Many people use the flat shooting and hard hitting .300 Win Mag for hunting elk, deer and many other species of big game with excellent results. Here are a few great brands of .300 Win Mag ammo that will probably serve you very well next time you’re afield.
The .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge exploded onto the scene in the 1960s and quickly surpassed older .30 caliber magnum rifle cartridges like the .300 Weatherby Magnum and .308 Norma Magnum in popularity. It has also displayed a lot of staying power and remains a favorite among hunters all over the world to this day. For that reason, just about every big manufacturer like Barnes, Black Hills, Federal Premium, Fiocchi, Hornady, Norma, Prvi Partizan (PPU), Sellier & Bellot, Sig Sauer, Remington, and Winchester produces several different variants of .300 Win Mag ammo for hunting elk, deer, moose, bear, and many other big game animals.
Known for being really accurate, having a flat trajectory, and for retaining lots of kinetic energy at extended range, versatility is the name of the game with the .300 Win Mag and it’s well suited for hunting a wide range of big game at short, medium, and even long range. However, different situations (like deer or pronghorn at long range vs moose at short range) necessitate the use of different kinds of .300 Win Mag ammo for best results.
While they are very accurate and are certainly capable of killing big game animals, I don’t recommend using bullets designed for target shooting like the Hornady ELD Match and Sierra MatchKing hollow point boat tail (HPBT) for hunting because they usually aren’t designed for optimum terminal performance on big game animals. The same goes for open tip match (OTM) or boat tail hollow point (BTHP) bullets.
Instead, it’s best to stick with .300 Winchester Magnum ammo specifically designed for hunting that uses soft point, jacketed hollow point, or similar bullets.
Fortunately, the .300 Winchester Magnum is one of the most popular hunting cartridges in North America and there are a wide variety of .300 Win Mag factory loads specifically designed for just about every conceivable big game hunting situation. So, regardless of whether you’re using a bolt action Winchester Model 70, a Remington Model 700, a Ruger Hawkeye, a Savage 110, a Mauser M18, a Weatherby Vanguard, or some other hunting rifle, there is pretty much guaranteed to be something for everyone on the list below of the best .300 Win Mag ammunition for hunting.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you the best .300 Win Mag ammo for hunting elk, deer, feral hogs, black bear, and all sorts of other big game and go over the pros and cons of each individual load.
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If you’re a hunter who loves Barnes bullets, then you’re in luck because Barnes produces some great .300 Win Mag ammo as part of their VOR-TX line. Featuring their legendary copper Tipped Triple Shock X (TTSX) bullet, this ammunition is designed for rapid expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration. Available using 150 grain, 165 grain, or 180 grain .30 caliber bullets, Barnes offers three outstanding choices for hunters regardless of what they’re after.
The 180 grain load is quite possibly the best .300 Win Mag ammo for elk, bear, and moose hunting. The 165 grain load will also work for larger game like elk, but it’s perfect for bigger deer and bear. That high velocity 150 grain load is great .300 Win Mag ammo for deer and pronghorn hunting, especially for hunters who want a couple hundred extra fps and a really flat trajectory to minimize their holdover for a longer shot. All that being said, there’s certainly a lot of overlap on the acceptable hunting uses for those three bullet weights as well.
All three loads are also 100% copper, which makes them an ideal choice of .300 Win Mag hunting ammunition for use in states like California that that don’t permit the use of lead bullets.
Though I’ve since switched over to Federal Premium Trophy Copper ammo (next on this list), the Barnes VOR-TX line is still great ammunition and was my personal favorite .300 Win Mag ammo for a long time. I used that 165 grain load with a lot of success on both deer and pronghorn over the past few years and this ammo is also a favorite among many North America, New Zealand, and Africa hunting outfitters.
- Bullet Type: TTSX Boat Tail
- Bullet Weight: 150 grains, 165 grains, or 180 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .420 (150 gr), .442 (165 gr), .484 (180 gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,285 feet per second, 3,120 feet per second, or 2,960 feet per second
GET BARNES 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Cabela’s, Lucky Gunner, and Optics Planet
Federal Premium Terminal Ascent
Federal’s Terminal Ascent line is another good option of .300 Win Mag hunting ammo for hunters looking for really good extended range performance. This ammunition uses the new Terminal Ascent Bullet, which is also extremely aerodynamic and accurate. It has a very high BC (higher than the 200gr Hornady ELD-X) and is also much more robustly constructed.
