The Heavy Hitting 300 Weatherby Mag
The 300 Weatherby mag cartridge was one of the first truly heavy hitting Magnum cartridges produced. They were probably the number one produced cartridge by the Weatherby firearms company. They were enormously popular with the hunters that started heading West for mule deer or elk in the 1950s and 60s.
At this time many men were adventuring out and hunting in other states and many could now afford to do this. The 300 Weatherby mag cartridge was extremely popular with those type of hunters. Many men who did not hunt out west would also buy the 300 Weatherby just because it was a Weatherby. You would have bragging rights if you owned a Weatherby rifle.
It was probably a little overkill for Eastern large game hunting except in open farmland with large fields and long open shots. It was never intended for the thick woods and under a hundred yard shooting that was typical of the Eastern United states.
Any Weatherby rifles of the 1950s and 60s are very desirable. Usually they are found in decent condition because the men that owned them usually did not abuse them. The 300 Weatherby was very popular but they were usually in pretty decent condition. Those that did go west could have some finish issues from ruff use.
They were very expensive to shoot and you did not spend a lot of time on the bench shooting it. They were never fired excessively and usually retain good barrels even for older specimens. If the rifle was shoot a lot then the throat would be one of the first areas of the rifle barrel to check.
(I will discuss barrel issues in another article)
The original ammo boxes from that period of the 1950s and 60s are very desirable if the ammo is all original and the boxes are in great shape. You must watch for reloads when buying 300 Weatherby mag ammunition. In my early years in the gun business I would reload many cartridges for customers. The Weatherby ammo was extremely popular for reloaders because it could be done much cheaper than the factory ammo.
So when purchasing Weatherby ammunition like the 300 Weatherby mag cartridges be careful of someone else’s reloads. (I do not recommend shooting reloaded ammo that is not your own and you do not know who reloaded it.)
I would also never consider the Weatherby rifles as highly accurate rifles. They were great hunting rifles but were never considered tack drivers in the magnum lineup of Weatherby rifles (IMHO). I would try glass bedding and free floating the barrels on several different rifles over the years. Never got the results like I could get from a Remington 700.
Any Weatherby rifle from the 1950s and 60s are excellent firearms to collect and invest in. They did have a unique style and a look that was very appealing. Even the non-hunter could appreciate its graceful looks. I would give the early Weatherby rifles an excellent rating from my rating system.