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.300 Winchester Mag [Caliber]: Best Ammo & Rifles

From Alaska to Zimbabwe, .300 Win Mag is open the top choice for big game and stopping long-distance baddies. Find out why, plus ammo and rifle suggestions.

If you are looking for a cartridge that will cover your hunting needs from Alaska to Zimbabwe, look no further than the .300 Winchester Magnum.

Since 1963 hunters, target shooters, snipers, and law enforcement personnel have depended on Winchester’s Big 30 to deliver results.

Fire up your computer and search for “best long-range hunting cartridge” or “best all-around magnum cartridge” and you’ll be sure to find the .300 Win Mag in the top 10 of every list you find.

Image source: GunWerks

And for good reason.

The .300 delivers accuracy, terminal performance and consistent results in rifles built on standard length actions. Simply put, you can load a whole lot of performance in an action the same length as your 30-06.

Once you’re done here, you’ll know exactly how the .300 Win Mag came to be, what role it fills, and what our top recommendations are for hunting and long-range ammo, and even some of our favorite rifles to shoot them in.

Table of Contents



The .300 Winchester Magnum came along in 1963, quite a bit later than the 300 Weatherby which was introduced in 1944 and the 308 Norma Magnum which showed up around 1960.

Winchester took their 338 Win Mag case and bumped the shoulder forward a bit and lengthened the case a bit to develop the 300. If we reach back even further we find that the lineage of this great cartridge can be traced to the 375 H&H Magnum.

The case was simply blown out to have less taper, shortened and necked down to accept the 30 caliber bullet.

So why has the 300 Win Mag outlasted and outshined other great 30 caliber magnums like the 308 Norma Magnum and the 300 H&H Magnum?

Well, a great cartridge requires a great rifle – Winchester’s Model 70 fit that role.

A Winchester Model 70 in 375 H&H...No other rifle has captured the hearts of hunters the way the Model 70 has
A Winchester Model 70 in 375 H&H…No other rifle has captured the hearts of hunters the way the Model 70 has

The rifle had already gained a loyal following and the 300 Win Mag offered a level of performance not seen in other Winchester rifles.

Other manufacturers followed suit and built rifles to house the Big 30.

Though we see lots of 300 Weatherby’s, the huge 30-378 Weatherby and the 300 Remington Ultra Mag, none can be chambered in a compact standard length action.

With the 30 calibers being the most popular in North America, there are a wide variety of bullet types and weights available in factory loaded ammo and even more choices available to the handloader.

Left to Right .308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, .338 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .375 H&H Magnum
Left to Right .308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, .338 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .375 H&H Magnum

A quick look at the Hornady catalog reveals 19 different factory-loaded options with bullets ranging from 150 grains to 200 grains.

Likewise, Hornady supplies the handloader with 30 caliber bullets from 110 grains to 225 grains and data for each in the Tenth Edition reloading manual.

Federal catalogs 18 factory options with bullets weighing 150 to 200 grains. The Nosler Reloading Guide Number Four lists handload data for bullets ranging from 125 grains to 220 grains.

As you can see, with the wide variety of bullets and loads available, the 300 Win Mag can literally do and be anything you want.

Who Needs a .300 Win Mag?

The popularity of the 300 Win Mag has been driven mostly by hunters.

Those who pursue big game such as elk, moose and large African plains game are well-served with the power the 300 delivers.

When you are planning on hunting big game, most often there is a fairly big price tag attached that includes not only dollars but your time as well.

The 300 Win Mag is perfect for hunting big elk
The 300 Win Mag is perfect for hunting big elk

You want a rifle and cartridge that can be counted on to make that shot of a lifetime on a big elk or trophy kudu.

For the most part, big game is taken at fairly close range.

However, when that six-point bull gives you a brief look on the last day of a mountain hunt and he’s 450 yards away at the edge of a meadow, having a 300 Win Mag in hand helps even the playing field a bit.

