Is it worth it (medium bore rifle ?)


March 16, 2005, 11:45 PM
I've got the application for a C&R on the way, and I've been thinking about a medium bore rifle. Sarco has some Husky's in 9.3x57mm that are awfully tempting (assuming they're C&R eligible). I do plan on getting one of the 8x57's regardless, once I have the money in the gun fund. But there seems to be a dearth of info on the 9.3x57. There's more, though still not much, info on the 9.3x62mm. At any rate, how do the two compare? Is the x57 that much behind the x62 that it would substantially improve the effective range to go with a x62? Can those Husky's safely handle being reamed out to take the x62 case? Would I be better off to spend the $550 on a new CZ 550 in 9.3x62 compared to reaming out the Husky?

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buzz meeks
March 17, 2005, 12:01 AM
You can get the help you need if you post and/or research this same topic over on Accurate Reloading. Seems to me they just had a discussion on these same Sarco Huskys. I think they were Mauser 96s, not 98s. Does that sound right? If so, the conversion to 9.3x57 is supposedly not too hard. And apparently the action can take the modest pressures. There are also Mauser 96s in 9.3x62 floating around out there, too. I'm not sure how smart that conversion is.

As for the cartridges, I can't speak for the x57. I'm a x62 shooter though and love it. It's one of those cartridges that delivers a lot- good accuracy, great down range power, trajectory roughly equal to a 180 grain 30-06- and does not exact a hefty toll in terms of recoil. I am surrounded by .338 WinMag shooters here in Montana and the blank stares I get when I mention what I shoot are priceless. In general 9.3 bullet supply is better than you might suppose and with the least bit of digging there is plenty of data out there for all of the 9.3 family. If you don't handload, you'd better start.

Good luck.

March 17, 2005, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the info. I'll check out that other forum to see what they have to say. Part of the reason I'm getting the C&R is for the discounts at Midway and such. I'm holding off on ordering the Lee Anniverary Kit until the C&R comes through. Considering that I also shoot 8x57 and 6.5x55 reloading is going to be a must if I'm going to extract the most from such calibers.

March 17, 2005, 08:58 AM
The 9.3x62 is somewhat more powerful than the 9.3x57 and handles heavier bullets better. It's also more available and affordable in terms of brass and factory ammo. Personally, unless the rifle was particularly attractive in other ways, I would not buy a 9.3x57 with the intent to rechamber it to 9.3x62. I would buy a 9.3x62 in the first place.

Interestingly, I just picked up a Husky Model 146 (pre-war large ring FN Mauser action) in 9.3x57 with the intent of reboring and rechambering to .376 Steyr. It turns out that the land diameter of .375" bores is the same as the groove diameter of 9.3mm bores: .366". So basically the reboring cleans out the rifling from the 9.3mm bore, and then puts in the grooves to .375". This will be a test bed to see what the .376 Steyr can do with 300-grain bullets from a 24.5" barrel. It should be able to equal the .375 H&H with velocities in the 2500 fps range with less recoil, if my experience with it in the .376 Steyr Scout is any indication. I'm getting 2320 fps with my loads in the Scout's 19" barrel, so 5.5" more bore at, say, 25 fps per inch would suggest another 140 fps for 2460 fps, which is perfect, according to PH Kevin "Doctari" Robertson.

This particular conversion is worth it to me because no one currently makes a long-barreled rifle in .376 Steyr, so it's a custom proposition to begin with, and this particular rifle has a nice classic look to it. Others have done the conversion on small and large-ring 8x57 and 9x57 Mausers with few problems, so the 9.3x57 should work fine. And the fact that the rebore requires minimal metal removal should minimize the chance of distortion.

