Engineered in the 1960s for long-range shooting, Win Mag rifles have become very popular among hunters. And with a 1,200-yard range, these rifles are also the weapon of choice for many competition shooters.
This write-up explores the characteristics that make this weapon desirable and will help you find the best .300 Win Mag rifle for your needs. Here are some of the top options we will be reviewing today.
- Remington 700
- Winchester Model 70 Super Grade
- Weatherby Vanguard
- Browning X-Bolt
- Browning BAR Mark III
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About .300 Win Mag Rifles
Did you know that the U.S. Military uses the .300 Win Mag for a lot of sniper rifles? Of course, the caliber range makes it attractive for the armed forces. Here are the things to consider when selecting a Win Mag for your arsenal.
How to Choose the Best .300 Win Mag Rifle
I should stress that the Win Mag is a very diverse platform. As such, it’s suitable for different use cases and comes in a few different types.
A common hunting configuration is a semi-automatic .300 Win Mag. These models usually have a higher capacity. That’s why they’re a good choice for tactical shooting. However, hunters also like bolt-action Win Mags. And some manufacturers, such as Browning, produce lever-action models.
Choosing one type over another depends on your personal preferences and shooting style. The semi-automatic options could be the overall top choice for all intentions and purposes. But you should be ready to spend a bit more.
It’s important to point out that you shouldn’t skimp anyway. With this caliber, you need the extra functionality and strength which drive up the rifle’s price. There are specific manufacturing and engineering challenges to make a good and safe belted magnum. And therefore these rifles don’t come cheap.
To be exact, premium materials and machining are necessary to produce a rifle that can handle the size of the .300 Win Mag cartridge. Otherwise, you could be compromising the rifle’s performance and accuracy, as well as your safety.
What Are the Advantages of the .300 Win Mag Rifle?
The firepower of this rifle is nothing short of amazing. In theory (and tested in practice), a .300 Win Mag can pierce through an engine block to stop a car. And if you like the movie scenes where a gunner shoots and blows up a tire from a rooftop, he’s probably using a Win Mag.
However, you’re not likely to ever face these scenarios unless the world turns into a Walking Dead-like dystopia.
On the other hand, you will probably prey on elk, moose, deer, and other huge game in the U.S. In fact, there have been those who took a Win Mag on hunting trips to Africa. Nonetheless, veteran hunters would agree the .375 H&H Magnum, Win Mags bigger brother, would be a better choice for exotic hunting.
Case in point: Win Mag rifle can bring down almost any large game that’s beyond 400 yards. The same goes for smaller game. But you’d need to get the correct cartridge load to avoid obliterating the animal.
To sum up, terminal ballistics, flat shooting, and long-distance accuracy are the main advantages of this caliber. Particularly, if you have your reticle set on large and medium game. And these characteristics also contribute at long-range shooting competitions.
Precautions for Using the .300 Win Mag
If you’re a novice hunter, it wouldn’t hurt to remind you of certain safety precautions when using these rifles.
A lot of Win Mags allow you to load one cartridge, and this applies if your magazine is empty. First, you open the rifle’s bolt and make sure the gun is on Safe. Then, load the cartridge into the chamber with the bullet facing the muzzle. Push it down all the way with your thumb.
If your rifle has a tubular magazine and is partially loaded, you should not add another cartridge. The weapon won’t work like it’s supposed to when the magazine’s inner tube isn’t securely locked.
When your Win Mag fails to fire, you’re probably dealing with a misfire or underpowered shot.
A misfire is somewhat easier to fix. Stay at your shooting position and slowly count to ten. Then, eject the cartridge using the bolt.
Underpowered shots often happen with factory-loaded, clean, and fresh ammo. But then, there might be a low report or a strange sound coming from the gun. If so, you need to stop shooting right away and carefully inspect the weapon.
A bullet might remain in the barrel, and you need to unload the rifle completely. With the rifle’s bolt removed, proceed to inspect the barrel from the breech end, using a cleaning rod. This should help you determine if there’s an obstruction.
Here, it’s critical not to remove the bolt before your 100% certain the Win Mag is unloaded. And if there is an obstruction in the barrel, you need to take the weapon to a professional gunsmith.
The obstruction removal is far too dangerous to be done in the field or at home. If nothing else, you might permanently damage the rifle.
Best .300 Win Mag Rifles
The Model 700 represents an entire line rifle of hunting rifles from Remington. Of course, the ones that are of our interest take .300 Win Mag cartridges. But you can find this model in other calibers, including the .308 Win Mag.
The features that put this Remington on the best .300 Win Mag rifle list are great weight-to-size ratio, affordability, and shooting performance. The 700s are 47” long and have a 26” barrel. They weigh 9lbs and feature strap hooks to make it easier for you to carry the weapon around.
These rifles have a fixed magazine and feature a three or three plus one-round capacity. The finish is either blued or plain black, and you can choose between a polymer or Bell & Carlson M40 Tactical stock.
The latter might be a more durable option, but to be honest it’s hard to tell the difference right out of the box. However, the M40 Tactical does combine urethane, graphite, fiberglass, and aramid for superior performance.
Anyway, the barrel engineering is something I really like with the 700s. It sports a matte finish and has a heavy contour to maximize the performance of the high-velocity caliber. And the barrel crown is target-style and concave.
