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.300 Win Mag for whitetail

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Alx98, Nov 23, 2007.

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  1. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    Alright, here's the deal

    I'm looking for a new rifle for hunting. I mostly hunt whitetail deer in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I would also someday want to hunt elk or moose with the same rifle. I was just wondering if the .300 Winchester Magnum would be absolutely too much gun for whitetail.
     
  2. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

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    .300 win mag would work...especially if you reload and can tone it down a bit for up here. I switched over to a .44 mag blackhawk cause of the thicker woods up here and haven't yet come across a deer that was too far away to shoot. .270 is adequete for elk as long as you are a decent shot. .30-06 would do everything you need to do. you pays yer money and takes yer pick.
     
  3. rob4570

    rob4570 Member

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    I shot a browning a bolt II 300 win mag for years from the bench and in the deer stand. the recoil is appreciable and requires practice to master. after I got older and gave up my other hobby of weight lifting I traded that mag for a 7mm08.......
     
  4. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    Well I'm a pretty big guy (6'5 270lbs) so I think I'll be able to manage the recoil. I was just concerned because I've heard that the .300 WM was "too much gun" for whitetail, but I've never really heard why.
     
  5. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    i use the 300 win mag quite a bit for whitetail, antelope, and mule deer. it isn't too much, its about right.

    don't know what the lay of the land is there but if the shots will be close, you'll want to load 180 grain bullets, or 165 barnes x's to prevent bullet blow up.
     
  6. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    welcome to the forum Alx98,
    Nuthin wrong with the .300 for whitetail, I've used it myself, but a 30-06 is certainly adequate for your stated purpose and has the advantage of being less noise, less recoil, less expense. I would also consider the .270
     
  7. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    The 300 wm isn't too much gun for whitetail, just make sure its not too much gun for you though.
     
  8. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    Thanks for your input guys. I guess it's going to come down to whats available for purchase and if I get a chance to shoot a 300 wm soon.
     
  9. stownsend

    stownsend Member

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    I use a 300 WM for whitetail, although out in South Dakota where the range is a lot greater than in the U.P. It will work just fine, the one thing you need to pay attention to is shot placement and range. Too close the bullets are traveling too fast and don't expand and do any damage in the deer. One way that I get past this on the close shots is to aim for bone (sholder). That has worked well for me. This year I switched from 180 gr to 150 gr. bullets in the Winchester XP3 and they did really well.
    I get looks at the range when I am shooting, but who cares, a dead deer is all that matters.
    It might be considered by most to be overkill for the UP, but for future elk and moose, it would be ideal. I say go for it!
    I'd let you shoot mine if you are in the Detroit area sometime. You should definitely try it before buying as the recoil can be enough to scare some people away.
     
  10. Samuel_Hoggson

    Samuel_Hoggson Member

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    I use .300 Wins and Wbys for whitetails. They are not too much. There are equally flat rounds of lesser power. There are equally powerful rounds with less flatness. If you need to reach out someday, the combination of flatness and horsepower will cheer you. Bullet selection is important. I like 180s, and have had great results with those inexpensive Rem PSPCLs.

    All my .300s (have 4) shoot under 1 1/4 MOA for 5 rds. A couple do considerably better than that.

    The nice thing about .300s is that you don't need to step up to anything bigger for the occasional elk or moose. A synthetic stocked gun of 8# loaded is about perfect.

    Sam
     
  11. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Alx...

    Yes, the 300 Magnum is without question too much gun for deer. So is the 30 '06.

    Lots of people have killed deer, elk, moose, bison and all the types of bears with the .270 Winchester. If you just want a newer cartridge you can get the 7mm/08 which will take any game on the continent too. There is absolutely no need at all to use any .30 caliber cartridge in North American hunting. None. Ever.

    HTH :)
     
  12. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    Well, if it is too much gun, then what are the consequences of using it? I keep hearing its too much gun, but I haven't heard why.
     
  13. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Shooting the 300 means a lot more cost, lot more recoil, and lot more muzzle blast than shooting the .270 and yet the 270 gives you all the power and accuracy and bullet designs you'll need for anything. :)

    Using a 300 Mag in North America is like using a snow shovel to eat your morning cereal. :D
     
  14. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    This is a little off topic, but what do you guys think of the Ruger M77's?
     
  15. Markbo

    Markbo member

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    The .300 Winmag is a fantastic cartridge. For 1000 yard shooting competitions, Elk & Bison hunting. Unless your Whitetails live next to a nuclear plant and weigh in excess of 800 pounds, there is absolutely no reason to use that much gun, unless you just happen to love that cartridge/gun combo. It is certainly not needed in any way, shape or form for deer.

