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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I just set up a browning x bolt 300 win mag with leupold VX3 3.5-10x40 scope. I was wondering if you guys have had any experience with this gun and which ammo shoots best out of it. I'm not looking for long distance shooting, under 300 yards preferably. Just looking for some ammo that shoots tight, consistent groups. Thanks for the help.
 

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Kwardlow,

First, welcome to the forum!

Then as has already been said, the only way to answer your question is with testing.

However, I would suggest that you avoid at least one of the Hornady loadings. Hornady is normally a good company, but they have made some real bone headed decisions in the last few years, likely driven by the "bottom line".

The load I refer to is what they list as their White Tail Loads in which they have made the very poor choice to use lighter bullets in such things as the 7mm Rem Mag and the 300 Win Mag.

In no way am I saying that the load they sell will not kill a white tail, but in the case of the 300, a 150gr bullet driven at the velocities they load too is highly likely to be like a bomb just waiting for a place to explode.

Had they dropped back to 2600fps or so with that bullet, it would have taken any white tail that ever lived but would not have been devastation just waiting to happen.

The 300 Win Mag is a very good cartridge, and I'm on my 4th one in that chambering. I use it for white tails, elk moose, but with bullets of good integrity.

Many times when a cartridge is blamed for excessive meat loss, it is not the cartridge or velocity as much as poor bullet choice

Team it up with at least a 180gr bullet and you should be good to go even to well beyond 300yds!

Properly sighted in, a center of kill zone hold will take your critters from up close and in your face to something beyond that 300yd mark.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the welcome and the info. I knew it would come down to good ol fashioned field testing. I look forward to using your guys info and giving my input where I can. Thanks again
 

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I'd try the Federal 180 grain Premiums.

They sure did great in my Browning.
 
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Truthfully, I would imagine that any factory load of 150 gr. and up made by any of the large ammo makers would provide adequate accuracy for deer in your rifle. Finding the most accurate is a matter of testing, but remember -- a rifle that groups 2" at 100 yards will work just fine for deer out to 300.
 

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The biggest problem with the light bullets, say 150gr is the lack of integrity which the heavier bullet have a larger portion of.

Propelling a common 150gr bullet at 300 mag velocities is a recipe for increased meat loss.

Now, that picture could be changed if something like a Nosler Partition or one of the newer bonded bullets is used., and it is never that 150gr bullets won't make the kill on a deer sized critter, but just that anything but a clean behind the shoulders through and through hit brings with it in creased meat destruction/loss.

I'm using a 165gr Nosler partition at present in my 300, but only for the reason that I bought a bunch as it was the only thing that would give some semblance of consistency in my previous 300 which had an extremely bad barrel.

I would prefer a 180gr or even a 200gr if the firearm has a long enough throat and box magazine ( the 200gr is a long bullet) but the integrity of the Nosler Partition makes the 165gr OK even though not optimum for the cartridge.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Good Morning, kwardlow,

While I have no experience with the .300 WM, I do have experience killing mule deer. If the ammo you're after will be used to put tags on deer, I'd go with the least expensive factory ammo that shoots well in your rifle. Deer ain't hard to kill. Just about any center fire cartridge of reasonable caliber will kill deer.

I've killed Rocky Mountain mule deer using bargain aisle factory loads & I've killed 'em using expensive Partitions. None ever got away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I plan on staying with 180 grain bullets and use this gun to shoot bigger game like elk and moose and hopefully a bear this spring. I have a 270 that I use for deer hunting, that thing works awesome.
 

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If you have said what game you'll be harvesting with your nice new Browning, I missed it. As far as a good bullet for deer-sized game, I'd look at something like a 165gr Accubond, Interbond or even Fusion. These would provide very good velocity/trajectory and also be light enough to readily expand in deer-sized game. The fact that they also have some type of "bonding" agent will also help prevent the bullets from fragmenting on a close shot. If looking at game larger than deer, I like the idea of heavier bullets, perhaps 180 & 200gr. The 200gr Accubond is particularly nice in a .300. These heavier bullets are the "best" performers using proper loads and bullet types, as they typically have a very high BC and SD. I own three 300 mags (SMs) and use loads of 150, 165 and 200gr in them; all sighted with a different weight.

