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Old April 16, 2013, 12:30 PM   #51
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I am shooting 303 brass, not ammo.
The rim dia, rim thickness, base dia, and length or 303 Brit and 30/40 Krag are close enough.

I have a number of 303 Enfield No 4 rifles.
I have been soldering shims on the bolt faces to get the headspace to match rim thickness.
I am not the only one who figured that out and started doing that.
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Old April 16, 2013, 04:00 PM   #52
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Clark- Now THAT makes sense. The cases are cheaper and easier to get, especially if you use surplus. All that happens is the cases are some shorter.
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Old April 17, 2013, 11:06 AM   #53
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My first deer rifle was my Dad's #4 Enfield. That being said, once I got hooked and started hunting more I switched to a 30-06. Every Walmart has 30-06. .303 can be hard to come by.

Both rounds are fine for all hunting in Eastern Hardwoods.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:17 AM   #54
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IMNEO (In My Non-Expert Opinion) there's nothing wrong with the 303 British except the slightly odd bore size makes bullets for reloading a bit of a bother. The performance of the cartridge isn't in question, just its ease of maintenance.

I like my 303 just fine. But then the 303 Savage uses the .308" bullet and not the .312" the British round uses.

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Old April 20, 2013, 10:11 AM   #55
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Bullet selection is in deed limited for the .303 British but I haven't found them particularly hard to find. Hornady and Sierra both make very good bullets for it and they are readily available .The round is no harder to load than any other rifle cartridge. I guess I don't understand the "ease of maintenance" comment.
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Old April 20, 2013, 02:29 PM   #56
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I do not see any good reason to use a .303. Other common cartridges do as well or better with a wider availability of ammo here in the US.
So I would wonder, "Why a .303?
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Old April 20, 2013, 03:35 PM   #57
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because the .303 has ballistics very similar to the 7.62x54R, 8mm mauser and .308 (and 30-06) and there are better choices that are more popular in the US.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:26 PM   #58
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The excessively large chambers of the SMLE Lee Enfield .303 No. 1 Mk. III or No. 4 rifle make reloading for the .303 a little more technically difficulty (neck sizing is a necessary or case life will be very short due to significant case expansion upon firing a factory round) compared to reloading for other rifle cartridges.

Really it comes down to a lack of good inexpensive ammunition choices for the .303 vs the abundance of very ugly but economical modern hunting rifles in 30'06.

When you can buy a Savage Axis or Ruger American rifle and achieve MOA to 1.5 MOA accuracy with factory ammunition for less than $400, why search for a beatup WWII relic or sporterized Enfield that will probably only get groups approaching 3 MOA on a good day (with handloads). For a collector or fan of WWII, the Enfield will always be treasured but as a practical hunting or plinking rifle, there are much better and cheaper choices available in the US.

Last edited by Flakbait; April 23, 2013 at 04:18 AM.
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Old April 23, 2013, 01:28 PM   #59
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Good point. If you already have a rifle chambered in .303 British, of course you want to keep the ammo supply flowing and as a result you'd encourage others to buy rifles that use this cartridge. But the fact remains for folks looking to buy a rifle, there's little reason to seek out anything in .303 British, since there are so many alternatives which do the same thing, and are not encumbered by dwindling (if not thoroughly depleted) stocks of surplus ammo and a shrinking decision pool of newly manufactured ammo and ammo components.

Love your SMLE - but don't be surprised if the ammo gods abandon you.
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