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Is a 300 win mag too big for deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by tobe, Oct 6, 2006.

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  1. tobe

    tobe Member

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    I was wodering if a 300 is too big for deer,I'm thinking about using my 30.30 but where i'm going I may have a good chance at black bear also.I don't want overkill for deer but I don't want to undergunned for bear either.This is just my second year hunting and I don't want to start off by wounding an animal and not find it.I'm a fairly good shot with both but targets don't suffer.Thanks
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess the way to put it is that the .30-30 will be plenty good so long as you're within your accuracy range.

    To me, the main problem with a .30-30 isn't the cartridge itself. It's the typically low-quality iron sights that come with the rifle; they limit the usable range.

    In the FWIW department, I've always figured that out at your limit for you to hit the end of a beer can from a field-situation hasty rest, is about the limit for shooting.

    Art
     
  3. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    I asked this question last year and the response was pretty much go ahead with the .300 win mag, lots of people had good results, but be sure to use a premium bullet, or you might have problems.

    I load my own, so I can load down to .30-06 type velocities/energy and it shoots really well. I decided this year to just go with 180 gn Speer Game Kings in full power loads, which I read good reviews of. Should be OK. :)

    I'm a noob, so take that with a grain of salt. It's just the consensus from other's opinions I've gathered over the last year.
     
  4. tobe

    tobe Member

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    Thanks for the replies,part of me wants to use the 30.30 I just like it,and part wants to use the 300, I geuss i'll decide before next week .I'll definately
    be using the 300 for elk.Next year I'm going to get a 30.06 or 7mm and I'll be ok with either .Now I just have to decide on which one I want.If I keep talking about it my wife will just tell me to shut up and get 1 a year,oh well just her way of saying I love you.Thanks
     
  5. SRMohawk

    SRMohawk Member

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    Tobe,
    With full-house, 180-gr and heavier loads, a .300 Win. Mag. is so much more powerful than most people -- even those who own and shoot them -- give credit. I've killed one game animal (a 160-lb Fallow deer) with one and seen another handful of deer and antelope killed with them, and in every case the these animals were knocked on their asses same as if they'd been hit with a P/U truck! In one instance, this friend of my father's hit a huge Axis buck with one on our lease in Southwest Texas that we lasered at 440 yards out. Nonetheless, that thing came off all four of it's hooves at once, spun completely around and just dropped like a wet bag of ****! We even saw the projectile hit the side of a hill some 200 yards beyond like it hadn't even passed through a 200+ pound animal's boilerworks!
     
  6. 'Card

    'Card Member

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    I've got a .300WinMag BAR. It's not my preferred deer hunting rifle (I generally use my .30-06 or my .300 Savage) but if my 'plan for the day' involves sitting on one mountain and looking (with binos) across the holler at another mountain, then I'll pull out the cannon for that.

    So I've shot... I don't know, I guess probably 5 or 6 deer with it. Not certain what your concerns might be. It hits hard (on both ends) but it's not like it's gonna blow the deer into bite-size chunks or anything. Practically speaking, entry and exit wounds are pretty much the same as with a .30-06, in my experience.

    My only advice would be that if you want to stay friends with your hunting buddies, and they're standing anywhere near you when you're about to pull the trigger, mention to them that covering their ears might be a good idea. :cool:
     
  7. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    good news for me

    I bought a 300 WSM and it's ballistics are nearly identical to 300 WinMag. I think all applies except handloading workups. I've been told to use 180 grain bullets for everything, in premium grades. But I'm limited to bullet weight due to short action design compared to the 300 winmag offerings.

    I suspect I'll use lighter bullets for smaller game, and as a handloader, I can reduce loads also. But accuracy is key and it may require the higher shooting pressures. Not sure with the longer case of the Winmag. For recoil, I'll go with 150 or 165 for deer, it will handle all my needs until elk, which will be 180 grainers for humane wind bucking long shots.

    jeepmor
     
  8. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    Well.....can you say "overkill"?

    Not that the .300 won't work, but its alot more gun than necessary, even for black bear. You don't give a location, so I don't know what type of conditions you'll be hunting under. If you'll be "in the brush", where shots will typically be short (most of the northern US), I'd probably go for the 30-30. If you have a scoped .300, and may be using it at longer ranges(over 100-125 yrds), then I'd probably go with that.
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I've never been particularly recoil sensitive, but I've never seen the need to endure unpleasantness at my shoulder. I discovered many years back that the old '06 was plenty good enough for most any lower-48 critter inside of 300 yards or so. (Some first hand; some, vicariously from reading.) I'm not gonna knock magnums; I've just never really seen the need. That doesn't mean I don't think folks oughta buy one, of course. It's just that I ain't gonna.

