was the longest shot that I have seen on deer about 350 yards. Looked like you hit it with a truck. As I have told him over the years it is a great rifle for that occasional Rhino that may wonder thru your back yard. I would go for the Sako. I would love to have one myself.
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Old November 1, 2007, 07:03 PM   #21
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Sako .308, hands down, without question. Not only is it a much more practical cartridge that will actually allow you to become proficient with it but to me, it's also a much better looking rifle.
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Old November 1, 2007, 07:08 PM   #22
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collectors piece

I have the Weatherby 30-378. I inherited it when my dad passed away. I had a choice of a dozen or so rifles and chose the Weatherby as well as a couple of other fine pieces my father had. I probably would have chosen differently if I didn't already own a nice 30-06 for whitetails. This one costs twice what the .300 will to shoot ($40-60 per box vs over $100). I don't find the recoil to be unpleasant, in fact, I enjoy shooting it. I chose it cause it was my fathers favorite. My younger brother got a Weatherby .257 mk V. If I had been sensible, I would have chosen that one. To each his own.
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Old November 1, 2007, 09:46 PM   #23
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Ah, that .30-378 is one of my absolute favorite calibers.
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Old November 1, 2007, 10:34 PM   #24
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300 mag is a lot of gun. I own a Weatherby Vanguard 300 mag... it's okay.. but I dont hunt with it.. I use it at the range from time to time.

As the others said, 270 and 30-06 would be a better pick. 243 is also a good round.
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Old November 1, 2007, 11:00 PM   #25
garymb
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I'm calling the consignment salesmen in the morning and making sure the sako is still there, which it should be. What I'm going to do is make arrangements to take both the Weatherby and Sako to the range in a little over a week so that I give both a fair try, although right now I am leaning pretty heavily towards the Sako for several of the reasons mentioned above...plus it looks cool. Thanks a bunch for the advice, I'm slowly learning about the world of large calibers and am eager to try out two of them next week!
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