Best 300 WSM?


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Franco
December 13, 2009, 12:35 PM
I'm looking to buy a 300 WSM and I want (a) accuracy and (b) something that's short/light enough to haul around Western PA woods all day. Stainless preferred. I like the Remington Mountain Rifle but I don't think it comes in 300 wsm. Money isn't really an object but I would like to stay under $1,200 if possible (excluding scope of course). Thanks in advance.

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Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 01:00 PM
The one without the "S" in the name. :neener:

I would (and did, chambered in .270WSM) opt for the Browning A-Bolt (don't care for the X-Bolt too much), but I ended up selling it due to the cartridge (just didn't suit me). Though the rifle was great. FWIW, I think Remmy is grossly overpriced for the quality that they are churning out right now (past rifles were pretty good though).

:)

sprice
December 13, 2009, 01:05 PM
I have an a-bolt white gold medallion 300 wsm... It's awesome and can put three shots into a penny at one hundred yards. Not that I can do that but apparently my gun can ;)

ArmedBear
December 13, 2009, 01:06 PM
Check this one out:
http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535110

FWIW, I think Remmy is grossly overpriced for the quality that they are churning out right now

Agreed, and that's not even accounting for the aftermarket safety I'd add before I ever too one hunting.

Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 01:20 PM
AB, do you have any experience with magnum variants of the new model Winnies? I have heard that some of the chambers are out of spec. (slightly out of round), whether that is common (or true) I don't know. If they are as good as their standard chambering rifles the are a very good rifle for the money.

:)

ArmedBear
December 13, 2009, 03:37 PM
I don't.

These were the first rifles chambered in WSMs, AFAIK.

BUT, those were the guns made in the old plant, so I guess these Winchesters are a whole different animal, built using different machinery, on a different line.

Duly noted. I hope they are done right, because I've been strongly considering one in .300WSM as an elk rifle.

desidog
December 13, 2009, 03:43 PM
A CZ model 3, if you can find one.

snakeman
December 13, 2009, 04:02 PM
Winchester model 70 featherwieght or browning xbolt

surjimmy
December 13, 2009, 04:06 PM
Tikka T3, I have had several different brands of rifles and I have to say this is one of the best. Under $500, using cheap factory Power Points I can put 3 rounds inside a penny at 100 yards. Very smooth action and very accurate.

Uncle Mike
December 13, 2009, 06:06 PM
The OLD Winchesters(just prior to FNH) were indeed rat poo at best, we had units that had bad chambers to scope mount holes either drilled/tapped crooked to not being drilled or tapped at all....I remember one that came in, we could not get the bolt handel to close enough to fire the rifle.

The NEW(FNH) Winchester's are fine firearms, every one we have sold has brought praise from the buyers. The two I shot at the rep show were pre-production and had no difficulties, the other two I have shot(customers guns) have been excellent and about accurate.

jmr40
December 13, 2009, 07:02 PM
Kimber

Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 08:12 PM
The OLD Winchesters(just prior to FNH) were indeed rat poo at best, we had units that had bad chambers to scope mount holes either drilled/tapped crooked to not being drilled or tapped at all....I remember one that came in, we could not get the bolt handel to close enough to fire the rifle.Good to know, looks like AB can look into that new model M-70 after all. I wasn't sure where I had heard about the chamber problems, but it was very likely the old "rat poo" variant. Thanks for the info, Mike.

I really like the new model Winnies, but I am not interested in any of their magnum offerings for a hunting rifle (but I'd love to see a 375H&H Mag.).

:)

MNgunhead
December 13, 2009, 08:23 PM
I have owned remington's, a tikka 30-06, a ruger hawkey and now a savage 111 with the accustock. The Savage outshoots them all. The tikka was a close second and the remington is nothing to sneeze at. I just took my new Savage to the range and the group was a stallar .317" center to center group. WOW!!! I was extatic. The gun is light. The accustock is super rigid and free floated. I wouldn't ask for more. I'm officially a Savage man. I have a model 12 low profile varmint gun in 204. After shooting it, I bought another exactly the same. The first one shoots insided 1/2" groups and I assume the second one will as well. I havent shot it yet. My new 111 in 243 is a barn burner and I'm officially hooked.

huntershooter
December 13, 2009, 08:26 PM
Kimber 8400 Montana. Mine is in 7mm WSM, but is a delight for "still hunting" all day.

