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303 Savage penetrations w/190 grain?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Glamdring, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Glamdring

    Glamdring Well-Known Member

    Wondering if anyone has any experience to relate on 303 Savage and penetration either in inches or how it compares to a more common caliber/load.
  2. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member

    i don't have a 303, but it is pretty close to a 30-30 in performance. whatever a 30-30 can do, so can the 303.

    check your twist rate to make sure you can stabilize the 190's.

    i'm assuming this is a savage 99?
  3. Glamdring

    Glamdring Well-Known Member

    So nobody has any experience with it?
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The factory 190 grain load was rated at 1,890 FPS - 1,507 ME.

    By contrast, a 30-30 150 is 2,410 FPS - 1,930 ME
    And a 170 is 2,220 FPS - 1,860 ME.

    What exactly do you want to penetrate?
    It would perform very similar to the 30-30 on deer size game.
    In other words, shoot clear through a deer and kill it.

  5. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    Using the old factory ammo, the 303 would out-penetrate the 30-30. Using modern ammo in a 30-30, you can nearly duplicate the 303 performance. No way that you can duplicate the pure enjoyment of shooting one of those old Savages, however.

    I should also add that you can use pointed bullets in the Savage, as it has a rotary magazine. That's adds a bit of zip to it.
  6. Glamdring

    Glamdring Well-Known Member

    I know what the external and internal ballistics are. Was looking for first hand or second hand info on the terminal ballistics.

    Doing research. I know it is similar to 30-30, but so is 35 rem. However the 35 can penetrate a lot more than 30-30 with certain loads. Trying to find out if that is true for the 303 Savage or not.

    Will it take both shoulders on an Elk or Moose? I know you can use behind shoulder shot or multiple shots like many do with 30-30. Just trying to find out if it has significantly more penetration than the 30-30 just because I am curious.
  7. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    From a 1903 Savage Arms catalog:

    303 - "Its penetration is about ten inches in clear white pine, making a very large hole."
    30-30 - "Penetration in white pine, 8 inches, making a large hole."

    There's also a letter printed in the same catalog from E. T. Ezekiel from Wood Island, Alaska dated Jan 17, 1899, saying in part, "Referring to the Savage I bought from you last year, it may be of interest to you to know that I have succeeded in killing a whale with the .303 mushroom bullet. I believe that this experience is very exceptional and probably quite different from any testimonials you have received heretofore."

    The few 190 grain cartridges that I used in the late 60s and early 70s on Michigan whitetails were all heart/lung shots. I have not killed, or even shot at, any whales, there being very few of them in Michigan (disregarding my sister-in-law and a couple of Yupers that I know) and I haven't seen any in Alabama, either.

    Hope this helps.
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...nobody has any experience with it?..." It hasn't been loaded nor had rifles made for it for eons. It's just Savage's answer to the .30-30. 190's are heavy for it. I'm not seeing any suitably shaped(RN, et al) 190 grain bullets either. That, of course, depends on the rifle. Same restrictions as a .30-30, otherwise. I have 193 w/gas check cast data if you want it.
  9. Glamdring

    Glamdring Well-Known Member

    Gadzooks Mike: Thanks, that is helpful.

    Sunray: I know people who shoot guns and cartridges lot older than that :D just none of them have played with the 303 Savage AFAIK. I know of a guy that frequently hunts with guns nearly as old as the USA.

    I would be greatly interested in the performance of those 193 grain bullets. Thank you.
  10. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    That, too. I've seen 180's, but not 190's. If you trim down the cases just a bit, you can fit a 178gr Hornady A-Max and it will just barely cycle through. Lot's of round nose 180's, though. Remington, Hornady, Lapua makes a 185.

    Remington made 180's for the 303 back in the 60's (and probably before) and Winchester made the 190's if I remember right.
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Anyone that has an interest in a savage 99 in a 303 savage . On Target indoor range in Asheville NC had one on consinment. Darn good look'n long octagon barrel and 2 boxs of ammo. Price i think was around 750.
  12. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    Speaking of 303 Savage, I just got 100 brand new pieces of Prvi brass in the mail today!

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