NEW for 2007: Hornady Introduces 9.3x74R Factory Loaded Ammunition

By Chuck Hawks

Hornady 9.3x74R Ammunition.
Illustration courtesy of Hornady Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Our friends at Hornady ( have announced that they will be making 9.3x74R factory loads available for 2007. The 9.3x74R is an old European medium bore cartridge designed for use in single shot rifles, double rifles, and drillings. Ruger (No. 1), Merkel, Beretta, Bernardelli and Heym rifles, among others, are offered in the caliber.

It's a very long rimmed cartridge that is not designed for use in repeating rifles. There would be no reason for a repeating 9.3x74 rifle in any case, as the much more compact 9.3x62 delivers the same performance and is based on a rimless, bottleneck case designed for use in bolt action and other repeating rifles.

Hornady joins Stars & Stripes, A-Square, RWS, Nosler, Sellier & Bellot and Norma in offering factory loaded 9.3x74 ammunition. Here is what Hornady says about their new 9.3x74R load:

"Hornady is proud to announce the introduction of the 9.3 x 74R into the 2007 ammunition line up! Originally developed in Germany during the early 1900's, the 9.3 x 74R is one of the most elegant cartridges ever designed."

"This new load features a 286 grain Spire Point-Recoil Proof bullet, loaded to original factory specifications and designed to regulate in doubles and drillings. This bullet is designed to deliver controlled expansion and devastating terminal performance on large and heavy game."

"A high tech propellant was selected to provide maximum case fill for consistent ignition, while providing excellent temperature sensitivity in extreme climates. Hornady is manufacturing the cartridge cases for the 9.3 x 74R in-house to the same exacting tolerances of Hornady match brass-delivering consistency that can't be beat!"

"For hunters in the market for a new big game rifle that's a dream to shoot, or for shooters looking for a good supply of ultra high quality ammunition for their double rifle, Hornady's NEW 9.3 x 74R is the answer!"

9.3mm bullets have a diameter of .366". Until now, Hornady has not made a .366" bullet, although Barnes, Nosler, Speer, Swift, and Woodleigh (among others) do. Presumably the new Hornady bullet will be offered to reloaders in due course.

The 9.3x74R uses a long, tapered, rimmed case with a small shoulder set at a slight 5 degree 29 second angle. It makes you wonder why the designer bothered with the shoulder at all. (The answer is that the 9.3x74R's black powder predecessor, the 9.3x72R, had a straight-taper case and the smokeless powder 9.3x74R was designed not to fit in black powder rifles for reasons of safety.) The cartridge dimensions are as follows: .5116" rim diameter, .4685" base diameter, .4094" shoulder diameter, and .3905" neck diameter. The case length is 2.941" and the cartridge overall length is 3.665".

Traditional 9.3x74R ballistics call for a 286 grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2360 fps with 3538 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. That is the load for which most doubles and drillings are regulated. It puts the 9.3x74 a little above the .35 Whelen and about equal to the .375 H&H Flanged Magnum in power. The cartridge has been used on large and dangerous game all over the world, particularly Africa, where it has been popular with European hunters for decades. For more on the 9.3x74R, see the Guns and Shooting Online article on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2006, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.