Handloading 300WSM VS 300 Win


April 5, 2011, 12:10 AM
OK my hunting buddy is dead set on replaceing his 308 with a 300 mag, he has shot them before and does not mind the recoil. He has been asking me about which mag I would recomend since I usualy handload for both of us. My Nosler manual has the old 300 win faster in almost every bullet weight, common sence would agree since the old school 300 has a larger case. Then there is the issue of the long belted mag vs the unbelted short action. I got rid of my belted mags before I started reloading, but have heard that the case life on the belted cases is shorter. I personaly don't put alot of stock in the short action being much more accurate, I think at hunting ranges one would be hard pressed to see any difference. All that said what would you guys reccomend for a power happy hunter.

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April 5, 2011, 12:24 AM
WSM, I have read the belt complicates things that the WSM doesn't due to not having a belt.
Also the short action has a shorter bolt throw for follow up shots, and the WSM just looks mean :evil:

April 5, 2011, 12:31 AM
I have rifles chambered for both and my vote would be the .300 Win Mag for one reason and one reason only ... if you need to buy factory ammunition, you'll probably have more luck finding .300 Win Mag. Other than that, they're both excellent cartridges with very similar performance in terms of accuracy and ballistics. Case life for the .300 Win Mag is not an issue for me since I bump the shoulder back as little as possible so that the case is supported at the belt and the shoulder. The long action vs. the short action thing is really down to personal preference given that rifles chambered for either cartridge from the same manufacturer often have the same weight and the long action is typically less than 1" longer in overall length. Scope mounting with some brands can be problematic on long action rifles but a Picatinny one piece base can overcome that issue easily enough.

April 5, 2011, 12:35 AM
Also the short action has a shorter bolt throw for follow up shots, and the WSM just looks mean

That's irrelevant when talking about the .300 Win Mag and .300 WSM. With a typical hunting weight rifle, you won't have a fast follow up shot. You'll be too busy trying to reacquire the target, during which you'll have plenty of time to chamber another round.

April 5, 2011, 07:37 AM
Well I have a 300WSM and my brother has a 300 WM. I reload for both if them. The performance while hunting moose and white tail where we do is identical and either one can take the others rifle and do the same with it as using our own. With the reloading aspect the only thing is there is less volume in the case with the WSM and saves on propellant used by a SMALL amount. I have the WSM because a fellow purchased it then found the factory ammo was way expensive then sold it to me cheap.:D I reload and find it not so.:D

April 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Ballistically, they are about the same until you get into the heaviest bullets where the long magnum will have an edge. I don't load for those particular calibers, but I do reload .270WSM and 325 WSM as well as a couple 7 MM RM. I can say that the short magnums are a bit easier to handle in regards to sizing issues. The belted mags can present a challenge to FL size sometimes. But it's not a major factor. True, the shorter action means a shorter faster throw on the bolt. But the magazines hold one less cartridge because they are so fat. But in real life, those issues are faiirly insignificant.

Honestly, I do like my WSMs but the reality is that part of the reason I like them is just to be different than everyone else around here.

April 5, 2011, 09:53 PM
I thought that the old win mag would have the edge in heavier bullets too but my manual (Nosler #6) has the old 300 faster in every weight EXCEPT the 220gr! This is 180 degrees from what I have read everywhere else. Mind you the difference is under 100fps in the lighter bullets and single digits in the 220s. The Nosler tests were done with a 24" barrel on the 300 win and a 26" on the WSM so for the same barrel length the old 300 win would be noticably faster across the board. Why is it that the WSM usualy comes in a 23-24" tube while the standard barrel on the old win mag is 26"? Does the WSM case really burn off it's powder charge that much quicker?
Too much kick for my skinny butt to handle, I'll help him reload but my buddy is on his own come range day, my 270WSM/7mm Rem mag with max loads is all the bang I care to shoot from a prone position or bench, even those are a massive overkill on ANY whitetail that ever lived IMHO.

April 5, 2011, 10:08 PM
Hehe just get er over with and get a 338. There will be no more complaints about a 300 WSM barking.:D

April 5, 2011, 11:10 PM
No way, I like my shoulder right where it is! Recoil is subjective to how you are shooting, I can shoot anything standing or kneeling since my upper body can move with it, but shooting prone or on a bench hurts with the mule kickers. I can handle 3" magnum slugs all day from my lightweight tactical 12ga as long I move with the recoil. 90% of the time I hunt with my 6.5x55 rather then my magnums simply because my T3 is scarry accurate, easy to carry around, easy on the shoulder and has quickly killed everything I have put crosshairs on, what more could you ever ask for?

April 6, 2011, 01:55 PM
I shoot and load for both.Neither one will do anything that the other will not do.The pros and cons of either are so minor as to not be a deal breaker to me.As to loading for them,resize that belted case like any other case and the belt pretty much turns into the useless appendage that it really is.:) Lightman

April 6, 2011, 03:44 PM
I can't stay out of this one!

I got one of the first 300 WSM rifles to get to the local Browning dealer, back in 2001-2? anyway, there was no loading data, new cases, or dies on midway. The gunshop had dies, and 2 boxes of factory loads. I broke in the barrel with the factory fodder, and by then Winchester had some loads using 760 powder.

The short-fat body of the WSM family is more efficient than that long skinny powder column of the win mag. Therefore, you can use the midrange burn rate powders and usually not need a magnum primer. You also get magnum velocities with 10% less powder. That of course means higher pressure, TANSTAAFL,(There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). IOW, you can't get higher velocities without higher pressure. The lower powder charge means less recoil too.

The WSM that I have is a blued Browning A-bolt stalker. It's short and LIGHT! I emphasized light because I'm getting less able to carry heavy rifles in my older years. The old heavy barrel .280 was a chore to lug around.

They're called mountain rifles because hunting in the mountains usually requires carrying the rifle many miles. 10 pounds in the morning is still ten pounds that evening.

2 Wild Dueces
April 6, 2011, 08:13 PM
I have owned a few belted magnums including a 300 Win chamber (in a Browning A-Bolt Stalker( before buying a 300 WSM. I didn't buy the 300 WSM so much for any ballistic improvements....rather I purchased a hoped-for improvement in long-range accuracy and the action size, weight and other features on the gun purchased.

I bought a Kimber Montana in 300WSM which has a receiver sized to meet the needs of the WSM. This allows the bullets to be seated out near the rifling and still fit into the magazine. Mine turned out to have very reasonable accuracy and the recoil has been very manageable for the weight of the gun. The action functions smoothly and I like features on my rifle. The two posts above are right-on with their assessments of the 300's too IMO. :)

Cranky CJ
April 6, 2011, 10:20 PM
They are about even ballistically. The hard core old school thinkers have never really opened up to the WSMs, but the platform works.

Take your pick, or pick the one you can get the best deal on, or go with what you really covet having, that way you will be satisfied.

Personally having an A-Bolt 300WSM, I like the shorter bolt throw and the light weight. As somebody else said, 10lbs at 6am feels like a lot more at 6pm.

Don't have a 300 mag so I can't comment on it, but those that have them usually swear there is nothing better in the 300 caliber.

April 7, 2011, 12:42 AM
I would consider a 300 for myself if I found one with a REALLY good recoil pad and mabey a muzzle break, not that I would ever need that much umph here in South Alabama, but who knows one day I might get invited to hunt with my friends uncle in Alaska. I really like my lightweight 270WSM I think it is about as fast and flat shooting as a rifle can be without gettting into the barrel burner catagory (264 win mag/ 257Wby/ 7mm STW/ 30-378) It shoots a little flatter then my 7mm rem mag did, and kicks noticably less too.

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