.308 or 300 win mag?


Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2003
Lizton, IN
I'm considering a fairly basic and "inexpensive" setup...Rem 700 VS in either 308 or 300 Win Mag. Purpose will be mainly target shooting...300-600 frequently and 1000 (or whatever I can get out to!) when possible. Hunting, maybe, but not so much.
My buddy has the 308 setup and I really like it. The advantages I see are low recoil and cheaper ammo. However with the Mag 1000 yards (from what I've gleaned here) is more realistic with this cartridge however. But the ammo will cost more until I reload, and I'm curious how bad the recoil will be in this setup.
I've searched and read much from past posts on this, but I'm specifically interested in what people have to say about choosing between these two rounds. I really want to stick with .30 caliber, and these are my two top choices.
You really need to get into reloading for the type of shooting you want to do, will have a lot more enjoyable time with it.
The 300WM is the better choice of the two for long range work. Now if you get into reloading, there are much better options for serious long range cartridges than those you mention. One example is the 30/338, there are many more. Recoil is not bad, use a Pachmayer Decellorator pad, and or have a muzzle break put on. Good shooting.


[ 07-19-2004: Message edited by: Chuck Shooter ]
I personally don't like breaks either. A good recoil pad works fine. The 308 will have better barrel life, and the 30/338 doe's better than the 300WM. I have one breaked rifle and it works great, but the noise is very obnoxious. I am thinking of putting a break on my 1000K BR rifle, to get less travel back in recoil, try to get better tracking. Anyway good luck and good shooting.

The barrel life is a major consideration.
300WM about 1K - 1200
308 anywhere from 4500 - 8000
That is the main reason I would recommend a 308 if your on a budget reloading or not.

Ditto what Chris said...Cut your teeth on the .308... the .300 is too much gun for most beginners.
I'd like to avoid the brake, that's why I limited myself to the 300 Win Mag. Yes, I'll have to reload eventually, but I don't plan on doing it (or shooting to 1000 yards) out the gate. After I get the rifle broken in, probably upgrade the trigger, etc I will think about finding the dollars to get reloading equipment.
Incidentally, what is the barrel life difference between these two?
I just bought a Rem VS in .308. Very nice rifle for beginner, or a more advanced shooter.

Friend, you can't go wrong with a .308!!
..sakofan..(VS doesn't come in .300 Win mag.)
From your circustances as you describe them you should get the .308. It will meet your needs nicely.
Thanks guys...I'll probably go with the .308 and was leaning that way before. I'm not worried about the win mag being too much gun, it can't be much worse than a muzzleloader pushing a 250 grain bullet at 2300 fps. Basically I like the thought of cheaper plinking ammo to get used to everything and being able to get more rounds through the gun before my shoulder gets too sore or the barrel too hot.
Looks like I'm in the minority? I'd get the 300, and learn to shoot it, right from the start. Recoil is as much a function of the weight of the rig as it is the powder charge; at least in these two cartridges. Forget the muzzle break, in my opinion. Put some weight in the stock, if you are sensitive. I think time in flight might be a factor, accuracy wise, all things being equal?

Good luck with your choice. LB
Never had a .308, but it's on my list. I have had lots of experience with magnums, and watching hunting clients with magnums. I would strongly suggest starting out with the .308. Most of the shooters I've seen shot much better with the smaller rounds. Most of the newer shooters I've seen armed with magnums "couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a handful of rice".
here is my opinion regarding starting with rifles with recoil. I have never been one to say "start with this....then go up to something bigger when you get used to it". If you are like many people, you will get a "starter" rifle then sell it to get the better one. I say get the one you should get in the first place then practice with it. handling recoil just requires getting used to it with practice. if you flinch, practice and good advice from your fellow shooters will greatly improve that. the trick here is practice. however if you can't stand the recoil and end up not shooting because of it, well then a powerful recoiling rifle will not likely ever be in your future.
my first heavy recoiling rifle was a 458 win mag. yes it did kick. but after a few shots I knew what to expect and was able to concentrate on my shooting rather than trying to worry too much about that recoil. I now regularly shoot that rifle off the bench, full power loads, and getting a 5/8 group at 100 yards. just took practice and getting used to.
so get the rifle that will get the performance you want and work with it.
my opinion....
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