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.300 Win Mag Popular for a Reason
By Zach Mansfield, WHJ Field Editor
It just might be the most popular magnum in the world. Its recoil is manageable, velocity is above par, and the results of a well-placed bullet speak for themselves. Situated right in between the classic .30-06 and the overpowering .300 Remington Ultra Mag, the .300 Winchester Magnum is an absolute necessity if you are a western big game hunter. It’s also one of the most common, easy to find, versatile rounds that any hunter can carry. All joking aside, you could probably walk into a gas station in Idaho and buy a box of .300 Win Mag ammo and have it shoot out of your rifle with surprisingly good accuracy.
The .300 Win Mag can handle a multitude of projectiles ranging all the from lightweight 125-grain bullets clear up to heavy, hard hitting 220 grain Partitions. One of the most popular, and my favorite, is the 180 grains weight class. My bullet of choice is the Nosler Accubond.
I load my x-bolt .300 Win Mag with a moderately stout load of 7828SSC and a 180 grain Accubond. As long as I do my part as the shooter, this load shoots sub MOA leaving me with nothing but confidence from ranges of zero out to 500 yards. With my muzzle velocity just shy of 3,000 fps, I sight this riffle in 3.3 inches high at 100, giving me a zeroed at riffle at 300 yards. With a standard duplex on my rifle scope, I can deliver a 180-grain Accubond into the boiler room out to about 500 yards under most conditions. At 300 yards I hold exactly where I want to hit and squeeze. At 400 yards, I hold right on the crease of the animal’s back. This allows my bullet to drop right into the indented target. At 500 yards, I put the heavy part of the duplex reticle right where I want to hit.
Driving a heavy bullet, the .300 Win Mag is ideally suited for elk-sized game, but can certainly be effective on moose and bear and is without a doubt enough gun for deer and antelope. Though some may call it overkill for deer and antelope, a well-placed shot from a .300 Win Mag would without a doubt yield in a notched tag on either species.
There will always be a special place in my heart for a trusty .30-06, and maybe one day I’ll join the cult like following that the .300 Rem Ultra Mag has, but for now I’ll keep my .300 Win Mag. It’s a reliably steady workhorse of a caliber that every western big game hunter should have in his or her arsenal.