View Full Version : .303 Brit, take care of deer sized game?

Molon Labe!
August 17, 2001, 06:33 PM
I just got a Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1 sporterized .303 british, is it good for in the brush for pigs up to deer sized game? I am thinking of getting a scopemount for it and getting a low powered scope. Will the Fmj take care of pig if you get it in the shoulder or behind the shoulder at 40-150yards?

Al Thompson
August 17, 2001, 06:42 PM
FWIW, the cartridge with soft points is a very proven killer. The rifle, with some prep of it's haircovered computer/missle guidence system, will work too.

The trigger usually needs some fine tuning for my tastes (light and crisp) and you need to be able to keep five shots consistantly in a 6 inch paper plate at your max range. From a real position, not a bench. If you can only do this at 50 yards, 50 yards is your maximum engagement range.

A scope certainly helps you place your shots better at longer ranges. Get a low powered high quality one - the new Weavers seem to work very well and are my first choice. Four power works just fine to 300 yards or so.

Any good soft point will work. FMJ has a horrible habit of punching through and condemming an animal to a slow miserable death. No animal medics on the hunting field.

The important part is putting in the range time to get good with the system.


August 17, 2001, 07:58 PM
The .303 is an adequate and proven big game caliber. It has been used all over the world to take game up to and including man eaters. Many a Canadian moose has fallen to a .303. The .303 is a .30-06 class cartridge. The standard military load is something like a 173 grain bullet at 2700 fps. Please do not use military full patch ammo for hunting. There are plenty of hunting loads out there. The major American ammo manufacturers load the .303; Remington, Winchester, PMC....... You can even get the Hornady Light Magnum in .303. I think you have a dandy hunting rifle there that doesn't take a back seat to anything. Beware when using any military surplus ammo. Most of it is corrosive. Immediately clean the gun after firing, some say to use hot water and soap. Corrosive ammo will ruin your bore if you don't clean it afterwards.

Molon Labe!
August 17, 2001, 09:17 PM
Does Break Free take care of corrosion? It says it does, but just checking here. My Yugo M48 mauser will probably be my pig gun, then Enfield for Deer and up. Think it will take care of wild dogs using Remington soft point Core lokt, hehe. My Savage 110 long action in .270win is for longer range hunts. The enfield is very light wieght, the shop i got it at had a few more enfileds, most were Mk2's and 3's.

August 17, 2001, 09:37 PM
I don't know about Break Free. The purists will tell you that you need to use soap and water. The Brits actually had funnels that fit into the action of an Enfield to run water through the barrel. When I shoot corrosive ammo, I spray a mixture of Windex, Ammonia, and Water down the barrel at the range. I then run a couple patches soaked with the same mixture down the bore, then clean normally at home. I don't shoot much corrosive ammo except in the 8mm Mauser. I reload for the .303, and the 7.62x54R so I know what is in the case (non corrosive). I sometimes shoot Wolf factory ammo, and S&B ammo. The S&B ammo is Boxer primed and can be reloaded. Both Wolf and S&B are non corrosive.
I see that you are from Kalifornia. I have been wanting to boar hunt there for years. What can you tell me about it. Feel free to E-Mail me.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2001, 11:50 PM
444, about 50 years back I started out with a bunch of WW II surplus '06 stuff. My uncle showed me a ltttle trick for cleaning up after shooting corrosive ammo.

Just stick the rifle muzzle-down into a coffee can with hot, soapy water. From the breech end, run a tight patch up and down the barrel a few times. Follow with hot, clean water.

Nowadays, WD 40 is superlative to make water go away. After using it, follow up with a dry patch and then a patch sprayed lightly with any good gun oil...


August 18, 2001, 07:19 AM
Art, that is basically the way I clean my muzzle loaders. If you make the water hot enough, it goes away on it's own. Just make sure you are holding the barrelled action with a rag. This is also a good way to get some of the cosmoline, grease, ???? off these mil surp rifles when they are new. But soak them down with Simple Green or something first. That sounds like it would be the way to go for corrosive ammo also. I am fairly new to the Mil Surp game, and so far I haven't had any problems with rust or corrosion, but like I said, I don't shoot a whole lot of corrosive ammo. I do shoot my Mil Surps several times a week, this is the most fun I have had in years. I love to watch the History Channel and say, "I have one of those".

