The 284 Winchester Cartridge, Maybe The Best Of The 1960’s


The 284 Winchester cartridge was developed by Winchester Arms Company in the early 1960’s to primarily compete with the 280 Remington cartridge. Remington had developed 2 very popular rifles in the 280 Remington cartridge. This would be the 721 bolt action rifle and the Remington model 760 in the pump high-powered rifle. Winchester would develop the 284 for its Winchester lever action rifles in the model 88.

284 Winchester, The New Concept

The Winchester 284 cartridge would start a new concept in the way rifles were developed. A lot of the old rifles manufactured in the early 1900s were designed on the 30-06 cartridge. Because of the length of the 30-06 cartridge, the action of the firearm would be naturally fitted to that round.

With the development of a shorter action. The 284 would start the trend toward short compact rounds with similar performance of the longer rounds. The problem was that getting the average whitetail hunter to switch from the more popular rounds, like the 30-06 would become a big obstacle to overcome.

Even though the Winchester 284 cartridge would produce the same ballistics or in some cases better ballistics it would not become popular. It would be the grandfather of some of the new designs in cartridge development many years later. The concept of a short cartridge and its ability to be used in lighter weight firearms would finally become popular by the 1970s.

Even though the Winchester 284 would be a better cartridge than some of the newer developed short action cartridges. It would never get the recognition it deserved (IMHO).

The ballistics of the 284 cartridge in 150 grain against the
30-06 in the 150 grain bullet would be almost identical. The energy produced at 300 yards by the 284 Winchester with the 150 grain bullet would produce 1550 foot-pounds of energy. The 30-06 with the 150 grain bullet would produce 1510 foot-pounds of energy at 300 yards. It was not only a cartridge that could be used in the short action rifle. But would also outperform most long action cartridges in its class.

There would be another cartridge that would be very similar to the winchester 284. Another great short action 7mm cartridge of the 60’s. That would the 7mm-08. They would both be very similar in performance and ballistics. The 7mm-08 would become real popular in recent years and the price and availability of the ammo is now a little better than the Winchester 284. If you are a reloader and looking for the top performer, than the 284 would be the better cartridge in my opinion.

Because the Winchester 284 was designed on the 7 MM bullet diameter it was also a very versatile cartridge. It made a very suitable varmint cartridge and an excellent Whitetail deer cartridge.

It is one of those cartridges that I would give serious thought to if you were considering a custom firearm in your future.

Any of the rifles that were chambered in the 284 Winchester  are excellent firearms to collect. None of the companies made many rifles that were chambered for the 284 cartridges in the guns that they produced. So this is one cartridge that any serious collector would want in his firearm collection. These guns will only go up in value.