Holland & Holland Magnum

This wonderful cartridge probably makes me smile more than any other. It debunks the claim that short and chubby cases with sharp shoulders and without belts are what we ought to be shooting. On the contrary, the 300 H&H is long, has a sloping shoulder of just 8 1/2 degrees, and has that wonderful belt. Without the huge case capacity of some later 30-caliber magnums, it falls somewhat short of their blistering performance. However, it has enough. Bullets of 180 grains, which I find to be the sweet weight for the H&H, can be driven at 3000 fps or a little more. In comparison, the 30-06 can hit 2800 fps with the same bullet, while the 300 Winchester Magnum will do a bit over 3100 fps with a few powders.

Over the years (a lot of years), I suppose I've had well over a dozen 300 H&H rifles. Every one of them shot astoundingly well. I still have eight of them, one a heavy custom rifle (for long-range target use) built by HS Precision that shoots so well (target rifle 308 territory) that I hesitate to provide typical group size, lest I be labeled a liar. I'd like to avoid name dropping, but sometimes I just can't resist. I know of at least two other people who hold the 300 H&H in particularly high esteem, and neither of them is just an armchair expert; Craig Boddington and Layne Simpson. If you don't know who either of those fellows are, you might be on the wrong web site.

Four of my current 300 H&Hs are from the Remington Custom Shop. That may sound a little wrong to the purist who feels that they should be built on an express-length Model 70 action, and to some degree I agree with the classic configuration. However, Winchester doesn't build them anymore and Remington does. To keep your faith, two of them are out of Winchester's old Custom Shop at New Hartford. My new goal is to have one built with an 8- or 9-inch twist so I can try Sierra's 240-grain MatchKing. The bullet, with its remarkable .711 ballistic coefficient, may not make it to a 1000-yard target quickly enough to outshine their 210-grainer, and nothing may beat the intermediate-distance groups of the 180 MatchKing, but the 240s ought to be a rip on gusty days at 600 yards.

It's not just the accuracy, or the fact that they make a goat out of the magnumites who constantly preach the short, fat, no-belt sermon. It's the elegance. A loaded 300 Holland & Holland Magnum round, especially an older Winchester-Western with the 180-grain Silvertip, is the most beautiful cartridge ever designed. Period. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this is what I behold.