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August 16, 2007

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No Longer Trendy: The .300 Weatherby

Got an interesting letter (!) from a Mr. Phillip Harney, who asks why gun "experts" seldom mention the .300 Weatherby as the best all-around rifle. Good question. Here are the answers:

First, the .300 Weatherby has committed the cardinal sin of becoming old. Introduced in 1944, commercial ammo was first available in 1948, which makes it either 63 or 59. Some cartridges, like the .45/70, are so old that they become trendy by dint of their sheer age. The .300, however, falls into that netherworld where it is Old News.

Second, as an all-around rifle, it is not a particularly good choice for the average shooter because it is a handful. Recoil is not particularly awful, but the noise and muzzle blast are considerable, and it's a lot more than many people can handle.

Third, for a truly all-around rifle, it lacks bullet weight (this is said with the knowledge that it has killed everything on earth, and I do mean everything, many, many times over); for an all-around rifle I'd rather have its larger brother, the .340 Weatherby.

This said, I like it so much that I own three .300 Weatherbys, the only rifle that I own three of. It is a highly specialized long-range load for genuinely big game, and as that, it has few peers and no betters.

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Comments

CoRoMo

I've long been hopping to buy myself a Weatherby Mark V, in .300 Weatherby. It would be as close to a custom rifle as I'll ever see, but I don't seem to have the right lotto numbers yet. My M77 .270 has been doing the job on everything I've hunted including these Colorado elk, and I guess it will have to continue to do so.

eric

I have a Wal-Mart special Vanguard in 300 wby with the classic style syn stock.The only modification has been to add a limbsaver pad.I also remove some more of the recoil bite by handloading the ammo that I shoot.I love the accuracy of this rifle and cartridge at both long and short range.This may not be the round for everyone but I am sure glad that I crossed paths with it.

Clay Cooper

The reason why I don’t own a Weatherby is the price of ammo, especially empty cases for reloading. If Weatherby think there products are so great to have the highest price and that’s been on the market over 40-50 some odd years, they can just keep their golden idol! So what if they have a radius on the shoulder. If Winchester had the BALLS they would take one of their cartridges and work it up. Take a 30 WSM and neck it down to 257 to make a 257 WSM and give Weatherby 257 Weatherby a run for their money!

I just remembered, of all the hunts and running ranges for recreational shooting including Alaska, Weatherby was no place to be found. Imagine that the Mr. all American gun maker! And the 5 Weatherby rifle I did see, the shooter couldn’t hit the side of a barn with it! Ammo so damn expensive, they couldn’t afford to play with it to see what it can do! Sounds French to me! My 338 Win Mag works just fine!

The next time you go into a Sports Shop, look for their Weatherby ammo and checkout the price. O’yes, I forgot to remind you that you must blow off the years of dust and spider webs first just to read the price tag yet alone to read the box label!

Weathrby, The All American Shelf Rider Of All Times!

HERES YOUR SIGN!

dillonaero 134d
ishawooa

Weatherbys indeed are pricy compared to Rugers, Remchesters, etc. Also, as so astutely pointed by others, are ammo and components. Both situations can be avoided if indeed one does want a .300 Wea. which in my humble opinion is an exceedingly excellant choice for long range shooting of large mammals but not as good as the various .338s but again I repeat others. The option is to locate one of those Remington M-700s so chambered or have a .300 Win. rechambered or build one from scratch, whatever your wallet will allow. Remington also makes the brass (I suppose they still do as I would have to look at Midway to verify if it is available today) and sells it for much less money than the genuine Weatherby article. As a matter of interest I have always noted the lack of Weatherby actions at any shooting event even though the shooters could probably afford any rifle action they want. There are mechanical reasons for this reality. The truth is I presently prefer the various Ultras over the equivelant Weatherbys but of course routinely encounter those who disagree. A portion of all of this is why most shotgunners are happy with 1 or 2 gauges but riflemen seem desire many many different calibers and variations of these calibers to fill each little niche of which we perceive. I am as guilty as anyone.

Dr. Ralph

.300 Wby. Mag. $38.99 at Cabela's $33.99 from Cheaper than Dirt how many you want? Nosler Ballistic Tips in 30-06 from most any manufacturer will run $26.99. The cost difference to me is not that great. Practice with the $6.99 surplus '06 loads.