What you’re carrying could be the difference in going home with a freezer full of meat and a set of trophy antlers or having to pass on the shot.

Your 30-06 can make the shot, but the 300 Win Mag offers over 400 foot-pounds more energy with a 180-grain bullet at that 400-yard plus bull elk.

I’d rather have more energy than less.

This Montana bull was taken late in the hunt...the shot was 510 yards with a .300 Win Mag
This Montana bull was taken late in the hunt…the shot was 510 yards with a .300 Win Mag

.300 Win Mag Bullets and Performance

The 180-grain bullet is probably the go-to for most big game hunting. It offers a nice balance of velocity and power.

With today’s choices in bullet construction something like a 180 grain Hornady GMX gives you a monolithic bullet with a BC (ballistic coefficient) of .485.

The higher the BC, the better the bullet overcomes the environment it is flying through. In short, you have less drop and wind deflection at a given yardage than a bullet with a lower BC.

With 165-grain bullets, you can start them at around 3000-3100 feet per second.

If you are hunting sheep or coues whitetail where shots are often long and the game is not all that difficult to kill with well-placed shots, the 165 gives you a bit of an edge with regards to a “flatter” trajectory.

300 win mag bullets
300 Win Mag Bullets

What do you think of the .300 Win Mag so far?

Readers' Ratings

4.98/5 (1567)

Your Rating?

Long-Range Shooting

Let’s step out of the hunting world and into the realm of long-range shooting.

I do not advocate taking game at extreme ranges unless you have the rifle platform, optics and range time to consistently make first round hits with hunting-style bullets at your maximum effective range.

That means lots of range time and lots of trigger time. Just because you can bang steel at 1000 yards from a bench or prone, doesn’t mean you should be shooting at game animals at that range.

That being said, the 300 Win Mag shines as a long-range cartridge. With the high-BC heavy bullets available today, making hits at far away targets is possible.

Shooting Long Range
Shooting Long Range

Take something like a Hornady 208 grain ELD-Match with a BC of .670. That aerodynamic bullet and heavyweight allow the bullet to achieve a very flat trajectory.

Starting at 2800 feet per second you will see only a 49-inch drop over 500 yards with 2148 foot-pounds of energy. Your drop will be 470 inches at 1200 yards and you will have 939-foot-pounds of energy.

Now compare that to your 180-grain hunting bullet. At 500 yards you will be 49 inches low and have 1625 foot pounds of energy left, but at 1200 yards you are now 560 inches low and at 530 foot pounds.

Shooting Long Range
More long range shooting…frosty

Hopefully, this helps illustrate the power of BC and what big, heavy bullets can do for the long-range shooter.

In 2009 the U.S. government purchased match grade ammunition for use in its M24 Sniper Weapon System.

The load consists of 220 grain Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail Very Low Drag bullets fired at 2850 feet per second. With this load, the 300 Win Mag becomes effective for military engagement out to 1500 yards.

That’s just 260 yards short of a mile!

Factory Ammo For Your 300 Win Mag

We’ve looked at performance in the hunting field and at the target range.  There is no doubt the 300 Win Mag can accel in both arenas. But what kind of ammo should you be looking for to feed your 300?

Let’s begin by looking at some solid choices for hunting big game.  As mentioned above, I believe the round is best suited to 180-grain bullets for big game.  

You have a great balance of aerodynamic performance and terminal energy on your intended target.  Here are some solid choices for your hunting needs.

Best .300 Win Mag Hunting Ammo

oasts 100-200 fps more velocity using specially blended powders and 95% weight retention.

Nosler Trophy Grade 180gr Accubond

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The Nosler Accubond bullet is lead-core bullet bonded to a copper jacket to eliminate any separation.  With a boat-tail and a polymer tip the Accubond is a great combination of accuracy and terminal performance.

