The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 5, 2013, 12:26 PM   #26
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,049
Just because its a good cartridge does not guaranteed it is popular (41 magnum for example).

303 just odes not have the push over factor in the US to take off.

It doesn't do anything that the 30-06 does as well and the 30-06 has a ton of bullet choices because it was the US mainstay from pre WWI though WWII (and a bit beyond ).

There are some fine US 30 caliber cartridges that are equally low popularity.

And the one that do have a pizaza factor and lots of advertising.

Of all of them a rimmed rifle cartridge is looked at as odd (pistol caliber cartridges and the 30-30 which got entrenched aside).

Some issues with hand loaders and the old mil surplus chamber sizes and no joy there and ammo availability.

So it goes for a fine venerable round.
RC20 is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 03:09 PM   #27
Erno86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2012
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 532
Prvi Partizan seems to have the cheapest, reloadable 303 ammo around...but as usual, at this current time --- I can't find any for sale --- for my fake sniper T "Smelly" Enfield, with a 4x Weaver scope; that draws alot of looks when I take it to the range.

I have to keep my thumb away from the ball of the bolt handle, during firing, due to recoil hits.
Erno86 is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 03:26 PM   #28
ChasingWhitetail91
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 336
I have a .303 and love it. Its raises quite a bit between rounds if not allowed to cool, but other then that I see no reason why it shouldn't be right up there with the .06 and .308.
__________________
Abraham Lincoln made all men free, Samuel Colt made them equal.
ChasingWhitetail91 is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 01:46 AM   #29
seanc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 1998
Posts: 182
The best answer is (44 AMP) that in the US, 30-06 (and now .308) is more common in the U.S. since that's what our military fielded, and 303 is more common in the Commonwealth, combined with SIGSHR that a given common rifle/cartridge combo crowds out competition, especially in the surplus market.

Ammo availability postulates? It's like I'm in an alternate universe: 303 ammo is hard to find. B.S. Prvi (for example) is readily available and comparatively inexpensive compared to 30-06. Also, regarding non-303 ammo: com-block 7.62x54R ammo is still dirt cheap. You can easily find 7.62x54R for the same price as pre-panic days. And again, Prvi has brass cased rounds and SP rounds for hunting for reasonable prices as well.
seanc is offline  
Old April 8, 2013, 08:30 AM   #30
gasmandave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2012
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 138
.303



I don't know about everyone else but I like mine, about 400 rounds of milsup ammo and 60 rds of US made hunting ammo. 2 mags and 12 strippers. (ammo kind that is).
I'm confident it the round and it's loadings, just wish I could find more hunting ammo right now but what I have is fine for the present.

Last edited by gasmandave; April 8, 2013 at 08:41 AM.
gasmandave is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 01:07 PM   #31
budd
Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2011
Posts: 93
The 303 lee enfield

When I was a kid growing up, a childhood friend was going to his first family hunt. His Dad got Mike a Lee Enfield NO.4rifle for the hunt. One Saturday Mike's Dad took Mike and me to the range to show Mike how to operate and shoot the rifle. It was for Mike and me, our first experience with a high-powered rifle. After showing us the rifle and how to operate it, Mike's Dad gave us some ammo and let us go at the targets. That rifle made a big impression on me. Today I have 5 Lee Enfield rifles and I do enjoy them. People who don't know what is what, may look down their nose at the Lee Enfield and the 303 British round. But the British round compares quite favorably to the 300 Savage and 308 Win. and will handle 215 Gr bullets better than either the Savage and Winchester rounds. Deer, Elk, Large Black Bear will go down to the British rounds just as they will with more modern rounds, and will punish your shoulder less

V/R
J.Budd
budd is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 04:48 PM   #32
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,481
This forum is largely USA based. But Canadian hunters are very fond of their 303 rifles and for good reasons.

Jack
__________________
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 05:59 PM   #33
pathdoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2013
Posts: 426
Gasmandave, is it just the angle of the photo or has that #4 been substantially shortened?
pathdoc is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:29 AM   #34
gasmandave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2012
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 138
Pathdoc. It's shorter than a jungle carbine but ours a bit heavier. About a 16 1/2" or 17" barrel
gasmandave is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 10:17 AM   #35
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,049
Quote:
The .303 has a reputation as a "kicker" more becuase of the shape and size of the SMLE stock than the energy of the recoil. Its about felt recoil, not the actual energy. With a stock that fits the shooter properly its not that bad. Military stocks on the SMLE fit virtually everyone well enough to be used, but fit few people "properly".
Pattern 14 should be fine (if left as is). Have been shooting the Model of 1917 in 30-06 and its very tolerable with no but pad.
RC20 is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 02:37 PM   #36
Geezerbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 561
Another problem with the .303 is the availability of bullets for hand loading. I shoot a 7.7mm Arisaka (essentially a .303 rimless) and I have to mail order bullets and the selection is very limited.

