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Thread: 300wsm vs 325wsm

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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    Default 300wsm vs 325wsm

    I have been in Alaska for almost two years now. I did not hunt last year I concentrated on fishing and missed this year's hunting season do to some traveling oversea's for the government. I have been doing alot of looking around and reading on these two calibers. Im stuck in the middle on which one to purchase. Im looking for all around type of rifle for Alaska and I know both of these are. Can someone give me there opinion on which one to go for the 300WSM or the 325WSM.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I wrestled with that exact question about 5 years ago or so...ultimately it will come down to what's important to you and what game you hunt. .325 is slightly more frontal with less ammo choices in factory loads. The .300 is more common but you give up some frontal area. Some folks don't like the 8mm because there aren't 5000 different bullets for it like the .30 cal...but there are enough good ones to make it worthwhile.

    I got the .300WSM and it's performed very well, but I've often wondered when (if ever) I shoot out the barrel it won't come back to life as a .325.

    Pretty tough to go wrong with either really and in the field the performance would probably be remarkably similar.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Being practical by nature, in your shoes I'd only go for the 325 if I reloaded, the 300 if I didn't. Truthfully I'd be happy with either and would reload for both.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Why just one rifle?

    If you are going to be hunting only in AK from now on then the 325 makes more sense if you are looking for just one rifle and reload. With any of these short mags you should hand load and tune the load to your rifle.

    If you will be headed to more open western deer and elk country then the 300 might make more sense for a one rifle situation. Still hand load for the tuning.

    Or you can be like me and find a obsolescent 300 SAUM in a stainless Model 7. Build some hand loads since ammo is nearly impossible to find and have a great rifle with a great cartridge that kills anything in AK and North America that you will want to eat. Probably the last working rifle I will need.

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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    Im going to be hunting for moose, caribou, and bear. I will probably will not be reloading but that could change as my gun collection grows. Thank you for you input it has been helpful especially since you own a 300WSM. i had my mind made up with the 300 but started researching the 325 now im torn between the two. At least I know I can't go wrong

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    question AK Ray - "IF" the 300 SAUM is "good enough" for AK then why on earth wouldn't the 300 WSM ??

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    For versatility's sake only, I would go with the 300 WSM - A "good" rifle should shoot 200 grain bullets when you feel the need to go heavier and with 165's or 180's you've got everything covered from AK South to Mexico - "I" must agree with most others here though, why have 1 when you can perfectly justify 2 ??

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin0718 View Post
    Im going to be hunting for moose, caribou, and bear. I will probably will not be reloading but that could change as my gun collection grows. ...At least I know I can't go wrong
    If you're sticking to factory loads the .300WSM makes more sense as it's much more available with a wider variety of factory loads. In my experience, the .300 works best with the 180gr bullet@ about 2950fps and I'd pretty much shoot anything with one. I wouldn't go looking for a coastal bear with one on purpose but anything else- no problems. I've also found the .300 (and no reason the .325 wouldn't be the same) a breeze to load for. The .300 has the case capacity to push 200 and 220gr bullets to meaningful velocity but modern 180s are so good I personally don't see the point anymore. Out of about a dozen critters with the .300WSM, I've yet to recover a bullet.

    If you were already a reloader the advantage might swing to the .325 and several members here have used some .325s to excellent effect (stid and snyd off the top of my head). But in factory loads the .325 is pretty much a 180-220gr cartridge.

    In the open country I've found the .300 to be an excellent caribou/sheep rifle and can be made very light and I've seen two moose and a black bear taken with a .300WSM as well. Paired up with a heavier .375+ish rifle in the future if you want you could pretty much hunt anything on earth.

    Did you have a rifle in mind yet or just selecting a cartridge?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have a couple 300WSMs and a 325WSM. My favorite is the 325WSM, the larger .323 bullets make for easy feeding and they are hard hitting. I reload myself and use 200 grain Accubonds. Either one will get it done, I just like the hard hitting 325WSM. All these were taken in one season with my 325wsm Extreme Weather Model 70







    Few rounds that I have recovered.





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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    No I have not bought a rifle yet Im looking to buy one in a month or two. I was looking at the browning X-bolt synthetic stock and the savage model 16. Good or Bad??? I figured it would be better to select a cartridge first then select a rifle. I'm not the richest guy so at this point in time two rifles is not in the cards. I wish I could have both it would be so much easier. If it can take a moose then I really don't think I will have a problem. I do not think I will be going after any costal bears. i will be sticking with griz and black. Im pumped for hunting when I retun to Alaska. Just gotta get some gear together and a good group of people to hunt with

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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    Wow stid looks like that season was a good year. Im extremley impressed. If I could get a moose that size i would be the happiest man alive.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin0718 View Post
    No I have not bought a rifle yet...I was looking at the browning X-bolt synthetic stock and the savage model 16
    Between the models you mention I would easily prefer the Browning...not really a fan of Savage although they're better than in years past. The Browning price tag puts you in the same range as a Winchester or Kimber which are pretty good rifles as well. All are available in .325 or .300

    Don't overlook the Tikka T3- an excellent rifle at a medium price point. The Weatheby Vanguard/Howa 1500 is a good rifle for the money as well.
    I had a T3 in .300WSM....great rifle and a tack driver. The .325WSM will be a bit less common as a factory chambering.

