9.3x74R Safari Power Without Killer Kick

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by vikingpreacher, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. vikingpreacher

    vikingpreacher G&G Newbie

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    I have always wanted to have a rifle with Safari level power but I hate recoil, ever since I first shot a firearm, no one told me to keep the shotgun on my shoulder, when your young that hurts. Well anyway now its not nearly as bad but it still annoys me so I was looking for a cartridge without recoil that would knock me out me out of my pants, and at last I have found it in the 9.3x74R just being adapted by Hornady and chambered in the Ruger No. 1, this cartridge delivers adequate power at a reasonable range for any game and, with 34.5 pounds of recoil out of a 8.25 pound rifle. That is not the lightest recoil I have ever heard of but in a Safari level rifle thats not bad at all. There are ballistics and a video on Hornady.com that I found helpful.
  2. jaeger

    jaeger G&G Regular

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    .338 federal ................22lbs recoil and all the other good stuff.
  3. nathangdad

    nathangdad G&G Newbie

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    Suggestion

    If possible, please either fire a gun in that caliber or observe others firing a gun in that caliber. Personally, I would not want to endure the
    level of recoil energy you post. However, it is your business and I wish you all the best. Just note they don't call them laws of physics for no good reason. Launching a bullet (no matter what the weight of the bullet and the velocity) comes home to the shoulder of the shooter.

    I too am no fan of recoil and thus I like the .243 and 7mm/08 cartridges.

    Good luck and good shooting.
  4. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    "Safari-level power?" According to the Nosler manual, the 9.3x74R throws a 270 grain pill at a rollicking 2329 fps, max. The .35 Whelan throws a 250 at 2386, for about the same energy. ( My ballistics program shows the two cartridges to be almost identical in performance.) So unless your safari is against deer or elk, the 9.3 probably won't do the job. ( I own a .35 Whelan AI, and I would not use it on anything mean.) If you want "safari-level power" in a No.1, try a .458 Win Mag or Lott. Ruger also chambers other elephant-class cartridges.

    9.3 bullets are not many and not easy to find.

    There is no free lunch with recoil.
  5. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    I agree with RFC357,and add,a 9.3x74 with 34lbs recoil in an 8.5lb rifle isnt what I call recoil free.But I also think if you like it and are proficient with it,you will get the job done.(especially at shorter ranges,as ballistics dont impress me at 300yds.)This is my opinion only. sam.
  6. vikingpreacher

    vikingpreacher G&G Newbie

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    I never said it had no recoil but it kicks about half as much as a .458 Lott and at least 5 or 10 pounds lighter than a .375 H & H, and no it isn't ultra-powerful but it is adequate for anything in N.A.. So no it might not truly be Safari class but many people have taken African game with it including Cape Buffalo, and you got to take into account that the bullets being loaded into this by Hornady are designed to penetrate anything. And this is not meant to be a 300 yard round it is short range.
  7. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    I'd still go with a .35 Whelan. Bullets and brass are a lot easier to get. As far as good for anything in North America, I wouldn't use it on a large bear unless I had no choice. It looks like an OK elk round. Elk don't eat people who make them mad.
  8. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

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    The recoil you listed for that 93x74R is 2 lbs more than what I calculated my .338wm to be. I am estimating my rifles weight at 8.5 lbs and used my typical load (225grn bullet 2800fps) in the calculator, it came to 32.25lbs of recoil. I suggest you fire a .338wm if a 93x74R isnt available to try and see if you still are comfortable with the recoil before you make that purchase. A .338wm is too much recoil for many shooters particularly with a 250 grn bullet.
  9. Onesonek

    Onesonek G&G Newbie

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    I have the 9.3x74 R on the Encore platform, and love it.
    With bullets from both Nosler and Barnes, readily available, I have no need to look elsewhere.
    The biggest draw back is the case can be in short supply at times and is somewhat costly. And by it's design, case life isn't real long, but a lot depends on your particular chamber tolerence's. Mine are tight from my custom OTT barrel. and I do load them warmer as book and factory stuff is mild for the older drillings. But so far, I'm at 3 loadings with no problems.
    Although, I have heard of casehead seperation after 2 loadings in roomy chambers.

    Dave
  10. vikingpreacher

    vikingpreacher G&G Newbie

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    True, but to me the difference is the 286 grains of bullet that give it more punch than a .338 Win. Mag.. And it is not by any means recoil free but it does kick less than most other cartridges of it's class. And yet again I rate it higher than the other cartridges named because of the bullet weight and the bullets Hornady is loading it with.
  11. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

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    I always thought true "safari power" started at about 5,000 ft lbs of energy, with at least a .416 diameter bullet.
  12. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    I cant agree on this one.According to the book the 9.3x 74mm has 3544ft lbs at the muzzle,2894lbs at 100yds,2342lbs at 200yds,and 1879lbs at 300yds.Even with a not so well placed shot that is going to do more than just make a bear mad.With a well placed shot it is definitly plenty of gun for the largest of N.A. game,especially at 200yds and under.I still like the .300/.338,s.But then I know nothing about this cartridge.I do know it doesnt reach .338winmag power. sam.
  13. turner

    turner Suspended

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    Nothing wrong with the 9.3x74, and I'd think it sufficient for any North American big game up to and including the big bears. I wonder though, why the 338/06 or .35 Whelen aren't used or mentioned any more than they are. The 330/06 A-Square loading for the 338/06 with a 250grSPBT still carries well over a ton of energy out past 400yds. The 9.3x74 cannot touch that with any factory loadings I've ever run across. The 338/06 and .35 Whelen shooting either a 225 or 250gr "X" bullet is a formidable round. I happen to own both and find them quite comfy to shoot with 200gr loadings and still, for me a better bet on most any big game animal to 300 yds than the great 30/06. The new .338 Fed is close to, but not quite in the same league as these old-timers. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, but I think many of you who've never tried a .35Whelen, 338/06 or .338 Fed., might just find yourselves becoming fans after doing so. And, of course, all are easily formed by using some of the most common brass out there....30/06 and .308. My 338/06 is actually shooting necked up '06 brass now as the company who loaded charged far less than if they'd used .338/06 headstamped brass. Just a thought for those of you wanting a little more horsepower than the '06,.270, or 7mmRM bring to the table for typical hunting ranges (under 300yds)

