A common mistake made by many is to claim that both the .300 Winchester Magnum (Or WinMag for short) and the .300 Blackout rounds are the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To understand why these rounds were made, and what their purposes are, we need to take a look at the history behind them.
The 300 Blackout vs 300 Win Mag Debate
To start with the Winchester Magnum, it was introduced in 1963 by none other than the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. By taking one of their own .338 Winchester Magnum rounds and moving the shoulder forward by four millimeters and lengthening it by three, they had introduced an impressive and versatile new cartridge.
After its invention, the .300 Winchester Magnum proved its reliability and accuracy by winning many 1,000 yard competitions and has become very popular with a wide range of users. With an effective range of 1,210 yards, the .300 Winchester Magnum has found much use with hunters as a round that can effectively drop an elk from over 1,000 yards away. The round is also used by snipers in both the US Military and police.
As for the .300 Blackout, it was developed by the Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) in cooperation with Remington Defense from 2009-2010. In 2011, it was approved by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute (SAAMI).
Its purpose was to serve within a Special Forces capacity as a round with better performance than high energy, standard velocity rounds, and while at the same time outperforming pistol rounds in the subsonic department when put against a suppressed SMG. It was also made to pack more punch than a 5.56 round, while at the same time using its magazine to full capacity.
While not as popular with police and military forces as the .300 Winchester Magnum is, the .300 Blackout has found some limited government use in other nations. For example, the Dutch Maritime Special Operations Force ordered 195 carbines chambered for the round in July of 2015, making them the first publicly known military user of the cartridge.
|Our Recommended 300 Win Mag and 300 Blackout Rounds|
|300 Win Mag||Federal Premium Gold Medal|
|300 Blackout||Wolf Polyformance 300 AAC|
The Right Round for the Right Job
Now, it’s time to compare which round is best for what job. When it comes to hunting Elk, the .300 Winchester Magnum is by far the most popular and most effective when hunting big game at long distances. With an effective range of 460 meters, the .300 Blackout is simply not a good choice for a faraway target.
That doesn’t mean it’s completely without use, though. The amount of power it has over a 5.56 round and the fact it can fit a 5.56 magazine to its full capacity means it’s an excellent round for clearing out wild hogs, though you still might have to get closer than 460 meters in order to land a clean shot and humane kill. Around 200 yards is the recommended distance threshold for hunting with the .300 Blackout. With .300 Winchester Magnum, though, you can feel confident that your target is rarely too far away to be effectively dispatched.
Moving on to home defense, the .300 Blackout was practically made for that very CQB-like purpose. Thanks to its subsonic speed, you won’t have to worry about over penetration, even for a round that’s 2-3 times as powerful as the commonly used 5.56 (Keep in mind though that frangible rounds are still best for reducing over penetration).
As for the .300 Winchester Magnum, it will go straight through an intruder and the wall behind them. Unless your target is a few hundred yards away, do not use .300 Winchester Magnum to protect your home.
If you want to target practice, both cartridges are fairly expensive per round, with the .300 Winchester Magnum being the most pricey (.300 Blackout costs range between $0.75-$2.09, whereas the .300 Winchester Magnum will cost between $0.92-$5.49). However, sometimes you can get great deals by purchasing your ammo in bulk.
The .300 Blackout is best for practicing close-quarters engagements, or for firing at closer targets in general. .300 Winchester Magnum is the prime choice for honing in on your long-range marksmanship.
To summarize, when it comes to the 300 win mag vs 300 blackout, if you are an avid big-game hunter or in need of a round that can accurately land on target from afar, then .300 Winchester Magnum will be your best bet. If you’re looking for the prime CQB cartridge or something that can hunt medium-sized game from a relatively close distance, then .300 Blackout is for you.