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300 Savage


In 1921, Savage Arms offered the 300 Savage chambering in its Model 99. Designed by Charles Newton, this much-shorter round duplicated original ballistics of the 30-06 Military load by launching 150-grain bullets at 2700 fps. Improvements in smokeless propellants available to North American ammunition manufacturers between 1906 and 1920 made this possible.

Doubtless, if factory 300 Savage loads launched 150-grain bullets at 2700 fps from the 22-inch barrel of the 99, pressure was rather high. Over the decades, factory-load advertised-ballistics for the 300 Savage were progressively moderated. Still, this round can accurately be viewed as a logical progenitor of the 308 Winchester. It used a shorter version of the 30-06 case to duplicate Military 30-06 ballistics, just as the 308 Winchester did in 1955.



Widely chambered in bolt-action rifles, the 300 Savage was extremely popular before the 308 Winchester was standardized. Because Military chamberings are always popular, the 308 quickly supplanted the 300. Today, few younger shooters have heard of the 300 Savage.

An interesting historical fact: After introduction of the 300 Winchester Magnum, dozens (likely hundreds) of those rifles were destroyed when the various owners went to the hardware store, asked for a box of 300 ammo [meaning 300 Winchester Magnum], were sold a box of 300 Savage ammo, then subsequently chambered a round and fired it. Who knows how many of those shooters and how many bystanders were injured when the case gave way and bad things started happening very rapidly!

Heritage of this case dates to the 1870s with the introduction of the 40-70 Ballard case.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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