.300 Win Mag Cartridge for Deer?


November 6, 2003, 08:36 AM
Okay, I've backed myself into a corner, maybe, and I could use some advice. I have a new Winchester Model 70 Classic LT in .300 Win Mag that I've sighted in with two different loads - at least I know where they hit.

The Remington Express CoreLokt 180 g hits about a half inch high at 100 yards, and would be fine for hunting Virginia woods Whitetailis. So would the Federal Premium 180 g with Nosler Partition which hits about two inches high. I feel confident that I could use either load and hit a deer in the vitals in my normal hunting area.

I understand that these loads might penetrate too much on a Whitetail, and that's my problem. When I bought this rifle I didn't plan to use it deer hunting, but during sighting-in, it showed preliminary indications of being a very accurate rifle, so I'm thinking about using it. My problem is that I may not have the opportunity to visit the range again for sighting in a more reasonable deer bullet, and if I use the new M70, I may have to go with one of those two rounds I've already tested. Both appear to be equally accurate, with one group each showing MOA accuracy. This is hunting, so that's fine. (I'll need more and longer groups before I'm prepared to claim this as an MOA rifle, though.)

Okay, so which .300 win Mag cartidge would be best for ~100 yard deer hunting, the Remington CoreLokt Express 180 grain, or the Federal Premium Nosler Partition 180 grain?


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November 6, 2003, 08:50 AM
Unfortunately for you, both rounds will cause approx the same wound damage and destroy a lot of otherwise usable meat. That round is really too powerful for almost deer and is better suited for elk and other larger weight animals. If you do decide to use it, take the largest deer possible. Sorry I wasn't more help.

November 6, 2003, 09:17 AM
Of the two, I would use the Remington.

November 6, 2003, 10:48 AM
Jhaislet, are you certain? I would have thought the problem was the opposite, with a heavily-constructed bullet plowing right through a light-bodied deer without having a chance to open up. I'd like to use one that will open up the best. I've never hunted with a .300 Mag before, though, so I'm willing to learn.


November 6, 2003, 11:24 AM
I have to vote with Jaywalker on this one. I hunt whitetails with the 300 Win Mag. I am in a situation where I need then DEAD RIGHT THERE! So, I use 150 Nosler BT's which open VERY quickly out of the 300. I try NOT to hit heavy bone or much edible meat and it WILL put them DRT!

Heavier, tougher bullets will not expand much but WILL give you 2 holes-one in and one out-a GOOD thing in case you need to track them.

Don't worry that they won't work for you!

November 6, 2003, 11:41 AM
I have a friend who uses a 338winmag to hunt deer (it's his do all rifle and he's even used it to harvest a black bear when the seasons overlapped last year). His handload uses the Nosler Partition. I don't know the weight offhand, but it's probably in the middle as far as 338 weights go. He's never complained about destroying meat, nor does he have to track the deer.

I know it's a different gun, but the performance shouldn't be too far off.


November 6, 2003, 11:44 AM
Thanks, all.


November 7, 2003, 03:26 PM
I have shot deer with both bullets from a .300 Win. Both were handloads in the 3000+ fps range. The Core-Lokt made a huge mess. The Partition was ok. Under no circumstance would I recommend light or lightly-constructed bullets at that velocity, due to the mess they make. X bullets have worked ok for me also, and I am going to try 180 Scirrocos. Also, there is no such thing as too much penetration. You should assume that your bullet will go all the way through and be sure that it is a safe direction, regardless of the load.

At 2600-2700 fps, the .30/180 Core-Lokt bullet works very well, as do the Federal Hi-Shok and Nosler Ballistic Tip.

November 7, 2003, 03:36 PM
Byron has shot several deer with 150 grain bullets from his .300 BAR.

He says he will not do so again. He still uses the BAR*, but has gone to 180 grain bullets to cause less tissue damage. Either you mention should open "at least enough".

As 45 says, there is no such thing as too much penetration. I shot a deer just before dark last night with a 12 GA RR 1 oz slug, which penetrated all the way through. Since he was running, I hit him a little far back, and was VERY thankful for the blood trail (easier to get from total penetration).