Franco
December 14, 2009, 08:32 AM
Thanks. This is very helpful. The Kimber 8400 looks exactly like what I want. Looks like it would take some serious hunting abuse and I know that Kimber has a good name relative to reliability and accuracy. Tikka also looks good but I want to go a little higher end. Thanks again for the help.

haldir
December 14, 2009, 08:53 AM
Savage Arms 14, mine will do .2's at 200, the Kimbers are nice, but it won't be more accurate.:neener:

jbech123
December 14, 2009, 08:57 AM
...Under $500, using cheap factory Power Points I can put 3 rounds inside a penny at 100 yards.
wow...since a penny is ~ .6", subtract .3" for bullet diameter, you've got a .3moa rifle there. Most people are lucky to get that with a heavy barrel semi custom 300 shooting match ammo, even for $3,000...

Franco
December 14, 2009, 11:07 AM
I have a savage 270 Win and really don't like it much. Probably a decent gun but the stock looks a little cheap and I can't hit squat with it. I won it in a firehall raffle.... So, fairly or unfairly, and likely the latter, I'm a little tainted against Savage.

Calling around now for an M70 or Kimber 8400.

Thanks again for everyone's opinion.

Franco
December 14, 2009, 01:51 PM
Wow, just googled for more reviews of the Kimber Montana and you would think that Kimber stole everyone's first born son. There was so much Kimber bashing that I'm having serious second thoughts. I've always had a healthy respect for Kimber pistols and just assumed that the quality transferred to their rifles.

ArmedBear
December 14, 2009, 01:59 PM
Phew.

For a little while there, I thought I'd have to get a Sako. That's heap much wampum, as they say in Finland.

Of course, if I want a decent rifle in .260, I still have to get a Sako.

Can anyone explain why, to get a good production gun in an American cartridge, I have to buy a gun from an Italian company, made in Finland?:D

Franco
December 14, 2009, 03:47 PM
I think the Sako's are less expensive than the Kimber. I'm back to Browning Xbolt, WInchester M70 or Sako. I think I just need to go to the gun shop and hold all of them.

Maverick223
December 14, 2009, 04:15 PM
Can anyone explain why, to get a good production gun in an American cartridge, I have to buy a gun from an Italian company, made in Finland?NO, and I want one too, but the Sako isn't my favorite turn-bolt in its price bracket. I really wish that Winchester would add it to the list, I like it a fair margin better than the 7mm-08, it just fits that case size perfectly IMO. Winchester doesn't have a custom shop do they?

:)

xX45Xx
December 14, 2009, 06:29 PM
I have a Remington Model 7 Whitetail edition in 300WSM. Awesome rifle. Small and lightweight also comes in a nice maple stock.

jmr40
December 14, 2009, 06:43 PM
Kimber had a few problems with early versions. I've read it is best to avoid anything with a SN in the 12,000 range and below. Mine was bought nearly a year ago, SN 25,xxx and has been perfect. I got tired of messing around with different guns and took 4-5 guns into my gunshop in early December of 2008 and put them on consignment. After Christmas I walked out with $2,000+ and bought my new 308 Kimber and had $900 left over. It gave me 10 months to get used to the gun and figure out what it liked to shoot before hunting season.

It did take a little while to get good with it and find the right load. I think a lot of the Kimbers complaints come from people who do not know how to shoot a 5 lb rifle accurately and give up before they learn how to shoot the gun. It does take more attention to detail and good form. A heavier rifle is more forgiving.

Once settling on a load it likes I have not fired a 3 shot group over 1" in a long time. I usually get a few in the 1/2" range out of each range trip. I don't know if I can repeat it but my only 3 shot group at 300 yards went into a nice 2 1/4" triangle. I'll take that any day out of a rifle that weighs 5 lbs. 15 oz. with a Leupold 2.5-8X scope in Talley lightweight rings.

bigred94
December 14, 2009, 06:52 PM
savage by a far shot! i have a model 16 stainless that will out shoot any production gun there is. cheap stocks but very strait shooting guns.

