I've just started casting for my 303 Enfield. My mould is the standard Lyman 314299. I know I need to slug the bore and throat, but is there anything else I should be on the lookout for? Does anyone have any favorite loads they'd like to share??
You hit on the key variable in making those SMLE's shoot. Bullet fit is the culprit in most cast bullet load failures.
Groove diameter of these guns will vary from .310" on the tight side to over .316" on the large end. Granted these are extremes, but they are none-the-less dimensions we have encountered in these guns in the past. Too, the throat diameters of these guns are huge as a general rule. By all means slug the gun first, before acquiring sizing dies for your bullets.
Once you determine the dimensions of that .303, let us know and we'll see if we can help with loading info!
Marshall- This is very interesting. the throat appears to be .314. The bore measures .312. I think these measurements may be invalid though. I was out of pure lead slugs, so I used some Hornady .358 LSWCs to slug with. Immediately after slugging, the throat was .315 and the bore .313. After 1/2 hour, I measured again and got the above numbers. I suspect the antimony in the Hornady swaged bullets gave the slug some "memory". I would have just waited until I could cast some pure lead slugs, but thought this might make for some good discussion on the board.
your numbers don't seem to be that far off. Pretty much the norm for these guns. I would suggest sizing your bullets to .313-.3135" for this particular rifle.
Oh, by-the-way, a number ten oval egg sinker is the cat's meow for slugging your rifle, both bore and throat... they are pure lead, and have the longitudinal hole running the length of the sinker, hence no residual memory.
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