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Top Loads for the .300 Savage

by Layne Simpson   |  January 6th, 2011 0

The .300 Savage was introduced by the Savage Arms Company in 1920 in the company’s Model 99 lever-action and Model 1920 bolt-action rifles.


The .300 Savage was introduced by the Savage Arms Company in 1920 in the company’s Model 99 lever-action and Model 1920 bolt-action rifles. Basically a shortened version of the .30-06 with a sharper shoulder angle, its 150-grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps duplicated the performance of the .30-06 as it was loaded in those days. Today, it is loaded by Remington, Federal, and Winchester with 150- and 180-grain bullets at respective velocities of 2,630 and 2,350 fps.

The .308 Winchester is now more popular, but since the capacity of the .300 Savage case is only about four percent smaller, it can be safely handloaded to about the same velocities for rifles such as the Remington Model 722, the Pre-’64 Winchester Model 70, the Remington Model 760, and the Savage Model 110. Handloads for the Savage Model 99 with its rear-locking bolt should be kept to lower pressures if long case life is desired. Even though the bolts of the Savage Model 1920 and Remington Model 81 have lock-up at the front, loads should be kept on the mild side for them out of respect for their age. In the Remington Model 722, I find the .300 Savage to be just as accurate as the .308 Winchester in a hunting-weight rifle.

Common bullet weights for the .300 Savage have long been 150 and 180 grains, and while the latter works fine with those of roundnose shape, spitzers of that weight displace a lot of powder space inside the case due to their greater lengths. When pointed bullets are loaded in this cartridge, I consider 165 grains to be the maximum practical weight, and it is needed only when the cartridge is used on larger game such as elk, moose, and really big black bear. For deer, 150 grains is the ideal bullet weight, although some bullets weighing 125 and 130 grains with their flatter trajectories are excellent choices when shooting smallish southern whitetails and pronghorn antelope at long range.

SAAMI maximum overall cartridge length for the .300 Savage is 2.600 inches, but when the magazine and chamber throat of a particular rifle will allow it, bullets in handloads can be seated out as far as 2.810 inches, which is the same as for the .308 Winchester.


NOTE: All load data should be used with caution. Always start with reduced loads first and make sure they are safe in each of your guns before proceeding to the high test loads listed. Since Shooting Times has no control over your choice of components, guns, or actual loadings, neither Shooting Times nor the various firearms and components manufacturers assume any responsibility for the use of this data.

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