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303 Savage vs. 303 British: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 13, 2024
The 303 Savage is a smaller, less powerful round than the 303 British, which is a longer and more widely used military cartridge.

Key Differences

The 303 Savage cartridge was introduced in 1894 for the Savage Model 99 lever-action rifle. It is a smaller, less powerful round compared to the 303 British, which was introduced in 1888 as a military cartridge and used extensively by the British Empire.
In terms of dimensions, the 303 Savage has a shorter case and overall length than the 303 British. This results in a lower velocity and energy compared to the 303 British, which has a longer case allowing for more powder and higher ballistic performance.
The 303 Savage was primarily used in North America for hunting and sport shooting, while the 303 British gained international recognition as a military round, used in various conflicts including both World Wars.
Ballistically, the 303 Savage is less powerful than the .303 British, making it more suited for medium game hunting. The 303 British, with its higher power, is capable of taking larger game and was a standard military round for many years.
The 303 Savage fell out of popularity and was eventually discontinued, whereas the 303 British remains in use for hunting and is a popular round among collectors and military history enthusiasts.

Comparison Chart

Introduction Year


Primary Use

Hunting and sport shooting
Military and hunting

Case Length

Shorter case
Longer case

Ballistic Performance

Lower velocity and energy
Higher velocity and energy

Current Popularity

Less popular, discontinued
Still popular among collectors

303 Savage and 303 British Definitions

303 Savage

303 Savage is less powerful than its British counterpart.
For larger game, the 303 Savage may not be as effective as the 303 British.

303 British

303 British gained fame in both World Wars.
Many World War rifles were chambered for the 303 British.

303 Savage

303 Savage is known for its use in North American hunting.
My grandfather used a 303 Savage for deer hunting.

303 British

303 British is suitable for larger game hunting.
Hunters often prefer the 303 British for larger wildlife.

303 Savage

303 Savage is a rifle cartridge developed for the Savage Model 99.
The 303 Savage was a popular choice for hunters using the Model 99.

303 British

303 British is a rifle cartridge used by the British Empire.
The 303 British was a standard issue in the British military.

303 Savage

303 Savage offers moderate power for medium game hunting.
The 303 Savage is suitable for medium-sized game.

303 British

303 British remains popular among collectors.
I collect vintage rifles, especially those in 303 British.

303 Savage

303 Savage has a shorter case than similar cartridges.
The 303 Savage's shorter case affects its ballistic capabilities.

303 British

303 British has a longer case for higher ballistic performance.
The 303 British's longer case contributes to its greater power.


What was the primary use of the 303 British?

The 303 British was primarily used as a military cartridge.

When was the 303 Savage introduced?

The 303 Savage was introduced in 1894.

Is the 303 Savage good for beginner shooters?

Its moderate power makes it suitable for beginners.

Is the 303 Savage suitable for large game hunting?

It's better suited for medium game due to its lower power.

Can the 303 Savage still be purchased today?

It's less common but can still be found among collectors and specialty dealers.

What is the case length of the 303 British compared to the 303 Savage?

The 303 British has a longer case.

Are 303 British cartridges still in production?

Yes, they are still produced for hunting and collecting.

Why was the 303 Savage discontinued?

It fell out of popularity and was overshadowed by more powerful cartridges.

What type of rifle used the 303 Savage cartridge?

The Savage Model 99 lever-action rifle.

Did the 303 British see use in World War I and II?

Yes, it was widely used in both World Wars.

Was the 303 British used globally?

Yes, it was used in many countries as part of the British Empire.

Can the 303 Savage be used in military surplus rifles?

It's uncommon, as it was not a standard military cartridge.

Is the 303 Savage ammunition expensive?

It can be, due to its rarity.

How does the 303 British perform in long-range shooting?

It performs well at medium to long ranges.

Can the 303 British be used in modern rifles?

Yes, some modern rifles are chambered for the 303 British.

Are there modern alternatives to the 303 Savage?

Yes, there are more modern cartridges with similar capabilities.

Is the 303 British effective for all types of game?

It's especially effective for larger game.

What kind of recoil does the 303 British have?

It has a moderate to strong recoil.

What is the collector's value of 303 British rifles?

High, especially for well-preserved or historically significant pieces.

What is the ballistic performance of the 303 Savage?

It has lower velocity and energy compared to the 303 British.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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