It may not surprise you that for a long while, the .300 Win Mag rifle was the darling of the military, elite police forces around the world and the hunting world all at once and all for different reasons, generally. It’s been known as an anti-personnel rifle, an anti-materiel rifle, and a hunting rifle; all while being a more than capable performer in matches and on the range.
The best .300 Win Mag rifle will be the one that suits your specific use case and offers the best mix of versatility and performance in that specific use case. After all, the .300 Win Mag is a rifle that has become known for its versatility and precision; hard hitting power and its accuracy.
Recently it has been surpassed by the much larger and much heavier .338 Lapua Magnum round as a military and law enforcement favorite, but it still has its uses and its famous users/advocates. The two calibers are both capable past 800 meters and the Lapua, while more powerful and more capable at longer distances, does significantly increase weight and poses other concerns that the .300 Win Mag does not have to deal with.
Finland, the USA, the U.K. and Germany all have elite agencies and/or Military contracts which supply the .300 Win Mag rifle to them in some capacity. Most notably, the MK13 Sniper Weapon System in the Unites States as well as the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle. The United States Secret Service also still utilizes the .300 Win Mag rifle in some scenarios.
Notably, the .300 Win Mag cartridge fires a projectile that on average can best the .308 Winchester cartridge by 50% on overall distance while maintaining lethality.
The goal of this article is to help you determine which .300 Win Mag Rifle is best for you.
Best .300 Win Mag Rifles Comparison
Why do you need this much power?
You’ll probably never shoot at another human being in your whole life. Only a handful of people will every have to face that scenario. The lethality that the .300 Win Mag boasts on human targets doesn’t factor for you, most likely. If it does, you won’t be learning anything new in this article, as you already have sufficient knowledge of the .300 WM caliber.
You’ll likely never need to stop the forward progress of a car by shooting a hole into the engine block or taking out a tire or wheel while it’s on the move. The Anti-materiel specialty of the .300 Win Mag is perhaps a moot point for most reader of this article.
What you are likely to be involved with, is the hunting of some of the biggest game that North America has to offer (or any other locale for that matter). Yes, it’s true that you wouldn’t choose a .300 Win Mag rifle for dangerous game hunts in Africa, as the minimum you would likely bring by mandate or by choice is going to be the .375 H&H Magnum (a slightly bigger round by size and much bigger for projectile weight than the .300WM).
Note: the .375 H&H is the parent case that the .300WM uses to make the cartridge. So, while they behave differently, they are relatively similar. And just because you wouldn’t choose the .300 Win Mag, doesn’t mean it cannot be or has not been used – thousands of hunters annually use this very platform to kill safari specific animals on hunts for big game in Africa and other exotic hunting locations.
The point of the power of the .300 Win Mag is that any large game, within reason, can be taken at more than 400 yards with the round, and any intermediate sized game can also be taken without destroying the animal if the proper load changes are made. The flat shooting, long distance performance and terminal ballistics makes it about the perfect round for versatility in medium and large game hunting. So even if you aren’t a Secret Service Counter Sniper, you’ll still find some value in the round.
It’s an important piece of information too, the history of the winning nature of the .300WM in competition shooting, with records having been set for the 1000 yard and the 1000 meter (1100 yard) competitions. This proves the value of the platform’s power and velocity, and overall good ballistics and flat shooting capability. These inherent properties contribute heavily to the match performance and success of the round.
How versatile is the .300 Win Mag Rifle?
The versatility cannot be understated, it is one of the most flexible rounds in existence for big game. The ability to shoot a heavy grain bullet (say a 220 grain projectile – a factory mainstream weight) and still hit the target without the type of trajectory degradation and lack of velocity that other rounds suffer from, is something quite special.
The ability to shoot a deer with a 110 grain bullet or the more mainstream 150-165 grain projectiles, and not have to worry about destroying the carcass, is pretty amazing, considering that its coming out of the same barrel that just shot that 220 grain projectile just as accurately.
