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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just acquired an old sporterized .303 and when cleaning the crude from the bore I was puzzled by the rifling. It has just two very narrow grooves, I would say the bore is about 90% land and 10% groove, not at all like a two groove Springfield barrel. Just off the top of my head I would think that would really distort the bullet and run up pressures in a rifle not noted for great strength. Anyone have direct experience with such a barrel?:confused:
 

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Someplace on that rifle there will be a stamped 'S'. Most of the ones I've seen also have a US property stamp on the left side of the receiver. Savage made a bunch of them for the British, at least most of them used 2-groove barrels.

Before we entered WWII had a "lead-lease" deal with the British, where we "loaned" them military equipment, Savage got the contract to make those rifles. Was just a way around seeming to take sides directly...was thin attempt at deniability, even full sized ships were "loaned".

Were still some Savages made after we entered the war (but production soon shifted to US arms), but no need for the US property stamp. Spare barrels wee alos made, and could have been used as replacements over the years.

Clean and in good shape, the 2-groove barrels shoot just as well as others... and the Savage made barrels vary less in diameter than the Bristish's war production barrels do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot for that info! This rifle is a real mystery to me. It was sporterized so as to take a one piece stock. To do that they cut off the buttstock socket where most info is generally stamped. They welded an extended tang onto the receiver and on to the trigger guard and added a rear guard screw. All of the metal work is very good professional quality, nicely polished and blued. Unfortunately the stock is the most crude, amateurish hack job I've ever seen and subsequently further damaged. I don't feel much like starting over with an un-inletted blank, but that is the only way to make it right. It weighs just 6 1/2 pounds, with 22" barrel and the mag is cut down to seven shot, why seven and not five I don't know.
 

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Remove the wood from the rifle, clean, strip, and slightly sand the stock. Fix any cracks, fill the gouges, deep scares, etc with epoxy putty. Sand the high points down. Spray paint it with black truck bed liner (sold in spray cans).

Cheap, but less ugly, and 1/2 the people who see it will ask you where you got the synthetic stock.
 

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as ribbonstone said,you have a savage,stevens 303.the 2 groove was made to cut production time down when cutting the rifling. i own two and they both shoot well.were origionally made by stevens in canada in the nos 4 configuration i believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually the exterior of the stock looks pretty good except for the missing piece of wood along the left side of the tang and extending around the rear of the tang. I could probably do an OK patch job on that, but it is the inletting that really sucks. They first inlet the floor plate !/2" too far forward, moved it back and just threw some sort of filler in the open front, just half hearted not even filling the entire hole. They also inlet for the magazine box 1/2" too far to the rear and just left that open, although the floorplate covers most of it. They glass bedded the whole barrel channel and the forward half of the receiver and that was not too badly done. But then some idiot decided to glass it again and most of the second layer was stuck to the metal, not to the old glass. And that second bedding job is probably what caused the wood to split since they bedded the tang tight to the wood so that it was taking the full force of recoil. That is probably an understandable amateur mistake but one with serious consequences. I'd like to post photos but can't get anything down to the 100KB limit imposed by this site.:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
as ribbonstone said,you have a savage,stevens 303.the 2 groove was made to cut production time down when cutting the rifling. i own two and they both shoot well.were origionally made by stevens in canada in the nos 4 configuration i believe.
That's interesting because Frank Dehaus in his book "Bolt Action Rifles" claims the Savage 303 had a 6 groove barrel. I removed the Weaver side mount base on the left side and under it I found what looks like 5-v2-4 MSI*. The only other remaining mark looks like a trident over BNF on top of the receiver ring.
It's a shame someone put a lot of money into the metal work, the polish and blue are really fine quality, but then put such a piece of crap stock on it.
 

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Never found the 2 groove to be too uncommon, but am sure Savage used various types of rifling.