With those things in mind, I personally tend to lean more towards the Terminal Ascent over the ELD-X for hunting bigger game like elk with the .300 Win Mag. This ammo is another great option for hunters going after game out west like mule deer or pronghorn who need excellent .300 Win Mag ammo for a long range hunting situation.
If this ammunition shoots accurately in your rifle, this is my #2 recommended load (behind the Nosler Partition) for hunters who need good .300 Win Mag ammo for elk or moose hunting. Terminal Ascent ammo has better long range performance than the Nosler Partition, so this is the stuff you should use if a shot past 250 yards is likely on an upcoming elk hunt.
- Bullet Type: Terminal Ascent
- Bullet Weight: 200 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .608
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,810 feet per second
GET TERMINAL ASCENT 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Cabela’s, Lucky Gunner, Optics Planet, and Sportsman’s Warehouse
Remington Core Lokt
If you’re a “meat and potatoes” kind of hunter who wants some reasonably priced and dependable 300 Win Mag ammo for hunting deer, elk, feral hogs, and black bear, then the Remington’s 180 grain Core Lokt soft point will probably work really well for you (it’s also available as a 150 grain soft point load which is good for deer hunting).
It’s not the latest and greatest stuff by any means, but this .300 Win Mag ammunition has been around for a long time and countless hunters have successfully used Core Lokt ammo to take just about every species of big game in North America. The same goes for hunts overseas in places like New Zealand or Africa: one of those bullets through the vitals of a red stag, kudu, eland, or wildebeest will make for a very short tracking job.
Finally, this ammunition is very reasonably priced and has one of the lowest costs per round out of all the .300 Win Mag ammo on this list.
- Bullet Type: Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point (PSP)
- Bullet Weight: 180 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .383
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,960 feet per second
GET CORE LOKT 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Brownells, Cabela’s, and Lucky Gunner
Hornady recently introduced their new Outfitter line of ammunition. Though it will also work quite well on a whitetail deer hunt in the back 40, the company markets this .300 Win Mag ammo for use on guided hunts in really tough environments like a moose hunt in Canada or a kudu hunt in South Africa.
This ammunition is loaded with an extremely tough 180 grain CX bullet that’s designed for controlled expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration on large, heavy boned animals like elk, bear, and moose. This ammunition also uses nickel-plated case for reliable feeding and corrosion resistance under the most demanding conditions
With all those things in mind, it’s easy to see why Hornady advertises their Outfitter .300 Win Mag ammo for use on a big hunt that’s the culmination of years of saving and planning. After all, when the chips are down on the hunt of a lifetime, the absolute last thing you need is for your ammo to fail at the moment of truth.
The CX bullet used in Hornady Outfitter ammunition is lead free, which makes this ammo another good choice for use in states like California. Note: the CX bullet replaced the older GMX bullet from Hornady and is a tiny bit more aerodynamic, but retains the great terminal performance of the GMX.
- Bullet Type: CX
- Bullet Weight: 180 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .469
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,960 feet per second
GET HORNADY OUTFITTER 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Lucky Gunner
Winchester Deer Season XP
Winchester’s Deer Season XP line of ammunition is a really good choice choice if you’re planning on taking your .300 Win Mag deer hunting. The Extreme Point bullet this rifle ammo uses is similar to Winchester’s Power Point bullet (same goes for the Ballistic Tip and Ballistic Silvertip), but the Extreme Point has a large diameter polymer tip that’s specifically designed to produce a gigantic wound channel along with massive impact trauma. This normally results in a very short tracking job and a very easy to follow blood trail. Even so, it’s designed specifically to compete with popular whitetail deer hunting ammo like the Federal Fusion, Federal Power-Shok, Hornady American Whitetail, Remington Core-Lokt, and Winchester Super-X in terms of accuracy and reliability.
The Winchester Deer Season XP line is also competitively priced and has one of the lowest costs per round out of all the .300 Win Mag ammo on this list.
So, not only is this some very reasonably priced .300 Win Mag ammo, but it also has a very good reputation for producing a giant wound channel and minimizing the distance deer run after being hit. In fact, this Winchester ammo is one of my top recommended brands of 300 Win Mag ammo for whitetail deer hunting. That being said, I would NOT recommend using it for bigger game like elk or moose.
Finally, Winchester does manufacture a lead-free version of their Deer Season XP ammo loaded with their Copper Impact bullet in 300 Win Mag for use with hunters who are prefer (or are required to) use lead-free ammunition.
