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Old November 5, 2012, 01:03 PM   #1
SC4006
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.300 Win Mag question

For the longest time I've been interested in the .300 winchester magnum cartridge, probably mostly because I'm pretty young and have the idea that the bigger the cartridge the more fun and interesting it is. Of course I love my .22 rifle, but there's just something I like about the bigger cartridges. Ive also recently been thinking about hunting, and I'm sure the .300 is more than capable of anything in north america. So here is my question, would it be worth it to buy a .300 win mag rifle to use for well... pretty much everything as a "do-it-all" cartridge? I'd be using whatever rifle in .300 win I get, to use for possibly long range target shooting, hunting of deer size or bigger animals, occasional plinking around, and to satisfy my needs for a ridiculously big magnum rifle lol. I would consider maybe a .308 or 30-06, but theres just not the same wow factor in those calibers. Im young and still learning about firearms, so im not sure if it's worth it to buy a big rifle for the reason I want one...
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Old November 5, 2012, 02:43 PM   #2
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I'm not a hunter, so I won't give you any advice on that front. But I do own a 300 win mag rifle, so I can give you some general advice.

First, this ammo is expensive. If you've been shooting nothing but .22 you're in for some serious sticker shock. So this is not the best ammo for plinking. Honestly, I think you'd be better served with .308 of 30-06, both of which will easily get you out to 400 yards and can be had more cheaply.

Second, if you've shot nothing but .22 it's going to take some time for you to adjust to the recoil of 300 win mag. I shoot this ammo out of an AR30 with a muzzle brake, so recoil isn't too bad, but this is a very heavy gun. It's not something you could use for hunting, or really even shoot offhand. I have to believe shooting this ammo out of a relatively light rifle without a muzzle brake is going to have some serious recoil. Yes, you can get used to anything - but it's not a great choice for someone used to a .22

Third, 300 win mag is a barrel burner. Are you ready to replace the barrel after 1500 rounds? Again, this is not a big issue for me because I own a bunch of guns, so the AR30 doesn't get a lot of use. But this is not a great second gun.

Honestly, I think you'd be a lot happier with something in .308, even if it doesn't have the wow factor of 300 win mag. In fact, I wouldn't even dismiss something in .223. Ammo is cheaper. Recoil is pretty light. A 68 grain or larger bullet will get you out to 600 yards (at least if you're shooting paper). Although it may not be the best hunting round, at least for large game.

Finally, if you really want to go big bore there are a bunch of other options which I think might be more fun. If you want something in an AR platform there's .458 Socom or 50 Beowolf. Big kick. A lot of foot pounds down range. Certainly good for hunting if you don't need to go more than 150 out.

Or you can go whole hog and just get a .50 bmg. Of course, if you go this route, everything is expensive. The guns. The ammo. The scopes. The rings and mounts. But shooting one will definitely put a smile on yourself. And it will take out a mastadon at 500 yards.

Last edited by Houndog; November 5, 2012 at 02:49 PM.
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Old November 5, 2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
I'm sure the .300 is more than capable of anything in north america.
So is a 30-06 or 308, you just have to get a little closer


I'd advise working up to the 300. A 308 will do anything at 400 yards that a 30-06 will do at 500 yards and a 300 will do the same at 600 yards. Are you good enough to take advantage of the 300's capabilities. A 308 is capable of doing more than most shooters can take advantage of.

I'm not opposed to someone owning a 300 mag, have one myself, but it is not a good choice for a new shooter for many reasons. You'll shoot a 308 a lot more because you'll find it more enjoyable and more affordable. After you master a smaller cartrdge you may find you don't really need a bigger one.
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Old November 5, 2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, i'll certainly think about all that both of you had to say about the .300 win mag. As far as rifles, right now a .22 is all I have, but I've shot quite a bit of 7.62x54R out of a mosin, and 30-06 out of my friend's mossberg 100 ATR rifle. So pretty much so far 30-06 is the biggest rifle round I've shot, which I didn't think was really all that bad, but idk how it stacks up against a .300 in a similar weight rifle.
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Old November 5, 2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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I think Houndog gave you some very good advice. Anything else is pretty redundant.
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Old November 5, 2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Since you are interested in long range target shooting, including hunting of all the North American game animals ---hands down ---the 300 Win Mag... is the way to go. The 300 Win Mag ammo, is alot cheaper than the 338 Lapua, has a longer range than 308 or 30-06, can be bought on storeshelves all over the world and reduced handloads are possible. Besides accuracy...the 300 Win Mag, is the most preferred cartridge for U.S. government snipers --- because of low recoil and low rifle weights.
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Old November 5, 2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
the 300 Win Mag, is the most preferred cartridge for U.S. government snipers
I believe you're way off base on this one. I've read that the Army was experimenting with 300 win mag in A'stan. But I've not read that it actually has gone mainstream.

