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Old November 23, 2022, 11:30 AM   #1
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Firing/Chambering 303 Savage in a 30-30? heard
I bet everyone has heard of trying to make a 303 Savage take 30-30 ammo. But how about the other way round?
I'm in South Africa, and through some historical dealings, I'm sitting with about 2000 rounds of brand new, but vintage Winchester 303 Savage ammo, in 190gr Silvertip. Enough to let me play for life.
But what I DON'T have, is a 303 Savage to shoot them in.
Impractical to import one with our laws here, and none on the market here currently.
I just want to have fun, maybe do some small to medium game hunting. I know the 303 Savage is similar to the 30/30 ballistically and wouldn't be a terrible round to use.
Recently I picked up an old Thompson Contender, and I got to thinking...what if I could get a 30-30 barrel for it? Could it be rechambered to take the 303 Savage? The other way round isn't easily possible due to minute case differences. But for the first time, what about 303S in a 30-30 barrel?
We have fairly decent gunsmiths here, but everything is more difficult than over there.
So hoping for some ideas and feedback. Anyone able to figure out the differences/possibilities? On a budget.
And yeah...I would LOVE to send the ammo to the USA. I'd make a killing. But there are laws about re-importing US stuff that was exported and it's all just not practical. Pity.
Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.
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Old November 23, 2022, 06:33 PM   #2
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303 S will not fit in a 30/30 chamber . If you had a 303 S reamer , it would enlarge the 30/30 chamber enough to fire the 303 S . The rim is the same , OCL close enough .
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Old November 24, 2022, 01:03 AM   #3
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Thanks, that was what I was planning. I'm guessing a 303S reamer isn't going to be easy to find, but if it can be done without too much other alteration then it may be worth it.
Is there any dimension that will be larger already that may case the cases to expand?
I think maybe the 30-30 is a fraction longer..neck or....?

Edit to add: This page seems to suggest it won't work?
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Old November 24, 2022, 07:00 PM   #4
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Just looking at the drawings, just running a .303 Savage reamer into a .30-30 chamber won't work.

If possible, getting another barrel would be best, for the Contender, you might consider contacting the maker or a custom Contender barrel maker, but I have no idea the legal angles due to where you are.

Alternately, having the .30-30 chamber bored out and a liner inserted then chambered for .303 Savage should work.

If it were a different gun, I'd say have the .30-30 barrel set back a half inch and then chambered for .303 but that approach won't work with a Contender barrel.
Good Luck!
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old November 25, 2022, 11:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Alternately, having the .30-30 chamber bored out and a liner inserted then chambered for .303 Savage should work.
Lining works great for 22LR and a few very low pressure / small diameter centerfire rounds such as 38-40 and 25-20. AFAIK, nobody makes a liner suitable for a relatively high pressure / large diameter cartridge such as 303 Savage.
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Old November 25, 2022, 06:59 PM   #6
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I would try putting that ammo on a firearms sale site, 303 Savage ammo is going for over $100/box here in the states. It's been out of production for decades and the guys who have old Savage 1899s are willing to pay good money for it.

Trying to recut a 30-30 chamber to be able to fire 303 in it just makes me shake my head.
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Old November 26, 2022, 01:11 AM   #7
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Be nice if the US Govt would let me sell it to you guys. But they won't.
They won't issue an import permit for ammo that was exported. I'd make a killing selling it to the US. I can't even sell the brass if I pull the bullets and deprime. Still considered controlled. I'd love to.
Can't sell it here....there are only a handful of rifles in that caliber.
It's a pity.
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