18 replies [Last post]
Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
300 win mag or 338 win mag? Semi-auto or bolt-action?

Couldn't find anything about the 12 gauge 3-1/2. It does indicate that the 3-inch 12 gauge magnum shell recoils with around 60 ft-lbs, which is about twice the recoil energy of a 300 Winchester Magnum.

arrowflipper's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 579
it isn't all about the caliber

I've owned and hunted with a 300 Winchester mag, a 300 Weatherby mag and a couple of 338 Winchester mags.  What I've found is that it's got a lot more to do with the rifle than the caliber, to a certain degree.  The first 300 win. mag I owned was a Huskvarna and it just about killed me.  More than once, I ended up with a cut over my eye from the scope.  The Husky was great to carry but brutal to shoot. 

I then picked up a Weatherby Mark V in 300.  As much as I loved the weight of the Husky, I found that a heavier rifle had a lot less felt recoil.  I kept that rifle and finally had a custom stock put on and it now does more sitting in my safe than hiking around the hills with me. 

I then had a custom 338 made on a model 98 action with a custom stock.  The recoil was acceptable as I had it made fairly heavy. 

I finally picked up a Browning bolt action Stainless Stalker in 338.  I love this rifle.  It's not as heavy as some but the recoil is well within my acceptable range.  I now use this rifle for most of my hunting.  I've taken deer, elk, moose and African game with this rifle and love it.  Some may question its use on deer sized game, but the meat damage seems to be less than with my 25-06 or 270.

Another tip I'd give to someone thinking about one of the larger caliber rifles; use heavy shoulder padding while shooting off the bench.  You will notice the recoil a lot more while sighting in or target practice than in the field.  I don't remember any recoil from any of my shots on animals.  If I could only own one rifle, it would be the 338 win. mag.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
Not going to get in a p***ing

Not going to get in a p***ing match , but all I will say for the last post is OVERKILL on anything short of long range on elk or for the bigger dangerous game!!!

jaybe's picture
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Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 817
 It may be more gun than

 It may be more gun than needed to kill something, but in the final analysis, dead is dead.

IMO having "too much" gun is far better than "too little" gun. If you hit an animal with ten times the force it takes to kill it, it won't care. But if you hit it with a caliber/bullet that's too small, it's called a wounded animal that may die a miserable, slow death.


Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
We're not talking popguns

We're not talking popguns here jaybe.  Anything in the .308, 30-06, .270 is more than enough for anything other than big bears here in North America and they don't have the excessive recoil that the average person can't tolerate.  On the other hand, these big magnums are not needed until you get into the bigger animals like moose and elk and even then only at the longer ranges that you wouldn't want to stretch the other mentioned calibers.  Too many "wannabe" hunters fall back on these big boomers thinking they can hit an animal in the tail with it and it will drop on the spot.  Then they find they can't afford to practice with them because of the expense of the ammo and/or the recoil that has them flinching such that they can't hit a barn wall from inside the barn.  Show me one guy that can shoot that big stuff accurately and that needs it and I'll show you ten that shouldn't have one and are probably wounding more game than the person who is using the proper caliber and staying within their limitations.

Joined: 04/21/2010
Posts: 47
Reply to Topgun 30-06

Well said, Topgun; there should be more hunters in the woods as pragmatic as you are. I have never felt undergunned by not using a magnum. Afterall, it's all about "hunting", not blowing the animal away. But, there again, if a hunter feels more confortable with a magnum of some sort, more power to him. That's what makes our sport great. Sign me, curmudgeon.

rgbwmb's picture
Joined: 02/19/2011
Posts: 25
300wm or 338

Go with the 300wsm...good for whitetails and elk with plenty of bullet choices, won't kick as much as 338 either. Also not a belted cartridge so feeding through your rifle is smoother.

7mm Magnum's picture
Location: Custer, Michigan
Joined: 03/16/2008
Posts: 89
Weapon of choice,...

Personally I for one favor my 7mm Magnum,.. I own a fair selection of the various calibers mentioned here. I was brought up on the 30-06 Springfield as it was my fathers go to hunting rifle choice and I learned on that rifle at the age of 12-13 years old. For a youngster it did have a kick so to say,.. but if you had it shouldered correctly it wasn't all that bad to shoot. I prefer the the 7 mag over it as it has a longer shooting capability as well as a flater trajectory. The comparison of felt recoil between the two of them is barely negligable,.. maybe just a tad more "bite" but with the recoil pads that are now manufactured these days absorb the prime majority of any felt recoil.

I did purchase a .338 WM to elk hunt with out west and find it quite manageable to shoot as well. I'm not a giant of a man by any means, but with the Decelerator recoil pad on it and having it shouldered correctly when shooting it I find the felt recoil is quite comparable to my 7 mag's recoil. I do bring my 7 mag along as a backup weapon just in case of any malfunctions or disasters with the primary rifle while elk hunting out west. The reason for my choice of the .338 was due to the larger frontal area the projectile has,.. bigger holes on both sides = more blood traveling out of the wound plus the wound channel will be larger making for a faster demise. Not to mention the God awful amount of energy the thing produces and transfers to the intended target. All in all a faster and very effective way to drop your animal.

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