About 20 years ago I passed up a pastern 14 Enfield for $135 and I'm still kicking myself...

Tony
Geezerbiker is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:10 PM   #37
Newton24b
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Posts: 974
its not tactical, doesnt come in an ar style thingy, doesnt have 'black out' after the name. doesnt have sex appeal that the magazines say we need to want...
Newton24b is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 08:55 AM   #38
seeker_two
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2002
Location: Deep in the Heart of the Lone Star State (TX)
Posts: 1,712
Right now, my only centerfire rifle is a SMLE that my grandfather sporterized & scoped back in the early '60's. He hunted with it a few times before he bought a .30-06 & put the SMLE in the back of the gun cabinet. When he gave it to me, all it needed was a good cleaning & sighting-in to get 2MOA groups. I'm not in a hurry to get a .30-06 or .308 since the .303 will do all that they do. And I can still find .303 ammo on the shelves. I can even download it to .30-30 levels with 7.62x39 bullets & Dacron filler.

Makes it real hard to decide on my next rifle purchase....
__________________
Proud member of Gun Culture 2.0......
seeker_two is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 11:31 AM   #39
Keg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2011
Location: Freestone County, Texas
Posts: 1,072
Quote:
It's shorter than a jungle carbine but ours a bit heavier. About a 16 1/2" or 17" barrel
I wanna find a good one to shorten....All I see are real junkers....
__________________
Hog Hunters never die........They just reload.........
Keg is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 05:44 PM   #40
pathdoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2013
Posts: 426
Newton24b, you've hit the nail on the head, I reckon.

But talk up the 10+1 capacity with rapid recharge and incredibly slick action (its rapidity of aimed fire in trained hands is legendary, almost 100 years after the fact), utterly abuse-proof, last-thing-to-stop-working-at-Passchendaele qualities of the beast and ask yourself what tactical rifle today will match that? Try smashing multiple Taliban, zombies or what-have-you around the head with your fine-quality sniper rifle and then see if it still shoots to same point of aim afterwards, LOL.

And while it's slower than some of its contemporaries, the .303 MkVII SAA Ball is no pipsqueak and it has a wicked little bite thanks to that back-weighted core. Up against a non-signatory to the Hague convention? No problem; the rifling pitch is optimised for round-nose softpoints up to 215gn weight, which are even more effective for CQB.

All it takes to look sexy is the right sales pitch. Everything's got its own little niche.
pathdoc is offline  
Old April 14, 2013, 02:24 PM   #41
Digger686
Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 59
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the the .303 British round or most of the rifles that have been chambered for it. But like the rifles, the .303 has been overtaken by others which are more suitable for modern conditions. It's longevity was not helped by the tapered, rimmed case.

Even here in the UK, where the .303 was once the most common full-bore calibre, it is almost exclusively used in Lee Enfield rifles of various vintages in classic matches. I am not aware of any production rifle currently chambered for it. That said, those old Lee Enfields still shoot reliably and accurately.

The .308 Win has now taken over as the standard round for basic target shooting, as this was the calibre of the SLR rifle (basically the FN FAL) which eventually replaced the Lee Enfield as the standard issue rifle for the British armed forces. While the military has since moved on to the NATO standard .223 round (in conjunction with the SA 80 rifle), it has not gained the same popularity for target shooting and is less suitable as a large game / deer round.

The .308 Win just opens up so many more options than the old .303 British.

My opinion, anyway!
Digger686 is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 01:18 AM   #42
Clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 2,973


Here is an old magazine cover with a beautiful pic of some 303s used to compete in long range with military ammo.

I have zillions of 303 brit cases.



This rifle says "30 gov", but I have been shooting 303 brass in it.
__________________
The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?
Clark is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 07:43 AM   #43
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,999
Regarding the Model 1895 Winchester...

The most common chambering in that rifle was 7.62x54R, for the Russian Government during World War I.

The second most common chambering was apparently .303 British.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 10:43 AM   #44
Nevmavrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Location: Sparks, Nevada, near Reno
Posts: 156
Why not a .303

The .303 was used in the "Smelly" and had a reputation for being powerful, accurate, and dependable...among MILITARY rifles. The Pattern 14 a little less so because there were fewer of them made and issued.
It's power was the same as the .30/40, which is the same cartridge with a longer neck. That is why Clark is able to shoot .303s in his "30 Gov't." It's chambered for .30/40, not .30/06 as some may think.
Military rifles from THAT era were long, heavy, and powerful, but there were restrictions on ownership of military firearms in the UK. Fewer people owned guns, and hunted, so there was less exposure to rifles by people that weren't actually brought up to use firearms. The US, on the other hand, had lots more areas to hunt, and a heritage for it, so that the Springer, and it's cartridge, were used more. The people did more to make better rifles, and a better cartridge. Rifles became lighter, and cartridges became smaller, so there was more controversy, and more changes.
I've carried a Model 17 Enfield (a version of the P14) since 1959, and I think it's a fine rifle, even if heavier that my other, commercial-sporter rifles.
I think mine is worth a LOT more that other M17s. Realizing that I wouldn't pay $1000 for a primo, matching-number, unmodified M17, I might for MY .300WinMag, Monte-Carlo stocked, cock-on-opening, scoped, Dayton-Traisitor triggered example.
Have fun,
Gene
Nevmavrick is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 12:09 PM   #45
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,999
"The Pattern 14 a little less so because there were fewer of them made and issued."