Uncle Mike
December 14, 2009, 10:03 PM
Can anyone explain why, to get a good production gun in an American cartridge, I have to buy a gun from an Italian company, made in Finland?

ROTFLMAO...my hernia hurts now!

I'd like to know the same! I think the euor guys arn't really concerned with what sells the best. More like practicality.

Big Bill
December 14, 2009, 10:47 PM
Why not buy a Win Mag instead of a WSM. If I had it to do all over again, that's what I'd buy. Same performance, cheaper and more availability on the ammo.

Look hard at this rifle...

http://www.savagearms.com/16fhss.htm

Or this...

http://www.savagearms.com/116fhss.htm

Franco
December 15, 2009, 07:55 AM
I thought about the Win Mag but (a) I don't want that much recoil; and (b) it's overkill for deer which is primarily what I'm hunting. As I wrote previously, I'm not a huge fan of Savage just based on my own experience although I have to admit that the guns in your links look damn nice.

I'm going to hit the gun shop today and look at their entire selection (local shop has a huge selection).

Maverick223
December 15, 2009, 11:12 AM
I thought about the Win Mag but (a) I don't want that much recoil; and (b) it's overkill for deer which is primarily what I'm hunting.Uh-oh, sounds like you don't really want the .300WSM either, the wissum is about the same power in factory loadings (but you can handload .300WM a little hotter), and the recoil is nearly as severe as well. It is slightly less due to less powder, but generally the rifle is a little lighter (due to the short action), making it about on par IMO.

:)

gkdir
December 15, 2009, 11:51 AM
Morning folks:

Must have missed something here ! You are wanting a "short, light weight,

300wsm", but you are adverse to the recoil on a 300mag. I have a 300mag in

a Rem. 700, also have a Weatherby 300mag, then we get to the "painful"

part--Model 70- Winchester "Super Shadow--300wsm. This rifle has

everything you would ask for in a light weight platform--nice balance,

all weather composite stock, decent trigger, "push feed action", under

$500.00 ( plus scope), zeroed at 300yds (constant 2") BUT the recoil at

the bench is "punishing" to say the least. In the field ya never feel recoil

anyway, so that doesn't count. Just like the Weatherby--availability of ammo

can be a problem if you are not close to some large commercial centers.

You also state that the 300mag. is too much gun for deer--wait till you see

what happens with a 300wsm before you make that statement. If you are

not shooting a "controlled expansion" bullet, I can guarentee the terminal

impact of a 300wsm, is catastrophic on a deer size target. This post is in no

way intended to dis-alude you from your quest for a 300wsm. Like most gun

guys, their are times when "ya just have to get one"--completely understood.

You will get a lot of good advice on this forum--maybe some not so good-- but

my best advice, if you haven't already done so, is before you purchase a

"light weight 300wsm", ya need to touch one off a few times, and make sure

that any innocent bystanders are sufficently protected from the muzzle blast.

I for one would be interested to know what you decide on. Have a blessed

day, and remember to "keep your powder dry, your rifle close. God sees all,

but sometimes he's busy"

Uncle Mike
December 15, 2009, 12:54 PM
I was thinking the same...if a 300WIN.MAG. punches you too hard, the 300WSM is going to be just as bad...I have more than a few 300MAG's in different platforms, weight, length, so on, and I'm tellin' you, both those 300's will feel the same, the 300WSM, If you get a 'light weight' rifle is going to get your attention if you are sensitive to recoil.

Franco
December 15, 2009, 01:35 PM
Excellent posts. Thank you again. I just assumed, based on other writings, that the 300WinMag was much more punishing than the 300WSM in terms of recoil. I've also read that the 300WSM kicks about like a 30-06. Don't get me wrong, I have a 45-70 and 7mm Rem Mag so I'm no recoil wimp, I just formulated the idea (from googling and reading my Speer #14) that the 300WSM would give "almost" the power of the 300WinMag but with considerably less recoil. I didn't factor in the "lighter rifle" impact on recoil. That makes perfect sense.