August 18, 2001, 07:41 AM
My ugly-as-a-mud-fence Lee Enfield is my backup rifle for moose hunting, should something go wrong with the '06.
It will do the job just fine on any North American game, within 200 yds, short of browns, polar bear or buffalo.

August 20, 2001, 10:54 AM
Have a friend who used to be a game warrden in Angola before the bad things happened there. He used to carry a service rifle in .303. He has accounted for many a Lion more than a few Buffalo and several Elephants. All of these were killed with the .303 service rifle. I have never thought to ask about what kind of bullet he used but knowing this guy it was what ever they issued him.

August 20, 2001, 11:19 AM
From the Allient Powder web page.

.308 Win. • Sierra 150 Spitz
2880 fps

.303 British • Speer 150 Spitz
2755 fps

8mm Mauser • Speer 150 Spitz
2560 fps

.30-06 Springfield • Hornady 150 Sp. Pt
3005 fps
.308 Win. • Speer 180 Spitz Fed.
2645 fps

.303 British • Speer 180 RN
2515 fps

8mm Mauser • Speer 170 Spitz
2400 fps

.30-06 • Speer 180 Spitz
2,800 fps


August 20, 2001, 11:40 PM
Just go here: 303 British.com (http://www3.sympatico.ca/shooters/303Page.htm) More info about the Enfield and .303 British round than you want to know!

August 25, 2001, 05:40 AM
Powerwise the 303 is in the same class as the 30-40 krag and with 180 or lighter bullets it is same as the 300 Savage.

The newer loads use 150 or 180 grain bullets but the older loads used 215 grain. If you handload woodleigh still offers 215 SP for the 303, the trajectory of the heavier bullet isn't as flat as the lighter ones but the lower velocity and higher SD give very reliable penetration [say for bear or moose].

FYI the 303 can also be handloaded with the 123-125 grain bullets for the 7.62x39 [they are both .311"]. With softpoints loaded to around 2900 these bullets will act like varmint bullets since they are designed for the 2400-2500 fps of the 7.62x39. So a SKS or Ak-47 can makes an interesting companion rifle for a 303 if you handload.

August 25, 2001, 05:45 AM
Gizmo99: Can you give any advice about fixing the triggers on SMLE? Actual tips or smiths you know that have done a good job?

Reason I went with my M38 Swede instead of an enfield was because of the trigger and related accuracy concerns. I have friends that own SMLE but even from the bench the trigger + lock time + sights made shooting well a real challenge. While the Swede shoots better than I can.

Al Thompson
August 26, 2001, 07:33 AM
Glamdring, a friend has a #4 with a decent trigger, so I know it can be done. I am not aware of any smith that does them off the top of my head.

I like the Enfields too, but my next project rifle is a Vz 24 for exactly the same reasons you mentioned.


Cain R
August 26, 2001, 11:36 AM
If you handload try finding some 215 gr .311's from Woodliegh. They are superb! Far better than the 180's.

Johnny Guest
August 27, 2001, 10:40 AM
The product is a good one for preventing corrosion caused by moisture and fingerprint salts. It will NOT remove the residue left by corrosive primers--pracically all surplus .303 ammo is so primed. The above tips for use of water are all good. The water dissolves the salts deposited in the bore. Soap washes out much of the fouling as well. The hot water heats up the metal causing rapid evaporation of the water droplets left on the metal.

In certain climates, even a few hours is enough for serious corrosion to start in a rifle bore in which corrosive ammo has been fired. I shoot a fair amount of milsurp .303 and usually do primary cleaning right at the range. First, patches soppy wet with water. Then dry patches to take out the water. Then either a proper cleaning with brush and solvent, or, at least an oily patch to provide some protection for the metal until a regular cleaning may be done.