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The .307 Winchester

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  • The .307 Winchester

    How to title this cartridge was difficult. I am very curious about the use of this caliber in our State. Does anyone here use this? It is by far more of an effecient round than the .30-30(dare I say?) It is quite close to the .308 Winchester but lacking in popularity. The availability of bras is tight. The auction sites seem to command a high price as it should be for a "new in the box" XTR.
    Any of you gundealers know of the availability of one new or fired? This is quite the levergun at the right velocity and with the right dia. of bullet.


  • #2
    307 Win


    I don't think I've ever shot one but I loaded some for another guys rifle. It is a 308 body with a 30-30 shell holder. They are moderate 308 loads.

    I had a supply of brass and used it for wildcatting the Contender/Encore pistol. I made a 30 and 338 on a shortened version of the case. The brass is strong like the 308 brass and with that rim it worked great. Brass and ammo are now hard to find. I think it would be a great caliber in a short and handy lever, stronger than the 30-30 Ackley. Almost a 308 in a lever gun.

    If you find one I'm sure prices will be high with the recent discontinuation of American made Winchesters. There is also a sister caliber in the 356 Win, it is a 358 body with a 30-30 rim. I believe you can get both in Encore barrels.

    I would like a handy saddle rifle in the 356, an elk gun for close, timber hunting. Good shootin'.

    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


    • #3
      307 Winchester & another rimmed .308 Cartridge.

      Murphy, Grizz and others,
      I think it is interesting that the 307 and the 356 went obsolete so fast. Probably those two cartridges set some kind of record in that respect.

      It’s also interesting to note that there is a metric cartridge, which has been around a long time, and is not yet obsolete, and about duplicates or exceeds the .307 or the 308 performance. So as to not keep you in suspense – it’s the 7.62x53R (.308 bullets). This is the Finland military version of the Russian 7.62x54R (.311 bullets).Why do we keep reinventing something?

      This 7.62x53R is an excellent cartridge, no doubt about it. Furthermore, Lapua makes excellent factory ammo, and brass. Also regular 7.62x54R brass works just great too, the only difference being the bullet diameter. RCBS dies for this are cheap, and come with the two size expander balls. You may find it interesting to know that dies for the 7.62x54 -7.62x53R cartridge are in the top 10 -15 best sellers. There is a reason for this, and it’s because these two cartridges rank among the worlds best all-time great cartridges, right up there with the 8x57 and the 30-06. I’m serious. This is a cartridge of merit if you are looking at a rimmed .308. As a matter of fact – in the right rifle, with the right shooter, it can compete effectively with the great .308 Winchester in match competition and win – sometimes. Now, I think that is saying a lot, maybe arguably.

      There are several actions which this cartridge would be ideal in – namely the Encore as a prime example, but the 1895 Winchester Lever is another. There were thousands of these made for the Russians, so there is no doubt that the cartridge works in that action.

      OK, I think so favorably of this cartridge – mostly the Finnish rather than the Russian version – because naturally we Americans favor the .308 bullets – that I had an Encore barrel made. I had to buy the reamer, but that’s what I wanted. I could have made it in the 307, without buying the reamer, but chose not to simply because the 307 ain’t gonna make it, and the 7.62x53R has withstood the test of time – from a world wide perspective. Naturally, I also bought a lifetime supply of Lapua brass, and 500 pieces of the Winchester x54 brass, which seems to be just as good. I also bought 20 boxes of Lapua factory ammo, with the 185 gr Mega bullets. I’m fortunate, because it is very accurate in this barrel.

      I realize that it’s a little odd to go with something that basically duplicates the 308 Winchester, rather than keeping it simple, but I believe that a cartridge for a break open action should be rimmed. I wanted to give the Encore a try since so many say such good things about it. This 7.62x53R and the Encore just seemed to be a natural together, as well as the 7x65R and the 9.3x74R. So far I have not been disappointed. The trouble is just having the time to go shoot often. Another “problem” is that the rifle shoots the bullet which it was designed around so well – namely the Lapua with 185 Mega bullets – that there is really no need to test other combinations. In a way that’s a little boring. Where is the challenge? With hand loads - it is one of the few cartridges I've tried where IMR 4320 seems to be ideal - so far. The barrel is made from a SS Pac-Nor blank, 11" twist.
      Last edited by Kabluewy; 06-14-2006, 20:14.


