School me about 300 Norma Magnum

Feb 6, 2013
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Copenhagen, Denmark
#1
Next future project will be a hard hitting, long range rifle. I was looking at either 300WM or .338 and i stumbled upon the 300 Norma Magnum, which seems to be the best of both worlds.

What are pro's and con's?

Why get it (or not) over 308 / 300wm and 338 lm?
 
Aug 9, 2012
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#4
Flatter than a 338, less recoil. The brass until this week has been the weak spot. Hoping Lapua brass lasts longer than Norma. First it doesn't compete with a 308. I'd prefer it over a 300 wm. I've heard Hornady is releasing 300 Norma factory so if you don't reload thats still an option w/o paying a lot for AB ammo.

The cons has been no factory offering, 1k round barrel life, suspect brass life
pro: less recoil than a lapua with most the power, better ballistics than a 300wm,

There is a lot more but a few basics.
 

gamewarden

Full Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#6
Norma has loaded ammo too. Alpha Munitions I believe is or will be making brass. Bergers new 245 eol .30 cal bullet was announced and now Sierra has a 230 grain with a G1 advertised .80. I've started assembling parts. Defiance action, Bartlein 8 twist (26 or 27").
 
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vh20

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 2, 2012
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#7
Flatter than a 338, less recoil. The brass until this week has been the weak spot. Hoping Lapua brass lasts longer than Norma. First it doesn't compete with a 308. I'd prefer it over a 300 wm. I've heard Hornady is releasing 300 Norma factory so if you don't reload thats still an option w/o paying a lot for AB ammo.

The cons has been no factory offering, 1k round barrel life, suspect brass life
pro: less recoil than a lapua with most the power, better ballistics than a 300wm,

There is a lot more but a few basics.
What changed this week, and what's the problem with the current brass? I don't shoot 300NM, but I shoot/load lots of 338NM with the same Norma brass (other than the smaller neck obviously). It is every bit as good as the Lapua 338LM brass I use in my 338LM, and lasts just as long. Also, I've not heard of barrels burning up that fast. Maybe some are, but some are definitely lasting significantly longer.
 
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Clearlight

Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
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Brisbane Australia
#8
VH , a lot of guys have found the Norma 300 NM brass to be
very soft and getting loose primers after just a few firings .
Same here .

Many of us are shooting around 84 to 86 of H1000 , yet there
are faster nodes around 89 and 91 ( 91 for Improved maybe )
that kills the Norma brass in one shot . ( 215 Hybrid for eg )

My limited experience of Norma brass is it depends on the
caliber . Lots of guys using it in 7 Rem Mag no problems ,
yet the 6.5 x284 and 300 NM variants seem to be v average .
The Lap brass will hopefully prove much better .
 
Sep 6, 2006
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Southern California
#10
I just switched my AXMC over the the 300 norma. Loving it so far. Superior ballistics to the 338 Lm, with less recoil. Feeds effortlessly out of the AX double stack mag. Seems forgiving to load for. Mine didn’t like the Warner flatlines, but it loves the four jacketed bullets and three powders I’ve tried thus far. It is gonna torch barrels though, that’s for sure. Peterson should be releasing Norma brass soon, along with lapua.
 
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demolitionman

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 26, 2013
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#12
Is it worth mentioning the 300 norma mag needs an xl action or one larger than your typical long action. Also it uses a Lapua size bolt face not a MAGNUM bolt face. Am i correct? I was looking into the cartridge but decided I wanted something with a standard MAGNUM bf on a standard long action.....
 
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vh20

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 2, 2012
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#16
VH , a lot of guys have found the Norma 300 NM brass to be
very soft and getting loose primers after just a few firings .
Same here .

Many of us are shooting around 84 to 86 of H1000 , yet there
are faster nodes around 89 and 91 ( 91 for Improved maybe )
that kills the Norma brass in one shot . ( 215 Hybrid for eg )

My limited experience of Norma brass is it depends on the
caliber . Lots of guys using it in 7 Rem Mag no problems ,
yet the 6.5 x284 and 300 NM variants seem to be v average .
The Lap brass will hopefully prove much better .
That's odd. 300NM brass is just the parent 338NM brass necked down to .30 cal. I've been shooting Norma 338NM brass since 2014. I've been running in the neighborhood of 88-89gr Retumbo behind a 300gr SMK, and have 6x firings on my original 200 pcs. Pockets are starting to get a little loose on some, but all are still quite useable. I expect at least another couple firings out of them.
 
