The .300 Winchester Magnum
in 1963, The .300 Winchester Magnum is a very successful cartridge. It
can handle just about any game animal in the world (where minimum
caliber laws allow). It can be chambered in rifles with a
standard-length action and does, in fact, provide a substantial
increase in power (as well as a flatter trajectory) over the venerable
and highly-regarded .30-'06.
This cartridge uses a large, belted
case. Back in the 1950s it was still thought that a belted case
provided benefits over a non-belted case. Today we know better, but the
belt really doesn't hurt anything. This beast of a round burns a lot of
powder and has significant recoil (dependent, of course on the weight
of the rifle). It is also very accurate in a good rifle with good
loads. Many long-range shooting records have been set with the .300 Win
About the name -- it is just another of those choices made
by gun and ammunition makers. It is really a .308" calibre round and
probably should have been called the ".308 Winchester Magnum" but
Winchester didn't see it that way.
I have a .300 Win Mag rifle
that is still unfinished. It was made from a 1917 Enfield that was
rechambered and shortened to a 20" barrel. Really, that's a very short
barrel for this cartridge, but the rifle was for sale at a good price.
I decided to replace the stock because (among other reasons) I thought
the accuracy was suffering because of the sideways pressure that stock
was applying to the barrel. It remains to be completed. Before I began
the stock project I shot it a few times. It would never produce a
decently tight group for me (that couldn't be the fault of the shooter,
now could it?); it recoiled hard; it was LOUD; it was fun to shoot.
may be newer cartridges that have some small advantage over the .300
Win Mag but not by a heck of a lot. This is a hunting or a competition
round. It is useful as a military or police sniper round. It is really
too much cartridge to try to use for home-defense.