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  #1  
Old 09-03-2008, 04:55 PM
5.0ttop 5.0ttop is offline
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.300 wsm vs .308 win




I'm looking at building up a new remington 700 and was wondering the pro's and cons of the .300 wsm over .308 win?

Main purpose of the rifle will be hunting, long distance range sessions and an all out "what if" rifle
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2008, 05:39 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Remington's web site has software that calculates ballistics and energy for different calibers. Its free, and should give you all the information you need to make an educatd decision
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2008, 06:12 PM
5.0ttop 5.0ttop is offline
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thanks good info to read there...

still if anyone has any experience please share
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2008, 08:52 PM
Greyson Greyson is offline
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I recently purchased my first bolt gun. I was debating between .308 and 300 WSM. My thoughts were one rifle that could easily go out beyond 1000 yds (at say like Blackwater).

Well...after a long and arduous process, I decided on .308. Many more match loads available, much less recoil and report (as I am told), much longer barrel life.

I ended up with a FN SPR A3 .308 with a test target of .315 MOA.

Now, I am not really a rifle guy. But even the local SWAT guys were telling me not to go with the 300WSM. That kinda waived me off. Now if I was a handloader and rifle person, maybe my decision would have been different.

But to date, I am thrilled with my purchase.

Regards,
Greyson
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2008, 10:01 PM
archeomania archeomania is offline
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It is pretty hard to beat the power of the 300 WSM for hunting. My son has a Tikka in 300 WSM and it is great for hunting but it is not an overall fun rifle to take to the range to shoot due to the recoil. I'd choose the .308 if you were going to shoot it a lot.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2008, 10:37 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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.308 has been the gold standard of long range shooting for years- probably why the SWAT guys recomended it. The SOF community @ Ft Bragg is starting to go to the 300WSM. 3SFG just took delivery of a bunch of them last month.

The pros of the 308 as I see it would be avalibility of ammunition, longer barrel life, and easier recoil.

I like the ballistics of the 300WSM better, it shoots flatter and hits harder. Barrel life is shorter- if you shoot a LOT. It takes about 1500 rounds to burn a Magnum barrel to the point that accuracy is affected.

A muzzle brake is a great way to manage recoil.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2008, 01:49 PM
Greyson Greyson is offline
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I too like the ballistics of the 300WSM. But my opinions are from a non-rifle guy so I wasn't sure how valid my position was.

Somewhere alone the way, I somehow thought the recoil of the .308 was very smilier with the 300WSM. Kinda important when shooting 400 rounds at gun school.

One of my SWAT/sniper buddies literally started laughing at that notion. Told me a story of how he had seen a civilian show up with a 300WSM for a rifle class. As I was told, this user was in major discomfort within a few hours. If I remember correctly, user ended up switching/borrowing someone else's backup.

Since I am a novice just trying to learn, I figured that would be one less hassle I needed to deal with.

Keep up posted on what you get. Maybe a pic?

I think I will dig out a pic of my rig post it in this thread.

Regards,
Greyson
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Fn-Spr-Rifle_0020-publish-r.jpg   Fn-Spr-Rifle_0005-publish-r.jpg   Fn-Spr-Rifle_0012-publish-r.jpg  
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2008, 03:28 PM
Damascus Damascus is offline
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You'll be happier with the .308. It's inherently more accurate, and is plenty for any game in North America - with proper shot placement, it will kill any animal a .300 WSM can. Also, I've owned 2 .300 WSM's, a Winchester M70, and a Browning A-Bolt Sporter - both of them had a lot more recoil than the relatively mild .308. Also, the .308 is going to be a lot easier, and cheaper, to reload for. Brass will last longer, as well as your barrel. Factory ammo is also going to be a lot easier to find, especially match grade ammo. Even though the .308 is an inherently more accurate cartridge than the WSM, you'll almost certainly be more accurate with it, as flinch won't be as much as a factor, since you won't be dealing with magnum recoil. I've heard people state that the WSM kicks a lot less than the .300 Win Mag, and feels about like a .30-06... well, IMO, it kicks quite a bit harder than a .30-06, and just a tad less than the .300 Win Mag - My favorite long range hunting round. Whatever you do choose, if you get a Magnum, do yourself a favor, and purchase a rifle with a good muzzle brake, or have a gunsmith install one for you, Surefire makes some nice .30 cal ones.
If you're only going to be using it for hunting - don't worry about the extra knockdown power of the WSM - because unless you get a heavy barreled, match grade target rifle, neither one will be up to the challenge of shooting a deer more than 500 yards off, humanely that is. If you do buy a heavy barreled match grade target/varmint rifle, then you can utilize the extra downrange energy of the WSM.. but a 22" thin barreled "sporter" is probably going to shoot 1.5 - 2 MOA out of the box - and will not easily group in the vitals past 500 yds.
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2008, 05:09 PM
lunyou lunyou is offline
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Are you set on a .30 caliber bullet? If so then quit reading.