      • #4
        7.62x53 FINN...


        Nice write up on this almost unknown caliber.
        I agree...with pretty much everything. There is actually more brass available for the Finnish and Russian than the 307, the same stuff except for head stamp and neck diameter, I guess. Lapua brass and Mega bullets, a winning combo. The 1895 is an ideal platform for all those rimmed oldies, the 30-40, the 303 (Yuk!) 405 & 35 WCF, 7.62xfifty whatever, and there are lots more. All run at the same pressures and fit that gun nicely. You mentuioned the die sales, I think the 7.62x54R is one of the most popular calibers in the world, likely comparable to our '06.

        I also agree with the break action and rimmed cartridges and would add the drop block or falling block and the rolling block actions to that. Even though many are made for the rimless calibers.

        It has always seemed to me that the 35 calibers were pretty much American guns also. The 9mm rifles died out in the world around us (they went to the 9.3's) but here for almost two centuries we have had the 35 caliber cartridges (and 36 cal. flint and percussions). But even here they have never been very popular and have faded into that hazy corner of the hunting world where knowledgable shooters realize how well they perform. So many good ones have faded into near obsolete status while lesser calibers became a household word. If we go back about a hundred years and count the number of 35s it might surprise some to know how many there were and how few survive today or are just barely hangin' on. The only two that are still discussed are the excellent Whelen and the 350 Remington, ballistic twins in very different packages. The 35 WCF was the least popular caliber in the '95. The 35 and 351 SLR's died in about 10 years. The 35 Remington survives but needs life support, The 348 WIN, technically a 35 caliber lasted awhile but really is just a novelty today. The very best of the short and handy hard hitters, the 358 died on the vine. The BLR being it's only current gun and that is a limited run. As was the short runs by Ruger. The 356 for the lever version, died even quicker. The 358 Norma and the barely existing STA are a couple more.

        I don't think it is us, the gun consumers, but the gun makers. They just won't keep them in production. Don't we want the 35 Whelen, the 358, 356, 35 WCF, 358 Norma and the 348?

        A 358 Win, pre-64 Model 70, feather weight, carbine, all original with hang tags was the very best buy ever I made both in terms of monetary value and usefulness as a hunting rifle. I believe that Winchester became a world renown gun maker due to this level of quality and workmanship and they are no longer in business in the U.S. because they abandoned these principles.
        (Just a brief sidebar about what's happening to America and the workmanship of Americans.) Just thinkin' a little, good shootin'.

        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5


          Every now and there are Big Bore 94's in 307 on and I have seen a few at gun shows. As for the brass I checked Midway when I saw your post. They show it out of stock. I did find some at Natchez Shooting Supply. I bought another batch of 307 and 356 to keep my 94's going. They are useful rounds for heavy timber here in Southern Colorado.

          Good Luck finding a rifle.


          • #6
            Nice writeup on the 7.62x54R, Kabluewy.

            I only ever knew one person with the 307, and a couple with the 356. I loaded for one of the 356's. All the owners also had Savage 99's in 308 or 358, and ultimately let the Winnies go in favor of keeping their Savages. Call it a local thing but the Savage action was more highly regarded than the Winnie in those ballistic "categories," allowing easy scope mounting for better use of the range potential along with spitzer bullets. Not a knock on the 307 or 356, rather simple practical choices.

            Unless you are really fixated on the caliber and a Winnie, Grizz106, have you concidered simply picking up a Savage 99 or BLR in 308 Win? If you decide you want a scope they're easier to arrange, plus you can use spitzer bullets. I certainly understand the love of a Winnie and have several in my racks, but there are also Savage 99's in the same racks.

            Count me among the 35 cal fans still scratching their heads after all these years, Murph.
            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
            Merle Haggard


            • #7
              Winchester 94 Big Bores

              Those are some rifles that I always wanted but never could justify getting either due to tight funds or lack of a real (as opposed to percieved) need. Besides the two calibers mentioned, I've always had a hankering for a 94 BB in .375 Win.

