Help choose Rifle Battery-Cartridge to chamber??!


Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2004
Hi guys,

I just bought another rifle!
A new in box Win. Mod. 70 Stainless Classic Left Hand, Walnut stock, .270 win.

Translation: I have a standard length SS LH action to work with :help:

First question is about my future rifle battery. Which combo would you prefer and why? Combo trips might include Grizzly or Brown Bears and Moose or elk or where hunting sheep, mulies, goats, Caribou, whitetails with possibilities of Grizz in area. Keep in mind that I plan on hunting Africa again, this time for Cape Buffalo, Eland, Zebra, Waterbuck, Sable etc. Most shots under 300 yards, but have skill and confidence for 400-500 yard shots when opportunity exists.

Rifle Battery 1: 300WSM, 330 Dakota, 375 Weatherby
Rifle Battery 2: 300 Dakota, 375 Weatherby
Rifle Battery 3: 300 Dakota, 330 Dakota, 375 Weatherby

My current big game rifle is a 300 WSM Savage Mod. 16 LH, SS. Even though extremely accurate with gunsmith work, I want a CRF Mod. 70 as a primary rifle and will probably either sell it or keep as a backup.

I also bought a beat-up Mod. 70 LH, blued steel to build a 375 Wea. with. I may just sell this action as I think Stainless Steel is the way to go for my purposes.

Second question: Given the above possible rifle battery combos, which would you choose to build first on this new SS action?

1. Build a 300 WSM on the standard action, allowing for longer bullets (Pros: Higher velocity and greater bullet weight choice Cons: heavier and longer than needed for a short-action cartridge)

2. Build my 375 wea. on this SS standard action (Pros: CRF action, all-weather, I like Stainless Steel Cons: ?)

3. Forget about the .300WSM and build a .300 Dakota; IMHO, the next most efficient, best in class .30 cal cartridge. (Pros: Max. utilization of Standard action, slightly better than 300 WSM when using heavier bullets and facing larger game like Grizzly Cons: Heavier rifle than a SA 300WSM for mountain hunting, anyone with recoil calc. for 300 Dakota vs. 300 WSM in 8 lbs rifle using 180 grs.? I do not look at brass avail or price as a factor )

4. Use this action to build a .330 Dakota

My dilema really revolves around wanting to have just 2-3 big game rifles that will handle the world so that they become an extension of myself when shooting-hunting with them.
I suppose my response to your question is why do you feel you need three rifles to cover these types of game and hunting conditions.

Personally, I would build a big 375 for your Africa hunting but make sure its legal to use the .375" bore where you will be hunting for Buff. You may need to get up into the 416 range.

Anway, I am not a Wby case design fan and I would opt for the more potent 375 RUM. This does not meand that you have to load the think to beat the hell out of you, in fact you can get 375 Wby performance with very low pressure loads, increasing reliablility as far as extraction goes.

OR load it to top levels and get the 300 gr bullets tripping along at +2800 fps easily.

That would be my heavy if oyu will as long as the 375 satisfies the legal requirements for hunting Buff inthat area.

Other then that, for the game you list, either a good 300 or 338 magnum will cover all the rest with ease.

If you will be hunting lighter game the vast majority of the time, the 300 WSM would be the one I would pick out of your choices. IF you will be hunting larger game the majority of the time, the 330 Dakota would be my pick.

I guess what I am saying is that either of these two lighter calibers would serve well for all the lighter game you list at the ranges you list.

Personally, If I had a customer come into the shop wanting to cover all of your game with three rifles I would recommend a 257 AM(130 gr @ 3600 fps/145 gr @3400 fps) for lighter game up to 400 lbs.

I would recommend a 300 RUM for game in the 400-1000 lb range.

And the 375 RUM for heavy critters but that is just my opinion, that would require two full length actions of course.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
The 300WSM will certainly work for everything short of dangerous game. This is where I would rather have a larger case for the longer range shooting.

300 Win, 300 Weatherby, 300 Ultra or any of the wildcat rounds from 1000yd benchrest. Ease of loding accurate ammunition, great bullet selection and there are areas that lend themselves very well to long range hunting.

For dangerous game, a plain old .375 H&H or if you have to... the .375 Ultra mag. I am not sure why the need for the extra 200fps. Dangerous game is seldom shot from long distance.

If you are going to something larger than .375, I would go to a larger caliber/heavier bullet, not more velocity. I personally use a .416 Remington a big bore, but would be certainly happy with a 375H&H.

There is nothing of this world you couldn't take with a 300 Weatherby and a 375 or 378 Weatherby. My preference would be the 375 of those two. You don't gain a whole bunch of performance with the 378 but have to burn lots of powder to get it.
A 300 Weatherby is the most versitle rifle for most anything. I have shot everyting from prairie dogs to buffalo (bison) with it. Mine chrono's at 3333 fps with 180 partitions and 3140 with 200's. That's pretty strong medicine. It also shoots 1/2 to 3/4 inches all day long. All my groups are five shot groups.
Hope this helps to sort this wonderful quandry out. :)
I think that if you want the most versitility, I would say get into a .416 instead of a .375. I just really like the caliber and it is legal for buffalo everywhere (i think). If I were to be stuck on a .375, which I also like very much, I would go with the RUM just to be able to use it for a long range caliber also, maybe a 378 improved if price is not a big deal. I dont know anything about the 330 Dakota, but I know that if I could only have one caliber it would be a .338. I like the RUM or Lapua. I havent shot many 30 cals ubt the 330 dakota sounds like a nice round. just my 2cents.

a very unusual query. i understand the model 70 usage here, i have several and they are greatly underappreciated for their accuracy. with my limited expertiese in gunsmithing, i have all of them shooting in the .25 in group or less. the cartridges you chose is somewhat puzzling. if i had only three rifles to hunt anything in the world-i would want something bigger on the upper end. a 500 a square. the rigby case is the weatherby case w/o the belt, a great plus from my point of view. the 10,000 ft lbs is a definite plus in "dangerous game" circles. i would also choose the RUM as my base case for either the 300 or 338 for their case capacity and no belt.
a smaller caliber on one end and a larger one at the other opens up the possibilities and covers much more possible problems on a 3 gun battery. the 300, 338 and 375 are too close to cover "every possibility". especially in the dangerous game world.
6.5/284, 300 or 338 RUM, 500 A-square, now that covers a lot of "possibles".
Good choices, and add a .243AI for third pick for practice, deer and under, and cheap shooting, other than 22lr.

I'm going to research .416s now. :)
If you weren't limiting it to things that can be chambered in a Model 70 action I'd say .408 Cheytac as the "African Dream Gun".

In fact it might be possible on the same action they build the .375.

The .408 Chey stays supersonic out to 2200 meters plus.gun)

That's enough energy to take the largest and most dangerous game ar a thousand yards and beyond.
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