Best .300 Win Mag Long Range Shooting Ammo

Hornady 195 Grain ELD Match

These are Extremely Low Drag bullets meant exclusively for long-range shooting.  They are not designed for game killing expansion so should not be used as such.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

These bullets also feature a Heat Shield tip to decrease bullet nose deformity as the bullet moves through the air.  This is the type of bullet you want when steel plates are on the menu.

Federal Gold Medal Match – 190 Grain Sierra MatchKing

The Sierra MatchKing bullets are known for record-setting accuracy.  The Federal load with a 190 grain Boat Tail Hollow Point is meant as a target shooting round.  

Best Long-Range .300 Win Mag
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you want to squeeze all the accuracy you can out of your 300 Win Mag, give the MatchKing a try.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of factory-loaded ammo available.  Like the number of guns in the Cabela’s catalog, the choices of available 300 Win Mag ammo at Brownells numbers over 50.  With a modern rifle and optics, you are sure to find a factory load that your rifle favors for hunting or long-range shooting.

Like I’ve said before, there is no better time than now for the shooter. There are so many great guns at every price-point that you should be able to find a 300 Win Mag that suits you. Checking in over at Cabela’s the 300 Win Mag has 50 listings in the catalog. That speaks to the popularity of this fine cartridge.

You will find entry level guns like the Remington Model 783 with scope combo that can get you hunting for as little as $339.

at Cabelas

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Or you can step up, get out the checkbook and get yourself a Seekins Precision Havak for $2,900.

Will the Seekins shoot better than the Model 783? Who’s to say. Find the rifle that fits your needs and your budget and hit the range!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little about the grand .300 Winchester Magnum. The only real downside to the cartridge is its voracious appetite for powder.

For a normal 180-grain hunting load you’ll be burning about 70 grains of powder as compared to the 55 grains you light off in your 30-06.

And with powder consumption comes recoil. You will experience about 30% more recoil than your 30-06 delivers.

Some folks with this level of recoil preclude accurate shooting. Some of the shoulder bashings can be mitigated with a good brake.

If I was going to put together a 300 Winchester Magnum for hunting I’d look very seriously at the Tikka T3x. It comes in at 6.5 pounds and with a scope and brake installed would be around 7.5 pounds which makes for a very handy mountain rifle.

Best Do-It-All Bolt-Action
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

I know my Tikka in 308 Winchester will shoot sub-MOA groups all day long and I wouldn’t expect any less of the rifles in 300 Win Mag.

While we don’t have a full review on the Tikka T3x Lite right now, one will be coming very soon! Sneek preview though, we love it.

But, be sure to double up on your hearing protection, because a braked .300 Win Mag is loud, especially to anyone on the range beside you.

Tell us in the comments about your experience with the .300 Winchester Magnum and what loads have worked for you! Also, taken any big game with it? Check out our Editor’s Picks for our favorite other rifles and gear.

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17 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    Bought a Bagara HMR-PRO, in the 300 Win Mag. Putting a 4.5x14x50 older Luppy scope on it and sighting in the scope @1000” (27) yds Then shooting at a “small bore” 50 yd target reduced for shooting at 50’, BUT SHOT AT. 100 YDS. All shots were placed inside the BLACK for 12 shots and the last 12, 3 each inside the same size BLACK. SOME 1 1/4” black 10 ring.

    July 18, 2021 2:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Bergara B-14 ridge, bedded with devcon, vortex pst Viper 2: 5-25X50, American arms lil bastard 3rd gen brake.
    Hornady GMX 150gr, 71.5 GR IMR 4350, NOSLER fire formed brass, CCI #215 PRIMERS. Average velocity: 3100fps
    Hornady GMX 180gr, 73.7 gr IMR 7828ssc, same brass and primers. Velocity consistently averages 2988.
    Both rounds loaded at saami max OACL 3.340 and group 1.5 inches at 200yds. Less tha 3/4in MOA on a factory hunting rifle. Very pleased with Bergara and Hornady combined.

    September 12, 2020 6:06 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    180 Accubond 74.6 gr H1000
    175 LRX 75 gr RL 22

    July 25, 2020 7:19 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I shoot these out of my CA Traverse 300 WM.
      Tack driver!!!!