Sep 6, 2006
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Southern California
#17
That's odd. 300NM brass is just the parent 338NM brass necked down to .30 cal. I've been shooting Norma 338NM brass since 2014. I've been running in the neighborhood of 88-89gr Retumbo behind a 300gr SMK, and have 6x firings on my original 200 pcs. Pockets are starting to get a little loose on some, but all are still quite useable. I expect at least another couple firings out of them.
Compared to lapua brand 338 lapua, it isn’t nearly as strong.
 

biffj

Sergeant
Jan 23, 2010
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#18
What is a boltface? The bolt or some special kind of bolt or just standard bolt for LA?
The bolt face is the face of the bolt....the front end that supports the case head. In this case they're saying that the case head for the 300 NM is the same as the 338 Lapua Mag. That is because the 338 and 300 Norma Mags are both based on the 338 Lapua Mag case shortened and or necked to fit the 30 cal.

I've had a number of customers who I've made up 300 NM barrels for that have complained about the norma brass being soft and short lived. Some have gone to the hornady brass which is not only cheaper but seems to work as well and lasts longer. All are hoping Lapua starts making brass for the round. Some of the shooters are using 338 LM Lapua brass to make up the 338 or 300 norma cases.
I've never had much luck with norma brass either....in any cal. Its always seemed soft. I've found that the privi partizan and hornady brass lasts longer in the 338 lapua than the norma so why pay $2.50 a case from norma when its not as good?
I can't see a lot of difference in the cost of loading the 300NM vs the 338 LM. Cases are about the same cost and bullets aren't much different so where is the savings?

Frank
 

christopher.dow

I can use measuring things
Apr 28, 2017
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San Francisco, CA
#21
I decided on 300 Norma for my first long action after reading this: https://www.cleckner.co/300-norma-mag-vs-338-lapua-vs-30-nosler/

Ironically, Cleckner was arguing against it, but I think his point was, “Don’t ditch what you have for this fancy new round”. Since I’m starting out in long actions, I decided to go for it.

I should get my Deviant w/ Bartlein barrel back from Bugholes in April. I was hoping the Lapua would annonce 300 Norma brass around SHOT, and so they did!
 

christopher.dow

I can use measuring things
Apr 28, 2017
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San Francisco, CA
#22
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I can't see a lot of difference in the cost of loading the 300NM vs the 338 LM. Cases are about the same cost and bullets aren't much different so where is the savings?
Frank
That’s pretty much what Cleckner wrote in the article I linked in my last post. I got the bug for a 30 cal magnum from reading Litz’s books, and I wanted a non-belted cartridge.
 

bjay

Private
Oct 19, 2009
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Aloha state HI
#23
Ive been shooting this cal for a while now i had two 35° improved..
Now i got 2 with 30° improved..shoots very well i like the 30 shoulder better...h1000 and retumbo either 230 or 215 hybrids...one holer
 
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Jan 26, 2014
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Colorado
#28
why would people choose 300nm over 338lm if there's only a slight price and weight reduction?
In my opinion, the primary advantage of the Norma magnums (both 300 and 338) is that the shorter case is much better suited for repeating actions that must feed from a magazine. Even with a CIP length 338 magazine, the length of the Lapua case forces you to push a 300 grain bullet deep into the powder column (a problem that will only be exacerbated by the forthcoming Berger 329). The Norma magnums allow you to seat the bullet in an optimal position while still fitting in a magazine. The Lapua really shines in a properly throated single shot rifle with COAL in the ~3.9+" range.

Assuming a 230 Berger at 2950 and a 300 Berger at 2850, performance is close between the 300 Norma and 338 Lapua. The Lapua will have less wind drift at all ranges, significantly more energy at all ranges, and superior ballistics beyond 1500 yards. The cost is recoil and shootability.

The advent of Lapua brass in 2018 for the 300 Norma is a major development, and I expect it will accommodate higher pressures than the Norma brand brass with ease. If that leads to another 100fps of muzzle velocity with good brass life, the 300 Norma becomes even more attractive.
 

christopher.dow

I can use measuring things
Apr 28, 2017
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San Francisco, CA
#29
But performance wise, we're about the same level?

....Im kinda back at the beginning of this thread. why would people choose 300nm over 338lm if there's only a slight price and weight reduction?
I’m with Cleckner (that article is well worth a read) about not dropping 338LM for 300NM, but if you’re just starting out, why not go with slightly less weight and less recoil if good brass is available?