    Good luck and save some $$$ for a good scope and other equipment too.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default 300wsm vs 325wsm

    Do you reload? At over $60 a box for 325 WSM ammo mine rarely got shot. 308, 30-06 and the other derivatives of those cartridges sure offer a lot when it come to not breaking the bank every time you head out to the the range.

    If on a budget and dead set on the WSM the 300 will be cheaper to shoot. Then again if you don't spend any time at the range and only check zero once a year either will prove just as suitable.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    question AK Ray - "IF" the 300 SAUM is "good enough" for AK then why on earth wouldn't the 300 WSM ??
    Never said it wasn't. I re read my post and found no negative words towards the 300WSM. What did you notice that was negative?

    In the realm of short mags the 300 SAUM is a great round for people that like to play with guns and ammo. Guns are cheap now due to the obsolescence. The round is found in true short action rifles and make for a really light rifle. All around a great option, but only for someone that plays with their toys in a serious manner.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have a safe full of rifles and don't get me wrong I like them all. However, if I was on a budget I would get a 30-06 and go hunt. I have been using one for sheep the last couple seasons because mine weighs about 7lbs. Plenty of range and knock down power.

    Sheep killed at 500 yards.



    This years Ram.



    This Grizzly was getting ready to raid our camp, shot was at 189 yards. 180 grain Accubond went through him and broke his off leg. This was a large Brooks Grizzly with a 24 inch skull.





    You will find ammo everywhere you go and you can shoot a lot more and practice is always good. There's a reason 30-06s have been around forever... they just plain work.

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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    I have made choice Im going with the 300WSM. My reasoning is this: I do not reload as of yet so the 300 is better on a budget. The factory rounds are cheaper and a bit easier to find. The 325 is a great caliber but i think for me the 300WSM will be best. Now the next question what rifle. The browning X-bolt Savage model 16 and this has been brought to my attention the Tikka T-3 and the weatherby anymore personal expierence with any of these Hodgeman recommends the tikka t3 said it was a great rifle

  17. #17
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default 300wsm vs 325wsm

    Between the ones mentioned I would go with either the tikka or the browning. It really boils down to which one has ergonomics that fit you better. The bolt throw and feel of the actions on the Brownings is very positive and feels like a refined machine. The tikka to me feels looser but loads WSM cartridges buttery smooth.

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    I agree AK Ray, no "negative" words in your post at all but it would sure be easy to arrive at the conclusion that you thought the 300 SAUM was somehow "better" than the 300 WSM - Obsolete cartridges all have their up AND down sides - I understand what you were getting at but Kevin0718 might have been confused by your answer, that's all - BTW, I noticed in the Hornady reloading manual that it is "implied" that the 300 SAUM is a more efficient case design, I can't say one way or tother myself

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    Member Kevin0718's Avatar
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    Now that i have a small choice to make in which rifle to get. Can some give me some good pointers on some helpful gear to get for next years hunts. I will be getting a wheeler i know that for sure. Im sure some have awnsered these questions 100 times on here but i really appreciate the help I do not want to be going out on a hunt looking like a soup sandwich and ruining the trip for fellow hunters.

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    Kevin - do you have a good binocular ? to be an effective hunter, the ability to spot game is paramount - 3 years ago I purchased a Leica Geovid 10 x 42 and have never been happier - For years prior I had the Zeiss Classic 10 x 40 and absolutely loved it too but the ability to range quickly and oh so accurately with the Geovid has been, for me, a wonder - I got mine on eBay for alot less than retail but that's a personal choice as the factory warranty needs to be considered - A pack is another choice that has myriad options, Badlands has arguably the best day packs but I know, I know .... there are many many other good ones out there too - meat pack is another possible "need" , after struggling for years on that one I began making my own and now sell them on eBay, I've sold a bunch to guys around Anchorage for moose specifically and they love them (search "meat pack" to see) Good boots will probably be as important a choice as any you'll make for your hunting, I switched from Danners to Lowa year before last and although they're expensive they are worth every single dollar and more, Kenetrek, Crispi, etc are all high end boots but heed this caveat ! try the boots on in person !! don't buy online for the sake of a "deal" and end up hiking around with sore feet, it will ruin an otherwise great time !! Knives are another necessity, knives of Alaska makes good stuff, customs are usually great, I owned a Siggma custom out of Utah for a few years but never used it for fear of losing it ... I've been using a "tigersharp" for a long time and although not very "sexy" it does get the job done without troubles (a company that sells scalpels now owns them) - You will most likely be inundated with suggestions from the other guys too so get your notepad ready - not often thought of item: splitting maul, I stumbled upon a Grunfors Bruks dealer and have NEVER looked back on that one (every one of my hunting friends that have their own camp now have one or more as well) Sitka Gear thermal stuff, although spendy is pretty good, for Alaska and the Northwest I really like this "new" Merino wool stuff, it is comfy - GOOD LUCK !

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