SRA Co 303 Savage dummy

Here is a Savage 303 with an SRA Co headastamp. I believe the headstamp is rather hard to find. It has a heavy varnish coat. When I first look at it the hole in the side of the case it looked a little crude so I suspected a possible inerted cartridge. A close examination shows the presence of an interior wood rod indicating a legit dummy. Any thought as to if it’s a legit dummy and if so how scarce are they? It’s total weight is 316.24 grains so I assume it’s not a “miniature”.


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Nice round.

From Savage Ammunition by Peter L. Zimmerman

S.R.A. CO. = Savage Repeating Arms Company, this headstamp was in use from 1895 to 1897. UMCo. was producing Savage ammunition at the time.

Zimmerman shows a page from a 1900 dated Savage catalog where the first drawing shows a .303 Savage with a “nickel covered” FMJ round nose bullet. Bullet weight = 180gr, powder = 22gr and total cartridge weight is listed as 375gr. The .303 Savage Miniature with FMJ bullet of 100gr is listed as having a total weight of 282gr. An 1897 advertisement shows a FMJ target cartridge but the bullet weight and total cartridge weight are not given.

No info on dummy rounds but it makes sense that they would have action proving dummy rounds for the factory and possibly available for gunsmiths.

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Indeed nice round. The only dummies I’m aware of are the tin-plated later S.A.Co.headstamped examples.
The two Brian notes.
sra 303 hs


Pete and Brian,

Thanks for the replies. I guess it pays to look though old miscellaneous boxes that have been stored away for years. You sometimes may find a little gem.


Here is what I believe to be an action proving round dummy.I tryed to get
the reading on the case but I think it was not succesfull it says 303 SAV

I believe this is a ZIP chamber and not a dummy of any kind. These unscrewed into two pieces and used a .22 blank to propel the bullet.




Randy - you are right, of course. The round pictured is a ZIP Chamber. I liked your box photos. The address “74 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco,” is one block from where I worked at the S.F. Gun Exchange for 36 years. National Arms was long gone from there when I went to work. That area, known as “South of Market St,” on Second Street as well as New Montgomery Street, had lots of offices from major gun companies. San Francisco was a real “gun town” before I was born (1939) and while I was growing up, with lots of gun shops, and with most good hardware and general sporting goods stores selling guns as well.

Today, I do not know of a single venue for the purchase of a firearm, or offices for a single firearms manufacturer, in the City and County of San Francisco.

John Moss

Thank You, John.
Here are two of my sheets from my books for keeping track of the collection.
Note that the upper sheet has an address of 30 New Montgomery St.


Ok you are on no argument it says ZIP right on the cartridge.Only
Problem now is where and how does this sneaky item screw apart???I am absolutely loath to use force to take it apart like putting it in a vice.I had
always thought that there was something about this cartridge I looked at it
several times with magnifiers very closely but did see nothing that is when
I deceided it was a dummy.Advise at what point and place this thing should
break apart would be appreciated!!


Your chamber is the early type without the ribs on the top and bottom to aid in taking the two pieces apart. Your chamber exhibits what appears to be a deep groove midway between base and mouth. This is the joint between the two halves. If it won’t unscrew with just finger pressure, I would suggest multiple layers of electrical tape wrapped around each half and then into the vise very gently with the mouth end and pliers very gently on the base and see if it will turn apart.


Thanks for the help yes what you suggest is just about the only way
however I learned something again,I did not know there was a early type
and a late type

It looks like we strayed a little from my original 303 Savage post so I’ll take it a little farther away.

Here is a 30-06 Zip Chamber and a 22 rimfire (WRF) Zip Blank (impressed U headstamp). There is also a 22 Zip Blank without the bottle neck.


As far as I am concerned you did not stray,that is simply as sometimes
things work out in our hobby,now I know even more thanks PAUL