Load testing the 9.3 x 64

bruce moulds

AH legend
Aug 10, 2018
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here are some loads i developed for my 9.3 x 64.
i have noticed that spec chambers have a very low angle of leade/throat, lower than the 1.5 degrees common today.
if your rifle has a steeper angle here, beware of these loads.
as with all personal data, please be aware that this is my rifle, with my powder lot etc etc, and do not take them as gospel in any other rifle ot component lots.
rifle is a mk10 mauser with a lothar walther chrome moly barrel about but not exactly 26" .
this barrel copper fouls badly, but shoots honest 1" or better groups with loads it likes.
all primers are fed 215.
270 gn speer ar2209 77gn 2683 fps
78gn 2717 fps
79gn 2734 fps extreme max

re 15 66gn 2542 fps high pressure not recommended
this powder is reputed to be a little temp sensative.
bullet too soft for all but small game at these speeds.

286 nosler partition ar2209 76 gn 2650 fps
this bullet looked good on paper, but has failed twice. even though its b.c. looks good, what might happen at the other end is too risky.
maybe better in the x62.

286 barnes ar2209 69gn 2423 fps
71gn 2474 fps
73gn 2557fps
long bullet requires a lot of powder compression.
look at the 250 gn for certain applications.

293 tug ar2209 73gn 2540fps
75gn 2600fps
this bullet is meant for lower velocities (9.3 x 62?)

300gn swift aframe ar2209 70 gn 2415 fps
71 gn 2446 fps
72 gn 2480 fps.
stout recoil on my light rifle.
investigate the 250 and 286 aframe in light of this.

ar2209 is sold as h4350 other than australia, and is manufactured here by a d i.
not too different to imr4350.
it is less temp sensative than some powders.
most of these loads have some degree of compression.
hope this helps someone, as i had trouble finding data, and there were huge differences in some found.
Hi Bruce
Thanks for the loading data on the 9.3 x 64. I use one quite a bit a long time ago, back then I was using RWS factory ammo and never had any problems on African plains game animals but found most projectiles weren’t holding together like I thought they should. Now 25 yrs later l am building another rifle and with the new range of projectiles and powders available today things can only be better.
enjoy the ride.
as you say about the rws ammo, so did john taylor.
it is good, but the bullets seem to be better suited to 9.3x62 velocities.
fortunately we now have swift aframes and other bonded bullets from norma etc.
do not consider the 286 nosler partition a bigger game bullet.
hi clodo,
what happens to the partition is that the nose blows off.
side on shots in the lungs probably have good outcomes, but as we all know, we mostly cannot choose the shot we want.
angled shots onto a shoulder blade really cause nose blowup, and the nose blows off at an angle.
twice that i know of, this has caused the remainder of the bullet to change direction seriously.
in one case this worked in my favour with a bad shot, too high, on a donkeys shoulder, deflecting the bullet downward.
that was a 286 partition in 9.3mm at 2600 fps muzzle.
i thought the donkey must have had thick dirt on it at the shot, but what blew out looking like dust was in fact tissue.
the other similar shot was a 210 gn in 338, hitting a big pig similarly on a shoulder blade.
in this case a 270 with a 130 gn sierra would have, based on experience, killed it cleanly.
in fact a later shot with a 200 gn speer did just that.
shooting many donkeys with the 286 nosler produced disappointment in comparison to the 375 with 300 gn sierra in terms of drt.
i had got rid of the 375 to compare it to the 9.3x64.
however going to swift bullets in 9.3 solved the problem.
300 and 286 gn swifts have similar terminal performance, but the 286 going faster has better trajectory.
going heavier than 300 gn in australia is probably defeating the cartridge in a way, as except for special conditions trajectory is compromized.
given that the 286 gn has an s.d. of 0.3, going up to a 320 gn bullet might mean that you actually need a 400 gn 40 cal in reality.
Hi Bruce,
In MY experience, the NP I have used in 7x57, 7x64, 30-06 and .375 H&H is the bullet I NEVER could recover inside an animal. Period. And hit from any angle. Of course the forward part, around 1/3, or 1/4 in .375 case, ALWAYS expands but the rear 2/3 or 3/4 part (by weight), in my case ALWAYS exited! I don't know what more can be asked of a hunting bullet!


when it happens in the field, you have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
add that to the (in my case) clearly better killing power of the swift, and there is no comparison.
the 286 barnes got my attention, but proved too long to fit enough powder in the case.
based on your advice, i might try the 250 barnes in comparison to the 286 swift.
however a pending knee replacement and hernia operation have postponed that plan.
contrary to what some suggest, speed has proven to be part of the killing formula.
however for that to work you need the bullet to take it.
i use partitions in my 280 and 7mm stw for lighter species like goats and deer with great satisfaction.
smaller bones do not seem to be an issue there.
enjoy the ride.
as you say about the rws ammo, so did john taylor.
it is good, but the bullets seem to be better suited to 9.3x62 velocities.
fortunately we now have swift aframes and other bonded bullets from norma etc.
do not consider the 286 nosler partition a bigger game bullet.
Yes I am not a partition fan, ever since I shot a Rusa stag side on with a 160 partition in a 7 mm mag and it didn’t exist.I have some A swift and North fork in that weight and have ordered Norma Oryx, my favourite bullet for Sambar in the 340. Have you ever used Rel 17 in the 9.3?
no i haven't used re 17, but suspect it could be as good or better than 4350/2209 in 9.3x64.
not sure about its temp sensativity.
if i could get it reliably i would try it.