The point of this part of the article is to explain how much opportunity there is to utilize everything the .300 Win Mag can offer. In fact, it’s so versatile that you can even load a Sabot encased projectile at 55 grains and achieve decent accuracy at a quarter mile (440 yards), with a muzzle velocity of over 5000 feet per second and a target impact velocity of over 3000 feet per second. The same gun can shoot a projectile to 250 grains as well. That is unheard of out of a gun this size.
If you can handle the recoil of the very stout .300 WM, then you can enjoy some pretty extreme versatility. And stout may be an understatement, because it is about 30-35% more recoil than a .30-06 rifle, and more than a 12-gauge shotgun shooting heavy slugs.
For those who don’t need the extreme end of the performance spectrum, some factory loads are available that reduce the recoil through a bit of trickery with the powder charge and the type of powder and reduces the performance level to that of about a .30-06 Springfield, which, itself is quite a versatile load for field use against several different types of animals.
Speaking of different types of animals, from a hunting perspective, the .300 Win Mag can easily be expected to perform well against animals of all types up to about the 1500 to 1700 pound threshold. This list of animals includes tough ram and sheep, bighorn, bears, elk, moose, and other large game.
In fact, in North America, with the right load, there is no large game that cannot be successfully, consistently dispatched with the best .300 Win Mag rifle offerings.
Types of .300 Win Mag Rifles
In this article, we have chosen a very diverse cross section of guns, as we believe the .300 Win Mag to be quite a diverse rifle platform and as such with all these use cases, we feel it makes sense to include several different types of guns.
We have included semi-automatic rifles in the traditional hunting configuration and in the tactical and higher capacity models. We have also found a good cross section of the best .300 Win Mag bolt action rifle offerings, which are perfect for most hunting uses. There is even a lever action version we included made by Browning, who has a robust portfolio of .300WM rifles perennially.
We should make a note for clarification: this is a list of the best .300 Win mage rifles, and as such, it does not include the cheapest available rifles, generally. There are certain design and manufacturing concerns that come with making a rifle in a “belted magnum” and with a cartridge as long as this caliber has. There are extra build strength and functionality details that drive the price of the guns up.
Furthermore, the market for this rifle caliber is significantly lessened because of the extreme performance and a relatively high cost of ammunition when compared to rounds like the 5.56x45 and other high powered small caliber cartridges.
You need more and better materials to produce a firearm capable of shooting a cartridge of this size than you do for a substantially less robust round. Furthermore, because of the widespread popularity of the law enforcement, match shooting and precision rifle work companies regarding the .300WM, there are price premiums on the high end of the market.
So, while we did include some entry level rifles in this list of .300WM’s and they are good performers, the vast majority of this list truly represents a higher quality, higher precision rifle and the price reflects that in many cases.
Best .300 Win Mag Rifle Reviews
Ruger Guide Gun Bolt-Action Rifle
This is an iteration of the famous gun visionary and thought leader Jeff Copper’s “Scout” rifle concept. This concept, which espoused the capability of a brush type gun of a fully contained, capable short barreled rifle in the .30 caliber that had iron sights and could be fielded quickly with excellent terminal ballistics on intermediate and large game.
Ruger has nailed the concept and produced a very nice gun that is heavy on versatility, while giving up very little of the longer-range performance and may represent the best .300 Win Mag rifle for the money, for individuals who aren’t sure they need the 1000 yards accuracy of the best builds. There is another lower priced competitor for this title also on this list.
- Short, easy to maneuver
- Well appointed for serious field work
- Weather resistant
- You lose some precision and distance from the shorter barrel
For those that are wading into the world of the .300WM or can’t afford the top tier guns but need the versatility and hard hitting knock down power of the caliber, this is an excellent choice. It features a scope, mounts/rings and a synthetic stock in a surprising high-quality rifle configuration. This offers a unique price point for the platform, that is about ¼ of the standard rate for a precision mainstream production rifle in .300WM out of the factory.