Hunted my last 2-groove .303 specifically as a cast bullet shooter, which it did quite well... the land-to-lad diameter is a bit tighter, and a nicer fit for many of the mold's bore riding section. If i were to hunt up another iron-sight cast bullet military shooter, would probably hunt up another 2-groove .303.
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Without the butt socket, there isn't any real recoil lug, so keeping the metal in the wood isn't going to be all that easy.

Seems there was this short time period where everyone and their momma wanted to put those old Brit rifles in one-piece stocks. Can be done, but it's more work than it looks like.

Haven't aclue why the mag. was cut to 7 rounds... may not be up on 50 year old state laws, and there may have been some place or other that required that limit for hunting. 5-rounds was a more common limit. May be as simple as the owner just screwed up his measurements and ended up with a 7-shot, or that the mag. was damaged in some way and all he could salvage was the 7-round stump.
 

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savage

That's interesting because Frank Dehaus in his book "Bolt Action Rifles" claims the Savage 303 had a 6 groove barrel. I removed the Weaver side mount base on the left side and under it I found what looks like 5-v2-4 MSI*. The only other remaining mark looks like a trident over BNF on top of the receiver ring.
It's a shame someone put a lot of money into the metal work, the polish and blue are really fine quality, but then put such a piece of crap stock on it.
you are correct. savage only changed to 2 groove when demand out stripped supply.as you allready khow all 303 guns were shopped out to remmington ,eddystone etc just to try and keep up supply. never shot lead in a two groove and am wondering if they would slip in the rifling as velocity increased, due to insufficent land grip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep, Savage it is, what I was reading as a "5" is actually an "S", "v2" is actually "No" and "MSI" is actually "mk1". Thanks for the help guys!
 

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[QUOTE. never shot lead in a two groove and am wondering if they would slip in the rifling as velocity increased, due to insufficent land grip.[/QUOTE]


Those two grooves were deeper. Stripping not a problem. Roughness can be, esp. when production speeded up from during war production.

Have owned several .303's, and the best chamber by far was on the Savage. British war production .303's are know for their sloppy chambers. Have been lots of posts about it, mistaking the blown forward shoulders for a headspace problem. It's rimmed case, so the rim is the headspacer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I fired a few yesterday with privi FMJ ammo. The shoulder didn't move forward any noticeable amount but did take on a sharper angle, sort of like a "semi-improved .303".:) Accuracy was nothing to brag about but there could be a lot of reasons for that, poor bedding and a crappy scope being at the top of the list. I'm going to do some work on it today and maybe try a few handloads.
 

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A friend of mine works on guns a little and a guy brought an old two groove Lee-Enfield sporter in and wanted it drilled and tapped for a scope mount. My friend obliged and when he was leaving to sight in the guns owner dropped in and asked if he could go too. After sighting in my buddy said he was amazed by the small groups from this old gun( I'm quite sure it was a WW1 British manufacture) He set up seven beer bottles at 200 yards(he has a range on his own land) and broke all seven with seven rounds. The guy who owned the rifle asked him,"That's pretty good isn't it?"
From a nearly 100 year old rifle that had a steady diet of corrosive ammo and abuse, pretty good, indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[QUOTE. n
Those two grooves were deeper. Stripping not a problem. Roughness can be, esp. when production speeded up from during war production.
Quite right on the deep grooves, mine slugs .303/.315", making the grooves .006" deep. I wish my T/C muzzleloader had grooves that deep.:)
 

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Quite right on the deep grooves, mine slugs .303/.315", making the grooves .006" deep. I wish my T/C muzzleloader had grooves that deep.:)

have never run the tests, but always wondered if the two big "ears" from the grooves reduced the BC enough to notice at long range. .006" doesn't seem like much, but considering they're directly in the air flow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When I examined the lead ball I used to slug the bore I was struck by how it resembled the rear of a bullet for the English muzzleloading Jacobs rifle with two lugs to engage the two groove barrel of that odd but very effective rifle.:)
 
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