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7mm Mag vs 300 Winchester Mag vs .338 Winchester Mag for long range shooting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ranger30-06, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Well-Known Member

    Hello guys. It's been a bit since I've posted, but I'm looking to build a bolt gun specifically for long distance shooting (200-600 yards.) I have 3 calibers I'm mainly interested in. The thing is, I don't really know what is best suited for me and what platform to build it on. Now the kicker is.I don't reload rifle caliber nor am I interested in doing it. I know 7mm and 300 Winchester mag are the cheaper options to shoot, however I do like the retained energy of .338 mag.

    The second option is rifle selection. I am biased towards tactical type rifles, and I would like to get a good stock and muzzle break for the gun so aftermarket following is a bit important. Price is a bit of an issue, as I would like to keep it under $600 (already have glass though.)

    I'm thinking either a savage variant or a Remington 700. Has anyone had any good experiences with Remington lately or are they still pushing out garbage?
  2. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

  3. HarcyPervin

    HarcyPervin Well-Known Member

    2-600 yds seems like .308 territory to me since you don't reload. Depending on how often you shoot, you'll save a ton of money and there are a lot of options available.
  4. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Well-Known Member

    Well it seems the military really likes the .300 WM... All those rifles are well out of my price range though.

    If I'm going for a bolt gun, I'm going magnum. I have a .308, and honestly, I want something that shoots a bit flatter once it gets out there.
  5. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Just choose the .300 WM of 7 RM. It all boils down to how much it satisfies your soul. All are capable of hitting the target up to 600 yds. That range is way out there, entails a lot of practice equals to increase cost in ammo.
  6. EchoM70

    EchoM70 Well-Known Member

    If your set on a magnum, how about 300 WSM? It's got all the power of of 300 Win Mag with slightly less recoil, and twice the barrel life of other magnums. The WSM's are starting to become very popular within the long range community, The new 1,000 yard benchrest record was set with a 300 WSM. I think it was a 2.67 inch group. Now keep in mind a stock on the shelf rifle won't do that, but the 300 WSM is more than capable.

    My 300 WSM is the the most accurate rifle I own, It's a Tikka T3.

    Also if your going to want any precision out of any caliber at long range you're going to have start reloading sooner or later. You need that ability to fine tune a load to your rifle, something you're not going to be able to do with factory offerings.
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    The 300 WSM recently set a new 1,000 yard benchrest record. Ten shots into 2.8" @ 1,000 yards. If I already had a 300 Win mag I think it would be foolish to trade for a 300 WSM. But the WSM is just enough better that I think it would be foolish to pick one of the belted 300 mags over a WSM if deciding between the 2.

    You get the advantages of a short action, a lighter gun that can get 98%-99% of the win mags velocity from shorter barrrels and with less recoil. Brass lasts longer and it is easier to reload for.

    BTW 600 yards is not really long range. For hunting purposes a 30-06 is a solid 500 yard elk rifle and a 600 yard deer rifle. Take about 100 yards off that for a 308 and add about another 100 yards for a 300 mag. Any of them are 1,000 yard paper punchers.

    The 7 mag is often overlooked. The 300's offer slightly better energy numbers out to 400 yards or so with almost identical trajectories. After about 400 yards the 7 mags with their more aerodynamic bullets actually shoot flatter and carry more energy than the 300's

    The 338 is stuck in no mans land as far as I'm concerned. It does not really offer any real advantages in power over the 300 mags, nor does it shoot flatter. If I need more power than a 300 mag offers I'm going straight to the 375.
  8. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    I would go .308 or use one of the various 6.5s like the .260 Remington or 6.5-284. More accurate, easier to shoot due to less recoil, cheaper to shoot with a much longer accuracy/barrel life than the magnums.

    Just my .02,
  9. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm liking the way the 7mm sounds here. It seems that .338 has ruled itself out, and .300 WSM is just straight out way too expensive to shoot even somewhat regularly. That leaves the .300 WM and 7mm Mag. The .260 is no doubt a good caliber, but you don't see many guns chambered for it and ammo isn't exactly on every gun store shelf.

    Considering 7mm and .300 WM are chambered in literally every modern bolt gun, is there a specific brand I should really look at? I know Savage offers a "tactical" line with those calibers in it, but they're retail value is close to $1000. How about a plain Jane savage 111 with accutrigger and a synthetic stock? Then I could throw on a bipod and my Nikon I have laying around for under $600...
  10. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    A tikka T 3 or a CZ 550 American Classic. Cost a little more but worth it.
  11. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Savage if I was in the market for a rifle you're describing. From the high quality and excellent accuracy I've seen in Savage's "entry-level" rifles, I would expect phenomenal quality in their upper tier rifles.

    I absolutely agree with the other posters who said a magnum chambering is unnecessary for shots out to 600 yards. IMO .308 and .270 are both readily available and capable cartridges for the range you've indicated.

    Also, if you know you want to get into long range shooting, it may be worthwhile to get into reloading. Something to think about.
  12. Dthunter

    Dthunter Well-Known Member


    I hope you find your dream rifle! Shooting at longer ranges is an addictive sport!
    With your budget at $600.00, It reeaally limits your choices! I shoot both the

    7mag&300WM. Like them both. Both rifles are big heavy guns, so recoil is "nearly" insignificant.

