307 Winchester / 308 Match?


#1

Ok, while going through some of my SLICS stuff (yes I am still cataloging stuff from SLICS) I came across this cartridge (the one in the center of scans) It is headstamped “HORNADY 308 MATCH”. However it is a semi-rimmed cartridge and from what I can see and measure it is actually a 307 Winchester case. Can anyone tell me anything about this cartridge?
Thanks Zac


#2

.308 Marlin Express, maybe? I know Hornady produced that. The rim doesn’t look quite right compared to GIS results, but that could just be manufacturing variance.


#3

Zac, before the introduction of the .308 Marlin Express, Hornady made .307 Winchester cartridges for testing purposes using a Marlin 336 prototype rifle. I have never seen one before but it seems that you have found it. Very interesting!


#4

Zac, like Fede said, it’s a prototype cartridge.

It’s interesting that some of the prototype 307 W cartridges were made from 308 W brass, so why not use 307 W brass to make 307 ME prototypes?

Some of their prototypes were made from un-headstamped brass, but Big W tended to use headstamped brass (and even boxes that were turned inside out) which was a boon for cartridge collectors, but didn’t do non-collectors any favors.

Big Green was almost as bad but they seemed to use prototype cartridges a lot less than W.

Sorry for the rambling. It’s a slow day.

Ray


#5

Thanks guys for the info. Ray, you just keep on rambling. I figure as long as your talking, then I am learning. So I am sure I understand correctly, this is a prototype cartridge for a 308 ME? That is basically a 307 Winchester case with a 308 Winchester headstamp?
Here are the measurements.
Case mouth = .335"
Shoulder = .449"
Head = .466"
Rim = .502"
Case Lenght = 2.001"

Thanks again
Zac


#6

Zac, what you have is a Hornady custom/prototype production of the .307 Winchester cartridge made for testing purposes before they realized that this case length wouldn’t allow the use of certain projectiles because of the overall length. A similar situation ocurred with the .444 Marlin, .45-70 and .450 Marlin loaded for the LEVERevolution line, but instead of creating a new cartridge they simply shortened the cases and kept the old names.

This is a box of the ammunition tested by Hornady in 2006 during a demostration for writers and editors of InterMedia Outdoors (Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns, etc.). The rifle used was a Marlin Model 336ER prototype made in 1983.

Regards,

Fede


#7

Zac

I know it’s confusing but Fede explained it well. There are two cartridges, if you will. The current commercial cartridge is the 308 Marlin Express. The prototype was commonly referred to as the 307 Marlin Express. That’s what you have. That is probably a hard to find collectable for guys who collect such things.

Ray


#8

For comparison, here are the measurements of these two cases as published in a Hornady reloading manual.


#9

This is a good lesson on why prototype cartridges are better off left un-headstamped.

Ray


#10

D’oh! I was too focused on trying to match up the bullet and rim to notice the cartridge was too long to be .308 Marlin Express!