I agree that recoil doesn't matter in the field but I also like to shoot at the range.

I'm going to squeeze a couple off before I buy. I'm not wed to a 300WSM but just got it in my head that it will be my next rifle. Thanks for the advice.

Maverick223
December 15, 2009, 01:40 PM
If you decide (or already) reload, you can make the .300WSM into a .308Win. all the way up to true magnum loads for different hunting conditions.

:)

Uncle Mike
December 15, 2009, 01:50 PM
I'll bet a bowl of opossum soup that, given all things equal(weight of rifle, weight of bullet, stock design, shooting position, ect..) you'll be hard pressed to notice any empirical difference in recoil between the two cartridges.

As Mav said, you can 'down load' any of the 300's to 308 performance...but then again, I have never been one to adhere to that practice other than some 7.96X39 stuff I turned down for home defense fodder.

Franco
December 15, 2009, 03:01 PM
Good point Maverick. I do reload. However, if I'm going to reduce the load to 308 level, then why buy a 300wsm.... I honestly don't mind a healthy kick (my 45-70 with a full 300grain hand load forces all of the air out of my lungs), I just thought the wsm would have a lot less kick than the winmag. So, if that's not the case, then I'll likely either (a) drop down to a lesser caliber (7mm-08 or 308 most likely) in a mountain-type lighter rifle or (b) buy a winmag and just accept the recoil. As gkdir wisely stated, I need to pull the trigger on a few to find out before I drop the dough.

jmr40
December 15, 2009, 03:38 PM
How recoil is felt is very subjective, and can be reduced in many ways. If the rifle has a well designed stock with a good recoil pad it makes a world of difference. Some people just feel recoil worse than others. I've owned 6 1/2 lb 300 win. mags that didn't hurt as bad as some 7 lb. 30-06 rifles. I've never fired any of the 300WSM so I cannot say for sure about them, but with the lighter bullets would think they would be tolerable in a light gun. If your 45-70 is a Marlin, and you can handle the recoil, either of the 300's should not be a problem.

Maverick223
December 15, 2009, 04:20 PM
However, if I'm going to reduce the load to 308 level, then why buy a 300wsm...Agreed, why not split the difference and go with a .30-06 (granted I never really cared for the .308Win. for hunting), however the 7mm-08 is another good choice. What is the longest expected shot, and what is the largest game that you want to take. If you don't plan to shoot over about 400yds and use it for game up to the size of large deer, then the 7mm-08 should work well, if you have plans for elk the .30-06 (or my preference the 280Rem.) will be helpful. Both can be had in a nice Winchester M-70 Featherweight, or the '06 can be found in the M-70 Extreme Weather SS.

:)

Franco
December 15, 2009, 04:52 PM
I'm not really a .30-06 or .308 fan -- I've shot both and neither excite me too much.

I have 243, 270, 280, 30-30, 45-70 (yes, Marlin 1895) and 7mm mag currently (along with dozens of misc 22s, shotguns, etc -- I have 3 boys). I don't like the 7mm mag (just can't hit squat with it for some reason and the kick is very sharp). My 270 is a decent caliber but it's a Savage and seems to be cheaply made (just my opinion). As for the 280, good luck finding ammo. I have a lot of deer guns that shoot fine at 200yds, which is about as far a shot as you get in western PA.

The quest for the 300wsm began with research as to something I could use for deer but hopefully take it out west or north for longer shots at elk, moose, caribou, sheep, etc.

I just read that the new Remington 700 XHR with the SuperCell recoil pad really tames recoil. Maybe that's the answer for a .300WinMag. Again, it's not that I'm overly recoil sensitive, I just prefer the 45-70 type "hard push" recoil over the "sharp kick" recoil of the 7mm-mag.

Silent Sam
December 15, 2009, 09:45 PM
Check out the BLR.

Maverick223
December 15, 2009, 09:51 PM
...it's not that I'm overly recoil sensitive, I just prefer the 45-70 type "hard push" recoil over the "sharp kick" recoil of the 7mm-mag.You and me both, I am very recoil tolerant, but greatly prefer the big bore magnums, besides small bore magnums (sub-.30cal.) are very limited in application. I don't mind a .416Rigby, or a .458WM one bit, but something like a .30-378Wby just isn't fun, nor practical IMO.

