300 Win Mag – Decisions, Decisions

This is the first in my 300 Win Mag Load Development Series.  I didn’t feel like making a video on this topic as there is not much to show at the moment.  As I sit here and write this article,  I am hoping that I will end it with my mind being made up.  We will see I guess.  As aforementioned, I am starting load development for my 300 Winchester Magnum Rifle.  This is going be one of my spring / summer projects.  It is a Winchester Model 70, a rifle that I have had for most of my life.  This, and a Model 88 lever-action in .308, where the first rifles I started reloading for when I was a teenager.  On a side note, we found the old reloading manual, the Speer Reloading Manual Number Nine published in 1974, that came with the press kit.  That was a nice find and I am glad my dad let me have it.  Back when I did reload for this rifle, I am pretty sure we used IMR 4350.  It is the powder that is underlined in the book.  But I digress.

My bullet choices that I have in front of me are both Hornady Interlock bullets, a 150 gr SP and a 180 gr BTHP.  I have just finished taking the Base to Ogive measurements for both bullets and am planning on starting with the 150 grain bullet.  Now comes the next question, what powder to use?  I thought this was going to be an easy choice, I figured the load data would have something for H4350 and Reloder-16, both of which I have, and have been happy with in my results with the 224 Valkyrie.  Unbeknownst to me, I was wrong.

In looking at the Hodgdon magazine for bullets of this weight, I was surprised to see  two other entries in the powder list that are sitting by my bench.  Those two being H4895 and Varget.  Ugh.. now I have four powders that will work.  (I know options are good, but man, I was not planning on putting that much thought into it).    Perhaps this maybe a longer series than I initially planned.

Reloder-16 is the fastest powder listed for bullets of this weight at around 3,300 fps.  H4350 is around 3200 fps, and Varget and H4895 are rounding out the slower end at about 3100 fps.  So back to my question, which to start with?  I thought about flipping a coin.  That will take the pressure off me and leave it all to chance, but luck has not necessarily been my strong suit as of late.  So that being said, time to hike up the pants and pick something.

Now for the moment of truth… (drum roll please..)  The starting line up will be: Reloder-16 and H4895.  Why you may ask,  well here goes.

Reloder-16 for the speed, and H4895 because I am curious to see how it does.

There you have it, all that writing to come to that conclusion.  Sometime I guess you just have to put it on proverbial paper to sort out your thoughts.  I would be curious to hear opinions on the matter.  Have you tried any of these powers with this caliber? (I am sure someone has).  Please let me know, I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks for reading this hot mess.

This is Eric from the Big Man’s Outdoors, and until next time,  Have fun outside.

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