338 Win Mag vs 300 Win Mag Cartridges

The .338 Win Mag and .300 Win Mag are two of the best target cartridges adored by shooters who love reliable long-range machines. Both magazines are powerful, fascinating and popular in the shooting range. However, their similar and different features have been a source of arguments for gun freaks—especially those obsessed with miniature rifles.

One remarkable fact is that there are circumstances where each of the two magazines perform better than the other. For clarification purpose, this article will extensively analyse the .338 Win Mag and .300 Win Mag Cartridges though the objective is not to declare a winner between the two. Nonetheless, the collated information is intended to present a foundational background for smart decisions on which features are most suitable for your needs.

An Overview

  1. Brief introduction of the .300 Winchester Magnum

In the world of hunting, long before the launch of .300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge), Americans have been passionate about magnum-class .30 cartridges. Surprisingly, records show that the .300 Win Mag is relatively new but how it gained popularity over the .338 Win Mag and others as the most preferred cartridge on hunting grounds remains a mystery—one that will be uncovered in this article.

First produced in 1963 by Winchester, the .300 cartridge remains shooters’ choice because the quantity of powder offers significant boost in performance (velocity) achieved over a long distance. Again, .300 Win Mag is easily used with different bullet weights ranging between 150 – 200 and accommodates additional rounds on both sides of the stretch.

One more notable feature of the .300 Win Mag is its compatibility with many types of bullets, a feature which increases its versatility and advantage as well as explains why it is preferred by trophy hunters and military snipers.

  1. Brief introduction of the .338 Winchester Magnum

The .300 Win Mag vs .338 Win Mag is considered a pointless comparison because both rounds are designed for kill shots whether on hunting ground or war zones.

The .338 Win Mag is specially built for .338 inches calibre. It was produced by Winchester’s Repeating Arm in 1958 and still serves gun lovers who prefer its rimless, belted and bottlenecked design—some of the external features modified from the shortened and expanded .375 H&H Mag. The 338 is popular for its well-built stopping capability which makes it more useful as backup for forest guides and hunters who risk bear attacks in most regions of the world, particularly Alaska, USA.

For its medium-bore and deep penetration features, the .338 Win Mag is widely used because it has a casing with minimal taper, which makes it easy for supply and extraction functions. Additionally, it was introduced at a time when bulky and heavier cartridges held sway.

The .300 Win Mag vs .338 Win Mag Cartridges

It is important for you to understand that both cartridges are twin products from the same manufacturing company, Winchester. The target rounds are some of the essential tools you need for hunting trips or long-range kill shots. Though there’s hardly a noticeable difference in short-range performance, here are few factors that separate the .300 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag:

Speed: While making a choice on the best gun, hunters often consider the shooting accuracy of a particular rifle in comparison to others in the same category—a function which largely depends on the type of cartridge in question as well as how it performs against pressures from the wind and gravitational force. This indicates that speed plays a major role in identifying differences the better rifle between .300 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag.

Findings show that .300 ranks higher than .338 in velocity at a range of about 3,000 feet per second. This is so because .338 Win Mag contains bulkier bullets, but the shortcomings in velocity is compensated by high power value in short-range shootings within 200 yards.

Recoil force: This refers to the inbuilt ability of miniature rifles to regain performance readiness after a bullet is discharged. When you pull a trigger, it is normal for powder to ignite within the cartridge. The force from this action is felt more in .338 Win Mag because its 31 feet-lbf recoil energy exerts more pressure in nine-pound riffles.

The result isn’t same for .300 Win Mag, which has less powder and less recoil thus offering decreased usage rates for people who need to shoot repeatedly for a longer length of time. On this premise .300 Win Mag users who have need for accuracy will require stronger cartridges. Nonetheless, despite the striking recoil difference, individual experiences differ because users some people are better in gun mastery than others. On the other hand, technological developments recently introduced butt pads designed to look like a muzzle counterbalance but are capable of reducing recoil impact from many miniature riffles.

Duration: Findings show that the .338 Win Mag has a longer lifespan than its competitor, .300 Win Mag, because the former is capable of shooting a greater number of bullets. However, barrel life shouldn’t be a problem for scarce shooters except those firing long-range shots with higher failure rates.

Performance: The energy or penetration level of cartridges presents another criterion for measuring performance. For instance, when a shot is fired at an object (such as animals with rugged skin tissues and strong bones), the impact and stopping power for both .330 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag are almost the same even though the latter functions with bulkier bullets.

The explanation above indicates that .338 riffles offer deeper penetration and are deadlier because heavy bullets perform better in velocity. Additionally, the .338 Win Mag is designed for well-regulated expansion process that delivers maximum impact.

External appearance: Hunters have many reasons for choosing cartridges with flat ends because trajectory is important in aiming, shooting ability and level of accuracy. In comparison, the .300 Win Mag has better trajectory and is faster, easy to use as well as result-oriented.


The number of bullets contained in both .300 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag are equal at 64,000 psi. With this notable feature and outlined differences, it appears harder to choose one over the other.

However, it is worth noting that the 300 performs higher with improved trajectory whereas the 338 is shooters’ choice for velocity—which offers great advantage during hunting games. In home defence, the 300 is most suitable because it is shorter and easier to handle against close targets.