Howa 300 Win Mag model 1500

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Robin Matthews, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Robin Matthews

    Robin Matthews New Member

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    Hi,

    I recently purchased my first hunting rifle, and after doing some research and listening to other hunters, then informed me that a Win 300 is a very good first rifle. Now, afer I have submitted my license application, I am not too sure anymore.

    I am based in Cape Town, and need advise on ammunition to be used with this rifle. Firstly, to practice with at the shooting range, therefore being affordable but also adequate for this purpose,and then secondly for hunting:

    1. Springbuck between 100-200m
    2. Springbuck beyond 200m
    3. Gemsbok/Kudu beyond 100m

    I obviously would like to use this rifle as far as possible to hunt all my wild, but now I am very skeptical about my purchase. I will hunt at most twice a year, but will shoor at the shooring range as often as possible.

    Could you please provide me with some sort of advise regarding ammunition that will cause the least amount of meat damage, or just general advice?

    I hope you can be of assistance.

    Kind Regards,

    Robin Matthews
     
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  2. Wayne t

    Wayne t AH Veteran

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    Hello matey
    In my experience not a great first rifle for a new shooter but as its what you have chosen the way to go to keep your shooting expenses down is going to be reloading for it for sure I'm not really sure of Ammo and re loading prices out your side of the world but if your looking for cheap plinking Ammo that you can reload the cases got for PPU it's what I use for plinking and is good out to 400 and beyond with the FMJ Ammo
    I'm sure once you get used to it and loading your own rounds you will be fine
     

  3. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Hi @Robin Matthews,

    Welcome to Africa Hunting, great to have another SA based member.
    Wow, you choose a great topic for a first post...

    Congratulations on purchasing your first rifle. And don't worry, a 300WM in Howa 1500 will bring you great pleasure and you will be able to bring home meat and trophies.

    There are other calibers that are famous for not doing as much meat damage as the 300WM, but for the animals you said above a 300WM will kill them all with shots in the right spot.
    You will have a bit more recoil with this rifle than what most people prefer, but you will also have great reach, further than the distances that you mention with the 300WM.

    For the ammo you have great ammo in PMP and ProAmm for the range work, that is locally produced and relatively inexpensive.
    I have had great success hunting with PMP and ProAmm, although I know there are some limitations with that type of bullets.
    As a general rule, heavier for caliber would typical produce "less meat damage", than lighter and faster bullets all else being equal. For less damage I would say the 220gr would be better than a 180 or 165 for the distances mentioned.
    Many people in SA only use the PMP product and are happy with them.
    Norma Oryx is a little more expensive, but a great round that performs well in many different speeds, so that makes it versatile.
    American imports, premium bullets, are typically quite a bit higher in price, but many people would say they are worth the extra price.

    You have opened not only one, but two cans of opinions, that I'm sure will bring something to the table for you.
    Edit: Can 1- Caliber 300WM vs the rest. Can 2- Best bullet.

    No rifle will be able to do everything we want, so we have to compromise, especially with the gun laws in SA.
    It is also hard to say what others should be doing when we don't know all the circumstances as to where and how you hunt.

    We have a few Cape Town based members here, perhaps you can contact some of them and give them a call to discuss over the phone.
    Most members here are very willing and able to help out.

    Good luck with the hunting and don't worry... If you think you will stop buying rifles after one- rethink. I'm sure you will get the chance to purchase another rifle in the near future and perhaps you would go a different route then.


    //Gus
     
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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH Elite

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    The 300WM is an excellent cartridge although it's a lot of cartridge for a first big game rifle. You must learn how to accept the recoil. Get yourself a Past shoulder pad to help with this. Once sighted in from the bench, only shoot from sticks. This will help with the recoil. Howa is an excellent choice for a rifle.

    Ammo, the PPU as Wayne t mentioned is probably the cheapest you will find. For the least meat damage, I'd go with heavy for caliber bullets. Maybe 180-200 grain. If you can find and afford it, Barnes 165-180 grain is wonderful for preventing meat damage. Remington and Hornady both I believe now make a light recoiling load for the 300WM. Never used them on game, so I don't know how they perform. For cheap ammo here in the USA, Winchester Power Point can be pretty cheap to practice with. It is pretty soft, but shouldn't damage the smaller antelope too badly. I've used it on our elk, but it doesn't penetrate very deep on such a large animal.

    You might try to find a friend or shooting club member who reloads the 300WM to teach you how to reload. This will open a new world to you.

    Lastly I would highly suggest you get a 22 rimfire rifle similar to the 300. It will train you to shoot without the punishment of the 300 and help prevent learning bad habits.

    Best of luck with your new Howa!
     
