.300 wsm too much for whitetail?


July 20, 2007, 12:38 AM
I have been contemplating getting a .300 wsm (had a .300 win mag that I didn't like--recoil) and I've been told that the recoil from a .300 wsm is more managable; I currently hunt whitetail, but want to get an 'investment' for later ventures...

is .300 wsm too much for whitetail?

would I be better with a 'big 7' magnum?

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July 20, 2007, 12:49 AM
If 300wsm is too much then so is the 7mag. But neither are...

July 20, 2007, 01:33 AM
I read the same stories about how the 300 WSM's recoil is significantly lighter than the 300 WM. I own a 300 WSM and also shoot a 300 WM. I haven't noticed a measurable difference in recoil between the two.

I use my 300 WSM as my all around rifle and load it with premium bullets and it has worked very well on deer and hogs.

July 20, 2007, 01:48 AM
i use both routinely.

there is a slight difference in recoil, but if the 300 win mag was too much for you to handle, then the 300 wsm will be too much as well.

no, it is not too much gun for deer.

look seriously at the 7-08.

July 20, 2007, 01:49 AM
Most (if not all) of your .30 or 7.62 type rounds great for deer and elk :D

July 20, 2007, 08:09 AM
Paired with an appropriate bullet to ensure expansion, a 300WSM would be fine, though you will realize more tissue damage (don't plan on "eating right up to the bullet hole"). I used a 300 Winmag as my all-arounder for years until I realized I really didn't need that much gun & went back to the '06 (.25 & .30) & .270.

July 20, 2007, 08:10 AM
I found that a 458 Lott isn't too much for rabbit so a 300 WSM may be a little light for deer.


July 20, 2007, 08:19 AM
I wouldn't use it, but as you can see I'm in the minority.

Brian Williams
July 20, 2007, 08:29 AM
A 30-30 has killed many more Deer than a 300whoopdeedoopMAG.
At what ranges are you shooting said deer?

July 20, 2007, 11:28 AM
I wouldn't buy a .300 WSM. But if I already had one, I would use it for deer. Recoil might be worse than a .300 Win Mag, because WSM rifles are short actions and usually lighter than big .300 Win Mag rifles.

Especially if you don't enjoy recoil, a .308 will do whatever you need in a short action; a 7mm-08 if you want something flatter-shooting and even lower in recoil.

If you just want less recoil, get a .30-06 to replace the Win Mag. It can be loaded almost as hot as a factory Win Mag round, but a standard deer round isn't at all bad. Far more versatile than the WSM, easily reloadable, easy to find factory ammo, wide variety of factory ammo and pre-tested loading recipes alike.

July 20, 2007, 12:20 PM
.270, 30'06, 30-30, even the 308 are solid deer calibers no need for mags on whitetail. Yes bring enough gun, but at the same time dont bring too much.

July 20, 2007, 12:30 PM
How much is "too much"? It might tear up a deer with some loads, but the deer dies, right? I don't use my 7 mag on deer anymore mainly because the gun is big, long, heavy, and long action and my M7 is short, light, short action and plenty enough gun in .308. But, I COULD use it no problem and have and the deer fell dead on impact and I butchered and ate 'em. Blew the shoulder off a doe once and ruined the on side shoulder, too, but if it were the only rifle I had, I'd down load it to lower velocities or use a heavier, slower expanding bullet, or both. That's one reason I bought it. I was thinking .280 at the time, but reckoned it's the same gun and I can always download the 7, can't make the .280 shoot like the 7 is capable of.

That WSM should be EASY to load to .308 levels and it's chambered in short action guns. I think it's pretty versatile for that reason. But, then, I've handloaded every rifle I've ever owned except rimfires since I was 14 or so and my grandpa gave me his reloading tools. I've never owned a rifle that I relied on factory loads for.

Art Eatman
July 20, 2007, 01:44 PM
Opinion: There's no such thing as "too much". What there is, is, "more than you need". :D

I've listened to a lot of arguments. I've loaded for and used various cartridges on deer, with plenty of success.