March 17, 2005, 10:34 AM
The 9.3x57 is a fine cartridge, but you may find that suitable bullets are hard to come by. The 270 grain Speer will work well at 9.3x57 velocities, but reduced velocity will result in many very good bullets dropping below their expansion threshold at a hundred yards or so. I'd rather have a 9.3x62 for most purposes (the only real exception being a lightweight carbine of the woods). You could rechamber a Husky, it will not take much magazine work to feed. Load data for the 9.3x57 can be had from Norma and VV I believe.


buzz meeks
March 17, 2005, 11:30 AM
The 9.3mm bullet selection is fine. Nosler makes a 250 grain BT and a 286 Partition. Those two bullets alone serve all my 9.3 needs. But Speer, Barnes, Woodleigh, Norma, Swift and a host of others on this continent and others make 9.3mm bullets. Can I go to my local (Great Falls, MT) gun stores and find them? No. But since we're all obviously internet users, locally availability means nothing.

only1asterisk does make a great point, though. Most of those bullets are optimized to 9.3x62 or 9.3x64 velocities. You might well be challenged to find reliable expansion at the more modest velocities the 9.3x57 offers. Think of it as a bigger, better .35 Remington perhaps?

Sounds like slingster has some really solid ideas on the whole conversion prospect. And since you mentioned it, unless you are looking for a piece of historical interest, just get a CZ550. I have one and it's a great, strong test bed for the 9.3x62 and makes one heck of a nice elk rifle. You'll probably be money ahead over a conversion.

March 17, 2005, 08:59 PM
Does the CZ550 in 9.3x62 have the stock cracking problems they've had in the magnum (.375H&H+) calibers? I know the x64 is on par with the .375H&H, but the x62 is not that hot, but still quite a bit more than .30-06 levels.

I have a 550 in 6.5x55 and absolutly love it, so I'm sure I'd be more than happy with a 550 in 9.3x62. But, just out of curiosity, what would it likely cost to rechamber a Husky from 9.3x57 to 9.3x62? The rifle itself would be $275+shipping once I have my C&R (assume it's drilled and tapped, but no mounts). Most CZ 550's seem to run in the $510-550 range and do come with pretty good rings and integral rails. So, between reaming and scope mount and rings, would I be likely to spend more than $275?

March 17, 2005, 10:11 PM
Cost of rechambering/fixing up a Husky vs. buying a new CZ 550 are likely to be a wash. I think a better price for the CZ 550 American would be $440+ fees and shipping. I don't think I could do a Model 96 for that, even doing some of the work myself.


March 17, 2005, 10:37 PM
This ( is the only 9.3mm CZ listed on Gungroker at the moment. $499+ship+FFL=$544. That seller seems to usually have the best CZ rifle prices I've seen. His website (The CZ Connection) lists the 550 American as $429+ship+FFL but I don't think he's updated that website for a few years.

buzz meeks
March 18, 2005, 02:17 PM
I'd go with what only1* and slingster are telling you with regards the conversion. They are clearly more knowledgeable than I am on that subject. I can only speak as a CZ consumer and 9.3x62 user. My 550 Lux has not had any stock cracking problems but there a couple of factors at work here. For one, the 9.3x62 doesn't kick terribly hard. Kind of like a stoutly loaded 30-06. In fact, my buddy's .338-06 FN feels identical in recoil. Second, one of the charms of the Lux stock is that in the 9.3 it's already crossbolted. I can't really comment on price because I bought both of mine (I also have a 6.5x55 550 fullstock) lightly used. Again, the other guys know more than I do, but I have to wonder if you'd get the price you want out of your conversion if you should ever sell. A used CZ won't depreciate as much and the way I understand project guns is that they almost always equal money lost. Either way, get yourself a 9.3xsomething. It's great fun and if there's enough of us maybe Hornady or some other big domestic maker will catch on.

March 18, 2005, 08:18 PM
Thanks buzz. I don't look on guns as investments per se, so any that I buy I generally don't really consider resale value as being part of the equation. I don't really intend to ever sell any of my guns. Do you know if the American style 550 in 9.3x62 has a cross bolt in the stock? The Lux versions are getting hard to come by on the new retail market.

buzz meeks
March 18, 2005, 11:48 PM
Glad to know you already have the resale thing figured out. I've been disappointed once or twice that "projects" of mine didn't bring more money than they did.

I just flat don't know about the American stock. The only examples I've seen locally are in .22-250 and .243. They were definitely not bolted. Perhaps the larger calibers are? There's a CZ forum where you might get an answer. Or you could e-mail CZ directly. I've had really good dealings with their gunsmith, Mike Eagleshield. The Lux may be discontinued in the states. Do you know? If so it's a shame. The looks were a bit funky but the iron sights are totally workable and the hog'sback stock handles recoil really well.

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