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Thread: .300 Wthby, .338 Win. Mag, .375 H&H

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    Default .300 Wthby, .338 Win. Mag, .375 H&H

    I'm currently in the earliest stages of planning an Alaskan moose hunt, still probably about 2 years away by the time I do enough research and acquire the necessary gear. I live in Kentucky, and most of my hunting experience has been with whitetail deer, turkey, waterfowl, and other small game.

    I have a MK V Ultra Lightweight in .300 Weatherby that I've hunted with/shot for almost 10 years now. I'm very comfortable shooting it and have taken many deer with it, the farthest at about 300 yards.

    In preparation for coming to Alaska, I'm considering buying a new rifle. I want something with CRF, and I figure I might as well get something a little bigger, since there's nothing wrong with my .300 Weatherby.

    I'm mostly looking at the Kimber 8400 Montana. My brother just got one in .300 Win Mag, and I have been really impressed with it so far. I had been thinking that the same rifle in .338 Win Mag would be the way for me to go.

    However, the more I look at the numbers, the more I have a hard time convincing myself that the .338 is much of an upgrade. With the 200gr Nosler Partition load I shoot in my Weatherby it actually has more muzzle and down range energy than the .338 with 250gr Partitions, and it has a flatter trajectory. However, the .338 will obviously leave a little bigger hole. I just don't know if there would be enough difference in the terminal performance of these two to justify buying another gun.

    Then there is the .375 H&H. There's no question that this would put me on another level as far as terminal performance is concerned. According to my reloading books, it should have a trajectory similar to the .338. Plus, from what I've read so far, this seems to be some of the best bear medicine available, if I were to ever go on a guided brownie hunt, or if on my moose hunt one decided that I might make a tasty snack. The Kimber Talkeetna, if you're not familiar with it, is stainless steel, comes only in .375 H&H, holds 4 rounds in the magazine, and has a 24" barrel with open sights. To me the drawbacks of the .375 are that it is really only practical for the largest of game, and that the Talkeetna is over $500 more than the .338.

    A final point is about open sights. In the event of damage to your scope, it would be nice to have open sites so you could continue to hunt, but I would like some input on how important you all think this is. In all my years of hunting, I've never had a scope fail me, but I've never hunted in Alaska.

    Whatever I decide to get, I'm probably looking at a Leupold VX-III in 2.5 x 8 to go on top. I have a Vari-X III 4.5-14 on my Weatherby, but think I should have something with a lower power for quick close-up shots, such as what you might expect in the event of a charge.

    Sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! Your 300 weatherby will kill anything you will find up here. Unless you really want to by a new gun (we always need one more, right?), bring the one you have been shooting. I personally use a model 70 375 H&H topped with a VX III 1.5-5 leupold with the German #4 reticle for my go to gun. It is compact and the bullets go where the cross hair is placed. Have fun with your preparation. The two years will fly by.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Any of the three calibers you have listed should be fine. Since you already have a .300 Weatherby and are familiar with it (how it shoots, recoil, etc.), then this one should be your best choice.

    Now, if you just want another rifle, the .338 Kimber is quite a nice one for Alaska, although you can buy it later.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Both SpoiledOne and RayfromAK are right. I shoot a 300wby and it is more than enough for game up here. Use the money for something else for the trip. In reality, you won't be shooting a moose at any kinda of distance. So get a big heavy bullet and you will be good to go. Although, as SpoiledOne said, we can always use an excuse to get another gun.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    To my thinking the 200gr. is 30cal. country. The 338 was made for 225 to 270 gr. to fill the gap between the 30 and 375 that really starts at 270 gr. The 35cal fills the same gap. JMHO

  6. #6

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    You don't "need" another gun unless you want too or need an excuse. But if you are keeping the 300 W then change out your scope. For me that is reason enough to buy a new rifle. The vxIII you mentioned is a good choice and so is the VX III 1.5-5 mentioned below. Problem I've got with BUIS and vx-iii's is eye relief. Most QR rings are weaver style and it's about impossible to get the vx-iii's far enough forward on the standard bases. Warnes makes an extended rear base and some nice QR rings though. I have't played with Leupy's QR stuff (not QRW)

    I kicked this one around myself with my 7 rm until the wife bought me a 338. If I was shopping and a handloader I'd consider the 35 whelen. Over the counter 338 will be easier to find outside of alaska since it's a popular elk round.

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    Basically Amigo, I think you are right. The difference is made when you throw in the belted mags such as weatherbys , RUM, and a few others. A 300wby with a 220gr bullet has almost 4000ft/lbs of energy and is moving at almost 3000ft/sec at the muzzle according to their website. This energy and speed and carried pretty far downfield. The trade off is the 338mag has a little more energy but isn't shooting as flat.

    I'm just suggesting that at the distances most moose are shot at, this isn't that big of a difference. He wouldn't gain a whole lot with a 338mag when compared to what he's already got.