*And must like it, since he has other options from .308 all the way to .458 Mag!

November 7, 2003, 03:47 PM
use the core-lokts. they'll be fine.

November 8, 2003, 05:56 PM
Thanks again. It sounds as if I don't have as big a problem as I had thought. The "reasonable deer bullet" I mentioned in my lead post was a 150 grain, and from what I read, I probably wouldn't want that anyway. As long as it doesn't much matter, I'll probably use the Federal Premiums, since they're sighted in at two inches high at 100 yards. That gives me a longer "point blank" range, if I need it.


Al Thompson
November 8, 2003, 06:01 PM
.300 WM will work fine. It's only about (max) 300 fps faster than an '06. The Nosler's will be very hard to beat.

November 8, 2003, 06:16 PM
In my experience, don't go lighter than 180 grains in the .300 Win Mag or the deer will look like it was hit with a hand grenade. The 180 grain Core-Lokt should work just fine, and it is a heckuva lot cheaper than the Nosler Partitions. For deer-sized game, with the .300 Winnie, premium bullets are unnecessary in my opinion.

Just my .02,

Matt G
November 8, 2003, 09:07 PM
Having shot three whitetail with the admittedly overpowered .300 WM, I can only point to my personal experience, with 180g (Sierra GameKing) BTSP bullets. My handload out of a 26" barrel had them moving at over 3100 fps, and all three were hit at distances between 50 and 110 yards.

Hit behind the shoulder broadside, two good sized doe had through-and-through hits that took both lungs, causing each to manage only 30 or so yards before expiring. The damage to meat was minimal.

Hit in the upper chest, a large buck went down, with enormous damage to the left backstrap before the bullet exited. I suspect that similar damage would have been found with an '06 150g bullet. My personal take on this issue of meat damage is now this: don't worry about destroying shoulder meat on a whitetail. There's just not that much there. Spare the backstraps and hams. I'm much more worried about the meat in the neck than the minimal meat in a whitetail shoulder (especially out of TX, where even the biggest (200 lb) buck had maybe 2 lbs of good meat per shoulder). So my policy now is to bust the shoulder. [gasps are heard from the gallery]

The .300 Win Mag truely shines with the 180g spitzer. Certainly you can have faster velocities with the 150 or 165g bullets, but in 180g, it catches up to either by 300 yards. It has a much better sectional density. It will not blow up at 3000+ the way 150's and even 165's can. It is superb for elk and even moose, and takes more than a few bear.

I would not hesitate to use either load, but if your shots are likely to be under 100 yards, I might lean more toward the (frightfully expensive!) Nosler Partition loading, to remove worries of overexpansion. That said, the CoreLokt is a great value, that's more than adequate, and cheap enough to practice with.

Hey, here's a thought-- shouldn't this be in the Hunting forum??? :confused:

November 8, 2003, 09:56 PM
Ah, but the cost issue doesn't apply here, since I have the Federal Nosler Partitions already. I'd have to buy more Core-Lokt - most were used up in the sighting in process. ;)


Byron Quick
November 9, 2003, 05:03 AM
As John said, I won't be using 150 grain bullets to hunt deer with a .300 WinMag again. Darn things blow up and fragments go every where. I managed to puncture every single organ in the thoracic and abdominal cavity with one shot using a 150 gr bullet.

I don't know how many deer I've killed with the .300 WM. Probably around 30. The only one I lost was the closest shot I've taken...about 30 yards.

However, beware of the overpenetration of this round. I wounded a deer behind the deer I was aiming for. Didn't realize I had hit it too, so I didn't go looking for it. Found it a couple of days later.

November 9, 2003, 06:10 AM
Hard choice! I know how hard it is to get range time. Neither load is ideal, but if I were you, I'd go ahead and use the partitions this year.

1. You already have them and they shoot well enough.

2. They are not going to blow up at short range.

Pretty much what Matt G said!


Nero Steptoe
November 9, 2003, 11:36 AM
.300 WM will certainly take deer @ 100 yds.; of course, so will just about any centerfire rifle round. I personally think that the thunderboomers are silly for short-range whitetail hunting. My choice would be a .243.

