A few years ago, Boone and Crockett compiled data from their record book entries and found that hunters are shooting more big animals with the .300 Mag. than with any other caliber.
Would you have guessed that? Because I have 200-pound whitetail deer on my mind most of the time, I would not have imagined the .300, until I started thinking about it. Many of the “book animals” are big and heavy—brown bears, moose, elk, muskox–and so some version of the .300 Mag. makes sense. Plus, the .300 is very popular out West among mule deer hunters. In their data B&C did not distinguish among specific variations of the .300 Mag.; trophies killed with the .300 Win. Mag, .300 WSM, .300 Wby. Mag. and .300 Remington Ultra Mag were all lumped together.
Below, the most commonly used calibers by hunters across all the B&C categories over the 3-year span, and the percentages of game entries credited to each.
.300 Magnum: 18 percent
.270: 12 percent
.30-06: 11 percent
7mm Magnum: 11 percent
.338 Magnum: 3 percent
.30-30: 2 percent
.308: 2 percent
Other: 8 percent
BTW, the most popular deer calibers were:
Whitetail deer: .270
Mule deer: .300 Magnum, 7mm Magnum, .270
Blacktail deer: 30-06, 7mm Magnum, .300 Magnum
I don’t have a ton of experience with the .300, though I have killed a couple moose and a few elk with rifles chambered for the .300 Win. Mag. That cartridge always performed well for me, but I thought the recoil was a little excessive.
Any .300 shooters out there?