Welcome back to another edition of the TFB Round Table sponsored by Ammunition To Go! For those who are first joining us, this is a multi-part series where TFB will discuss the characteristics of great ammunition for specific applications. This could vary from big game hunting, plinking, precision rifle matches, small game hunting, or even pistol competitions. Chances are there is someone here at TFB who can offer you advice on buying the right round for your task at hand. This week I’m at the helm on TFB Round Table to discuss and recommend a cartridge that I had no idea existed. The cartridge in question is that of 307 Winchester. Do you have an old Winchester chambered in this round? Are you finding yourself pondering the purpose of such a change to 308? Stay tuned! Let’s dive right into the 307 Winchester cartridge and some ammunition options to bring your lever gat back to the range!
TFB ROUND TABLE: THE 307 Winchester ORIGIN STORY
At a time when Savage reigned high with its Model 99 chambered in 300 Savage, Winchester found itself not yet tapped into a very specific market. Take the Model 99 and 300 Savage cartridge and you have a higher pressure produced in a durable lever action. If you were Winchester what would your response be? Make a beefy 94 that’s what! The 307 Winchester cartridge was introduced n 1982 and was met with relative popularity with medium-big game hunters of North America.
Winchester added material and better heat treating to the 94 action along with moving around a few bit and bobs like the ejector and extractor. In hindsight, the 307 Winchester cartridge was a brilliant competitor to 300 Savage and has a loving following by some who deep it the perfect lever-action hunting caliber.
The Speer Bullets Reloading Manual #14 gives us a wonderful overview:
U.S. Repeating Arms Company developed a stronger version of the Model 94 that could handle cartridge pressures up to 52,000 CUP, 37 percent higher than the 30-30. The improved action featured thicker receiver walls and improved metallurgy. It also allowed top-mounting of scope sights by lowering the right sidewall and repositioning the extractor and ejector so cases ejected to the side, not up as in the original Model 94. This feature gave the new rifle its name- the Model 94 Angle Eject.
Two new cartridges were developed for the 94AE. The 307 and 356 Winchester have the same external dimensions as the 308 and 358 Winchester, respectivly, with the exception of the rims. The new caartridges have the same rim diameter as the 30-30, technically making the cases semi-rimmed. Pressure levels for both newcomers were established at 52,000 CUP.
The walls of the 307 case are thicker than those of the 308 Winchester, reducing case capacidy…Ballisticaly the 307 Winchester is only slightly behind the 308 Winchester and equal in all respects to the 300 Savage, even though Savage rifle usually have longer barrels.
TFB ROUND TABLE: WHAT’RE WE LOOKING FOR HERE?
There are not too many options when it comes to firearms chambered in 307 Winchester. You’ll most likely come by a 1980 or 90s Winchester 94AE chambered in this cartridge. The Model 94AEs were produced in decent numbers so they are not too terribly rare by much but tend to be on the spendier side $750-1000 and up. There are a few Thompson Center Contender barrels out there chambered in 307 Winchester but then again that should not be all that surprising since they have barrels chambered in pretty much every caliber and cartridge imaginable. Lastly, you may come across some oddball gun that ended up having a chamber cut for this old Winchester cartridge.
If you find yourself in possession of a firearm chambered in such a caliber, there are a few things to consider. Ammo supply is not nonexistent yet but brass can be scarce. For the most part, Winchester is one of the few and frequent manufacturers of this cartridge. As for the reloaders out there, I had read that 444 Marlin brass can be made into 307 Winchester. Although 308 is the parent case it is not really an option solely for the thickness of the cases and the rim differences.
As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Round Table brought to you by Ammunition to Go! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
TFB’S ROUND TABLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMMOTOGO.COM
This hard to find 307 Winchester ammo is great for your Model 94 rifle. This power point bullet is designed to function well in tubular magazines and its soft nose expands on impact helping to deliver large wound cavities on large, thin skinned game. This ammo is reloadable, brass-cased, and boxer primed.
Winchester ammunition has a legendary reputation and continues to make quality ammunition right here in the good ol’ USA. Pick up a few boxes today to hold you over while availability lasts.