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Old July 9, 2005, 07:38 PM   #1
rugerdude
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Cheapest way to reload .303?

Only .303, lots of time between range visits. I love my no.4mk.1 enfield but not the price of its ammo. BTW I am poor (i'm 15 and have no job)

Thanks,
rugerdude
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Old July 9, 2005, 08:13 PM   #2
steveno
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the problems with 303's is that most have headspace problems. since the military doesn't reload this isn't a problem. I throw my brass away after two loads because after that they may or may not separate in the chamber. I would try and find some cheap (non-corrosive) stuff to shoot for practice.
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Old July 9, 2005, 08:29 PM   #3
Leftoverdj
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Ruger, most of us were once 15, poor, and nuts about shooting. Proper reloading is gonna cost money. Ammo that will go bang, shoot pretty well out to fifty yards, and kill small game can be made for almost nothing. You will need a cooperative adult to buy you a can of Unique, a bulk pack of Hornady .314 SWC and some large rifle primers. Knock out the old primer with a blunted ice pick with the case set on a 3/8" nut. Set a new primer on a flat piece of steel and put the case over it. Drop a 3" long 1/4" bolt down into the case and tap on the bolt head. Pour one level .32 ACP case full of Unique into the case. Thumb press one of the bullets into the neck. If the neck is too loose, you can squash it a little with a pair of pliers before putting the bullet in.

Next step up from that is the Lee Loader. I don't think they make them in .303 any more, but they once did and you might find one on Ebay.
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Old July 11, 2005, 08:57 AM   #4
lee n. field
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Midway lists the .303 Lee Loader as a current (though backordered) product. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=117962

For someone dirt poor (I can relate) that sounds like the best way to go. Get that first, because you'll need to look at their documentation sheet to find allowable powder and bullet combinations (you measure powder with their dipper, so you have basically no flexibility and few choices). Then get powder, primers, brass and bullets. And a rubber mallet.

You'll be able to load up a single cartridge in about a minutes time.

Next step up is a Lee Hand Press, plus die set, for ~$60.
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Old July 11, 2005, 09:22 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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The Lee Loader has one advantage in .303 -- headspace becomes less of an issue because you're neck sizing only, you don't move the shoulder back to original arsenal specifications.

That means that on the first firing you've pushed the shoulder forward and fireformed the case to your chamber, and things get pretty stable after that.

I've done a little reloading for .303 and have learned that if you don't set the shoulder back, you can have pretty decent case life.
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Old July 12, 2005, 04:09 PM   #6
rugerdude
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I just used up my last 20 rounds (those 20 rounds cost me 7 bucks) on some computer monitors, and man does that round have a lot of power. I also shot a couple bricks with it and that impressed all the people I was shooting with. A brick one second........red cloud the next.

I used to have some corrosive surplus, but I shot it all before I really appreciated this great rifle

I'll probably just keep on the lookout for good ammo deals..........but that lee loader seems like a good investment. I'll figure something out. Thanks again.
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Old July 12, 2005, 09:56 PM   #7
Smokey Joe
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Lee Loader

Rugerdude--The Lee Loader is not just a good idea, it is a GREAT idea! If you can't find it otherwise, order from the manufacturer www.leeprecision.com

As has been pointed out, it only neck-sizes, so your once-fired brass goes a lot longer. And it is THE cheapest way to get into reloading. It'll have all the necessary instructions, just follow what they say and you will not go far wrong.

BTW, if yr Enfield has headspace problems, the way the Brits dealt with that was they made 4 different bolt head lengths. The bolt head just unscrews off from the rest of the bolt after you remove the bolt from the reciever, so it is not difficult to replace. I'd take the rifle to a gunsmith, though, if it does have headspace problems, and have him help you figure which bolt head you need.

A lot of us reloading nuts cut our teeth on the Lee Loader. It is a fine learning tool. And personally, my first centerfire was an Enfield, when I was in HS, so I'm identifying pretty strongly with your situation. Hope it all works well for you, and that there are many demolished monitors and bricks in yr future!
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Old July 13, 2005, 12:35 AM   #8
Leftoverdj
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Headspace ain't likely to be a problem since the .303 headspaces on the rim. Problem is the generous chamber. Solution is the same, though. Neck size or partially resize just enough to chamber for a reasonable case life.
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Old July 13, 2005, 12:41 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I've seen more than my fair share of .303s with actual headspace problems. The rear-locking action on the Lee-Enfield was known for this problem.
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