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Old October 22, 2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Join Date: October 22, 2006
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The Perfect 303 British Load???

I have been loading for a few years now. My Dad figures that I should put some awesome 303 together for him. Has anyone out there got a favorite load that you want to share? Anything I should be aware of with loading once fired factory brass.
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Old October 23, 2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Neck size your brass only. Don't full length size it. I'm assuming you're shooting an Enfield? My #1mk3 has a largish barrel. Lead cast bullets up around 315 shoot WAY better than anything I can buy in jacketed, because the jacketed rounds are simply too small. I use a Lee 90385 155 grain gas-checked bullet sized to 315, seated to 3.000. 35-40 grains of H4895 will give me 2.5" groups at 100 yards. Jacketed bullets give me 8" groups at 100 Yards, due to the bullet size.
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Old October 24, 2006, 10:52 AM   #3
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I think that the 303 Brit is a great cartridge.
I think the Enfield is a great battle rifle.
But, I think the Enfield makes a lousy sporter for reloading.

That is because the tolerances on the cartridge and chamber are so loose, and the bolt lug at the rear allows the hollow bolt body to compress so far, the brass will stretch and have short brass life with any loads short of anemic.

So perfect for performance, or perfect for brass life?
For perforance, shoot 180 gr jacketed bullets at 49,000 psi with IMR4895 powder
For brass life, shoot 180 gr cast bullets at 25,000 psi with IMR4895 powder.
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Old October 24, 2006, 12:09 PM   #4
Smokey Joe
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.303 Br loading

Ry-guy--Agree best results are gotten with neck sizing, but as noted, the Enfields are notorious for stretching cases. Therefore, after neck-sizing but before proceeding further with the reloading, check to be sure the cases will chamber in the rifle in question. If cases chamber OK, then proceed. But if they don't chamber easily, you need to FL resize the cases before proceeding.

And so what if the Enfields are hard on cases?? You'll still get 2 or more uses out of each case, rather than only one use if you do not handload!

One helpful thing: to aid in headspacing each rifle, the Enfield bolt head unscrews, and there were--I believe--4 different length bolt heads that were made for them. If yr rifle is really stretching cases, try the next longer bolt head. I'd look to Numrich Arms to have the parts.

Edited to add: Years and years ago I hunted with a couple of brothers who both had Enfields, and both reloaded using a simple Lee Loader. They had very little problem with cases stretching excessively--Must have had the correct bolt head attached.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe

Last edited by Smokey Joe; October 24, 2006 at 11:50 PM.
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Old October 24, 2006, 04:51 PM   #5
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I gave up reloading for my 303. the reloads shot ok but even with neck sizing brass they only lasted 2 times to be on the safe side. I haven't shot it quite a while so I'm not even sure what factory ammo I do have.
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Old November 5, 2006, 02:45 AM   #6
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I too are reloading 303

I'm glad I came across this site because I have been doing some reloading for my 303 and so far I can't get the thing to shoot well even though my dad told me it was very accurate. The only bullets I have tried are 150 g. and I have been using H 3031 powder. The bullets I have been using are 312 cal. Maybe I should slug the bore to see if it is a larger size needed. So far I havn't found any stretching in the brass but if I do the Rangers use our range at the Rod and Gun and dump lots of brass in the garbage. As I go along I hope to run across more good hints for this old 303.
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Old January 20, 2007, 01:05 PM   #7
Join Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Terrace, B.C. Canada
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Are you from Terrace? Guys on Cast bullet Forum report getting up to 30 reloads out of their .303 brass by neck sizing only. Have a very good Longbranch #4 Mke 1 made in 1950 which I am beginning to load for and will shoot cast either Lee or more likely the Lyman 314299 boolit. INtend to keep velocity to around 1700 fps.

Take Care

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