300 WSM vs 30-06 AI - HELP!

Eddie Miller

New Member
Dec 1, 2002
I'm looking for my first 30 cal mag to use for long range whitetail and mule deer hunting. I'd like a caliber that doesn't make using a brake mandatory and is light enough to honestly carry in the field. I'd also like to use bullets in the 150 to 165 gr range. Which of these calibers would you pick and why? Is there another caliber I need to consider? Thanks in advance for your advice. - Eddie

Welcome to the board. For me, it would depend one thing first. Would you possibly be rebarreling or rechambering to a longer cartridge later, ie Ultramag length? If so, action length would be a consideration.

A Remington will be long enough for all of them if you start with it. If you go with a WSM your stuck with a short action and won't have the option later.

I would go with a WSM if not stepping up later myself.
Buy on off the shelf Winchester Coyote in 300 WSM ($600). 24 " heavy barrel, weight is about 8 lbs w/o scope. Good enough for shooting to easy 600-800 yds flat. Stick with the 165-180 gr bullets for flatter trajectory, less wind drift and more knockdown. I would stick with 180s. You can rebed, lap lugs, true front of bolt face and rcvr if you want. Lap lugs for sure. Trigger is easily adjustable to 2.5 lbs

Good luck
Hi Ed, Just went through the same dilema. My solutions: already had a Parker Hale rebarreled in a match 308 which has shot very well. Rechambered to a 30 Gibbs to get WSM performance without having to buy a new rifle/barrel. This combo is on the way to me from the gunsmith.

My load will use 165 SST probably with H4350. I have seen data that puts this load around the 3000 to 3100fps range. Pretty much the same as the WSM. From the amount of powder in the data and the performance, I would say that the improved 30-06 is the "long" WSM.

You will see that I am a big fan of 165gr 30cal bullets. I have been shooting the SST's this year and am very impressed with their accuracy and high BC (higher then published in my guns). I have taken one Mulie with it. Performance was great. Like the interlocks, the SST works well on deer both near and far.

I also have 150gr SST and probably wouldn't use it on close in deer. The impact vel is going to be high which can lead to lots of meat damage. Would consider it more for 300Savage to 308 application.

I am going to try and keep the rifle under 10lbs (has a fairly heavy barrel) so that portability and stability are good.

If I was going to buy a new rifle anyways, I would go WSM either in the Savage or Winchester.

Good luck...

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