Since its inception back in 1963, the .300 Winchester Magnum round has earned a special place in the hearts of long-range hunters and shooters alike. Born of both the .375 H&H Magnum and the .338 Winchester Magnum, this cartridge is able to achieve muzzle velocities that exceed 3,000 feet per second, while simultaneously producing up to 4,000 foot pounds of energy on its target. With such a lethal combination of speed and knockdown power, the .300 Winchester Magnum is one of the most versatile calibers for big-game hunting, as it's more than capable of taking down both whitetail and mule deer, but is also perfectly fit to harvest elk, moose, and bears. Favorable ballistics have earned its place in various sniper rifle configurations, only reinforcing its reputation for as an effective long-range round. The cartridge's steady popularity across the hunting community has led to most gun manufacturers expanding their hunting rifle lineups to include more .300 Win. Mag offerings, but as such, there are a lot of rifles to sort through. We've compiled a list of what we believe to be nine of the best options on the market for big-game hunting.
Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather
We'd be remiss if we didn't include the rifle that started it all: the Winchester Model 70. Initially released hand-in-hand with the .300 Win. Mag cartridge, the Model 70 has seen a number of improvements and modifications throughout the 20th and 21st century, but any rifle with this namesake stamped on it is worth a look. This particular model addresses the most serious of hunters, as it's built to handle the harshest conditions any backcountry hunt might throw in your direction. It uses a composite stock made from fiberglass and graphite material to cut down the weight to only 7 pounds, plenty light enough for acute changes in elevations you're sure to encounter on any big-game hunt. It then employs a 26-inch, free-floating, fluted matte stainless steel barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist, which is sure to achieve top-tier accuracy among hunting rifles. With a 3+1 ammo capacity and a receiver that's drilled and tapped for a scope, all you need to do is choose the best optic setup for your style of hunting and you're ready for any big-game hunt North America has to offer.
Remington Model 700
This bolt-action rifle is one of the classic deer hunting platforms out there. The Remington 700 will put big bucks on the ground season after season. Remington offers several different variants of the 700 that use 300 win mag ammo, but the one we chose to put here is the "Long Range" model. The barrel length is 26 inches and it is made of carbon steel with a 1:10 rate of twist. The trigger is adjustable, and it has a Bell and Carlson M40 tactical stock made of a composite material of urethane, graphite and fiberglass that should stand up to years of abuse in the field. Remington includes an extra swivel on the front end for hunters who want to attach a bipod. The company says the aluminum bedding block helps add even more accuracy to the gun. This rifle holds 3+1 rounds and a generous recoil pad helps you make stay on target longer for follow up shots.
Browning BLR Lightweight
If you spend a lot of time in brushy backcountry areas where fast follow-up shots are a necessity, this Browning lever-action is a good option to consider. The .300 Win Mag version of this rifle weighs in at a light seven pounds and features a 24-inch barrel. It has a 4+1 capacity with the detachable box magazine. Speaking of that magazine, it is specially made for pointed-tip bullets. That means you do not have to make compromises on long-distance ammo. This rifle just has a great look with the walnut stock and forend and classic blued finish. This gun features an adjustable rear sight and bead front sight for use in a more traditional fashion, but the receiver is also drilled and tapped for optics. This rifle is ready for your hunting adventures this fall.
Savage Arms 110 Storm
For hunters looking for an adjustable fit hunting rifle that will not break the bank, consider the Savage Arms 110 Storm. Just about everything on this gun can be adjusted to the shooter's frame and preferences. This rifle is fitted with the Savage AccuTrigger system that lets you adjust the pull. The comb and length of pull can be adapted quickly thanks to the AccuFit system. This rifle was made with rough conditions in mind, which is why it features a black synthetic material for the stock. The forend and pistol grip feature soft grip surfaces for additional ergonomics. Further helping stand up to the elements is the stainless steel 24-inch barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist. The detachable magazine gives the rifle a capacity of 3+1 .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges. This is a great backcountry deer rifle that costs a fraction of what more expensive rifles usually go for.
Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon
Aside from having a cool name, the X-Bolt Hells Canyon gets high marks from users who praise the rifle for being both a long distance tack driver and for being ergonomically comfortable for all shooters. This gun features a high-quality McMillian synthetic stock that just adds to the ergonomics with its grip style. The stock has a A-TAC S AU camo finish. This rifle is built to take a beating in rough hunting conditions as the receiver and barrel are both finished with a burnt bronze CeraKote. Speaking of the barrel, it is 26 inches long, features a 1:8 rate of twist and is fluted with a threaded muzzle break to help tame the recoil. The trigger pull can be adjusted between three and five pounds. This gun cycles rapidly thanks to the 60-degree short-throw bolt. This is a solid option for older hunters with health issues, especially arthritis, who are looking to stay in the field as long as they can.
Nosler M48 Western Bolt-Action
This rifle is a Cabela's exclusive and it was specially designed for big game hunting opportunities in the American west. The fluted, stainless steel barrel is match grade and is 24.5 inches long. It features a removable muzzle brake for those concerned about cutting down recoil. The composite stock allowed Nosler to cut the weight of this firearm to 7.65 pounds, making it the perfect weight for backcountry applications. The rifle has a CeraKote finish to further protect from the harsh elements. Nosler says they guarantee MOA accuracy when using their ammunition. Most user reviews of this rifle agree, this is a highly accurate gun for big game hunting at a distance.
Mossberg Patriot Vortex Combo
Many rifles chambered in .300 Win Mag are quite expensive, but we understand that not everyone has that kind of money to throw around. Enter the Mossberg Patriot line of hunting rifles that will get the job done for a lower price. One good option here is the Vortex combo. The rifle comes mounted with a solid quality Vortex 3-9x40 riflescope. This scope has a BDC reticle that helps you nail shots at varying distances without guessing. This gun features a 24-inch fluted and threaded barrel and weighs just 6.5 pounds. The MSRP for this combo is only about $567, but the street price is going to be much lower than that. Now every hunter can afford a rifle that can be used on nearly every species of North American big game animal.
Weatherby Vanguard Backcountry
The name Weatherby is synonymous with high-quality big game hunting rifles. The backcountry weighs only 6.75 pounds, making it the perfect rifle for a remote camping and hunting trip. This rifle features a match grade, two-stage trigger, a cold hammer forged barrel that is 26 inches in length and has a 1:10 rate of twist. The stock is hand-laminated and features a raised comb for additional ergonomics. The Cerkote finish will help protect the gun from the elements if your hunting trips turns out to be rainier than expected. Weatherby says they will guarantee sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory ammo.
Fierce Edge Long-Range
For the hunter looking for a precision rifle for hunting, Fierce guarantees .50 MOA accuracy out of the box. A bold claim, but one that is backed up by the people who use it. This rifle is light thanks to the composite and carbon fiber stock. It has a free floating, 24-inch match grade barrel and a capacity of 3+1 rounds. The crisp, match grade trigger is adjustable. The one-piece, three-lug bolt locks helps add to the accuracy of this gun. It is also built for hunting in the elements with a Last Guard weatherproof finish that will keep you hunting longer. At $2,800, this rifle is expensive, but the quality here is so good, this may be the last hunting rifle you ever need to buy.
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