      July 25, 2020 7:30 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jim L

    Great article!I bought an EvoShield recoil shirt-best investment ever if you shoot a 300! Recoil is no longer an issue and I can wear it by itself or under whatever clothes the weather requires. My 300 is a T3Lite and easily shots sub -MOA with most factory ammo.

    April 12, 2020 11:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Edgar Mitchell

    I shoot a Browning Stainless Stalker 300 Win Mag. I have killed 3 moose ( 1 head shot 60yrds, 1 hump/spine shot 120 yrds, 1 dead center heart shot 225 yrds) and 2 Black Bears ( 1 head shot 40 yrds and 1 broadside double lung 50 yrds) with it. All animals died instantly or withing 30yrds. The biggest problem I have with it is recoil. 2nd is meat damage if the shot is slightly off target (the spine/hump shot). Unless u want to shoot 300+ yrds, I think it is too much gun even for moose. If I was to buy again, I would get a 270.

    October 12, 2019 4:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chris V.

    I've contemplated the ultimate general hunting rifle and caliber for some time now. A difficult choice considering rifle weight, caliber, bullets, accuracy, recoil... Many fit the need. But what is the ultimate? A compromise for sure, which means perfection will never be reached. But one can come close, especially with modern equipment. I like the 270 WSM in a modern rifle. Mine shoots Federal 130 Trophy Copper sub MOA all day long with a 3-9X40 scope with ease! I have some hunting experience and have shot them all from 243 to 416 Mag. I suspect I could easily hunt and take deer, elk, bear out to 400 yards shooting the WSM using that load. It's a modern accurate rifle shooting a tough modern bullet. But, it's tough letting go of my Old School experience on big game. These days I want every advantage needed as hunting has become more difficult and expensive. There is little doubt in my mind the 338 Win and 375 H&H clobber big animals harder than lesser cartridges most of the time. That gives an edge perhaps not always needed, but it's nice to have. So do I really want to risk say an expensive moose hunt shooting my 270 WSM? Perhaps? On the other hand there's no doubt my stainless Tikka T3 Lite in 338 Win Mag will get the job done! Amazingly a Limbsaver recoil makes that Tikka a joy to shoot! Forget muzzle brakes! Too loud! But for the ultimate hunting rifle it feels silly hunting say deer with a 338! By the way my 338 shoots sub MOA too! Which brings me to the 300 Win Mag. It's an honest 400 yard big game cartridge. My last moose in Alberta was shot through the heart beyond 400 yards shooting a 180 grain X style bullet on the last day. Yes the 338 would have hit harder, but the Winnie got the job done and gave me the confidence to take such a shot, say over a 30-06. I'd say the 300 Win fits the bill for the ultimate hunting cartridge. As for the rifle... Well I've had most from dirt cheap to expensive custom jobs and my vote for the ultimate hunting rifle is a stainless Tikka T3 or T3X. With either one gets a lighter, tough, accurate rifle. Mount a quality 3-9 scope and I seriously doubt for the money there's a better weapon. Especially with the T3 on the used market. $450 to $600 for a stainless T3 in 300 Win! Matter of fact I just picked one up used but near new. With the T3 I swap out the plastic bolt shroud with an aluminum version from Atlas Worxs. I also swap the factory aluminum recoil lug with one of stainless steel and replace the factory recoil pad with a LimbSaver Airtech, which really works! I like the light plastic factory stock and torque the action screws to 45 inch pounds. My favorite Tikka scope mount is the one piece low by DNZ. For this new to me Tikka 300 Win I've mounted a used Bushnell 3-9X40 Eliete Firefly scope. Good optics, but I wanted to try their hydrophobic Rain Guard coating for foul weather hunting. Entire rig weighs around 7lb 5oz with sling. As with all my T3s I expect sub MOA! On a T3X I would still replace the factory heavy metal bolt schroud with an aluminum and replace the factory pad with the Limbsaver. The T3X stock is a bit better than the T3. Better grip, but not by much I have a new T3X Super Lite in 7 Rem Mag in the box, but I feel a 300 Win is the better cartridge, especially on bigger game such as elk/moose. I think my T3 300 most likely is the ultimate big game hunting rig.

