Rifles photo

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Since this space is yours as much as mine, I will gladly entertain any reasonable gunfight request. Doug, one of today’s two contestants, specifically asked that his rifle be paired up against another elk rifle in an “oddball caliber.” So we have his .325 WSM matched up against a 9.3×62 with which the owner plans to shoot an elk. Is that oddball enough for you, Doug?

The 9.3×62 was developed back in 1905 and was very popular among settlers in Africa. While we don’t see many of them over here in the states, it’s still used by many moose hunters in Europe who do most of their hunting by driving moose, usually in very thick evergreen timber.

The 325 WSM is one of the short-fat magnums introduced in the 2000s by Winchester for use in short-action rifles. It has not proven exceptionally popular, so it, too, may qualify for oddball status. I’ll let you debate that point and the merits of these two rifles and cartridges.

Here they are:

Doug’s Kimber 8400


This is a Kimber 8400 chambered in 325 WSM. I bought it from a fellow who was disenchanted with the gun after finding that ammunition was getting scarce for it. I got it, complete with the Leupold VX-3 scope, for a price that I could not let pass. After I got it, neither ammunition nor reloading brass could be found at any price, and I considered getting it re-barreled to 300 WSM or another more popular caliber. However, I found a couple bags of new 325 WSM brass at a small gun shop at discount prices because no one wanted them. I find this gun shoots great with 200-grain Nosler Partitions or Speer Hot-Cors. Reloading components are now becoming more available, and I will keep the rifle as is. I love hunting with this caliber and will take it with me on an elk or moose hunt one day.

Lance’s Mauser


This is an old Husqvarna Mauser​ that I found in a small gun shop in Mesa, Arizona, years ago. It is a 9.3×62 caliber. I picked it up because I love Mausers, then afterward I found out how great this caliber is. I had to replace the broken stock so I ordered a Laminate wood stock from Boyd’s. I made sure to glass bed it, thinking this was going to kick the snot out of me, but it didn’t. Although it shoots a heavy—286-grain bullets—this caliber’s recoil is surprisingly easy to manage. This is my go-to elk rifle (if I ever draw another tag), and it will put hand-loaded 286-grain Nosler Partitions in 1 ½-inch groups. his caliber is the most forgiving I have ever sighted in. It seems to like every bullet I try. Some writers say this is a 200-yard cartridge. In my experience, this caliber is good out to 300 to 350 yards if you practice and know your loads. Since 9.3×62 has a history in Africa, I had to carve Cape buffalo, along with a warthog, on this rifle in the hope of someday taking it to Africa.

There’s your choice. Vote and comment below, and please keep the gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.