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Thread: .308 Norma Mag

  1. #1

    .308 Norma Mag

    Anyone shoot one of these? No particular reason for asking except that I'm always interested in things that are a little bit different. Got talking calibres with a mate the other day and reading up on this I liked the sound of it as a large deer/plains game/long range rifle. Ought to offer huge potential for homeloaders and I just wondered why its not more in favour.

  2. #2
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    It was killed off by the 300 Winchester Magnum that post dates it. Essentially, as you may know, 308 Norma Magnum was a "standardised" version, or Norma's interpretation of the wildcate 30-338 Magnum based on Winchester's 338 Winchester Magnum. But Norma got there first.

    Winchester, arriving late, therefore introduced a cartridge that had to be different and, at the same time, such that owners of the 30-338 Magnum wildcat of the 308 Norma Magnum could be tempted to re-chamber their rifles to Winchester's "come lately" offering.

    Thus the shorter neck on the Winchester. Some say that the 308 Norma Magnum is the better design. Just as is 6mm Remington vs 243 Winchester. But numbers are all. And so it is that, sheer numbers, that effectively doomed the 308 Norma Magnum.

    Parker Hale chambered their rifles in the calibre at one time.

  3. #3
    I have a Parker Hale 308 Norma Magnum and it is a superbly accurate and powerful rifle. I bought the rifle in a gun shop in Yuma Arizona and got it ridiculously cheap because the tag said "308 Win" and the man felt compelled to discount it heavily when I showed him that it was, as he put it, "...one of those dammed Norma Mags!" nobody stocked ammo for. Personally I was thrilled. I like the Norma better than the 300 Win Mag I form brass from. It has the longer neck and pretty much equals performance with the 180 grain bullets (within 100 fps) and at slightly less pressure, depending on the powder. Accuracy in with the new stock is awesome. Even my fireforming loads using PPU 150 grain FMJ shoot well under an inch using an old Weaver 4X I had lying around.

    I have just finished restocking the rifle (the PH stock was warped and had a cheek-bone-busting monte carlo cheek piece) and I ordered a Timney Trigger two days ago to replace the PH trigger I dislike so much. Three of us are drawing lots to see who gets a cow elk tag on the Reservation next fall. If I win, the Norma will be the rifle of choice.~Muir

  4. #4
    I recall being tempted by it when leafing through a 70's Parker-Hale catalogue but being young and impressionable went for Roy Weatherby's 300 lightening bolt.

    K

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    I have a Parker Hale 308 Norma Magnum and it is a superbly accurate and powerful rifle. I bought the rifle in a gun shop in Yuma Arizona and got it ridiculously cheap because the tag said "308 Win" and the man felt compelled to discount it heavily when I showed him that it was, as he put it, "...one of those dammed Norma Mags!" nobody stocked ammo for. Personally I was thrilled. I like the Norma better than the 300 Win Mag I form brass from. It has the longer neck and pretty much equals performance with the 180 grain bullets (within 100 fps) and at slightly less pressure, depending on the powder. Accuracy in with the new stock is awesome. Even my fireforming loads using PPU 150 grain FMJ shoot well under an inch using an old Weaver 4X I had lying around.


    I have just finished restocking the rifle (the PH stock was warped and had a cheek-bone-busting monte carlo cheek piece) and I ordered a Timney Trigger two days ago to replace the PH trigger I dislike so much. Three of us are drawing lots to see who gets a cow elk tag on the Reservation next fall. If I win, the Norma will be the rifle of choice.~Muir
    I had the same rifle . Mine was a very good shooter as well , especially with 200 gr Nosler Partitions . At the time, I also had a Ruger No 1 in 300 WM which I liked more , so I sold the PH to a young guy I worked with . He still has it and it still shoots well . I used to make brass for it with Winchester 338 WM hulls with no problems.

    AB

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by alberta boy View Post
    I had the same rifle . Mine was a very good shooter as well , especially with 200 gr Nosler Partitions . At the time, I also had a Ruger No 1 in 300 WM which I liked more , so I sold the PH to a young guy I worked with . He still has it and it still shoots well . I used to make brass for it with Winchester 338 WM hulls with no problems.

    AB
    Did you ever run into problems with a thickened neck (at the neck/shoulder junction) when reforming from 338WM? I do with 300WM but it is plentiful and cheap so I deal with it using a Forster neck reamer in 308.~Muir

  7. #7
    On paper the .308NM looks less barrel and throat hungry than the .300 WM and a tad more civilised to shoot. Is that so? And I take it no one manufactures .308NM brass any more then?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Finch View Post
    On paper the .308NM looks less barrel and throat hungry than the .300 WM and a tad more civilised to shoot. Is that so? And I take it no one manufactures .308NM brass any more then?
    I'd say they are about the same depending on how you load them. Pressures still in the 60K range with many max loads. Both will kick you silly if your rifle doesn't fit you well... or you have a stock like the original PH on mine. It was seemingly built to enhance felt recoil!

    Norma still makes brass but reforming it was easy as pie and far less expensive. It is interesting to note that even though this cartridge is "obsolete", both Lee and Hornady include data for it in their latest manuals.~Muir

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    I'd say they are about the same depending on how you load them. Pressures still in the 60K range with many max loads. Both will kick you silly if your rifle doesn't fit you well... or you have a stock like the original PH on mine. It was seemingly built to enhance felt recoil!

    Norma still makes brass but reforming it was easy as pie and far less expensive. It is interesting to note that even though this cartridge is "obsolete", both Lee and Hornady include data for it in their latest manuals.~Muir
    I'm half tempted to give it a try but it would be a heavy barrel custom build and finding something chambered in .308NM even for a donor rifle might be a different matter..
    I used to have a PH Midland in regular .308W and that managed to make the recoil worse as well. Compared to the Tikka I've got now it felt like a different calibre.

  10. #10
    I've been told that Norma developed the 308 NM with countries with a ban on military calibres in mind. It fits in a "normal" lenght mauser action and fires a 30 calibre bullet.
    It had some following in countries like Belgium and France. The " Dumoulin" company has offered rifles in this calibre for years.
    http://www.dumoulin-herstal.com/ Dumoulin is one of the great names of Belgian gunmaking. Easely comparable with companies like Rigby, Westley Richards, .......

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