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Recipe for disaster? Ok how about a 303 british?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by mjbskwim, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I traded my Savage m10 for a really nice Enfield this weekend.1916,I believe

    I passed on the reload bits because I wasn't sure what to pick up.I should have grabbed the brass,I guess.Oh well.
    So What are you using? What bullets and powders and brass?

    Or you got some surplus at a good price? I don't believe I'll be sniping or hunting with it,for a while.

    Thanks
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The best factory ammunition you can buy for this caliber is PRVI, I can usually find it locally for about $15-18/bx and the brass is top notch, if you find surplus, avoid POF like the f'ing plague, I cannot emphasize enough how crappy POF ammo is, it usually comes in 32 round boxes, last time I had some half were duds, the other half hang-fired. If you find some with a DM (dominion) it's good ammo, and is reloadable. Some of the greek ammo (HXP headstamp) is also reloadable.

    For powder, the best stuff out there is IMR3031, because this powder was originally formulated for the Mark VII cartridge, loaded with a 174gr FMJ-BT (if you like original) I don't remember the exact charge, but load manuals and historic documentation should cover it if you look up the mk VII cartridge history.

    As goofy as .303 brit is, it's one of my favorite cartridges both because of the history, and the insane longevity of the round. The only thing that even comes close on this side of the pond is .45-70, except it was dropped from military service well over 100 years ago, .303 was a front line military cartridge into the 1970's and there are a huge number of reasons for that, most of which I agree with.

    I wrote an article about the .303 on the bulletmaker blog a while ago:

    Ammo Blog: Cartridges I Hate to Love
     
  3. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    The problem with reloading the .303 is the necks tend to split easily. The caliber is one of the most deadly battle rifle rounds in recent history, and the recoil is very mild. I have 3 of them and about 400 rds each of the old cordite FMJ MK 7 loads
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'm a "30 Cal Fan" but the .303 British sure ain't one of them. I prefer the "US Military 30's" of 30-06 and 7.62X51/.308. That way I can use the same powders and bullets.

    I never have cared for rimmed cartridges in rifles and really don't like the taper on the .303 case. Of course some have good luck with them and others not. What can you expect from a rifle that can have a bore size variation of up to .010"? One rifle can measure closer to .308" and the next darn near .320", of course all supposed to shoot the same .311/.312" bullet.
     
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  5. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Even I can remember IMR 3031,I think.

    Haha,yeah deadshot,that's why I didn't pick up the bullets,the two guys there said "Oh yeah 311 or 312,both work" Would it be prudent to mic the barrel?
    I figured I'd just ask here first.

    I remember when I bought my last one...for $85!(in 1986).. I read an article in Guns and Ammo about one of them goat hunting with their MIII.And he did in fact,fill his once in a life time goat tag with it.There was only a couple factory loads out then.
    I'll probably shoot this as much as I do my Mosin. (30 rounds so far)

    Side note.....The same guy had some Lapua 7.62X54 brass:huh::huh: Does anyone really reload these ? Let alone close enough to warrant buying expensive brass for it?
    I passed on that too.
     
  6. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    heck I was pulling bullets from 7.62x39 for a while, they worked just fine. Now it isn't cost effective. 303 brit is one of the best cartridges I have ever shot, accurate hard hitting with excellent range. Stopped using surplus ammo a long time back, now I only reload for it.
     
  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Reloaders who shoot them a lot will slug the bore and buy the right bullet mold. Me, I never got into reloading .303 but again the round is one of the most deadly battle rifle rounds with the MK 7 fragmenting/tumbling bullet. They can have a hollow nose or a small wood insert that causes this. The Enfield can be fired as fast as a semi auto until your 10 rounds dry up, using the middle finger as the trigger finger

    Here is a very educational reference for the different .303 headstamps

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/303headstamps.html
     
  8. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I am just short the die set to reload for my Mosin. I wouldn't buy Lapua brass, just too damned expensive. If someone wanted to make me a deal on some, I wouldn't walk away. Right now I've got about 60 rounds of Winchester and S&B all brass cased, and I'll start reloading with that. Surplus ammunition is great to plink with and shoot for fun, but the rifle will eventually be a backup hunting rifle, so I'd like to work up a nice hunting load for it. I've already got powder and primers for it, just need some .311 bullets and away I'll go!

    FWIW, Sierra makes, 125, 150 and 180 .311 Bullets from their Pro-Hunter Line, they also make a 174 grain MatchKing. Hornady makes a 150gr Interlock Softpoint and a 180gr Interlock Roundnose. And Barnes makes a 150gr TSX bullet. So, the bullets are out there and so is the load data. There's no reason not to reload.
     
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  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The record for a MAD MINUTE with a Lee- Enfield was set in 1914 and is 38 rds hitting a 12"D target at 300 yards. IN ONE MINUTE

    I use IMR 3031 for a number of my 30-40 and 30-06 hunting loads Bi Mart or Wholesale sports carries it

    .303 Brit is so cloe to 30-40Krag that you can form 30-40 from .303 in a pinch (it ends up with a .010 short neck) they both like long heavy bullets. Their ballistics are similar.

    The comment on .303 Brit being anything like 45-70 ????? other then they are both brass cases and were once military rounds I fail to see anything similar. The direct comparison would be with 30-40 Krag which was a Military cartridge until replaced by the 30-03 and then 30-06 with 30-40Krag still hangin on a while in Guard units and home guard duties.

    Brass is currently a little hard to find from places like Midway. But its around. Least its not as bad as 30-40 where the manufacturers only make it about every two years.
     
  10. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Who? Where? How much? How many?

    I reload the 54r. Accuracy is more fun than minute-of-man grouping from milsurp ammo.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was more "minute of barn (broad side)" for milsurp:p
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    My scout scoped Mosin Nagants with silvertip do a consistent 2 MOA
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Never seen the guy before.He was at the Sequim gun show,so somebody in town knows him.
    He was selling at almost nosler prices,so no deals involved.
     
  14. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Well at $1 per case I can either buy Prvi and have fun shooting to get my Norma brass or start with clean cases. Either way I end up using a .303 expander ball for my case necks.