8x68S vs 300 Wea Magnum

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by oscar1975, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    874
    Video/Photo:
    294
    Likes Received:
    1,632
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    Recognizing that this is an old thread, but that readers looking for information on this issue currently may still appreciate the info, I would say that the way I would look at it is a little different. I would try to answer the question: "what am I going to hunt?"

    If the rifle is to be used in Europe, the 7.62 mm magnum caliber (.300") with bullets as light as 150 gr and as heavy as 200 gr, will do anything you want. Folks are correct when they point out the advantage of larger frontal area, but for European animals, there is no real need for anything really large. If that notion still appeals to the buyer more than anything else, then the 8x68 is not the champion; the 9.3x64 is, or the .338 caliber (in Win or Wby), but these are unnecessarily too much gun for anything that walks in Europe. Which maybe why the 9.3x62 is more popular... The bottom line seems to me that if frontal area is not a very important criteria in the discussion, then why not favor speed and sectional density, hence the .300?

    If the rifle is to be used in Africa, I see a second tier question. Do you include Eland on the list? If no, in any case a larger frontal area never hurts, but the .300 Wby has a truly stellar world reputation, which is objectively well deserved. If yes, the .323 / 250 gr slugs are objectively better than the .300 / 200 gr slugs, but I would also make the point that the .338 / 250 gr slugs are even better, not to mention .375 / 300 gr...

    Practical considerations... Objectively, there is little to chose, from a ballistic or hunting efficiency perspective, between 8x68 and .300 Wby. BOTH ARE FANTASTIC CARTRIDGES. I will admit that my final decision would likely be a very practical one. Let me illustrate: being of European origin and having been raised in Europe, for years I wanted a 8x68 to complement my 7x64. 8x68 ammo availability (not to mention price!) in the US being what it is, I have a .300 Wby and I love it...

    I am not sure what the 8x68 ammo availability is in Spain nowadays, or in various African countries, but I remember that in France, and even in Germany, in the 1970's, it was not very common, and German or Austrian ammo (I remember RWS and Hirtenberger) were ALWAYS A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE than American ammo (I seem to remember seeing a lot of Remington ammo).

    Actually, looking back, I would venture to say that the fantastic adoption rate of US calibers over European calibers in post WWII up to 1980's Europe was due in a very, very, very large part to the fact that American rifles and ammo were essentially half the price of German rifles and ammo, and maybe were not of the same high quality, but certainly of a quality high enough for most hunting popular crowds, if not the "elites", and certainly of a quality high enough to do the job and do it well. But I digress...

    As to recoil, yes, the .300 Wby recoils a bit more than the .300 Win, but this is still very bearable. As we have all confirmed time and again, no one ever notices recoil or blast (unless someone uses a dang muzzle brake!) when shooting at game, and a decent shoulder recoil pad and earmuff make it fine at the range. I would consider (and I am on record on this blog to regularly advise to consider) recoil if the discussion was between .243 and .300 Wby. BIG difference. But between 8x68 and .300 Wby, nah, not much to discuss...
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018

  2. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    874
    Video/Photo:
    294
    Likes Received:
    1,632
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    Truth be told, in the end I personally bypassed the .300.

    I still love the .300 Wby but, like all "universal" solutions, it can be a bit too much, or a bit not enough. I like less recoil for smaller game, and I like bigger/heavier bullets for larger game.

    Since it is just as easy to bring two guns, and it provides a backup in distant places, for African safaris I have evolved toward the concept of a matched pair. My American / European / African plains - non dangerous - game matched pair is a .257 Wby and a .340 Wby. A similar European matched pair could be 6.5x68 and 8x68.

    Objectively both .257 Wby and .340 Wby have better ballistics than the 6.5x68 and 8x68, but not enough that one would actually see a difference in the hunting fields, and the 8x68 (.323) happily splits the difference between .300 and .340, but it clearly does not hit as hard (on both ends, I might add) as the .340 does...

    The one qualifier here is that the .340 Wby recoil is significantly more than the 8x68, and it is not for everyone. It is absolutely fine for those who are willing to learn and practice, but it is above the capability of a casual shooter. From this perspective alone, a 6.5x68 and 8x68 pair may be better for many.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018

  3. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    220
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    45
    Excellent exhibition Actually my intention was to know how similar or different are the cartridges of the subject. You have stated practical reasons that are indisputable. I own several rifles, I am a sad collector of scrap and I think that hunting in Africa the non-dangerous animals would choose the combination 300 Winchester Magnum-375 H & H Magnum and include the dangerous 300 Winchester Magnum-458 Lott. The same if only he were to hunt antelopes and include eland if he would opt for the 8x68S. The ammunition in Spain for the 8x68S is scarce and expensive ... but it is what is in the market. Finally, thank you very much for your response.
     

  4. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    874
    Video/Photo:
    294
    Likes Received:
    1,632
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    .300 Win and .375 H&H is a great pair. It gives you the opportunity to shoot relatively light bullets in the .300 (150 or 165 gr TTSX) that will fly fast and flat for any smaller antelopes, and the .375 H&H has been great for one century on Eland. I would probably also use it on wildebeest, hartebeest, etc. (235 or 270 gr TSX) so that you do not have to get confused with several loads for the .300.

    .300 Win and .458 Lott is also a great pair if you have buffalo on the list. In this case, a heavier bullet in the .300 (180 or 200 gr AFrame or TSX) will handle any non-dangerous game as long as you make sure to place it well in the largest antelopes. Note that a lot of folks shoot buffalo with the .375, but I personally prefer a little more. The .416 hit them visibly harder than the .375 and the .458 harder still.

    A single 8x68 would do the job fine for all plains game, but as stated above, I personally prefer to take two guns so that I have a backup (Africa is too far and too expensive for me to have a trip ruined by a single rifle/scope mechanical failure), and a lighter load in .300 + a heavier load in .375 will do the job better :)

    But to come back to the thread opening question: 8x68 or .300 Wby, to which I would add .300 Win, the practical field response is: same thing! If I already had a .300 Win I would buy neither one. I would rather buy something significantly smaller (lighter, less recoil, etc. for European smaller game) or significantly larger (more stopping power for African game).
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    oscar1975 likes this.

  5. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    220
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    45
    I'm a little crazy. I am a hunter of small game and shotgun but I love rifles and I have a few: Santa Barbara (300 Win Mag), Voere (8x68S), Remington 700 (338 Win Mag), CZ 550 Mag (375 H & H) and CZ 550 Safari Magnum (458 Lott) and surely with the 300 Win Mag I would be left over. Unless I win the lottery I do not think I can ever go to Safari. As I said I am a madman without remedy.
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice