.303 Savage No 2

Here’s an interesting box of .303 Savage cartridges from Ward’s auction this month. Anyone know what the ‘No. 2’ on the box is referring to?

Incidently, the address for Wards is wardscollectibles.com/

According to Zimmerman (Savage Ammunition) it indicates bullet type.
#1 full patch, #2 expanding smokeless.In the 1903 catalogue they list 6 bullet & powder loads for the 303 Savage.

Thanks for the response. I was not aware that Savage used numbers to designate their loads. It must have been a relatively short-lived practice, as I don’t recall ever seeing one of these boxes before. Looks like the ‘No. 2’ is on a small paste-on label.

It is not stated in Zimmerman,but by checking the boxes & dates the inference is that this number system was used maybe as early as 1900 to


No. 1 is called “Regular” and is a full patch.
No. 2 is “Expanding” (soft nose)
No. 3 is "Black Powder"
No. 4 is "Miniture Lead"
No. 5 is "Paper Patched"
No. 6 is “Miniture, metal covered”

Pete especially - well, here I go, showing how dumb I am again. Can someone please explain the meaning of “miniature” as it is used in the case of these cartridges.

Don’t you love to get these questions from beginner collectors like me? Forty+ years of collecting, and I still don’t know what that means - have always been afraid to ask!

‘Miniature’ is Savages name for what the other companies called short range - these cartridges in the sporting calibers typically have a light lead bullet and a high neck cannelure. In .303 Savage, Winchester loaded a 100 grain lead bullet in the minature, compared with a 190 grain soft point or full metal jacket in their standard c.303 cartridge.

Guy - Thanks. A simple answer to a question asked by a simple-minded person. Its funny - I have seen that word used for practically my entire collecting life, and the way it is bantered about, I was always timid to ask what in the heck they were talking about. For me, a miniature cartridge is something like that craftsman in Swizerland makes - half-scale miniatures of guns and ammunition, that actually work and fire.

Thanks my friend. This Forum and the great people on it continue to educate me!

Your being the ‘professor’ of automatic pistol cartridges, you’d have little reason to concern yourself with Savage rifle cartridges and their miniature loads. I had never paid much attention to them until I obtained a box of .303 Savage miniatures in a group of boxes that I traded for.

Thanks for the list. I had not paid much attention to these numbers before, but they do help make sense out of the different bullets encounted on the Savage .303 cartridges. Looking in my collection, it appears I have all but the No 3, which I assume would have a lead bullet and no cannelure.

The above mentioned “Zimmerman” illustrates the 1903 Savage catalogue.
For the .303 Savage # 3 it has the following. The picture shows the cartridge
marked “Savage .303 Black” The headstamp is S.A.Co.At the top and .303 at the bottom.Underneath it says "Black Powder Cartridge.Forty Grains Black Powder.There is an illustration of the bullet as well.Under it, it says “Regular Bullet.Lead With Nickel Cover.” As Pete says “Regular” means full patch.

Thanks, Dick. I guess I need to find a copy of Zimmerman’s book - sounds like a good one to have. I’ll need to do a shake test on my S.A.Co .303s to see if I have a black powder load hiding in the collection.

I checked the only nickel full metal jacketed SA Co .303 I have and it has an ‘S’ marked on the primer. I know that other ammunition makers used the marked primers for smokeless loads. Was the S marked Savage primer intended to differentiate a No 1 load from a No 3?

Check out www.Rediscovered Shooting Treasures.com


Interesting site. Is the Savage ammunition book listed there the one you were getting your information out of?

Yes it’s there right below the list of reprints.Don’t know how you missed it.
It’s a coil bound paperback,89 pages.