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  1. #1
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    Default .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    On Paper they seem to be the same ON PAPER, but are there any difference performance ?
    Mind you i have never shot either round.

    Just doing some research before i buy.

    Thanks Nyman.

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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrnyman View Post
    On Paper they seem to be the same ON PAPER, but are there any difference performance ?
    Mind you i have never shot either round.

    Just doing some research before i buy.

    Thanks Nyman.
    The 2 cartridges are different, but not so different. From a sheer performance standpoint, the 2 are nearly identical, nearly. It's quite interesting, but with the lighter bullets like 155-180 grain, the .300 WSM will shoot those bullets FASTER than the .300 winmag will. The nice thing about this is that the .300 WSM will do it with less powder, which means less reloading cost, less heat on the barrel, which results in slightly less barrel wear. This is IF they have the same length of barrel, that being around 24". Now, when you get to the 190 grain bullets, the two will perform nearly identical, although the edge is starting to go to the .300 winchester magnum. Once you get get past 190 grain, the WSM will trail behind, and will not be able to achieve the same velocity that the .300 win mag will be able to with those heavier bullets; this being a result of the WSM having less case capacity. Most people don't shoot bullets over 190 grains, but if you intend to do so, it is a performance issue.

    There are some other pronounced differences. The .300 winmag is built on a belted magnum case, meaning it has a belt. I'm not sure if you're familiar with belted magnums, but it is a little lip that sticks out towards the bottom of the case. Every other case in this photo has a belt in it, you should be able to see it.


    On a belted magnum case, the cartridge headspaces off of that belt, and NOT the shoulder like many other catridges. The .300 WSM is NOT a belted magnum case, and therefore it headspaces off of the shoulder. If these are not terms that you're familiar with (headspacing, etc), please ask and myself and others will be happy to clarify. Either way, it's a difference between the two catridges. Because they headspace in different places, it also means that they tend to wear brass in different places. It does not mean that one is necessarily better than the other, merely that they're different.

    Since the cartridges have different sizes and capacities, their powder columns are different. The .300 win mag has a long and narrow powder column, while the .300 WSM has a short and fat powder column. This does have some effects on how the powder burns. The main difference is that since the powder colum on the .300 WSM is wider, the flash from the primer will actually ignite more of the gun powder than it does in the .300 win mag. Some people say this results in consistency differences, although it's very hard to measure. I will say that most people, myself included, can't consistently shoot well enough to blame some slight differences in consistency solely on this issue. It is theoretically true though, that when more powder is ignited by the primer flash, it will burn and ignite more powder; resulting in a more consistent burn. This is why most people attribute the .300 WSM to be more efficient; meaning it can get the same velocities on light to medium weight bullets with less powder. You have to realize though that this is also just as dependent on the primers used, and even more so on the types and charge weights of the powders you are using. Either way, it is accurate to say that the .300 WSM uses less powder and can achieve the same velocities, so it is therefore more efficient, which has pluses in terms of heat generation, barrel life, etc; BUT it also has it's costs which I will get to later.

    Some people will claim that the .300 WSM has less recoil than the .300 win mag, with similar loads (meaning similar bullet weights but same velocities), if the rifles weigh the same, etc. I think this is a bit of a stretch, and I think based on physics, if you're pushing a 190 grain bullet the same velocities, for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction; so I just see the recoil being very similar. The one thing that MIGHT affect the feeling of recoil is that they may have different impulses, because the powder ignites and burns at different rates because of the case shape. Either way, I've shot very similar weighted rifles with similar loads, and haven't really noticed a difference. Recoil is so subjective, this is something that is very hard to quantify, and not really something I'd base my buying decision on.