I guess that looking at what's available in today's world and keeping in mind the KISS principle, I'd recommend a 7mm08 over most others.

IMO it's plenty good for any deer-sized critter inside of 300 yards, which is around 99% of all deer shooting for 98% of hunters.

My 700 Ti in 7mm08 weighs 6.5 pounds, total. At the benchrest, the recoil doesn't bother my ancient and arthritic shoulder. In the field the recoil doesn't amount to a hill of beans...

:), Art

July 20, 2007, 03:12 PM
The recoil on my .300 Win Mag was pretty tough, until I got a Limbsaver recoil pad. That, and learning how to properly shoulder a rifle made all the difference.

July 20, 2007, 03:13 PM
Came close to getting the 7-08 and if I couldn't have found my M7 in .308 and did find one in 7-08, I'd be shooting the 7 today. :D But, I sorta like the more common .308 even though I handload. I know I could neck down all that cheap military brass, but with the .308, I can just size it and don't have to worry about thick necks either. And, I just wanted the .30 caliber. Six of one, half dozen of the other. They're both PLENTY for any deer inside 300, and maybe 350 yards, depending on if you can shoot. I limit any caliber to 350 max on game I want to collect, anyway. Lots of variables that increase logarithmically with range. I know the drop of my rifle, but accounting for wind drift, elevation, this and that in the field can overload the brain, what little I was endowed with anyway.

B.D. Turner
July 20, 2007, 03:59 PM
Why all the worry about recoil. How many shots are you going to take deer hunting?

July 20, 2007, 04:10 PM
How many shots do you take at a deer?

Ideally, one.

How many practice shots do you need to shoot in order to reach that ideal, at the sort of ranges that Magnum shooters imagine shooting, under field conditions?

At least hundreds. Ideally more.

Now at reasonable ranges, you can cut down on lots of things: cost, recoil, and practice requirements.

Catch-22: if you DON'T intend to take over-400-yard shots, you don't have any need for a magnum round. If you DO, then recoil matters.

So you can optimize your round, where you take into account effectiveness, recoil, cost, barrel life, gun weight, etc. I don't think that the .300WSM comes out favorably, when you take all those factors into account, unless, perhaps, you have a specialized application in mind.

July 20, 2007, 04:27 PM

Over Kill?

IMHO, yes.

July 20, 2007, 04:48 PM
I think bullet selection is the key - light bullets expand far too violently for such small animals. You may find bone or bullet fragments blown into meat far from the point of impact. Try a heavier bullet. You will still kill them deader than last week's fish, but will have an easier job of cleaning, butchering and eating you venison.

July 20, 2007, 04:50 PM
Hey, they don't make a V-Max bullet for a .450 Marlin, do they?:D

Brian Williams
July 20, 2007, 05:27 PM
Are you going to be a Rifleman and shoot the rifle till you know how it really shoots and spend some time hunting or are you going to bench rest it till it is in the black and then be a deer killer.

Charles S
July 20, 2007, 05:57 PM
Honestly a magnum is not necessary for whitetail, but there is no reason not to use one if that is what you like.

I have a number of magnums and they work very well with proper bullet selection (don't choose a bullet designed for elk for white tail deer).

I really can't tell much difference between the recoil of my personal 300 WSM and my 300 WM, they are similar in weight. I think the 300 WSM does recoil a little less, IMHO it is not a big difference.

I like the 7s for general purpose, but if you plan on a lot of hunting for larger game the 30 mags have a great deal of appeal.

Honestly a 270 or 7-08 can be used to hunt everything in North America expect the largest bears. If you plan on hunting the big bears I would gravitate toward a 338-06, 35 Wheelen, 338 Win, 340 Weatherby, 350 Remignton Mag, 358 Norma, or 358 STA. Fun to think about, the larger are not all that fun to shoot.

Good luck. If you want a 300 WSM grab it. I think you will love it.

