Savage is no problem. The 300 Win Mag should do fine with the right bullet selection. There are many other caliber selections that would work, but a 30-06 would do the trick too. 338 Mag is a good selection as would be something like the 35 Whelan. Savage in 300 Win Mag will do fine, just as would fifty other cartridge/rifle combinations. Personally I would prefer a big slug at a lower velocity. That's just me. 45-70 or 45-90 with a 405 grain slug moving along like a freight train. Up close and personal and you really get to connect to your game. Saw one go down from a hit with an old Lyman Plains rifle in 58 cal with a minnie ball (new at the time). I wished I had a slo mo video of that one, but it was way before portable video cameras were affordable. Anchored was the word I used to describe it.
The 338 was designed to shoot Brown bears which is why it was known as the 338 alaskan for a time. Hap.. I mean you no disrespect but people who shoot Brown bears on a regular basis seldom choose any gun less then a .338 Winchester magnum. It's just not the place to try and prove a point. I suspect you could kill the biggest brown bear on earth with the right shot from a 30-30 but I wouldn't want to be the guide with that client. Jeff
The .300 Win Mag is completely capable of killing a moose, but they are very easy to kill, as noted above by SuperXJeff. The last one I took was with a .308 BLR using Remington Corelokt 180 grain PSP. One shot in the lungs at 110 yards, and down it went. If you are in brown bear country, once the moose is down, then someone sits off a few yards with a rifle, and guards you while you gut and quarter. For this, I would prefer a .338 with 225 grain bullets, in the hands of a cool shooter.
The .300 usually uses a 180 grain bullet, whereas the .338 standard is 225 grains. These are very similar in their trajectories (.87 " difference at 500 yards), but the retained energy of the .338 with 225 grain bullet at 150 yards is the same as the 180 grain .300 at the muzzle. There is basically no difference in trajectory all the way out to 500 yards, which is far beyond the average shooters capabilities, but the .338 has 21% more retained energy on the target at that range.
That performance comes at a price, with recoil being somewhat stout. A factory 200-225 grain load is something you have to get used to, but it can be easily done. To me, the 225 grain load feels like a hot loaded 180 grain 30-06 in a light rifle. A hot 250 or 300 grain handload will open your eyes and make you wonder what you have let yourself in for, so if you are recoil sensitive, it is probably best to stick to factory type loads of up to 225 grains. A good recoil pad,and/or a muzzle brake is a good idea with any of these loads, for a shooter not used to shooting heavy recoiling firearms.
My own Savage is a Model 116 in .338. It is a stainless synthetic model, with fluted barrel, integral muzzle break, AccuTrigger, and Leupold 3x9-40mm scope. Other than the action screw coming loose and creating a free flopping barrel effect, I have had no problems and would recommend it to anyone. The screw was coated in red LocTite, cranked down, and has given no problems since. It has been dependable in temperatures a low as 35 below, and as high as 70. If I do my part, it will shoot 1 1/2" groups at 200 yards all day with factory ammunition. I prefer the stainless over blue, just because I find it easier to take care of in the field, without the rust problems of blued firearms.
Savage is probaby the most gun for the money that you will find, so feel comfortable buying one.
Maybe the better suggestion to those wanting such a rifle is to shoot them first? It's far better to have a rifle you can shoot accurately rather than the latest Mag craze on the market? There's not many shooters on the rifle ranges that can handle the .dandy .338 Win Mag!
I'm with you on that RW..I'm not into super long shots but a good hardcast or all gilding metal bullit in anything 338 Marlin or bigger would give me all the confidence and firepower I would need for anything walking this continent...my favorite is my 444 these days..a good hard 265 grain with 4 backups will stop a tank if needed...but they seldom are..its got a perfect one shot kill record ..this is my old M-375...gotta love those big bullits..always 2 holes for 1...in and out!
Hap, i have built both a .338 win mag and a .416 remington. I never fired either gun until after the muzzle brake was installed. I really don't like to shoot a .300 Win mag without a brake. I have a family memeber who builds all my rifles and he was a special ops guy in the 60's. He is just tough. he can shoot groups without a brake. I can't. My 300 is capablre of 1/4 to 3/8 MOA.If I shoot it without the brake the best I can do it 1 inch/ 1 moa. Big guns are not foe the faint of heart or at least not for the guy who isn't willing to do what it takes to soften them up. My big guns are heavy. As my father in law is fond of saying.. " If you think the guns heavy, You really are in for a suprise when you get an elk down" We hunt wilderness area and no wheels are allowed.Jeff
Dave, check out the Browning BARs. They were first to offer a semi-auto rifle capable of handling chamber pressures generated by centerfire rifles. They offer several popular mag calibers including the .338 mag. Accuracy is plenty good too and the reduced recoil is a bonus. If I was to recommend a big mag cal to the average hunter, it would be a semi-auto of sorts because of the recoil Jeff mentions. Probably a BAR with the Boss system.
I met a fellow from VA in a camp in Colo on my elk hunting trip years back. He killed a nice bull with his BAR, a .300 Win Mag that trip, his 4th bull with that gun. The last day of the season I also got a huge 6x6 bull with my 30.06. My bull wore out 4 guys and 5 horses getting him back to camp, rough country! I sold my 30.06 and bought a Sako .300 Win mag after that hunt.