12 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2007
Posts: 8
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

I am relativly new into the hunting world and looking to buy my first rifle but on a budget. I am looking in the 7 mm mag range but am also looking at others such as the weatherby 300 mag. i have the opertunity to buy either a remington 7 mm mag or a weatherby 300 mag both at below retail price, any input on the 2??

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

First of all, welcome to our place, lot of good guy's on here.

You said your new to the hunting world, are you new to the shooting world? How new to either? The reason I ask is that magnums do have their drawbacks in the recoil department. And the gain of a magnum I have not found to be enough to go to them. I have used several, 7mm Rem mag 300 Win mag, 338 Win mag, 264 Rem mag. I don't own any magnun rifles anymore. I see no reason to put up with the recoil of say a 300 mag when a 308 win will kill just as quickly at 99% of the ranges I shoot. In fact, the 308 will kill quickly well beyond the ranges I shoot.

In the event that you at some time decided to go on a dangerious game hunt, you could buy something you might precieve as more suitable. Compared to the cost of a dangeious game hunt, a new rifle is nothing!

As for a budget, I'm not sure that the Weatherby mags are avaliable in a budget priced rifle. Maybe but I'm not sure. It would be best if you could tell us what it is you think your going to be hunting. For what ever it is there are probally a good number of cartridges out there more than suitable, with less recoil, cheaper ammo and cheaper rifles.

Offline
Location: sw missouri
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 196
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

^^^^Ditto^^^

Offline
Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Given your two choices I would have to lean toward the 7mm mag because ammo is going to be cheaper (budget). Both calibers will be more than enough for any game you encounter in NA and if you end up reloading they both can be loaded for a huge variety of game.

Offline
Moderator
Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Welcome Aboard Thumbs up
I suspect you mean 300 Wby. Mag. as opposed to a Weatherby rifle chambers for 300 Win.Mag(Weatherby makes rifles in various calibres).
The reason I point this out is that the 300 Win Mag & the 300 Wby Mag are two very different performers.

Offline
Joined: 06/07/2007
Posts: 8
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

i have been shooting for a little while just have not owned my own rifle yet. i have been doing alot of bird hunting and a little white tail which i will do this fall but after that it will be mule deer and elk thats why i was looking in the 300 mag and 7mm mag.

Nathan's picture
Offline
Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Hi Hoss, I do a lot of work with new or semi experienced shooters so here is a little advice to go with the advice Don has already given.

For less experienced adult shooters, it is very important to handle and shoot a few rifles in order to gain a feel for recoil. Some second hand gun stores will allow you to take a rifle away on test however it is very important when learning to shoot a rifle that is known to be accurate so that you only have to study your shooting habits and not the rifle's.

For the last 20 years atleast, it has been fairly standard for new adult hunters to adopt such calibres as the .243 .270, .308 and up to the .30-06 at the upper end of power/ recoil. Of these the .270 is probably the most popular and will do just about anything that you require of it as long as you pay attention to shot placement on varying game and use suitable ammunition. Budget factory ammo in .270 such as PMC is also good to start with as velocity is low producing low recoil. Later the hunter can choose a hotter loading or move into handloading.

The most important thing is to latch on to a helpful hunter and shoot a few rifles using sandbags or some kind of steady rest. Use a true100 yard/ pace distance to see if you can get your shots grouping consistantly. If you are recoil shy, or have sustained a shoulder injury, cartridges such as the .25-06 or 6.5x55 with handloads may be excellent options for you that you have not considered.

Only you will know what is right for you. I can tell you that I have two clients that are both labourers, both struggle to handle the recoil of the .270, one because he once injured his shoulder, the other because his rifle is an ultra light weight. A third client who is an IT technition, handles anything up to the biggest magnums on our shooting range with ease.

The two cartridges you mention are not usually sort after by newer shooters, perhaps mainly because in the past, store owners would recomend the 6mm's and .270. Todays market is much different. The 7mm magnum is a great cartridge, statistically one of the most popular Elk calibres and very versatile. Like the .270, some budget brands such as PMC and S&B produce 140-145 grain ammo that produces lower recoil than other brands. If your heart is set on a 7mm magnum, the cartridge will certainly give you much enjoyment however if possible, please try a few rifles as well as a 7mm mag so that you know for yourself that you have made the most suitable decision.

The .300 magnums are a bit different. Recoil is substantial requiring a high level of self discapline and skill if accurate shooting is to be expected. Although these are powerful cartridges, they do not allow great room for shot placement error therefore you must still be able to shoot the .300 well. I shoot magnums every week, up to the .375 RUM, I am a very experienced shooter however to shoot the big stuff I have to have my mind in the right place, an attitude and self discapline towards each shot. I always have to be aware that I may develop a flinch at any time and if I do, I have to get back to the right mindset and relearn to relax with each shot. I guess my point is that its not just an easy affair. My ideal level of recoil is in the range of the .270 and 7mm magnums which I think is about the Norm for a large number of hunters.

Once you get your rifle, no matter what it is, work on getting it shooting well. You will need to learn the difference between innacurate shots created by your own habits and inaccuracy due to faullts within the rifle. Both will need attention so be aware. Your rifle needs a light crisp trigger and will probably need to be bedded and free floated in order to shrink groups from 3" @ 100 yards down to 1" which is about what you need to be able to expect.

If you can, use your rifle for as much hunting as possible including varminting/ pest destruction. Along with this, when ever you can, always take the opportunity to use rimfires for hunting small game which will help you moniter your shooting habits and see signs of flinching.

Hope this helps,
Cheers, Nathan
http://www.ballisticstudies.com

Offline
Location: Phila., PA
Joined: 03/15/2007
Posts: 171
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

of the 2 choices, i would suggest the 7mm mag as opposed to the 300 wby
the 7mm is a very versatile cartridge, is suitable for coyote to moose.
while a 300 wby most certainly will kill the same game, it will come at a cost, in ammo, recoil, and will most likely waste/ruin more meat on the smaller game like whitetail. ammo availability is also something to consider, most of even the smaller shops will have a variety of 7mm on hand, 300 wby? if you are only looking to own one rifle, of the two choices you have asked ...7mm
good luck with your decision
and enjoy the decision making process, it most certainly can be as much fun as the purchase
Thumbs up

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Nathan, great post! Great post Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up

Offline
Location: Arkansas
Joined: 05/04/2003
Posts: 33
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Hoss, the ballistics debate is one you will have to decide based on your own needs. I own both a Ruger 7MM Mag and a Weatherby 300 Wthby Mag. Ammunition is cheaper for the 7 Mag, but not enough to prevent buying the 300, IMO. Recoil is heavier for the 300, but in my rifle - a Vanguard - the recoil is more of a heavy shove than a hard kick.

Both rifles will handle any North American game, but there is no doubt when I shoot both guns the Weatherby means business when you pull the trigger. I deer hunt with the 7 Mag and use it to back up my 300 whenI elk hunt, and would feel equally confident in either when the elk of my dreams walks out at 200 yards (any further, and I am getting closer!).

Offline
Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
7 mm mag vs 300 mag

Get a good recoil pad regardless of the caliber. I like the Simms Limbsaver and the Pachmayer Company makes a 1.5 inch version I believe they call the Triple Magnum. I've seen them both turn bruiser rifles into nice tolerable guns. After that it's all practice, practice, practice and listen to what Nathan has to say.