A case study: the 9,3×62
The hunting world changed forever in 1905 with the introduction of the 9.3x62mm (or 9.3×62 Mauser) cartridge. The German weapon maker Otto Bock was a well-known name among hunters around the world at the turn of the 20th century. At that particular time, there was a clear need for a new caliber that would meet the demands of the entire hunting world for big game on all continents. Otto Bock designed this rimless, bottlenecked case with the 9.3 mm bullet to fit the Mauser 98 (Gewehr 98) bolt-action lock frame. The G98 was making a strong name for itself as a military rifle, and several European hunters as well as settlers in Africa often opted for military weapons for their reliable functioning.
Bock understood the significance of this and also took into account that several African colonial governments banned the use of military weapons and calibers for hunting. The 9.3mm solution had never been used in military applications, so it immediately gained widespread popularity in both African and European hunting. The North American hunting culture has been influenced by several European arms manufacturers who have sold hunting rifles in this caliber for big game hunting in North America, and the 9.3x62mm cartridge has taken a clear foothold in hunting both in Canada and the United States.
The cartridge is not a large cartridge in terms of external dimensions, but the size of the very widely known .30-06 Springfield and even looks similar to it. The caliber was C.I.P. approved in June 1984.
The first cartridges were loaded with hunting bullets weighing 18.5 g / 285 grains with a muzzle velocity of 655 m/s (2,150 fps). Some time later, solid bullets used in Africa and lighter lead core bullets were introduced. Over the past twenty years, the bullet range has continued to expand with today’s lead-free solutions as well as lightweight training bullets.
The 9.3×62 cartridge generates in practice around 3,500 Joule (787 lbf) of energy at a hundred meters / yards, adequate for all non-dangerous big game all over the world. Thanks to its power and a wide range of rifles to choose from, the 9.3×62 has achieved a significant role in Nordic moose hunting and Central-European driven wild boar hunts. The 9.3×62 enjoys particular popularity among dog hunters, where the relatively short-barreled rifles and short firing distances bring out the power and other best aspects of the cartridge. The growth of the bear population and with it the increase of bear hunting has also opened doors for the 9.3×62 and clearly increased its popularity in the Northern Hemisphere.
Although many African countries have set a minimum caliber of .375 for dangerous game, many countries have made an exception for 9.3×62 for use when hunting local dangerous game.
Lapua offers the world’s best case for this caliber for reloaders as well as three different bullet options; the 18.5 gram / 285 grain SP MEGA, the 16.2 gram / 250 grain Naturalis lead-free projectile and the 12.0 gram / 185 grain Open Tip bullet. All bullet options are also available as factory-loaded ammunition.