    Another major difference, and many times a deciding factor of whether or not to go with the .300 WSM or .300 winmag is related to their actions. The .300 win mag is built on a long action, where as the .300 WSM can be built on a short action. The short action will weigh every so slightly less, and be a bit more compact, while the long action .300 win mag will be a bit longer and slightly heavier. Some people will claim there are differences in flex between long and short actions, I've done some posts on this before so you may want to search. Either way, it's pretty safe to say almost no shooters can shoot well enough to notice that difference, and the effect is negligable. The big difference though has to do with bolt throw. The bolt throw on a short action is very short, and therefore quite fast. The bolt throw on a long action is longer, and therefore even if you're moving the bolt just as fast, since it has a longer distance to travel, it will be slightly slower. This may or may not be something that matters to you (it doesn't matter to me), but some people are just more comfortable with a shorter bolt throw. I built my .300 WSM on a long action, this is a chore, but there was a method to my madness. The feed rails on the long magnum action had to be opened up slightly, and the front of the magazine had to be blocked off to accomodate reliable feeding. The reason that some of us do this though is when you want to reload long VLD type bullets into the lands. If you build a .300 WSM on a short action, and you want to be seating into the lands (which is where those bullets like to shoot more accurate at), the cartridges will end up being longer than the magazine length. When the cartridges are longer than the magazine length, this means you basically have a single shot rifle that has to be loaded with the bolt open every single time. On my long action, I made it so that the magazine length still had enough room so that you can seat the bullets into the lands and still have a repeater that feeds from the magazine. The problem with doing it this way is that it takes a lot of work to make the change, and you still have a long action length bolt throw on a short action caliber. You can't do this on factory rifle, but if you were building a rifle on a custom action, there are some custom manufacturers that make WSM actions that allow you to have a shorter bolt throw, but still have a long enough magazine to seat into the lands.

    There is another LARGE aspect that should be mentioned, and this is related to barrel lengths. Because of the design of the cartridge and powder that typically shoot well in WSM cartridges, they usually need a longer burn length. Although heavy weight bullets will usually shoot better with slower burning powders, to get good velocities and consistency, there are some powders that the WSM and win mag both like. The big difference is that since the .300 win mag has more case capacity, and so it can get away with not quite burning all the powder in the case. In my experience this means that if you want a shorter barreled magnum, in the 22" or 24" length, the .300 win mag will usually have the edge. If you're shooting the WSM's in shorter barrel lengths, like 22-24", you usually won't get the WSM to keep up with the .300 winmag. It should be noted that magnums were designed to have a bit of a runway (long barrel), and that they perform best in longer barrels; but some people want a hunting rifle with a 22" barrel. Either way, it's my experience that most WSM's need at least 24" barrels, and they do best with 26" barrels or longer. The .300 win mag will get better velocities from the 26" barrel than the 24" barrel as well. It should also be noted that in the magnum calibers, a few inches can make a fair bit of difference in velocities; it's not like shooting a .308 where a few inches may not make that large of a difference. Either way, if you want a short compact rifle that will have better velocities, you may want a .300 win mag instead of the short magnum. If you want a shorter bolt throw, then you may want the short magnum. If you want more efficiency, and plan to never shoot the heavy bullets, you may want the short magnum. It's all a bunch of trade offs that you have to consider. I hope this has helped, let me know if you have any other questions or I need to clarify things.

    I wanted to give you an idea of kind of the differences in sizes of bullets. I don't have a digital camera handy, or else I could just take a picture. This photo is actually NOT of .300's, but it's in 7mm's but the same comparison. This photo is basically like comparing a .308, .300 WSM, .300 win mag, and .300 ultramag.

    From left to right 7mm-08, .280, 7mm WSM, 7mm Mag, 7mm Ultra Mag. You want to disregard the .280, and look at the 1st, 3rd, and 4th rounds mainly.

    Notice that the 7-08 and 7mm WSM are basically the same length, which is how it is with the .308 and .300 WSM. Then you compare the 7mm WSM to the magnum, and it's slightly wider, but a fair bit shorter, same with the .300 WSM and winmag. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Tomcat088; August 5th, 2009 at 02:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Tom Cat, as usual thanks for your very educated reply, it was an education.
    The main thing is that if i'm not going over 190 grain rounds they are pretty much equal, i really intend to shoot 180 grains so i should be fine with the WSM.

    Also the WSM doesnt have that belt so i',m thinking it should be less difficult to reload when i started reloading.

    Thanks, Nyman

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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrnyman View Post
    Tom Cat, as usual thanks for your very educated reply, it was an education.
    The main thing is that if i'm not going over 190 grain rounds they are pretty much equal, i really intend to shoot 180 grains so i should be fine with the WSM.