From everything I read now days they use recon/sniper teams as spotters/illuminators for air power, predators, cavalry, etc... Not really doing a whole lot of one bullet kind of stuff. Just the occasional target of opportunity.
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Old November 5, 2012, 05:26 PM   #8
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Eppie, recent tests with several cartridges by top level shooters evaluating rifles and cartridges for military sniper use prooved the .300 Win. Mag. enabled more first shot hits at all ranges up through 1500 yards. It was also the only one that met all the Army's accuracy requirements. But the Army was marketeered and snookered into believing the .338 Lapua Mag was the better round, so they went with it.
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Old November 5, 2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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The army experimented with the 338 Lapua, but decided on the 300 WM.

http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gears...s-smile-wince/

The 338 offers slightly better perfromance, but lots of negatives. The Army already had 308 rifles built on long action Remington 700's that could be converted much cheaper than buying a new system.

Right now there is a mix of both 308 and 300 WM rifles. Rifles are gradually being converted to 300 WM and put into service. I could see keeping some of both. The 308 is actually a very good choice in situations where extreme precision is required at more moderate ranges, 200 yards or so. That is why it is still prefered by LE snipers. The 300 offers a huge advantage at 1,000 yards +.

Quote:
but idk how it stacks up against a .300 in a similar weight rifle.
Using this website

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

From a 7.5 lb rifle

300 WM 180 @3100 fps 33 ft lbs recoil
30-06 180@ 2800 fps 22.5 ft lbs recoil
308 165 @2760 fps 17.2 ft lbs recoil
338 Lapua 250 @2880 56 ft lbs recoil

A 7.5 lb 338 isn't a realistic weight, nor is a 300 win mag

From a 10 lb rifle

338 Lapua 42 ft lbs recoil
300 WM 25 ft lbs recoil

Of course most 308 sniper rifles are going to be 10 lbs +. I just happend to already have that data from a 7.5 lb hunting rifle.
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Old November 5, 2012, 06:02 PM   #10
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jmr40

I stand corrected. The even gave the new rifles NP3 coating. Boy, that's way cool stuff.
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Old November 5, 2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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But I think your right that your right to say Erno is off base when he characterizes the 300 Win Mag as a "low recoil" rifle. Info on recoil another member posted is telling. A rifle with nearly twice the recoil of a .308 is not soft shooting in my book.
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Old November 5, 2012, 07:04 PM   #12
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Compared to the 338 Lapua it is light recoiling. I think that was a big part of the reasoning behind choosing it over a 338.

I still think the OP would be better off with a 308. By the time he masters it he will know if he is ready to move up to a bigger gun. If you have to ask, you probably aren't ready for the bigger gun.
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:35 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the input from everybody, very interesting stuff. I think for now I am convinced enough to purchase a .308 rifle and practice with it for awhile. My local gun shop has a ton of mil surplus FMJ 7.62x51 ammo that I can use for target shooting, and of course .308 SP ammo for hunting is just about everywhere.
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Old November 5, 2012, 09:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
A 7.5 lb 338 isn't a realistic weight, nor is a 300 win mag
Not in the .338 Lapua it isn't, but you can get both a .300 and .338 Win Mag in a 6lb 13oz Kimber Montana. Add a set of aluminum Talley LW mounts and a Leupold UL 3-9X33 and your only an ounce or two over 7.5 lbs and right at 8 lbs loaded with a sling. If you go with a custom rifle by NULA your looking at a bare bones rifle right at 5.75 lbs magnum rifle in the standard length magnums and a 7.5 lbs up to .416 Rigby sized cartridges. All I can say is OUCH!

Hell they don't sound too pleasant to shoot in a .308 at those weights.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:24 PM   #15
David R. Svatos
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300 ?

I had a 300 win mag for a few years ended up selling it and getting a 300wsm. the big 300 was heavy, and hunting you carry them waaaay more than you shoot them. the ammo is expensive unless you reload, and unless your not recoil sensitive it will wallop you pretty good! It is a good long range elk gun but honestly I've taken more elk and deer with my 308 than all my other rifles combined. I've never taken anything beyond 400 yds. but unless you practice a lot you shouldn't be shooting at those ranges. at more modest ranges the wsm has less recoil, higher velocity and energy with better trajectory it is a short action which is lighter and shorter ( easier to move with in the brush) and the ammo prices are a little better. the 308 will however take care of everything in the lower 48 except Griz if you put the bullet where it's supposed to go and it is one of the most inherently accurate cartridges there is! I'm sure I've swatted the proverbial hornets nest with my 2 cents worth so i'll sign off for now
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:54 PM   #16
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I used my .300 Win Mag for "everything" in the last 20 years up until last year. If you're recoil sensitive get one with a muzzle brake. Otherwise they ARE fun to shoot and ammo is not all that expensive. I can get a cheap box of .270 Win ammo for $18 and a cheap (but good) box of Rem CoreLoks in .300 Win Mag for $25.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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300 Win Mag

I've been hunting off and on for many years and have been using my Remington BDL 700 30-06 with great success. However for the past two years I've been hunting in Montana for Whities and Mulies. My brother shoots a Ruguer M77 300 Win Mag and he loves it. I am considering buying one or getthing the T3 Tikka 300 Win Mag. I was wondering if anyone out there has shot both and can give a comparison. PS. at 110 yards my brother this year put a bullet through the heart of one dear and the bullet went through the neck and out again of the deer behind it. Both were doe whities.

