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Old January 3, 2002, 11:20 PM   #1
John Forsyth
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What is the difference between .300 Savage and .303 Savage?

Found a Savage lever in what is said to be .303 Savage. My reloading manuals show a .300 Savage, but not a .303. Price is good and it looks good. I reload but only pistol at the moment. If someone would explain to me what is going on here, this rifle may have a new home soon.

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 3, 2002, 11:49 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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The .300 Savage is a Newton design, rimless, little taper, short neck. It would **almost** equal the early .30-06 and is the ancestor of the .308, as the army started with it when developing the 7.72 NATO in the '50s. Ammo, brass, and data are reasonably available.

The (older) .303 Savage is a rimmed, tapered, bottleneck round in the same ballistic category as the .30-30, except with a heavier bullet, up to 190 grains. The .303 Savage is a .30 caliber, not related to the .303 British. I don't think anybody is loading ammo for it any more except specialty shops like Old Western Scrounger at rather high prices. Old stock could be found, shot, and reloaded with standard .30 cal bullets. Ken Waters did a Pet Loads on it. Buffalo Arms has brass and dies.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/baco-in.htm#select
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Old January 4, 2002, 07:32 PM   #3
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John Forsyth,
My brother has a Savage M99 made about 1915 in .303 Savage. We are lucky enough to have a nearby dealer who has this calibre ammo. The rifle is an excellent shooter, and the round has plenty of power for deer. If you find a good rifle in this calibre for a reasonable price, it could be a good deer-getter for you.
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Old January 6, 2002, 10:13 PM   #4
John Forsyth
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Thanks for the responses, especially yours Jim. Anybody have any litature in reloading manuals for .303 Savage?
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Old January 7, 2002, 02:00 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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John,

Here is what I have from Ken Waters' Pet Loads article from November 1967.

165 gr Speer RN + 32.5 gr Norma 203 = 2100 fps
165 gr Speer RN + 31.0 gr Reloder 11 = 2200 fps
150 gr Hornady RN + 34.0 gr IMR 4064 = 2265 fps
180 gr Sierra RN + 30.5 gr IMR 4320 = 1935 fps
170 gr Norma FP + 28.0 gr IMR 3031 = 1950 fps
150 gr Win P.P. + 31.5 gr IMR 3031 = 2280 fps
150 gr Win P.P. + 34.5 gr IMR 4895 = 2310 fps
165 gr Speer RN + 31.5 gr Norma 201 = 2165 fps
165 gr Speer RN + 26.0 gr Reloder 7 = 2140 fps
160 gr cast, Lyman 311291 + 17.0 gr IMR 2227 = 1700 fps.

Bear in mind that these are 33 year old powder and bullet lots and other components are period also. Got any Norma, RWS or Sacmag primers? So work up carefully. Check against .30-30 data, these loads are at or slightly below what he got for .30-30 with the same bullet weights. The Lyman 44th edition was the last with .303 Savage data. Good gun for cast bullets if you are into that particular form of masochism.
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