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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 07/22/2004
Posts: 26
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

Oh, what a world would it be to have Elk all around us, clients from Utah to pay our way, and to be able to make money doing what we love. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that I am jealous.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

I don't have a .300, but have had friends who hunted with them. It's definitely a killer round, and will work for deer with great efficiency. However, Bit makes a good point -- you'll have more blood shot meat with a .300 because of all that velocity. On the other hand, Deer and Elk seasons used to run concurrently in Montana. With a .300 you could take either -- which is more than you can say for a .25-06 or a .243.

Bottom line is that I think it's tough to come up with any standard rule for cartridges. There's a lot of factors to consider -- like the fact that the 200 yard shots commonly seen some places are rare in others. A .300 at 50 yards behaves a whole lot differently than at 200. But as for me, I think I'd rather have too much gun than not enough. When the sun has gone below the horizon, blood shot meat at your feet is better than meat headed for the next county.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

Lots have said lots about this round and my comments somewhat overlap what's already been said but you can never learn "too much" about anything so I'll throw in my experience just for fun.

Basically my experience has been that you want a softer, lighter round for deer in the .300. The .300 has so much velocity that a heavier, stonger bullet has a tendancy to pass through without much expansion and that is bad. I've never liked core lokt's for elk but they are an excellent deer round because they aren't as sturdy and expand much quicker. I think a 150 core lokt out of the .300 is a great deer round from 0 yds to your limit. It'll take em down just fine. But in any case you will have more blood shot meat.

With elk I'd start at 180 grs. and use a sturdier bullet.

Location: Boise, Idaho
Joined: 10/04/2004
Posts: 10
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

The .300 is definitely not to big for mule deer.

I've had clean and efficient kills on several deer (muleys and whitetails) with mine. I load soft point 168 grain bullets for deer with a moderate charge of slow burning powder. Most cheap factory ammo would probably meet these specs too if you don't have the luxury of loading and testing your own.

In contrast, I'm using 190 grain controlled expansion bullets with max charge of very-slow burning powder for elk. This load hits hard. I would definitely not use it for deer.

BTW - I've been told that the slower burning powders build up more pressure - thus more velocity. If you're looking for slower velocities, then you would need a little faster powder right? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on this.

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Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

Well, you are a little off on the powder business. Here's how it works:

Slower burning powders are better in large rifle cartridges because the pressure curve is less steep, therefore critical chamber pressure is not achieved as quickly, and more powder can be loade for the same or better given velocity. Quick burning powders can achieve the same or better velocity, except that their pressure curves will raise chamber pressures above critical before the bullet leaves the barrel. This means that for a given large cartridge, you are forced to use a smaller amount of fast burning powder in order to avoid exceeding maximum pressure ratings.

I would stick with smaller loads of slower burning powder to reduce muzzle velocity before switching to faster burning powder reduced loads. The reason is that for large capacity cartridges, it is preferable to have as much of the cartridge volume taken up as is practical. Too much free space in big cartridges makes the powder burn erratically, and can cause a serious safety concern (detonation). Reduced loads of faster burning powder only make this situation worse. By reducing the load of slower burning powder and utilizing an acceptable buffer to take up the remaining case volume, you will have a more efficient and much safer reduced load to work with. Avoid using faster burning powder in large capacity cartridges whenever possible.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 12/18/2003
Posts: 4
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer
Idaho Big Game Hunter wrote:
The .300 is definitely not to big for mule deer.

I've had clean and efficient kills on several deer (muleys and whitetails) with mine. I load soft point 168 grain bullets for deer with a moderate charge of slow burning powder. Most cheap factory ammo would probably meet these specs too if you don't have the luxury of loading and testing your own.

In contrast, I'm using 190 grain controlled expansion bullets with max charge of very-slow burning powder for elk. This load hits hard. I would definitely not use it for deer.

BTW - I've been told that the slower burning powders build up more pressure - thus more velocity. If you're looking for slower velocities, then you would need a little faster powder right? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on this.

It is true what you say about the 300 I have one and use it I shoot a nosler Bt. for mules all have been one-shot kills most have not taken a step the key I believe is just like taking anything is shot placement.

I used to work in a reloading shop and slower powders may cause higher velocities, you need to find the right one for your guns there are several factors’ one is bbl length you need to match the powder to your gun what gives the best in a 26 in may not give the best in a 20 in. I prefer re loader 22 it works well in my gun in fact that is what we used in our shop reloads anyway. I have to get going, good luck all Scott Big smile

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Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

The trick is to get higher velocities without increasing pressure in the chamber above rated design limits.

Using a 300 mag at close in ranges with lighter bullets loaded to full velocities is likely going to produce unexpected results, but should incapacitate any deer regardless. It just depends on how much tissue damage you can live with. Hey, I have talked to guys who hunt mulies with 50 BMGs, and their point is whatever they hit they take home. Whatever works.

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Location: Sunny San Diego
Joined: 09/02/2003
Posts: 165
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

As wrong as this sounds...

If one of those guys GUT SHOT a buck with his big Five-O, asides from being a real mess to dress (not a problem if he bones out the meat only), the deer would probably die quickly, wouldn't travel very far, and you wouldn't blood shot meat... hmmm... add to that the 1000+ yard range... I just might buy one of those bad boys for next years buck season.

Jesse

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Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

I gotta admit it is a fantasy...

I dunno if you can build a reduced load 50 bmg that wouldn't just devastate a deer within 100 yards. The barrel might sprout lips and go "Ptwee" when you shot it, instead of bang.

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Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
.300 win. mag.-is it too big for deer

New to the forum here but enjoy it already. I was a guide for a number of years on a ranch were we took over 300 whitetail a year.

Besides being a lifelong hunter and top ranked competitive shooter, the guiding stint taught me a lot.

First it still amazes me that folks think that because its a"magnum" it will drop deer instantly and pulverize meat. Also that it will kill deer not matter where hit.

What I know and have verified is that with every round you must pick your bullet and load for the intended project at hand. Much like we choose vehicles for what we do with them etc... Any suitable round loaded correctly will work with good bullet placement. There is talk about accuracy. Sure its important but its one round accuracy IE bullet placement that is the most important.

One of the only bullets I've seen peform correctly(some folks dont' understand what correct performance is-at least IMHO) is the X bullet. Failsafes run them a close race. Put them in the right place and you are fine every time.

What it boils down to is you can use the 243, the 06, the 300,375, 50 cal and none will kill any deader, damage meat any more or less, and they'll all do the job correctly, assuming the hunter has the information and intelligence to choose the correct ammo for the situation.

Got a 300? Use it. I"ve shot 100-400 pound size animals from up close with a 223 out to almost 600 yards with a 223 with no problems. I've also shot same animals with up to a 338 and 416 mags from up close to out beyond 600 yards. All good kills, all no excessive damage. Just use the correct "fuel". BTW though I've never shot any animal with a 50, the 50 shooting I've done and recovered projectiles also indicates you can poke a 50 cal hole through the animal without expansion OR you can run an expanding bullet that will actually expand(at least in dirt)

Best, Jeff

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