    I have shot about 100 deer with a .25-06 - pretty puny compared to the .300 - and I have never, EVER had one walk more than 4 or 5 steps. Neither have I ever had to shoot one more than once. Too much? Shot through the lungs and careful about meat damage, I don't think a .416 Rigby would be too much... but I sure wouldn't want to shoot it much! :D
     
  16. bensdad

    bensdad Member

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    Hi Alx98.

    I don't know anything about your level of expertise, but basing your capacity to deal with recoil on your body size or shape is bad mojo.

    One of my hunting buds is well beyond your weight class (he's a monster), and he can't shoot big guns nearly as long as I can. We were shooting a variety of .30-06 ammo recently (trying to find that magic bullet:rolleyes:) and after about six groups he looked over at me and said, "I'm sorry dude. I can't do this anymore." He went over and started fiddling with his AR while I shot another several groups. I'm 5'6" and 160 lbs.

    I've seen some pretty big guys be afraid of their guns. A .300 WM is one that more than a couple people flinch with. I would never sacrifice accuracy for pride. That's why I'll never own anything beyond the big .300 class.
     
  17. cobrian45

    cobrian45 Member

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    Alx, let me explain. If you are reasonable in your gun selection, there is no such thing as "too much gun". By this, I mean don't hunt squirrel with a .375 H&H. I've guided big game for years and the only time there is a problem is if it's "not enough gun". The phrase "too much gun" has always confused me, and it should confuse you as well. I have a Browning A-Bolt .300 Win Mag and it shoots great. I can kill anything I want with it. I guess the White-tail are 200% dead and the Axis are only 120% dead. I mostly shoot my Rem 700 7 STW, which is also a boomer and it kills them just as dead.

    My suggestion is that if you just love the way the gun feels and it seems to become part of you when you snug up to it, hunt everything with the thing. My STW feels like it shoots all on its own. I mostly head and neck shoot, but don't shoot a smaller caliber because I don't want to and I have confidence and love the gun. If it is a bit too much for you (either cost or recoil), and it's not enjoyable to shoot then look for other alternatives based on that.

    .300 Win is a not a bad round at all if you are looking to get something you can use across the board and get almost any ammo variation your little heart desires. I admit, .308 is a great round and .270 is fine as well. It all boils down to you and your gun. Will you have confidence in the gun no matter what walks into your hunting area? Does it feel good and shoot well? These are the things you should be concerned about, not what someone's opinion is on level of gun vs game animal. Make yourself happy and shoot the heck out of whatever you buy. Just make sure and get a quality scope for goodness sake. Don't spend good money on a good gun and put crappy glass on top. Your shooting experience will increase 10 fold with good gun AND good optics with solid mounts.
     
  18. homers

    homers Member

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    Get a 270, 308 and '06 or look at some of the 7mm's.

    God, how I miss hunting whitetails in the UP. I bagged a few using my Ruger M77's - 243 and 7x57 back in the 80's.
     
  19. Shell Shucker

    Shell Shucker Member

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    I have to agree with Bensdad; your physical size has little to do with your ability to handle recoil. It may even work against you. A smaller person has less inertia for recoil to overcome and will "roll with the punch" easier than a large person with a lot of inertia to overcome who remains stationary longer and thus "takes the hit". Recoil tolerance is an individual thing.

    I believe it is a hunters responsibility to us "enough gun" to reasonably take an animal cleanly. A hunter should not shoot more gun than they can shoot accurately. If they cannot shoot the "minimum" accurately they should not be hunting. That being said: no sporting caliber is to much if the hunter can shoot it accurately. I'm not a fan of recoil and prefer the lighter loads.
     
  20. achildofthesky

    achildofthesky Member

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    I had a similar connundrum for a while...

    So I bought a 338WM. Then gave in to owning more than 1 rifle. The 300WM with lighter constructed bullets tends to overdrive the bullets ability to hold together resulting in a lotof meat destruction. Or going with a heavier bullet construction, little expansion. I thought I saw someone is offering a new line of cartriges for magnums with the sales pitch of 1 caliber & 3 distinctly different purposes. Perhaps this may help. 1 gun hunting is good from the sense of developing shooting familiarity and "comfort" with a given rifle, but like most things in life pretty much all calibers are a compromise when considering a wide variety of game quarry.

    Be safe and have fun looking for your weapon of choice!

    Patty
     
  21. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Alx98;

    The reason many regard the .300winmag to be "too much" for deer relates to "what does it take" to put down a deer, vs. whats excessive and "over kill". Or put another way, do you plan to eat the deer you kill?