    Also the WSM doesnt have that belt so i',m thinking it should be less difficult to reload when i started reloading.

    Thanks, Nyman
    Howdy Nyman, you're quite welcome for the reply, glad that I could be of assistance. The WSM doesn't have the belt, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's easier to reload. Although you do have to watch different places on the brass on the belted magnum. Anyway, you have to understand the differences in the barrel length though and what it has to do with the velocities. Out of a 22" barrel, even with 180 grain bullets, the .300 WSM isn't gonna be moving quite as fast as the .300 winmag. It might not be enough to deter you from the WSM, but it's something that you have to understand. The WSM needs the barrel length to get the performance. So it kind of depends on what you length of barrel you want, what your velocity exepectations are, etc. It should also be noted that since the WSM is fairly new, although popular, there aren't as many rifles chambered in it. Like if you were wanting a heavy barreled factory Remington 700 in .300 WSM, you're not gonna find it. You'd have to rechamber one of their other rifles for it. The problem with that is this, you'd be building a .300 WSM on a long actionand have to change up the action. If you built it on a .308, then on top of rechambering it, you'd also have to get a new bolt and have it headspaced properly, or you'd have to open up the bolt face on the .308. Either way, it's something else to consider, because you may want a certain style of rifle that Remington doesn't build. Just something to consider.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Thanks for the reply, I see barrel lenght is crucial on the WSM.

    The gun i'm looking at is a Tikka in .300 WSM, i believe it comes in a 26 inch bbl. not sure so i will have to check with the dealer. It is definately 26 or 28 though.

    Thanks, Nyman

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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    WSM means ammo is harder to find and/or more expensive. There's nothing that makes it worthwhile to not stick with the more established cartridges like .300 Win, 7mm Rem, or .30-06. Everything you hit with them all goes down the same and your shoulder hurts less with the latter.
    "You can't stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws--that's insane!" -- Penn Jillette

    "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." -- Ted Nugent

  7. #7
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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Yellowfin, how about range though?
    Can the 7mm and 30-06 cleanly take a Mouflon Sheep 3-400 yds accross a canyon up in the cold dry Yukons?

    I like the 7mm but it is rumored to be very tough on Deer size game, tears up a lot of good meat i hear?

    Thanks , Nyman.

    pps, I plan to start reloading this winter so ammo shouldnt be a problem.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    I had forgotten about this thread until I was searching for it earlier and then I saw it. I saw some questions or things come up that hadn't been answered so I figured I'd raise it from the dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowfin View Post
    WSM means ammo is harder to find and/or more expensive. There's nothing that makes it worthwhile to not stick with the more established cartridges like .300 Win, 7mm Rem, or .30-06. Everything you hit with them all goes down the same and your shoulder hurts less with the latter.
    Sure ammo can sometimes be difficult to find, but it's still not all that difficult. I've ran into mom and pop places and seen them selling WSM ammo in various calibers. Any of the cartridges you mentioned, if people are wanting to truly take advantage of these great calibers, they need to be shooting reloads anyway. I've never really noticed that a good .30-06 reload in about the same rifle weight kicked noticeably less to me than a 7mm mag or .300 win mag. Maybe I just don't notice it or you mainly shoot factory loads that are loaded down. Either way, the .30-06 and .300 win mag are pretty dang close in terms of performance, velocity, drop, etc; with the .300 win mag being slightly better because of the velocity, but again I've never noticed much difference in recoil.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrnyman View Post
    Yellowfin, how about range though?
    Can the 7mm and 30-06 cleanly take a Mouflon Sheep 3-400 yds accross a canyon up in the cold dry Yukons?

    I like the 7mm but it is rumored to be very tough on Deer size game, tears up a lot of good meat i hear?

    Thanks , Nyman.

    pps, I plan to start reloading this winter so ammo shouldnt be a problem.
    A .30-06 or 7mm mag will have NO problem taking any kind of sheep, or even an elk and 400+ yards. That is all depedent upon the shooter placing the bullet in the right place, and using the correct bullet.