The real reason that Weatherby never caught on is the price of the rifles... Nobody could explain away the price of a Mark V to his wife and so it was for Hollywood hunters and elitists. Enter the Vanguard. Made in Japan like Browning and every scope not European or Leupold. Extreme accuracy at extreme velocity for $399.00 and they're collecting dust? Either there is extreme prejudice involved or they just don't want to be an elitist wannabe...

Jeff Nelson

Some of the nonsense people write on this blog simply boggles the mind. So the Weatherby MKV "never caught on", DrRalph? It's only been in production for nearly 50 years. I see plenty of them in the hands of hunters who certainly aren't elitists or from Hollywood. Clay Cooper thinks that necking down the 300 WSM to .25 would be a great idea 'cause Weatherby ammo is too expensive. That's all well and good, but he doesn't mention that ammo for the short mags is nearly as expensive as Weatherby ammo, doesn't feed nearly as well, and can't match the performance. The fact is that Weatherby sells one hell of a lot of rifles and ammo to people who appreciate both the performance and the prestige behind the name.

Clay Cooper

Goly’Ge their Mr. Jeff Nelson,
Weatherby sells one hell of a lot of rifles and ammo to people?
What continent are these people on, Africa perhaps? Of all the places I’ve been, Marlin, Remington, Ruger, Winchester, Thompson Contender and once in a while a Savage will show up. Besides, I’ve done a lot of hunting and thinking about it, a Weatherby would have not been kneaded on all accounts. Alaska Natives use 30-30 on Grizzly, Brown (the same bear as a Grizzly) and Polar Bear. They are good at what they do and don’t waist time and effort in doing so. There far better hunters than anyone you can come up with, yet alone name!

Besides, I have more fun and adventure with my 25-06 than you will ever know! By the way, have you ever shot a barrel out yet (3 barrels in 25-06, 2 barrels in 22-250) or better yet, wore a action clean out? I have!

The 25-06 ROCKS!

Girly Men can’t handle the 25-06!

Clay Cooper

Dr. Ralph

What happened to all the Anti-Crossbow people? You would think they would be here condemning these BIG AND BAD MAGNUMS, that it's unsportsmanship to have so much of an edge on other hunters? I wonder perhaps these Magnum People are the Anti-Cross bowers themselves?

Humm? Got to think this one over? They do have the same level of rage against other Sportsmen!

What do you think Doc?
Personally, what ever you fell comfortable and able to do the job, go for it! 700 Nitro on deer, what ever!

Clay Cooper

Imagine you travel to go on a fly in hunt or some special guided hunt and your luggage comes up missing? Your ammo is gone! Your dear sweet Weatherby Ammo is GONE! O’MY! And you’re in some hellhole! Try and find the ammo you need and good luck sucker in finding it!

Jamie

Not so much to do with a .300, but I am moving out west and currently have a .30/30 for my North Carolina backwoods.
Will this be too underpowered?
I know people have taken these west and have been sucessful. Should I trade it in for a .30-06 or more powerful gun?

Jeff Nelson

Coop - I do all my hunting in Hollywood. Guess that's why there's so many Weatherbys around.

"Never rassle with a pig. You get all dirty and the pig likes it too much".

mArketing
rename it "Weatherby 3000"

write W3K on box, make packaging metallic green or blue (put cool sci fi or monster scenes on box)

talk about vel, energy, power compare it to slower ammo in .30

"It aint your granpa's Weatherby"

offer cool tactical packages using buzz names

etc etc

it will be "cool"

Americans are morons n will eat it up

alabamahunter

While I'm no expert Jeff I do know my guns and ballistics fairly well. The 30/30 would extremely limit your effective range and would be a definite handicap, but it would absolutely kill just about anything you want it to. I've had good luck with the 7mm/08 out to 300 yards. The 30/06 would definitely be an option and would give you versatility. The 270.WSM is also a great round if you plan on shooting really long ranges on mule deer. I think for muleys ,pronghorn,and whitetails. It has low recoil and is very accurate. Good luck.

alabamahunter

The last two sentences I was talking about the 7mm/08. Hate it when I don't proofread.

