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Old March 3, 2012, 01:55 PM   #1
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303 Savage, Favorite Load for White tail

Savage Model 99. What bullet, powder and charge do you like?
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Old March 4, 2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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That ought to be a fun project as you don't see many 303 Savages anymore. It's great fun to get old rifles shooting again.

Do you have brass for it?

As I recall, 303 Savage factory ammo used 180 or 190 grain bullets with round noses. I'm not sure why, but with the 99 action you can use spitzer bullets which gives it an advantage over tube fed rifles at longer ranges.

I've read reports of some 303 Savage barrels measuring in at .310 or .311, but most reports are that the rifles have a .308 bore. I'd slug your barrel first, just to be sure before buying bullets for it. Factory specification for the bore on a 303 Savage is for a .308 groove diameter.

I would think that the old stand by powders for the 30/30 should work well in the 303 Savage. I'd hazard a guess that IMR 4895 would be a good place to start with standard large rifle prmers and perhaps a 150 or 165 grain spitzer bullet designed for expansion at the lower velocities of the 303 Savage.
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Last edited by Scharfschuetzer; March 4, 2012 at 08:44 AM.
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Old March 4, 2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I find that very old Sav 99 rifles are good for 80 kpsi with 6mmBR brass, but stretch the brass ~ .003"

The 303Sav priv brass is now 50 cents, and the situation is very different when 303Sav brass was very hard to find or fabricate 5 years ago. The 303Sav case base is .439" making it unique.

The 303 Sav brass is very strong like 30-30 brass, but unlike the 30-30 there are no wimpy actions like the 1894 Winchester or Marlin 336 that are chambered for 303Sav. Still I hear that the 303 Sav is SAAMI registered at 34,000 c.u.p

I would double that pressure for optimizing my performance.

I have a Sav99 303Sav, and I have done what one is not supposed to do, shoot 30-30 ammo in it.
This is bad idea because the base dia of the 30-30 brass is .4195".
80kpsi with that combination could be a real mess, with gas ruining parts of the rifle and maybe parts of the shooter.

I would use 150 gr Nosler balistic tip and Varget
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Old March 5, 2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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I have always used 170 grain Hornady 30-30 bullets, and the maximum 170 gr 30-30 load listed using I believe WW748. I hunt in the woods, and this load works just fine. I do not need to work up a load with pointed bullets for under 100 yard shots. Infact all 3 deer I have tagged with it were under 50 yards.

My 1899 is from around 1909 if I remember correctly. Octagon Barrel and Crescent Butt Plate. Did I mention a Great set of open sights. I get it out now and again during deer season when I get in the mood to just do a walk about in the woods.

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Old March 7, 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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I always understood the 303 savage was .308 and figured people talking .310-.311 was people confusing 303 british. That being said, it wouldn't hurt to check.

I have about 100 pcs of brass now and I'm thinking of ordering 100 pcs of privi.

Rifle was my grandfathers, now my fathers. I've shot it some back 20 od years ago.

I'm thinking 100 yard or less.
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