Actually, many P14s were so highly thought of that they were issued to snipers.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 01:13 PM   #46
Rumpelhardt
Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 31
In my opinion Lee-Enfield rifles both No.1 and No.4 are better deer rifles than most any other bolt action rifle when iron sights are used. The No.4 being the better of the two. They point better, cycle quicker and recoil is no greater than most. The .303 British round is plenty for any animal you are likely to find in North America.
As far as reloading I load for a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308, a Winchester M70 in 30-06 and one each No.1 mkIII* SMLE and a NO.4 mkI Enfield. I neck size only and I can tell you that case life is not significantly less for ether Enfield than ether the .308 or 30-06 though my No.4 is a bit harder on cases.
Rumpelhardt is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 04:05 PM   #47
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 3,057
Quote:
It's power was the same as the .30/40, which is the same cartridge with a longer neck. That is why Clark is able to shoot .303s in his "30 Gov't." It's chambered for .30/40, not .30/06 as some may think.
Although it might well be chambered for 30-40 Krag I don't think the rest of that statment is supported by the facts.

Similarly powerfull, yes, but......

30-40 is a .308" bore & the .303 Brit a .311" bore so you'd get big, possibly dangerous pressure increases.

Rim diameter of 30-40 is 0.545" but the .303 Brit is 0.540".

Web diameter for 30-40, immediately in front of the web is 0.457" but for the .303 Brit only 0.455".

30-40 diameter at the end of the case before the shoulder is 0.423" but .303 Brit is 0.401".

30-40 length to case neck is 1.830" but .303 Brit is 1.890"

because of the dimensional differences I can see no way you could force fit a .303 Brit into a 40-40 chamber.
__________________
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 09:27 PM   #48
krinko
Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2009
Posts: 67
Neither military nor commercial loads of .303 will fit the chambers of my 1898 Krag or my 1895 Winchester.
Both rifles show the .303 case sticking out 1/8" to 3/16" as I would expect, since the shoulder of the .303 is a bit further forward than that of the .30-40.
Brand new .30-40 rounds drop in and seat on the rim---like they should.

It would be a very bad idea to force fit a .303 in the Krag or the Winchester, assuming it could be done in the first place.
-----krinko
krinko is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 10:52 AM   #49
Nevmavrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Location: Sparks, Nevada, near Reno
Posts: 156
Ackley proved a long time ago that if a rifle was chambered for a cartridge, the bullet size may not be as important as would be thought. In his case, he put a .35 Whelen chamber on an '06(.308")
I doubt that Clark's M95 was chambered for the .303, but, if the picture is of his M95, it's QUITE possible that the actual measurements are loose enough to allow chambering. The pressure of the factory ammo is low enough that it PROBABLY would not cause a KB, but the pressure would be higher than normal, and not be enough to cause signs of reallty-high pressure.
I surely would NOT recommend firing any cartridge in a barrel marked for ANOTHER cartridge. MY question would be "Why was the .303 tried in the '.30 Gov't' chamber?" It is "no way" interpreted to be a BRITISH government .30 chambered rifle!
Mike Irwin is quite right...the P14 is probably the more accurate rifle, but my point is that generally fewer people NOW would know anything about the P14.
To people that research military rifles, opinions are based on better information.
The figures that wogpotter uses are based on the blueprint...the rifle, with it's tolerances, could easily be different. My question still remains "Why do you know that a .303 will fire in THAT M95?"
I don't know, and prolly never will know, if a .303 will fit in my Krag.
On my "bucket list" is an M95 Carbine in .30/40. It might even be a Browning, but it PROLLY won't chamber a .303, mostly because I won't try it.
I agree that the .303 will do anything the .308 will, and the .303 was made to compete with the .30/03 (later '06) favorably with the loadings of the day.
The #1 and the #4 better than most bolt actions, with iron sights? Military rifles used for deer??? Maybe. I've used too many commercial sporters( with iron) to believe THAT! Military guns are generally quite heavy, and M70s, M110s, M721-722s and M77s in some models work just fine with iron sights.
Have fun,
Gene
Nevmavrick is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 10:56 AM   #50
ChrisTx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Posts: 147
.303 Enfields are generally too awesome for most people to consider.
ChrisTx is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12779 seconds with 7 queries