.300 Win. Mag. API?

Was the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge ever factory loaded with API projectiles (silver tip) or loaded by some other entity such as the AMU for military issue? I have a fellow who bought some at a gun show who swears they do not look like “reloads”; no pull marks or resizing marks apparent. Headstamp is a normal appearing Winchester commercial headstamp with a red primer seal. I’m certain that these are “gun show specials”, especially since they were packed in plastic bags of 10 rounds for $8.95!


Two thoughts come to mind:

  1. The .300 WM has been an alternate military sniper load, and API rounds could have been developed for anti-materiel use. Possible.

  2. They might be “gunshow specials” loaded with 7.62x54R LPS tips. More likely.

Any chance you can get a couple to pull, weigh, and measure?

AKMS - are you sure your friend is not confusing the normal Winchester Silvertip hunting load, which has a separate tip to the bullet of silver-colored material, with a bullet that has a painted silver tip? Winchester loaded the 300 Win Mag cartridge with the 220 grain Silvertip bullet until 1997, the last catalog in which it appears. They simultaneously loaded a 180 Grain Ballistic Silvertip bullet in the Supreme Line of ammunition, and that is still in the 2007 catalog. That bullet is distinctive though, as it has the silver tip, but the rest of the bullet is black.

Just a thought. I am not into rifle much, but have never heard of an API .300 Mag round with tip lacquered or painted silver.

RUAG of Switzerland (and perhaps others) load military-type rounds for the .300 Win Mag due to military sniper work, including ball FMJ, Target (HPBT bullet), AP (not API. I don’t know the tip color, but it is probably black, like the 7.62 x 51 AP they have made), and what they call the “Styx Action” load, which has a RUAG-designed (I think - could be Lapua, which is part of RUAG), maximum expansion bullet). None of these has a silver tip.
The Swiss rounds have cases from Thun, with the usual “T” factory designator on the headstamp.


Winchester did load both sniper and AMU cartridges in 300 Win Mag but they all had a militarty style headstamp, i.e., WCC 95, etc. I have those in my collection but have never seen any of them that had other than a FMJ or HPBT bullet.

That’s not to say they didn’t do that though.

Jon had the best idea. Pull a bullet and see what’s inside.


These definately have an API projectile. The owner of these cartridges fired a few and described typical API performance. Big white flash upon impact and perforation of a 1/2" thick steel plate. From the picture, the projectile is seated too deep to see a cannelure. I cannot tell from the ogive shape if the original projectile is of the .30-06 type or the later 7.62x51mm, but I suspect that the .30-06 type (M-14?) is much more common and available as reloading componants.


I hope your friend is shooting these in a safe place. A forest fire started with Incendiary ammunition caused the banning of all pyrotechnic ammunition in California. Mere possession of one round is a felony. Cost me over 2,000 rounds out of my collection.