- Still quite accurate despite the price point and the slimmer build
- Lacks some of the attention to detail and robust build quality of competitors
Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon Long-Range McMillan Rifle
Out of the box this sub MOA rifle is a powerhouse offering with a proven stock for long distance tactical work and hunting. The weather proof design and the long-range accuracy are just the tip of the iceberg. Browning has a robust offering of .300WM in their product portfolio.
- Proven McMillan stock
- Proven Browning design
- Cerakoted Metal
- Detachable Magazine
- Relatively light weight build, which still maintains accuracy at the longer ranges
Remington Model 700 MDT TAC21 Centerfire Rifle
The Remington 700 MDT TAC21 rifles are stout, well made and ridiculously accurate but they do cater to those with the most specific tactical and long-range precision needs. The build features mounting places for multiple optics or quality of life electronics for precision shooting and tactical needs.
- Tactical design through and through
- Top tier accuracy
- Built in an extremely durable way
- Very Expensive
LSI Howa Hogue Gameking
A solid investment for those that know the virtues of the .300WM platform and yet, cannot afford the high price ranges that more top tier rifles trade in. This is a spectacular bargain for the hunter who won’t need 1MOA or tighter groups at 1000yards, but instead wants all of the power of the .300 Win Mag, with respectable if not top-class accuracy.
Made to work well for a wide range of users, this still has great potential from a long-range perspective and offers a unique value for money proposition in a field of very expensive competition.
- Might be the best .300 Win Mag rifle for the money
- Great value
- Not built for the “hardcore” user
Barrett MRAD Centerfire Rifle
By a wide margin, this is the best .300 Win Mag Sniper rifle on the market, that isn’t also a custom production. The Barret MRAD is a highly specialized and top-quality precision rifle, that is well beyond the needs of most shooters, regardless of their capabilities or budget limitations. The fit, finish and quality of this rifle exceeds some of the best in the world and it offers a level of precision and ease of use that cannot be matched by production mainstream offerings. It is also ridiculously expensive – and yet a surprising value. The Barrett name is synonymous with performance, especially when it comes to long range precision anti-personnel and anti-materiel use cases.
- Modular design
- Folding stock
- The ultimate in precision across the board from build to design philosophy
- Excellent muzzle brake
- The most expensive rifle on this list
POF P300 AR-10
The sole Semi-automatic tactical rifle on this list, it is usable more in a tactical setting or for long range fast competitions where the .300WM makes sense, and not as much for the traditional hunting market. It is pricey but a nice option for those who are committed to the round and want a semi-automatic. A nice looking firearm if you like the AR-style.
- Semi-Auto functionality
- High capacity detachable magazines
- Fast follow up shots
- Still recoil heavy
A fast follow up and a shorter rifle build make this both accurate and more versatile and is the primary reason it’s on this list: the versatility is a further recognition of the capabilities of the cartridge. An excellent gun for the dense forests of the Alaskan Wilderness, when you need to have enough gun for the threats like bears that exist in normal hunting situations. The fast firing and fast follow up makes this especially versatile in such environments.
The fit and finish of the Browning guns are legendary and offers some semblance of opulence to an otherwise hard-working tool of a rifle.
- Stunning good looks
- Fast action
- Shorter, easier to carry and lightweight
- Detachable magazine
Browning BAR Mark III
In an already Browning heavy list, this is yet another Browning rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum. The reason it is here is that it offers something most others cannot, a fast follow up in a traditional hunting build, with excellent accuracy and yet, a lightweight total structure.
- Simple design with quick semi auto performance
- Traditional looks and yet, stealthy
- Browning quality
- Detachable magazine
- Somewhat expensive
The venerable .300 Winchester Magnum is a rifle cartridge that won’t ever go away because it has inherent benefits that are too valuable to shooters across the board whether they be hunters, tactical precision shooters or long-range competition players. The ability to up-load or down-load the cartridge combined with the top tier build quality of the breadth of the offerings on the production market makes this a gun that will be popular for a very long time.
The best .300 Win Mag rifle for you is the one, once again, that fits your needs, and in all honesty, it’s going to be hard to find a use case need that the .300 Win Mag cannot deliver on, so have a look and find the one that makes the most sense for your unique specifications.