A few months ago the Boone & Crockett Club released the most popular caliber used to take wall hangers in North America. It seems that most trophies are taken with the .300 Winchester Magnum. The .300 win mag beat out the .30-06, 7mm Remington Magnum, .270 among others.
Care to take a guess what the second most popular caliber is? Trick questions. It’s not a caliber at all but a bow. The second most popular weapon used by B&C members is a bow. The .300 win mag is probably the outer limit of most hunter’s and shooter’s recoil tolerance.
The .300 spits out a 150 grain bullet at about 3,290 fps and that can result in about 2,314 pounds of recoil. In layman’s terms that similar to a sharp blow to the shoulder from 2×4 depending on how well you have the stock placed in your shoulder pocket and what position you are shooting from.
My first experience with the .300 win mag was about 35 years ago. A friend of mine who believed bigger and faster in a caliber was better bought a used bolt-action that looked a suspiciously like a Weatherby—glossy stock, bright blue finish—but was actually a Japanese-made brand that is now long defunct.
He bought the gun for whitetails and shot one about two acres away on the edge of the hay field. The bullet entered via a small hole and existed by a tennis-ball sized hole and kept going. Not one to be duly impressed I commented that it’s a good thing the farmer’s Holsteins weren’t around since you might have had to drag two animals.
I understand a grizzly, elk or mountain goat hunter needing the power at a distance the .300 win mag offers, but it’s a little too much gun for whitetails. And I know you are dying to know what other calibers B&C members use; in order of popularity the .270, .30-06 followed by the 7mm rem mag.