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Thread: 300wsm or 300 win mag?

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    Default 300wsm or 300 win mag?

    I've been a member for a while, just not a big poster. I have decided that it is time for me to get a bolt gun that I can shoot too and do some hunting with. I've done a TON of research on calibers, rifles, scopes, etc. I've got the gun picked out, I am going with a Tikka t3 lite. It is in my budget, they have fantastic reviews, are lightweight, and shoot well out of the box.

    That being said, I am not set on caliber. I am going with a .300win mag or a .300wsm but I need help deciding between the two. The Tikka makes this a little more interesting because all the actions are the same length, so the weight difference there is minimal.

    Are these pros/cons correct in your guys' opinions?

    300wsm: less powder, easier to reload(?), harder to find factory ammo (if needed), less recoil, longer barrel life, longer brass life, slower fps (marginal)

    300 wm: Most likely there is more load data out there, larger cartridge, more popular, easier to find reloading components and factory ammo, slightly faster, belted (pro or con?).

    With the weight savings regarding the action length taken out of the equation what would you guys go with? I am probably splitting hairs here, but I figured I would make sure I'm not missing anything.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    There is basically no difference in the two cartridges. The only thing left to split ARE hairs.

    I've hunted with the 300WSM nearly exclusively since 2006. It's left no survivors. The results would be exactly the same with a .300WM.

    I have a slight preference for the .300WSM- I like the cartridge from an efficiency standpoint and the lack of a belt. Hand loading is simple and straightforward. Finding factory ammo is easy. Any place that has a box of .300WM is going to have a box of .300WSM these days. Almost everyone loads ammo for the WSM with a wide range of hunting bullets. It'll rankle some folks, but the .300WSM isn't going anywhere, anytime soon- it's popular for many good reasons.

    The .300WM will do a little better with bullets over 180grs. With modern projectiles, bullets over 180grs make little sense in any but the most specialized pursuits.

    My Tikka T3 Lite would shoot 3/4MOA with several brands of ammo and my handholds. Should be a great rifle...in either chambering. At the end of the day, there really isn't a wrong choice between the two.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Ben XCR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    There is basically no difference in the two cartridges. The only thing left to split ARE hairs.

    I've hunted with the 300WSM nearly exclusively since 2006. It's left no survivors. The results would be exactly the same with a .300WM.

    I have a slight preference for the .300WSM- I like the cartridge from an efficiency standpoint and the lack of a belt. Hand loading is simple and straightforward. Finding factory ammo is easy. Any place that has a box of .300WM is going to have a box of .300WSM these days. Almost everyone loads ammo for the WSM with a wide range of hunting bullets. It'll rankle some folks, but the .300WSM isn't going anywhere, anytime soon- it's popular for many good reasons.

    The .300WM will do a little better with bullets over 180grs. With modern projectiles, bullets over 180grs make little sense in any but the most specialized pursuits.

    My Tikka T3 Lite would shoot 3/4MOA with several brands of ammo and my handholds. Should be a great rifle...in either chambering. At the end of the day, there really isn't a wrong choice between the two.
    +1. Should really just be a coin flip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post

    I have a slight preference for the .300WSM- I like the cartridge from an efficiency standpoint and the lack of a belt.
    I've noticed this occasionally now...... what is the reasoning behind people not liking a belted magnum?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I've noticed this occasionally now...... what is the reasoning behind people not liking a belted magnum?
    It's a "feelings based" preference

    for example: " I feel this way, because the gun magazine writers wrote thousands of words about some fairy tale advantage, that truly isn't an advantage."

    The reason why they came out with the 325 WSM, is because the 300 win mag will knock the socks off the 300 wsm (velocity wise) when bullets get beyond 180 grains.

    They didn't come out with a .338 WSM, because the 338 win mag will knock the socks off the 338 WSM (wildcat), when bullets get above 225 grains.

    xrangerx,

    If your're dead set on a plastikka,

    Be aware that they use the same standard length action on both the wsm, and standard length cartridges. So........go with the win mag.

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    I have a few .300WMs and just got done building a .300WSM on a Rem700 SA platform. I agree with what hodgeman says. I reload so I like the beltless case. I like my headspace just short of feeling any resistance.

    I'm surprised at the availability of factory ammo. Especially compared to the other WSMs that the .300WSM has left behind in popularity.

    I can get 208gr A-Maxs to fly well with my 300WMs but struggle to get any acceptable groups with any powder with my WSM. My 300WSM shoots almost any bullet from 150 to 180 really, really well though.

