There’s a few 30 calibre’s out there – the ones we are going to cover in this blog are the four big cartridges that are still legal in Western Australia. They are 300 WIN MAG, 300 PRC, 30 Nosler and 300 Remington Ultra Magnum.
We’re going to judge these cartridges on a couple of different variables –
2. projectile selection which ties in with twist rate
3. mag length
4. ammo cost
5 the ease of access to Ammo and or components
300 Win Mag
One of the originals, 300 Win Mag has been around for a long time and is a very popular cartridge with hunters. 300 Win Mag has good powder capacity – I believe I was loading about 75 grains of powder in my 300 Win Mag, pushing a 155gr projectile. You are limited to, at the heaviest, 210 grain projectiles because the barrel twist rate that factory 300 win mag rifles are fitted with is only one in ten twist. The other issue is limited magazine length – 300 win mag magazines only being 3.715 inches in length means that long projectiles must be pressed back inside the case, taking up a lot of the powder capacity. 300 Win Mag ammo is very reasonably priced, especially for hunting. Standard soft point, hunting ammunition can be acquired almost anywhere at a good price.
300 PRC is ever increasing in popularity because of the excellent cartridge design. Because the 300 PRC case is based on the 375 Ruger there’s no belt, meaning you get better case life and more consistent performance. 300 PRC has a longer neck than the 300 Win mag so you get a little bit better projectile concentricity – also the longer length neck means you can use a bigger variety of projectiles without encroaching on the powder capacity too much. There’s not as many factory rifles available in 300 PRC than 300 Win Mag, but the ones that are available have longer magazines (generally 3.85″) and better twist rates than the 300 win mag, making the guns a bit more versatile and user friendly. There are some manufacturers, like Howa, that due to the restrictions of their older action design, only use the shorter mags of the 300 WIN MAG. Ammo cost for 300 PRC is quite reasonable, though cheap ammo for hunting is not available. 300 PRC is increasingly becoming the most popular of the big 300 calibre Magnums.
30 nosler is based on the 404 Jeffries case, so it’s a little bit fatter than the 300 PRC. It’s basically a 300 Remington Ultra mag case shortened down to 30-06 case length. This gives it stout performance while still fitting in a standard length action. However, this cartridge has never taken off commercially, so guns and components are quite thin on the ground. Unprimed brass is about $10 a case and there is very little of it available at any one time. No one offers factory loaded ammunition, but if they did it would probably be $500 a packet. Having said that, the 30 Nosler does offer a bit of a performance edge over the 300prc.
300 Remington Ultra Magnum is the ceiling when it comes to the big 30 calibre magnums in WA. 300 RUM is as fat as a 30 Nosler case, but is longer by about 15 millimetres. Projectile choice is limited due to most Factory guns only ever being available with one in ten twist rifling. This can be mitigated with a custom barrel, which may be required now as very few manufacturers chamber this calibre in a factory rifle. Ammo and cases are very expensive – not as expensive as the 30 Nosler but still up there. Access to the ammunition is very limited unfortunately, though empty brass can still be obtained, making this an excellent option if your goal is peak performance.