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Old 10-06-2003, 07:37 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Natal, South Africa
Posts: 120
.303 British

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How many out there use this calibre
Apparently it is among the top twn in USA, according to sales of reloading kit.

It is extremely popular here in South Africa, probably mainly because there are so many ex military BSA rifles which can be picked up dead cheap.

I have hunted with one for several years, using it on Bushbuck, Duiker, Impala and Bushpig. Animals seem just as dead as those shot with more exotic calibres.

According to our local powder manafacturer, the .303 is only about 100 fps slower than the .308 Win, which is also very popular here (probably because it used to be the local military calibre and cheap cartridges were "obtainable").

My .303 is a sporterised BSA, which still sports the original open sights. I am about to have a scope mounted, which will push the range out a bit. Currently I try to limit range to about 150m.

Am also considering getting into loading cast bullets for this rifle. Will mean more shooting, which has got to be good.

Let's here from some other .303 users out there.
P.s. Is any company in the world currently marketing a rifle in this calibre, or are all the users still using good old WW2 (and even earlier) models?
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,277
i still have a P-14 Enfield that I keep thinking I will do something with someday. My Dad, myself and two brothers have shot quite a few deer with it.
I had a No. 1 MKIII for awhile. I wanted to rebarrel it to .256 Manlicher. I want a light MKIII like the ones shown in the back of Greeners book: The Gun and it Development. With a five round magazine this would be a nice light rifle. I would remove all of the excess metal including the charge rails.
I know of several No. 4's that are camp rifles, they look rough but shoot well.
We used to be able to buy surplus Greek ammo pretty cheap here, but that has dried up. Most all of the .303's I have seen shoot the Lyman 311291 bullet pretty well. The problem is you can buy a pretty nice rifle for the labor cost on sportorizing a military rifle. Unless you just want to do the work yourself you really cannot afford the surplus guns anymore.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Staunton, VA
Posts: 19
I have 2 but don't shoot cast in them. I have loaded 150s up to 2700 fps. Don't do that now.


"Duty is rent you pay for life."
"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should not want to do less."
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Old 10-19-2003, 03:57 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ft. Bliss, TX
Posts: 31
I shoot the 303 quite a bit and find it a very enjoyable to shoot and play with. I have taken 2 Texas whitetails while stationed at Ft Hood. I would love to own a Martini in that caliber.
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bay Canada
Posts: 1,339
I had a Mark4 -1 that was redone where the wood was removed, and the hand guard was done away with.
I used it for years as a foul weather gun. Then I started reloading and played with the 303. Found that rolling your own could tighten the groups to about an ich @ 100yrs from 2 to three inches with factory rounds. I used the Lee Collet dies.
Once I got the rifle to group , I was offered cash for it and I sold it.
I regret it now as the 303 does well in the bush.
Some of these rifles have excellent bores, if ,you want to spend some time going through them.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:06 PM
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Location: Saskatchewan
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Hi, Rodders:
Likely every other farmer had a Lee-Enfield around here when I was growing up. I don't shoot mine much now, in fact today was the first time this year. Couldn't let it get lonely. I also have a Martini, but unfortunately the old corrosive primers and cordite have removed most of the rifling.

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Old 10-20-2003, 03:15 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Posts: 704
Sporterized Enfield

Gibbs Rifle Co. sells sporterized British Enfields for $250-$375. They are available in .303 British. .308 Winchester and 45-70 Government.


Garand Collectors Assoc.
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SASS #36461
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Old 10-20-2003, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jefferson Parish (via N.O.)
Posts: 9,035
This is going to sound "off" to most of you, but the Hornady 174gr. RN is a good example of a "dumb" bullet. Doesn't perfoem tricks...can't shed the foreward end and keep the rear end ....doesn't use a plastic tip or other point protector...can't do what many advertizements calim their bullets can do...just plain"dumb", all it can do is penetrate and expand along the way.

Without a scope, really have little bussiness shooting things real far away, and within 200yards the difference in trajectory between the RN and Spitzer isn't enough to get all excited about. If I were to scope the rifle, may go to the pointed high BC bujllets...but as I just won't pull an open sight trigger past 200 yards (and usually it's 200 feet), will be sticking to the simple "dumb" bullet.

Some of the old writters...Keith as an example...had little good to say about the .308 or even the .30-06 in Keith's case...but they seemed to like the .30-40Krag and .303 Brit. just fine. OF course, back then, hunters were INFANTRY...they closed with the game and shot at close range....most hunters today see themselves as SNIPERS...they sit still and pot the critters as much distance as they can.

Have returned to being infantry...for two years now, haven't shot a critter (besides varmints) with a scoped rifle, and I won't this year either (except for small game....have this old Single Shot rebuilt in .22LR and found a good old Lyman 438 scope).

Last edited by ribbonstone; 10-20-2003 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bay Canada
Posts: 1,339
Originally Posted by Jack Monteith
Hi, Rodders:
Likely every other farmer had a Lee-Enfield around here when I was growing up. I don't shoot mine much now, in fact today was the first time this year. Couldn't let it get lonely. I also have a Martini, but unfortunately the old corrosive primers and cordite have removed most of the rifling.


I think Sears were selling them for 16 and change in the last fifties.I was a boy then so, you all know I have been around and done a few laps.
I was loadind 180RN imperial Bullets over WC755 powder with Lee Collet Dies. Worked real good.
A lot of moose in these parts fell in front of the 303 , and I see many still being used . The 1916/1917 Mark one/ the Mark three , and the Mark four are the common.

Some of the 303 Hard points were very corrosive and the barrel needed to be washed out with soap& water after firing these rounds or the rifling would be washed out almost over night.
One of the lads at the shooting club has a Martini rebarreled to 6.5/303 which is a real tack driver.
WWW.Marstar.ca has parts for the rifle plus 45 Cal barrels .
45/70or 45 / something single shot? Awesome

Personly I would check out some of the wild cats based on the 303B

I liked the Mark four with the flip peep site made in England. The one I had was made in '42 and had the good rifling , not the two grove.
I think I would buy another if I ever come across a good one.

You certainly can not say your under guned in the bush with the 303 B.

Last edited by Harry Snippe; 10-20-2003 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:41 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NE Victoria, Australia
Posts: 61
Here in Aus they were used everywhere. They are still sitting in most farm cupboards and gunsafes but tend to get used a lot less these days. A few decades ago they were used by almost ever hunter in Australia on all game above rabbits. The only other rifles that were common were the older lever actions, 22lrs and shotguns. The 303s were used by the water buffalo and crocodile shooters in the Northern Territory until buff numbers dropped and crocs were protected. There was a whole series of wildcats based on the 303 from shortened 22 versions up to 375. I have used one on feral pigs using miltary ammo with the tips ground off and rounded so that they feed. We were also using a 308 with the same style of modified ammo. There was no noticable difference between pigs hit with either rifle, they all went down extremely dead. On small to medium pigs they would be ripped open with huge gaping holes as exit wounds. A 303 with a different stock would be good though, because I find the SMLE stock quite uncomfortable.
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