The 300 Win Mag vs. the 7mm Rem Mag: Which round is the best? To help answer this question, we will discuss the features, specs, as well as pros and cons of these rounds, and help you make a more informed decision, depending on your shooting and hunting needs.
So, let’s get straight to it with a little bit of history…
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Brief History
The story of the 7mm Rem Mag
The 7mm Rem Mag was launched in 1962, at the time Remington was working on the bolt-action center-fire rifles, the Model 700 series. The rifle cartridge is based on the .375 H&H cartridge. And it can fire a 175-grain 7mm bullet with a flat trajectory and incredible muzzle velocity.
The 7mm is used in mountainous regions, plains, and open country, where immense down-range energy delivery and long-range shots are necessary. In fact, these two factors are the standard by which long-range big game calibers are evaluated. Most rifle manufacturers chamber the cartridge in their models.
The story of the 300 Win Mag
Winchester designed the 300 Win Mag in 1963 as a magnum class round for sized-action and standard-length rifles. The round is based on a .375 H&H magnum case. The case also features a belted magnum near the case head.
Because the barrel’s head spacing is done off the belt, rifles that use the 300 Win Mag round are less accurate. Despite this setback, the 300 Win Mag cartridge remains an excellent choice among hunters.
The 300 Win Mag vs. 7mm Rem Mag: Specs
|300 Win Mag||7mm Rem Mag|
|Parental Case||.375 H&H Magnum||.375 H&H Magnum|
|Bullet Diameter||.308 in (7.8 mm)||.284 in (7.2 mm)|
|Neck Diameter||.339”||.315 in (8.0 mm)|
|Case Length||2.62 in (67 mm)||2.5” (6 cm)|
|Case Capacity||93.8 gr H2O (6.08 cm3)||82.0 gr H2O (5.31 cm3)|
|Maximum Pressure (SAAMI)||64,000psi||61,000psi|
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Comparing Cartridge Sizes
The differences between the 7mm Rem Magnum and the .300 Winchester Magnum rounds are shown in the table above. Firstly, both rounds are belted mags based on the .375 H&H Magnum cases. The primary function of a belted magnum was to provide accurate headspace control because the sloping shoulders, while reducing extraction on the cartridge, were unsuitable for this job.
For this reason, both rounds have the same rim diameter, although the .300 Win Mag is slightly longer than the 7mm Rem Mag (3.34” vs. 3.29”). The difference in their overall lengths is so minimal that they are both used in long action and standard rifles.
What about the case length?
The .300 Win Mag has a case length of 2.62 inches, longer than that of the 7mm Rem Mag (2.5 inches). Moreover, its .156-inch shoulder sits further forward than the 7mm Rem Mag shoulder. This gives the .300 Win Mag an edge over the 7mm Rem Mag, in terms of capacity.
Winner: .300 Win Mag
|Cartridge||Muzzle Velocity/Energy||100 Yards Trajectory, Energy||200 Yards Trajectory, Energy||300 Yards Trajectory, Energy||400 Yards Trajectory, Energy||500 Yards Trajectory, Energy|
|300 Win 165gr||3130fps|
|300 Win 190gr||2870fps|
|7mm Rem 150gr||3060fps|
|7mm Rem 168gr||2880fps|
From the above table, the .300 Win Mag cartridge comes with a smaller edge than the 7mm Rem Mag, though there is an insignificant difference in their ballistics. The most notable difference between the two rounds, however, is the weight and size of the bullets they fire. The 300 Win Mag uses .308 bullets, and the 7mm Rem Mag uses .284” bullets.
What does this mean?
The smaller .284 diameter bullets of the 7mm Rem Mag have a higher sectional density and ballistic coefficient than .308 diameter bullets of comparable mass. And a high ballistic coefficient can help a bullet maintain velocity better and fly it farther before it drops. Thus, the 7mm Rem Mag has better penetration to the target.
But remember this…
The bullets of the .300 Win Mag cartridge are heavier than those of the 7mm Rem Mag round. And generally, heavy bullets travel at a slower velocity and rotate slowly. So, they can be challenging to stabilize. However, the twist rate and barrel length will play a crucial part in your ammunition selection, with heavier bullets demanding a faster twist rate.
Most 7mm Rem Mag loads fire bullets ranging between 139-175 grain, with the most common grains being the 140grain, 150 grain, 160 grain, and 175-grain loads. The .300 Win Mag factory loads, on the other hand, use bullets in the 15-230-grain range. With the 150 grain, 165 grain, 180 grain, 190 grain, 200 grain, and the 220 grain are the most used bullets.
Higher sectional density, better penetration…
Sectional density (SD) in relation to bullets, is the ratio of a bullet’s mass to its cross-sectional area along a specific axis. With other factors remaining constant, a heavier bullet has a higher sectional density and will penetrate the target’s body deeper than a bullet with lower sectional density and mass.
For instance, the sectional densities of .284 bullets with 150 grain and 175 grain is .266 and .310, respectively. While the sectional density of .308 bullets with 150 grain and 180 grain is .226 and .271.