Neither deer moved beyon being knocked to the ground.
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Old November 6, 2012, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishon63
I've been hunting off and on for many years and have been using my Remington BDL 700 30-06 with great success. However for the past two years I've been hunting in Montana for Whities and Mulies. My brother shoots a Ruguer M77 300 Win Mag and he loves it. I am considering buying one or getthing the T3 Tikka 300 Win Mag. I was wondering if anyone out there has shot both and can give a comparison. PS. at 110 yards my brother this year put a bullet through the heart of one dear and the bullet went through the neck and out again of the deer behind it. Both were doe whities.

Neither deer moved beyon being knocked to the ground.
I've never shot a Tikka or M77 in the .300 Win Mag. I can tell you this I'd rather carry the Tikka and shoot the Ruger. The Tikka is light and the Ruger isn't it, but even in the standard chamberings the Ruger is more pleasnt to shoot.

As far as your brother's amazing shot with his .300 Win Mag, the .30-06 you carry would have probably done the same thing. At 110 yards both still have a lot of retained energy to get full penetration on any average sized deer. IMO taking down the second deer was nothing more than a lucky shot, and one that I would have to report to a game warden if done in Colorado.
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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300 Win Mag

Thanks for your input, lucky for my brother he still has one deer tag to fill after filling 4. He also needs to fill two elk tags but has filled his antelope tags, 1 buck and 1 doe. I would classify hunting in Montana as harvesting most of the time. Yes hitting both deer was lucky, but the point I was making is neither moved after being shot. I killed my three this year with my .06 and all were shot in the ribs through the lungs but did move about 25-50 feet before dropping. It just seemed to me that the 300 Win Mag caused more shock to the animal.
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Old November 6, 2012, 03:58 PM   #20
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They didn't move after the shot because damage was done to the central nervous system (CNS), it has nothing to do with the cartridge. I've dumped them with a .243 Win and had some run off after being shot by my .338-06. If you don't take the CNS out most aniamls will run away after being shot. If you take out both lungs like you did then there isn't a whole lot of tracking. The stories I love are the when "I made the perfect broad side shot on a (insert animal), but after several hours and many of miles of tracking I couldn't find anymore blood, and lost the trail." Obviously the perfect shot wasn't made, or else they would have found the animal, they don't go that far with no lungs.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:10 PM   #21
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300 Win Mag

Now that's good information, thank you.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:20 PM   #22
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ive always used a 30/30 for hunting, and a .22 for plinking, 5 years ago i bought a savage.270 for my father, nice gun, accurate as heck, but i dont like the cartrige, last year i lucked(?) into a deal, for $1000 i bought an m1 garand that had been refurbished and a rem 700 sendero in .300 win mag with a vx3 mil dot scope, 30/06 ammo is $16.95 a box and .300 ammo is $44.95. handloaded with a 208 gr berger the .300 is more accurate than i am, but after 20 rounds or so im done. yes there is a significant wow factor with the .300, but it comes at a price, if your gunna by a .300, learn to handload,
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:26 PM   #23
Fishon63
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300 Win Mag

My sons and I plink with .22 as well, much cheaper and lots of fun. Many years ago I loaded my own shotgun shells and stopped when they forced us to use steel shot for waterfowl. I have considered loading my own rifle bullets.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:06 PM   #24
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Consider This

The 300 was designed to deliver 180 grain bullets into Big Game at ranges in excess of 300 yards. The platform was designed for hunting and, in order to make the recoil more tolerable, weighed 8.5-9 pounds. If you target shoot it, the barrel won't last very long and you won't consider it fun. The '06 you shot will take care of 98% of your hunting needs and you will be able to shoot targets for <$20 a box. It will be fun.
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Old November 6, 2012, 10:57 PM   #25
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SC4006,

Guns are the kind of thing we can get, try and then sell as we find out about them and our need for a particular one evolves.

So you can get that 300 magnum for the fun of it.

However they kick like heck and the ammo is more expensive than the regular rounds like the 308 and 30-06.

There are 'managed recoil' factory loads or you can handload them lighter.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/rem_managed_recoil.htm

You can target shoot or hunt with a regular cartridge

I have been doing this for 60 years and have many different guns. Recently I got a well made custom chambered for the .300 Win. Mag so I have been loading for it and shooting it. It kicks a little more than old me likes with full loads.

If you do buy a centerfire rifle get one with a soft recoil pad and wear ear protection.

You might go to a rifle range and see what they are shooting there.

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