Norma 300 Winchester Magnum Oryx & Swift A-frame Bullets
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 14/12/2016
The 300 Win Mag has been around a long time, a tribute to its popularity and effectiveness. Many shooters wanting to go up the power scale elect for this one rather than the newer short and compact magnum offerings, for the simple fact it’s a proven performer across the world. OK it uses a belted case, which is perhaps yesterday’s technology; but it works and is reloaded by just about everyone. What I have here are two loads from Norma of Sweden, which would make a good bet for African plains game and larger/tougher species in general.
A-Frame & Oryx
Norma often uses proven bullets from other manufacturers and in this case it’s Swift with their Partition-like A-Frame, plus their own Oryx. Testing was done with a custom Browning A-Bolt with a carbon fibre wrapped, 26”/1-10” twist, Shillen match stainless barrel by Christensen Arms. The ammo comes in 20-round boxes with the ballistic data printed on the outside for quick reference, in metric only.
First up the A-Frame, which is a 180-grain soft tip that uses an H-section jacket with front and rear cores separated by a copper divider. The idea is effective with a thin ogive (nose section) giving good expansion but the strongly built rear keeps it all together and pushing through. Plus the cores are soldered in place for added security. Though not available at the time they also offer the Swift Sirocco ballistic tip loading. The single core is soldered in place and the rear of the jacket is heavier than the front. Not quite as strong as the A-Frame, generally this is a better long range performer. The A-Frames tipped the scale at an average of 180.1-grains.
Next the Oryx, which is a soldered, single core soft point in this case weighing 200-grains. Probably not quite as tough as the A-Frame but what it loses in material retention it makes up for in weight. Average here went to 200.4-grains, so again very much on the money. Despite its ability 300 Win Mag is easy enough to shoot even in a medium/light rifle, which certainly adds to its appeal.
Facts and Figures
Norma quotes a speed of 870 mps (2919 fps) for the Swift; the chrono reported an average of 2860 fps/3268 ft/lbs with an extreme spread (ES) of 26 fps (2874 – 2900 fps). Supported at 100-yards the gun was printing a very pleasing .83”. On paper the Oryx offers 850 mps (2788 fps) with real time figures showing 2729 fps/3306 ft/lbs, ES 72 (2693 – 2765 fps). Group size was expectedly larger but still pretty good for a heavy bullet at 1.26”.
So two very good loads each easily producing a decent energy figure and fine accuracy too. Though I would say that a 26” barrel is not usual on a hunting rifle so you might expect a slight drop in figures with a 22-24” tube. That said I reckon you will still be outputting 3000 ft/lbs + with ease.
For: Ample accuracy and energy
Against: Not a lot
Verdict: A great choice for 300 Win Mag users
PRICE (PER 20):
Norma 200-grain Oryx £53
Swift 180-grain A-Frame £77