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28 Nosler vs 300 Win Mag

Ballistics Performance Comparison of 28 Nosler vs 300 Win Mag Cartridges

The .28 Nosler and the .300 Winchester Magnum are two excellent big game hunting cartridges. While the .28 Nosler has greater velocity and energy over long distances, the .300 Win Mag shoots softer (though still not soft) and offers a wider range of bullets. Making a decision between these two popular cartridges will require you to get specific about your hunting goals, and understand a variety of factors of their strengths and weaknesses.

28 Nosler vs 300 Win Mag

The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 28 Nosler vs 300 Winchester Magnum based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.

28 Nosler 162 gr vs 300 Win Mag 180 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.

28 Nosler 300 Winchester Magnum
Bullet Velocity (Muzzle) 3,175 ft/s 3,070 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds 3,017 ft/s 2,871 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds 2,866 ft/s 2,681 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds 2,719 ft/s 2,499 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds 2,578 ft/s 2,323 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds 2,440 ft/s 2,156 ft/s
Bullet Energy (Muzzle) 3,626 ft⋅lb 3,767 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 100 yds 3,275 ft⋅lb 3,294 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 200 yds 2,954 ft⋅lb 2,873 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 300 yds 2,660 ft⋅lb 2,496 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 400 yds 2,390 ft⋅lb 2,159 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 500 yds 2,142 ft⋅lb 1,858 ft⋅lb
Usage @ 0 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 100 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 200 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 300 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 400 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 500 yds Toughest Game Large Game
Recoil Energy 29.4 (160gr) 25.9
Recoil Velocity 14.9 14
Recoil Score* 4.43 3.23
*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures taken from Sportsman's Warehouse rifle ballistics and rifle recoil tables. Recoil score based on weighted average of recoil energy and recoil velocity normalized between 1 and 10.

Velocity

The .28 Nosler has the advantage in velocity, helped in part by its lighter bullet. Here we compare a 162 grain .28 Nosler against a 180 grain .300 Win Mag. Out of the muzzle, the .28 Nosler is flying 105 ft/s faster than the .300 Win Mag. That’s not a huge difference, but the advantage grows as we get farther. By 300 yards, the .28 Nosler is flying 220 ft/s faster than the .300 Win Mag. At 500 yards, it’s flying 284 ft/s faster.

These differences start to add up when we’re looking at this pair of long-range cartridges. The .28 Nosler remains supersonic to 1,750 yards, while the .300 Win Mag remains supersonic to 1,650 yards.

Energy

The heavier bullets of the .300 Win Mag give it an advantage in energy to start out with, but the extra velocity of the .28 Nosler helps it pull ahead by the time we get to just 200 yards. Out of the muzzle, the .300 Win Mag has an extra 141 ft-lbs of energy over the .28 Nosler. By 200 yards, the .28 Nosler has already gained an advantage of 81 ft-lbs over the .300 Win Mag. By 500 yards, that advantage has expanded to see the .28 Nosler with an additional 284 ft-lbs over the .300 Win Mag.

Trajectory

A bullet’s velocity and energy will also impact its ability to shoot flat towards its target, without getting too thrown off by gravity or wind. Here, the .28 Nosler has an advantage, though not a huge one. Comparing two bullets zeroed at 300 yards, we’ll see the .28 Nosler drop 23.57” by 500 yards, while the .300 Win Mag will drop 24.66”. At 700 yards, that difference will increase, with the .28 Nosler dropping 70.71” compared to the .300 Win Mag’s 74.37”. By 1,000 yards, the .28 Nosler will drop 200.78”, while the .300 Win Mag will drop 213.16”.

Wind drift is also an important factor, and measures the amount a bullet will be knocked off course by a 10mph crosswind. The two calibers are within an inch of each other out to 500 yards, with a small advantage going to the .28 Nosler. At 600 yards, the .28 Nosler will drift 17.94” compared to the .300 Win Mag’s 19.42”. At 1,000 yards, the .28 Nosler will drift 55.35” compared to 60.43” from the .300 Win Mag. The difference still remains fairly small.

Recoil

The .300 Win Mag is not known for its light recoil, but it still offers a lighter recoil than the .28 Nosler. That’s not surprising considering the extra energy of the .28 Nosler. While you can mitigate recoil with things like muzzle brakes, recoil can still impact your ability to shoot your firearm accurately. If you can’t manage the recoil and place your shot well, the extra power isn’t going to do you much good, so make sure you are prepared and actually need the extra power before opting for the .28 Nosler.

Versatility

Both the .28 Nosler and the .300 Win Mag can take just about any game in North America. The big difference is the .28 Nosler’s ability to take even the largest game at longer ranges, over 500 yards. It takes a skilled hunter to bring down a large animal at this distance – if that’s you, the .28 Nosler might be your new best friend, but if you plan to stay within 500 yards, both of these cartridges will do well for you.

Price & Availability

These are both fairly popular cartridges, but the .300 Win Mag has been a classic cartridge on the market for a long time. This means that it’s a bit more readily available from a wider selection of manufacturers, but also that it’s quite a bit cheaper. While price varies depending on the brand, the .28 Nosler is usually about twice as expensive as the .300 Win Mag, and rifles chambered in .28 Nosler will typically also cost you a prettier penny.

Size Comparison

The .300 Win Mag is a larger cartridge than the .28 Nosler. The .300 Win Mag has a bullet diameter of 7.8mm, compared to 7.21mm. The rim diameters are very similar, at 13.6mm for the .28 Nosler compared to 13.5mm for the .300 Win Mag. The .300 Win Mag has a longer case length at 67mm compared to 65.8mm, while it has just a bit longer overall length at 85mm compared to 84.8mm.

Rifle Type

Thanks to their long range ability, the .28 Nosler and .300 Win Mag are often found in precision bolt action hunting rifles. The .28 Nosler will wear out your rifle barrel faster, at 700-900 rounds compared to the .300 Win Mag’s 1,000-1,500 rounds. If you’re a hunter, it will still take you years for either cartridge to wear out your barrel. If you’re target shooting and plan to fire a high volume of rounds, it might be more of a concern.

Which Caliber is Best?

The choice of caliber will depend greatly on how you intend to use it. If you’ll be target shooting, the increased barrel life and cheaper ammunition of the .300 Win Mag might make it a better choice. If you’ll be hunting inside of 500 yards, both calibers have plenty of power to take just about any game in North America, and the lighter recoil of the .300 Win Mag might become your determining factor. If you’ll be taking big game outside of 500 yards, you’ll need the increased power of the .28 Nosler to ensure that clean, ethical kill.

Disclaimer: Sportsman's Warehouse assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information on this page. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.