- Bullet Type: Extreme Point
- Bullet Weight: 150 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .392
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,260 feet per second
GET DEER SEASON XP 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
GET COPPER IMPACT 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available At: Brownell’s, Cabela’s and Lucky Gunner
It’s far from the latest and greatest stuff, but this Federal Fusion loading with either a 150gr or a 180gr bullet is really good 300 Win Mag ammo for deer hunting. In addition to being very effective, this ammunition is also somewhat reasonably priced and has been one of the easier to find 300 Win Mag ammo options during the past few years.
Additionally, Fusion bullets have a bonded lead core to help with weight retention. Combined with a skived tip to help initiate expansion, Federal Fusion 300 Win Mag ammo delivers a really good balance of controlled expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration. Federal Fusion ammunition also has a good reputation for accuracy.
While I think Fusion 300 Win Mag ammo is better for elk hunting than some of the other loads out there, this is ideal ammo for feral hog and deer hunting. You could also include game like pronghorn and maybe black bear in there as well.
It will definitely work on bigger like elk or moose in a pinch, but I do not recommend using Federal Fusion 300 Win Mag ammo for hunting really big game like that unless you can’t find anything better. Instead, use one of the other loads I recommend later in this article like the Barnes TTSX, Federal Terminal Ascent, or Nosler Partition.
Like I said though, this is outstanding on deer sized game though and it’s to go wrong with Federal Fusion 300 Win Mag ammo for deer hunting.
- Bullet Type: Fusion Soft Point
- Bullet Weight: 150 grains or 180 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .410 (150gr) or .485 (180gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,200 (150gr) or 2,960 feet per second (180gr)
GET FEDERAL FUSION 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Natchez Shooter Supplies and Optics Planet
Nosler Trophy Grade
The Nosler Trophy Grade line of ammo will very likely fit the bill for those looking for some seriously heavy hitting .300 Win Mag ammo for elk, moose, or bear hunting. Loaded with a 180 grain or a 200 grain Nosler Partition bullet, this load is perfect for hunting really big game where it’s really important to use a heavy, well constructed bullet. With that in mind, this is also perfect .300 Win Mag ammunition for an African safari for really large or tough game like kudu, blue wildebeest, or eland.
This ammunition is not limited to use on bigger and tougher animals either and will also work extremely well on game like deer. Indeed, a heavier 180gr or 200gr bullet like those used in this loading will also probably cause less meat damage on deer-sized game than lighter and faster 150gr and 165gr bullets.
Though it doesn’t have the flattest trajectory out there, this load retains energy very well, so this is still excellent .300 Win Mag ammo for hunting at a reasonable range. The Nosler Partition is a very old bullet design, but it remains one of the best hunting bullets around and has a proven track record over the course of many decades and won’t let you down at the moment of truth. Nosler also produces a similar load in their Trophy Grade line featuring the newer Nosler Accubond bullet.
- Bullet Type: Nosler Partition
- Bullet Weight: 180 grains or 200 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .361 (180gr) or .481 (200gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,950 feet per second (180gr) or 2,750 feet per second (200gr)
GET NOSLER PARTITION 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Brownells and Lucky Gunner
Federal Premium Trophy Copper
Hunters in search of a high quality alternative to Barnes bullets should definitely check out Federal Premium’s new Trophy Copper line of ammunition. Like the Barnes TTSX, the Trophy Copper provides a devastating mix of high weight retention, rapid, yet controlled controlled expansion (to approximately twice the original diameter), and deep straight-line penetration. This ammunition is available using either a 165 grain or 180 grain .30 caliber bullet and the whole line has been endorsed by the MeatEater crew.
The 180 grain load is an outstanding choice of .300 Win Mag ammo for elk, moose, or bear hunting while the the lighter 165 grain load is perfect for deer, pronghorn, and bear. Both of those loads use a slightly more aerodynamic bullet than the comparable factory loads in the Barnes VOR-TX line. Especially with regards to the 180 grain Trophy Copper, the result is some .300 Win Mag ammo with a flatter trajectory, more retained energy at long range, and more resistance to wind drift than comparable Barnes ammo.
Federal Premium Trophy Copper ammunition is also a tiny bit more accurate in my rifle. While Barnes VOR-TX ammo is great and has served me well for many years, the improved accuracy combined with the slightly better ballistics of the Federal ammunition were enough for me to make the switch from Barnes to Federal Premium in 2020.
With those things in mind (and after seeing the performance of this ammo in the field), the Federal Premium Trophy Copper line is my new personal favorite .300 Win Mag ammo for all my hunting. I could not have asked for better performance on elk than what I received using that 180 grain load. Regardless of whether you’re hunting deer, elk, and bear in North America or one of the big species of African antelope, this ammo will serve you well and get the job done if you do your part as a shooter.