    I think the 338mag is a great caliber and again, if I had the money to pick up another rifle, I'd think about it for sure. Its just another $1000 he could put into the trip somewhere else.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    That all being said, this thread sure is an interesting one. If you are a handloader you might benefit from what they are telling you.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=70270

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    Your 300WBY with 200grn Nosler Partitions would be the perfect gun for AK. It will kill any thing that walks and you are already used to it. Make sure you have a good scope and you are good to go!

  10. #10

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    What you have will work fine. Moose aren't that hard to kill. I'm not sure why so many people focus on which of three great calibers when they should be worrying about all the other gear it takes to get out and stay out long enough to get a moose, or the money it takes to fly to those places. You don't say if you are using a guide or are doing to try to do a self guided hunt, but either way there's a lot of expense in the project if you have a rifle you know and can shoot well. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default MK V Ultra Lightweight in .300 Weatherby is all I shoot

    I have shot everything in Alaska with mine. I shoot 180 gr Barnes X and they get the job done.
    Unless you are just wantong to buy a new rifle, I would stick with the .300. Best thing about it, is it is light :-)

    Louis

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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Now you are talking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Paw Jack View Post
    What you have will work fine. Moose aren't that hard to kill. I'm not sure why so many people focus on which of three great calibers when they should be worrying about all the other gear it takes to get out and stay out long enough to get a moose, or the money it takes to fly to those places. You don't say if you are using a guide or are doing to try to do a self guided hunt, but either way there's a lot of expense in the project if you have a rifle you know and can shoot well. Good luck.
    Now that sounds like words of wisdom to me :-)
    Not having the right gear and prep work can end a hunt quicker than anything
    Louis

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Not to mention, when it comes down to it, a good rifle and scope are gonna run you a $1K. Not to mention the shells to site it in and such. You've already got a perfectly capable weapon for AK. Take the money and put it into issuring your are prepared to hunt up here.

  14. #14

    Default Stick to your guns or gun

    I shoot a weatherby 300 and have killed many moose ,caribou, and black bears. I don,t ever recall shooting anything with more than one shot. I would not hesitate to go after a brownie with it. So here's my 2 cents worth, keep the 300 Wby and look at your other gear. Tent , sleeping bag , jet boil stove , back pack, GPS and the list goes on. Have fun planning.

  15. #15
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default echo what others have said

    No reason to change what you've got unless you want more guns. Excellent round for anything that needs killing on a moose hunt. If you were moving here, maybe you'd want to both upgrade and downgrade in power - something like a .375 for a big gun and a something lightweight for a mountain gun. Since this may be the only hunt you take in Alaska, take the one you know and love. Look down this forum for the "all around gun" thread and you will see what most guys carry.

    I'd spend the money on good binocs (german made) in the 10x40 size range.

    Is your hunt going to be guided or DIY?

  16. #16

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    Your 300 is fine. If you have your heart set on another rifle, I'd think of it as more of a backup to the 300. And I'd like something set up for hunting in close cover, but which could be called upon for longer shots if you should have trouble with your 300. Yeah, your 300 could be used in the close stuff, but as long as you're carrying a backup gun, why not make it a specialist for close shooting? If the moose are laying tight rather than out in the open, you'll be real happy with the second gun.

    With a 300 in the house I'd probably skip the 338 altogether and go right to a 375. Or maybe even a 416 of some sort. Do you need the power? Heck no. But in the right gun with iron sights, it will be dandy. But as a visitor there's always the question of what you will do with it after the hunt. Maybe a "brush" gun in suitable caliber would continue to be useful in your home hills. That opens the door to something like a Marlin 1895 or Guide gun. Either is a dandy close range moose gun that won't leave you "overgunned" for deer. Whatever that is!

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    I agree with what everyone on here has been saying, what you have is plenty gun just for moose. Someone here had to say it, shot placement is the biggest concern. If you are comfortable with what you already shoot then use that. Save that extra money for something more usefull. When I first moved up here I had the same thoughts and I went out and bought a T/C Pro Hunter .338 with a Trijicon Accupoint. Everything I've killed up here has been with my 300 WSM which includes Moose, Bou and Black Bear and all with one shot.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    If you don't already have one, put that money into a good binos and spotting scope. They are more likely to put meat in the freezer than a new rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHunterNP View Post
    . . . Everything I've killed up here has been with my 300 WSM which includes Moose, Bou and Black Bear and all with one shot.
    Talk about a "Magic Bullet!"

    I bet you are among the very few that have killed three species with one shot.

    Just kidding of course, but it's late at night and I couldn't help myself. No hard feelings I hope.

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    Your 300 is plenty of gun, the 338 WM difference is 250 grain, less wind drift, more drop, but very dependable(shot a goat a 475 yards). Don't worry about the numbers, that's all they are, it's more about accuracy and knowing what your rifle is capable of. These days I normally only hunt with my 7 mm even in bear country(common sense goes along way).

    Terry

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