My father, who will be 90 this year, gave me his .300 Weatherby on a Mark V action last fall. I had the rifle restocked for him in the early 1970s by Bishop & Sons. A few months ago I had the unsightly muzzle brake removed, and the No. 2 Weatherby barrel recrowned at 25". I hope to shoot a Shiras moose with the rifle here in Montana next month. Jake, my Dad, bought the rifle in the early 1960s and shot an even 20 elk with the rifle out to about 500 yards. It is not a cartridge for just anybody, but he could handle the recoil. He used the 180-grain Hornady Spire-Point ahead of 76 grains of IMR-4831.

An additional note--my brother owns a .300 Weatherby in the Colt-Sauer Rifle. He has shot a number of elk with it. In May 1986 he and I were hunting (I was an Alaska resident at the time) in Hood Bay on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. I saw him kill an 8'2" male bear at 25 yards with that .300 using the 200-grain Nosler Partition. I have never seen a quicker kill. I don't know what his powder charge was.

People can bad-mouth the .300 Weatherby but it is probably the finest .300 magnum in existence. The rest of the .300s are imitators or insanely over-bore. Just remember that the .300 Weatherby is not for just anyone. Most guys would be better off shooting a .30/06.

Bernie Kuntz

For some reason, the preceding posting did not include my name--Bernie Kuntz, Bozeman, MT.

Ed J

alabamahunter
I like it when you don't proofread. Last year I bought a 270WSM because. I have a 7mm08 in a savage Striker (hand gun) so I ran a recoil program with them,
the striker gives 18.0 ftlbs of recoil. 7mm08 in a 8 lb 11oz rifle gives 14.8 ftlbs. A typical 30-06 150 gr in a 8 lb 11 oz gives 18.0 ftlbs. The 270wsm gives 19.5 ftlbs.

awesomedude

No matter what anyone says, 300 weatherby rocks and DOES have bullet weight enough to get it done. None more versatile Dave! Huh, in July's edition, you praised it's versatility, but now you bring up flaws, what is up?

Will Becker

The main thing is to know your rifle,and shoot a lot,whatever the caliber or make.Some guns are simply more acurate than others

SilverArrow

In its favor, the .300 Wby Mag has relatively more factory loads available than some of the other proprietary cartridges out. Also a plus it IS significantly ballistically superior to any other .30 caliber. If you need a rifle to reeeaaach out and touch with authority this is the one.
Down sides include cost of the rifles and of the ammo. Recoil isn't unmanageable but is unpleasant.
For my money, a .30-06 is just fine but then I don't hunt out west where animals are big and sometimes far away.
Jamie had asked above whether his move from North Carolina to 'out west' means he needs to trade up from a .30-30. Probably, but before you jump, figure out where you are going to hunt and what game you will pursue; know the lay of the land and size of the animals plus your own ability so you can make the right choice.

WA Mtnhunter

I would not agree that the .300 Weatherby is far superior to a .300 RUM. Both have too much recoil and blast to suit me, so it really doesn't matter which is best to me.

I'm glad my Weatherby Mark V (USA made) is chambered in .30-06 and sports a nice piece of walnut. A real shooter, too. Not that it will out shoot my Remington's, however.

SilverArrow

WA Mnthunter
The .300 RUM, and most of the other short and super short magnums, have higher chamber pressure than the longer 'traditional' magnums. Not a huge problem for most situations but this can be dangerous to the handloader (and bystanders) who trys to tweak even more speed out of them. Shooters using the short mags in hotter climates may also experience some over-pressure signs.
SA

Mike Diehl

@Jamie who asks:

Not so much to do with a .300, but "I am moving out west and currently have a .30/30 for my North Carolina backwoods.
Will this be too underpowered?"

It depends on where you are moving to out west and what you want to hunt. If you can afford to keep that .30-30 and it is otherwise a good rifle keep it. But you do need to add a flatter shooting round somewhere in the .270 .308 .30-06 range if you want to hunt elk, mtn sheep, or pronghorn.

If you are moving to Arizona, the .30-30 is a good round for mule deer, bear, and javelina.

Jamie

I also have the chance to trade it for an old Lee enfield in .303 brit.
Not a round I can go down to Walmart and get but will it do?




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