It's a toss up between the two. I have the x-bolt in 338 win mag and like it quite well. It fits great when I shoulder it and like the idea of eight screws for the base mounts for heavy recoil purposes but who knows if that's a bid deal. I think you get a couple more inches on the barrel of the x-bolt and that will give you a few more fps. They are both great shooters so get what feels best.
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The Tikka T3 magazine catch is very small compared to the X-bolt. Imagine it failing while hunting and losing the magazine. Also, the mags are around $70 and take a couple of weeks when ordering. The X-bolt has a more robust magazine catch and release.
Don't worry about the 300WSM. It's becoming a worthy cartridge, giving magnum performance with less powder burn than a traditional 300 win mag. Less powder burn means less standard deviation, translating to smaller group at long ranges.
You'll have lots of options, for a long time. I see shelves loaded with 300WSM ammo all the time.
Looks like it's going to be a T3. Have there been any coments on the new T3 Forest? I like the idea of a higher cheek piece, especially since I'll be scoping the rifle. I don't want to be leaning too far down to get a good image.
As for the 300 WSM, it's been around for 11 years, most manufacturers offer rifles in that caliber and the shelves are full of the ammo. Not too worried about availability down the road.
I do have a question about reloads though. Are WSMs harder to reload/find the components? I think that they require special powders that are slower burning, don't they?
I have a .270WSM in the T3, love it, its a great rifle. And reloading for a short mag is no different than any other round. I live in a small Canadian City and have found all components and powders in my local gun shops. There are many powders that will work, I use H4831, but can also use Varget which is what I use for my .223 and 30-30. A lot of people have issues with the short mags but I think the .270WSM and .300WSM are here to stay. They seem to be pretty popular up here in Canada!
As to your question, personally, though I didn't get one but still want to and because I do and have been considering a dedicated hunting rifle, in the research I've done, I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
But if I had to choose/oick one, I'd choose the T3. If only for the reason I've heard more people praise them and their accuracy.
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Many people reload the 300 WSM with no problems but there is a greater chance of having the neck collapse because of how steep the angle is. Just gotta be careful with the lube.
As for the rifle, I have a T3 and other than the magazine, it is an awesome rifle! I don't have the other but I am sure you would be happy with either. There is some pretty good aftermarket support for the T3 as well.
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Thanks all for the responses. It's definatly the T3, going down to the gun shop tomorow to take a look and probably buy it.
As for the Forest model .... it'll have to wait for the next gun. I talked to the rep for Tikka at the outdoors show this weekend and it's not available in Canada at the moment. The company rep didn't even know what I was talking about!
I asked the same question last year. I went with the T3. For a couple reasons, the feel of the gun was better to me. The trigger in the T3 is awesome. And the Sako barrel.
I was looking for a do all cartridge too. I went with the 300 Win Mag. But I see nothing wrong with the WSM.
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