    But the reason I raised the issue of sights in my first post is that for critters inside 100 yards, a .300 Maggie isn't gonna make a deer or bear any deader than a thutty-thutty.

    Of course, if a fella's got a feather in his nether, he probably oughta go buy whatever it is that scratches his itch.

    :), Art
     
  10. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    True , but what happens when you step out of the treeline into a cow pasture/soybean field and see a 12 point standing next to your truck 350 yds away:evil: At that point you're undergunned for whitetail with a 30-30

    A 300 win mag with the right bullets will make a good 75yd deer rifle, However a 30-30 makes for a pretty sorry 300yd deer rifle. For me it's all about having the power there in case I need it.


    How many people who poo poo using magnums for deer have the base 6cyl engine in thier trucks?? The speed limit is only 70 after all. Or for that matter you can watch a 15" TV just fine, Why go bigger.
     
  11. nico

    nico Member

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    I think what a few people have aluded to is that you don't really need any more gun for black bear than you need for deer.

    If you're absolutely not going to take a shot further than 100 yards, I'd go with the 30-30. If longer shots are a realistic possibility, or if there's any chance you'll have a 150+ yard shot, I'd go with the 300.
     
  12. EVIL5LITER

    EVIL5LITER Member

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    I think that if you can't stalk into shooting range with that .30-30 of that 12 point buck, you're a pretty sorry hunter. Maybe you should take up video games?
     
  13. Charles S

    Charles S Member

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    Then I must be a pretty sorry hunter, and if you can stalk that deer with certainty you are a much better hunter than me and out of my class.

    I have hunted for 25 years now and my passion is still hunting in the thickets and bottoms. I love to spot and stalk. I hunt with a bow from the ground and from stands and I have been fortunate enough to kill deer while stalking with a bow.

    I personally would give myself a 95% probability of getting a little closer and having a comfortable shot (depending upon wind, cover, light, and other extraneous variables) with a 270 Winchester or a 300 Win Mag. I would only have to take the time to close the distance to around 300 yards. If the deer was magnificent I might even take a 350 yards shot. I practice often for that eventuality.

    I hunt a great deal with a 30-30, I have a customized Winchester 94 that I handload for and shoot a great deal. I am comfortable with a 175 yard shot with that gun at the outside. I would much prefer a 100 yard shot with my Winchester 94. To kill the above mentioned deer I would now have to stalk within 200 yards of the animal for a comfortable shot and I would be willing to bet the animal just would not give me that kind of time.

    I personally would not give myself a 50% probability of killing the above mentioned 12 point buck with a starting distance of 350 yards with my 30-30.

    I still hunt a lot. I love to hunt in that manner and I am also aware of the many things that can go wrong and cause a deer to flag and me to never get the opportunity to make a shot.

    If you feel that you can make the stalk to cleanly kill a 12 point buck from 350 yards with a 30-30 with certainty I am impressed, you must be an incredible hunter.

    I don’t appreciate you putting down the rest of us with lesser skills.

    I personally believe that a 300 Win Mag is too much gun for white tails for most people, but if you like the gun, can shoot it well and are willing to practice then you will do fine. I personally love the 300 Mag and own two of them; I don’t often hunt with them for white tails.

    The above mentioned advice of using the correct bullets and loads is important with a 300 Mag.
     
  14. AnthonyRSS

    AnthonyRSS Member

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    How big is the deer? I want to make sure it is worth it before I shoot through the deer and put a bullet in my truck. Sacrifices can be made, though.
     
  15. Charles S

    Charles S Member

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    That is just not fair, now I have to clean up the coffee from my keyboard. I am with you though, if the 12 point is big enough....well bullet holes can be fixed.
     
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    PLEASE! Mabye you should lay off the video games. What the heck are you gonna do? Put on your Guillie suit and spend 6 hours closing the distance across a freshly brushogged cow pasture.

    Or mabye you'll go the bugs bunny route and hide behing a cardboard cutout of a bush sneakin a few steps closer when the deer ain't lookin.

    Please enlighten us as to how you "stalk" up on a deer sanding in the middle of a wide open soybean field. Trust me I'ed like to know.

    You know what? you're a pretty sorry BS'er
     
  17. AnthonyRSS

    AnthonyRSS Member

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    I would dress up as an acorn and just have the deer come to me. Then I would jump on it and keel it with a k nife. I've always wanted to do that. Its just so tactical.
     
