Ya'll may remember the 300 WSM by Savage Arms that I bought on Nate's advice, and the performance issues I had with it. As last reported I sent it back to savage with a nasty note. They worked on it and sent it back with a proof target, showing a 3 shot group with 1 MOA. They also included a note saying their target was shot with 150 grain Winchester ammo. Well the weather got nice and I went to see if I could duplicate their target.
According to Savage they shoot a 5 shot group and 3 of those shots will measure 1in at 100 yards. To their credit that is what I was able to do as well. Shots #3, #4 and #5 are 1 MOA. What I didn't care for even a little bit was shot #1 which was from a totally cold barrel. Granted at 100 yards it still produces a dead elk, or antelope for that matter, but at 200 yards it would be 4in off and at 300 yards 6in (or more as wind age becomes a bigger factor) off. Granted this is a major improvement over last years target.
What Savage did was replace the barrel, rework the magazine and replace the scope and mounts as well was some other fitting work. In the end they made it right and fixed the gun so that it would do what they claimed it would. Nate was vindicated in his claims about Savage being a decent gun for a low price. Every gun manufacture produces a stinker once in awhile and I happened to buy it. They did fix the problem and the gun works as advertised.
Now that I have a working Winchester Short Mag, I'm going to play around with handloads and see if I can fine tune it a bit more. What I've found so far is that the WSM family of ammo is overrated.
First, the idea behind a mag is the fact that you can throw a heavier bullet faster. With the 300 WSM you need to stick to bullets under 180 grains (it likes a high BC 150 grn) to achieve good accuracy. With a standard 300 mag 180's and 200's aren't generally a problem, not so with my WSM. Second, recoil is supposed to be reduced in the WSM line. It is of course but only marginally. Third, I thought the ammo was going to be cheaper, its not. I bought a box of lower end 150 grains to test fire the riffle (duplicating Savage Arms test) and it set me back more than $40! Thats $2 a shot. It wasn't long ago that I was firing 50 BMG AP and tracer rounds for that kind of dough. Forth, if I have to cut speed back down below 3,000 fps and use 150 grain boat-tails to maximize accuracy on this gun, what you have is the ballistic equivalent of a souped up 30-06. Hardly a major improvement in the field of hunting firearms.