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338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:13 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 186
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

I know most people say "1500 ft lbs of energy minimum for elk". But to be honest, I know of many people that take elk with cartridges such as the .243 winchester. With todays bullets, that new minimum should be about 1000 ft lbs for an elk. Im actually thinking strongly about the 7mm stw. It provides 1250 ft lbs of energy at 1000 yards with a 168 grain berger. One of the children of the gunwerks guys down in wyoming shot an elk at like 1200 yards with a 168 grain berger sitting in a 7mm rem mag case. And that elk simply walked like 40 yards and dropped. The stw has quite a bit more punch than the rem mag.
Guns I own: 300 winchester magnum, 7mm Rem mag, 243, H&R 22 revolver, BT99 12 gauge, 20 gauge break action. 20 gauge pump, 22 break action, 257 Roberts, winchester super x 1. Wishlist: 308 winchester, 6.5mm-284 Norma, 17 HMR, 7mm RUM, another 7mm rem mag LOL, 44 magnum revolver, 30-30 lever action, 44 lever action.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:42 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 765
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

We all like to put numbers towards what kills game the cleanest, but it is harder than that. Clean kills boil down to terminal performance of the bullet and bullet placement. My dad is the first person I know that bought a 338 win mag. He bought it in 1958 when they first came out in a Winchester Model 70. Why did he buy it? Because the hunting season before he had shot a huge muley in Idaho, hit right behind the shoulder with a 180 grain bullet from a 30-06 and the deer ran off. He accidently found it the next day. The hit was text book perfect, but yet the deer went far enough and didn't exibit any traits of being hit. The following year my uncle had his model 70 30-06 rechambered to 30-338. Both hunters and their guns took many an animal without the same issues, but during those years, bullets also changed. The nosler partition was born and other bullets got better.

That brings us up to today, we have different bullets with several different ways to kill animals. We have the Bergers that blow up inside the animal and dump tremendous trama on the animal if the bullet works as designed and then we have other premium bullets that stay together and retain a lot of weight to penetrate deep.

So, what makes a really good long range big game killer? Enough velocity to make the bullet work as designed and accurate shot placement. With that being said, many deer have fallen to a 22 lr with a well placed shot, but not at distance. For the same token, a bad hit with a marginal cartridge can end up in a lost animal. And while that is bad in and of itself, just imagine a lost elk that was a elk of a lifetime being lost due to a sub par hit and not being able to get a follow up shot.

For me, I want as much horsepower as I can get to get the job done. 30 cals are good, but I believe the 338's are a bit better especially with heavier bullets as long as the bullet works as designed. I have witnessed many hits on elk with 30 cal and 7mm and 338's and they all kill, but the 338's seem to do the job just a bit better. I know, dead is dead, but sometimes DRT is much better that running off 100 yards into the bottom of a hell hole.

The 300 grain Berger shot from a 338 at 2800 fps will have over 2400 ft pounds of energy left at 1000 yards and the results of the hit on an elk are impressive. I killed my first elk with a Berger last year and I have to say I have never seen an elk die that quickly without even completing a step at 550 yards and this is the 3rd bull I have taken in this canyon over 550. One was killed with 225 accubonds and the other with 250 gr partitions. The Berger upped the ante.
Remington model 700 300 RUM LH 26" rem ss/blued receiver lam stock 215 Berger @3070/180 NAB @3300/Leupold 6.5-20x50
Remington model 700 338 RUM LH 26" Bartlein 5C #4 Muscle Brake, blueprinted action, sako extractor, jewell trigger, bell and carlson Alaskan stock/Black cera coat/Sightron SIII 8-32x56 moa reticle, external elevation turret
Savage LH 22-250/Sightron 4-16
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:44 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,810
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

The 7 STW should do better than that, my 270 WSM hits a 1000 yards with 1450 ft lbs at 6000ft elevation.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Unread 04-16-2013, 10:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

I have no experience with berger hunting bullets. please help me. would you say they there performance on game was most like a nosler ballistic tip, a scirocco, a nosler partition, or an a-frame? the berger hunting bullets were not available when i put my 338 RUM together.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 09:45 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Suffolk Va.
Posts: 3
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