  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I don't know you'ed have to calculate how the deer size over niceness of truck ratio works out:evil:
     
  19. mio

    mio Member

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    I see a lot of people bring up the shortcomming of the .30-.30 distance. How much do you practice shooting at 200 or 300yrds. Its wooded everywhere that i hunt and i dont practice shooting over 100yrds except to take a shot at the 200yrd target couple times a year at the range just for kicks. I wouldnt feel sure of a kill at that range and if you wouldnt either you should just take the 30.30
     
  20. Stinger

    Stinger Member

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    My guess would be that your average hunter would have better luck stumbling, oops, I mean stalking closer to bambi than they would of making a 350 yard shot.

    Of course, this being the internet, most people on this site shoot about 1/2" groups at that distance. :)

    Most hunters, myself included, can't guesstimate distance well enough to judge 350 yards from 550 yards (yeah, I'm exaggerating a smidge.) Sure, they make a doohickey that measure distances, but I don't need something else to carry.

    I say that since you had to ask, take the 30-30 and take shots your comfortable with.

    Stinger
     
  21. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    If the area you hunt in is likely to present shots of 200 yds or more and you are up to the challenge, I'd use the 300 win mag. If you are hunting in the woods, I would use the 30-30. Also depends on the likelihood of seeing a bear while deer hunting. If the likelihood is better than average, I'd use the 300 win mag. The 30-30 is big enough for a black bear. In general the 300 win mag is un-necessarily powerful for most deer hunting scenarios unless you are taking very long shots.
     
  22. SteveS

    SteveS Member

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    I am sure that the deer will cooperate and stay nice and still as you get closer. I am defibately an advocate of trying to get closer, but sometimes circumstances (such as wind, terrain, and time of day) do not allow you to.
     
  23. DavidAk311

    DavidAk311 Member

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    The 300winmag is a great deer gun....your distance shots are limited only by your abilities, and you get the penetration potential for tough-angle shots...
     
  24. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...have the base 6cyl engine in thier(sic) trucks..." Me for one. And it'll cruise all day a 70mph with no fuss. The .300 mag is unnecessary for deer. Isn't necessary for much of anything in North America. Even big bears.
    Mind you, I'm not a big fan of the .30-30 in a lever action either. Nothing wrong with the cartridge, but generally speaking, lever actions leave a lot to be desired in the accuracy department and the felt recoil is excessive for the power of the cartridge. At least in a 94 Winchester. Then again, lots of black bears have been taken with the .30-30 using the same ammo you'd use for deer with no fuss. Sight in with good ammo and have good peep sights on it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    .30-30 is more'n enough for black bear within 150 yards with a 170 grain bullet. I expect it's killed more deer and black bear than about any other caliber. The rifles are accurate, let no one tell you different. A good lyman or williams receiver ghost ring sight really helps. My friend has a pre-64 with a ghost ring receiver aperture sight and I can put 'em into 2" at 100 yards with it, don't get a whole lot better. Yeah, I don't have, nor have I ever had a 94 or Marlin lever gun, but I won't sell the .30-30 short. I did have a Savage M340 bolt gun once and shoot it in a 12 inch contender barrel now. I load Nosler ballistic tips for deer and Barnes 140 grain X bullets for heavier game like hogs and it has anchored everything I've shot so far, all inside 100 yards. Out of that gun, with those bullets, it's good to 200 yards on medium game from that pistol barrel.

    The .300 mag is excessive, but you don't have to shoot full power and you can choose a heavy bullet that won't tear up so much meat on deer and will still kill bear. Heck, it'll kill BROWN bear, much less blacks. Black bear ain't that tough to kill, thin skinned really, not that I've ever shot one, though, so don't listen to me. :D But, .30-30, .257 Roberts, 6mm Remington, .308 Winchester, I've seen all these calibers recommended as good black bear medicine. If a .44 mag can stop one, I KNOW the .30-30 will. Nobody seems to argue the .44's worth on black bear, even in short barrel handguns. Well, a .30-30 with a 170 grain flat nose has a better ballistic coefficient and is starting out with about 1800 ft lbs of energy, well above a revolver fired .44. Those big flat nose bullets have a better SD and open very reliably on impact. That is what has made the .30-30 a great killer of medium game for 112 years.

    So now, there's one determining factor on which I'd take, RANGE. If you think you might be shootin' out at 300 yards, forget the .30-30. I haven't looked at the new Hornady extended range stuff, supposed to be good, but 300 yards is WAY out there for a .30-30, on the edge of even a good boat tail bullet load fired out of a rifle. The .300 would be the better choice over 200 yards IMHO.
     
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