I am considering a new bolt gun next spring and was going to throw it out to discussion. Other than the obvious $ diff in ammo from 308 to 300wsm is there really enough performance to justify it. Hows the recoil compare to the 308 vs the 300wsm? Is the 300 win mag on its way out compared to the wsmag? Decisions,, decisions,,,
Concur generally. If you have the talent, the .308 will take you out to 800 meters or so, where it goes subsonic. The extra velocity of the .300 and/or heavier bullets will take you out to 1000 meters or more.
As you noted, for the small increase in range, you will pay a lot more for factory ammo, brass, bullets (if you go heaier), and a lot more for powder. You will get a LOT more recoil, since you will be pushing heavier and or faster bullets unless you go to a substantially heavier rifle.
I have no experience with the .300 WSM, as I have the .300 Win Mag, and am happy with it in the rifle I have. It is still quite popular for 1000 yard matches. You will see almost no .308s there. For now, I see no reason to change.
Unless I am going to a long range (800 m. +)match or suspect I may have to take a very long shot, I take my .308.
Just my .02, YMMV. Hope this helps.
Thank you for the input. I have been trying to justify in my mind the worth of going with a 300WSM but Im not getting the reinforcement to go overboard I was kind of looking for, maybe foolishly I might add. I want to get something light in a short action like a Winchester Coyote, light but with a heavier and allegedly more accurate barrel,in either 308 or 300wsm. I dont want something to heavy and I know, but hate to admit, a somewhat light rifle like this will kick like a mule in a mag. calibre. I already have a Leopold 4.5x14 vari-x 3 to put on it and I have a fair supply of 308 ammo from my last 308 rifle. I hear nothing but good things about Winchester mod 70's and have been told that the triggers are adjustable from the factory. I dont know about that for sure but I dont want some heavy ass "sniper" rifle but something on that level of accuracy. The eternal quest for a lightweight, hyper accurate, highpower, moderate recoil, reasonably priced rifle contiues. I think though a Winchester Coyote in .308 may be in my future unless someone can point me to something better for less than a grand. The Coyote is about $650 dealer I think.
I'd suggest you'd give consideration to what you're gonna use the bolt gun for - Hunting??? If so the .308 really is enough gun to do the job for most game - I took a very nice west Texas mule deer with my .308 in Nov. - Now, would I hunt Elk with my .308 - Yes, but only if I had to - I'd rather use a .300 win mag - .300 WSM - I personally would never consider it (one stupid reason why I feel that way is because .308 is a NATO round - never run out of ammo -- and certain U.S. military units also use the .300 win mag as a sniping round - probably never run out of ammo)
Just my .02 cents
I, too, am poised to purchase a .308 bolt-action.
A while ago, the Forum helped with massive doses of information. I was looking at the Remington 700P LTR. Really nice rifle.
At this point, I'm considering more of what you referred to as a "heavy-ass sniper rifle", albeit, mine will be more in line with the "tweaky-tush sharpshooter" style...
Not as heavy nor heavy-duty as a military sniper rifle.
Lighter and better suited to the urban sharpshooter role.
My final choice is the Remington 700P PSS in .308.
My decision for the heavier bbl. was influenced by:
the fact that the stock is a true full-size version, and therefore can be retained for use as a "sniper" rifle stock at a later date (I'm changing the stock to a Hogue, which is actually 3 oz. heavier, but much trimmer), and, the LTR stock is shorter/narrower with oddly spaced sling swivel studs...;
the 26" bbl. length precludes excessive muzzle "flip and flash", especially when using the Federal High Energy or Hornady Light Magnum ammunition, which ups the power ante of the .308 to approximate .30-06 levels. This was a major reason to go with the PSS.
This rifle will use the Leupold Tactical 4.5-14x40 1" tube Mil-Dot scope, probably in Leupold QR 1-pc. base and med. rings, totally adequate for my needs.
More items are planned, like the Harris bipod; Brownells Latigo sling and a stock pouch for the tools. Still working on the details.
It is NOT a sniper rifle, it is an "urban target" rifle.
Good Luck on your choice.
Concur with the advise given. I have both a .308 and 300win mag. in hunting weight rifles. Both are Tikka's. The recoil on the 300win mag is nothing to be concerned about in my rifle.
The recoil for the WSM should be less overall than the win mag. It just seems that cartridges with a shorter powder column have less recoil than full-length cartridges of the same caliber and power.
And a lot of people feel that cartridges with a shorter powder column are inherently more accurate. Also because the new "super magnums" are rimless, and as a result headspace on the shoulder instead of the belt, like the older magnums, they are potentially more accurate.
If that is what you are after, I would stick with the .308, and consider the Rem PSS or equivalent.
I have a M70 in .308 that is good, but the best deal I found was the PSS. My .300 WM is a custom built on a M70 action and will do 5 shots in 1/4" (handloads only), but the PSS is almost box stock and is an honest 1/2 MOA rifle with Federal 168 Match, or sub 3/8" with handloads. Both M70 and M700 (PSS) triggers can be tuned, or swapped for a Timney or Jewell. That is the only mod on the PSS - a good gunsmith took out all of the creep and let it down to just under 3 lbs for $25.
I have the 4.5x14 on the PSS, but I am looking for another 3.5x10 M3 to replace it.
Less optics, the PSS cost less than half of what the custom M70 did (when completed), is much more portable (10 lbs. vs. 16 lbs.), has 80% of the effective range, is only slightly less accurate, and can be shot for about half what the .300 WM cost.
Hope this answers some more questions.
The 308 is better to develop your skills with, and then maybe get a 300 later. At times, shooting the mag a lot can be gruelling.
The Winchester varmint rifles are incredibly accurate. While I can not really speak to the Coyote, my sporter is a great rifle. I have heard good things about Winchester barrels lately. There is a Winchester/FN sniper rifle in 308 with a chrome lined bore too. Adjusting a Winchester trigger is child's play.
While the factory ballistics for the 300WM and 300WSM are identical, if you handload the 300WM can be loaded quite a bit hotter, like very close to 300Wby or 300RUM levels, while the factory load for the WSM is already pushing the envelope.
Simply not true. My .308 load doesnt go subsonic until it gets out past 1200 yards.
Fedral 210M Primer
Sierra 175gr Match King
44gr of Varget Powder