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Old September 29, 2002, 01:46 PM   #1
Nanaimo Barr
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Location: North Idaho
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.303 hunting load

my wife has decided it's time to go out and stalk and hunt the wild Bambi, the only big caliber we have on hand is a 1942 .303 lee enfield.

since I roll my own, does anyone have recomendations for a load for deer hunting with this caliber?

(dito for a 8mm Mauser hunting round)

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Old September 29, 2002, 09:20 PM   #2
Johnny Guest
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Hi, NB - - -

I've had very good results with - - -
Sierra 180 gr. PSP Pro Hunter bullet seated to 3.065" overall
43.0 gr. IMR 4320 powder
Remington 9-1/2 primer
New Remington brass. Trimmed to 2.212"
Velocity from my No. 4 MK 1 25" bbl 2420 fps.
This duplicates trajectory of the MK 7 military ball. It shoot to the military sight settings (as nearly as I can hold) up to 300 yards..

This load is within max in Lyman Reloading Handbook, 45th Edition, and The Sierra Rifle Reloading Manual, 4th edition. It is .5 (one-half) grain above max per Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, fourth edition (for their the 174 gr. bullet.) It is 1.0 (one) grain above max shown for the 180 bullet in Speer Reloading Manual Number 12.

No signs of excessive pressure. I have shot a couple of two-inch groups with it, and my elder son does a little better. Haven't chronographed this load in my 17-inch No. 5 carbine, but it also shoots well in it, up to 200 yards.

Some manuals indicate that IMR 3031 is a somewhat better powder than 4320, but the latter does well for us.

Hope your hunt goes well.

LATER EDIT: Sorry--Forgot to add the standard caution in dealing with .303 Brit fired in the SMLE series - - -
The shoulder area of the chamber in (I guess) all of these rifles is intentionally cut oversize, to allow for mud and grit encountered in battle field conditions. This means that the shoulder will expand WELL beyond specs - - -You can easily see it with naked eye, without sizing.

The general rule of thumb for brass fired in these rifles is to reload it only once with full power loads, if it has been full length resized. I bought a Redding neck size die, but this may limit me to using that brass only in the rifle in which it was originally fired. Don't know--I haven't worked with it enough to tell. Anyhow, the constant FL resizing will undoubtedly cause problems if precautions are not taken. I am told that you can get same results by simply backing out the FL sizing die until it does not touch the shoulder, and this creats enough neck tension to hold the bullet. I don't know--Haven't tried it myownself.

Just thought I'd throw that in.

ALSO - - -Some--Most???-- Seiller & Bellot (sp?) brass seems to have rather shallow primer pockets. I have successfully reloaded it, but it makes me nervous. I'd personally pick either new or once fired WIN or R-P brass.

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Last edited by Johnny Guest; September 30, 2002 at 09:37 AM.
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Old September 30, 2002, 01:43 PM   #3
Nanaimo Barr
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MUCH appreciate that Johnny.. I was just getting ready to reaload some of them for the 3rd time. gonna have to get some more brass.. thank you bgi time for the heads up!
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