With the .300 Win Mag capable of firing 200 grain, 208 grain, and 200-grain bullets, the 7mm Remington round does a better job with the 175-grain bullet.
After analyzing the two cartridges, we concluded that the 7mm Rem Mag outplayed the 300 Win Mag, with most of its bullets in common use. With its low bullet drop, the .300 Win Mag still boasts of more energy downrange, mainly because it uses heavy bullets and has more powder capacity.
Winner: 7mm Rem Mag
7mm Rem Mag vs. .300 Win Mag: Impact of Cross Wind
|Cartridge||100 Yards Wind Drift||200 Yards Wind Drift||300 Yards Wind Drift||400 Yards Wind Drift||500 Yards Wind Drift|
|300 Win 165gr||.7”||2.6”||6.1”||11.2”||18.2”|
|300 Win 190gr||.6”||2.2”||5”||9”||14.5”|
|7mm Rem 150gr||.7”||2.7”||6.2”||11.3”||18.4”|
|7mm Rem 168gr||.5”||2.1”||4.8”||8.7”||13.9”|
The above table shows the impact of a 10-mile per hour crosswind on four loads out to 500 yards. From our analysis, the 7mm Rem Mag loads have an advantage over the .300 Win Mag loads.
In other words…
Wind does not cause major deflection on the 7mm Rem Mag bullet trajectory path compared to the .300 Win Mag. But there is a minuscule difference in the ballistics of the two cartridges at normal hunting ranges. Both are hard-hitting and flat shooting rounds.
Notably, the .300 Win Mag features more recoil than the 7mm Rem Mag. For instance, when used on the same rifle, a 300 Win Mag load using a 165-grain bullet has approximately 25 percent more than a 7mm Reg Mag load using a 150-grain bullet under the same conditions.
|Cartridge||.300 Win Mag||7mm Rem Mag|
|Bullet||165gr Nosler Partition||150gr Nosler Partition|
|Powder Load||74gr IMR 4381||65gr IMR 4381|
|Free Recoil Energy||34.29ft-lbs||27.36ft-lbs|
Both rounds have model recoils that any shooter can comfortably handle. However, felt recoil would differ from one rifle to another or from one shooter to the next. So, we can use free recoil energy to compare the two rounds.
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Trajectory
We found that both rounds featured very similar trajectories. However, we noticed that the 7mm Rem Mag has less bullet drop than the 300 Win Mag. However, we used different bullet weights for the two cartridges to widen or close the gap. So, let’s analyze more rounds of each cartridge to see if they will be any different.
Short Range Trajectory
Even though both cartridges are long-range competitive shooters, they are also hunting cartridges, and with hunting, it is not uncommon to experience shots at targets below 300 yards, depending on the game and the terrain.
Aggregate Bullet Drop at Short Range
|Yards||.300 Win Mag||7mm Rem Mag|
From the above table, the 7mm Rem Mag has a flatter trajectory than the .300 Win Mag, making shot placement in the former easier since less adjustment is required at different ranges.
But, their differences at 400 yards is .9 inch. So, it is quite absurd even to say this is an advantage. On a typical range, there won’t be any advantage of choosing one round over the other. Nonetheless, both cartridges have remarkable trajectories.
Aggregate Bullet Drop at Long Range
|Yards||.300 Win Mag||7mm Rem Mag|
When it comes to long-range shooting, the cartridges show no significant differences. So, as it stands, the 7mm Rem Mag has a flatter trajectory than its counterpart, and this is more noticeable at 700+ yards.
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Momentum
Momentum is the ability of a bullet to remain in motion after leaving the muzzle. In other words, how well a bullet conquers resistance and continues to move forward.
The higher the momentum, the deeper the projectile penetrates a target after overcoming resistance (regardless of the bullet type used). But remember, you must consider the type of bullet to use in the field.
|Yards||7mm Rem Mag||.300 Win Mag|
From the above table, the .300 Win Mag generates more momentum from the muzzle. We also see that the difference between the two rounds diminishes by a few lbs/fts. Nevertheless, the .300 Win Mag leads the race – remembering that heavy bullets generate high momentum.
Both the 7mm Rem Mag and the .300 Win Mag are popular options on the market. Most weapon companies now offer an array of 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag factory ammo.
Other options for you…
Different bullet styles are available for both rounds, including SST, InterLock, InterBond, GMX, the Hornady ELD-X, the Berger VLD, the Barnes TTSX, the Remington Core Lokt, the Nosler AccueBond, Winchester PowerPoint, and A-Frame.
Costs and availability vary from one area to another, but ammo for both rounds is widely available and priced at similar rates. Similarly, reloading parts for the two rounds are also readily available. Both rounds also come in different weights and styles. So, it is easy to find a custom load that is compatible with your rifle.
Along with the many ammo options, most hunting rifles manufactured are chambered in either of the cartridges. Similar rifles chambered in either unit are identical because they have the same length size and rim diameter.
