9.3x62mm (using Sierra bullets)
Date: Mar 31 2016
The 9.3x62mm Mauser was developed around 1905 in Germany specifically for African hunters and farmers needing a capable cartridge for heavy game that would readily fit in the standard Mauser 98 action. The case is rimless and necked to accept .366 inch bullets, while water capacity is 74.9 grains (measured level with the neck). Early factory loads pushed a 285-grain bullet to around 2,150 fps. Sometime during or just after World War I that was changed to 286 grains at 2,360 fps. Eventually it was offered with bullet weights of 232, 256 and 293 grains at varying velocities. In terms of performance it falls between the .35 Whelen and .375 H&H Magnum. In Europe and Africa it is popular, and several major companies offer rifles so chambered. It is a medium bore that has earned an excellent reputation on heavy game and offers smooth reliable feeding in bolt rifles.
The 9.3x62mm has gained popularity in the U.S. Ruger offers it in the M77 MKII and No. 1 rifles, while CZ-USA and others offer bolt rifles. Currently Barnes, Hornady, Nosler and Remington offer a variety of factory loads. For reference, the Barnes 286-grain Triple Shock X-Bullet averaged 2,243 fps while the 286-grain Hornady load averaged 2,310 fps from the 22-inch barrel of a No. 1 test rifle.
Bullet selection for handloaders in the U.S. is actually fairly good with Barnes, Hornady, Nosler and Speer offering a variety of expanding bullets. For heavy or dangerous game, Hornady offers its 300-grian DGS solid, which adds to the cartridge’s versatility.
The 9.3x62mm proved easy to handload, and pressure curves were never erratic. Several powders gave excellent performance (accuracy and top velocities), including IMR-8208 XBR, Accurate 2520, Norma 202 and Alliant Power Pro 2000MR. There are no SAAMI pressure guidelines, however, U.S. ammunition companies have adopted European CIP guidelines, currently established at 56,500 psi. None of the loads in the accompanying chart exceeded that figure.