.303 British, good for nothing or classic African cartridge?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by HWL, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    The 303 is obviously a deadly hunting cartridge. The prices of the hacked up and sporterized rifles exceed that of brand new rifles nowadays so I think one is better off buying new 30-06.

    Modern rifles like ruger 1 doing limited runs - I do like the idea of.
     
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  2. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Enthusiast

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    one must remember that the brit,s were in the start of replacing the .303 in favor of the .276 cartage(165gr bullet at 2800 fps) when ww-1 sucked them in and they dropped the idea and pumped out millions of 303,s and when ww-2 sucked them in they had a vast supply of 303 and just kept it in service. and even to day its still being fielded in a combat role. if the first war had not started when it did,but a few years later the 303 may have disappeared like out 30-40 krag did after the 3006 came on line in 1906.
     

  3. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    We all love to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (me included)...but we all know that if we spent as much time training as we do yaking, it probably wouldn't make much difference what we used (within reason, of course).
     
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  4. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    And if the good Lord who oversaw the requirements that lead to the 303 had of let the commission that developed it have their way it would have been rimless. Probably still been here as the same case necked down to .276:)
     

  5. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    I love my old bsa lee enfield. The action is o so smooth. There was a time when it was my only rifle and with careful shot placement I have taken eland with her. I found 180gr Winchester power point factory ammo to perform above my expectations and thus never handloaded for the old girl. I am currently working up a load with a local made 215gr RN bullet. Bonded but with a thin jacket. Still working on the load but I have reached 2080fps from my rifles 21 inch barrel. Can not wait to test these rounds on a large warthog boar. I found a beautify of a martini henry in 303 the other day. The temptation......

    IMG-20190402-WA0001.jpeg
     
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  6. sambarhunter

    sambarhunter AH Fanatic

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    I found 180gr Winchester power point factory ammo to perform above my expectations

    And I have used them for years,rolled a stag over last week using them (150 7mm)
     
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  7. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    I realy love that round. I bought alot of the same lott years ago when i found them to shoot 1-2 moa in my rifle and I then decided that when they are shot up I will work up a load. I have around 40 rounds still left and decided to work up a load as my 375 ruger is currently without a scope and need a heavy bushveld "stomper" in the mean time.
     

  8. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Like the 458 Win Mag, the 303 in Africa is attached to a lot of stigma and stories.
    My late father hunted Rhodesia( North and South), Mozambique and Botswana with mostly 303 calibre rifles...WHY, because that was the only available Ammo during the war and post war years. FMJ, yet he hunted everything with it. He was an above EXCELLENT shot which helped considerably.
    Many years later, I bought a sporterised BSA 303 and hunted ALL PG without any hassle...taking abuse from some misinformed local hunters re the caliber!!
    Tallies at the end of each hunting day proved them wrong!!!
    This rifle, amongst others, was later stolen during a house break in...
    Of course, the market is now flooded with choices of rifle makes, models and calibers...not to mentioned the advanced state of bullet construction and reloading technology so many will surpass the older stuff and many still look down on this fantastic 303 stalwart!
    Would I consider another 303 in my safe?? In a heart beat .....
     
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  9. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    The idee of a 215gr RN bullet just make sense. My 303 is a working rifle. Synthetic stock and ceracoated. One day i will have a manlicher style stock made. I realy like the short barrel martini carbine that i fondeld at the dealer. The 215gr bullet that i am experimenting with has to be seated deep into the case due to my rifles short throught and the bullets long ogive. I will upload a few pics of my rifle and the loaded round.

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  10. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    My 215gr handload incomparison with a 180gr Winchester PowerPoint. Wish i could have loaded them to a longer overall length.

    DSC_1449.JPG DSC_1450.JPG
     
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  11. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Enthusiast

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    i had amassed a pretty large collection(35 rifles) of .303 enfields and another enfield collector stacked the bengies(100.00 bills) pretty high and I left them all go, but kept a real nice long branch 1943 No 4 mk 1* ftr 1948 that had shot lights out with greek .303 ammo and a reworked ww-1 rifle in .410 single shot that springfield sporters in pa. rechambered for the American 3" .410. its now a 20-25 yard pest shotgun. a shame as its in very good condition. I have taken American white tail with the .303,s using a 174 gr bullet at 2300 fps.

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  12. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    I have seen one of those. I have also seen lee enfields conversions in 22lr and 22 hornet. Another popular conversion is the 6mm musgrave. Basically a 303 necked down to 6mm.
     

  13. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    I have a couple of rifles with the Boyds thumb-hole stock as in your pic. They are a very good stock.
    I have a couple of No5 Jungle Carbines, a Ruger No1 in 303 and a Slazenger (Lithgow) SMLE that is a 22 Hornet. Great rifle. People forget that Bell took several hundred elephant with a 303.

    See if you can have the throat lengthened so as to seat the 215 round nose out further.
     
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  14. Piet-Skiet

    Piet-Skiet AH Member

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    Wil do. I am reluctant to spend alot more on the rifle. It already has a extensive list of work done. If i can get it to group under 2moa with that bullet doing about 2100 fps I wil be more than satisfied. I have other rifels more suited for longer range hunting so i don't need to push the envelope on my old three hundred and three. If i can't get my goal i will have no choice but to have freebore extended.
     

  15. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    I am thinking of having the throat lengthened in one of my No5's so I can seat the Woodleigh 215 grain Hydrostatic monometal bullets seated out further.
     
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  16. 35bore

    35bore AH Legend

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    I believe that I would have too agree with ALL of the previous positive posts. The 303 brit is a fantastic caliber. When I owned one (my first deer rifle) I used the 180gr round points, they were very effective. There's quite an array of different cartridges you take and I doubt the 303 would disappoint.
     
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  17. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    Just a matter of interest . . . Federal factory 303 ammo is loaded with a 180 grain Speer Spitzer- you can't buy them as a component projectile. Woodleigh also make a nice 174 grn pp. Also, in my ruger # 1 , 308 diameter , nosler partitions stabilise just fine as do the old 165 grn Winchester failsafe.
     
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  18. 454

    454 New Member

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    I can attest to the 303 Enfields' effectiveness during My last trip to Africa. The trip was pure nostalgia; a 303 and a 9.3x62. The Parker -Hale Deluxe No.4 Mk1* made fast work of a large Kudu bull at 148 yards. Three clicks up on the Singer sight put the 215 Woodleigh, launching at 2250fps, right through the shoulders and exited the far side. As it staggered on the hillside, I sent another through the spine. The last bullet weighed 190 grains and was 0.76" in diameter.

    My advice is use only new brass for your hunting loads, I separate cases on the third reload with full power charges.

    image.jpeg
     
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  19. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    454 is your No4 a factory sportirized or done by a gunsmith.? Good looking rifle.(y)
     

  20. steve white

    steve white AH Veteran

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    The advancement in bullet technology has resurrected several old cartridges--it's almost like an upgrade in caliber as far as effectiveness goes. Some early attempts at high velocity would have been more accepted had they had access to the bullets we all now enjoy. In a nutshell, yes, the 303 is back in the game if you want it to be. BTW there is an interesting chapter in one of Nathan Fosters' books on bedding the old military 303s for long range accuracy. None of it would show externally, either.
     

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