303 British - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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303 British

Does anybody out there make there own hunting loads for their 303. Factory loads are a joke compared to what a full power brit. can be. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 03:23 AM
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I worked up a load using Hornady 175gr RN bullets and 42.0gr of IMR-4350. I haven't hunted with it yet, as I mainly hunt with handguns. But, it's there is I ever decide to take my Enfield No4Mk1 for a walk during hunting season.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 05:18 AM
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We had couple of these but are down to one now.
The load we used and was very accurate and took a few deer,was IMR-4064 at 42 grains with a Hornady bullet.
As you may know the brass with this gun doesn't last long.
I have just found a bunch of it i had put away while rooting around in my stuff!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 11:46 AM
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I always used a heavy hornady bullet with an almost max charge of h414. Made a darn good deer rifle.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 11:11 AM
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I haven't reloaded for one...yet. I will be.

But I would imagine some of the same practices as used with the 30-40 Krag would make good sense with the Brit, too.

First, I wouldn't hot rod this one. SMLE's are not 1917's, Springfields, or Mausers. They're strong, but not overly so. Action stretch is an issue, as witnessed by the interchangeable and varying length bolt head system. Head space grew, and the longer bolt heads were the answer that was put in place.

Similarly, the Krag wasn't a bank vault, either.

I wouldn't push either for every shred of speed from any bullet.

Also, these both will benefit greatly from partial full length sizing. If you reload for such a round and don't have one yet, a Hornady comparator set would be a wise investment. I use mine to measure the length of a case from the case head to the shoulder. Doesn't much matter WHERE the collet hits the shoulder so I just use one that hits between the start of the shoulder and start of the neck. I set my sizer die so that the shoulder gets pushed back about 0.002". I chamber the empty brass in the rifle and feel how it goes in. If there's resistance seating the bolt, I'll push it in to maybe 0.005". You want that shoulder moved back the minimum amount required for proper bolt function.

If you do a full "factory" resize each load cycle, your cases will pop in short order and you'll be trimming brass like crazy.

If you partial FL size them, you'll cut way back on how much trimming you need to do and your brass will last a long, long time.

I can run you some QuickLoad data when I get home on the Brit, but my two BIG cautions are to Partial FL size, and keep the loads moderate.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 02:34 PM
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Been loading for and shooting 303 Brit for yearsnd My load uses IMR 4064 with Sierra 180 gr PSP's. It's accurate in all my 303's and my dad used it to take a number of deer. Growing up, it was also the combo a guy loaded for us for my dad in his No1 Enfield. If you are only shooting and loading for one rifle, as a hint, just neck size the brass. It will extend the life of your brass and prevent head separation. (I have boxes of brass dedicated to certain rifles for that reason). If you can, get head space checked. If you were closer I have a full set. If you are shooting a No4/No5 Enfield, headspace issues can be fixed fairly easily. No1's not so easily, and P14's, not so much without setting barrel back

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 03:51 PM
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"Been loading for and shooting 303 Brit for yearsnd My load uses IMR 4064 with Sierra 180 gr PSP's."

+1. IMR 4064, 180gr Sierras. last deer with it was buck 3 years ago. i enjoy hunting with the ol'classic. its not going to win any long range comps, but its more than accurate for woods hunting whitetails.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 06:10 PM
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Two biggest problems you might have loading is, as mentioned before, brass life. The other is bore diameter. The bores tend to vary a lot. Slug your barrel and try to match bore diameter as close as possible. Different manufactures do have slightly different diameter bullets. Heavier bullets also seem to do better due to longer bearing surface. I have two prized shooter No4's out of my Enfield collection. One is a Longbranch No4mk1 with a tight bore that will shoot South African military ammo (rare to find now) and my handloads under 1.5" at 100 yds all day and my son with better eyes will do 1" with it (he informed me I am never allowed to sell it). I also have a Faz No4Mk2 that was rebarreled in the '60's by the S. African Army to use as a competition rifle. Checking my load data since I got home, it likes Reloader 15. But, all rifles like IMR 4064

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