:)

surjimmy
December 15, 2009, 10:48 PM
jbech123, With my Tikka T3 I can shoot 3 shot groups you can just about cover with a penny. So I guess your right and I was wrong. Some of the hole sticks out if you try to cover it with a penny. I will try form now on not to tell such big lies.

robctwo
December 15, 2009, 11:49 PM
I bought the Browning BAR Stalker in 300WSM a few years ago. It came with the BOSS. Very accurate, reasonable weight, and a very nice auto loader. Just bought the BOSS CR (conventional recoil). Same barrel tuning without the muzzle break.

The recoil is great, the noise is LOUD with the original BOSS. I've loaded down to 100 gr bullets for plinking or small game, but that's really weird with this cartridge.

300WSM is an interesting round to reload, especially for a semi-auto. Really need to bump the shoulder. Perfect for 150-165 gr bullets, not as good for 180 or above.

I liked the BAR well enough to get it in .308 as well.

Franco
December 16, 2009, 07:32 AM
Sam, BLR is nice but wouldn't a lightweight leveraction like that kick like a mule with 300wsm?

robctwo, we can't use semi-autos for deer in PA so the BARs are out.

Any comments on whether the Remington 700 w/ SuperCell recoil pad really reduces recoil to a "soft push" as they advertise?

Horsemany
December 16, 2009, 08:07 AM
Can anyone explain why, to get a good production gun in an American cartridge, I have to buy a gun from an Italian company, made in Finland?

Good question. If it makes you feel any better I've not been all that impressed with my Sako 85 Hunter in 270wsm. IMO they do not deserve their place on the throne many give them. They feel bulky in the wrist, have an overly complicated scope mounting system, long pull from grip to trigger, stiff bolt lift and shoot around 3/4" to 1" @100. By comparison the Tikka T3 has a much smoother bolt, crisper trigger/lock time, lighter, smaller, with a more normal reach from grip to trigger, around 1/2"-3/4"@100. The trigger used in Sako's now is the same trigger as Tikka and was developed by Tikka years ago but now replaces Sako's old trigger. You can tell after dry firing each it was designed for the Tikka. My Tikka's trigger/ and lock time is every bit as crisp as my competition 700 with a $225 Jewell trigger.

No Sako doesn't get my vote for king of the hill.

To the OP....the Kimber Montana meets all your requirements and any feeding issues would be easily cured by a smith. For a great stainless 300wsm it's probably one of the best. Sako finnlight would be another possibilty but I'd rather take the lighter Montana if I were specifically looking for a lightweight mtn rifle.

robctwo
December 16, 2009, 10:01 AM
Sorry you can't use the semi-autos, government concerned you might shoot a deer twice in less time, lol.

All lightweight guns in 300WSM will kick unless you load them down,(buy a .308), or muzzle brake them (very loud for shooter). Expect kick for the weight tradeoff and recognize it's not a bench gun for a long afternoon of shooting.

One of my buddies bought the Browning A bolt stainless in 30-06 a few years ago and has been very happy with it.

If recoil is a real big deal for you, you do not want a 300WSM. I've killed most of my deer with a .243 Winchester model 70 featherweight. I can shoot two boxes of 100 gr factory loads in a t-shirt without discomfort. No flinch, lightweight gun.

I bought the 300WSM specifically for 300yd + shots at elk. Because I reload I can and do load it down, and it will duplicate the .243 with the 100 gr. bullets and reduced charge. For long days at the range I shoot a Savage .223 and CZ .204. Different guns for different scenarios.

The 300WSM will give you a lot of versatility if you want one gun and you reload, otherwise it's just a thumper.

bigred94
December 16, 2009, 11:19 AM
i guess i am not getting the whole picture. i have two 300wsm, one browning a-bolt with a wood stock and one savage with a composite stock. ne the browning i screwed a limb saver pad on and man what a world of difference. the savage has the stock pad on it, but with both guns i can shoot a box or two from each gun at one setting at the range. i had a 300wby and a 300win mag, but those kicked a hell of alot more then either 300wsm i have now. i would not trade my 300wsm for anything. can load a 100gr for dogs and 200 for elk, from a shot action which will cause the gun to be stiffer then a long action. what more could you want?