The Thompson Center Compass, The Remington Model 700, Tikka T3X, Nosler M48, Mossberg Patriot, Browning X-Bolt, Weatherby Mark V, Savage 11/111, Ruger M77 Hawkeye, Winchester Model 70, and Vanguard among others are available in .300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Energy
When the powder in the casing ignites and pushes the bullet out of the barrel, the energy produced is transferred to the bullet. However, unlike the other performance analysis, we have already covered, with this, we can see a big difference between the cartridges.
Higher energy equals Higher speed…
The 300 Winchester Magnum has higher bullet energy as it carries 3,474ft.lb of force from the muzzle, while the 7mm Rem Mag carries 3,303ft.lb of force from the muzzle. The difference is approximately 615ft.lb of force. As these cartridges move downrange, the difference between them diminishes, with the .300 Win Mag maintaining the lead.
|Yards||.300 Win Mag||7mm Rem Mag|
When we add more rounds, as seen from the table above, we still see that the .300 Win Mag has higher kinetic energy at all yards on the projectile’s flight. As mentioned before, the gap between the two rounds reduces as they move downrange. However, there are instances where both cartridges produced kinetic energy around or above the aggregate of the .300 Win Mag cartridges.
For hunting purposes, we believe that the additional .300ft.lb of force will not make any significant difference. If you place both rounds in the vital zone, they will still strike down the animal.
Winner: 300 Win Mag.
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Accuracy
Determining which round is more accurate is always hard. In this case, the accuracy of these rounds depends on the shooter and their experience level in using either of these rounds.
If we take a close look at the ballistics data such as the trajectories and the ballistic coefficient, there is a significant difference between the 300 Win Mag and the 7mm Rem Mag. However, the latter has slightly flatter trajectories and ballistic coefficients out to 500 yards.
But there are ranges where one cartridge is better than the other. However, if you are looking for extra power at short range, the differences are too small to decide which round is best.
We cannot disregard the role of recoil in determining the accuracy of these cartridges. We believe most shooters would quickly adjust to the higher recoil of the .300 Win Mag, although there are some who wouldn’t be able to adjust accordingly. If you like to use a box or two at the range, the additional 10ft.lb of recoil can be tiresome and could result in decreased accuracy over time.
Winner: .300 Win Mag.
What are some Common Applications of these Cartridges?
As we come to the end of our review, let us analyze and recap our findings and break down useful applications of these cartridges. Both cartridges have shown incredible long-range precision shooting. The 7mm Rem Mag boasts more choices for high muzzle velocities, better ballistic coefficients, and flatter trajectories, which improves its performance downrange.
But keep in mind…
There are also.300 Win Mag options that yield similar performance, but most shooters would not adjust to the increased recoil for many shots within a short period. While both cartridges do an exemplary job at the long-range precision range, most shooters would use them for hunting purposes. They are both perfect for shooting medium-sized game such as antelope, hogs, deer, among others.
Both rounds have great terminal ballistics and heavy bullets, ideal for hunting larger game such as moose, elk and a wide variety of exotic game. For the more vigorous and bigger game, consider using the .300 Win Mag as it has higher kinetic energy.
The .300 Win Mags showed higher sectional density. We also saw a big difference in penetration data, with the .300 Win Mag round showing great performance. Thus, the .300 Win Mag cartridge has better penetration potential. Note this does not mean that the 7mm Rem Mag does not have decent penetration; it also capable of striking down large game.
But if penetration would be something of great concern to you, then the numbers say the .300 Win Mag is the better option. Nevertheless, it is about choosing the right cartridge that is suitable for your hunting needs.
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Most Popular Rounds
As we come to the end of our review, we will like to share some of the best rounds that are perfect for certain applications:
We chose the HSM Berger 168gr magnum for the Remington cartridge because it is a heavyweight, ideal for hunting purposes, and makes the handling of recoil easy. Moreover, it has one of the best ballistic coefficients and muzzle velocities, meaning you will have outstanding downrange ballistics, as well as a flat trajectory.
Even though it does not possess a lot of energy, you will get enough expansion and penetration to take down medium to large game at standard hunting ranges.
The Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond Long Range 190gr would be the best choice for .300 Win Mag. The 190gr has a better stopping power and terminal ballistics, and records an incredible 2000fps out to the 500-yard flight. This is enough to create the right expansion of the ballistic tip projectile.
Together with sectional density, this speed is enough to penetrate and go through vital organs of moose and big bull elk at long ranges. However, it might be too much for a medium-sized game as it may damage the meat, although this is debatable.
7mm Rem Mag vs 300 Win Mag – Which is the Winner?
Based on our analysis, both rounds have close ballistic performances. So, before we chose the winner, we needed to consider some other factors. The .300 Win Mag has a competitive edge over the 7mm Rem Mag because of increased factory support, availability of ammunition, and it is affordable to reload.
We did not talk about barrel life, and the .300 Win Mag barrel has a longer lifespan than the 7mm Rem Mag. Thus, you get less barrel wear. This makes the…
.300 Win Mag.
…the victor in this competitive comparison review. However, both cartridges are perfect for their intended roles, and both rounds would make a great choice for target shooting and hunting.