That was my reasoning, anyway. FWIW, I started out looking at 338LM and ended up getting 300NM.
 

christopher.dow

I can use measuring things
Apr 28, 2017
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San Francisco, CA
#30
Here’s th article by Litz that got me looking at 300NM instead of 338LM:

http://www.appliedballisticsllc.com/Articles/ABDOC110_WhatWrong30Cal.pdf

In it, Litz talks about what was wrong with 30 cal bullets. In the years since writing that article, as the chief ballistician for Berger, he’s gotten them to produce bullets that fix the problems he wrote about in that article.
 
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Likes: MarkCO
Sep 6, 2006
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Southern California
#31
But performance wise, we're about the same level?

....Im kinda back at the beginning of this thread. why would people choose 300nm over 338lm if there's only a slight price and weight reduction?

If I compare the ballistics of my 338lm’s vs the only 300 norma I’ve ever played with(going on now), the 300 is outperforming them by a bit. Not a ton. It’s recoiling about 25% less also. That’s about like comparing a 6.5 Creedmoor to a 308. Im not disputing surgeon260’s results above, but I’ve never been anywhere near 2850 fps with a 300gr bullet in the lapua. More like 2650-2700 with my everyday loads.

My AXMC has a really nice double stack magazine. With the 338lm , my 285 eld’s we’re always getting their meplats mashed under recoil. The norma rounds, who’s shoulders are well short of the magazine rib, dont move a bit, and are nowhere near the end of the magazine anyway.

With the upcoming release of peterson and lapua brass for the norma, this is a no brainer IMO. Easy win for the norma!
 
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Jan 26, 2014
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#32
Im not disputing surgeon260’s results above, but I’ve never been anywhere near 2850 fps with a 300gr bullet in the lapua. More like 2650-2700 with my everyday loads.
Full disclosure - I don't own a Lapua. That velocity is what my shooting buddy is getting with 300 SMKs and H1000, verified by my Magnetospeed. It's definitely a hot load, but it is safe in his rifle. A 300 Norma will dominate a 338 Lapua shooting 300s at 2650.
 
Feb 10, 2012
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#34
Keep in mind, the 30 cals (along with the 6.5s and 7s) are benefiting for recent bullet designs. How old is the 300 smk? BC wise the 300smk/Scenar are not competitive. The 300gr berger hybrid been out for awhile now and the 285eld is a tweaked 285amax.

The 338 cal is overdue for a refresh. With the increased popularity of ELR we may see some newer bullets that can widen that gap between the 30cals and 338. Bergers got a 329gr 338 due out in a year.
 
Jan 26, 2014
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Colorado
#35
Bergers got a 329gr 338 due out in a year.
The Berger 329 is going to be the reason I build a long-throated single shot Lapua AI, assuming it is stout enough to handle the velocity, unlike the first gen 300 Hybrid. I have had a single shot Surgeon XL sitting on the shelf for a while and the 329 is the reason I have been waiting for to build a monster 338.
 
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Clearlight

Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
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#37
^^ Nope , but apparently someone on here ( can’t remember where
I read it ) bought some AB 300 NM loaded ammo and it was using
Lap brass . Tempting to hunt around for some of it . Pricey , but saves
loading for a cycle and you end up with nice formed Lap brass .
 
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Tjfarmer

Farmer Guy
Feb 15, 2017
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#38
To guys shooting 300 Norma, what is real world barrel life for the 300 Norma, in a target shooting environment, quicker strings. How close is this cart. Design to the 300Lapua or 30-338 whatever you want to call it. Thanks
 
Sep 6, 2006
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#39
A 300 lapua is just a 338 lapua necked down, with no other changes....so quite different.

Barrel life with with these big 30 magnums is not good. No way around that. I don’t see mine making it to 1500 rounds, but time will tell.
 

Tjfarmer

Farmer Guy
Feb 15, 2017
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#40
Ok, I understand the 300 Lapua being just necked down, but being born off the same case, I didn’t know if the shoulder and neck was different enough to get more barrel life or not. According to my numbers, there isn’t much to any difference (10-15fps)in mv at target between 300 gr. 338 and 230 300, so you guys are doing this for magazine length? I shoot too much to give up 1000-1500 rds of barrel life. I’m at 2600 rds on my 338 barrel and just looking at what else is out there as I figure I’m prob getting close to the end on this one, although it doesn’t look too bad yet.
 
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Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Jul 10, 2012
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#41
But performance wise, we're about the same level?

....Im kinda back at the beginning of this thread. why would people choose 300nm over 338lm if there's only a slight price and weight reduction?
If you're trying to reach a mile or further the velocity of the 300NM really starts to help. Staying supersonic longer helps to put hits on target. I've got the 300 NM and 338 LM. I really thought the high bc of the 338 would be great at a mile but the velocities were lower so the 300 actually performed better. I was using Prime factory ammo so the velocities were @ 2650 fps or lower at the muzzle vs the 300 that was pushing over 3000 fps so you can run the numbers and see the difference.
 

