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Discussion Starter #1
I just saw an interesting article in the G&A Annual about Gibb's remakes of the SMLE Jungle Carbines in .303 British, .308 Win and soon, in 45-70.

Does anyone have any experience with these rifles?
 

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The only experience I have is looking one over at a gun show.  I was very impressed with the quality and if I can arrange a match of gun and money I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.  When I have the money, can't find the gun, and of course, when I find the gun, no money to spare.  Oh well...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow!  That sounds terrific. I wonder how accurate they are.  Also does anyone have any thoughts or impressions of the .303 British?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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.45-70... in a carbine?<!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->

Sounds painful!  Might make a neat truck gun.
 

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Stranger,

I shot my first deer with a .303 British.  The rifle had been sporterized and shot well.  I paid &#3615.00 for it in a barrel of 303's.  I wish I still had it.  I sure was proud of it at the time.  I was a Junior in High School.  I shot the deer, a nice 8 pt, and since it was the largest killed to date the newspaper took my picture and put it in the next days paper.  Only problem was I had cut school and ball practice to go deer hunting.  I didn't know the principal and coach read the paper that thoroughly.  I had to explain how I could be sick enough to skip school and ball practice but I could go deer hunting.  I told them I got better.  They agreed from the size of the deer that indeed I had gotten better.  This fact didn't keep the coach from requiring a few laps after practice for missing the previous day.  

O' for the good old days.

Bill
 

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I have the nickel plated one in 308. It's on loan, but when I get it back next month, it will be forsale.
 

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The .303 Brit and the .30-40 Krag are about the same balistically.  Same ballpark as the .300 Savage.
 

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I have a 303 that was sporterized long before Gibbs came up with the idea. Mine is not nickle-plated, but it takes care of anything I meet in the back country.

The 303 cartridge is loaded here in the US and also I bought a case of foreign ammo for shooting in another rifle that is as issued in WWII. I shoot foreign military matches with it and have a lot of fun. I do wash out the bore afterwards as the ammo is mildly corrosive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know that the SMLE has the reputation of being the best bolt action battle rifle ever made but how accurate are they?
 

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Stranger,
From personel expirience my Lee enfield No4 MKI made by savage arms is the most accurate rifle I own. It is capable of 1/2" 200yd groups all day long no matter what ammo I feed it. Also the world record holder at Bisley in England for many years in the 1000 yard range was an SMLE chambered in 303 british.
 Basically a very accurate rifle if kept up.


(Edited by Snowman at 12:42 pm on Nov. 3, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's amazing! I had no idea that they were that accurate. What should one look for in selecting a good example. Most that I've seen at gun shows are pretty ugly.
 

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here is a good site pertaining to the 303. Also covers I believe some points about what to look for in surplus firearms. Good luck hunting.

 http://www.303british.com/
 
One thing I do know is there is one version of this firearm that was armouries accurized in England, I will try to look up what info I have here for you tomorrow.
 

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Hi, Stranger:
  The accurized sniper rifles are the No.4 Mk. I(T). Check out:
<a href="http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=6&topic=26

" target="_blank">http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin....c=26

</a>   Most .303's aren't all that accurate, but some are very, very good.

Bye
Jack
 

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Stranger,

In my experience with the .303 cartridge, various marks of Lee-Enfield rifles and carbines, and a good number of similar military turnbolt designs I can say that the British combination can be as accurate as any Mauser-derived longarm if you look out for several things.

First off, find a clean No. 4 Mk. 1 or 2. While the older No. 1 SMLE (the one with wood to the muzzle) is neat from a longer historical perspective, the No. 4's (with muzzles that stick-out from the wood) are almost always better shooters. Second, look down the bore with a flashlight in search of heavy pitting. That's from the old mercuric priming compounds. A little bit won't hurt you, especially if you use 175-grain or heavier bullets. I've found the short 150's popular for reloading her in the States are easier to affect by a mildly pitted bore. Third, make certain the muzzle is free of any chips or dings that go anywhere near the rifling. They will kill your accuracy potential.

As for ballistics the .303 cartridge is more capable than the .300 Savage because of its heavy bullet abilities compared to the smaller American cartridge. With the old 215-grain loads available from Remington and CIL the performance against elk and moose is something to be seen to be believed. For lighter game we now have enhanced loads like the Hornady Light Magnum using 150's. Handloaders have several bullets that can do the job on just about any North American game. Stick to heavier bullets and the penetration capabilities of the .303 far outweigh the high velocities of the latest wonder short magnums. The .303 will be a great venison getter.

As for the Gibbs Quest, I'd say pass. The short barrel combined with open sights makes for poor accuracy under most circumstances, the American Rifleman test included. Stick to a full-length No. 4 and you'll do fine.
Please feel free to use the message feature if you have any other questions on these fine English rifles.
 
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