    August 27, 2018 11:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I agree with you on the Tikka! I absolutely love my T3x in .270 Win for deer out here in California. Thanks for the info on the limb saver - we'll be reviewing a Howa 1500 in .300 Win Mag soon and I've been looking for ways to make .300 Win Mag a little less teeth shattering.

      August 30, 2018 3:35 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Go with the Evoshield. About the same cost as the limb saver and more effective-I’ve used both! Jim

        April 12, 2020 11:56 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Tikka rifles are awesome! The new T3 series now has a metallic bolt shroud and steel recoil lug. They must have actually listened to their customers about the most requested upgrades.

      November 13, 2018 2:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I’m pretty old school and bought my 300 in 1974. It’s a pre ‘64 model 70 Super Grade and I had no clue about what I had bought. Re-stocked in French walnut and mounted a 2.5 X 8 Leupold tor big game. A knowledgeable friend helped me work up my load 72 grains of 4350 behind a 180 grain Nosler partition. Never needed more than one shot in the 40 odd years since.
    Still shoots 1/2 inch groups if I do my part. The load is considered over max now but not in ‘75 and never had any issues nor have the many friends who use the load. Best purchase I’ve made and will end up with my grandkids.

    June 30, 2018 6:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I shoot a Browing Eclipse with thumb-hole stock and chambered for the 300 win mag. with the Boss compensator. I doubt that there is a rifle on the market that will shoot any better than the Eclipse. I have it mounted with a Night force scope and load it with 208-grain bullets with good results on an 8" AR-500 round plate target. out to 1800 yards. Minimum recoil and no muzzle jump. Works excellent with 180 grain off the shelf Remington Corlok bullets.
    I wouldn't sell this rifle for anything. My shooting buddy shoots a 300RUM in a Remington rifle and my Eclipse can do anything that the 300Rum does or can do.

    June 27, 2018 10:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Will b

    When you roll your own the 300wm is pure magic and voodoo.

    June 27, 2018 5:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    D J

    Get a ,300 RUM a killing machine long or short range 180 gr. Bullet

    June 27, 2018 4:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    if the recoil is to much for you and you dont have a muzzle brake, put one on.... it will make a hell of a difference, it'll feel like a 308 but shoot like a 300 win mag.

    June 27, 2018 3:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Wild Bill

    I do like my Savage 111 300 Win Mag but it seems to be less fun for me as I have added other long range guns. Especially with a 6.5 Creedmoor and 338 Lapua Magnum in my safe. It was my first step into long range shooting and I chose it because of the different projectiles available and the power it has. Being on sale for $500 was a plus as well. The 338 Lapua is obviously more much more powerful and is nicer to shoot because it weighs 17 lbs muzzle blast not withstanding. To lay behind the 300 all day gets tiring because it is not a super heavy gun so it does punch a bit. So I find I shoot my 6.5 more. Less recoil and less blast. I will probably sell it on to someone who is looking for a start in long range. All in I only have about $1000 in it including glass and bipod.

    June 27, 2018 8:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Benediktson

    I have an older M77 Ruger in .300 Winchester and have loved it dearly. I have taken a few deer with it at ranges from 200 yds down to 20 yds, all 1-shot kills. It is a surprisingly good varmint gun using 110-grain hollow points with which you can shoot direct to varmint or shoot low and blast him out of the hole. For deer and elk, I have long used a 190-grain spitzer boat tail bullet which chronographs at 2920-2950 yielding some easy aiming out to 300 yards. For coyotes, this combination delivers nice through holes without having to hold under or over.

    June 26, 2018 11:30 pm
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