- Weight-to-size ratio
- Barrel design
- Trigger action
- Doesn’t include a scope or sights
When you think about bolt-action rifles, your mind’s eye probably pictures a 70 Super Grade. This model is among the quintessential old-school rifles, and it has a special place in anybody’s arsenal. But what are the features that make the 70 so appealing?
To start with the obvious, the stock is engineered from Grade IV and V walnut, with an ebony tip at the forearm. This Winchester also comes with a blue finish, Shadowline cheekpiece, and the bolt body is jeweled.
But you’re not likely to admire this weapon from afar, so it’s time to get down to the business end.
The recoil lug is not ring-trapped between the barrel and receiver, it’s forged in. And the bolt has retained the original Winchester configuration. The important thing is that it remains under control while you feed, fire, and eject a round.
I really like the one-piece hinged floorplate because you don’t have to worry about the magazine. Veteran hunters cherish the 70 Super Grade’s three-position safety because it’s easy to operate with the thumb of your strong arm.
Dimensions-wise, the Winchester is on par with other .300 Win Mag models. The overall length is around 46” and the rifle weighs 8.5lbs.
All in all, this is one of the most premium models and it has a price to match.
- Walnut stock and ebony tip
- One-piece hinged floorplate
- Easy-to-operate safety
Weighing 7.24 lbs., the Weatherby Vanguard is among the most lightweight models in this review. But there are quite a few other features that make the Vanguard a top choice.
This rifle comes with a two-stage trigger and a proprietary Accubrake to minimize the recoil and improve your targeting. Furthermore, the Vanguard has a Sub-MOA guarantee for its capability to shoot really tight groups (less than 1” apart for three shots at 100 yards).
The bolt body is fluted, and the bolt sleeve is completely enclosed. This Weatherby also includes a recoil lug and a hinged floorplate. But the thing that caught my attention is the Monte Carlo stock. It has textured grip areas and forearm, plus a swell stock on the right.
To help you remain stealthy, the stock has a unique camo pattern. According to the manufacturer, the pattern has been designed so that the rifle completely disappears, regardless of your distance.
As for the capacity, the Vanguard takes three plus one rounds, which is among the most you can get. Of course, I’m basing this on other hinged floorplate models.
The barrel is made of cold-forged steel and it measures 26”, which is pretty much the standard for .300 Win Mags. And the best thing is that this gun is affordable even if you’re on a really tight budget.
- Includes an Accubrake
- Sub-MOA guarantee
- Three plus one round capacity
- Special camo pattern
Those who have been hunting with their grandpa’s rifle should find the X-Bolt a major upgrade. But let’s get some things straight from the start. The .300 Win Mag X-Bolt comes in a few different versions. The one in this review is the Medallion Bolt Action.
This rifle is engineered for reliability and durability. In addition, it includes a walnut stock with a gloss finish that protects the wood and accentuates its natural beauty. The X-Bolt is a genuine display weapon and it has the firepower to match.
You’re getting a removable rotary magazine and the round capacity is three plus one. The bolt lifts at a convenient angle for quick retargeting and follow-up shots. In addition, there is a bolt unlock button, which gives you the option to cycle the rifle with the safety on.
The X-Bolt’s trigger is feather and you can adjust the pull between 3-5 lbs. And another thing that stands out is the barrel. The style is a free-floating steel supporter, and the barrel has been button-rifled. As you might expect, the barrel also features a blued finish.
Aside from this, the rifle is also super lightweight at 7 lbs. and the stock features 18 LPI checkering.
- Walnut stock and 18 LPI checkering
- Removable rotary magazine
- Barrel design
- Bolt unlock button
- One of the most accurate at longer ranges
If you’re looking for a semi-automatic .300 Win Mag, the BAR Mark III might be right up your alley. This is a gas-operated system that has a multi-lug rotary bolt. The latter allows you to cycle cartridges easily and safely under adverse weather conditions.
Furthermore, the bolt locks in the barrel which improves the gun’s overall strength without compromising the accuracy. The Mark III incorporates a buffering mechanism to minimize the stress on the receiver and improve the rifle’s reliability.
This Browning features a hammer-forged barrel that has been precision-machined for accuracy and strength. Nonetheless, the thing I really like is the cross-bolt safety. You can access it without removing your strong hand from the weapon, thus you won’t lose cheek weld or sight.
When it comes to the materials, the stock is Turkish walnut and there’s an Inflex recoil pad at the forearm. This is very helpful when firing successive shots.
It’s worth noting that the barrel is 24”, somewhat shorter than on most models. But this is not at the expense of accuracy. Quite the contrary. The round capacity is three plus one and the gun weighs only 7.1 lbs.
Keep in mind that this is a premium model and comes at a higher price. But you’re getting excellent value for your money.
- Gas-operated system
- Barrel design
- Cross bolt safety
- Inflex recoil pad
- Upper price range
Determining the best .300 Win Mag rifle for the money is no easy task. The models we’ve tested are engineered to put a smile on the face of even the most demanding hunter or competition shooter. However, the Browning BAR Mark III is the overall winner.
This rifle has an optimal combination of weight, shooting performance, and safety features. Furthermore, it seems that no expense was spared when it comes to materials as well as fit and finish. Due to this, the Mark III is truly a weapon that can become an heirloom for future hunters in your family.