With so many magnums to choose from, why the .300 Win?
By Carl Hermansen
Fierce Fury TXR, .300 Winchester: Fierce Firearms offers some of the lightest, most accurate long distance rifles on the market (Fiercearms.com)
When I was a youngster, I thought of magnum cartridges as being too much gun for a real hunter. I felt that there was just no need for them. The use of smaller rounds was commonplace among the group I went a field with. Of course, I was influenced by the old timers that said all you need for deer hunting is .a 22 and to be a fine marksman. Many exaggerated stories have been told of dropping a buck at 300 yards with a well placed .22 slug. Of course being a “fine marksman” is an integral part of the equation.
It’s interesting when you stop and think about all of the different methods and tools we use, and various places we go to hunt. It’s kind of like a puzzle with pieces that each person fits together to provide him or herself with a great reward. What constitutes “the reward” varies from person to person, depending on an individual’s objectives.
Some hunt thick country where a long shot may be 100 yards. Others hunt high alpine basins where shots can vary from two to six hundred yards, or more. The fact of the matter is, when hunting trophy animals in wide open spaces more likely to be found in the mid-west and western states, a person will probably not be able to pre-determine the distance at which their shot will occur. Therefore, some hunters set personal limits as to the maximum distance they will take a shot. Others practice and hone their skills to feel confident in their abilities and equipment at extended ranges.
By John Mogle
Through the years one of the most frequently asked questions that I have encountered is, “what is the best caliber for big game hunting”? So many hunters today want to go into the field with more firepower than Rambo had during his recon rescue missions. Hunters want to shoot faster and further. With that mentality being commonplace today you are seeing a record number of hot rod calibers from the Ultra Magnums to the La Pua family being used in the hunting field. Many hunters are under the belief that with such fire power at their fingertips that all they need to do is draw blood and the game is over.
Now back to that frequently asked question, which caliber is best for big game hunting? In my conversation I will list several popular calibers usually in the .30 caliber and 7MM families. I will then tell the person that no matter what caliber they use there is nothing that can replace a well placed shot. If you really want to “bag” your game shot placement is every thing. It is more important than the caliber, your bullet weight, velocity and yes even more important than your bullets Ballistic Coefficient. If you want one shot kills focus on your shot placement.
Over the years it seems like I have taken about every possible shot on game animals and as I think back for the most part I have been very successful in collecting what I was after. Some of these were very low percentage shots as far as my kill zone was concerned but others were not. I have did the head shot, the “Texas Heart shot” the frontal shot and had success with most of them but believe me success in most of those cases is the exception and not the norm.
On my Alaskan Brown Bear hunt my guide advised me to bring a .375 or bigger for the hunt. I knew that the hard recoiling rifles that he suggested were harder to shoot accurately for me and after a few conversations he agreed that it would be fine to bring up a .30 Caliber. One well placed shot through a quartering away bear was all it took for that hunt to come to an end.
When you go into the field and that trophy of your dreams is in your sights here are six tips to consider assuring you make a well-placed shot.
Tip #1: Know your angles
The best shot any hunter can have is a standing still broadside shot. As you can see from figure #1 (opposite page) with an animal broadside all of the vitals are exposed. This increases your percentages of hitting something vital that will lead to a quick dispatchment of your game. This angle also gives you the oh so lethal double lung shot that no animal can survive. On a deer the kill zone is roughly 10” in size. If you know your weapon and practice this is a large target and does give you room for error. If you are use to shooting six-inch metal gongs at 500 yards then you still have a few inches of wiggle room with a 10” kill zone. This is the shot you should look for before pulling the trigger. This angle gives you the greatest opportunity for success.