RWS Introduces New 10.3x68mm Magnum Cartridge

RWS has introduced a new hunting cartridge – 10.3x68mm. It is a magnum cartridge with a belted case and 10.3 caliber projectile. This caliber (10.54mm (.415″) projectile diameter) has some popularity in Europe in the form of 10.3x60R Swiss cartridge. But the latter has some limitations to it. So in order to meet the demands of modern hunters with the desired caliber, RWS designed this new cartridge. RWS markets it as a universal cartridge, which will do the job on a wide variety of game: from small game up to African buffalo.

The new cartridge is capable of being loaded with bullets weighing from 170 to 400 grains. According to RWS, depending on the load its performance can be similar to .30-06 Springfield and all the way up to .416 Remington Magnum. RWS will offer the 10.3x68mm round with two projectiles. One is a 208-grain RWS EVO Green bullet, which is a lead-free projectile. The second one is RWS Tip Pro bullet weighing about 285 grains. These two are the initial offerings and more loads will be added later.

RWS calls this cartridge a “Smart Magnum” in their motto for it:

It’s a Magnum, a SmartMagnumTM

It seems that everything possible in ammunition design is already invented. Besides production calibers, there are tons of wildcats, so there is a cartridge for any specific task. However, companies like RWS and Nosler still manage to offer new cartridges which make sense. 

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at


  • ted

    awesome I’m sold on the cartridge now I just need to find a rifle in the united states

    • Wow!

      Download the case dimensions, bring it to a gunsmith and he can make a chamber reamer and make a barrel blank for nearly any rifle so long as it is big enough. He may have to make a new bolt depending on the case head diameter.

  • Michael Lubrecht

    Hmm. Doesn’t fit the current short-fat trend, and has a belt. Prediction – will not sell in the US.

    • Tim

      That’s what she said?….

  • Mufasa

    Head spacing on the belt is an inferior method of headspacing. That is all.

    • FightFireJay

      On a case with a pronounced shoulder, yes. On a long straight tapered rimless case like the one above, it may actually be a necessity.

    • Bierstadt54

      I prefer belts. I also like wood stocks. Any new cartridge is a long shot, anyway. This one seems satisfying to me, though it is not cutting edge.

  • Looks like it was designed to be effective on T-1000s.

    • noob

      Well “from small game up to African buffalo” implies that it will certainly kill a squirrel.

  • guest

    Oh gee a new cartridge in like the gazillion of other cartridges with some minute difference from it’s nearest “relative”.
    That’s innovation right there.

    • Blake

      Actually, if the older 10.3x60R Swiss ammo works in rifles chambered for 10.3×68 Mag, then it might indeed be innovative.

      However, I’m guessing probably not…

      • guest

        What I read is:
        Look, Bo Bo… my stone club… fit your mammoth skin pouch…. but is new!

        It may be just me with my quirky way of looking at things, but firstly: the “hunting world” of cartridges is like some big playground full of narcissistic and egocentric idiots who can never agree on anything, and secondly anything “new and better” in that department is like a new mental patient moving in. Yeah, new… but come on, more of the same old same old!
        It’s like having Torx-head screws which work just fine, and then comes something like Pentalobe… because…. because F*** YOU that’s why! Innovation minus the actual innovation.

        • Blake

          Pretty much. On the US east coast anyway, 22LR, 9mm (or whatever handgun caliber floats your boat), & an intermediate CXP2 game cartridge like .30-30, 7.62×39, or .243Win will pretty much cover all the bases you could potentially need to cover.

          • Wetcoaster

            Forget geographic availability. Just knowing that in 10, 20, 30 years, ammo will still be made for your gun is nice

          • guest

            My thoughts exactly. But the problem is human nature and need for attention; hey, why should I chose 7.62×51 when I can go for .30-06 or even better some 8.5 x something wildcat because it has bla bla bla insert excuse for feeling “unique and special” here.

    • RSG

      Well, it’s 200+ grains traveling over 3000fps. I’d never heard of it before, but I know I don’t want to be shot by it.

  • Blake

    “It’s a Magnum, a SmartMagnum”

    As long as they don’t Put A Chip In It™

    • retrocon

      What a GREAT idea!

      Imagine a small GPS chip for tracking your .50. BMG?

  • Wang Chung Tonight

    Here are the specs. No idea why you wouldn’t include the technical performance specifications.
    Evo Green bullet weight 13.5 g/208 gr/ Vₒ = 920 (m/s) and 3018 (ft/s)/E = 4374 Joule (100 m) and 3305 (ft.lbs)
    Speed Tip Pro 18.5g/286 gr/ Vₒ = 810 (m/s) and 2657 (ft/s)/E = 4983 Joule (100 m) and 3740 (ft.lbs)

  • Glenn

    On the box the word green has the N backwards. Lame copyright twist.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Maybe they just think that environmentalists are “special needs” consumers, so they had a mentally handi-enabled kid draw the brand label.

