17 replies [Last post]
Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Proper placement

I believe it boils down to shot placement and proper bullet performance (expansion vs. penetration) as well as being comfortable with your rifle. If you can't make a good shot then you should let the deer walk.

If you put the proper bullet in the right place then the .308W will kill any game animal in North America within 300y. You don't need Swift A-Frames for thin skinned deer and Core Lokts are probably not the best choice for bear.

For that matter, I hunt whitetails with a .300 Savage (150gr Rem CL) sporting a 20 inch barrel. It has a slower velocity and less energy than a .308W but drops the deer on the first shot.

rgbwmb's picture
Joined: 02/19/2011
Posts: 26
308 vs 300

Just my thoughts, a 300 magnum out performs a 308 from muzzle to ground on all fronts. The most imortant aspect in choosing one over the other is multi faceted. What are you hunting, the distance you may be shooting, can you stand the recoil of the magnums and so on. For me, I hunt Whitetails in NY and PA. I did go Elk hunting in CO. In my opinion you can't go wrong with a 300 magnum and the 300 winchester short mag is plenty powerful with less recoil than the weatherby or winchester mags. Being over gunned is not a bad thing if you can shoot it well and you won't be second guessing when the range gets longer. Just spend some time shooting and getting used to the recoil and maybe even a muzzle brake is in order. I had a 300wby with a brake and the recoil was like a 308. More is better........

buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
"a 300 magnum out performs a

"a 300 magnum out performs a 308 from muzzle to ground on all fronts."

Very true. 

 According to my Barnes Reloading Manual, with equal bullets, the .300 Wby generates 400 to 500 feet per second more velocity than the .308 Win.  That results in a flatter trajectory and much greater bullet energy at all ranges for the .300 Wby.

I've had a couple of .308's and currently I hunt with several caliber rifles, including a .300 Wby.  For deer size animals out to 300 yds, a .308 Win is more than adequate and a .300 Wby is overkill.  For most hunters, a .308 Win would be easier to shoot, and like has been stated, it is also cheaper to shoot than a .300 Wby.

But dead is dead, and a .308 Win is not equal to a .300 Wby.



Joined: 09/09/2012
Posts: 1
old topic worth reviving

madmax wrote:

I recently read a statement by a respected gunsmith wherein he stated that, for the

first 300 yards, the .308 Win. was just as good as the .300 Weatherby mag..

Does anyone have any comments on that?  I have experience with the .308 Win.

and it has never let me down on killing deer-size animals within that range, sometimes

I may have let it down.   I have zero experience with the .300 Weatherby or any .300




I've fired both and hunted with the 308.  The 300 Wby Mag kicks about 50% more, and goes 400-500 fps faster.  The 308 is a great bench rest target cartridge, the 300 Wby. is not due to recoil, unless it's a heavy gun with a good recoil pad. 


I've spoken to a fella who hunted with both.  He said on a midwestern deer hunt, a big whitetail trophy deer, got out on a ridge top in front of him, antlers gleaming.  The range was an honest 400 yards. He held high and hit the deer, it disappeared.  They looked for it for TWO DAYS, found nothing.  On day 3, his friend posted nearby, once again saw the same deer, and shot it at close range.  While dressing it out, his friend found a mushroomed 30 cal slug just under the hide and skin, on the one shoulder.


The 308 Win. did not have enough remaining velocity and energy, to kill the big whitetail at 400 yards.  The bullet failed to penetrate.


At that point the guy bought a 300 Wby Mag.


So if you are hunting long range i.e. over 300 yards, you need one of the 300 mags.


A relative of mine who is a game guide for 25 years said any 300 mag family of cartridge, is the standard for western mountain hunting, the entry level would be a 300 short mag or 300 win mag- and in any modern smooth action, i.e. Rem 700, Win 70, Wby Mk V, Savage 110, Ruger 77, Browning A-bolt, commercial Mauser, etc.    He did frown upon milsurp actions rechambered to 300 mags, but IMHO that's due to some having lousy, difficult to operate safety levers, and some being cock on closing.

BikerRN's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 715
Great Read!

This thread brings to light a lot of the things I have been thinking about.

I have a .300 Win Mag that I have yet to fire, Gunsmith still working on it, and truth be told the stories of the recoil have intimidated me. That's why I'm looking at a .308 Win and a 270 WSM. I've put my time in shooting a 25/06 this year as I selected it thinking it would recoil less than other calibers and be sufficient for what I intend to hunt this year.

Last year I used a .308, Scout Rifle, 16" Barrel, as my deer gun. Due to my improper bullet selection my deer got away with a bullet in him. That taught me a few important lessons that I have no desire to repeat. Another buddy used a .308 Win with a different bullet and had the same thing happen to him as what happened to me. We have concluded that if each of us had been using the other's ammo we both would've filled our respective freezers.

With that said I know I need more gun at times in the future. My intention is to get a .308 Win with a longer barrel and a 270 WSM while learning to shoot my .300 Win Mag. I like the .308, and within it's respective limitations, it's a good caliber with plenty of cheap practice options. I selected the .300 Win Mag after researching the available options and selected it based on reports of those I trust for 90% of my big game hunting. I also think the .308 and .300 will be easier to find ammo for in times of ammunition dearth compared to the WSM line of calibers. That was another factor in my selection.

The 270 WSM was selected because I think it will bridge the gap, so to speak, between the 25/06 and the .300 Win Mag as long as I can acquire ammo for it.


Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
It is a streach to say the

It is a streach to say the 308 aand 300Weatherby are equals. But to 300yds, the 300 bring's little to the tablethat is necessary. Beyond that the heavier 300 mag bullet is goning to fly flatter, but that doesn't make aq whole bunch of difference. With either at some point there's will be a need for hold over. it does not matter if you need to hold over two feet or one foot, holdover is hold over. Where the 300's shine is their ability to use heavier  with greater B.C.'s which inddicate and ability to maintain velocity and flatten trajectory to some degree and Greater S.D. which is an indication of a bullet's ability to penetrate. The 180gr seem's to be a favorite of a lot of perlpe in the 300 mags but I have always felt the bset bullet would be the 200 gr bullet's. They are long, tuff and can be at velocities a 308 or eeven a 30-06 can dream of. The real beauty of 300 mags is their abiolity to deliver extrodinary power at normal ranges, not normal power at extrodinary ranges.


I suspect that what the gunsmith was saying was that if your hunting deer and the ranges are under 300yds, the 300mag give you no advantage. That I buy as there is no need, on deer at that range, for a heavy bullet at the velocities of any 300mag. The only thing the 300's would bring to the table is if the game is much larger than a deer or dangerious and of course the recoil goes way up with the 300's.

Joined: 09/21/2012
Posts: 10
308 vs300

The 308 is a very capable cartridge and has killed many an animal and has been used by the marine corp snipers for 50 years and with proper bullets will take deer size game past 400 yards if the marksman does his part but when in a hunting situation if you can take the recoil the 300 is that much better and just as accurate of a cartridge

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