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Old March 14, 2013, 10:55 AM   #1
MrGunaholic
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.300 win mag vs a .308 caliber

Hello everybody! I am doing a full scale physics project about projectile motion! Today i am here to ask for some info. I see a lot of people using the .308 caliber over the .300 wm, is there a significant enough amount of accuracy in the .308 to switch over that caliber? I understand the .300 wm shoots around 500 feet per second faster but would you choose accuracy over velocity? Help!

Oh and by the way i will be shooting the Browning .300 win mag x-bot medallion to test.

I have read that i can interchange the .300 wm and .308 cartridge

Last edited by MrGunaholic; March 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM. Reason: added information
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:07 AM   #2
WWWJD
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The accuracy over velocity argument isn't a valid one; the .300 win mag does shoot faster than the .308, thus the higher kinetic energy, but they are equally accurate cartridges given the shooter.

You can't shoot both .308 and .300 win mag cartridges in the same rifle. Don't even try. Would recommend you look into SAAMI specs or even just a google image search of the two cartridges side by side.

The only reason the .308 is more popular generally speaking is because of ammo cost. .308 / 7.62x51NATO has been around a long time; one of the most well documented cartridges available.
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Old March 14, 2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Both of these cartridges are inherently accurate. Both are used by Army snipers. F=MA. The big factor is force and the magnum generates more due to having more powder capacity.
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Old March 14, 2013, 04:48 PM   #4
dsa1115
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300 win mag is significantly more powerful and is a longer range rifle.
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Old March 14, 2013, 05:33 PM   #5
Polinese
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I would think more people choose 308 over 300 win mag simply due to the fact that 308 is cheaper, your barrel will last longer, and for most applications its more than enough. At least that's why I use a 308
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:35 PM   #6
Fire_Moose
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Re: .300 win mag vs a .308 caliber

I've only shot 300wm once, but seem to remember it having quite a bit more kick as well...
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:43 PM   #7
Doyle
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You may find people who will tell you that they've experienced better accuracy using a .308 than a .300WM. However, that difference is usually shooter-induced inaccuracy due to the higher recoil of the .300WM. Just "anticipating" the heavier recoil is enough to cause many shooters to produce larger groups - not to mention handling the extra recoil itself.
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:19 AM   #8
natman
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.300 win mag vs a .308 caliber

Let's get some terminology straight - strictly speaking "caliber" refers to the diameter of the bore, so the 300 WM *is* a .308 caliber cartridge because it - and several other cartridges - use a .308 bore diameter.

There is another cartridge called the 308 Winchester, often referred to as "308". This may be the source of your 300WM and 308 interchangeability question. The 300 WM and 308 Win are NOT interchangeable.

The 300 WM fires the same weight projectiles roughly 350 fps faster than the 308 Win. This generates considerably more recoil, enough of a difference that many people prefer to shoot the 308 unless the extra velocity / flatter trajectory / more power of the 300 WM is really required.

In a sporter weight rifle the two cartridges have similar accuracy depending on the degree to which the shooter can deal with the extra recoil of the 300 WM. This will vary considerably from shooter to shooter.

In an all out target rifle at short range the 308 Win would be slightly more accurate.
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Old March 15, 2013, 05:00 AM   #9
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Yeah!

Nathan: yeah....I am glad that somebody noted the "caliber" vs. "cartridge" thing.
OP - There are lots of .308 caliber cartridges. The Hornady load manual lists 19 of them.
About the differences between the .308 Winchester and the .300 Winchester Magnum.....one commonly accepted idea is that the .308 Win is at its best with bullets of 180 grains or less.
The cartridge is one of two that are specified for Palma Match shooting, an event that is shot at 800, 900, and 1000 yards.
In Palma matches, the most common bullet used with the .308 Win is a bullet at 155 grains.
Pete

PS - the other Palma cartridge is the .223 Remington. Metallic sights only.
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Old March 15, 2013, 06:21 AM   #10
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There are more variables at work.

Years ago,I can't say when,The American Rifleman tested a variety of bullets of various weight in 308,30-06,and 300 magnum.

