300 WSM, 300 WM, or 300 PRC for Freestate Plains Game

PBrick

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I know that this has probably been asked before, but I can not find the thread. I just got back from hunting in the Limpopo region and I used a 30-06 with 180 grain Barnes TTSX. I want to build/buy something that would work for African Plains Game AND Alaskan game (moose, caribou, black bear, mountain goat, elk, maybe brown bear). I have been looking at the 300 WSM, the 300 WM, or the 300 PRC. I reload so I’m not too worried about ammo (as long as I can fine powder and primers). Please make your suggestions so that I can “buy once, cry once” and have a gun for all of the larger game both in my area and Africa.
 

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My vote 300 WSM and if you can get a barrel that can handle heavier bullets shoot 160gr to 200gr bullets.
 

Mtn_Infantry

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Given just those 3 options, I personally would say 300 Win Mag. If your ammo ever manages to get separated, lost, etc you can always count on finding some almost anywhere, even during the Covid situation I could always come across a box (maybe not at prices I wanted). State side, I've had 3 or 4 instances while traveling with a firearms where my luggage was split up, and once with a bow. Maybe I have horrible luck but it's definitely something I consider.

Given you handload, 300PRC would be my next choice, but ammo availability in an oh shit I'm here already situation is what scares me.
 

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I want to build/buy something that would work for African Plains Game AND Alaskan game (moose, caribou, black bear, mountain goat, elk, maybe brown bear).
Hello PBrick,

Either the .375 H&H or the .338 Winchester.

The .375 will handle heavier bullets for large dangerous animals, such as grizzly (“brown”) bear, African buffalo and so forth.
Plus, it is the lightest caliber allowed in several African countries, for hunting their various dangerous game animals.
I mention this because once you see wild African buffaloes, it is very likely you will plan a future hunt for same.

That said, the .338 with 250 grain bullets is a favorite cartridge here in Alaska with many hunters of bear, moose and bison.
I expect it would also be a quite excellent cartridge for Africa’s so called “plains game”, wether close in hunting, even for huge eland in thick bush or long shots at smallish animals, such as springbok.
Loaded with 225 grain spitzer bullets, it shoots very flat.

Both of these cartridges respectively, enjoy each it’s own well deserved awesome reputation.

You already have one of the world’s best .30 caliber rifles - the .30-06 Springfield caliber.
And so for your plan to some day hunt some of the African and also Alaskan species, I recommend a somewhat larger bore as your next rifle.

Best Regards,
Velo Dog.
 

shark_za

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I dont see the need to shoot heavier than 180gr Premium bullets at Freestate game.
So for me the 300 PRC has no appeal, if you were shooting gongs at extreme long range then the high BC long bullets it can shoot makes sense but not for hunting.
I'm also not bothered between short and long actions, so the answer would be 300 WinMag for me out of the three.
But the real answer would be 300 Weatherby (because its awesome) or 300 H&H (because its cool)
 

Mtn_Infantry

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I dont see the need to shoot heavier than 180gr Premium bullets at Freestate game.
So for me the 300 PRC has no appeal, if you were shooting gongs at extreme long range then the high BC long bullets it can shoot makes sense but not for hunting.
I'm also not bothered between short and long actions, so the answer would be 300 WinMag for me out of the three.
But the real answer would be 300 Weatherby (because its awesome) or 300 H&H (because its cool)
As someone who owns at least 5 300 H&H's I agree with this. Africa screams H&H to me.

I'm taking a .375 H&H and 300 H&H as my 2 rifle battery in a couple weeks. I took a .375 H&H last year to both Limpopo and Freestate killing everything from a Steenbuck to a Buffalo. I think anyone who owns a .375 has almost basically (DARE I SAY) made a .30 caliber magnum unneeded/obsolete, for everything except extreme long range hunting/shooting on Elk size or Larger Game.

Personally, if I didn't own several and wasn't a huge fan of the 300 H&H, I'd probably swap that gun for my .257 Wby Mag, or something chambered in a .260 Rem or .264 Win Mag for longer plains game shots.
 

1dirthawker

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buy the 300 win. if you have to have a 300 magnum. shoot 200 gr bullets in it (they are more efficient than 165 or 180's) hit harder, etc.

velo dog has a good idea with the 338 win tho.

the WSM will have issues with longer/heavier bullets that the 300 win wont. truth is tho, a 3006 is a great rifle for all but the heaviest game, and will work on them with the right bullets.

good luck on your search.
 

BeeMaa

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300WSM was an answer to a question nobody asked and suffers from not being able to shoot heavier bullets (200 grain and above) without compressing the powder, so it's off the table.

The 300PRC was specifically designed as a long range cartridge and because of that, it is capable of ethically taking game out to 600 yards...if the shooter is capable. I'd like to know how many times a PH has green lighted a 400+ yard shot. So it's a great caliber but not likely for use in Africa. However shooting a western mountain sheep at that distance isn't off the table so it's a consideration.

