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Should I ream the Ruger No. 1 out to .303 Epps, or leave it as it is?

  • Yeah, go for it. Use the .303 Epps.

    Votes: 5 35.7%
  • No, leave it as it is. .303 British would be better.

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • Why don't you get a REAL rifle. :P

    Votes: 1 7.1%

.303 British vs .303 Epps

17918 Views 44 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  muddly
I am really GASing for that Ruger No. 1, but I don't know if I want to keep it .303 British or ream it out for .303 Epps. (Basically, the .303 Epps is the "Ackley Improved" version. I believe Ackley even consulted on the design.)

Note: I am NOT talking about any Lee-Enfield or P-14 rifles. JUST the Ruger No. 1.

British is more classy, but Epps has better case life and more velocity (more accuracy?). It might be a special run. Would the change lower the guns value?

What do you think?
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Personally, I'd leave it .303 British. Of course, I grew up on one of those, so I'm completely biased :p
I would leave it alone too. I sure want one of these as I grew up shooting on a .303 British that I still have and know it would be great owning one of these in a Ruger No. 1.
There is no problem with case life with the .303 British if you are not using it in a Lee Enfield. If it is in a action such as the P14 (often still a problem on first firing due to possible long chamber) or a custom reamed rifle such as a No. 1, there is no issue with case stretching and separation.
Sure, that's fair... the .303 British is such an awesome, and I think, often overlooked round to begin with. I think they get a bad reputation from so many shot out rifles floating around. I can't even imagine how many times I heard people put the .303 down when I was carrying it in my younger days. Everybody thought they were no good, inaccurate, lacking power, etc... mine did happen to be a terrible shooter, but it was also nearing being unsafe to shoot due to headspacing issues, and a barrel with no rifling for about 4 inches up from the chamber.

Still though, get a .303 in a new, tight rifle, and (at least up here in Canada) you have a near-.308 that costs only a few dimes to squeeze the trigger on.

I'm impressed that you're even looking at a .303 to begin with!
I'm impressed that you're even looking at a .303 to begin with!
Yeah, a while ago I was wondering if Wholesale Sports would be willing to do a special run, but I couldn't think of a great "Canadian" caliber to use. Using the .303 was the brain child of a man from another forum, and I thought it was an AWESOME idea!

I don't care if Ruger goes for it or not, I'll get a smith to build one if I have to (I just need to decide on the British/Epps thing first)!
I'm sure either one will be plenty fun to play with! Even so, I don't envy you for the decision you have to make!
If you check out Epps web site they have some 303 Epps dies and yet maybe some brass yet on hand . There was a trade in rifle some time back , so don't wait too long . get it while the price is right .
Hey after you get the run of .303s, then bug Ruger to make some in .280 Ross..... ;)
If you can shoot a standard .303 in the rifle and it
forms the case to the EPPS, why not? You wouldn't
loose anything except possibly some collector value.

Heh, Mike, .280 Ross was brought up when the rifle was being discussed. They decided on .303 since it's easier to find.

Zeke, that's what I was thinking, but what would be the accuracy of a British out of an Epps chamber? Minute of deer?

Harry, are you talking about the site? I've been there. Good site.
Oh, you should manage minute of deer quite easily, I would think! I'm not overly familiar with the .303 EPPS, but from what I gather, it simply has less body taper and a higher, more pronounced shoulder? It also seems like the .303 EPPS mirrors the .308 quite closely in performance?

Hah...I don't know...try out the .303 British for a year, and if you like it, leave it...if not, ream it? Also, you mentioned case life, leading me to believe you will be concerned about reloading...if that's the case, then why not try your luck fireforming the cases in your new EPPS chamber, while hitting some of those gopher towns you Saskatchewanites are so fond of?
If you reload and can get the dies - Seem its a 6 of one or half dozen of another decision!

Also seems marsms makes a good point:
Try the 303 as is - If you don't like it - Ream it.
yeah, i'd shoot it stock for a while and see what you think... if it's a #1B with a 26" bbl. you ought to get real good velocity out of it with the std chamber. if you like it then you can leave it alone, if not ream it...
Hah...I go to thinking about this thread, and reminiscing with myself about the good old days...pulled out my .303, cleaned it up nice, gave it a good wipe down...I think I'm going to take it out for a couple of pokes this morning...maybe go coyote hunting.

Anyway, when I was cleaning my rifle up there, I was thinking...Winchester should have come out with a .303 WSM :p
The Epps site I refer to is Ellwood Epps on Hwy 11 ( Orillia) North of Toronto .They have their own Web site Scroll down into "this and that "
There are different levels of loads for the 303 Epps. I would not bother below the Mark four level , and would do it to a P14 if ever I found a gun with a good barrel.
The 303 British blown out to the improved 303 Epps then gets you into the '06 powder
Why mess with a good thing, stick with the original .303 British loads; preferably at Dominion velocities. The problem is finding decent .303 British bullets. Does anyone have a horde of 215gr KKSP's? Or maybe 180gr Saber Tips?

Too bad you can't get the RSI stock and an aperture sight on the rear mount base rather than the island rear sight. That with a 20-22" barrel would be pretty sweet for the bush.
Haha! I actually have three boxes of those very same Dominion 215 grain KKSPs...I think they're still cordite though? Bought 'em at good ol' UFA farm supply, a bunch of years back...never shot even one of them though!

With the original boxes in mint condition, you might be surprised how much that ammo is worth now.
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