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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, so I'm looking at getting a new rifle, however I am a bit stuck with choice. Keep in mind I already own a Winchester .308, i like this rifle but looking at something new.
I'm in South Africa and hunt yearly, the biggest animals I shoot would be kudu/wildebeest/eland. I have been looking and trying to decide on either the 300wm or the 6.5x55 considering I would like to send rounds down range every so often up to 1000m. From what I have read online, the 300wm has a bit more recoil(Which doesn't bother me) than my other option. I would also be reloading my own rounds.

Would like a bit of help in deciding, maybe I haven't thought of something that someone can bring to my attention, to help me decide?
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum.

I haven't hunted any of the game you named. From the ballistic stand point the .300wm would have to shoot a 190 grain plus bullet to equal the 6.5 shooting a 140 grain bullet. From the practical stand point the .300 will make a bigger hole and has taken every game animal in North America.

For shooting paper at 1000m probably go with the 6.5 just because of the ballistics on their bullets and lighter recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input MontyF, I've done a bit of research on both, and while I am favouring the 300wm in my head, practicality says the 6.5 will be better. As it will take any of the bigger antelope in my region.
I just wasn't sure on what to get because of the fact that I have a 308 and it can do the same.

I guess it's down to personal preference at the end of the day.
 

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I'd be interested in what you eventually decide on.

Just got into the 6.5 Creedmoor, which is a close relative ballistically to the Sweede you are considering. Don't think I'd have any reservations shooting up to elk sized game with the right bullet.
 

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Have several Swedes and have taken many deer with them, however would think the 300WM would be better suited for African plains game.
 

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It's a difficult choice, i think I'm going to go for the 6.5, this side ammo is cheaper to load and a few people I know are using it more over their 300wm. I have a friend that dropped a baboon at 840 meters a couple weeks ago with the 6.5, that's a gun where this guy has perfected his round though. To be honest the 300 is over kill here from what I can see, most of the guys here use 3006, 308, 6.5, 243, 270, 7x64. Depending on what size animal they will be shooting, 3006 probably being the most popular one. the average South Afrucan cant afford to shoot the big game that foreigners come and shoot simply because the exchange rates are crazy. So for us locals it's keeping it to most antelope, biggest being shot commonly being kudu, which the 6.5 handles well, another thing that people are into here is alot like the coyote hunting you get over that way, except ours is with jackals, where you sit at night with callers, for this very reason the 300 is just plain over kill. I'll keep you updated as to what I get though.
 

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Buy a 300Holland & Holland and have the very best of both worlds. This venerable old cartridge has won many many long range shooting contests and with the superb modern 308 bullets available it will do all of what you describe and without the recoil of the Win Mag. Have owned both and still have my 300H&H.
 

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You'll probably be able to shoot the 6.5 alot better because of the 300's recoil, no doubt it will be a more fun to shoot which is the most important part of the equation, practice=perfection. I get tired of people telling me what a great shot they are with there thunder boomers they shoot 5 shots a year with, bs.
 

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I would prefer the 300 inasmuch as you have Eland on the menu, and even Blue Wildebeest and Kudu are best hunted with the 300s..Your .308 will take care of the rest and its much better than the 6.5 any way you cut it..I might add that I found my .338 and 300 H&H perfect for all African Plains game and much of Africa is high mountains and long shots, its not all bushveld...Ive hunted Africa many times in my life and have been in business there from time to time and I sure have found Africans to like the old 300 H&H, and I have to say they know from whence they come on that, its and awesome caliber for a handloader, A 200 gr. Nosler at 3000 FPS is an awesomely flat shooting round and deadly on about anything.
 