Silent Sam
December 16, 2009, 11:24 AM
Franco - I have a BLR in 300wsm and felt recoil is not as bad as I thought it would be. Little more than a 30-06 with the same weight bullets. It does bark more than a 30-06. The stock fits me well and they have good recoil pads. To me the point of the 300wsm over a 300wm is the platform. In bolt guns I don't see a big advantage but in a BLR the handling difference between a short action and long action is huge. They are easy on the carry and better than a bolt on horseback.

Maverick223
December 16, 2009, 08:20 PM
In bolt guns I don't see a big advantage but in a BLR the handling difference between a short action and long action is huge.I don't believe the BLR is terribly ergonomic in any chambering, it just feels awkward to me (and I like a lever).

If you decide you want a lever rifle, you may want to take a look at the Marlin 336 chambered in .338Marlin which approximates the .30-06 in power and effectiveness, or the .308Marlin which duplicates .308Win. performance...or you could go old school with a Winchester 1895 chambered in .30-06, .270, et cetera, but that pretty much precludes the use of optics (still an uber-cool classic IMO).

:)

Big Bill
December 16, 2009, 10:08 PM
Franco - I've owned two other 300 WSMs and have shot several 300 win mags; and, IMO the recoil of the WSMs were worse than the win mags. However, other than the price of ammo, I really like my WSM. So, if you reload for it, I wouldn't be afraid to own one. I bet you'll like it better than the 7mm. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Franco
December 17, 2009, 07:54 AM
Thanks Maverick but I think the discussion is getting off course! I already have 3 lever actions (Win 94 30-30, Marlin 1894 cowboy 44mag, and Marlin 1895 cowboy 45-70).

I've been trying to decide if my next big bore should be a 300 wsm and, if so, what's best for lugging around all day (more of a mountain type rifle, not too heavy or too long), is accurate and high quality and doesn't kill your shoulder to shoot 6-8 rounds at the range. What I've learned from everyone is: if you want a 300 anything (wsm, winmag, etc), it's likely going to kick pretty hard unless you reload and customize some less powerful loads. I think I'll be fine with that (I do reload) but I plan on shooting a few different ones before making the final decision. Thanks everyone for the continued assistance.

Maverick223
December 17, 2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks Maverick but I think the discussion is getting off course!Sorry, I'm sure I am at least partially responsible for that.

:)

austin360
December 17, 2009, 01:18 PM
Browning ABolt

Franco
December 21, 2009, 08:37 AM
Closing out this post. I shot two 300wsm and my shoulder didn't like either of them (browing xbolt hunter and weatherby vanguard sporter). Reload or not, it's not my gun. Instead, I'm going to fill a little gap in my collection and get a 7mm-08. Please see my post on remington vs browning in this respect. Still want the mountain gun concept but in a 7mm-08. Thanks all.

Maverick223
December 21, 2009, 11:16 AM
Good decision to shoot first and ask questions later, and to go with the 7mm-08.

:)

Franco
December 29, 2009, 08:18 PM
Thanks to all again. Just had a 3.5-10x44 Zeiss mounted on my Browning xbolt 7mm-08 ss stalker. Damn does it look beautiful, can't wait to shoot it. Putting a bow on it and a note from Santa apologizing for the belated Christmas gift (my wife will get a kick out of that). I'll post a pic soon.

Maverick223
December 30, 2009, 12:39 AM
I'll post a pic soon.Do that...and great choice of optics.

:)

Franco
January 1, 2010, 08:18 AM
Sighted it in yesterday and could thread a needle at 100yds. Very little recoil. The only thing that bothers me (albeit slightly) is that when you cycle the bolt, you have to pull it far back with some effort to get the next bullet to load. If you cycle the bolt mildly, it will feel as if you cycled it but then there will be no bullet in the chamber. It's just going to take a little time to get used to it I think.

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