338 Win Mag vs. 330 Win Mag: A Closer Look Between These Two Magnums

It is notable that hard-hitting and highly stable cartridges are the top guns on the market today. Among them, the magnum is the latest technology on the board.

Many are quite baffled with this term. After all, several gun models are under this category. When it comes to traditional magnums, the .300 Winchester is a resounding name. Although it is an old unit, its firing power and stability is still on top. But definitely, some other magnums already surpassed it. One of these is the .338 Lapua.

338 Win Mag vs. 300 Win Mag: which of them give you the maximum shooting accuracy and power? If you want to know the answer, you might want to thoroughly read this comprehensive comparison we made for these rifle cartridges.


Magnum: What Is It Anyway?

"Magnum" is a term that perplexed many amateur shooters and gun owners. Specifically, this name is not a brand. Instead, it is a description given to high and stretched rounds. Innovation happened, and smokeless powders already superseded black particles. The latter is quite denser than black particles. Therefore, they can provide more space to their cases. The .357 magnum is one of the best examples of this setup.

Most of the guns on the past can't cater for the size of these cases. What the manufacturers did is that they lengthen the rounds of their weapons for extra safety. They called these new firearms as "magnum."

The "Magnum" label is quite hard to distinguish. Up until now, many are still arguing if a particular cartridge is a magnum or not. However, we follow an unwritten rule on this aspect. Specifically, a magnum round can exceed other cartridges when it comes to power and speed.

For instance, .30-06 rounds are considered by many as the "standard" when it comes to power. Therefore, it is quite easy to deduce that the .300 Winchester magnum is on a higher level compared to the .30-06 magnum. But still, the only difference they have is the velocity and power, not the size of the bullet.

You can say that a .35 Whelen is the magnum version of the .30-06 due to its power. But when it comes to bullet diameter, the .30-06 has a greater lead than the .35 Whelen.

338 Win Mag Vs. 300 Win Mag: Individual Rundown

300 Winchester Magnum

For seasoned rifle users, the .300 Winchester Magnum is not a new sight anymore. It is among the classic cartridges that have a tested-and-proven reputation. As we mentioned earlier, it is not difficult to see someone who is using a .300 win mag, especially if you are in North America and Europe.

The .300 win mag is like a .338 win mag but with a smaller neck. However, the former has a longer case than the .338 win mag. If you thoroughly inspect this cartridge, you will notice that its shoulder stretches out fully.

Specifically, the estimated barrel life of the .300 win mag is 1,500 rounds. Moreover, it has an astounding accuracy, too. In fact, many were intrigued about the accuracy of this cartridge. After all, it has a belt case. Later on, it will explain that the belt prevents the coercion of the round to a receiver. Despite this, the belt still creates a wiggle space due to to the far distance of its index to the case.

In application, the optimal use of the .300 Win Mag is taking down large games. It can also be used at long distances if the conditions the favorable. Moreover, the recoil of this cartridge suits well with many heavy ammunitions. Specifically, its capacity to propel 200-grain bullets with extreme ballistic accuracy is its main selling point. The combination of these features makes the .300 Win Mag a popular choice.


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    The barrel life of the .300 Win Mag is not that great when it comes to a hard-use rifle.
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    It somehow expensive
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    Some think that its accuracy can be affected by its belt

.338 Winchester Magnum

On the other hand, the .338 Winchester Magnum is one of the best magnums on the recent years. Lapua developed the cartridge; hence it is called the Lapua Magnum. Specifically, the .338 Winchester is a lightweight type of round. As we mentioned earlier, it is a cartridge that works well for military purposes.

Astonishingly, the .338 Winchester has a range that reaches up to 1 mile. Aside from that, it can pierce through five layers of standard body armor.

Because of its distinct design, the .338 win mag became the first magnum cartridge that works well for sniper rifles. The power and speed it delivers is not something that you want to ignore. Moreover, the accuracy that it has is definitely off the charts. Therefore, it would not be advisable to shoot this cartridge without the help of a muzzle brake.

Many are curious is this military round has standard usages. Fortunately, it has. But take note that there are limitations. One of this is its shooting difficulty. You don't want to shoot this cartridge if you don't have a long and heavy rifle. Of course, muzzle brakes are necessary, too. If you fire the .338 win mag without an ear muff or sufficient ear protection, you will end up with impaired hearing.

But once you have met the right conditions, the .338 Lapua is incredibly fun to fire. You can get addicted to it because of its firing power and accuracy. On the flipside, the price of these units is quite high. Moreover, various ranges even ban this cartridge because of it has a scary penetrating power. It is also notorious in damaging objects and targets.


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    It is not as versatile as the .300 win mag because of its uncontrollable power.
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    You need a heavy rifle to deal with this military cartridge
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    Expensive and not accessible
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    The guns that can handle it is particular and limited

338 Win Mag Vs. 300 Win Mag: A Complete Comparison

300 Win Mag

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    Ballistics: 165 grain bullet / 3,100 fps
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    Recoil: 265 pounds / 8 pounds rifle
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    Barrel life: 1,500 rounds

338 Win Mag (Lapua)

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    Ballistics: 250 grain bullet / 2,900 fps
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    Recoil: 37 pounds / 10 pounds rifle
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    Barrel life: 2,500 rounds
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    Both of these rifles are considered magnum even they are don't practically share the same specs. The .300 Win Mag is a versatile cartridge which you can see on many American and European games. It is a sure and quick killer even at great distances and ranges.
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    Meanwhile, the 338 Win Mag or 338 Lapua is notably limited, especially on hunting purposes. Although it has the power to boast, it is still insufficient to the needs for serious games, such as the dangerous hunts in the African region.
     the perks that you can get from these cartridges.
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    It is undeniable that the .300 Winchester Magnum is better than the .338 when it comes to all-around hunts. However, it can easily be outclassed by the .338 Lapua when it comes to distance and range. The latter has a reputation for hitting targets at extreme ranges.

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    We can say that the .338 Lapua is quite an intricate cartridge. It will require you to have a massive and long rifle that comes with a muzzle brake before you can utilize its full potential. In short, it is only perfect for tactical and military usage. 
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    When it comes to price, the .300 win mag is a cheaper option to the .338 Lapua. We are not saying that the .300 win mag is cheap. But if you compare it to the price of the .338 Lapua, they are really in different worlds. 
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    Of course, the usability of the .300 win mag is far better than the .338 win mag. We have to emphasize that the speed and power of the latter are not controllable. The .338 win mag can pierce through objects brutally, making it a banned item on many games.
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    But if you have a heavy rifle and freedom to spend some cash, the .338 win mag is absolutely a must-get. This cartridge delivers the accuracy that you need to hunt large targets at distances that the .300 win mag can't reach.

However, you have to be ready with the downsides they bring. First, they are costly. Second, they have heavy recoils. Lastly, the muzzle blast can overwhelm your ears.

Final Words

In the battle between .300 win mag and .338 win mag, it is entirely inappropriate if we declare a winner. After all, these cartridges have their respective capabilities and features. They have their intended applications that you should be wary. In this way, you can maximize their full potential.

Deciding which of them you should boil down to your preferences. If you need a powerful cartridge, you must go with the .338 win mag. But if you just want an all-rounder, the .300 win mag is more than enough.

Shooting these cartridges is fun. However, you should always exercise precaution in handling them. Always remember that these cartridges can cause deleterious damages. In fact, you should always do these safety measures in any guns that you are using.

Have fun in firing and be safe always!

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