TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

Austin R
by Austin R
TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

Bear Creek Arsenal’s 300 Win Mag HuntMaster is built around a completely new AR platform, the BC-8. The BC-8 oversized design allows for long action chamberings like the 300 Winchester Magnum but with parts compatibility with existing AR-15 and AR-10 designs. This aims to be the ultimate hunting rifle, feeding from a five-round double-stack double-feed magazine. I was one of the lucky few that were sent one of these rifles for review, and here’s what I found.

Bear Creek Arsenal @ TFB:

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

Features

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

The Huntmaster comes from the factory with a flash hider attached to the end of the 20-inch barrel. The parkerized lightweight barrel has a 1:10 twist rate. Threads on the end of the barrel are of the 5/8×24 variety for attaching your favorite aftermarket muzzle device or silencer

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

The rail included is Bear Creek Arsenal’s AR-10 pattern. This lightweight hybrid rail design allows for attaching M-LOK on the sides and bottom. Additionally, there are sling points on the left and right sides and a small picatinny section at the front for backup iron sights.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

The receiver is where things take a small departure from standard AR-15 or AR-10 pattern rifles. The oversized BC-8 receiver features a right-side charging handle for operation. There is no ambi safety selector, and the bolt release and magazine release are exactly where you’d find them on any other AR pattern rifle.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Takedown Knob

Taking the bolt out of the huntmaster is slightly different. With the two takedown pins removed, you’ll need to pull this small knob at the back rearward to remove the bolt.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Screw for Bolt Removal

This is done to accommodate the side charger design. Step number one is to unscrew the side charger bolt and remove the side charging handle from the bolt so the bolt and carrier can be removed. It doesn’t take very long and it’s just an extra step.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Billet Upper and Lower Receiver

The upper and lower receivers on the Huntmaster are made from billet aluminum. While not as common, a billet receiver set does provide some weight savings that the Huntmaster is aiming for.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Magpul Grip

The rear grip is a standard Magpul MOE+ grip with storage.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Magpul Stock

Additionally, at the rear, there is a Magpul MOE stock with a rifle-length buffer and quite a bit of additional storage space in the stock.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Single Stage Trigger

The Huntmaster uses a Velocity cassette-style drop-in trigger that has a very light single-stage 3 lb break.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

Last, but certainly not least is the BC-8 double stack double feed five-round 300 Winchester Magnum magazine. It takes a second to get used to stacking the belted cartridges. After doing it a couple times I was confident and it was time to put rounds downrange.

At The Range

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Ammo Testing

Ammunition used during this review was all hunting or match ammunition. As this rifle is pointed towards the hunting market it seemed like the best way to find what this rifle liked would be to shoot ammo hunters would be more likely to use.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - Magnetospeed Testing

In order to make things fair, I hooked up my MagnetoSpeed while doing the initial groupings with each ammo. By keeping track of velocity and standard deviation you can quickly tell if ammunition is not in fact target or match grade.

It’s also worth mentioning that parkerized barrels take a little while to break in. So I circled through all this ammunition once and then a second time when the gun started to group roughly 40 to 50 rounds into testing.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

At this point, a pattern had started to emerge. The gun was grouping but the groups were either tight or erratic. What I mean by erratic is two holes right next to each other, followed by three holes slightly off in another direction. In addition, there were two minor failure points, one I take full credit for. That was pushing the rifle too far into the bag and thus pushing the magazine up causing a failure to feed (my fault). The other was a series three of light primer strikes with Federal ammunition. Something I think could be fixed by using a more traditional trigger group with a heavier hammer.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster - 5-Round Grouping with Federal Terminal Ascent

Aside from the issues mentioned above, the gun ran flawlessly. The groupings reflect testing done on three separate range days and are an average of three 5-round groups shot during those three range days.

Federal Premium 180gr Nosler Partition

  • Velocity Average: 2,939fps
  • Standard Deviation: 20.6fps
  • Average grouping: 1.290 MOA

Federal Terminal Ascent 200gr

  • Velocity Average:  2,784fps
  • Standard Deviation: 15.3fps
  • Average grouping: 0.839 MOA

Hornady Outfitter 180gr GMX

  • Velocity Average:  2,833fps
  • Standard Deviation: 15.1fps
  • Average grouping: 1.581 MOA

Hornady Precision Hunter 200gr ELD-X

  • Velocity Average:  2,830fps
  • Standard Deviation: 17.8fps
  • Average grouping: 1.991 MOA

Hornady Match 195gr ELD Match

  • Velocity Average:  2,900 fps
  • Standard Deviation: 7.9 fps
  • Average grouping: 1.910 MOA

Pros and Cons

The huntmaster is incredibly easy to shoot and does a great job of taming the 300 Win Mag recoil. I was very surprised that a rifle this light shot so well without a muzzle break. The brass wasn’t bent due to harsh extraction, and the gun ejects perfectly at 3 or 4 o’clock.

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

There are certainly a few areas where the Huntmaster could be improved. A lightweight barrel swap to a heavier barrel could help to achieve more consistent accuracy results. Additionally, I would recommend swapping out the trigger for something with a heavier hammer. Lastly, while I was wrapping up this review, I noticed one of the trigger pins decided to exit the receiver at some point. I’d recommend changing the trigger or putting anti-walk trigger pins in so you don’t have this issue.

The Verdict

TFB Review: Bear Creek 300 Win Mag Huntmaster

The Huntmaster isn’t the first 300 Win Mag pattern AR, it is however the first 300 Win Mag pattern AR that is reasonably priced. With an MSRP of $1,989, I wasn’t expecting to be particularly won over by this rifle and was a little concerned about how the rifle would run. I expected more basic problems and certainly didn’t see any after 100 rounds of testing. Yes, the accuracy isn’t the best on the market, but I think it’s acceptable for those taking shots at animals within ethical distances. Especially when I was able to repeat a sub-MOA group with specific ammo.

The real reason to buy a Huntmaster? It’s the first time a semi-auto 300 Win Mag platform has had an MSRP under 2K, and it doesn’t try to rip your shoulder off when you shoot it. I think that’s enough for most.

Product Specs

  • MSRP: $1,989.00
  • SKU: CR9399N-SCH300WMRLW20110PBL-15MSR
  • Weight(lbs): 11.25
  • Magazine Capacity: 5 Round Magazine
  • Barrel Length: 20in
  • Barrel Profile: Lightweight
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Barrel Finish: Parkerized
  • Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium
  • Thread Pitch: 5/8 x 24
  • Caliber: .300 Winchester Magnum
  • Barrel Flutes: None
  • Gas System: Rifle Length
  • Gas Block Size: 0.750
  • Charging Style: Right Side Charging
  • Classification: Rifle
  • Magazine: Bear Creek BC-8 Double-Stack Double Feed
  • Platform: BC-8
  • Bolt Material: E9310
  • Receiver Material: Billet

Special thank you to Bear Creek Arsenal for sending this rifle out for review. A special side thank you to my friend James Rose for helping me out with the photography. Thanks for reading.

Austin R
Austin R

The author is a military contractor who enjoys conducting independent firearms research and reloading. Article inquiries and suggestions are welcome at austinjrex at gmail.com

More by Austin R

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  • Xerxes036 Xerxes036 on Aug 22, 2023

    Wonder how many illegals Bean Creek Arsenal used to make that???

  • KsKLR KsKLR on Aug 23, 2023

    Not super excited about it 11+ pound AR in 300 Win Mag with a 20” barrel that can barely get under 2MOA.

    • Andrew Andrew on Aug 25, 2023

      @KsKLR Most bolt guns can’t do much, if any better.

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