Mr. Chitlin
November 9, 2003, 11:43 AM
It is always interesting to see people comment on the cost of bullets for hunting. The MOST important element in hunting is the one that at times is the most argued. In practice, what if you shoot 20 or 30? What if you shoot 50? Partitions at $20 per 50 are not that expensive at 40 cents each. Spend $500+ on a rifle, no telling how much on a scope, accessories, clothing and what ever else. The gas to get there, food, licenses etc. Then worry about a 40 cent bullet?? Shoot the best and most accurate you can get. It is miniscule as to what it adds to the cost of the trip.

November 9, 2003, 12:01 PM

Some of us like to shoot our hunting rifles with our hunting loads. A $0.40 bullet gets expensive real quick. I've had my 6.5x55 Win featherweight since Febuary and I've already spent (and consumed nearly all of) $280 on ammo (not counting range fees and loadbooks), half of that being handloads using Sierra bullets. My $100 investment in Sierra Bullets would've been $200 alone if they were Partitions. By my count, I've run nearly 600 rounds through the rifle. That works out to about $0.47 per cartridge or about $9.40/box.

Of course, if I were shooting a 300WinMag, those numbers would be significantly lower. :D


November 9, 2003, 01:28 PM
Nero Steptoe: I personally think that the thunderboomers are silly for short-range whitetail hunting. I have to agree - at least I did in the past. There's no reason you should be aware that I posted an apologia about this rifle in October. The entire thread was met by collective yawns by TheHighRoad community, and consisted entirely of my original post and no responses. M70 Classic purchase (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=44325)

Perhaps folks didn't want to be involved with someone who was as obviously conflicted as I was. I bought it on looks, and that's totally unlike me, but since then I've discovered it has hidden talents and I'm willing and anxious to give it a try in the woods. Bought it on lust then fell in love, and there's no accounting for love.

Mr. Chitlin, it runs higher than that for me, since I don't handload. That's a personal problem, I know, but unfortunately, demands on my time don't allow another time sink hobby. So, I practice with what I can afford, as long as they're reasonably close to hunting performance.

I suspect I'll never reach the level practice as mtnbkr has. I know - I need a lighter-kicking deer rifle to practice with... I hope the store doesn't have a .338 I can't live without. :D


November 9, 2003, 01:45 PM
I suspect I'll never reach the level practice as mtnbkr has. I know - I need a lighter-kicking deer rifle to practice with... I hope the store doesn't have a .338 I can't live without

LOL. I started out looking for a 338 because I already had a 30-06 and thought I should go bigger ('cause those Virginia whitetail are monsters and have to be put down quickly...). I kept stumbling across references to the swede and next thing I know, I've changed my mind. I never thought I'd have anything smaller than 30cal. I'm glad too because I love shooting this thing.

I wouldn't really call it practice though. More like aimlessly (no pun intended) burning powder in small amounts.


November 9, 2003, 08:27 PM

I had virtually the same experience when I bought my M70 Sporter in .300 Win Mag. - Except mine is a left-hand and I didn't completely satisfy the urge until I'd dressed it in Swarovski glass.

It's my "someday my brother and I are going to do that elk hunt in Wyoming..." gun. :D


gun pimp
November 9, 2003, 09:28 PM

I've been shooting a .300 Win Mag at these SC whitetails since 1982 when I bought it used. I used the 150's for a while and it really tore up the meat. I started using Winchester Sepreme 180 gr. Silvertips and the story ends there. I bought a Browning A-bolt in .300 WSM this year. Can't wait to see how it does. The 150 gr Federal Supreme Trophy Bonded Bearclaw is a great round in 150 gr if you can stand the $$$$$.

November 10, 2003, 12:14 PM
I unfortunately shot only one whitetail deer with my .300 WM and it was with the Rem. 180 gr. corelokt. The doe was only about 10 yards from my stand and I was shooting down a bit. Bullet hit high striking the aft portion of left shoulder and exitted through the lower right shoulder. Exit wound was ghastly. Both front shoulders and most of the meat around the front of the animal was completely ruined. .300 gets used only for bear and elk now.

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