      • Giolli Joker

        I kinda think that die hard environmentalists and hunters aren’t two consumers categories usually targeted at once.

        • gusto

          hunters are die hard enviromentalists

        • Wow!

          Hunters are generally true environmentalists. Other environmentalists are better known as “people very good at spending government/corporate money to do nothing”

  • Sledgecrowbar

    If the old stuff has no room for improvement, then why don’t we use the same steel alloys in barrels that we did in the Revolutionary War era? Because there is a ton of room for improvement. The complex way that powder burns means between two very similar cartridges one will be very efficient and the other will be very inefficient. This cartridge probably does the job of accelerating a .416 projectile better than other options for the same size action.

    Will it become the next 5.56? No, that’s not its job. There are plenty of attempts to improve on 5.56, but our military infrastructure isn’t ready to adopt a new caliber yet. There are plenty of folks out there talking out their 6.5 Grendels, 6.8 SPC’s, etc. This caliber probably won’t even replace 30-06 or any of the other more common hunting calibers it’s capable of replicating the performance of. But it might become the first choice for someone doing their homework on choosing an Elk gun or similar.

    • Wow!

      A big problem is that no one really knows how much output they need. We understand quantitative stuff like case head diameter (which determines how much we can put in a magazine of X length) and OAL (which determines how large of a gun needs to be to fire it), but determining how much case capacity we should give or take from bullet weight is the real trick, as that determines a slow and heavy, or fast but light approach.

  • Kyle

    That is a very retro looking cartridge. I kind of like it.

  • Edeco

    Surprising, not my department (dangerous-game magni, hunting in general or Europe) but wouldn’t have thought there was much of a market and that it wasn’t soaked by 40-90 Sharps, 405 Win., 400 Nitro Express, 400 H&H and 416 Rigby.

    • RocketScientist

      FYI, in most cases, if the root word is a latin noun, and ends in -um, the plural is formed by changing the suffix to -a. So plural of magnum would me magna. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. GO JOE!

  • Julio

    RWS have introduced this as a design that is available to the industry to adopt or reject. Usually there are enough shooters looking for a new gun who will find that a new cartridge gives them the excuse they need, and even the impetus to book a hunt or two to use it on, for a few manufacturers to decide to chamber rifles for it. I don’t see anything bad about that.
    It always puzzles me, however, that a dedicated gun forum that specialises in announcing new products is frequented and commented on by so many people who have nothing but disdain for them. Nothing wrong in that either, I just find it harder to understand than RWS trying to revive interest in a part of the ballistic spectrum that hasn’t had much love recently.

  • mazkact

    I think the market they are shooting for is the poor folks who are limited by law as to how many firearms they can posses.

    “RWS markets it as a universal cartridge, which will do the job on a wide variety of game: from small game up to African buffalo.”

  • Jeff

    I don’t get it. Why not just load for the .416 Rem.?

  • DetroitMan

    A cartridge like this, that can be loaded for performance anywhere between .30-06 and .416 Remington Magnum, makes a lot of sense in Europe. Most countries there restrict how many guns you can have. A rifle that can change its performance simply by changing your loading is eminently sensible under those restrictions.

    That said, I had to chuckle at the assertion that the round is suitable for small game. Sure, you can shoot a rabbit with a .30-06 class round, but it’s hard to make Hasenpfeffer when you have blown your bunny into a fine red mist.

  • RocketScientist

    In this thread: “This caliber that was developed for guns I don’t own, for use on game that doesn’t live on my continent, in a marketplace I’m not a part of and subject to laws that don’t apply to me has NO USE to me. What a f***ing waste! Morons in the ammo industry are so stupid!!”

  • Tim X

    The shooting world is as much absorbed by consumerism as any other. This is just another example. If that’s your thing, then go for it. Yes, having a variety of guns in various calibers is fun for people into it. But as far as shooting sports go, at the end of the day it’s all about how much time one has to spend on getting really proficient at shooting very accurately each weapon. If you already own 6 calibers and hand load for them, you probably already have the power spread you need, and this would just be a boat anchor. This cartridge will not be fun to shoot all day to develop .5 MOA accuracy loads, and the recoil will make that process even harder. High recoil requires a lot of practice to overcome in order to maintain accuracy. Unless you are shooting lions, there’s no need for a 40+ caliber/3000 fps weapon. But again, “consumerism” and “need” are antithetical concepts.

  • DoctorH

    Where can you even buy RWS centerfire rifle ammo in the US? I’ve looked for a while and the only stuff i can find is old stock on Gunbroker. When you search online for it, business come up, but when you go to their websites, they only stock RWS rimfire.