    Having taken (legally) deer with most every thing from .22rf to .45/70 loaded to near .458winmag level, to include 20ga and 12ga shotgun w/slugs and buckshot........(except for anything with 6.5mm bore)

    You can certainly kill deer with a .300, but if you don't use certain discresion in choosing bullets/loads, you can end up with a badly shot-up deer.

    A 150gr bullet with a frontal shot to base of the neck will ruin approximately 40% of the edible meat, and if deer isn't taken directly to cooler, or butchered immediately, will ruin the whole carcass (ask me how I know........ 25yrs experience as a gamewarden/wildlife biologist and over 300 deer taken not to include those shot as depredation/population control/research). I've seen many-many deer taken by hunters besides those I killed myself (literally thousands...)

    If you DO intend to go elk,moose, bear hunting; the .300winmag may be the best rifle for you. However, if you "might some day" go hunt the aforementioned game, something with less recoil and expense will be better.

    I loaned what I consider my "go too" rifle for ANY N. American biggame to a close friend to go on a "hunt of a lifetime" for ELK. He took (cleanly!) a 1,200lb 6x6 elk with my Remington M7 in 7mm-08. He declined to use my: .338/06, .300RUM, .30/06, because of an old sports injury to his "gun-shoulder. That and at 10,000' elevation, a 11lb rifle is MUCH heavier than a 7lb rifle after walking 7-12mi. BTDT too....

    For your purposes, I'd suggest a .30/06. You can never go wrong with the ole '06. But the 7mm-08, .270, 7mmMag, ect. do just as well.

    If you do get the .300winmag, use a 180gr bullet(or heavier) and avoid "lengthwise" body shots on your deer, unless you are shooting at a "trophy" and don't care if the meat is "pre-tenderized". The 150's are just a bit too explosive for close range shooting on "meat" deer.
     
  22. Will Fennell

    Will Fennell Member

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    too much for the deer, or the shooter.....

    I get asked this question a lot in my hunting circle, and here is my answer...

    The question should be "is a 300 mag too much for the shooter?" There is nothing magical about a 300 WM.....it is just a 30/06 with a bit more velocity......just think of it as an '06 with another 100-150 yards of usuable range. But the price you pay is NOTICIBLY more recoil. And as the above poster mentioned, with the wrong bullets and short ranges, it can destroy a bit more meat.

    I take a lot of folks hunting on my farm, and its a given that we see more deer MISSED with big bore magnums than .270's, and .308's and other, milder cartrigdes.

    I would think about buying a nice deer rifle, in a nice cartridge that you can shoot comfortably, and a good scope for it.......then when that "someday" rolls around and you get to head off on a Elk or Moose trip, if you think you still need a bigger rifle.....get one, and just move your scope over to your new big bore for that trip.
     
  23. SammyIamToday

    SammyIamToday Member

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    I have one in 7mm Rem Mag and its a pretty good shooter. Stainless leftie model. Before deer season this year I was getting 1.5" groups with it using a couch cushion as a rest (not a good rest). I think it (and I mean me) could do better if I had a real rest.

    I think this generally refers to meat destruction. I'd imagine the 300 WM can punch through both front shoulders pretty well which could result in the loss of a good amount of deer meat. Granted the front shoulders don't have as much meat as the rear legs do, but you'd still lose some. Smaller rounds might not make it all the way through and thus save you a shoulder.

    Have "too much gun" doesn't necessarily mean that the deer die any faster either. The doe I shot a couple weeks ago crawled about 15 feet with a baseball sized exit wound that broke the far leg. One lung and the heart were gone when I field dressed her (7mm Rem Mag). On the flip side, last year, I shot a decent sized 7 pointer with a .25-06 and he dropped on the spot (same shot placement).

    The 300 WM will easily meet your requirements of a whitetail, elk, and moose gun, but you could do that with a .30-06 or another caliber and save money, rifle life, your shoulder, etc.
     
  24. Geno

    Geno Member

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    The .300 Win Mag is almost as-good-as the .300 Wea. Mag that I used to use. I currently use a Weatherby Mark V, blued, synthetic, with a Leupold 4.5-14 scope, chambered in .300 Win Mag. The cost of ammo is so much more reasonable.

    Doc2005
     
  25. Alx98

    Alx98 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I have my eye on a Ruger M77 in .300 win mag, but with the info you guys have provided, I'm going to try and find one to shoot before I buy for sure. I definitely understand the reason for accuracy over velocity. Nothing I hate worse than a wounded deer.
     
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