Friday, July 08, 2016

Bench Mystery

Occasionally, I stumble into things on my loading bench that I simply can't explain.  Mysteries, as it were.  I always learn something from these mysteries, but I admit this one has me scratching my head.

As I mentioned yesterday, talking about the .243 Winchester, I had reached into the drawer where I store loose .243 brass and dropped a double handful into the tumbler to clean them.  When I took the loose, clean brass out of the tumbler, I happened to find a cartridge that plainly wasn't a .243 Winchester, and I admit when I found it, I was perplexed.  I set it aside on the bench and proceeded to prep and load the empty .243 brass.

It had ridden around in the tumbling media for several hours with the empty brass, and I set it aside on the bench to ponder while I reloaded.  At first glance I thought that somehow a loose .30-06 cartridge had gotten in the .243 drawer, because the empty .30-06 cartridges are in the drawer below the .243.  But, the more that I looked at the cartridge, the more I wasn't convinced that it was a .30-06.  Then, I convinced myself that a .35 Whelen had gotten in somehow, but that would be odd, because I don't own a .35 Whelen of any type.  The .35 Whelen is a good cartridge, and we may talk about it in the future, but I simply don't own one.

So, I got out my reading glasses and decided to look at the headstamp.  I consider myself to be pretty good at cartridge identification, but this one had me stumped.

Click, if you must, on the picture for a larger image, but the headstamp plainly says orma 9.3 x 62.  That set me back on my haunches.  Until I googled it just now, I had never heard of the 9.3 x 62 Mauser.  I had never even contemplated such a thing.

Designed in 1905 by Otto Bock, it was originally fit into the Model 1989 Mauser bolt-action rifle.  It was never a military cartridge, but has been used extensively in Europe, Africa, and Canada as a heavy thumper.  It fires a .366 inch, 250 grain bullet at 2550 fps and is considered very adequate for most large game, worldwide.  As the Wiki page says:
The 9.3×62mm is ideal for eland, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, and most who hunt in Africa consider it a viable all-around cartridge comparable to the .338 Winchester Magnum, the 9.3×64mm Brenneke, the .375 H&H Magnum and the .404 Jeffery. The 9.3×62mm has taken cleanly every dangerous species on the continent. Though it is of smaller bore than the legal minimum for dangerous game in most countries, the .375 calibre, many countries specifically make an exception for the 9.3×62mm.[2][3][4] The 9.3×62mm is considered adequate for European and North American game that may become dangerous, such as feral hogs and the great bears.
So, the question remains; how the hell did it get on my bench.  I didn't know about the caliber until yesterday, I didn't even suspect that there was such a thing, but yet, there it is.  The second question is what do I do with it.  I've been jonesing lately to build an odd caliber rifle, but I was thinking about something like the .250 Savage in a nice, light package.  To be honest, I've never considered a heavy rifle, suitable for heavy game and the great bears.  I admit, I'm pondering.

How the hell did that cartridge get in my tumbler?  I guess I'll never know.


Anonymous said...

The .250 is a fine cartridge.
A good killer on deer as well.
Most of the deer I've dropped on the spot
were shot with a 100 grain Remington
Core-Lokt in the .250 Savage.

If I had a custom rifle made it would
be in .250.

Anonymous said...

Come on down to Texas. There are a couple of African style hunting preserves within an hour of my place. You could use that "odd" caliber at those places!

Flugelman said...

When did you last change your media? Is it possible it came in with replacement tumbling media? Stranger things have happened.

stepinit said...

If you buy bulk ammo at gun shows that is more than possible that is where it came from, it just got mixed in with that batch.