WINCESTER 1895 in 30-03


Eric H
July 18, 2011, 11:59 AM
Hi guys. long time lurker, great forum.

so my uncle picked up a winchester 1895 in the 30-03 chambering. I have one in the 30-40. not to familar with the 30-03 cartridge. Is it the same as a 303 Brit. SER # 83792 I did some looking on line. but that is never as fun as hearing what you guys have to say. Im just glad I actualy have something to post.

He picked it up at a yard sale. I havnt found out what he paid or any picts. or I would post them. All my dad told me was what the rifle had writin on it.

any Info would be greatly appreciated thanks, Eric

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July 18, 2011, 12:17 PM
The 30-03 was the immediate pre-cursor to the 30-06, and it's probably not interchangeable with any other available cartridge. You might be able to reload for it using 30-06 brass and a set of forming/reloading dies, but this is an oddball in any event. The rifle might be worth more as a collectible than as a shooter anyway.

Chuck Dye
July 18, 2011, 01:12 PM
The .30-03 became the .30-06 with a bullet weight and powder change and shortening the cartridge neck .007". It is my understanding that, as the dimensional change was only in the length of the neck, the .30-06 works fine in a .30-03 with the same caveat that goes with shooting .38spl in .357mag, .44spl in .44mag, etc.: you may want to keep an eye on the crud ring that forms when shooting shorter rounds in longer chambers. Should you ever acquire or make full spec .30-03 ammo, be extremely careful not to try to shoot it in a .30-06 rifle!

Edit to add: There are apparently some accuracy issues with shooting .30-06 ammunition in .30-03 rifles, enough so that the government modified almost all of its .30-03 rifles to .30-06.

July 18, 2011, 01:13 PM

Jim K
July 18, 2011, 09:36 PM
.30-'03 was a pretty common caliber in the 1895 and in fact they made them in that caliber up into the mid-1920's. Some people swore that the .30'-'03, with its round nose 220-grain bullet, was superior to the .30-'06 which, with its "pointy" bullet, was supposed to be easily deflected by brush. (The .30-'06 was made with the heavy bullet for those folks, but some chose to ignore it and believed the .30-'03 and Krag were better.)

The .30-'06 can be safely fired in a .30-'03 chamber, but I would stick to factory or equivalent handloads in that Winchester, and not "hot rod" it.


July 19, 2011, 12:24 PM
Very cool rifle, post a pic if you can. :cool:

Jim Watson
July 19, 2011, 12:35 PM
Ken Waters recommended holding .30-06 loads for an 1895 down about two grains of powder less than what you would put in a bolt action. I would apply the same to .30-06 being shot in a .30-03.

You could use .270 brass necked up to load for .30-03. It is .046" longer than .30-06 and would take up most of the difference in neck length. Some people say from this that .270 was based on .30-03 instead of .30-06 because of that difference. But do be careful if you have .270 and .30-06 rifles around the house.

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