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Old December 6, 2006, 11:37 PM   #1
DD698
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303 Savage Conversion

One of my friends has a 303 Savage[not 303 Brit] and he is wondering if it would be feasible to convert it to another caliber and if so what cal? Thanks
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Old December 7, 2006, 01:40 PM   #2
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The 303 Savage is very similar in size to the 30-30, but is not the same. If your friend has a 303 Savage that he wants to use, he can have the barrel set back and have the chamber recut for 30-30. I did a conversion to a Savage 99 like this and it worked beautifully.

Brownells used to sell a book on converting firearms to shoot slightly different cartridges (308 in a rifle designed for 300 Savage, shotguns chambered for 2 1/2" shells to fire 2 3/4" shells, etc). If your friend plans on doing this himself, he should read it. Otherwise, it is a fairly straightforward job for a good smith.
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Old December 8, 2006, 01:32 PM   #3
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.303 Savage cases can be made from .30-40 cases, but it requires head swaging, a job that can't usually be done on a normal reloading tool. Rechambering to .30-40 might be a possibility, but I have not checked the dimensions.

Jim
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Old December 8, 2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Rebarrel it

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Old December 8, 2006, 02:13 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Krag is too long for the 99 action, but you might could do something with a short Krag if the rotary magazine would accept the rim and head diameters. Kind of a chop job on a classic old rifle, not even considering collector value.

Me?
I would just stock up on brass, Buffalo Arms has new Jameson at $40 a hundred, and load for it. Most loading data is a little under .30-30 which I do not understand because it is a larger case in a stronger action, but they have done it and I have not.
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Old December 8, 2006, 02:46 PM   #6
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In all of this, I am assuming this is a Savage 99 rifle.

You could rebarrel it, some .30 cal barrels are available pretty cheap.

Reloading is the easy solution if you can find brass. Just use data for 30-30 loads. The 303 Savage was about the same size and shape as a 30-30. The slightly larger case will give lower pressures. According to "Cartridges of the World", the most popular load for it was a 190 gr round nose. Moose hunters reportedly loved it.

Slug the bore to see if it is one of the Canadian market .310"-.311" barrels or the more common .308 barrels. If it is a .311" barrel, you can rebarrel it or, if you decide to recut the chamber, get a .310" expander for 30-30 dies so you can load .311" bullets in it.

If you do decide to just set back the barrel and change caliber, make sure the ammo will feed through it. 30-40 is too long for the 99 action. 30-30 will actually cycle through a 99 action set up for a .303 Savage without modifying the feed guides (done it, know it works).
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Old December 9, 2006, 05:26 PM   #7
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Some guy converted a 303S rifle to 307:

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...43/m/564102975

This guy converts the 307 brass tp 303S:
http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...Number=1001206
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Old December 9, 2006, 07:30 PM   #8
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Wow :Thank all of you for the response and leads to follow. Ill let David know what the options are. RCBS wants over 150.00 for dies and Cabelas wants 69.00 for a box of 20 shells. Thanks Again
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Old December 9, 2006, 07:54 PM   #9
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Before conversion

Check around, your rifle might be of interest to a collector. If it is some rare or unusual variation, converting it would destroy it's value, except as a shooting rifle.

An old friend of mine had a .303 Savage model 99 in the takedown model. Got any idea what that is worth today?
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Old December 9, 2006, 09:03 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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Buffalo Arms

Quote:
RCBS wants over 150.00 for dies and Cabelas wants 69.00 for a box of 20 shells.
Ugh, too much.

Buffalo Arms has .303 Savage Jamison brass for $40 a hundred and Lee loading dies for $28. Loaded ammo is still high at $41 a box but that is better than $69 if he doesn't want to shoot it much.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,5780.htm
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,1453.htm
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,4133.htm
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Old December 10, 2006, 07:26 PM   #11
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Thanks Jim. Ill let Dave know
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Old December 11, 2006, 01:11 PM   #12
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The biggest problem is the brass. I see dies on Ebay all the time. The price on the buffalo arms brass is pretty good (if they have it in stock). If you can manage to get a hundred rounds or two of brass I'd just shoot it (my father has one that I am stockpiling for). Other brands I have seen are usually at least $1 a case. The brass should allow many reloadings. It is said 30-30 cases can be resized but the case head is smaller so you will end up with a bulge near the web. Probably a one use only type of application. 220 swift brass can also be resized to work.
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