I used to own the 7 Rem Mag, and two MK V 300 Weatherby's. I have to say the hardest I have ever been scoped was a prone shot from an unbraked 300 Weatherby. I currently shoot a braked .338 Win Mag, and practice to 600 yards as that's as far as I think my 225 grain TTSX will work. 1000 yards is a long way. In the mountains, with the usual 10-15 mph cross wind and the adrenalin of the hunt and/or the lack of O2 at altitude, coupled with the lack of a concrete bench and bags, well, 600 is probably 200 yards further than I should take a shot. Your results may vary.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 10:06 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

Yes, 1000 yards is a long/long way ; yet when you have watched 5,000 to10,000(7.62X51) & a Gov.30.06 before that you are correct a long way. I personally like the .338 Lapua ( new ball game in town) with a Night Force or (my choice Schmit-Bender) scope.
The .300 Win. Mag. with your scope Doped properly will work great--Wish I had mine back.
Practice--Practice--Practice--I used to hear daily & learn your formulas where they are 100%+ without just thinnking/thinking; because 1000 yards! Wind direction change--what kind of shape are you in-- things will change waiting five hours for a shot in prone position. Mentally you must believe you can make the shot!!!!***!
I believe you have the deteramation---now--Practice--Practice--Practice!! By the way I load Berger bullets!
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Unread 04-17-2013, 10:36 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Re: 338 win mag, 300 win mag, or 300 weatherby mag?

Having read all the posts up to this point I will put my "2-cents" in.
There are a lot of calibers that will work at the ranges you are wanting to shoot at.
I would advise you to "Do Your Homework"! Study, read, research, and gather as much information as you can on the subject of your project.
Things to consider and not all are listed:
What is your budget?
Does recoil beyond a certain level bother you? NO SHAME if you have a recoil limit as everyone has a limit, some more than others! But this is a personal choice.
Do you reload? If so, can you afford to "Feed" your cartridge? Bullets for your project can run from 50 cents to over $2.00 per round and you already know what powder costs nowadays. Same for brass. As just one example, brass for the .338 Lapua runs around $2.70 to $3.00 per Round! While the .338 RUM brass goes for around a dollar to $1.07 per round. The .338 WinMag, you mentioned earlier, runs around .70/70 cents per round.
By the way, I have a .338 WinMag that I have used for years {{ it shoots 1/2", or better, when I do my part}} and it's the first rifle I grab when heading out the door and not knowing exactly what I might be shooting! I also have a .375RUM that I am "tuning" but that is beside the point.
Also, consider the cost of maintenance of your rifle too. Solvent, Patches, ect, all add up right along with your costs per bullet, brass, and powder.
To make a long story short, the final decision is YOURS, and YOURS alone! Choose a cartridge/bullet combination that will satisfy YOU and YOUR specific needs and budget.
The only way to keep your shooting skills sharp is to practice and practice OFTEN! Be sure to get a logbook and keep it for your longrange rifle alone. I have a couple different rifles I shoot at long range and I keep a separate notebook for each rifle! You will want to have room to enter range/hunting conditions such as weather, sun, wind, altitude, ect, along with your load workup, "Formula" that you use such as what brand of brass, bullet, powder, and lot numbers of each, along with how often you clean your rifle, what you use to clean it, along with your round count for the day to be added to your total round count on that barrel, ect.
These are just a few recommendations and are not all inclusive! While advice from friends, relatives, fellow shooters, can help, in the end it is YOU that will be shooting that rifle and if YOU are NOT 100% happy with your choices your not going to want to practice, keep up your logbook, or reload like you should which, in the end, will make the "Game" that your shooting at Pay The Price! Try NOT to take a shot at game that you are not 100% sure of putting down quickly with the proper bullet and bullet placement! I did this once, years ago, and it still haunts me today and always makes me do one more check of myself before sending that bullet out the barrel!
Just remember, in the end, it's YOUR CHOICE ALL THE WAY!!
Oh!, and please note that my CAPITALS are NOT SHOUTING, but only to press my point a bit.
One last thing, if you don't have a good logbook, or don't like the one you have, you might go look up "Impact Data Books"
< Impact Data Books, Inc. - Modular, Premade, Custom Data/Log Books! >
and look over Tony's products. He is a former Marine Scout/Sniper that has a good product that I personally use. Tony also gets his orders out in a very expedient manner too! }:-D
I hope this helps you get started. I don't post very much as real life is usually in the way too much and I rarely get involved in "which caliber/what scope, ect, type conversations as everyone has an opinion and someone else's opinion may or may not work for YOU.
Take Care, Stay Safe;
[[[[[End of Msg}}}}}
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