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jenseb99's picture
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Weatherby vanguard 2 : .338 win mag vs .300 win mag

Hi,
I am going to buy my first rifle ever and I am pretty new to this (guns, hunting etc) but since I now live in the Yukon I figured it was the time to start what I wanted to do for years.
Anyway, so I know I want to buy the Weatherby Vanguard and I thought I knew I wanted a .300 win mag. But then today, the firearm officer (I got my licence today) suggested I should go for the .338 and I guess he knows what he is talking about, so now I am confused again.
So I was wondering if you guys could help me.
Considering
Recoil
Price of ammunition
killing power (I want an all north america games gun including bisons)
And versatility in terms of games (lets says from sheep to bison)
Distance
Accuracy.
What caliber would you choose?
Since I am knew to this, recoil is my biggest concern as it might be unpleasant and affect my accuracy right?
Thanks you very much
JSC

BikerRN's picture
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338 Win Mag

You need three different guns, maybe four.

1) .338 Win Mag

Great on game, large, and sufficient for dangerous bears. The downside is recoil. Recoil causes a flinch, which is the body's way of trying to escape the punishment the rifle will impart on you each time you fire it.

2) .308 Win

Good for varmints and deer sized game. It's a very forgiving cartridge if you reload, which I encourage. It has a wide range of bullets to select from and is an inherantly accurate caliber. Much less recoil than the .338 and thus you can practice more without developing the dreaded flinch. It is also cheaper to shoot, thus allowing more shooting practice for the same amount of money.

3) .22LR

Minimal to no recoil, cheap to shoot, great for rabbits and other small game. It will allow you to shoot a lot for very minimal exspense. Thus you can develop your trigger control and breathing techniques as well as work on sight alignment and the other fundamentals. There is a reason the .22LR is what folks use to shoot the Appleseed shoots with.

Personally, if it were me, I'd get the .308 and a .300 Win Mag. The .300 is also a .30 caliber so it too can be forgiving as well as use the same bullets as the .308 when you're reloading you own ammunition. Instead of the .338 I'd opt for a .35 Whelen. That will give you four rifles instead of three but the first one should be the .22LR in my opinion.

BikerRN's picture
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More Confusion

Just to confuse you more;

Instead of the Weatherby I would look for a controled round feed over a push feed in in dangerous game country. Ruger and Winchester are the two that come to mind at the moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZphk6JWfQ

jenseb99's picture
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Eventually I will probably

Eventually I will probably have four gun, but for now, I can only afford one. So I want the most versatile one for medium to big games

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If you can only afford one

If you can only afford one rife now I would go with the .338. There isn't anything in North America that is going to argue too much with one. But if you can swing a little bit more cash take a look at the .340 Weatherby. It carries a little bit more punch than the .338 Winchester but you pay for it when you buy shells. A premium bullet round is going to run you $100.00 for 20 rounds here south of the border but if you reload you can cut that cost by 70%. I love my .340 and would not feel underguned using it on just about any animal and that includes Africa's big 5 with the right bullet. Other than that the .338 Winchester is going to be cheaper to shoot and has close to the same power that the .340 does. As for recoil the .338 packs a punch but I have never noticed it when shooting at a animal but for bench shooting I love my removable muzzle brake that I have on my Mark V. I have it on whenever I am target shooting but when I get down to the final rounds for sighting in the scope I will remove it since I don't use it while hunting.

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.35 Whelen

If only one get the Whelen.

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A 35 Whelan is a great round

A 35 Whelan is a great round but the same can be said for the .45-70, .348 Winchester, 30-06, and a slew of other out there.

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You mentioned recoil which

You mentioned recoil which leaves me not suggesting the 338 Mag. The 225 gr bullet is a good one in it but the 250 gr is even better. A 300 Mag will not be available to you in a 250 gr bullet.

A 300 Mag also has plenty of recoil and is generally restricted to 200 gr bullet, maybe 220 gr. I would not have a 300 mag any more, it's bested on both sides for me. On the top, the 338 mag and on the bottom the 308/30-06. The 308 and 30-06 both come in factory form with up to 180 gr bullets if I remember right. At 308/30-06 velocity they are more than sufficient. The advantage to the 308, would be it can be had in a lighter shorter rifle without beating you up with recoil. Yet each may have to much for you, that will depend on you. My own preference is the 308, I like shorter rifles for hunting. I have a 30-06 right now, it's my third. have never shot a head of game with one. It does shoot the same bullet's as the 308, just a bit faster. Were I to suggest you buy something, it would be the 308 or 30-06.

