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Thread: Weird Cartridge Crush: .303 Savage

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Wink Weird Cartridge Crush: .303 Savage

    I got a weird crush, no other word fits, for the .303 Savage. It's not, really, any better than the other classic deer rounds; and is a much less pragmatic choice than just sticking to .30-30 or the, probably, better .35 Remington. Still, I'm very drawn to the obsolete round for no objectively sound reason.

    Talk me into it, talk me out of it, or share your .303 Savage thoughts and experiences.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Now is the best time to have one because Privi makes good affordable brass. And 1899 Savages are seriously cool. There you go.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I bought 6 boxes of Remington 303 Savage Ammo at $6.00 a box just in case I found a rifle for it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Found brass, mold, dies at sponsor Graf's and rifles on auction sites; but want to check LGSes, to maybe save some fees and shipping.

    This looks like a good chance to scratch my takedown rifle itch at the same time.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landy88 View Post
    Found brass, mold, dies at sponsor Graf's and rifles on auction sites; but want to check LGSes, to maybe save some fees and shipping.

    This looks like a good chance to scratch my takedown rifle itch at the same time.
    Sounds like you're on your way Landy. My PRVI 303 brass has exactly the same case capacity as my Remington 30/30 brass, so no problem using 30/30 load data for the 303. I got just a 303 FL size die and use Lee 30/30 seat and factory crimp dies for loading.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    That is a weird crush. I could understand having a crush on the rifle that is chambered for it, but not for the cartridge itself..

  7. #7
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I've got a model 1899 (predecessor to the 99A)...Dated 1911. Its a fun rifle to shoot. Been loading for it for years and until recently, brass was hard to find during the past 15-20 years. I have a deer round that I made up from some old Winchester 170gr Silvertip bullets (original STs) and load for 30-30 velocities. The gun is still a favorite of mine. Its unaltered, meaning, open sights only (never drilled and tapped) The balance is real nice, even better than the 308Win 99C I had back in the 80s. The only drawback is because its unaltered it doesn't have swivel posts so I don't have a strap on it. It can get cumbersome to carry long distance and makes it harder if you have to drag an animal out of the woods.

    If you ever get a chance to get this caliber...do...its low on recoil and has no problem taking down medium size game.

    redhawk

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    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    That's a really nice rifle, redhawk0.

    Thanks, earlmck, that confirm what I thought about using 30-30 data to supplement limited or old 303 data.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Landy88....I just looked at my data. I actually load slightly over the 30-30. If you're looking for a load...I'll share in a PM. My 303 Sav. cases are loaded to just over 2200fps.

    The original 303 Sav loads from Winchester were loaded with a 190gr SilverTip bullet. That's what I remembered as a kid. But I haven't seen any 190s in a very long time...the 170gr - 30-30 bullets work just fine. I contemplated using 180s but most are designed for higher velocity and they won't expand the same due to the 303s lower velocity limitation.

    redhawk

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhawk0 View Post
    I contemplated using 180s but most are designed for higher velocity and they won't expand the same due to the 303s lower velocity limitation.
    That's the catch 22. Getting extra performance via the 99's ability to use pointed bullets and being a bit stronger than most 30-30 actions is limited by pointier and heavier jacketed bullets, now, only being designed to expand at velocities beyond its capacity.

    Ah, but there's some nice heavy bullet molds; and the 303 has a pretty long neck.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  11. #11
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    That heavier bullet at slightly lower velocities arguably made the .303 Savage a better big game round than the .30-30. At least that is the lore associated with it.

    My .303 is a good shooter with cast. I have the Privi brass as well and plan to used the RCBS 180 grain FP which drops at over 190 for me. I have a few I cast soft pointed and see no reason why 1900 FPS to duplicate the original loads shouldn't be easily doable.

  12. #12
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    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Weird Crush? and here I thought it was about deforming the case mouth when handloading...
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ

  13. #13
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    That heavier bullet at slightly lower velocities arguably made the .303 Savage a better big game round than the .30-30. At least that is the lore associated with it.

    My .303 is a good shooter with cast. I have the Privi brass as well and plan to used the RCBS 180 grain FP which drops at over 190 for me. I have a few I cast soft pointed and see no reason why 1900 FPS to duplicate the original loads shouldn't be easily doable.
    I haven't done it yet...but I do have a Lee 185 RN GC that throws at 0.312" I was thinking of sizing to 0.310". My original RCBS sizer die was 0.310" but for "J" bullets I've been sizing at 0.308" and have had good success. I think I'd change it back for cast boolits to the original sizer plug. My boolits would likely come out above 185gr since I'd go a bit softer with my alloy.

    I might find that I'd shoot it more too if I wasn't using up my reserve of the old SilverTips.

    redhawk

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    Not all who wander....are lost.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    That is a weird crush. I could understand having a crush on the rifle that is chambered for it, but not for the cartridge itself..
    It's kind of the same in this case. There's no other rifle chambered for the .303 Savage as far as I've known.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    With the new Hodgdon LeverRevolution powder increasing velocity while decreasing pressure you can't go wrong. What's old is new again.

  16. #16
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    For a couple decades I had the same rifle redhawk pictures and also in 303 Savage. Mine also had either a Lyman or Marbles tang sight on it. I liked it, never killed a deer with it but did take my only double on coyotes with it. I only sold it because I had other rifles I liked better and had a couple itches that needed scratching. As far as the cartridge itself, I liked it because it wasn't a 30-30.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  17. #17
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    I'm a little surprised gnoahh hasn't replied yet, he's the best subject matter expert on all things Savage and 99s in particular and has killed deer with the .303 using cast.

    I'd save those Silvertips if it was me. Not much that cartridge is gonna do that it can't do with cast.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Talk you out of it ??? not a chance , if you like it buy enough brass to last a lifetime and have fun .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I'm a little surprised gnoahh hasn't replied yet, he's the best subject matter expert on all things Savage and 99s in particular and has killed deer with the .303 using cast.

    I'd save those Silvertips if it was me. Not much that cartridge is gonna do that it can't do with cast.
    I'm here, Rich! Yes, I too have had a .303 crush for a long time. I duplicate the old W-W 190 Silvertip load with a 190 grain FN bullet out of an old custom Saeco mold. Cast from ww's at 11-12bhn and driven with 28 grains 3031 it is both accurate and a really good woods thumper.

    Proof is in the pudding:



    The bullet:



    Coincidentally, it's also the load I use for hunting in my .30-30 Winchester Model 54 bolt gun.
    Last edited by gnoahhh; 05-31-2018 at 09:06 AM.

  20. #20
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    I've got a very light barreled Savage 99 in 303 that I carry around, I use the NOE RCBS clone 180 FN, that runs about 195g. I haven't found much difference between .309 or .310. Under 2" - 100 yards with Williams receiver sight. I usually start with a .310 in most 30's, saves a lot of 'putzin' around. Have Redfield, Lyman and Marbles but the Williams has a support screw that takes a bump better. I did bend the Lyman in a hillside fall. I have acouple other 303's but they are range rifles, heavy and long. The Brits called it a .301 to avoid confusion with the Brit 303. There have been a few double rifles made in the 303 Savage. I think it is a better cast bullet cartridge than the 30-30 due to the longer neck. Of course the Savage 99 is still the top lever gun for hunting - 243, 308, 284, 358 covers almost everything, though a Marlin 45-70 or Winchester 71/86 in 450, 475, or 500 would handle the really mean stuff. The Prvi brass is good stuff - Powder Valley and Graf's have it.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check