July 20, 2007, 06:05 PM
recoil on the .300 win mag and the .300 wsm are pretty darn similar....keep that in mind. I use a .300 wsm for whitetail and i have no complaints. I use 180 grain winchester power points and i find they don't damage any more meat than a .30-06 or a .308.

July 20, 2007, 06:24 PM
I would like to formally like to correct my earlier statement, its not too much, but rather it is overkill as someone else stated.

July 20, 2007, 07:22 PM
I haven't popped a cap on my 7 mag in a while, but I've sat down and fired 40 rounds out of it in an afternoon. Sure, it kicks, but I wear a past shooting shield, put on over my shooting shoulder and it takes the sting out. .375 will wake you up, LOL. Had a buddy with one. But, I shot it well, just wouldn't wanna put too many down range in a day. Recoil of magnum rifles is over rated. Nothing in a rifle I've fired matches a 12 gauge slug out of my old side by side, a rather light bird gun. I was pointing at 12 o'clock after a round out of that thing. WOW LOL I used to burn a box of 3" mag out of it goose hunting some mornings, sore shoulder for days. If you waterfowl hunt, recoil is just something you have to put up with, LOL. I must admit, I like gas guns now days, though, as I age.

July 20, 2007, 11:20 PM
Also, don't forget that you pay a premium for the WSM. Ammo costs are significant unless/even if you reload. There's not really any reason to go with the WSM over the WM.

July 20, 2007, 11:31 PM
One of the best choices I made in a deer rifle was my REMI 700. One great shooter. I have 3-shot groups out to 150 - 175 yards that can be covered w/ a nickel.

July 21, 2007, 04:03 AM
.300 WSM is definately not too much for whitetails. My 78 year old father in law hunts exclusively with a push feed model 70 in .300 Win Mag. He's never had any complaints, and we've never been a$$ed out at the dinner table...:D

July 21, 2007, 09:20 AM
Also, don't forget that you pay a premium for the WSM. Ammo costs are significant unless/even if you reload. There's not really any reason to go with the WSM over the WM.

Short action, more compact rifle? I like the M7. Now, it's so light, a magnum caliber would kick pretty well in it, but .308 is easy in it and I could load the magnum to .308 levels for most of my hunting and still have the capability for the hot loads if needed.

I really, really prefer hunting with the model 7 to my Savage 110 in 7 mag. It's a lot lighter on the shoulder when you're spot and stalking all day and shorter and easier to maneuver with in a box blind or stand.

July 21, 2007, 10:04 AM
those of you who hunt with the .300 WSM and Win Mag, do you like bloodshot meat?

Unless you are hand loading with a mild charge and a heavy bullet, I can't see how half the deer don't end up a big bloodshot bruise of dog food. Hotrod calibers on light game is a shameful waste of meat IMHO.

Art Eatman
July 21, 2007, 10:09 AM
trueblue, the reason God put a neck on a deer was so you wouldn't ruin good eatin'-meat. :D


July 21, 2007, 10:14 AM
Oh yes, the elusive neck shot. Though I always got the impression the magnum crowd would rather blow a lung out of the opposite side of the animal. To each his own I guess. :neener:

July 21, 2007, 11:30 AM
Shoot behind the shoulder and take the lungs. There ain't much meat in the ribs and what there is, is a pain to get out for the grinder. I found that the best shot for my 7mm Rem Mag. And, the Rem Mag didn't leave a lung cell left in the body cavity. :D I kill 'em just as dead, though, with a .308 and don't have to be so picky where I place the shot.

I cannot imagine having to use factory loaded ammunition in a rifle. What does it cost now days, anyway? I haven't bought any factory ammunition in 25 years. My .308 has never had a factory round fired in it and my 7 has only had a few that a guy at the range gave me.

July 21, 2007, 11:38 AM
Short action, more compact rifle? I like the M7. Now, it's so light, a magnum caliber would kick pretty well in it, but .308 is easy in it and I could load the magnum to .308 levels for most of my hunting and still have the capability for the hot loads if needed.