Tjfarmer

Farmer Guy
Feb 15, 2017
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#42
Ok, I was going by moving velocity at target, at a mile in my air, 2700 vs 3000, velocity is 1164 vs 1181 FPS at target, advantage 300 Norma, 230 Berger vs 300 Berger, maybe I’m missing something.
At 2000yards the Norma is 1041 vs Lapua is 1052 advantage Lapua, again speed at target.
 

Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Jul 10, 2012
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#43
Ok, I was going by moving velocity at target, at a mile in my air, 2700 vs 3000, velocity is 1164 vs 1181 FPS at target, advantage 300 Norma, 230 Berger vs 300 Berger, maybe I’m missing something.
At 2000yards the Norma is 1041 vs Lapua is 1052 advantage Lapua, again speed at target.
When running the numbers I would use the G1 numbers not G7 and my experience has been that with the 338 you struggle to get to 2700 fps where as with the 300 you can expect to get the 3000 fps real world numbers. I'm not advocating either as I think both are great cartridges, just relaying my experience with the 338 LM with 300s. If you could get 2750 fps with the 300s (which people claim they can - again not my experience) then you have a real advantage to the 338.

I've also got a 338 Edge and it is pushing the 300 SMK at 3000fps and its awesome at long range. I think the 338 Lapua Improved is also approaching this velocity. Neither of these are factory rounds however and I'm probably just sidetracking the thread to go further down this path....
 

Tjfarmer

Farmer Guy
Feb 15, 2017
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#44
I’m running 2740 measured by a pro chrony and buddies Labradar. Pro chrony likes to think it’s even faster, but I use the labradar numbers and I’ve found the hornaday 4dof pretty good out to a mile anyway, might be way off past that as I’ve only used it twice so far.
 

Fenix Mike

Full Member
Aug 19, 2012
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#45
I got into it, then got out and went back to 300 win mag. With my 27 inch AXMC in 300 win, im getting 2900-2950 fps with Hornady ELD 225s, and looking into the new Sierra 230s, or possibly stepping down to see if more velocity does me any better. The main issue was the cost per round versus the slight edge it gave me over 300 win. I haven't shot past 1 mile yet, but according to my apps and using 2930 fps as my median (Highest group was 2970 fps and I loaded down 1 grain which gave me 2925-2930 average) im still at 1312 FPS at 1 mile. Last week I was using 15.5 mils of elevation to hit 1 mile, but its also pretty warm here right now so that thin air makes those bullets fly!
 

Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Jul 10, 2012
394
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Out West
#46
I got into it, then got out and went back to 300 win mag. With my 27 inch AXMC in 300 win, im getting 2900-2950 fps with Hornady ELD 225s, and looking into the new Sierra 230s, or possibly stepping down to see if more velocity does me any better. The main issue was the cost per round versus the slight edge it gave me over 300 win. I haven't shot past 1 mile yet, but according to my apps and using 2930 fps as my median (Highest group was 2970 fps and I loaded down 1 grain which gave me 2925-2930 average) im still at 1312 FPS at 1 mile. Last week I was using 15.5 mils of elevation to hit 1 mile, but its also pretty warm here right now so that thin air makes those bullets fly!
I've got a buddy that bought a $550 Savage from Cabelas with a $100 rebate (yes that's only $450 total) in 300WM slapped a XTRII on it and is shooting to a mile with decent success with the Hornady 212 ELDX. Its hard to argue with the cost savings for that price! He's using a magneto speed to verify velocities and is running @ 2950 ish
 

Gilly

On Target
Feb 27, 2009
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#47
I had recently been looking at this decision and was leaning towards 338 Norma but in a thread I started got a lot of good information on 300 Norma and also found a low round count barrel for my AXMC out of that. Finally got some load development done and shot today I have a feeling from ladder I did over lab radar this things gonna be a hammer!

28” 1:9 twist bartlien
RL26
198 Flatline

Jumping them a mile compared to my normal load development but the velocity nodes had very promising accuracy. I’ll be loading more up for the weekend. Also have some 230 Sierra coming to try out!
 

j741

Hide Member
Sep 10, 2017
576
91
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Greater Seattle Area
#48
Was going to post in a new thread, but seem fitting here. I can move if necessary

What are recommendations for buying/building a 300 NM rifle? I see that Christensen has their MPR in the 300NM and that seems pretty tempting. What is ballpark for custom building with the Deviant w/ Bartlein custom?
 
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