Ammunition made by Savage

I have a few odd rounds of ammunition with Savage headstamps, and have seen boxes of Savage-branded ammunition. The only information that I have seen says that for some period of time Savage made (loaded?) ammunition under their own brand, and at some time in the 1920’s contracted out Savage ammunition manufacture to Remington until the 1960s. I assume Savage made/marketed ammunition for those owners of Savage firearms who felt it was somehow better to use Savage-branded ammunition in Savage guns.

Can anyone provide a brief overview of the history of Savage-manufactured or branded ammunition, including what calibers were available, where Savage’s ammunition facility was located, did Savage actually manufacture cases and bullets or procure them from Remington, Winchester, etc. for loading only, and did they ever manufacture or sell shotshells under the Savage brand (I have never seen any)?


1895 - 1899 Union Metallic Cartridge Co.

1900 - 1927 Savage Arms

1928 - 1934 The United States Cartridge Company

1935 - 1963 Remington Arms

Savage Brand ammunition production ended in 1963.

Evidently from 1900 thru 1927 the ammunition industry refused to make ammunition for Savage, so they tooled up and made their own.

The first Savage caliber was .303 Savage, and the first rounds were made by UMC. The last caliber they introduced appears to have been the .270 Winchester Cartridge, in 1959, made for only four years.

All this from: “Savage Ammunition, Revised 3rd Edition,” by Peter L. Zimmerman, April 2002.

Hope this helps.

Why ?

Do you have the dates for the various Savage headstamps - S.A.Co., S.A.Corp., SAVAGE?

Simon–The answer to your question of “Why” is simple. It was because of the “Ammunition Manufactures Association”. This association was formed by Winchester, U.M.C., U.S.C.Co. and Phoenix to form an association to control the manufacture of Metallic ammunition. This, in effect, made a monopoly. Any company not a member, such as Savage, was forced to buy components from one of the 4 members. In 1900, Savage, along with Western, were cut off from being able to purchase bullets, cases, etc. because they had become large enough that the A.M.A. decided they were too much competition. Eventually, by 1907, internal squabbles amongst the 4 members of the A.M.A. lead to the dissociation of the A.M.A. By that time Savage and Western had both tooled up to make their own ammunition.

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According to “Savage Ammunition” under the various headstamps Savage made 30 calibers.
Guy here’s the dates I have SRACo–1895 1897—UMC

Thanks Dick.

Thanks Ron.

Harold F. Williamson’s book “Winchester - The Gun That Won The West” (1952) contains extensive historical information about the Ammunition Manufacturers Association.

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Dennis–I should have acknowledged where the information I wrote above came from. It was from Williamson’s book. It is an excellent book on the history of Winchester. While mostly a company history, there is a lot of good cartridge information in it as well. It has an appendix listing the introduction dates of all the Winchester cartridges up to about 1960, for instance.

A very good book. It was, I think, one of the first, if not THE first, gun books I bought back in the mid-1950s, and I still have it on my shelf, complete with dust jacket.

Finally getting on the forum after lots of just reading other posts. This topic was interesting. I have in my library a soft cover book on Savage ammunition and need to dig it out! (Library is in man cave over garage and don’t get up there as much as I’d like. Retirement is busy!)

I have a few “Savage” headstamps in my overall collection and since I’m mainly into 9x19/Auto-pistol and Military rounds never studied these that much.

I have several side collections of makers like S&W and Browning but never considered Savage even though I have examples from them. Will have to take a look.

John Guenther

If it’s just a relatively few pages, like an advertising booklet, maybe it could be scanned or camera-copied to include somewhere in the site archives.

Dennis Would lovbe to scan the book but it is copyrighted. I don’t recall exactly hoiw long ago I acquired it but within the last 10 years for sure. May still be available? I will look it up and see if I can contact the author. Its in Color and shows many different boxes and loadings. Not a catalog but someones efforts to document Savage Ammunition! Will let you know what I find out.


The book used to be available at–
www.Rediscovered Shooting

Yes Dennis they did market shotgun shells. Here’s some pages from a Shotshell Review from 1999 that is the sum total of my knowledge on the subject. Don’t know how rare they are but I don’t have any examples.




Thanks - Fascinating information. I have never heard of M.W. Savage, but it appears to have been mainly a retailer rather than a manufacturer. It does not appear that M.W. Savage was related in a business way to the Savage Arms Company, and just private branded shotshells made by others.

There was also a Savage Munitions Company in San Diego during WWI that made Model 1911 .45 slides, but I know nothing more about that organization, or if they were additionally manufacturers of ammunition. I would expect there were also no relationships among Savage Munitions, M.W. Savage and the Savage Arms Company.

Talking of Savage HS cartridges, yesterday whilst sorting Range(Military) Brass, I came across a rather tarnished ( bronze-brown) cartridge case with “25-20 Hp SAVAGE” headstamp. The case looks like a slightly lengthened .25-20 WCF; what is this cartridge? ( I am familiar with .300 Savage, and .22SAVAGE HP, but I have never heard of a “25-20Hp”??

Thanks, regards,
Doc AV

The 25-20 HP SAVAGE cartridge was just the Savage Arms Corporation’s version of the .25-20 Winchester. I suspect the headstamp is 25-20 Hi.P., as this is the only Savage .25-20 headstamp that I have in my collection.


Here are a couple of the boxes:



I don’t believe Savage produced a full range of ammunition, but only the calibers that were used in their own firearms. The .25-20 was used in the Savage Model 23-B “Sporter” rifle, the model 219, and perhaps models. The Model 23-B is listed the first box, but no Savage rifle is listed on the second.

Also made primers, or perhaps marketed them as this is still sealed with both ends marked " “a sprig of flowers” SAVAGE PRIMER No. 8 1/2. “a sprig of flowers” " Full wrap-around white label & very likely has a tray with wooden dividers.