If I were wanting a "what if" rifle, which says to me do anything rifle, then you might look into a .338 Remington Ultra Mag.

It has been called the poor man's .338 Lapua. If setup right it should handle all types of distances and be a good hunting gun. I understand that ammo can be expensive but if you reload you should be in good shape.

A Remington 700 XCR in .338 RUM will be my next rifle. Unless someone decides to mass produce the .35-300 mag in an "affordable" package.

lunyou
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2008, 07:58 AM
1911crazy 1911crazy is offline
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The 338 round is used by the british snipers. I hunt with the 338win mag and i pick up blackbears and slam them down. I never had to look for a wounded bear yet.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2008, 01:46 PM
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Ouch, Ouch, Ouch! LOL... Man, I bet sight-in day is fun for you two! lol.. I'd only own one of those calibers if the rifles were equipped with decent muzzle brakes... I like to practice with my hunting rifles, not just shoot them when I'm hunting... and man, .338 RUM - talk about some expensive rounds! IMHO, there's no big game in North America, grizzly bear, brown bear, etc, that cannot be easily taken with a .300 Win Mag with good bullets... But I see what you mean about "picking them up and slamming them down" lol, that would be a little bit confidence inspiring
A friend of mine has an Armalite AR30 in .338 Lapua Mag, and with it's factory muzzle brake, feels about like shooting 12 Ga. 2.75" 00 Buck - not bad at all... and man, when that thing hits a target, dear Lord, - the words "decimate" and "obliterate" come to mind
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2008, 10:26 PM
jmatt511 jmatt511 is offline
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I currently shoot a 700 24" bull barrel .308. While I love this set up, my next rifle will be a .338 Lapua (AI?) based upon the energy and accuracy beyond 1,000 meters. BC is impressive for the weight and dimensions of the round. There's plenty of factory match available. With a good muzzle brake, recoil is very manageable. Have fun, whatever you end up shooting.
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  #13  
Old 09-08-2008, 11:05 AM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damascus View Post
You'll be happier with the .308. It's inherently more accurate,
I would not agree with this, as the .300 WSM is still a short action...

Yes, the .308 can be accurate, but, one would be hard pressed to say the .300 is inherently 'less accurate'
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  #14  
Old 09-08-2008, 12:55 PM
lunyou lunyou is offline
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When I said that my next gun would be a .338 RUM, I meant that it would be next unless someone dumped a Lapua .338 in my lap at a price I couldn't refuse.

lunyou
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  #15  
Old 09-08-2008, 02:37 PM
maximus83 maximus83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyson View Post
I recently purchased my first bolt gun. I was debating between .308 and 300 WSM. My thoughts were one rifle that could easily go out beyond 1000 yds (at say like Blackwater).

Well...after a long and arduous process, I decided on .308. Many more match loads available, much less recoil and report (as I am told), much longer barrel life.

I ended up with a FN SPR A3 .308 with a test target of .315 MOA.

Now, I am not really a rifle guy. But even the local SWAT guys were telling me not to go with the 300WSM. That kinda waived me off. Now if I was a handloader and rifle person, maybe my decision would have been different.

But to date, I am thrilled with my purchase.

Greyson

I've gone through almost exactly the same process recently, and I also chose a .308 (Savage). I could not be happier with the performance of the rifle, and the caliber. It's true that .300 WSM or .300 Win Mag can get you out to even 1200 and beyond, but that's one of those things that sounds good on paper, and then you come back down to earth. Obviously having rifles of that kind of power and range may be a lot of fun, and also would be very useful if you were either (a) a military sniper (LE would not need this kind of range, usually), or (b) a hunter taking large tough game at very long ranges.