After posting I see your comment above. Thanks.

Good Luck!
 
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Your plan to stay with the 180s or thereabouts from the 300WM is a good one. OK the heavier bullet will give a tad more recoil but #### the 300WM kicks anyway, one of those things you learn to live with .... shoot my 16 inch 375JDJ Encore a few times and the 300 Win mag will feel like a 17 REM:D
The reason I would go with the 180 or at least a 175 and Federal Premium loaded with Partitions would be my choice, is that, that is what the calibre was designed to do; push a heavier bullet than the 30-06 or 308 with the obvious result at the receiving end. Pop a 180 Partition one rib back from the shoulder blade, side on and your deer is going to die quickly with very little meat damage .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. This has been a great experience for my first question. As for the recoil, recoil has never once influenced my decision in bullet choice because when it comes down to it you're not going to feel it when your adrenaline is pumping with your crosshairs on an animal. That and after shooting 250 grain out of my 338 win mag the 180 grain aren't that bad.
 

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kwardlow,

I'll add a bit of an explanation here for your benefit and that of others ------------

I have for years looked at a hunting, meaning non-varmint type firearms, as something that I should "optimize" with one load/bullet to be used for all game for which that firearm will be used.

I think it is very poor thinking and a poor choice to jump from one load to another in a given firearm, depending on the game in question.

Although it is not needed, a heavier bullet with more integrity will not be over kill on a smaller - say white tail - game animal and having ONE load for a given platform allows a person to really learn the abilities of that load and gives no opportunity for a mistake caused by mental gymnastics while in the field.

Sus Scofa's last post pretty well nails it!

Just because ammo companies load a 150gr for the 300 doesn't make it an optimum choice. And the fact that Hornady loads a "White Tail" load with a 150gr bullet loaded to mag. velocities does not make it a good or even reasonable choice unless you like to pre grind your critter while still on the hoof.

My go to bullet when I was still hunting with the RUGER #1 - 300 Win Mag that my son now has, was the 200gr Nosler Partition. That rifle had a long throat which allow the bullet to be seated waaaay out. However, with the bolt guns I have since used after passing the RUGER on to my son, the throats are MUCH shorter along with the short mag. box, making the 180gr a better choice for all around use.

Anyway, seeking to optimize my hunting rifle with one load, a 150gr wouldn't even make the bottom of the list with the 300.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum.

Another vote for using the bullet that will shoot best in your rifle providing it is strongly constructed to withstand WM velocities for close in shots. I agree on finding a load suitable for the biggest game you're likely to hunt and then use it for everything. Dealing with multiple loads and different sight settings is a pain.
 

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Well, I'll go against the grain here. Generally speaking, the 30 caliber 180 and 200 gr bullets were specifically designed for elk, moose and bear. Thicker jackets on these bullets. Why would one shoot a big whitetail or mule deer with an elk bullet?

It's not just about will it work or not because that larger bullet will work. But deer species rarely have the body mass to assure adequate expansion. Penetration? Sure. Expansion, maybe. Probably.

For me, personally, I don't consider it a pain to use more than 1 bullet in a rifle. Choosing the bullet beforehand that best matches the game and terrain is a worthy exercise. That selection process and load testing, for me, is a very enjoyable aspect of preparing for my hunt. Not to mention, that preparation, and my load combination, adds a lot to my hunt. Both in confidence and a job well done when the game is down. For your 300 Win, consider the 165 gr and the 150 gr for deer sized game and save the heavier bullets for larger game - which is what they were designed for.

Just my $.02.

Cheers, and best of luck in your final decisions.
 

