Review: .300 Win Mag

Why, the .300 Win Mag?

To sum it up in one short answer; trajectory and striking power. There are other calibers out there that shoot flat and have the impact needed to take down medium and large game but when it comes to bringing both of those things together the .300 Win Mag may have them all beat.

CLICK To Purchase a .300 Win Mag from Palmetto State Armory (PSA)

What is .300 Win Mag Good For?

Whether shooting from 100 yards to 1,300 yards the .300 Win Mag will take down whatever you are hunting for with one shot one kill performance; bear, moose, caribou, elk, sheep, deer, boar, or man (man is not intended for non-military applications).

NOTE: You need to pick the most suitable .300 Win Mag ammo for what you’re hunting; “you don’t need to shoot out of cannon into sparrows, so you don’t need to take 250gr Hornady A-TIP 300 win mag for whitetail deer.”[6]

As Ron Spomer of points out; if you set up for the versatile Maximum Point Blank Range system for quick targeting at unknown distances, the flatter trajectories of 30-caliber bullets at magnum velocities really pays off. Here’s what I mean:

If you launch Winchester’s 180-grain AccuBond CT at a 300 magnum MV of 3,000 fps and zero your rifle so no bullet arcs higher than +3 inches at peak trajectory, you would hit 2.6 inches high at 100 yards and 3 inches high at 140 yards. That bullet wouldn’t drop 3 inches below your point of aim until 300 yards, giving you a dead-on hold (for a 6-inch target diameter) from the muzzle out to 300 yards. That covers the majority of most hunting shots.[1]

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History of the .300 Win Mag.

Although the .300 Win Mag is not the first large-capacity cartridge to fire .30-cal. bullets but since 1963 it has been the cartridge of choice for those that want power, flat shooting, and accuracy without getting too beat up every time you squeeze the trigger.

The cartridge we now consider a staple wasn’t found through success rather, it was through the failure of the .264 Win Mag that drove Winchester to develop the .300 Win Mag. After the .264 Win Mag failure, Winchester went back to the drawing boards and road the coattails of the .300 Weatherby however, by taking off a little bit of power and reducing some of recoil they came up with something that provided the power, flat shooting, and accuracy of a great hunting round without the recoil and cost of the .300 Weatherby.

The new .300 Winchester Magnum was based on a short-necked case that would work through a .30/06-length action and would push a 180-grain bullet at a real-world 2,950 fps, while the Weatherby shot the same slug at 3,150. The smaller case cut down on cost while the lesser powder charge reduced the recoil and muzzle blast.[5]

CLICK To Purchase Ammo for your .300 Win Mag


Whether shooting a hunting rifle or sniper rifle, the .300 Win Mag gives you the versatility in grain availability and action styles that can make this a one gun grab for almost all situations.

“While the 150-, 165-, 180- and 200-grain loads are among the most popular for hunting, there are lighter bullets in the 125- and 130-grain range which work just fine, and the 220-grain round-nose bullet still makes a great choice for large game” [4] with handloads that giving you even more versatility.

The .300 Win Mag Sniper Rifle

If there was ever the slightest doubt about the effectiveness of the .300 Win Mag, it was dispelled nine years ago when the Army picked the cartridge for its M2010 sniper rifle. And in 2018, the Marine Corps gave the round the nod for its Mk13 M7 sniper rifle, replacing the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

The 7.62 is officially effective to 1,000 yards (though, it will do the job farther out.) The .300 Win Mag officially reaches to 1,300, plus. It’s worth noting that the bullet selected for the .300 is the 220-grain Sierra MatchKing, which begins its journey at a modest 2,850 fps, but keeps most of that velocity Way Out There.[5]

The .300 Win Mag Hunting Rifle

Inside 300 yards, if there’s a real-world difference between a 150-grain .270 bullet at 2,950 fps and a 180-grain .300 Win mag bullet at the same velocity, it has to be in your fevered imagination. The one difference that does exist is, of course, the .270 will kick you a hell of a lot less.

But beyond 300 yards, if you feed it low-drag 200- or 220-grain bullets, the .300 will badly outrange the .270. It remains one of the premiere long-range cartridges in the world.[5]

Considerations When Purchasing

Overall Weight – the heavier the weight may steady you when taking the shot but may be a hinderance for a day of being in the field (Cpt. Obvious). Your barrel, scope, stock type, and capacity all add to the weight so ensure you choose your options wisely in order to find the right balance between range, velocity, and a comfortable rifle you will want to take with you on that next hunting trip.

Barrel length – the longer the barrel the better the accuracy at longer ranges (Cpt. Obvious). If you are consistently shooting out past 500-1,000 yards, you need to consider your velocity and energy loss and think about going with a barrel length of greater than 24” but if you are staying under 1,000 yards and especially if you are staying under 500 yards consistently then you should be able to safely stay at the 24” barrel range.

Scope / Mounting – With the myriad of choices of great quality scopes out there and since this is an option item, I am not going to say much except to ensure you feel comfortable with the rail/mounting system you choose; Weaver or Picatinny (I am more of a Picatinny guy myself).

Stock/Barrel Materials – Although I prefer the look of nice wood stock and blued steel, composite stocks and stainless will last you a lifetime of great shooting.

Capacity – most models come with a 3+1 capacity, which should be enough, even if you are not a one shot one kill hunter. [6]

Regardless of the model .300 Win Mag you choose, make sure it rests comfortably; it may be the last rifle you ever need to buy. Just kidding, we always have another reason to buy another rifle.

CLICK To Purchase a .300 Win Mag from Palmetto State Armory (PSA)

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