              Now I'll just have to settle on reduced loads in my H&H using Hornady 220 gr. flat points. Could be worse, could be wishing for the big Holland too!



              • #8
                Come to think of it the .35's seem to have quite a few followers and I do not have one in my rifle rack. I would like to think maybe if I can find a Win. Model 88 or the Savage 99 in the .358 it would shoot 225 Partitions @2500fps or the 250grn @ 2500fps.
                Cheesh the more I think about it the BigBore 375 would be a dandy short range lever. A fella here has one, a bit beat up but he won't sell it-he don't even shoot it. Just bought it an set it in his closet..
                Did own a BLR .308, nice rifle and in a .270 but that one was too heavy and shiny - sold it. I think any rifle capable of delivering a bullet that will perform @ 2500fps is the key. Many leverguns are able to do just that. The .307 was one that could do that at max charges I believe. The old Model 71 .348 is on the table as well and has been in my thoughts for some time.
                Guess if I really wanted one in a .307 I could always get another Marlin 336 .30-30 and have it rechambered for a 100 bucks-be simpler. I know it would be safer to shoot it in the long run than getting my .30-30AI 94' jacked up to shoot 170 Partitions @2350fps. Six rounds at them bullet weights with them velocities is quite the contender.
                Oh well, just mulling over my ideas. I'm gonna do something thats fer sure. Life is too short and still have the summer to do some more reloading. Thanks for the chitchat.

                good shooting!


                • #9
                  Hey you talk about a sum of money! Gunbroker has one Savage 99 .358 for 1295.00--this must be due to very few of them being given up or in existance. There was a couple of BLR 358's for sale but.....seen a few of them with there gears broke out in the past. Is this the norm for a caliber in the Savage? Seen a nice .375 .... still looking for something my wife would really like


                  • #10
                    They made two different production runs as I recall, spaced by quite a few years. Could be wrong, as I'm a Savage shooter and not a Savage historian. In any case, I got my 358 in the late 70's or early 80's and had a dickens of a time tracking one down, even though they were still in the Savage catalog at the time. I don't think they made all that many, and since they quit making the 99 altogether price for even the common ones has climbed. I get lots of interest and offers on my 358, but little in my 250-300 or 308. Now you want to talk interest, you should see people perk up when I drag out my 99 in 284 Winchester! Mine are all hunters rather than collectors, though I do my best to take care of them.

                    I doubt you'll get 2500 fps out of a 250 grain bullet in the 358, at least in mine. Doing it with the 225 might be warmish, though I haven't investigated recent powders. 2500 is a snap with the 200's.
                    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                    Merle Haggard


                    • #11
                      I have three boxes of factory loaded 307 Winchester 180 gr. powerpoint bullets. I am in Fairbanks and am willing to sell all three boxes. $120 for all.
                      Call 347-9666


                      • #12
                        Unless somebody snagged it, I have seen one at the lastcouple of gun shows. Even picked it up at the Wasilla show! It has a centenial roll mark and cross bolt safety if I rember correctly. Dont recall the price, but it coulnt have been too far out of line or i wouldnt have picked it up! I have a pre safety, top eject BB94 in 375 Winchester, ant it ismy favorite lever gun!
                        “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio


                        • #13
                          We need a Nother FEDERAL LAW.

                          YEP, but this one is to REQUIRE, a manufacturer to produce, and make available, ammo for any cartridge, they discontinue for a HUNNERT YARS, afterwards.

                          Smitty of the North
                          Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                          Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                          You can't out-give God.


                          • #14
                            Unless you are totally in love with 94 actions (however modified), all the 307 and 356 cartridges are elegant solutions to a non-existant problem in levers.

                            Even in TC Contenders, the 309 JDJ was a better way to fly.


                            • #15
                              Well, you could make the case that a 30-30 was plenty gun, but you'd not be in agreement with the vast majority of people in the Grreatland, who feel something bigger is needed for the bears and mooses. That was the problem that needed a solution.

                              To me, the 307, the 356, and the 375, were ALL a Great Idea, in combination with the 94, and I'm VERY surprised, that they didn't catch on. The 375 was the only one that I'm aware of that was halfway popular.

                              Smitty of the North
                              Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                              Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                              You can't out-give God.


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