    The only issue with WSMs that MIGHT be a problem is feeding. It seems if you cycle fat cases like WSMs too fast or slow they tend to catch on your feed rails or ramp or pop right out of your eject port. I'm not so sure how big of a problem it's been for many but it's something to check. I had to touch up my feedrails because of an occasional feed problem. It might have to do with me running my OAL a bit longer than factory too.

    Again, I agree with hodgeman, "there really isn't a wrong choice between the two".

    I don't own a Tikka T3 but I've worked on a few. They seem to be a well-made rifle with smoother than normal bolt. I like them a lot! The only thing I would recommend is to get rid of that granite rock they've fashioned into a kickpad and get a Limbsaver or similar sissypad. It'll turn that 300WSM that kicks like a three-legged ninja into a pleasure to shoot.

    Chuck Jorgensen.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I've noticed this occasionally now...... what is the reasoning behind people not liking a belted magnum?
    I prefer a cartridge to headspace on the shoulder. Usually not an issue in belted mags...but I had the one special snowflake once upon a time in a .300WM that stretched cases like a nightmare. The belt itself was a marketing ploy from the early 1900s. It does nothing to improve performance or safety. Why bother with it if you don't have to?

    And no Mainer...I couldn't care less what other folks have written about it. The differences between the two cartridges basically amount to zip, nil and nada.

    I was skeptical of the .300WSM at first, but I loved the rifle I got...just happened to only be available in a WSM. A big pile of dead critters later and I like it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I have it stuck in my head that .300 WSM ammo is harder to find than .300WM, that may just be leftover from a while back. Having almost nothing else differentiating them my inclination is to say if you don't reload go WM, if you do your back to no difference.


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    Either one is a great choice. But just be advised that with a Tikka, you better have a high recoil tolerance, especially at the bench. "Limbsaver" makes a very good recoil pad for the T3 that involves no modification. It does lengthen the "lop" about 1/4" though. Consider an upgrade to the metric Tikka screws on the bases, which can be found at a well stock hardware store. The factory screws are a little soft if the hex head isn't perfectly lined up.
    Other than that, good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by knikglacier View Post
    E. But just be advised that with a Tikka, you better have a high recoil tolerance, especially at the bench. "Limbsaver" makes a very good recoil pad for the T3 ,,,,,,. Consider an upgrade to the metric Tikka screws on the bases
    +1...a Limbsaver is practically a "must have" for the Tikka in the harder recoiling rounds. Also- the factory scope mounts seem flimsy although usually functional enough they don't inspire confidence. I used a mount made by Deadnutz.... one of the better built mounts for the Tikka IMHO.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I prefer a cartridge to headspace on the shoulder. Usually not an issue in belted mags...but I had the one special snowflake once upon a time in a .300WM that stretched cases like a nightmare. The belt itself was a marketing ploy from the early 1900s. It does nothing to improve performance or safety. Why bother with it if you don't have to?

    And no Mainer...I couldn't care less what other folks have written about it. The differences between the two cartridges basically amount to zip, nil and nada.

    I was skeptical of the .300WSM at first, but I loved the rifle I got...just happened to only be available in a WSM. A big pile of dead critters later and I like it.
    Hodgeman, I have to politely disagree with this. I can't remember who the originator was, (some German) or why he came up with it in the first place, but during Holland and Holland's time there were some lax chamber specs. Miss-fires under duress hunting situations were happening too often. Imagine facing a charging Cape with a double, which just happens to have a chamber a titch longer than the cartridge you're using. You shoulder your rifle, pull the trigger and your firing pin merely taps the cartridge to the front of your chamber. Miss-fire! The firing pin dented the primer but didn't ignite it. Since H&H dealt mainly in dangerous game rifles, they took the belt idea and incorporated it into their guns. Now the cartridge is held firmly in the back of the chamber, much like a rimmed case, where there is no headspace-related miss-fire. You could have hellacious headspace and that sucker is still going to fire.
    As far as velocity performance or case life goes, I doubt there is any improvement.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longbow6360 View Post
    I can't remember who the originator was, (some German) or why he came up with it in the first place, but during Holland and Holland's time there were some lax chamber specs.
    I think I've read that the first belted cartridge was the .41 Roper, circa 1865; some 45 years prior to the H&H 400/375 Belted Nitro Express. Not sure it's fair to say specs were "lax" at the time, so much as manufacturing processes were less technologically advanced than today; tooling was softer and wore out faster; holding exacting tolerances while hand machining presented challenges... Result was inconsistency of chamber length from one gun to another. Regardless, the invention of the belted cartridge was a solution to a problem which no longer exists. Belted cartridges have no reason to exist anymore, save for as a marketing gimmick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I think I've read that the first belted cartridge was the .41 Roper, circa 1865; some 45 years prior to the H&H 400/375 Belted Nitro Express. Not sure it's fair to say specs were "lax" at the time, so much as manufacturing processes were less technologically advanced than today; tooling was softer and wore out faster; holding exacting tolerances while hand machining presented challenges... Result was inconsistency of chamber length from one gun to another. Regardless, the invention of the belted cartridge was a solution to a problem which no longer exists. Belted cartridges have no reason to exist anymore, save for as a marketing gimmick.
    Good post iofthetaiga. I also agree with your point of the belted case not having a reason to exist these days, especially if you reload.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longbow6360 View Post
    Good post iofthetaiga. I also agree with your point of the belted case not having a reason to exist these days, especially if you reload.
    Interesting discussion. I'd add that by the time belted magnums became common in the US- the '50s magnum craze- there was no real purpose for them. Heck, back then they slapped belts on everything and named it "magnum" whether it needed it or not!

