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Old November 1, 2008, 11:56 PM   #1
carguychris
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.303 British suggested loads?

Howdy all,

I've just picked up a Lee-Enfield No4 MkI, and I've already invested in a set of handloading dies in .303 British. I have some experience handloading for pistols, but I've never handloaded for a rifle.

Can anyone suggest a favorite load? This is for fun target shooting, but several of my local ranges prohibit FMJ, so I need something that uses a readily available .311"-caliber soft-point or hollow-point bullet. FWIW the rifle has the factory 2-position peep sight, and I'd prefer something that will hit close to POA with it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old November 2, 2008, 01:06 AM   #2
TRX
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Speer makes soft-nose jacketed bullets in .311 diameter. I shot a bunch of those in my Mk4, using the powder suggestions in their 1974 reloading guide. I tried about a dozen powders, and it seemed to like them all just fine, even the half-dozen with black powder. Strident complaints from the other people at the range led me to discontinue BP experiments, though.

I tried making some plinker loads with small charges of Unique and .32 ACP pistol bullets, but I never managed to come up with a successful load. Even with 4 grains they would sometimes shed their jackets 8-10 feet from the muzzle, and they'd keyhole the targets as they flew downrange sideways.
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Old November 2, 2008, 08:08 AM   #3
wogpotter
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.303 British load data.
Manual Sierra 4 th. edition.
150 Gr '.312" Dia. bullet
IMR 3031
Wt. MV
38.1 2300
39.4 2400
40.7 2500
42.0 (MAX) 2600
Accuracy load IMR 4064
Hunting Load H 414

Manual Hornady Vol 2 (1973)
150 Gr '.312" Dia. bullet
IMR 3031
Wt. MV
34.5 2200
36 2300
37.5 2400
39 2500
40.5 2600
42.0 (MAX) 2700

Manual Lyman 45 Ed. (1972
150 Gr '.312" Dia. bullet
IMR 3031
Wt. MV
38.0 (Starting load) 2288
42.0 (MAX) 2597
Accuracy load IMR 4895. 41.0 Gr 2490 FPS

Here are a few ideas for you.

I use the 150gr Hornady # 3120 sp "interlock" bullets & drive them with 38.5 Gr of IMR3031. This gives me a nice, accurate load without beating on either the rifle or myself.

I have the ladder type sight & it is close enough to the marked settings to be usable thru the entire range.

As always, work up loads, check for pressure signs Etc.
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Old November 2, 2008, 04:45 PM   #4
carguychris
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Quote:
I have the ladder type sight & it is close enough to the marked settings to be usable thru the entire range.
Unfortunately, mine has the 2-position "war expedient" flip peep sight with a 300yd setting and a 600yd setting.
Quote:
I tried making some plinker loads with small charges of Unique and .32 ACP pistol bullets, but I never managed to come up with a successful load. Even with 4 grains they would sometimes shed their jackets 8-10 feet from the muzzle, and they'd keyhole the targets as they flew downrange sideways.
I've already heard mixed reviews of these types of loads. However, I've been curious about using 123gr bullets intended for 7.62x39. It seems like you could whip up a good plinking load that would shoot pretty flat.

Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old November 2, 2008, 09:45 PM   #5
wogpotter
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Check springfield sporters.com
They have the ladder types for about $18.00
You can swap it yourself in about 10 minutes with minimum tools.
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Old November 3, 2008, 03:42 AM   #6
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There are currently some screaming deals to be had on .311 bullets in pulled 147 grain fjmbt's from 7.62x54's I got a bunch that were resized to .308, for 8 cents apiece from www.patsreloading.com but I have heard of them going for 7.5 cents with free shipping. Here's a link regarding the better price; http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread.php?t=63920 Just thought such a good deal might be of interest.
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Old November 3, 2008, 02:36 PM   #7
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I use the above mentioned IMR3031 at 41 grains with a 150 grain Sierra bullet in both of my No 4's. (One sporterized and one military stock). Good for both hunting and target shooting.
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Old November 3, 2008, 07:29 PM   #8
wogpotter
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" I got a bunch that were resized to .308, for 8 cents apiece"
That's why they are so low priced.
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Old November 6, 2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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But for .303 brit, they wouldn't be resized, and they're cheaper yet as they do not need resizing. Fine for blasting at the range! Mine had no nasty pull marks, and looked very clean. The cannelure (not knurled) is way too low for .308, and there is an indentation in the lead on the tail from pushing it through the sizer. Again, this won't be on the .311 bullets used for .303 brit.

If I remember correctly, these are super cheap as they are leftovers from a shut down Russian munitions factory. I think they may have never been loaded. Fantastic price for virgin surplus projectiles. Might not see this again for a LONG time.
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Old November 7, 2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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I've had good results with Varget powder in my Lee Enfields with both 150gr and 174gr pills.
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