The .307 Winchester

By Chuck Hawks

The .307 Winchester is based on a rimmed version of the .308 Winchester case. Internally, the .307 has thicker case walls than the .308. It is a fine cartridge and brings .300 Savage performance to rifles with a tubular magazine like the Winchester 94 and Marlin 336. It has been rendered obsolescent by the advent of the .308 Marlin Express.

Winchester factory loads originally offered a 150 grain bullet at 2760 fps for medium size big game, and a 180 grain bullet at 2510 fps for large game. These figures were developed in a 24" test barrel.

The 150 grain bullet has been discontinued by Winchester, leaving only the 180 grain load. This starts a Power-Point bullet at 2510 fps with 2519 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. At 100 yards the velocity is 2179 fps and the energy is 1898 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the remaining velocity is 1874 fps and the energy is 1404 ft. lbs. At 300 yards the velocity has fallen to 1599 fps and the energy to 1022 ft. lbs.

The handloader has a little more flexibility than the hunter who must rely on factory loads. Any bullet suitable for the .30-30 may also be used in the .307 Win. Generally these are bullets of 110, 120-130, 150, and 170 grains.

The best choice for the deer, antelope, sheep, and goat hunter is probably a 150 grain bullet like the Speer Hot-Cor Flat-Soft Point. This bullet has a ballistic coefficient (BC) of .268, one of the best in its class. The Speer Reloading Manual No. 13 is perhaps more conservative than the old Winchester factory load, but still shows loads launching this bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2313 fps using 37.0 grains of IMR 3031, or 2598 fps using 41.0 grains of IMR 3031. It is worth noting that these Speer loads used Winchester cases and CCI primers, and were chronographed in the 20" barrel of an actual Model 94 rifle.

Note: A complete article about the .307 Winchester can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.