    The common misperception has been for years that the belt strengthens the case and allows for higher pressures.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    the difference is less than 200 fps...

    I load the 300 WSM (and my 308 WSM) to 2950 fps..

    the 300 Win to 3100, and the 300 WTHY to 3275 (ish)

    all three will kill to the level of dead--- how much past that you need?

    my current Tikka is now a semi custom in 308 WSM

    personally if you want an extra round in the magazine... go with the WSM. 4 is possible, 3 is max right now with the long action Tikka mags

    Chris
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    here's photo with 4 round mag (fits 300 WSM)

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post

    personally if you want an extra round in the magazine... go with the WSM. 4 is possible, 3 is max right now with the long action Tikka mags

    Chris
    Not sure where that idea comes from. They make extended LA mags that fit 5 rds of 30-06 or 4 rds of .300 WM. I've used them before, and just bought a new one this week for $33.99 from Impact Guns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xRangerx View Post
    I've been a member for a while, just not a big poster. I have decided that it is time for me to get a bolt gun that I can shoot too and do some hunting with. I've done a TON of research on calibers, rifles, scopes, etc. I've got the gun picked out, I am going with a Tikka t3 lite. It is in my budget, they have fantastic reviews, are lightweight, and shoot well out of the box.

    That being said, I am not set on caliber. I am going with a .300win mag or a .300wsm but I need help deciding between the two. The Tikka makes this a little more interesting because all the actions are the same length, so the weight difference there is minimal.

    Are these pros/cons correct in your guys' opinions?

    300wsm: less powder, easier to reload(?), harder to find factory ammo (if needed), less recoil, longer barrel life, longer brass life, slower fps (marginal)

    300 wm: Most likely there is more load data out there, larger cartridge, more popular, easier to find reloading components and factory ammo, slightly faster, belted (pro or con?).

    With the weight savings regarding the action length taken out of the equation what would you guys go with? I am probably splitting hairs here, but I figured I would make sure I'm not missing anything.

    Thanks in advance!
    I think you would be very happy with either caliber. Just about the only advantage that I see with the Tikka 300 mag is that you have more case capacity if you want to shoot bullets larger than 180's. With that said, well constructed 180's, especially Barnes TSX, will suffice for anything that walks in AK.

    I've been using, uhumm, the "plastikka" T3 Lite in 300 WSM for 10 years now and I couldn't be happier with it. It's very accurate with many factory and hand loads. Shoot, when I was breaking in the barrel that first time at the range I put three 180gr Failsafes in the same hole - wowsa! I like my 300 WSM. Someone mentioned feeding issues with the WSM - none in mine. Have fun!

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    appreciate bringing the high cap long action mags to my attention..

    hadn't seen them,

    the 30-06 mag hold the 300 Win okay?

    feed problems?

    know they don't make a dedicated 300 Win high cap..


    Chris

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo

    the 30-06 mag hold the 300 Win okay?

    feed problems?

    know they don't make a dedicated 300 Win high cap..


    Chris
    Tikka doesn't make dedicated standard and magnum magazines at all. Just long, short, and WSM. The long action mags work for everything from 6.5x55 to .338 WM with both regular and hi-cap versions. Only issue is that the high cap only hold 4 magnums vs 5 standard rds. Standard flush fit mags hold three of either. Check Beretta part numbers and you will see what I mean.

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