These were penetration and cavity tests.

What may seem counterintuitive,at close range,the 308 gave the most depedable deep penetration.Another way of saying it,with the bullets available for the test,the .308 might be the best rifle to have in your hands if you had to deal with a bear at 10 yds.

Why? Because it is far easier to make a bullet that performs properly at 2600 or 2700 fps than it is to make a bullet that performs at 3200 fps,especially since there will be the expectation that same bullet will perform at a much lower velocity at 500 yds.

General trends,(understand,one can make a heavy 308 or a light 300 magnum)
But,trends,A 308 will be a lighter rifle that will kick less and make less noise(easier to shoot accurately) It will be cheaper to shoot,and the barrel will last longer.There are variables,but,generally you will destroy less edible meat with a .308 wound channel.

With a good 165 gr bullet and a well placed shot,a 308 kills elk just fine at 300 yds.

But modern bullets require a certain minimum velocity to expand properly,generally around 2000 fps.It varies per the manufacturer.The 308 is limited in its ability to deliver the high velocity at longer ranges.The 300 magnum has the advantage.

The other advantage to the higher velocity is a flatter trajectory.That makes hitting easier at extended range.

Handloading is a whole new skill set,not to be taken lightly,but what you can do is tailor reduced velocity loads so that your 300 magnum will shoot at 308 velocities,or even less.Then you would be eliminating a lot of rifle induced variables.

Last edited by HiBC; March 15, 2013 at 06:28 AM.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:04 AM   #11
Bart B.
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Bore diameter for the .308 Win. is .300000000000000"

Groove diameter for the .308 Win. is .3080000000000000"

Same for most 30 caliber cartridges' barrels originating in the USA.

A 30 caliber rifle was originally meant to mean that its bore diameter was 30 one-hundredths of an inch back when one caliber equalled 1/100th inch. Note the absense of a decimal point in such terminology; 'twas correct English at the time. But times, the use of English and people change, so these numbers get muddied up a bit. Remember the 50 caliber machine gun? It's bore diameter was, and still is, half an inch; exactly 50 calibers or .50000000000"

To further muddy the waters, 30 caliber bullets have been made in diameters from .3065" up to .3095". And 30 caliber barrels' bore diameters have ranged from .2970" up to .3030" (.3030" acutally measured in a 30 caliber Douglas blank). Groove diameters have ranged from .3065" to .3100".
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Last edited by Bart B.; March 15, 2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:27 AM   #12
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
a full scale physics project
Before doing any live testing, you need to buy a current copy of a reloading manual. All of your questions will be explained there and it can be used for reference. Especially, the interchangability of cartridges.
I am curious what you will be studying that hasn't been tested thousands of times already.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:53 AM   #13
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I've fired both 308 Win and 300 Win mag target rifles in competition. The 300 Win mag is significantly more difficult to shoot as accurately as the 308 Win due to the increased recoil. Age and joint deterioration have taken me out of the 300Win mag comfort zone and off the firing line but I still shoot the 308 Win when I really want/need to hit something(within it's range capabilities). My old 300 Win mag rifle weighed over 11 pounds making it much easier to shoot well than a hunting weight rifle but the 308 I'm shooting now weighs 10# making is a pussycat to shoot.
I'm glad someone cleared up the caliber vs cartridge confusion so I didn't have to.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:54 AM   #14
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As far as why someone might pick a .300 Mag over a .308 Win all boils down to human capabilities. Both can be equally accurate & equally lethal. But at longer ranges, the magnum has the advantage if the shooter is just using his "guesstimation" to figure the range. More speed means flatter trajectory which means the bullet will fall closer to the point of aim for a longer distance. If bullets traveled in a straight line like laser beams there wouldn't be much need for small caliber magnums.
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:24 AM   #15
MrGunaholic
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Thank you to everybody for responding. As far as the actual project goes, some one asked what I was going to do that hasn't been done already; well, nothing! Haha i am in a college physics class, the total points for the class is 1600 points am my project is 1600 points so, in other words, my project is my class. I am studying everything from the actual CARTRIDGE (my mistake on the caliber wording haha) to the actual gravitational pull of the projectile.


