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

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

  1. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    I like every word of that!
     

  2. 454

    454 New Member

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    Rule 303,
    To the best of my knowledge my rifle was factory sporterized by Parker Hale by the evidence of the Parker Hale front ramp. I shortened the forearm slightly and added a No5 800 yd singer sight. I have a 0.0625" aperture (same as an AR15) inserted into the stock 0.10" aperture and the large aperture battle sight was remachined and sleeved to align with the adjustable sight. The front post was replaced with a KNS hooded crosshair sight.

    My long range load is a 180 Sierra pro Hunter driven at 2450fps. I was smacking rocks at 550yds to quite the amazement of my SA PH's. This bullets was used on a moving long nose Impala at 80-100yds. The twilight shot required the use of the battle sight.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     

  3. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    That's a nice bull you have there , well done.
    Absolutely nothing wrong with the 303. I have a ruger # 1 in 303. Case stretching does happen, but havnt had separations yet.Kept to just under 2500 fps, 174 grn woodleigh, ppsn open to about 7/8 inch, almost perfect weight retention.
    Whilst I have a trip for elephant, hippo, & buff booked next March, when I head over in 2021, for kudu,sable, & zebra, the 303 is what I'll be taking.
     
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  4. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    Hope you bought that martini, it looks exquisite in the photo.
     

  5. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    you will probably get a lot less case stretching than with a rear locking lee action.
    (unless the ruger has a loose chamber)
    tapered cases are known to stretch more than less tapered ones, but the old lee, being rear locking, is guaranteed to stretch brass.
    that is why 303/25 etc were never loaded to full potential.
    put the same case in a p14 and higher speeds/pressures will work better.
    I knew a guy that had some kind of mauser in 303/25 rimless, where the cases had the rims turned off and an extractor groove cut in them.
    interesting but too hard.
    I had an Anschutz mod 1530 rear locking action which shot well, but had similar case life to a lee.
    quite suitable for using new brass for serious stuff, as the old dead guys did in Africa.
    there must be some interesting old cases around Africa if you could only find them in the dirt, rocks, and bushes.
    bruce.
     

  6. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    454, thanks for the reply. Very much a great stalking rifle and a great load for it.(y)
    I have handled a custom made/sportirized No1 Mk3 and it is my dream stalking rifle. Light comes to the shoulder and the sights are already aligned with my eye
     

  7. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    Only hassle I run I to was with s&b brass. Whilst supposedly made to c.i.p standards, this is not the (case). The head height is considerably less than the U.S brass, did run Into head spacing troubles until I adjusted reloading dies accordingly.Have since dumped all of them, as I have mainly Remington & federal brass.I ran into this problem many years ago with ici/imi 243 brass, the case head height being far less than the U.S counterparts. This problem still exists to this day In continental made 22 hornet cases as compared to U. S made. Not only is the head height less , but the case rim height is greater. This gives all sorts of head spacing / case separation issues.
    With the ruger #1 in 303 British, there are no problems with case stretching /separations, ( unless using s&b brass ).
    Whilst I won't list loading data here, it's very easy to achieve velocities in excess of 200 fps over 308 factory ammunition with 180 grain projectiles, in the ruger #1.
    However , my usual load is very mild, in keeping with the original loads @ 2450fps.
     
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  8. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    a lovely classic styled rifle in a classic calibre.
    bruce.
     

  9. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    The 303 is great used as a scrub rifle (cut down) because it holds ten in the magazine.
    Excellent for relatively short ranges - no scope but simply open sighted.
    To put a scope on you need to use a side mount!
    Had one and about every fifth shot I would get a eye full of gas / could never figure out why
    Obviously a primer leak
     
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  10. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    dr ray,
    a pity you doctors can only afford clunkers.:oops::eek:;):LOL:
     
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  11. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    303 - Boer war rifle
    Medium power
    Good in its day
     

  12. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    That was so long ago I think we still used candles (lol)
     
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  13. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    303 British
    Groove diameter 312-313

    Rear locking
    About sane power as a 308 but nowhere near as accurate
    Would work under all conditions
    Mud dirt snow
    Fired 174 grain bullet
    Some were 215 grain round nose
    Originally loaded with cordite
     

  14. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Might add the 303 British uses a runner cartridge. It’s a bit pain loading in the magazine. The rims must not be in front of the previous cartridge.
    Australians converted the 303 to a 25 and 270 calibers in the post WWII era.
    They worked well but soon superseded by the more modern cartridge.
    As I said - great scrub rifle especially when the stock is sporterized.
     

  15. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The rims MUST be in front of the previous cartridge in the magazine to feed correctly.
     

  16. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Sorry I meant in front
    I was originally writing not behind
    My apologies
    Ps I don’t like runner cartridges !
     
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  17. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Rimmed cartridges
    I’m sure my iPhone predictive text hates me ☹️
     
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  18. 454

    454 New Member

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    The No1Mk3 should be a bit lighter than my No4, which weighs in at 7.8 lbs with the 22" barrel. That is about a pound heavier than I would prefer for a stalking rifle. I hope your dreams are fulfilled soon.

    Here is the first beast I took with the 303, down in Northern California. the guide and I crawled into the thick brush toward the melee of hog and hound. At first, all I could see was white patches darting about. When my eyes adjusted to the dim light, the white patches were the only part of the hounds I could initially make out. The guide pointed to a patch of darkness that I quickly realized was the silhouette of the hog ~25' away. Unable to stand, I crawled past him for a shot. Normally when the guide saw the hounds were clear he would whisper in your ear to shoot, this time he started shouting SHOOT! SHOOT! Those big nostrils were the only thing I made out through the battle aperture, no front post, just those nostrils aimed right at me. He was somewhere between 10-15' off the muzzle when the 215 Woodleigh raked down his right jowl, into the neck/shield and stopped somewhere in the guts. The hillside was so steep, the hog went over backwards and tumbled down the hill, gasping his last. I wore one of those 5 1/2" tusks around my neck in Africa for good luck.

    pig6.jpg
     

  19. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    454 well written. I like it.
     

  20. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    Still good. Some SMLE's produced remarkable accuracy for a rear locker. I have only owned one SMLE that would not hold better than 3" at 100mts and that was an Indian made job. I have shot or seen others that shot from around the inch to ones shooting 6" at 100 meters.

    If you load the stripper clips correctly and it is easy to see if you have, then no jams, if you load the magazine one at a time and do it correctly then no jams.

    Having said that the SMLE and its later No.s are battle rifles not sporting rifles as such. Put the 303 cartridge into a modern front locking rifle and they are just as accurate as most other rounds.(y)
     
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