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.338 win mag vs .300 win mag

I'm a .30 caliber fan.  My first centerfire rifle was a .30-06, and I successfully used it on everything from coyotes to elk.  I later had it rechambered to .30 Gibbs (just because I thought it looked cool) which just about duplicates the .300 Win balistics.  That was mainly my Elk rifle for almost 30 years and it put a couple dozen Elk in my freezer, along with a Caribou, a Mountain goat and 2 Shiras moose.  A .300 Win will easily kill all of those animals, if you do your part right.

You also mentioned bison.  I killed my American Buffalo with a single lead slug from my .54 cal Hawken.  I have two friends that have each killed multiple buffalo with their .22-250s.  One of them killed another buffalo with his "big" gun, his .270 Win.  That hunt was shown on one of the outdoor TV shows.

My point is, you don't need a cannon to kill most North American big game.  With the proper bullet and most improtantly proper bulet placement, either caliber you asked about will easily kill any animal in North America.

My current favorite rifle is my Weatherby Vanguard in .300 Weatherby.  I've only hat it for a few years, and have only killed 10 big game animals with it, but they were all one shot kills, and I have never felt that I needed "more gun."

Both the .300 Win and the .338 Win will have a "stout" recoil, but there are things you can do to reduce the felt recoil of either one.

-- Lighter bullets will not produce as much recoil as heavier bullets.  There are lighter bullets availabel in .30 caliber than .338, but I wouldn't use less than 150 gr bullets in a .300 Win for big game.

-- Stock design and having a stock that fits will reduce felt recoil.  I have re-stocked all of my big game rifles, and they all have a slightly longer length of pull which fits me better.

-- Adding a better recoil absorbing pad such as a Limbsaver or Decelerator pad.

-- Installing a mecury or mechanical "recoil reducer" in the stock.  They cannot be seen and add a little weight to the firearm, but they do reduce felt recoil.  I use both kinds, and have one installed in 3 of my shotguns and 2 of my rifles.

-- Having a muzzle brake installed on your barrel.  These definately reduce the recoil of a firearm, but they do make the report louder. 

And to address your other questions:

"Considering
Recoil

See above.  Straight from the factory, the .338 will have slightly more recoil than the .300.

Price of ammunition

The .300 Win will probably average about $10 less that the .338 Win for a box of 20.

If you handload, the cost would be about the same.

killing power (I want an all north america games gun including bisons)

With heavy for caliber bullets, the .338 Win had about 200 ft-lbs more muzzle energy than the .300 Win., so would have a slight edge in killing power.  How many "bisons" do you plan on killing? 

And versatility in terms of games (lets says from sheep to bison)

I would give a slight edge to the .300 Win.  It shoots flatter and has less recoil.

Distance

Both can be sighted in to a distance beyond the capability of most hunters.

Accuracy.

Accuracy depends more on the rifle, the optics, and the shooter.  One caliber is not more inherently more accurate than the other.

What caliber would you choose?

Of the two calibers you asked about, I would choose the .300 Win.

Since I am knew to this, recoil is my biggest concern as it might be unpleasant and affect my accuracy right?

Yes, to the extent that heavy recoil, you may develope a flinch, and you will tend not to keep your cheek on the stock, which will both adversly affect accuracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Confusion

Just to confuse you more, and Buffy gave a great answer that I agree with, is that I suggested the .35 Whelen due to your being in the Yukon.

Your location puts you in the proximity of bears that may be dangerous. All of the calibers will kill a bear if the shot is properly placed. I tend to favor the most powerful firearm one can control and personally found that the .35 Whelen is more tolerable to shoot than a .338 Win Mag, hence my suggestion.

I was looking at this as a dangerous game rifle problem first and a hunting rifle second. Given that you have two duties for the one rifle I made my suggestion. A back up, or dangerous game stopping rifle is not always the same as a hunting rifle.

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Buffy. 30 cal is your

Buffy. 30 cal is your favorite and you have shot a lot of game with them. Give me your opinion here if you would? Was there any shot you made that something like a 7mm-08 couldn't also make with the same placement and proper bullet?

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