    P.S. When I win the lottery and get to hunt big bears in Alaska and a Cape buffalo in Africa...I plan on doing BOTH with a .450 Marlin,BLR loaded with either a 350 or 400gr "X" bullet at 2100 or 2000FPS. Don't forget this is the same action which handles 300 and 325WSM loadings, and of course can use any pointed bullet in that .450 marlin. Topped with a 1.25-4x20 Leupold with LOTS of eye relief. I've already got the gun and scope, simply need the 15k for either hunt...lol.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  14. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    Samuel, show the bear the ballistics table, it might impress him!

    Seriously, the 9.3x74, with ballistics like a .35 Whelan, is probably adequate for a large bear. While I have no intention of hunting a large bear, if I did I would go for something more than "adequate."

    I have a friend who guides brown bear hunts, and I think he knows what he is doing (he is still alive). He won't allow his clients to use any .30 caliber or smaller diameter. I asked him about the .35 Whelan, and he said in the hands of a cool shot it's OK. He prefers the .375 H&H or larger. He carries a .375 H&H. He has had to drop a couple of bears his clints muffed. he hates doing that because of the paperwork. Anyway, I defer to his better judgment, but I'm too cheap to hire him.

    The 9.3 does throw that nice big 270 grain bullet. Ought to be a fine elk round. Bugger to find brass and bullets, though, and you are going to pay big. The 9.3x62 (for bolt guns) can be formed from .30-06, although the bullets are still dear.

    turner has some good points. I built a .338-06 Ackley a couple of years ago, and it may just replace my .35 Whelan. The .338 throws big bullets a little faster than the Whelan, and outclasses the 9.3x74. turner is right, with 200 grain pills both the .338 and the Whelan are mild to shoot and leave the .30-06 in the dust for the big deer.

    Now before vikingpreacher thinks either the .338-06 or the .35 Whelan are softies, I will repeat my remark that there is no free lunch when it comes to recoil. Both would take some getting used to by someone not accustomed to recoil. Neither seems to push as hard as a .338 Win Mag. And there are always muzzle brakes.
  15. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

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    Give this a look External Ballistics Calculator and enter the ballistic info on the 9.3 then enter the info for the .338. My rifle for instance shoots a 250 grain partition at 2700fps. The manuals I have that list the 9.3x74R say 2200fps. You will notice that the 9.3 never comes close to the energy developed by the .338wm at any range.

    250 partition: BC .473
    Velocity 2700fps

    9.3x74R; 270 Speer spitzer BC .361
    Velocity 2200fps (this is from my Speer manual)

    9.3x74R 286 Barnes X, BC.342
    Velocity 2200fps (Barnes manual)

    I kept all other factors the same.

    It is an easy to use calculator you can mess with. I hope this helps .
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  16. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    It would be unfair to compare the 9.3 to a .338 Mag. Performance is closer to .338-06.
  17. Onesonek

    Onesonek G&G Newbie

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    Manuals are different, but reloading makes the 9.3x74R more potent than what manuals show. #1 reason is that it is a low/modest pressure round for older rifles. In the Ruger #1, it could be loaded up some, probly more so than what I'm doing in my Encore.
    In any case my manual (hodgdon) shows 2400+ for the 270gr. and 2300+ for the 286 gr.. Not major by any means, but. Here again those are in the 40-42000 cup range,,,rather mild.
    I know Im loading above that, and still the case's extract easy and the primer pockets are tight after 3 loadings so far. I won't say what I'm getting, because my custom barrel/chamber also has a longer throat also, which changes things abit. I'm not saying it'll equal the .338 WM., but it has more than the .35 Whelen as far as potential goes.
    I do know that the outfitter I have talked with up in AK, that for personal moose and bear, the gun he uses is chambered in the 9.2x62., and he says he's never had it not perform on bears. He does state however, when guiding, he backs up the client with a .416 Taylor out of prudence.
    I only brought the 9.3x62 in to the dicussion, because I'm running my 74 slightly above the 62.
    It's trajectory is somewhat limiting, but I don't need to shoot beyond it's capabilities anyhow. And with a 250 gr Accubond for elk and 286 gr NP or TSX for large bears and moose, well, I would feel fairly well covered.

    Dave
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  18. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

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    I agree, there is a lot to be said for a large diameter, heavy bullet. My concerns about that caliber mainly are limitations of reloading components/ammo and the recoil mentioned at the beginning. If one is going to accept or is comfortable with said recoil, why not step up to a more capable and readily available caliber such as the .338wm ?

    Seems to make more sense to me for practical reasons, the allure of something uncommon is intriguing though .
  19. turner

    turner Suspended

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    My question would be....Is the 9.3x62 not more adaptable and easier to find for a repeating rifle, i.e. bolt gun? I thought the 9.3x74 was much better with single and double rifles. The CZ 550 is available in the 9.3x62, I believe.
  20. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    The original question referenced a Ruger No. 1.

    Ballistics on the 9.3x62 are very close to the .35 Whelan. I'd go with the Whelan. Bullets and loaded ammo are a lot cheaper and easier to find.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
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