    I've shot deer with 7mm mags and .300 win mags, and the meat damage was about the same with a similarly designed bullet. The 7mm mag will have a little bit more velocity (not much), and is slightly smaller, but definitely not small. The .300 win mag has a larger hunk of copper/lead moving and a dang fast clip as well. It's all going to depend on what kind of bullet you're shooting and where you hit the animal. If you hit ANY game animal with a magnum with a fast expanding (soft) bullet, on a bony structure like the shoulder; there WILL be extensive damage and you'll lose all or most of the meat on that shoulder. The animal will not go anywhere, and you'll have a clean kill, but you're gonna waste meat that way. If this is what you're worried about, you need to shoot a bullet that is a bit more penetrating and heavy, or make sure you don't hit the front shoulder. On a trophy, who cares about the meat waste? Make sure you hit both shoulders so he doesn't go anywhere. Either way, if you hit a deer sized animal at 300 yards with a lighter weight bullet for the caliber with a magnum; you're gonna waste some meat. Sometimes if you shoot them at 100 or so, the bullets are going so fast, they barely have time to expand, especially if you don't hit the front shoulder. Just some things to consider.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Lots of great points made here regarding the differences between the 300win.mag vs 300wsm. I have a model 70 heavy barrel chambered in 7mmWSM and a Savage 16 in 300WSM and like them both. Although I've heard rumors of the short mags having feeding issues due to the short action design, I've never had an issue with either gun and I have been spending alot of range time lately developing a load for the 300. As a reloader, I like the fact that I can use less powder in my WSM to reach the same velocity as the 300 win. mag which brings me to my next point.

    (Flame suit on) As far as the performance of each round,(300 win mag. vs. 300WSM) there is no difference in my opinion. When a 180gn. bullet clears the muzzle at 3000fps it doesn't care if it was loaded in a long skinny case or a short fat case. If both calibers were loaded with the same projectile and fired at the same velocity the trajectory would be the same. And furthermore, the terminal performance would be the same.

    I'm more concerned with accuracy than velocity. My 7mmWSM will put 3 in a dime and 5 in a nickel with 160gn accubonds @3100fps, so thats what I'm taking bear hunting on Monday. I'm working on a 178gn Hornady bullet with IMR4350 for the 300WSM and to date my best groups were approaching 3/4" around 2800fps. I have two more loads worked up that should push me past 3000fps that I will test today. If I can't get my groups to slim down at the higher velocities, I'll start over next week with R22. The problem is not the accuracy, but the velocity where my best groups are occuring with the present powder.

    Thw Win.mag is reportedly capable of a SLIGHTLY higher velocity with bullets in the 200-220gn level but I can not personally attest to it. This would be good in terms of more energy, less hold over, etc. but faster is not always better. I started reloading when I was 17. I'm now 37. In my modest 20 years of reloading rifle cartridges, most of which are for standard off the shelf hunting rifles, it is not often that the best accuracy occured at max load. I've also never had the need to load 200+gn bullets, so for me I see no difference between the two. I'm not bashing the 300Win.mag but you won't hear of me selling off my WSM to buy one any time soon. The opposite would also be true if I owned a Win.mag.

    In short, If I didn't own either and planned to reload, I'd buy the WSM. If I had no intention of reloading I'd buy the Win.mag. If I bought either gun with intentions of hunting long range and it didn't shoot sub-MOA groups consistantly, it would go down the road.

    mudlust

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    Default Re: .300 wsm and .300 Win Mag whats the diff?

    Great stuff Guys.. a real education, I am leaning to the 300 win mag, not sure why other than I like the browning X bolt in that action.
    As far as 7mm bullets tearing up deer size game, Try the Barnes x bullets , or the speer grand slam, They stay together and often leave most of their energy in the body cavity. I had one save a hunt this year in N carolina , I took a shot before I was ready on a 160lb 8 pointer who was crossing a shooting land 130 yards away. The bullet was a little back and exited just before the rear leg.
    The buck only ran about 60 yards. Hit them in the rib cage and little meat damage. Killed 4 whitetails and a mulie this year barns XTP did the job very well. 7mm 08 140 g, 4350 , mag primers.

    Thanks
    Ralph

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