For me, I ultimately went with the .308 because:

* .308 has all the power I need. It would take everything that I would want to hunt in the lower 48 states.
* For long distance shooting, .308 does just fine out to 800 yards, and can even do fine up to 1000 but you have to set up your optics and ammo right, and it takes some practice.
* Barrel life. A .308 for some reason is an optimal cartridge for managing powder burn efficiently, and usually you can get 5K to 10K rounds out of a .308 barrel, while it's common to get less than half that out of most other calibers.
* Recoil of .308 is far more manageable. With a good brake, a .308 recoils just a bit harder than a .223, certainly not even as hard as a .243. With the .308, I could shoot all day, for fun. Shooting all day with a .300 win mag or .300 WSM would NOT be fun, not for your shoulder, anyway!
* Greyson makes some other good points: cost and availability of ammo for .308 is far better than the other options.

Obviously if you have the funds, "buy both" is a good option that's always music to a gun owner's ears. The .300 win mag and WSM are great calibers, and they exist because they're useful for some purposes. But the .308 is also great, and is more widespread than the other two for good reasons, some of which I've listed above. If you have to choose one or the other, and this is going to be your first "all-purpose" sort of rifle as you said, then personally I would (and did) start with the .308. Every serious rifleman needs at least one .308 in their collection. If you get the .308 and later decide you need more range and power, you can add the .300 WSM at that point.
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Last edited by maximus83; 09-08-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-09-2008, 12:09 AM
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSgt Dotson View Post
I would not agree with this, as the .300 WSM is still a short action...

Yes, the .308 can be accurate, but, one would be hard pressed to say the .300 is inherently 'less accurate'
That's right, they are both short action calibers, therefore the rifles can be more rigid, I should have said that in a different way.
What I meant was, if someone doesn't handload, and all you have available is factory ammo, to my knowledge, there isn't any factory .300 WSM ammo that can generally match .308 Win match ammo... it can, but so much time and development has went into making the .308 what it is today, the .300 WSM has a long ways to go before getting to be as popular as the .308 for match shooters. Also, for 99.8% of shooters out there, they will be significantly more accurate with a .308, as flinch will be a lot less of a problem, than dealing with the enormous blast and (depending on rifle weight) significant recoil from the .300 WSM and other magnum calibers.
Just my opinion - unless you are hunting deer at 600+ yards, going after plains buffalo, or want to go on a safari in Africa to take a lion or something, the .308 is just a better choice.
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  #17  
Old 09-09-2008, 12:42 PM
tibis3383 tibis3383 is offline
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Not a lot of 300 WSM fans in this thread. I went through the .30 caliber bolt rifle buying process a couple years ago. My final decision was 300WSM because I saw it as the best fit for what I hunt and because I reload. My favorite factory ammo is the winchester supreme ballistic silvertip because I can get .75 groups at 100 yards with it and I love the nickel casings for reloads. Unfortunately though it costs me 50-60 bucks for 20 rounds and if I didn't reload I would have bought a .308 or 06 because the ammo is more affordable and easy to find. And yes the .300 is punishing to zero due to the recoil.

For most applications the .308 can do everything the .300 WSM can do and is more economical.

Semper FI
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  #18  
Old 09-14-2008, 11:11 PM
Cruiser Cruiser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0ttop View Post
Main purpose of the rifle will be hunting, long distance range sessions and an all out "what if" rifle
I guess my first question would be "Hunting what?" As pointed out earlier, the .308 will take anything on the North American continent. If you primarily hunt brown bear, you might consider the .300, otherwise, the .308 will do just fine.

Long distance range sessions will be a little easier with the .300 because it will be affected by the wind slightly less than the .308 and will go a little farther. Recoil of the .300 will make those range sessions seem longer.

And reiterating previous posts, the availability of a greater variety of ammunition will make the .308 more of a "'what if' rifle".

The big problem you will run into no matter which caliber you decide on, is that a rifle well suited for hunting is generally not well suited for long distance range sessions and vice-versa. Long distance guns usually have heavy barrels to slow the heating process and are cumbersome to carry in the hunting field. Lightweight rifles well suited for hunting will heat up more quickly at the range, resulting in vertical stinging of your shots.

You'll need two guns.
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