NEED HELP! w/ Girlfriends Gun. 300 WSM


Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2008
She has been invited on a hunt for Mule Deer hunt next fall with me. A very good chance to shoot a nice buck.

She has a Tikka T3 Stainless with Leupold VX-3 w/ a B&C Reticle & a Limbsaver pad in 300 WSM. She really likes the gun (Birthday present from Dad in college).

She has experience shooting my 300WM with 150gr bullets and shot it once with 180gr and DIDN'T like the 180s. She is also picky about the accuracy of the gun, for confidence with her first few hunts. The Tikka does a great job shooting 180s but is less accurate with 165/150s.

I've tried(150gr.): Accubonds, Sciroccos, SST's; (165's): Accubond, Sierra HP Gamekings.

Out of all of those the HP Gamekings shot well but at low velocities in the gun; 2820fps.

Because of the Magazine and throat I can't come close to the lands.

ANY THOUGHT WOULD HELP. I'd like to get this thing shooting so we can spend the year shooting balloons and metal.

PLEASE!!!! Any info would help!.....For her sake.
There are a lot more bullets to try if you want to. Nosler makes 150 and 168 E--Tips and Barnes has TSX's and TTSX's. Hornady SST's, Interlocks and Interbonds. It's basically a process of finding a combination of powder, primers and bullets that your rifle likes. A buulet that shoots well in one rifle doesn't always shoot well in another. I think these light weight factroy sporters are very tempormental. If you use minimum loads the rifle may be less tempormental to harmonics and there will be less recoil. RL17 will give higher velocites for equal pressures compared to other powders so you might get a little more performance for same recoil?

You could also try some of the berger vld's or sierra smk's. You say your girlfriend doesn't like the 180's. Is it do to the recoil or something else? does the gun have a break on it? If not maybe have one installed to make the heavier bullets that shoot in the rifle more pleasant to shoot. I don't have much experiance with the short mag except with my cousins, he shoots the 208 A-max from Hornady with a break and is very managable compared to my Lapua that I shoot 300gr smk's without a break. How do you hunt? From a bench, off hand, or prone? I ask this because the break will calm the muzzle jump allowing her to spot her shots as well as tame the heavier bullets.
Edwards Recoil Reducers           The First and Still The Best Check these out, they work very well. I shot a 11.5lb 338 LM braked with two recoil reducers in the butt stock and it was a total ***** cat, my wife could have pulled the trigger on it all day. It may be enough to mellow out that 300 WSM.
Is she shooting long range? If not the lighter bullets would work just fine in my opinion. I would go with accuracy over weight, if you need to shoot a deer twice it won't shake her confidence like a miss or a bad shot.
What about Barnes tipped triple shocks? I've used the 130's on antelope and have been super happy with them. I wouldn't hesitate to try them on deer. I think they also make the 150's in the tipped.
I forgot to list those.... 150 TSX and 168 Wouldn't group well either.

I used 4-5 different powders too. H4831SC, RL19, IMR 4064,H4350, and IMR 4350
I need you to answer one question first... what is the distance she plans on shooting? I shoot the 208's like Savageshtr had mentioned. I am his cousin. With a break these rounds are very capable and tamed nicely by the break. But if she is shooting with in 500yrds, then stick with 168 or 175 SMK', Bergers or the Hornady SST. Savageshtr shot a deer through the neck with 165 SST at 30yrds with his .308. The bullet held together nicely leaving clean holes in and out (50 cent size exit wound after going through bone) at a velocity of 2950fps. This would be a low recoiling bullet in my opinion and offer great ballistics to distances of 600yrds or better.

I forgot to list those.... 150 TSX and 168 Wouldn't group well either.

I used 4-5 different powders too. H4831SC, RL19, IMR 4064,H4350, and IMR 4350

Have you ladder tested your loads? I would pick one or two powders and run 5 or 6 loads. Find a safe load and work up to max pressure. I'm sure you will find a node for accuracy. With the H4350 start at 58grns and work up in half grain increments to max (should be about 63.0grns. watch for pressure signs).

Breaks are removable. You could practice with one on the bench. When it comes time for the hunt, take it off. Recoil is seldom felt when shooting the intended target in the woods. I can't remember any felt recoil shooting my 338WM in the woods. On the bench I always used a sand bag on my shoulder.

Anyway, the combination of a slow powder and a 160 to 180 grain bullet is not going to be all that bad and feel a little less than your WM. You don't have to load to max either.

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My favorite 300WSM loads for all out tight groups at ranges out to 500yds with 150 grain and 165 grain bullets:

150 SST
70.0 Win 760
3250 fps

165 SST
68.0 Win 760
3150 fps

These loads are right from the Hornady manual. WIN 760 and IMR 4350 were Hornady's preferred powders with the 300WSM.

If that Tikka doesn't shoot Sub MOA with those two loads I would be surprised. These loads have shot spectacular with 5 different 300WSM's that I have loaded for.

Good luck Partner!
To get more length, so you can seat your bullet farther try this. The tikka is based on a long action no matter what caliber you have so the only difference is in the magazine it has more material on the back side of the mag. To get a longer magazine / bullet length you can filedown some of the plastic on this magazine back and get the ability to seat your bullet a little further out.
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