Thank you again for everybody replying!

Last edited by MrGunaholic; March 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:11 PM   #16
darkgael
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Project

MrGun: Good luck with your project. Please keep us posted as it develops.

Pete
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:21 PM   #17
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Why choose a 308 over a 300 WM.

They both shoot the same exact bullets, just to different speeds a 300 won't quite be 500 fps faster than a 308, 300-400 fps is about right depending on the bullet weight, but the difference in performance is less than many realise.

Lets use elk hunting as an example. It is generally accepted that if a bullet retains 1500 ft. lbs. of energy at impact that is considered the minimum for a clean kill. If we accept that as a fact, then with the best long range loads I can find a 300 WM still has that energy at 675 yards, a 30-06 at 575 yards and a 308 at 475 yards. I used a 200 gr Nosler Accubond with a BC of .588 to calculate this from a 300 mag @2850 fps, 30-06 @2650 fps and a 308 @ 2500 fps.

At a glance the 300 has a decided edge, but realistically, few people have the skills to take advantage of the extra range. For most people 300-400 yards is about as far as they have the skills to shoot. Many far less than that. At those ranges no elk will ever notice the difference.

The 308 has other advantages. It has roughly 1/2 the recoil, around 16-17 ft lbs vs 28-30 ft lbs in the magnum. Rifles can be much smaller and trimmer, mag capacity is 2-3 more rounds, and most people find they can shoot a 308 more accurately. Having the best rifle is not always about having the most power.
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Old March 16, 2013, 01:14 PM   #18
reynolds357
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.300 Win Mag is .308 diameter.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:54 PM   #19
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Let me just add that my Tikka T3 Lite in .300 Win Mag will tear your shoulder off! About 12 rounds and I'm done.

The .308 is a kitten by comparison.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:59 AM   #20
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Holding a Weatherby 300 Win Mag is the closest I've come to actually firing one. My opinion about never wanting to (recoil) is based on responses to questions related to the caliber on this site and others as well as first hand accounts of those who own/owned one, and seeing first hand the physical reaction to its generated recoil. If the phrase "kills on both ends" is included in the description of a firearm I'm automatically not interested. A fellow hunter/reloader always talks about loading his down so that the recoil is on par with a .30-06??????? Why not shoot the .30-06 if you're gonna do that?

I do own and target shoot with a Remington Model 700 5R .308 and enjoy every trip to the range. Its very accurate, the recoil is mild, and because of the large volume of load data thats available to reloaders its easy to load for. Thats not to say that the 300 isn't the same. I'm interested in accuracy and don't see the need for a few hundred extra fps the Winny provides if I can get it with a .308 or smaller caliber.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
A fellow hunter/reloader always talks about loading his down so that the recoil is on par with a .30-06??????? Why not shoot the .30-06 if you're gonna do that?
Such folks typically have the same ego issues as the person who buys then drives a car that'll top 180 mph with stock parts but never moves it over 60 mph.

These people are inversely related to those that load a .30-06 to proof load plus pressures to shoot bullets as fast as a .300 Win Mag does.
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Old March 17, 2013, 04:12 PM   #22
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Just to muddy the waters a bit a 9 pound rifle with a good muzzlebrake and recoil pad helps out big time with a 300 mag recoil just do not forget those earplugs.HOGSHOOTER
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
A fellow hunter/reloader always talks about loading his down so that the recoil is on par with a .30-06??????? Why not shoot the .30-06 if you're gonna do that?
Maybe he only has a 300 Win MAg, but only needs .30-06 power at that particular time.

I've loaded my 300 weatherby mag all the way down to powder puff lead bullet loads that my 8 year old granddaughter likes to shoot.

Kind of like having the car that's capable of 180 MPH. Doesn't mean that you have to drive it that fast ALL of the time.
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:51 PM   #24
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Apples and oranges that simple
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:17 PM   #25
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A .270 Winchester is better!
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