As a result, neither British colonies in India nor Africa saw widespread use of the cartridge, and the H&H became the queen of the medium bores. But some countries, Mozambique and Zimbabwe for example, do allow the use of the 9.3x62mm on dangerous game. In countries like Namibia, which saw more of a German influence than others, the cartridge is still quite popular for large antelopes.
In continental Europe on the other hand, the cartridge builds its name on the superb effectiveness on wild boars, red deer, brown bears, and moose. Driven hunts across Europe are the perfect stage for this round, as it hits hard enough without punishing the shooter too much. A fast series of shots on a sounder of wild boar is possible without the tooth rattling recoil other hard hitters are known for. Scandinavian moose hunters also rely heavily on performance, and this 9.3mm trails only the .30-06 Springfield as the most popular moose cartridge.
While usually launching bullets in the 230- to 300-grain range at respectable velocities, rifles chambered in the 9.3mm Mauser are relatively easy on the shooter’s shoulder. Heavier bullets with “sub-magnum” speed tend to push more than kick. And since powders used in this cartridge are medium to fast-burning, shorter barrels don’t lead to excessive velocity losses. All the powder is burnt, no matter if the barrel measures 24 or only 20 inches. Therefore, 9.3×62 rifles are often lighter and shorter than rifles built for other chamberings of this power. And the lesser recoil usually translates to better accuracy, so this is another plus.
In North America, the 9.3 Mauser will shine in brushy country on hunts for big and really large animals, up to the big bears. Controlled expansion bullets will guarantee deep penetration, the big frontal area knock-down power, and the moderate pace of the heavy bullets may forgive a little more brush in the shooting lane than high-velocity bullets. In moose, elk or bear country, and even in the deer woods for the matter, the German design is guaranteed to become a trusted friend. (Here’s an American’s take on the 9.3×62.)
Since there is a small, but faithful group of fans in the US, quite a few manufacturers sell factory loads for the 9.3mm Mauser. Nosler, Federal, Swift, and Hornady offer some good choices. Handloaders will have their fun with the chambering, too, as it is said to be easy to hand load for. Also, there are lots of .366 bullet designs for different hunting scenarios. Weights range from 150 grains to 300 grains.
Tikka, Sako, CZ, and others build affordable bolt-action rifles for this big Mauser cartridge. A few years back Savage sold a “Euro” model of the 110. Sauer, Mauser, Blaser, and others offer more expensive and exclusive rifles along with their lower-cost models such as the Sauer 100 or the Mauser 18. (Read about a U.S.-built custom bolt-action on the M704 CRF action in this review.)
This German cartridge doesn’t excel where long-range shots are the rule. The trajectory doesn’t allow for shots beyond 200, maybe 250 yards without tools like turrets, range finders or ballistical reticles. But when shots are taken in close quarters, and stopping power is required, few cartridges will serve better than a 9.3×62. And if using a lesser-known cartridge sounds appealing to you, then a 9.3×62 should be near the top of your wishlist.
The Different 9.3mm Cartridges — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Lukas Schulte for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com