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Old November 15, 2012, 04:27 PM   #1
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Superformance in a Remington Model 722 .300 Savage

Hornady’s Superformance line of ammo, just like their LEVERevolution line, gets enhanced velocity largely from improved powder technology, which Hornady has pursued with the Hodgdon Powder Company. This line is said to yield 100-200 fps additional velocity over standard for a range of hunting, target, and varmint cartridges. I was very happy to see that a Superformance version of the .300 Savage, the 92-year-old, original short-action cartridge was recently introduced. This load uses the Hornady 150-grain SST bullet, a boattail design having a ballistic coefficient of 0.415. Pulling a bullet revealed a charge of 44.7 grains of dark, silver gray ball powder with flattened grains that appeared to be identical with Hodgdon Superformance Powder, a reasonable assumption, I think.

I testfired the .300 Savage ammo in a bolt action, Remington Model 722. The Model 722 was introduced in 1948 and was chambered for the .300 Savage from 1948 to 1959. This Remington model lasted until the introduction of the Model 700 in 1962. My 50-some year old edition was found on GunBroker and purchased in a very satisfactory transaction with Mr. Dave Sanders of Torrington, Wyoming. The gun arrived exactly as advertised in very good condition with a perfect bore. I like the 24-inch barrel which I thought would be able to take good advantage of the progressive Superformance powder.

I used Winchester and Remington 150-grain loads in .300 Savage for velocity comparison using a ProChrono unit, with results as follows:

Winchester Super-X 150-grain Power Point: Average velocity, 2657 fps
Extreme Spread, 48 fps; Standard Deviation 18 fps.
Remington Core-Lokt 150-grain PSP: Average velocity, 2622 fps
Extreme Spread, 92 fps; Standard Deviation, 30 fps.
Hornady Superformance 150-grain SST: Average velocity, 2752 fps
Extreme spread, 92 fps; Standard Deviation 28 fps.

Each average is based on at least eight shots. The results would indicate that Winchester and Remington are juicing their loads right up to conventional pressure specs, and, yes, the Superformance does deliver additional velocity, +95 fps over the Winchester, and +130 fps over the Remington. This apparently happens without exceeding SAAMI pressure recommendations for the cartridge. One could argue about the practical difference in field performance resulting from the velocity difference, but the difference is there, and the very efficient SST bullet will insure that the velocity difference is at least as great out at 200 yards where the deer might be standing.

My evaluation of accuracy was not extensive. The Remington 722 is fairly new to me and has yet had no accuracy tweaking. Three, 3-shot groups fired at 50 yards averaged 0.90” (1.8 Minute-of-Angle). The smallest of the three groups measured an impressive 0.36”, which demonstrated the possibility for excellent accuracy. The Remington and Winchester factories also gave good accuracy.
If you use this ammo for hunting, it will probably be in a Savage Model 99 lever action. All of the advantages of the Superformance .300 Savage cartridge should also show up with this arm, so I think it is worth your consideration.
I am an independent shooting enthusiast with great interest in the performance of factory and handloaded ammunition for vintage cartridges. I have no connection with Hornady, other than as a customer who pays full retail price for their ammo when I try it out.
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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So the old girl is alive and kickin'. My .300 Sav load of 150 Remington Core Lokt over Re-15 gives 2,638 fps/ES 29.9/STD 11.8. I'll stay with that, but I am glad Hornady is putting some development into this great old cartridge.
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Is the Superpreformance line equivalent to the old Hornady Light Magnum loads?

They don't make that loading anymore and I am down to my last box of it in .30-06.
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Old November 15, 2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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The old light magnum rounds would not cycle in semi-autos and pushed pressure right to the limits. Supposedly the Superformance ammo gives comparable velocity, without excess pressure and is safe to use in semi-autos.

I've tried it in my 30-06 and 308. It did not impress me in the 30-06. Accuracy was borderline and speeds were not impresive. My handloads with a max charge of H-4350 were within 50 fps of the Superformance loads and much more accurate.

My 308 liked them much better. Accuracy was not quite as good as my handloads, but perfectly acceptable, at least as good as any other factory load I've tried. Velocity was not as much as advertised, but much better than I can get with my handloads.

They are not overly expensive and worth a look. If they shoot well in your guns they would be a viable option.
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