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  5. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    @Robin Matthews I use wool wads for lighter loads in my .30-06. You will not have them there BUT if you type Dacron wool into your search engine you will see that (acting with due care) you can safely load your new rifle down as low as .30-30 equivalent. Propellants in AR2206H (modern H4895) burning range are usually best for such purposes

    Just make sure to follow Hunting Sailor's advice and get tuition from responsible hand-loaders. Hint, anyone who tells you to load jacketed bullets to touch the lands is the shooting equivalent of a boy-racer. As a qualified firearm safety instructor, qualified Range Officer and former manager of a small club range complex, I can assure you of that.

    The best hand loading manual for a new shooter is the Speer 14th edition. Lyman abandoned that position from their 48th edition onwards.
     

  6. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Hello and welcome!

    I love the .300, but like others said maybe practice a little first with a smaller caliber
     

  7. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH Elite

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    I've attached a guide line for new rifle break in. If I recall correctly, I think this was from Howa's website. Some folks follow some sort of clean-shoot-clean pattern for the first box or so of ammo. Some don't. I figure it can't hurt, so I always go through a break in sequence and also make sure to let the barrel cool during extended range sessions.
     

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  8. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks @ Ruger Fan,
    This must be one of the more simple versions of breaking in a barrel, have seen and read all kinds of different ways to do it.

    //Gus
     

  9. Shootist43

    Shootist43 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Robin, you made a good choice of caliber. I agree it might be a bit much for a new shooter, but you won't remain a new shooter for long. Reloading is the best way to reduce your costs, however you will have an initial outlay for reloading gear that is equal in cost to several years of Factory ammo depending on how much you shoot. Try looking for used reloading gear online provided that option is available to you. If you have a shooting / hunting buddy you might be able to share the costs. If you are hunting for meat shot placement can play a critical part. Head and high neck shots result in very little meat loss. You do however need to be proficient enough to make them. Good luck
     
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  10. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Pretty well covered above. The really nice thing about having a "magnum" case is that isn't that difficult to load down if you understand what you are doing. And full power loads with premium bullets will take anything short of the really heavy hitters cleanly (Buff, Ele, etc.) I think you may have a little getting used to the recoil on it. I know a lot of people are mentioning reloading to you. It is a great practice but can be very expensive to start with (probably more than the cost of your rifle once you get brass, bullets, press, measure, scale, powder, primers, calipers,) but a lot of the stuff is a one time investment if you buy good quality and will out last you and your rifle. It is daunting but even in the U.S. .300 mag ammo isn't cheap and a reloading setup pays for itself in less than 400 rounds.

    This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth, I personally would load a 180-220 grain bullet. Leaning towards the heavy side.
    A.) you mentioned your farthest shot would be less that 250 meters. Any of these are plenty flat shooting to hit at that range.
    B.) This is probably going to be controversial but, I would rather have a bullet that didn't expand or expanded too little but went exactly where I wanted it and penetrated in a laser straight line through, than a bullet that dumps all its energy and speed in the first 6" and stops or swerves off line because it was going too fast, was too lighgt and hit a bone. If a 6.5mm hole made by a solid can bring down the largest animals on the planet. (even with a heart shot, albeit a little slower maybe.) Then I would rather shoot a bullet that is heavy and very controlled expansion to ensure that it goes where I want it to go and doesn't deviate from its course. Thats why I would opt for the heavier rounds.
     

  11. Rob404

    Rob404 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats on your purchase, I recently bought a Winchester Super grade in 300win, and I don't find the recoil all that bad, that is compared to some of the other rifles that I own.
    I'm still working with load development but so far the Rifle seems to like 180g bullets
     

  12. Hearties

    Hearties AH Member

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    Robin,

    I would immediately fit a suppressor for both noise and recoil reduction purposes - there are many good and reasonably priced local options to choose from. Once the suppressor is installed recoil becomes much less of an issue and you have a wonderful calibre for longer distance shooting. I agree with the comments above re: slightly heavier bullets - usually less meat damage at shorter distances and less wind drift at longer ones.
     
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  13. Robin Matthews

    Robin Matthews New Member

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    Hi, and thank you for your reply. What would you rcommend as a good affordable suppressor?
     

  14. Robin Matthews

    Robin Matthews New Member

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    Thank you for the awesome advice!! I will definitely make use of it and report back as soon as I have had my first range shoot.
     

  15. Hearties

    Hearties AH Member

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    There are a number of good local options that are cheaper than the imports - Mute, HOG, Silent Hunter, Numenor etc. S&O stock Silent Hunter and the imported Aimzonic which are excellent. Make sure you use a gunsmith who knows what he's doing yo cut the thread!
     

  16. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I got a Blaser 48 in 300 WM. It's a bit stout to sit from the bench, but standing with support and the recoil isn't bad at all
     

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