Pity The Poor .307 Winchester
Q: I've just acquired a Winchester Model 94 Angle Eject made in 1983 and chambered for the .307 Winchester cartridge. It was accompanied by a set of loading dies, but no cases or ammunition.
My attempts to obtain ammo or cases have all proven fruitless. In fact, most of the gunshops I contacted told me they have never heard of a .307 Win. What can you tell me about the .307? Where can I find ammo or unprimed brass?
A: The semi-rimmed .307 Win. cartridge was introduced in 1983 in the Model 94 XTR Angle Eject. It featured the beefed-up carbon steel receiver of the earlier Model 94 Big Bore but had been modified to eject fired cases to the side instead of straight up to clear a scope. The .307 is actually nothing more than a semi- rimmed .308 Win.
Olin developed three factory load for the .307 with 130, 150 and 180gn bullets. The 130gn load was never introduced and the 180gn load was dropped in 1986. The 150gn factory load churned up 2760 fps and its performance in game elevated the Model 94 to heights unattainable by the .30-30. To withstand factory pressures of more than 50,000 psi, in addition to having a rim for headspacing, the case had the sidewalls made thicker than that of the.308 to prevent excessive case stretching in the rear-locking Model 94. Even so, when fired in this rear-locking rifle, cases will not withstand as many full power reloads as .308 cases fired in a bolt-action rifle.
Despite the fact that the .307 outdoes the .30-30 by more than 375 fps and is an adequate 200 yard deer rifle, it failed to catch hunter's imaginations and today is nearly obsolete. One word of caution: when reloading the .307 don't use round-nose bullets due to sharp recoil. Use either flat-nose or Hornady's pointed FTX. The good news is that Both Winchester and Hornady are making a limited run of .307 brass which should be available sometime in 2018. Place an order with your local gun shop.