Q: After much studying of ballistic charts and reading stories by some famous American big game hunters, I’ve decided that my one and only hunting rifle will be chambered for one of the .30 calibre magnums, probably the .300 Win. Mag. I think the .300 WSM is limited by being chambered in a short action, and the .300 Weatherby is too expensive for ammo and cases. In considering the .300 Win. Mag.
For long range shooting of heavy game I feel that anything less than 165gn bullet is inadequate. True the 150gn at about 3300fps shoots very flat and is easy to hit with, but its B.C is less than the 130gn .270, which causes its retained energy to sink pretty low by the time it reaches the 400yd mark. This eliminates its ability to smash through heavy bone and muscle even if expansion is fully controlled as with the Barnes TSX. This limits my choices to three bullet weights that are better suited for long range work on heavy game – the 165, 180 and 200gn. Which would be your choice and why? Can you suggest a good reload for the .300 Win. Mag. with Woodleigh’s Hornady 165gn, 180gn and 200gn bullets?
A: Anything less than the 165gn bullet is inadequate in the .300 Win. Mag. Because even though you can start it about 100 foot- seconds faster than the 180 gn. there is so little difference in drop at 400yds that you’d never notice it in the field.
Also, the 165gn delivers around 200 ft/lbs less energy at 400yds than the 180gn., because of its lack of sectional density – .247 against .271.
A sleek 180gn spitzer bullet in a controlled expansion design gives deep penetration and is considered optimum in the .300 Win. Mag. for all around shooting of heavy game.
A couple of handloads I’ve found excellent are: Woodleigh 165gn PP SN and 78gn of Supreme 780 for 3176fps; Woodleigh 180gn PP SN and 75gn of Supreme 780 for 3004fps; Woodleigh 200gn PP SN and 73gn of Supreme 780 for 2910fps.The Woodleighs perform well with no problems, because having no relief grooves or cannelures lengthens the amount of bearing surface so they will hold tighter in the short neck of the .300 Win. Mag.