Well, the short action might be nice, but maybe not necessary. I have nothing against the short mags, and actually hope to get one some day. The ammo is expensive though. And you can load the .300 win mag all the way down to .30-30 levels with H4895 if you want.

Charles S
July 21, 2007, 11:42 AM
those of you who hunt with the .300 WSM ans Win Mag, do you like bloodshot meat?

Much experience with a magnum??

I have not found the 300 WSM to be any more destructive than other high velocity high energy cartridges with the proper bullet selection. My 300s are no more destructive than my 270, probably less so. With a good bullet selection and proper shot selection you really don't ruin much meat.

July 21, 2007, 11:55 AM
Much experience with a magnum??

They are popular in the "hunting camps" down here, most of the time .300 or .338 Win Mag is a total nube stick. Usually there are cracks about armored deer when somebody shows up for a first hunt with one.

"Proper bullet selection? Ha ha ha, biggest and fastest, so thet deer goes down hard" - Average Win Mag owner in Alabama.

I've seen people broadside a spiker with a 200gr win mag, it's embarrassing. But to each his own, the cowboys on the next ranch can wipe their @$$@$ with cactus, for all I care.

Charles S
July 21, 2007, 12:54 PM
Watching other people hunt with magnums does not qualify as experience. Watching newbies shoot magnums does not qualify as experience. Using a magnum is the only way one can gain experience with it and truly appreciate its strengths and its shortcomings.

I shake my head when I see the destruction of a 243 on white tail when the user selects a 80 grain varmint load. Does that mean the 243 is too much gun? Again bullet selection is the key. The cheap 130 gr 270 and 150 grain 30 caliber bullets in the 30-06 are incredibly destructive on a though the shoulder shot. The average user does not feel that the 270 is too much gun for white tails.

IMHO incompetent use of a caliber does not qualify it as a poor caliber. Although many feel otherwise.

The 300 WSM, as I stated, with proper bullet selection can be used on deer. Is is too much gun? No. Is it the best selection? No. I prefer the smaller stuff, but I do not hesitate to hunt with a 300 for white tail when I choose to.

If a user only wanted one gun for most of North America a 300 is not a bad choice. After 25 years of hunting I don't believe they are necessary for 99% of hunting situations, and I believe they are too much gun recoil wise for the average shooter. The average shooter would be better of selective a 270, 7-08, 7X57, 280, 284 Win, 308, 30-06 or an 8X57 for a general purpose rifle.

July 21, 2007, 01:15 PM
Unless I get a chance to go to the King or Kennedy for Nilgai someday, I may never take my big 7 out of the cabinet again except to punch paper. My .308 takes care of everything bigger than rabbits. Were I to purposely go coyote hunting, I might prefer the .257 Roberts, but other than that.... But, I don't own just one gun, either. Even though I don't use my other guns much, just the .308, I ain't selling guns anymore, especially accurate ones. :D Heck, I might buy a short magnum someday, but I don't have any real need for one.

August 1, 2007, 06:18 PM
I wondered the same thing last year. I shot a ton of rifles and went with a .270wsm. I love the selection, almost as much as I love the Tikka laminated SS gun i have it in!

August 1, 2007, 06:36 PM
plum forgot I wrote this...busy, busy, busy & family health issues to attend to;

thank you for your responses...I didn't intend to start a heated discussion;

I decided to just stick with the Remington 760 in .30-06 that my father gave me to deal with medium & large game; I'll do my best to take shots at 150 yards or less and if I need more solid bullets, I'll use the new Federal Fusion or factory loaded Winchester Silvertip, Remington Bronzetip, Nosler Partition, or Trophy Bonded Bear Claw


August 1, 2007, 09:52 PM
:scrutiny:When it came time to settle down to a single choice for whitetails, I picked up a remington 700 ADL in 270. :) I have made a GOOD choice on this one.

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