March 2008

Two Speedy .30-Caliber Rifles: Tikka’s T3 Lite .300 WSM Wins

We admit we don’t have much use for .300 Mags—what’s wrong with the .30-06? But if we were buying a .300, the Tikka had it all over Ruger’s heavy .300 Win. Mag. Hawkeye.

The .300 Magnum is eternally popular, for reasons some of us don’t fully understand. The .300s don’t give you a lot more of anything—except expense—than you can get from the .30-06. Those wanting more rifle than the ‘06 are better served with larger bores, not just more gas. But many shooters don’t understand that. Far be it from we gun testers to dictate the choices of those who like the blast of the various .30 magnums. Today there are a bunch of these, by Weatherby, Winchester (2), Dakota, Remington, and of course the original, by Holland & Holland, still viable after close to a hundred years. In this test we look at two cartridges in two rifles, the .300 WSM in Beretta’s Tikka T3 Lite ($595), and the original .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge in Ruger’s Hawkeye ($779). Both rifles are offered in at least two stock materials, synthetic or wood, and both have stainless-metal variants. We chose a synthetic-stocked, blued Tikka and the wood-stocked, blued Hawkeye. Let’s take a look at how they stacked up.

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