I have taken ca 20 afrikan PG with Barnes TSX 250gr (820m/s). The first animal i took with my 9,3-64 was a Fox, i used RWS Tug and that fox literally exploded.
Rino 14 is the same as Norma 202.
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haven't used re 17, but suspect it could be as good or better than 4350/2209 in 9.3x64.
not sure about its temp sensativity.
if i could get it reliably i would try it.
no i haven't used re 17, but suspect it could be as good or better than 4350/2209 in 9.3x64.
not sure about its temp sensativity.
if i could get it reliably i would try it.
I think it should be good, burning rate for 286 gr pills should be right and it’s finer gr then 2209 so you can get more powder in without compression. The mag length in the R8 is 3.6”so I can seat them out quite a bit, along with the reamer having a long throat it all helps. I will let you know how they go when my barrel ever turns up. The only draw back having European rifles.
if your throat allows the 286 gn barnes x to be loaded to around 3.6" you will have serious big game medicine.
you still might need to compress powder, but this is not bad.
Hi Bruce
I have just done the maths with a OAL of 3.6”. The base of the 286 tax would only be .091” below the neck which is bugger all.
My only concern with Barnes is that of impact velocity.
What speed does this pill need to fully open up?
My guess is around 2250 fps !
With a muzzle Velocity of say 2650 that gives me a 200 yd range, which is plenty for large game but if I wanted to take a crack at something smaller at say 300 yds it’s probably going to act like a solid. I know everything is a compromise. I value your opinion on what is the best all around bullet for this cartridge.
Cheers Ken
an interesting bit of homework.
where does the 250 gn tsx, the 250 swift aframe, and 286 aframe fit into that.
with 300 gn swifts i call point blank range 250 yds
Here it is.
With bullets seated at the base of the neck giving the case size full powder capacity.
Barnes 250 tsx oal 3.547 doing 2800 fps 3.2” high at 100 yds = 250 poa
A swift 250 oal 3.296 doing 2800 fps 3.5” high at 100 yds =250 poa
A swift 286 oal 3.491doing 2650 fps 3.7” high at 100 yds =250 poa
A swift 300 oal 3.486 doing 2550 fps 4.2” high at 100 yds = 250 poa.
I am estimating velocity with these loads , are they close?

I have not made a comparison between the TSX vs. TTSX. But there are a lot of test published about the better expansion at low velocities of the TTSX over the simpler TSX. I have both, 250 grs, in 9,3, but I have not used the TSX, yet. The TTSX opens more than enough at 300 m in Red Deer hinds starting at 2650 p/s at the muzzle, seen the exit hole and the inside damage!!! I am still waiting to recover a Barnes X inside a big Red Deer or, also big, Wild boar.
About the throat lenght of the 9,3s (both the x62 and x64), this dimention, in barrels/chambers made by C.I.P. standards, is the same for both and one of the longest of all sporting cartridges: 28 mm (1.1") from the chamber neck to the begining of the rifling!! It is much more probable the magazine lenght to be the limiting dimention of the posible cartridge O.A.L. than the throat lenght.
About the blow (maynly the lead, not the jacket!) of the front 1/3 (or 1/4...) part of the Nosler Partition, and the consecuent folding of the front jacket part, it is responsible of the outstanding penetration caracteristics of this GREAT bullet design: The lesser SD, neccesary for a straight line travel in the flesh medium, plus the relatively small front diameter, are the two factors for the behavior of the NP.
As I said, I could NEVER recovered a NP in the cartridges I use. To see an expanded NP or, by the way, a Barnes X from the early ones to the TTSX, I had to make shots in deep snow (well, 1,5 m deep and at 2 m from the muzzle is more than enough). Then I could see these bullets expanded!
I include the H-Mantel in this group: never recovered one inside one of those animals. From the 7mm (7x57 and 7x64).


Hello CF
My experience with the partition has been totally different with recovering a lot of projectiles. All of what I have found have lost the front section, having no lead or mushroom only copper jacket back to the vase of the front section. Loosing alway about 40 to 45 %. Will post a pic of a recovered 250 gr 338 bullet weighting 55%.
Have had some experience with the H mantel, put 3 into the chest cavity of a very large Alaskan moose and only found very fine fragments of the 3 Bullets, nothing existed. All RWS Bullets seem to be softer even the tug and tig performing similar to the partition usually around 55%. As far as the Barnes go I have never recovered one yet. Have shot a lot of game with the ttsx in various calibers. All in deer ranging from Fallow to Sambar . Some were end to end complete penetration, down the throat and out the arse stuff . Fallow with 100 gr ttsx and Sambar with a 185 gr ttsx amazing penetration. Only ones recovered were in wet news paper bullet trap.
ken, i cannot say about those lengths and loads from experience, as my mag is 30/06 length and i load to that.
all the bullets i have tried can be loaded to that except the 300 gn swift.
i can now load that to that length as well, as i bought a throating reamer and lengthened it to suit.
your velocities seem realistic based on my loads .
thank you for the trajectory figures.
i sight in my 286 dead on at just over 200, and call point blank just over 250, and if it seems like a really long way (300) aim about 8" high.
it looks like the 250 barnes might be stretched to a 300 yd point blank on big game.

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