.256, .30Newton, and a mystery round.
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I was given a box of "old junk ammo" by some relative who know I'm into guns. As I've sorted through it, I've come upon some neat stuff. I found 1 .256Newton cartridge and 1 .30Newton cartridge. I had never seen either of these cartridges in person, Bit I'm a bit awestruck by how modern their case design is, I think that the 30Newton would be very popular if introduced today. I took a few pictures, the .256 and the .30, allong with a .300WSM for comparison.

I also found a mystery round, I think it may be a 6.5Carcano, but I am unsure.

Posts: 42 | Registered: 16 May 2003Reply With Quote
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Hey! You are correct! Newton cartridges are very modern, modern today. I am a Newton Aficianado,
Big Time. So what I have to say may be somewhat subjective...but I will say flatly, that Newton cartridges are finer, better designed cartridges than anything else available, period. They are very efficient. I shoot a .22 Newton, .256 Newton,
.280 Newton, .30 Newton & have rifles in all those,including 3 original Newton Rifles. My .256 Newton gets 3115 fps easily with a 129 gr., 6.5 bullet...comparable to the .270 Win, but with better sectional density. The history of the .256 Newton was that expert riflemen of the day, preferred it to the .257 Roberts or the .270. Also, the .270 was developed to compete with the .256 other was so good Winchester had to come up with something they necked down the .30-06 to .277 (whereas the .256 is basically the .30-06 necked to 6.5, diff shoulder & length). A.O. Neidner said that when Chas Newton worked at the Armory that developed the .30-06, Newton was key in its design (a little known fact!). I can get 3500 fps with 165 gr. in the .30 Newton, and over 3300 with the .308", 180 gr bullet. I get 3440 fps average, as high as 3500 fps in the .280 Newton with 150 gr. bullets (still experimenting). The .280 Newton is the .30 Newton necked to 7mm (not a production cartridge, but one Newton experimented with). The .35 Newton will touch 3,000 fps with the 250 gr. .358" bullet (Newton's factory ballistics were 2975 fps with the 250 gr bullet.)
An important point, most don't know...when Newton designed his cartridges, there wasn't as suitable powders (read slower powders). With todays modern powders, Newton cartridges come into their own. They are not only excellent designs, but in a class of their own of superiority. They are beltless, fairly efficient cartridges...for instance a friend has a Lazzeroni 7.21 Firebird (7mm) can get 3600 fps with a 150 gr. bullet...but uses a humongous case holding 91-100 gr of powder...vastly inefficient. I have gotten 3500 fps with a 150 gr. bullet in the .280 Newton, but with 77 gr. powder & a .30-06 length moderate case! So...
They are positively great designs...its sad no cartridge company or brass maker doesn't revive the Newton cartridges & make them again! They are the greatest American cartridges ever designed. So, now you have my feelings on it. The "bean counters" win, the true enthusiasts take a back seat!
Aloha! Tom
Posts: 262 | Location: Wyoming, U.S.A. | Registered: 11 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Bisonland: My brother owns a .256 Newton based on a Model 98 action and built by Thomas Sprague, who was a gunsmith with Mashburn Arms in Oklahoma City at one time. It is a drop-dead beautiful rifle. I used .270 Winchester cases to fireform the .256 Newton. Made and loaded 200 rounds for him. It was a royal bitch doing all of that, believe me. I cannot remember the load, but I still have the RCBS dies marked .265 Newton. We used H4831 to both fireform and load the cases. There is an old Speer Reloading Manual which shows IMr 4831 as the powder to use, but 10 grains below the minimum load proved to be way, way to hot for his rifle. I think we finally settled on 45 grains of H4831 with 140 grain Hornady Spire Points. It shoots sub one minute of angle groups and is hell on Texas whitetails. I was on the internet and saw where Midway has special order .256 Newton new brass for sale ... at $36.99 minus shipping and a 90-day wait. Damn, at that rate I saved my brother more than $300 for his ammo. He paid for the material and I made the cartridges for him. Anyway, he has one drop-dead beautiful rifle and he said it really drops whitetails in their tracks. Tom Purdom
Posts: 499 | Location: Eudora, Ks. | Registered: 15 December 2003Reply With Quote
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Your mystery round is a 6.5x55 Mauser produced in 1948 - and later repacked, probably for Home Guard use, before being surplused - at Denmark's Haerens Ammunitionsarsenalet in Copenhagen.
Posts: 219 | Location: NH, USA | Registered: 12 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Hi Tom: I have an original .256 Newton 1st model.
It is also a gorgeous rifle, as it was fitted with new Bastogne Walnut stock. It is interesting, in that, when Bruce Jennings was alive (I knew him & visited him often)...he has a spanking brand new original, perfect, cherry .256 Newton Barrel that had never been put on a rifle! Probably made about 1918, perfect bore, no shot ever fired through it.
Has all the factory Newton stampings (markings) on the barrel, but wasn't cut for sights, nor had no index mark either. A smooth barrel &
threaded...also had the original Newton/Pope type rifling. I was happy to buy it from him, and had the barrel put on a Newton receiver, had it all polished up & reblued, then fitted in a new stock. I can send a photo if you PM me & give me your email address.
Anyway, I live in Wyoming & its my Antelope gun.
You can very easily make .256 Newton cases from .25-06...that way, you're necking up slightly & have no brass thickening in the neck.
My favorite load is using H4831, 57gr.of it with the 129 gr Hornady 6.5 bullet & a chronographed velocity of 3125 fps average. Plus accurate!
Good talking to you!
Best Regards, Tom
Posts: 262 | Location: Wyoming, U.S.A. | Registered: 11 November 2004Reply With Quote
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You are right on all accounts thumb
The Newtons were very far ahead of their time
and if introduced today they would still excell.


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Posts: 2574 | Location: Northern Nevada & Northern Idaho | Registered: 09 April 2005Reply With Quote
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