Both Federal Premium Trophy Copper loads are also lead free, which makes them an ideal choice of .300 Win Mag hunting ammunition for use in states like California that that don’t permit the use of lead bullets.
- Bullet Type: Trophy Copper
- Bullet Weight: 165 grains or 180 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .503 (165 gr) or .523 (180 gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,050 feet per second or 2,960 feet per second
GET TROPHY COPPER 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Sportsman’s Warehouse and Optics Planet
Hornady Precision Hunter
The .300 Winchester Magnum is an excellent long range cartridge and Hornady’s Precision Hunter line contains an outstanding .300 Win Mag ammo option for hunters looking to squeeze every bit of long range performance out of the cartridge. Loaded with the extremely aerodynamic Extremely Low Drag eXpanding (ELD-X) bullet, this ammo is perfect for western hunters going after game like elk, mule deer, or pronghorn who need the very best .300 Win Mag ammo for a long range hunting situation.
Hornady advertises that the ELD-X bullet has the best-in-class ballistic coefficients over their entire trajectory and that their Precision Hunter ammunition also offers match grade accuracy (usually sub-MOA).
Though the ELD-X does not have a bonded core like the Hornady InterBond, the ELD-X does feature a thicker jacket and an InterLock ring to help control expansion, increase weight retention, and minimize the chances of core-jacket separation. For this reason, the ELD-X is still devastating on deer and pronghorn sized game, but it’s also a much better choice than their SST bullet used in the Hornady Superformance line for use on larger game.
Add it up and you have some .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition that’s capable of delivering great terminal performance on a wide range of big game for shots at 400+ yards.
- Bullet Type: Hornady Extremely Low Drag eXpanding
- Bullet Weight: 200 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .597
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,850 feet per second
GET PRECISION HUNTER 300 WIN MAG AMMO HERE
Also Available at: Brownells
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9 thoughts on “Best .300 Win Mag Ammo For Hunting Elk, Deer & Other Big Game”
I will say Barnes has come a long ways in their mono swaged bullet tech. Still I find they need much higher impact vel to perf fully. They seem to need impact vel 2200 fps + and the mono lower density means less energy for bullet size and lower bc. For their weight they need faster twist barrels as well. Positive I’d you can spin them as fast as you need without worry of they coming apart.
I did not know California still allowed hunting? Huh. Figured they had banned it. If lead is banned I guess that means no traditional black powder hunting there? I find musket balls all the time here in Virgina battle field areas from revolutionary and civil wars. Interestingly after they are cleaned up they weight and measure the same size as the bores of the time. The civil wars ones have rifling grooves still clear and have depth. Hard to see how they are an issue when they seem to not erode much at all in hundreds of yrs. Last time I checked lead is naturally occurring. I get it for water fowl as the pellets can be ingested and are in water entering the food chain. But reg land hunting. Then it is Calf. They tell you how bad plastic water bottles are to drink out of then cover their reseviors in plastic balls to slow evaporation while leeching the byproducts into the water…hmmmm
The ban on lead bullets in California is that the lead from modern frangible bullets gets left behind in the gut piles and other left behind remains of harvested animals. These smaller lead particles get consumed by other animals and ends up entering the food chain. The main concern is about lead ending up being consumed by the endangered California condor in particular. The musket balls from previous wars are much less likely to end up in the food chain. This issue isn’t as unreasonable of a lot of other things that happen in California. Lead has been on its way out gradually in both hunting and fishing with other alternatives becoming available. There are more ammunition manufactures making bullets of alternative materials. So, instead of fill them full of lead, in the future you’ll have to fill them full of copper.
Read your April 2020 article about the modern 30 caliber cartridges. I won’t go on Facebook so I have to pay you a compliment here. I like all of your articles. I really liked the one on WSM cartridges.
Hope all is well.
Thank you very much Vince!
Good article! 180 gr Fusions shoot very well in my Hawkeye. Dropped a 4×5 bull in his tracks.
Just bought a 300Win mag browning xbolt hells canyon max and put a leupold vx 5HD 3-15 x 56 firedot on it. The 150gr Winchester xp shoots sub moa at 100 yards so I plan to hunt with that up here in East Tennessee. How do they perform on whitetail in your experience? I always try and hit the front shoulder bc I need them to drop. Thanks Ron
Great looking gun..congrats
There is nothing better than knowledge, Thanks for the need to know how when where and where not, Great stuff keeping it real.