Do I really need a 300 WM?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by CC268, May 15, 2014.

  1. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    Do I really need a 300 WM for longer shots on elk (300+ yards)?

    I have a .243 and want something for elk and target shooting to better myself as a shooter. The more I think about it...do I really have the skill to take an elk at 500+ yards? I have never even shot a target past 400 yards. Would I be better off with a .270, .308, maybe a 7 MAG?.

    The recoil of the 300 WM may not be worth the ability for long range hunting that the 300 WM gives me, especially if I want to target shoot a decent amount.

    What are your guys' thoughts...
     
  2. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    I would get a 30/06 for the ranges you speak of there is lots of load data, barrel life is great, and ammo is cheap. Its plenty for elk and its recoil is mild compared to the belted magnums...
     

  3. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    Yea...I guess the 30/06 is the tride and true american round haha

    I mentioned the 7MAG because it has quite a bit less recoil than the 300, but ya it may be better to go with a non-magnum
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Since you're still learning I'd say go for the best of all worlds and go with the 30-06. Not as cheap to laod for or buy ammo for as the .308 but not bad either.


    It's also a caliber most certainly suited for Elk to at least 600yds and has considerably less recoil than the .300wm.

    that said the 7mm Rem and 300wm to me are the two most versatile calibers of all time which is why they both still have such popularity even with all of the new "cool calibers".
     
  5. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    Well I will tell you this. I shot my buddies Remington Sendro in 300 ULTRA MAG with a 150gr. I didn't think the recoil was bad at all since it is an 8.5lb gun. With that being said I am not sure how much the recoil would be with a 180+ grain bullet.

    That is my biggest worry. I just have never shot anything over a 150 grain bullet so I don't know what to expect with the 300WM if I was shooting something with a higher grain.
     
  6. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    I think the 30-06 may be a good way to go...
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    It's not the bullet weight that gets you it's the extra powder. If you were shooting 150gr in the rum it was probably a reduced load. The weight of the rifle will make a big difference as well which is why weight figures into the felt recoil calculation.

    The 06 has probably killed more game from 100yds and beyond than any other caliber in the US.
     
  8. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    Yea...the 30-06 may be a good second rifle for me...what about the .270 or .308? Or would you still go with the 30-06 for its versatility?
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I would. Great caliber, easy on barrels, cheap to shoot and you can find factory ammo anywhere for it at reasonable prices should you ever find yourself away from home and separated from your ammo.
     
  10. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    I would prefer to get the 300 wm. Get into handloading and load it down to what you want. Then you can always make it faster and change it up in the future.

    I have the 7mm and 300wm and they both seem to have the same recoil. If they do or not, IDK.
     
  11. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

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    I was also going to comment that I never could tell the difference in recoil between the 300 WM with 180gr bullets and the heavy bullets in a 7mm mag.


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    I would do a straight 284 Win or 284 Shehane before I went for a 308. Pretty low recoil, good velocity, and good barrel life.

    500 yard elk is a tall task for the small 308 if a shot misses it's mark a little.
    The big problem with the 308 is that to get any bullets in 30 cal with a decent BC you have to be using 180gr or heavier. In which case the velocity of the 308 suffers greatly. That's why the 300 win mag and 300 ultra mag are more common for long range hunting. Gotta have more horsepower to push the heavier bullets.

    If not handloading, then a more traditional caliber would be best. 338 Win Mag is an elk killing machine as well.
     
  12. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    308 win is great for what you're looking for. 20 years ago not so much. Today the high BC bullet offerings are endless. So are the powder choices. Right now I've got 2 hunting loads for mine. 200 grain Sierra game king at 2653'sec and the 210 ABLR at 2601'sec. With the 200 expanding at 1500'sec and the 210 lower than that, these are great hunting loads even for elk. Though I'd favor the 200 GK for elk. Both are propelled by H4350, both are very accurate/consistent and have stupid low extreme spread velocities. The 200 at 6000' which is on the low side of elk altitude has over 1500'sec left at 1k and just over 1000'pounds of energy. Most here agree that elk loads should have 1500'pounds of energy. With the 200s, this happens at just under 700 yards. Is the 308 a 700 yard elk rifle? I think it's capable. Some would say not.

    I'm not the only guy here getting these results. There are several here using the heavies in 308 with stellar results.

    Do you really need a 300 win for 400-500 yard elk? I don't think so. I think the 284, 308, 30-06 and other similar offerings with the right projectiles are adequate. Sure the 30-06 will out do the 308. Then again, the 300 win will out do the 30-06. You're going to have to draw the line for yourself.
     
  13. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

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    The 300 SAUM and the 7mm SAUM would be something to consider as well. Both push heavy bullets with good velocities and have less recoil than the 300 win mag and 7mm rem mag respectively.
     
  14. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    I mean honestly...this is my second gun. I am not going to be taking 600 yard shots at an elk LOL. I understand that this is a long range hunting forum and that seems to be why so many people are for the magnums, but lets be practical here...I probably wouldn't even be able to shoot the 300 win mag comfortably for some target shooting. I know I shot the 300 RUM, but WildRose is right...they were reduced loads. So it is hard for me to even get an idea of what the true recoil of a 300WM would even be, and based on everything I read on the internet and the videos I have watched - it is a great gun for hunting, but not something to be shot 20+ times at the range for target shooting, it just isn't comfortable to shoot (with the exception of having a muzzle brake, which seems like a pain in the butt due to how loud).

    It seems like the 30-06 is the way to go, the .308 is another option. It would probably come down to which caliber they had at the store in the rifle I liked.

    I understand most people on here are taking 1000 yard shots on elk, but I mean really...should I really be flinging bullets at 1000 yards on a live animal with a 300 Win Mag? I'm not sure that is the best plan for improving my own personal shooting skills.

    I know a lot of people like these other calibers that are more specialty calibers, but I don't want something I can't find factory ammo for at the store. Period.

    I am not saying I have thrown the 300WM out the door, but going from my .243 straight to a 300WM may be a big step that isn't very practical for my needs.