    If it was "me" choosing a caliber for shooting longrange under $600.00, I would go with something like a 7mm08,308win. To get good at long range you have to shoot allot! Cheaper ammo means more trigger time.
    Then after you feel confident at those ranges, get a new setup, or upgrade the standard rig. That way its a neay seamless transition. If you cant afford to purchase over $600.00, do what I did years ago. Save for a longer time, and research more on calibers.
    Go to the ranges and talk to the people who have the rifles
    You like, and weed through the pros and cons of each.

    Waiting can be painful! But spending all your hard earned money on a gun that doesnt fill/perform to your goals, is waaayyyy worse! Been there!! Lol!

    I have stretched my 300WinMag out to 2000yards so far. Its freaking awsome! After 1800yds, it starts to get more difficult to adjust your scope mounting system to have enough adjustment!
    Does the 7mm Mag perform as good?
    Yep! But I have not pushed it past 1000yds yet. Maybe this summer.

    Goodluck my fellow shooter, and may your choices be met with bullseyes at 600yards!
  13. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Well-Known Member

    .300 win mag is my choice. Plenty of go to 600yds and beyond plus you can reload it to fit the hunting application you want.

    For a kill caliber to go beyond 600yards the 338 win mag action is the way to go.

    Couple of thing to consider when kill shooting long distance (400 and beyond)

    Top of the line optics. scope,bino's,spotting scope
    Have all pieces properly fitted to the action that enable long distance shooting.
    Master your resperation blood pressure,heart rate, breathing.
    Learn to "drive" your rifle properly.
    A solid reference of the rifles DOPE
    Understanding how to plot parabalas (math)
    A spotter or two to help find, dope, and recover animal. Terrain changes drastically when walking to the kill site.
    Shoot from an elevated position.
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    If you are going to shoot anything, even as cheap as 308, enough to get really good you will quickly go broke if you don't reload. If you do reload there isn't that much difference in cost between any of them.

    Based on your screen name I'd guess you already own a 30-06. I'd invest about 1/2 my budget into reloading equipment and use the rifle you have. Spend the other 1/2 on upgrades to your current rifle if needed. A 30-06 is one of those rounds where handloads can greatly improve performance over factory loads, and you can do it safely. Most factory loads are very conservative.

    Seriously with a 200 yard zero and good loads a 30-06 has less than 8" more drop at 600 yards than a 300 win mag and only about 170 less ft lbs of energy. You can compensate for the drop, and no animal will notice the small difference in energy. To give the 300 any meaningful advantage will mean a custom rifle shooting custom handloads which are way over your budget anyway.

    You will have less recoil, and less cost, which means more trigger time and better shooting on your part.

    I'm not opposed to the magnum rounds, I own a 300 WSM. They have their place, but few shooters are good enough to take advantage of them.
  15. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Well-Known Member

    if your on a limited budget why build a rifle that more expensive to shoot at targets so close a .223 would be fine?
  16. EchoM70

    EchoM70 Well-Known Member

    +1 This guy speaks the truth.

    I've only been in the long range paper punching for a few months. (just got a good place to shoot and really stretch my legs out... usually I'm shooting between 600-800 yards but I'm getting ready to take it to 1000 soon.)

    I don't know about you but between worrying about humidity, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, parallax, etc... I don't have time worrying about managing magnum recoil or the dust kicked up in my face by a muzzle brake when trying to make an accurate shot.

    Besides if you don't reload the cost of factory ammo especially in any magnum will quickly stop you from practicing.

    Personally I use a .270 win for my long range work. It's kinda unconventional due to the lack of match bullets in .277 but it's worked great for me so far. When I get to where I need more performance I'll switch to my 6.5 swede or maybe my 300 WSM.
  17. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Well-Known Member

    Let me get this out of the way and say yes, I do already own a .30-06, however it's an heirloom 1903 that shoots great but I don't want to do anything to it. If I ever get around to hunting, it'll be my go to rifle.

    That said, I want a long range rifle with power simply because I don't have one. I have a 20" AR for cheap shooting and I can hit out to 300 yards no problem with it. (Never got to try a further distance). I have a saiga .308 good to about 200 yards before the sights really do a number on you. My .30-06 can no doubt hit out to 500 yards, but the way my grandfather sporterized it it's set up for northeastern sub 200 yard hunting. That's it for rifles for me besides a .22.

    Now I do have a reloading set up for doing pistol calibers. The problem is I'm working 60 hours a week, and would rather spend my time at the range then at the bench and I only manage to get to the range about once a month. By the way, decent .308 starts at ~$22 a box, but .300 WM and 7mm is about $25 a box so there isn't a huge difference...

    Does anyone have a comparison of energy retained by .308 vs 7mm vs .300 WM so we can get a realistic idea of how much more energy is actually put out by each caliber?
  18. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Well-Known Member

    where have you found 300wm and 7 mag match ammo for $25 a box?
  19. Ranger30-06

    Ranger30-06 Well-Known Member

    Its all over midwayUSA, just take a look.

    Edit: its not match ammo, just normal hunting ammo. Match ammo is around $35-40 a box. I'm starting to lean towards a .308 bolt gun...
  20. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    ??? 300 win and 300 WSM cost the same in my neck of the woods, the 300 WSM is a but cheaper to handload.
    To anwser the OP 7mm rem, 300 win and 338 in that order, though the barrel burn works in that order too.

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