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Where's MusgraveMan? He has a lot of experience hunting African plains game, and if I remember correctly he uses a 308 for everything! There were some excellent threads on this particular topic, but I can't seem to find them.... That being said, I'd go with the Swede. I have hunted with a 300 wm for a long time, but the past 7-8 years I had a shoulder injury and shooting my lightweight 300 killed me
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have hunted with the 308 for a couple years now and its a wonderful calibre, but I'm tired of it now, we have a few good deals on these specific calibre I have spoken about. There are guys here that are shooting up to eland with the 6.5 and for that very reason I think I am going to go with it, the 300 is used by a select number of people here, and they like it but if hooves, and according to them the 6.5 at 1000m on the range is ample, i wouldn't call shooting something at 1000m with the 6.5 ethical though. The 300 is also more costly to load. For these reasons I'm leaning more to the 6.5. I'm still young so its not a life decision, if I am not happy with the 6.5(which I have been told I will be) then I'll go for the 300.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Let me add a spanner to the works here, seen I have a 308, what are the chances are getting it turned into a 6.5? Seen the 6.5 out shoots the 308, if this is not an option what's the possibility of laoding the 308 down to like a 125 grain and then sort of on par with the 6.5.. My knowledge around this is not so great so any reccomendations will be considered. (Keep in mind gunsmithing is not a huge thing here)
 

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Why would you want to turn an egg into an egg for heavens sake. The animal will never know the difference between a 6.5x55 and a 308Win.
I have shot maybe hundreds of animals with a 308Win and an untold number with the 6.5x55 and non of them knew what had hit them. Now with tougher African game then as I have said the 300 H&H will serve you well, I liken it to a 30-06 on steroids. Just because it was devised best part of 100yrs ago doesn't mean it will not still out shoot most of the modern developments in the right hands.
I would believe factory ammunition is readily available in SA but reloading it, really wakes it up. I would put the recoil close to the 30-06 and when you squeeze the trigger on something soft and furry you will not notice.

AND absolutely no disrespect at all intended, the 300H&H will out shoot you when you start and creep out over 500yrds.
 

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I handload for both 6.5x55 and .300 WSM (which is ballistically similar to the .300 WM). Handloading-wise, I prefer the .300 WSM because, despite taking more powder, the bullets are less expensive.
I'm still somewhat waking up, but aren't Wildebeests those ridiculously dangerous ox-like animals that, if you don't kill them, they're sure as heck going to kill you? If so, I think I'd prefer to make a bigger hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Xjsdvr the original post spoke about sending a few rounds down range up to a 1000m, not killing an animal at 1000m.

Ko improbable, incorrect you are referring to an Buffalo, wildebeest is not the same.
 

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Let me add a spanner to the works here, seen I have a 308, what are the chances are getting it turned into a 6.5? Seen the 6.5 out shoots the 308, if this is not an option what's the possibility of laoding the 308 down to like a 125 grain and then sort of on par with the 6.5.. My knowledge around this is not so great so any reccomendations will be considered. (Keep in mind gunsmithing is not a huge thing here)
Have some experience with the .308 using 125 grain bullets. My advice is not to lighten the payload. The bullets ive tried is too apt to frag if hitting heavy bone. They generally put medium game down like getting stuck by lightening but too close to a failure for me to be comfortable.

The beauty of 6.5 bullets is their great sectional density, especially in the 140 grain and up. If you couple that with a good performing bullet that won't shed its jacket, I think you will be extremely pleased with the result.
 

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If you are shooting 140 6.5 bullets their sectional density and B.C. helps them maintain velocity a lot further than a 165 308 could ever do. They kill game way out of proportion to their size. To keep up the 300 needs a bullet in the 190/200 grain area. That being said, if the critter was big and nasty, I'd go 300 mag. My 338 is even better:D
 

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If you're only considering two cartridges and recoil is not an issue, I'd go with the 300 Winmag.
But to agree with Sus, the old 300 H&H is probably better than both.
Jim
 

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I haven't developed for the 6.5x55, but I have extensive experience with the 300 WM.

That said, components are readily available in just about any flavor imaginable. And yes, the 300 WM mag. burns some powder, I burn 81.2 gr. of 7828 with a 165 gr. Hot Core, so a pound of powder disappears rather quickly, a little more than 4 boxes to the pound. Off the shelf local components brings it to about $12 per box in my neck of the woods, so it's not terribly expensive for me to keep up with. But you are in Africa, so I would imagine components are probably going to cost a bit more.

It's a good long range shooter with the right components and load development. I use it for deer and elk, 165 gr. Speer Hot Core works very well for long range mule deer, and 180's have been the ticket for elk. Never had either walk away after a properly placed shot with either combination. But the great thing about the 300 WM, is you can go heavier also with impressive performance if needed / desired.

SMOA
 
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