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I use 180 grain, occasionally, but mostly 200 grain bullets in my .300 Win. The velocity of the lighter bullets at short range can make lightly constructed bullets quite frangible. You do not want to shoot a deer anywhere but in the chest with any 150 grain bullet I know of from a .300 Win. Mag. at 40 yards. Not many of them were designed for that. If you don't want to use heavy bullets, shoot a .30-06. It can already do anything you need done with light .30 caliber bullets.

My .300 is almost always loaded with 200 grain Partitions and it has never failed to be very decisive on any deer (elk, moose, or coyote as well) shot with it, as well as far less destructive than lighter bullets tend to be. I favor one good bullet that does everything the cartridge was designed to do, that you know well, and then hunt everything with it.
 

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Well said saskshooter!!!!!!!!!!!!

As to the lack of bullet expansion, with the Nosler Partition at least - can't and won't speak to others -, that possible problem was long, LONG ago put to rest. It simply does not happen.

As said by saskshooter,, if a person doesn't want the performance that a 300 Win Mag was designed to give with bullets in the 180 - 200gr range, there are just soooo many reasons to choose the 30/06 instead.

Less expense of rifle, brass and powder along with less recoil and with a 165gr bullet which is about as close to optimum as it gets for the "06" there will seldom be a critter not brought home because of an inadequate cartridge.

If I wanted a .308, I'd buy one as there is little point in loading/buying ammo of an equal ability and shooting it in the heavier and more expensive firearm!

What was it the writer said? Something like, --- don't use a rifle that will get it done if everything goes right, use a rifle that will get it done even when things go bad.

Hunting being what hunting is, and the fact that for whatever reason some shots hit in a less then perfect spot. At that point, it's not that the lighter bullet won't kill the critter, it has now come to the point where the lighter, faster and more fragile bullet creates and accounts for greater meat loss.

Hard to see any benefit in that when there were few or no negatives in starting with a bullet more closely suited for the cartridge in hand.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Well said saskshooter!!!!!!!!!!!!

As to the lack of bullet expansion, with the Nosler Partition at least - can't and won't speak to others -, that possible problem was long, LONG ago put to rest. It simply does not happen.

As said by saskshooter,, if a person doesn't want the performance that a 300 Win Mag was designed to give with bullets in the 180 - 200gr range, there are just soooo many reasons to choose the 30/06 instead.

Less expense of rifle, brass and powder along with less recoil and with a 165gr bullet which is about as close to optimum as it gets for the "06" there will seldom be a critter not brought home because of an inadequate cartridge.

If I wanted a .308, I'd buy one as there is little point in loading/buying ammo of an equal ability and shooting it in the heavier and more expensive firearm!

What was it the writer said? Something like, --- don't use a rifle that will get it done if everything goes right, use a rifle that will get it done even when things go bad.

Hunting being what hunting is, and the fact that for whatever reason some shots hit in a less then perfect spot. At that point, it's not that the lighter bullet won't kill the critter, it has now come to the point where the lighter, faster and more fragile bullet creates and accounts for greater meat loss.

Hard to see any benefit in that when there were few or no negatives in starting with a bullet more closely suited for the cartridge in hand.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

You are right. Learned that lesson years ago with light cup/core bullets in a 7rm. Meat lost was above anything I experienced up to that point and since. Close shots making bone contact couldn't have been worse if the animal swollowed a grenade.
 

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Our late moderator, Bob Faucett, had an interesting story about using 150gr. bullets in a .300 Win Mag (before he knew better). Suffice to say, the story ended with a LOT of bloodshot meat on a deer that was in the way.

I don't know if you can generalize about different weights automatically being proper for different game animals anymore. I can personally vouch for some 180gr. bullets being entirely too fragile for our small deer from a .30-06, and likewise, 165gr. bullets from the same manufacturer working perfectly on both our small southern deer and some pretty good sized hogs.

I don't have a .300 Win Mag but I have a couple of loadings for the .30-06 and they work fine with both 165 and 180gr. bullets (different 180gr. bullets than the ones that were too fragile). So.... I'd go with a little heavier bullets in the .300 Win Mag, as a matter of course.

Up to you.
 
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