The 300WM performance falls between the other two cartridges and is also the most likely to be found if your ammo is lost in transit (both in Alaska and Africa). If you are OK with limiting your shots to 450 yards or less (again with a capable shooter), it will get the job done with premium bullets ranging from 165 to 220 grains.

So you know where my vote lies...375H&H. Sorry for the curve ball but the 375 would be my go to for all African game as well as most of the other game you mentioned in Alaska. With solids the 375 can take the T10 with very little to no hide damage and you can still hunt DG in any country. Range of the 375 is limited to 300 yards, but some gains can be made with 270 and 250 grain bullets to extend that.

Lastly, I agree with @Mtn_Infantry on the fact that a 375 makes a 30 caliber nearly redundant. A better choice would be the 257WBY to compliment the 375.
 

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I know that this has probably been asked before, but I can not find the thread. I just got back from hunting in the Limpopo region and I used a 30-06 with 180 grain Barnes TTSX. I want to build/buy something that would work for African Plains Game AND Alaskan game (moose, caribou, black bear, mountain goat, elk, maybe brown bear). I have been looking at the 300 WSM, the 300 WM, or the 300 PRC. I reload so I’m not too worried about ammo (as long as I can fine powder and primers). Please make your suggestions so that I can “buy once, cry once” and have a gun for all of the larger game both in my area and Africa.
you already have it in 30-06
 

saswart

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Based on your question, options and what you would want to hunt, the 300WM or WSM would both be fine, for Africa that is.

I actually think the 30-06 would (for the African plains game you get in Freestate) also be fine, thus not really making a "flat hard shooter" such as a 300 necessary. In which case I would then go same route as Velo Dog, but I would be more inclined to go the 375H&H.

True, then you have an '06 and 375 which is not "traditional calibers one would use further than 300m", but I have seen lots of data that both could... Also realistically, unless you really like far shots and that type of hunting, 300-350 y/m is generally the furthest range. Off course you could take it a lot further, but generally if you like stalking/working, one could get to into position on animals within 350. This then really makes any caliber suitable if you know the data.

What I think is important, you touched it briefly, is powder, reloading etc. I actually read on the WSM v Win Mag a while ago and kept some articles... The WSM will with less powder, give almost similar (30 fps less than the WM) loads, with almost 10% less powder used... less powder, less recoil etc. same velocities, sounds good to me.

Articles (https://www.ronspomeroutdoors.com/blog/300-wsm-versus-300-win-mag / https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/get-the-most-out-of-the-30-06/359132 ) that the 30-06 could almost replicate the 300's. Not me saying so, the writers. Also I do not like the 30-06, I am a 308 guy :)

Thus with a 30-06 doing what you want (unless you hunt 600 yards and further) I would look for something else if I was only to have 2 guns. If not then get the 300 WSm/WM, both would be fine and keep and load the 06 heavy for closer hunting
 

geoff rath

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Of the three you nominated, I'd suggest the time-honoured 300 Win Mag. Proven, ammo availability is the best, rifle choices, the same. Marginally (by a smidgin) better down-range performance. Magazine capacity will most likely +1 over the others ... This from a bloke who had a custom WSM built ...
 

BeeMaa

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I also owned a 300WSM and consider it one of my worst firearm decisions.
 

Areaonereal

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300 Win Mag, without a doubt of the three noted…..10 twist barrel up to 220 gr Nosler Partition. 180 plains game. Ammo universally available, along with brass available in the trying times. Resale…slam dunk….reamers common with anyone to chamber the barrel. Tried and true caliber…have hunted with 5 different outfitters. 300 Win Mag is common rental gun…basically says it all. I have not had much enthusiasm for the numerous “boutique” calibers that keep popping up in today’s search for the newest and best. A 30 06 is my favorite plains game, I have taken from duiker to eland, including giraffe. No big 5, that is for a heavy hitter. another alternative to you three is the 300 Weatherby which is just a 300 win mag on steroids using more powder for a little more energy on the giving and receiving end. A 300 win Mag will serve you well with the fewest negative “what ifs” and the most positive results. Lots of great choices for chambering a new rifle in gunsmiths located in Texas.
 

Garrett89

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As someone who owns at least 5 300 H&H's I agree with this. Africa screams H&H to me.

I'm taking a .375 H&H and 300 H&H as my 2 rifle battery in a couple weeks. I took a .375 H&H last year to both Limpopo and Freestate killing everything from a Steenbuck to a Buffalo. I think anyone who owns a .375 has almost basically (DARE I SAY) made a .30 caliber magnum unneeded/obsolete, for everything except extreme long range hunting/shooting on Elk size or Larger Game.

Personally, if I didn't own several and wasn't a huge fan of the 300 H&H, I'd probably swap that gun for my .257 Wby Mag, or something chambered in a .260 Rem or .264 Win Mag for longer plains game shots.
I've got a bunch of Federal .300 H&H ammo if you're interested
 

Tanks

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I went for .300 RUM. A 200 grain modern bullet at 3,100 fps will do the job for any plains game in the world.
 

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