I also have a 300 WSM
and think it is a great cartridge. It has some reach and will give you very good barrel life and the recoil is very managable. I can shoot all day using a slip on recoil pad and in the field you wont feel a thing.
A lot of good advice so far and I'll try to add to it if I can.
Check ebay, gunbroker, local paper, gunshows, and right here in the classified forum, for good used equipment.
Reloading equipment and components:
-Press, It's hard to go wrong with a Rock Chucker, Redding makes some good presses also.
-Dies, I like the Redding neck sizer and compititon seater. You can probably get by with the regular seater. I think most will agree that Redding dies are probably a little better than RCBS. I like the idea of *not* FL sizing my brass because fired brass fits the chamber precisely so I neck size only. With some cartridges, when you neck size only, the brass will sometimes get a little too tight for the chamber after a few firings. When this happens, you can use a body die to shrink it back. I have fired some my brass up to 5 times with no problems other than an occasional snug case that needs a little extra bolt force to chamber.
-Primer seater, the Rock Chucker and some other presses have this capability but I like using a simple hand held one to feel the seating of my primers. I have a RCBS and it works great.
- Primer brush and pocket uniformer.
- Calipers, this tool is a must. Cabella's offers a SS dial caliper for $22.
- Tumbler, I recommend a vibrator type.
- Case trimmer and neck turner. This is something you will want to invest in for greater consistancy and accuracy, but you can live without it.
- Scale, get a good ballance beam scale. I have the RCBS 10-10 and like it.
- Deburring tool.
- Powder trickler, makes precise measuring a lot easier.
- Powder funnel.
- Case lube, I used to use RCBS case lube that was a jelly like substance you spread on a pad and rolled the cases on it. Draw backs... 1) getting too much lube could bind up your die/press, 2) somewhat messy, 3) I would retumble my brass after sizing, 4) dirt, tumbling media, powder flakes, etc would often find its way on to the pad and the cases. I now use Hornady One Shot case lube. Wayyyyyyy easy. Give the brass a couple of quick shots from different dierctions and your done. No fuss, no muss, no mess, no additonal tumbling.
- Run out guage, optional but very useful for accurate reloading.
- Brass, I use Norma. It's about the best for 300 WSM.
- Bullets, there are a lot of opinions on this. I'm a monometal fan so I like E-Tips and TTSX/TSX's. My priority though is accuracy. I recommend staying away from lead tipped bullets that deform for LR accuracy. Some ones to consider for the 300 WSM...
190/210 Berger/JLK VLD
- Powder, H4350 is a popular 300 WSM powder. RL17 is a new powder that has shown some good results in the 300 WSM. This last Sat I shot some 180 E-Tips @ 3193 fps which is about 200 fps faster than what I was getting out H4350.
Hope this helps and good shiooting,